Trailer Security Guide - Car Trailer Basics 101, Part III

Equipping Your Trailer & Tow Rig For Maximum Security

Rich Lagasse May 10, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Our main considerations in which system to use were focused on finding a system which had the features we wanted, was reasonably easy to install, and would be reliable and reasonably priced. The AWT system has key features such as the alarm siren, wireless door transmitters, and a shock sensor, and will also light the exterior trailer lights and lock the trailer brakes if an attempt to steal the trailer is made. Other features, such as a GPS locator, can be added as an option or installed later. Their system uses wireless transmitters for the doors, which eliminates the need for hard wiring to those units. That's of particular interest for those whose trailers have finished walls. The primary wiring necessary is for the positive and negative battery connections and, if connecting to the trailer lights and brakes, two relays also require wiring. The main system components ("brain-box," shock sensor, and siren) are prewired and fused. Tommy told us he's sold over 3,000 units without a failure, which speaks well of the design and quality of the components he uses. We priced several other units, many of which were more expensive, but decided to go with AWT because it best met our needs. The Advanced Wireless Technology system is priced at $299 for the basic components, and each door transmitter is an additional $59.95. A typical trailer unit with two doors would cost $420.

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Here are the step-by-step procedures we used to install our alarm:

• Read the directions. I know it's tempting to dive right in, but reviewing the directions first will likely save time and rework later.

• Familiarize yourself with all the components.

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• Determine the best mounting locations for the components. The main components you will be mounting are the "brain-box," the door transmitters, the shock sensor, the siren, and the LED alarm light. In our trailer, we decided to hide the main components in the front closet, which would make it harder for a thief to locate. It's also where our battery is located, which simplified the wiring. The closet also has a standard lock plus a dead-bolt lock, which will make it more difficult for a potential thief to get at the system

• Mount the brain-box and the shock sensor. The brain-box can be mounted most anywhere convenient. It has an antenna which needs to receive a good signal from the door transmitters. If you are mounting the brain-box inside a cabinet or closet, you should test to make sure you're getting a good signal. If it's behind a metal door, you might have to drill a hole large enough to run the antenna to the outside of the cabinet. On our installation, we received a good signal mounting the antenna inside of the closet. The shock sensor needs to be solidly mounted in a horizontal position, and as near to the center of the trailer as possible. It comes pre-set for sensitivity, but instructions are provided should you need to make an adjustment. The siren can be mounted most anywhere you want, even outside the trailer. We chose to mount ours outside the closet and directed towards a side vent, to make sure it could be clearly heard outside.

• Determine where and what you need to mount the door transmitters. They consist of two components: the pre-programmed transmitter, which is mounted on the inside of the trailer; and the magnet, which is weather-proof and mounted on the door. These may need spacers or mounting brackets to make sure the arrows on each line up with one another. We made our spacers and brackets from aluminum stock and screwed them in place. It's easiest to locate and temporarily mount the transmitter by first using the double-sided tape that's provided. Then you can determine what you need to mount the magnet, and to align the arrows on each unit. The ideal spacing between the units is 1/8-inch. Once these are in position, you can screw them in place.

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• Connect the power source to the battery. The main electrical connections are the positive and negative leads, which connect to your trailer battery. Note that the positive lead is fused, and the 15 amp fuse should be left out until all the wiring is completed. We chose to add a safety switch to disengage the system, should the remote key fob fail for some reason. We installed a 50-amp toggle switch (Echlin #TG6039) in a hidden location between the battery and the positive lead.

• Install the red LED alarm light. In selecting a position, we thought it would be best located near the side entry door. After deciding where to mount yours, a 3/8-inch hole is drilled. You can carefully unplug the line to the brain-box and feed it through the hole you've drilled, and reconnect to the brain-box. We found inserting the LED light housing into the hole was easier if the "wings" on each side were pressed in a bit to clear the hole. You can add a dab of silicone if you want, to make sure it's water-proof.

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