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Old 04-13-2016, 01:11 PM   #1
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Stolen Solar?

We've [just] gotten a Zamp 160 watt folding solar panel, and we'll be trying it out for the first time in a couple of weeks. We are trying to assess the risk of it being stolen. We read about it, but right now I can't find any posts about actual thefts.

When we dry camp, and need the solar, it's usually at Forest Service or State campgrounds. Some have camp hosts, some don't. Once in a while, we end up truly boondocking, when there's no one else around. There are signs warning that undocumented workers might be passing through, but the idea that a band of immigrants would steal a heavy solar unit seems unrealistic.

Putting the unit on the roof isn't an option; we can certainly put it inside at night, but disconnecting it while we're hiking during the day pretty much defeats the purpose.

So we're wondering - has anyone ever had a solar unit stolen? If so, what were the circumstances? Thoughts?
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:34 PM   #2
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If you are worried about it. Just put an cable lock on or something so there is a bit of a deterrent. You probably have to make something homemade.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:47 PM   #3
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Locks keep honest people honest, if a thief wants it it's gone.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:56 PM   #4
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Not really worried about it, as nothing has ever happened to chairs or lanterns or anything, but just wondered if anyone had any experiences that would make us worried. We could put a chain on it, but it'd have to be really long, in order for us to follow the sun with it. Maybe just won't worry about it. :-)
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:29 AM   #5
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In some areas solar panels are like currency. Thieving scum are lazy and if it is locked will usually go on to easier pickings.. Use a cable lock rather than a chain as they are harder to cut.
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Seann45 View Post
In some areas solar panels are like currency. Thieving scum are lazy and if it is locked will usually go on to easier pickings.. Use a cable lock rather than a chain as they are harder to cut.
Agree, don't be the easiest target. That's difficult if you are all my yourself so I cable lock things like generators. An other idea I have used is to place a couple trail cams pointed at angles that would catch an intruder coming thru your site and also get a pic of a vehicle and license plate. Make sure they are also hidden as they can be stolen too.
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Old 04-14-2016, 06:06 PM   #7
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I have 20' of chain and 2 locks. One goes thru the handle of the solar suitcase, one goes around what ever is available. Even that is probably over kill. As someone else said, I don't want to be the easiest target! There is always some risk but camping is far less likely to be a high risk environment.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:17 PM   #8
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Guess we'll look into a cable lock. Thought about the chain and 2 locks. Maybe only use it when we're out of the camp. Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:23 PM   #9
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The OP got me thinking.... When you consider ALL of the "stuff" that we all routinely leave out while camping, even when we are off to the beach, sightseeing, fishing, etc., and then that almost ALL of us lock some "stuff" up in compartments that have the exact same key as each other, it shows the general good quality of people that enjoy RV's and camping.... I've had 300w of solar on the roof of my unit for 6 years. It could be removed in about 5 minutes, by pulling six pins on each of the two panels, disconnecting (or cutting) the wires, and walking away. I've never been concerned about theft.

I guess to get to the panels, a potential thief would have to walk past a couple of kayaks, fishing rods, a gas grill (or two) and other stuff.......

About the ONLY thing that I ever lock-down (religiously) is the 2400W Yamaha that I still carry. Far too easy to steal, and too valuable to loose. I use a "Kryptonite" bicycle cable lock to secure that.
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