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Fuel Theft at Repair Facility


johnfr
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We recently took our motor home to a RV body shop to have it painted and some minor body repairs done to the fiberglass.


I had filled the rig up upon return from a trip at the end of Oct. to prevent condensation in the fuel tank while it was in storage. When I delivered it to the repair facility in mid Dec., I recalled that the fuel gauge was on the full mark. When I picked it up 3 weeks later, I noticed that the fuel gauge was indicating just over half a tank. I dismissed it because the electronic fuel gauge on the motor home tended to be a little strange acting at times. When I got home with it that afternoon I checked my odometer against my fuel log and confirmed that I had filled the tank just 90 miles previous. I still dismissed it thinking the fuel gauge was giving a false reading because it was cold outside

Today, I went to the storage lot where I store the rig to add some fuel additive to prevent algae growth in the fuel tank while it is in long term storage. Wanting to mix the additive with the fuel, I drove to a nearby gas station. Having driven it some 120 miles (according to the odometer) since I had last filled it I was expecting that it would take some 15 gallons of diesel to fill it up. I was shocked when the pump clicked off at 50.6 gallons. It was then that I realized that someone at the body shop had apparently siphoned some 35 gallons, $96 worth of fuel from my tank. The rig has a locking door on the fuel fill up so whomever did it had to have access to the keys.

When I picked up the rig at the body shop the owner had a couple diesel powered Salamander heaters running in his shop. He even complained about how expensive it was to heat his shop with those heaters. It appears that he was supplementing his heating cost at my expense.

So lesson learned, when taking a RV into a repair shop, it is probably a good idea, if you have locking fuel access not to give the shop the key to the fuel access.
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John,

Unfortunately those keys are a "dime a dozen" and most RV shops always carry all of the keys necessary to access bays, etc. The only keys they do not have are the ignition and deadbolt keys.

Have you confronted the RV shop owner to let them know of your discovery?

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2 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

John,

Unfortunately those keys are a "dime a dozen" and most RV shops always carry all of the keys necessary to access bays, etc. The only keys they do not have are the ignition and deadbolt keys.

Have you confronted the RV shop owner to let them know of your discovery?

While I would have a tough time proving anything the evidence is pretty strong. I sent them an email, copied below to let them know I was on to them.

FYI,

Someone apparently stole some diesel from our rig while it was at your shop.

I had filled the rig up upon return from a trip at the end of Oct. to prevent condensation in the fuel tank while it was in storage. When I delivered it to your shop in mid Dec., I recalled that the fuel gauge was on the full mark. When I picked it up 3 weeks later, I noticed that the fuel gauge was indicating just over half a tank. I dismissed it because the electronic fuel gauge on the motor home tended to be a little strange acting at times. When I got home with it that afternoon I checked my odometer against my fuel log and confirmed that I had filled the tank just 90 miles previous. I still dismissed it thinking the fuel gauge was giving a false reading because it was cold outside

Today, I went to the storage lot where I store the rig to add some fuel additive to prevent algae growth in the fuel tank while it is in long term storage. Wanting to mix the additive with the fuel, I drove to a nearby gas station. Having driven it some 120 miles (according to the odometer) since I had last filled it I was expecting that at the typical 8.2 miles per gallon, it would take some 15 gallons of diesel to fill it up. I was shocked when the pump finally clicked off at 50.6 gallons. It was then that I realized that someone at the shop had apparently siphoned some 35 gallons, $96 worth of fuel from my tank. The rig has a locking door on the fuel fill up so whomever did it had to have access to the keys.
 
Don't know who had access to it while it was there but you may want to keep an eye on who has access to your shop. Thought you would want to know about it.
 
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What's strange on our coach is the the passenger side fuel bay door has locks taking two different keys but the driver's side only has a key lock for the small fuel door and the large bay door isn't lockable.  Oh, and all 3 of those locks have to be manually locked, unlike all the other bay doors which lock electronically with the Key Fob.

Driver Side Redlined.png

Passenger Side Redlined.png

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1 hour ago, Mike H said:

What's strange on our coach is the the passenger side fuel bay door has locks taking two different keys but the driver's side only has a key lock for the small fuel door and the large bay door isn't lockable.  Oh, and all 3 of those locks have to be manually locked, unlike all the other bay doors which lock electronically with the Key Fob.

Driver Side Redlined.png

 

Mike

This  RV compartment door lock looks to be an exact replacement for the "NO KEY LOCK!"  latch  pictured.

https://www.amazon.com/TriMark-Paddle-Compartment-Storage-Motorhome/dp/B018J2PQLS

However you will have to contact TriMark, https://www.trimarkcorp.com/en/Contact.aspx , to see if it is available in chrome.

Edited by Mel S - '96 Safari
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2 hours ago, Ivan K said:

Is your propane tank behind the door that can't be locked? If so, ours also can't be locked and I always thought it was to make it accessible in an emergency.

Ivan,  That's probably a pretty good assumption.  This is what's behind those two bay doors and it's the drivers side that can't be locked.  Kind of funny they even bothered putting a lock in the small access door on the drivers side. 🙂

Driver Side Inside Redlined.png

Passenger Side Inside Redlined.png

2 hours ago, Mel S - '96 Safari said:

Mike

This  RV compartment door lock looks to be an exact replacement for the "NO KEY LOCK!"  latch  pictured.

https://www.amazon.com/TriMark-Paddle-Compartment-Storage-Motorhome/dp/B018J2PQLS

However you will have to contact TriMark, https://www.trimarkcorp.com/en/Contact.aspx , to see if it is available in chrome.

Thanks Mel.  Yeah, the only chrome ones I could find are for the entrance door.  No big deal, I suppose it is safer to leave it unlocked.

2 hours ago, Mel S - '96 Safari said:

Mike

This  RV compartment door lock looks to be an exact replacement for the "NO KEY LOCK!"  latch  pictured.

https://www.amazon.com/TriMark-Paddle-Compartment-Storage-Motorhome/dp/B018J2PQLS

However you will have to contact TriMark, https://www.trimarkcorp.com/en/Contact.aspx , to see if it is available in chrome.

Thanks Mel.  Yeah, the only chrome ones I could find are for the entrance door.  No big deal, I suppose it is safer to leave it unlocked.

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35 minutes ago, Mike H said:

Ivan,  That's probably a pretty good assumption.  This is what's behind those two bay doors and it's the drivers side that can't be locked.  Kind of funny they even bothered putting a lock in the small access door on the drivers side. 🙂

1349754345_DriverSideInsideRedlined.thum

 

Thanks Mel.  Yeah, the only chrome ones I could find are for the entrance door.  No big deal, I suppose it is safer to leave it unlocked.

Thanks Mel.  Yeah, the only chrome ones I could find are for the entrance door.  No big deal, I suppose it is safer to leave it unlocked.

Mike

I believe it's illegal to lock a compartment door covering/hiding a RV propane tank shut off valve

If you are worried  about possible "fuel theft" put  a locking fuel cap on the driver side fuel filler,  (behind that compartment door with no lock).

th?id=OIP.J1s3tjAu-KGBmQrTfStOqwHaHa&pid

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2 hours ago, Mel S - '96 Safari said:

Mike

I believe it's illegal to lock a compartment door covering/hiding a RV propane tank shut off valve

If you are worried  about possible "fuel theft" put  a locking fuel cap on the driver side fuel filler,  (behind that compartment door with no lock).

th?id=OIP.J1s3tjAu-KGBmQrTfStOqwHaHa&pid

Mel,  My diesel fuel fill pipe has a plain threaded cap so I don't know how you could have a locking cap without some modification to it.   I suspect the one you have the photo of is for a gas filler tube that has a lip on the inside for it to catch on.

20200126_181609.jpg

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They make locking caps for the standard 2" filler pipes. Here is link to one. https://www.fillernecksupply.com/copy-of-aluminum-2-npt-threaded-filler-neck-pipe-sections-choose-length/

image.thumb.png.ba0b37b94a2a3014b77171b2f692d4e1.png

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16 hours ago, Mike H said:

Hmmm now that's interesting.  I'll have to learn more about those.  I'm curious as to how they are locked on.  Thanks for posting.

Mike

Here are 2 different but similar locking fuel filler caps:

18-13641-Product_Primary_Image__00929.14   https://tinyurl.com/qqepjjd

 

ss__88265.1555514960.jpg?c=2 https://tinyurl.com/qukhf7r

 

Edited by Mel S - '96 Safari
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16 minutes ago, Dr4Film said:

Mel, that specific one has male threads however our coaches require female threaded fuel caps.

Richard  & Mike

This one is available  with either female  or male threads:  (See "Choose Options" following  "Description:"

ss__88265.1555514960.jpg?c=2 https://tinyurl.com/qukhf7r

 

However for 2 inch female NPT tank connections you may need to order their SS750200 MNPT x MNPT Adapter.
 

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