Hidden storage for an overlanding build.

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by DancesWithMutts, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    I'm just getting going on a HDJ81 overland build for a South America adventure. I'm going to start a build thread soon but I've been super busy and have a vacation coming up.

    Anyway, I keep reading that I want some hidden and lockable storage on my rig somewhere. Large enough for electronics and documents, money, passports ect. I am building a drawer system/sleeping platform, and my first idea was to incorporate it into that but now I have a different idea.

    What about a Wagon Gear/Trail Taylor tailgate storage system, but with a layer of thick carpet over the whole thing so it hides the seems? I'd have to figure out some sort of hidden latch release, but that shouldn't be too bad. I feel like even if I am being held up at gun-point while my rig is ransacked, the average South American criminal isn't going to find it.

    If anyone else has any other ideas for hidden storage, I'd love to hear them.
     
  2. mct75

    mct75

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    You could put a strongbox where the factory subtank would be. Being between the body and spare tire would be is super concealed although not the easiest to get to. Plus criminals will know to rip up the carpet and check for hidden boxes in the cab if they are going to the trouble to rob you with a gun.
     
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  3. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    Solid idea, but I feel like the Access would be such a PITA I would end up not really using it.
     
  4. mct75

    mct75

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    I guess it depends on the level of value. Sadly anything "easy" like a box under the seat or false floor in the center console is going to be checked. Maybe keep your $10,000 in cash above the tire and just keep $500 of it in an internal lockbox?
     
  5. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    Cash and Passports are the most sought after items from what I read. most people get by pulling cash out of ATM's as they go, so I shouldn't have a large amount or cash on me at any time. I will keep a couple hundred bucks worth of whatever country I'm in's currency in the glove box as sort of a decoy. Hopefully they find that and decide it's enough and fxxx off.

    I'm bringing some nice-ish camera equipment and a $1300 drone as well as a laptop, those items I would like to have secure and hidden but somewhat easily accessible.

    I might make a super hidden under-body solution for money and documents though.
     
  6. inkpot

    inkpot SILVER Star

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    I'm thinkin a lot of the Bad Guys know all about ATMs and how to get your password. Taking lots of pretty, shiney toys is a great way to advertise that you have lots of discretionary income.
     
  7. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    Plenty of people are down there right now in all sorts of different vehicles with all kinds of toys and they are doing just fine. The ATM system is the safest, since there are daily withdrawl limits. Even if they get my card and pin, I just have to call my bank to secure my account. worse they could do in damage is $500

    So many people try to talk me out of this trip like I'm going on a drive through Afghanistan.
     
  8. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    Security will be a trade-off with accessibility.

    If this is your 80, what about modding the rear heater to be a incognito safe storage?

    That would be where I'd start, that or since it's a passport & cash only, hide it in the air cleaner in a ziplock bag.

    I'd steer clear of the rear quarterpanels, they could be ripped out in no time.

    You could 'false flag' it by leaving a simple ID card & $40 USD/equiv in the ashtray.

    If you're not a pro photographer, I'd rethink all those shiney toys, that or intentionally 'dumb down' all but optics & memory cards to a minimum. I never travel with anything I can't bear losing.

    And look into travel insurance if you're dead set on taking those toys.

    I'd try to use a memory card format if not going cloud based, keep your cards in a bag in the 'tunacan' - then you will come back worst possible scenario with your pics, all the rest is easily insured & replaceable, to me anyhow.

    Have a great time - I'm envious!
     
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  9. lazy

    lazy

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    I'd drop the glove box and keep cash and passports in a zip lock by the ecu. I'd also get my 2nd passport issued and have visas in the main passport and hidden away. There is really no reason to carry a lot of cash while traveling these days. Of the 30 or so countries I've been to, Myanmar is the only one I brought a significant amount of cash to. With Argentina no longer on the blue dollar, I would limit cash I carried. I'd entirely skip Venezuela at this point, a shame since it is a beautiful country.

    I would focus more on a kill switch and or fuel line valve to keep my vehicle from getting lifted.
     
  10. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    Seems you see alot of white 80's etc w/ government or corporate use w/ custom expo gear.

    Point I'm getting at would be maybe think on what signage you could run nobody would want to screw with your rig - like "wildlife enforcement", "medical aid", "NATO staff" - whatever.

    Really aside from like the known bad actors like DRC, Somolia, -whoever else- (not up on that) --- I'd think it decent the further in the South you are.

    But that's my understanding, if you know anyone in your destinations, I'd ask them & do the old "when in Rome" thing.

    Is this long term enough you plan to get plates in Afica?
    USA plates scream "stolen from USA" in Nigeria, but alot of $$ there too. High end cars from here go there, so you can be the crappy car in some parking lots there.

    Anywhere else USA plates seem like a big "kick me" sign. I'd want local plates fast.
     
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  11. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    I've got the JDM ice box console (for now).
     
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  12. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    South America not Africa, just a two month trip. Going to skip a couple of the really sketchy countries.
     
  13. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    Great ideas!
     
  14. lazy

    lazy

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    In Columbia, I saw the guys carrying cash for atms driving an 80. Of course, they get out locked, loaded and fingers on the trigger.

    Personally, my experience is that are more than likely to have an event less trip when it comes to robberies. It may happen, but there are way more good people than bad down there. I wouldnt decal my truck or change license plates which would be practically impossible without paying import duties.
     
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  15. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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    Thank you for the post, I'd like to take some precautions just in case, but I subscribe to the idea that people are generally decent and I'm not going to go through life assuming that I'll be a victim everytime I leave my house.
     
  16. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    Oops, just saw "South America" - my senility is raging today, brain read "South Africa"

    Heck, just have fun. If you're a toehead, dye your hair & just don't go to a football game in Argentina unless you want a brawl.

    Common sense stuff, I'd get some plates myself, & maybe the signage - or a lame wrap to make your 80 look as well used as the average one there. Ditch your FR USA plate & let the rear hide behind a spare, at the very least.

    Just blend in, appear local & when in doubt hit the ex-pat areas.

    If you don't know decent Spanish & at least servicable Portugese, make the effort.

    Change the fuel filter right before going, and pack a spare - gas is a whole mess in Columbia / Venezuela IIRC, you can get strangely transported gas due to the tariffs there. According to the Shell bulletin that carries global issues they care to print.
     
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  17. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    I agree, people are decent - but 1 wolf in a sheep flock is still worth thinking of.

    The biggest thing is situational awareness. IDK about you, but amazing to me how people have their face in their phones when it's not the time.

    If you make the effort to not look like a rich white honky who's distracted & a easy mark, you're ahead of plenty of people.
     
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  18. 80ways

    80ways SILVER Star

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    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  19. DancesWithMutts

    DancesWithMutts

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  20. Maleficio

    Maleficio

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    Where do you boys stash your guns and ammo?
     
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