Security & Safety
The vehicle needs to be as secure as possible as it will contain, for the length of the trip, all your worldly possessions. The rear section can be made particularly secure. Once in the vehicle good practice to keep the doors locked and in towns keep the windows closed.
Blacked out windows – fitted to all windows behind the driver and passenger windows (these cannot be tinted beyond the UK legal limit). This has two advantages; firstly, people cannot not look in and see what contents you have, particularly in the rear section. Secondly, it helps keep the rear surprisingly cool in the sun. It does, however, limit photography in the rear when closed.
Rear Window Guards – fitted to the whole of the rear section sliding windows, rear door and two small rear windows. Our strong grilles were fitted on the inside of the windows and would make breaking the glass difficult and even if successful, very difficult to get a hand in. Other types fit on the outside and would serve as a visual display of security and can be used to attach other items. Shortened sand ladders bolted on also make good side window protectors.
Rear Load Space (Dog) Guard – fitted behind the middle seats to prevent access to the rear from the middle of the vehicle. Also serves as a safety feature to protect occupants from flying boxes etc. It also a useful grille upon which to clip and tie all manner of things.
Additional Security – if we were leaving the vehicle for any length of time we could additionally store valuable items in the lockable rear storage drawer and the spare wheel carrier could also be padlocked. If they could get past all this – good luck to them. The front cubby box was fitted with a shed lock and a steering wheel lock supplemented the standard alarm and immobiliser. The steering wheel lock could also serve as a useful ‘weapon’ if required – it wasn’t!
We did keep in the front cubby box an old wallet containing a few foreign bank notes and coins along with several expired store cards and similar that looked like credit cards. The idea being that should we be held up at gun or knife point we could hand over the wallet and the robbers would run off triumphantly. That was the theory anyway. Whether it would have worked or not we, fortunately, never found out.
A legal requirement in many of the countries we visited and they will be checked so make sure you have one readily available and preferably visible. We fitted a 1 kg ABC powder one onto the internal section of the roll cage behind the passenger seat and one in the rear section. Best to get ones with gauges rather than those with expiry dates.
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