View original topic: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, ... 27, 28, 29  Next
tarandusVDub Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:54 pm

Link to the cycle tracker?

dobryan Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:56 pm

tristessa wrote: Jon_slider wrote: Cost $52, no monthly fees
I was looking at that one on Ebay earlier, and it apparently requires a SIM card .. which means at least a few bucks every month or two to keep it active.

minsk wrote: srmpf the gps tracker form new egg is essentially yhe same thing as a celly...
:) its a reader and gps tranmitter for a sim card. just muuuuch could totally hide is somewhere under the dash wire it into the ignition wire perhaps
Just make sure it's someplace where the antenna(s) get GPS and cellular signal.

I saw a weather-resistant motorcycle tracker on Fleabay earlier, and the first thought I had was to hide it in one of the hollow areas under the luggage rack and run power to it from the dome light...

I expect that I'll have to pay to keep a SIM card active. From what I have seen (so far) that is a small expense compared to a monthly service charge that some units require....

syncrodoka Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:14 pm

dobryan wrote: My thought on hard wiring is that it should be possible to emulate any battery/power supply with the 12v Vanagon battery and appropriate doohickeys (technical term for I know it can be done but am not conversant enough in electrons to know what to do).
That would be easy to do just get a cigarette socket charger for a device that takes 5v input (what the newegg product needs) and splice on the newegg product end plug. A iphone, ipad and sirius starmate cig adapters put out that voltage iirc. The amperage just needs to be right, that informatio should be able to be found on the factory power adapter.

tarandusVDub Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:25 pm

Sorry for cross-posting ~ thought this might be a better place to ask this more generic question...

There are a number of the remote GPS locator kits on the market ~ are there any that are integrated into alarm and/or stereo systems?

Seems like many on the market, like the Viper etc., are intended to lock out thieves in the first place by disabling the motor etc....have folks used those on Vanagons successfully, or are we left with having to find them once they have left the building?

dobryan Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:50 pm

I have a kill switch to the fuel pump so I don't need the GPS tracker to do that function. It seems easier to not try to combine the two functions into one device.

tristessa Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:52 pm

tarandusVDub wrote: Link to the cycle tracker?
Random ebay listing, one of dozens, no connection to the seller, blah blah blah:

hans j Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:17 pm

It seems it's going to be easy to find one that would work. Probably what we should be concentrating on is finding a SIM card that will keep the actual cost down! All of the trackers use one to send the location, but I'm not finding a great deal on one. I would try the fleabay cheap motorcycle tracker, it's cheap! But I need the sim card...

I read a couple threads about people buying cheap T-mobile prepay phones that have a certain number of texts loaded on to them. ATT has SMS only cards but run above $35 a month.

I wouldn't even mind having to pay $1 a text if that's all I had to maintain on it. It's not like I will be using it often (my van is pretty rusty...).

A lot of the local cyclists looked into the Tile kickstarter device. Really cool, but limited. Battery lasts one year, you can mark it as stolen and it will alert anyone nearby the tile-within bluetooth range and with the app installed on their phone too. So if you live in a densely populated area, I can see it working great, especially if you keep your vanagon low on fuel all the time... I might still get a couple, for the bicycle, one in the glovebox and perhaps one on my cat? But it's not high up on the list of things to spend money on just yet.

carterzest Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:34 pm

kamzcab86 wrote: Jon_slider wrote: I like this one:

Didn't look at them all, but this line is certainly a plus in the description of ^that one: "No monthly service charges to be paid to the call center".

Carterzest posted this one in the stolen van thread: .

Just wanted to add this here from the other thread.

carterzest wrote: insyncro wrote: I just had one on my vans broken into and a bunch of tools and my Pelican briefcase stolen out of it.

The briefcase had a GPS locator inside of it.

The NY State Police were informed and an arrest came within hours.

I am sorry to hear of a van being stolen.
All of my vans have locators in them.
They are not expensive, you will get an insurance discount and they work!

We have great success with these in many varying applications at my work.

I started a thread a few years ago on the Thing forum and perhaps we should start a new thread for this forum?
We use these in many different ways but most of them need monthly charging. I monitor and respond to these and do not physically set them up, but, I am fairly certain that there would be a way to hook one up in a discreet way where it was always charging. They are about the size of a tape measure and have different mounting options. You can set them up for email, text/SMS, and telephonic notification-we use all three. You then can track in real time, the location of your property. Lets just say, we get a lot of arrests. That being said, I still do not have one of these in my vans :oops:

Thanks for starting this thread. Looks like there are a few viable options out there.
Looking forward to the reports back with details and experiences.

tristessa Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:28 am

Googling "prepaid sim SMS" led me to Telna Mobile, which appears to offer post-paid pay-as-you-go GSM sim cards for $19/year and 8˘/minute with free SMS service .. if I'm reading their website right. No connection to the outfit, I'd never heard of them before tonight.

Also found Truphone at $29.99 w/$15 prepaid credit and 10˘/message SMS .. again, no connection, never heard of them before tonight...

Hope this helps someone. If Telna checks out, that could be the key to GPS tracking for under $50 .. damn cheap insurance.

kennyw Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:03 pm

Anyone look into the PoketFinder car device? Looks like its $190 + 12.95/month, hardwired with battery backup and accessible from website/iOS or android.

dobryan Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:06 pm

kennyw wrote: Anyone look into the PoketFinder car device? Looks like its $190 + 12.95/month, hardwired with battery backup and accessible from website/iOS or android.

Monthly service charge makes it a no go for me....

bowtiebug Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:45 pm

IMO $155 a year to recover a stolen classic is super cheap insurance ..

SyncroHead Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:39 pm

Quite an odd coincidence. I've been researching similar units for a couple weeks. My application is to track our 16 y/o teen driver when using our car.

I got this one with "live" one-minute updates plotted on a map with reports including ignition ON, OFF, speed alert, etc. Plugs into the OBD2 port on the Jetta TDI. Not really for the find the stolen vehicle application.

$265 for the unit and 1 year of data service. Free shipping.
Literally just received it at noon today and plugged it into my own Passat to start seeing how it works.

Here's one that's more apprprriate for stolen vehicle recovery:

$119 (or is it $139?) including the 2-wire unit and 2 years of service.
This is interesting:
The device’s intelligent power management algorithms result in a deep sleep mode current of less than 1mA.

$119 seems like very cheap insurance for two years of location service.


rmcd Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:50 pm

JPrato Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:07 am

bowtiebug wrote: IMO $155 a year to recover a stolen classic is super cheap insurance ..

A screaming bargain unless you are driving some POS that is 5 mins away from being dropped off at the junkyard. Unless you left the keys in the ignition you would probably have 2-3x that much damage to repair what the thief broke getting into your van.

caseydenise Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:25 am

Check out

I have a few of these, they are 12 volt charged. I hide them deep in the car, then put a trickle charger on the car. IF anyone steals it, they have no idea the zoombak is in there.

Hunt them down like a dog and kill them, simple.

Jon_slider Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:01 am


$110 plus $20 a month

fwiw, for tracking my daughter I have used Find my iPhone. It is free, but Im not strapping a phone to my Van..

still waiting for someone to post that they found a GPS device with NO monthly fees. Or did I miss it?

dobryan Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:04 am

Jon_slider wrote: >

$110 plus $20 a month

fwiw, for tracking my daughter I have used Find my iPhone. It is free, but Im not strapping a phone to my Van..

still waiting for someone to post that they found a GPS device with NO monthly fees. Or did I miss it?

Several units posted have no monthly fee but you need to source an SMS SIM card which will have some type of fee (not necessarily monthly)attached. Looks like the trick is getting a good source for the card. Some good possibilities were posted in the replies. I haven't had the time to research them much though.

tristessa Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:23 am

Jon_slider wrote: still waiting for someone to post that they found a GPS device with NO monthly fees. Or did I miss it?
A tracker that requires a SIM card + the Telna Mobile I linked earlier in the thread looks closest to that requirement -- $20/year for the SIM plus whatever per-minute/per SMS-over-1000 charges you run up.

It *looks* closest, but I haven't had time to investigate it further, and probably won't anytime soon. I've got a shed to finish building, a brake overhaul on the daily-driver Westy to finish, several dump runs to make .. plus work and sleep. :roll:

HoustonPhotog Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:50 am

i think most with have some sort of monthly fee whether it be a monitoring service type or a sim card type charge fee.

$12 a month is not bad.

Id be hesitant on the completely free ones if there are those out there since id be worried that they wont work, no signal, no notification etc when it is actually needed. then that defeats the purpose of having one altogether.

id gladly pay the monthly fee.

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