Gulliver, our Dodge Ram 3500 dually, is worth the same amount we paid for him more than four years ago. But he’s much more valuable to us than he would be to a thief. So, we decided to invest in protecting that value.
If Gulliver were to be stolen, we likely wouldn’t get a dually truck as a rental replacement. And that would mean we couldn’t move our trailer. With the supply chain delays, it could be months to a year or even longer before we could get a replacement truck.
Not willing to take that risk, we upgraded Gulliver with a new security gadget. After tons of internet research, Bob ordered a Ravelco anti-theft device.
A technician came right to our camping spot to install the unit. In about an hour, he replaced the ignition wires under the hood so that they’re all black and nestled in an armored tube. They end in a female receiver that requires a male fob to connect to it before the engine will turn over with the key.
This means our truck can’t be hot-wired. As an added layer of protection, the tech gave us window stickers that say “No Hot Wire” in hopes that wannabe thieves will see Gulliver is not an easy target and move on.
Gulliver also got two new fuel filters. Like a human liver that rids the body of toxic substances, a fuel filter rids a vehicle’s fuel of harmful debris — rust particles and dirt — to prevent damage to the engine.
Thanks to those transplants, Gulliver’s ready to process the 250 or so 32-gallon tanks of diesel we’ll likely power through on this year’s travel adventures.
Not to be left out, Tagalong got upgraded screening on his screen door. The original screening had steadily deteriorated in the 2.5 years we’ve owned him — to the point that pesky bugs were likely to break through this year. Since we plan to spend time in some humid areas of the country, we didn’t want to risk pests infecting our living quarters.
Bob removed the screen door and took it to Ace Hardware. One day and $60 later, it had been rescreened with thicker, darker material that will not only keep the bugs out, but also protect our entry from sun and heat.
You can just imagine what a beating an RV takes in a year of traveling through different weather. Sometimes it bakes in the sun. Other times, it’s plastered with rain. And then there’s the wind that beats against it.
Wanting to protect Tagalong’s neglected exterior, I spent two days washing and waxing him. That’s one luxury of a long-term RV stay: full hookups and the ability to take care of vehicle maintenance.
The rubber roof sucked up the wax, thirsty for a fresh coat. The sun-facing side of the trailer did the same. The shady side, not quite so thirsty, welcomed the added protection.
All in all, the job took about 10 hours. Next time, we’ll pay someone to do it. But for now, we rest easy knowing our home is well-preserved.
This is the travel blog of full-time RVers Bob and Lana Gates and our truck, Gulliver, and fifth wheel, Tagalong.