View Full Version : Parking by the River

02-21-2008, 10:32 AM
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to move into the 21st Century and traded in my '93 Corolla for a '07 Rav4. By the way, when did window cranks and lock buttons become extinct? Oh well, I am a board game in an X-box world.

Anyway, here's my question - should I get a tonneau cover that hides the cargo area? Here's my thought - If a prospective thief looks in and sees nothing, he leaves. If he looks in and sees a covered area, then maybe he breaks in just to see if there is anything there. Except for the car itself, I rarely carry anything of value.

It's freaking 5 degrees here today and I still need another week for my hand to heal before I can cast. I am going to marry the first Steelie I land after I get fishing again. Cabin fever - catch it!

02-21-2008, 11:03 AM
Rick, I never leave anything of value in my car that may intice a thief. I had my truck broke in during highschool. It had the loudest stereo in town in it for a while. Untill someone decided it would go better in their car. After that is when I started fishing seriously and I had a bad habit of leaving my waders and boots in the truck. Mom didn't want them in the house. So you can imagine wet waders stuck in a suv during our Missouri summers. No one ever broke in again, but instead of being able to hear me coming, everyone could smell me coming.;)

02-21-2008, 11:18 AM
If a theif thinks there's something of value in your truck, they are going to break in. If you do get a tonneau cover, get one they won't have to cut open to get in, or a hard shell. I assume you are from Ohio with a name like BuckeyeRick. My dad emailed this picture from just outside Lancaster this morning.

Keep warm up there

Brian Griffing
02-21-2008, 11:33 AM
I had a tonneau cover on my first truck and I never had any problems with people looking in there or stealing anything. Granted, my truck is usually at home, at work, or in the woods, so it is usually not surrounded by a criminal element. I later up-graded to a cap on the back of that first Dodge, and have one on my current truck. And again, I have never had a problem. I've kept everything from climbing stands, to goose dekes, to dogs, to trash and recyclables back there. In fact, I have a sleeping bag, a chain saw, a cooler, hip waders, a tennis ball thrower, and a gas can back there right now. I've either been lucky, parked in the right places, or my truck just looks like it wouldn't have anything worth stealing in it. And of course I haven't advertised the fact that there is anything in the bed, like I am doing now.
But advertising can work the other wat, too. The Marine Corps sticker and the terrorist hunting permit on the cap, and the deer head on the trailer hitch say "This guy might have a gun." And I am sure that will dissuade some people. When I was in high school a friend of mine had his locker broken into on the first day of school our sohomore year, and his lunch was stolen. The next day he made a fake lunch. He balled up a bunch of tin foil and set it in a brown paper bag, and then set a rat trap inside and placed it in the upper part of his locker. The following day his locker was broken into again, the rat trap had sprung and torn the bag, but everything was still there. Everyone in the school knew which locker was his for the next three years, and it was never touched again, depsite the fact that he never re-set the trap.
Now I'm not suggesting that you booby-trap your vehicle, but there is something to be said for the impressions that you give. Who knows? Anybody that jimmies the handle on the cap of my truck parked in the woods and looks inside, may find a day pack. Or they just might themselves answering difficult questions as to why they just woke an armed man from a mid-day nap.

02-21-2008, 12:17 PM
Buckeye Rick,
Interesting questions you raise. The Rav4 is a nice little SUV which locks up as tight as most cars. The cover over the cargo area may help and again it may say to a thief "look here, valuable stuff".

Even with an alarm system, if a thief really wants your stuff, he's going to get it. I think the best thing to do is just not leave valuable stuff in your vehicle while you're at the river. I keep stuff in the trunk of my car, but I have seen trunks broken into as well and most new cars have remote trunk lid releases somewhere inside the car so all the thief has to do is press the button and up pops the trunk.

Usually when I'm fishing, my most valuable gear is on my person and the stuff in the trunk amounts to stuff I might need. My rod, reel, flies, and other higher dollar stuff is with me and unless the thief has a gun, he's not going to get my stuff (and when not in the National Park, I usually have a firearm of my own with me).

By the way, congratulations on the new vehicle. I really like those Rav4's. Nice choice in vehicle.

I guess to answer your question, I would invest in the cargo area cover. At the very least it will give you some peace of mind while you're fishihg. Dark tinted windows in the cargo area also help reduce visibility into the behind the seats area.


02-21-2008, 02:23 PM

You don't say where you are going to go fishing? I have fished in the Smokies the last 6 years with my SUV ( Grand Cherokee) with no one breaking into my vehicle. I leave the gear bag in the cargo area but I don't pull my cargo cover. I don't keep an extra rod or anything. I bring only what I can carry. I park in an area where cars can pass by my vehicle because I believe that may deter thieves. I leave my gear bag open and my rod & reel carrying case open because I figure they will see nothing of value in there except carrying cases. If you pull your cargo cover they will think , Ah something of value.
If I fish around here in Ohio where I park usually in a remote area without much traffic, I do not carry gear bags. I don't leave anything in my car except the sneakers that I drove to the river in. I even open my console box and I have nothing in it. I want to tell the thieves, if you break in here you will sound my alarm and you won't get anything for your trouble.

I would say Don't pull your cargo cover!

02-21-2008, 07:37 PM
there is a flyer out, probably available at sugarlands, which states that "i was advised by a ranger to leave no valuables in my vehicle and i have left none". this will go on the windshield under the wiper blade or on the dash visible from the outside.

02-22-2008, 12:50 AM
I fish wild streams, mostly in Cherokee NF. I carry an old shotgun shell box in my truck. When I park in an out of the way place, I always lay the empty box in my front seat. Thief looks in, sees box and hopefully thinks he is looking into the truck of a hunter who might be hunting (in season) and could be near enough to see someone looking into his truck. When I used to backpack into trout streams, I would take an old dog box. I would leave my tailgate down and the dog box door open. I know these tricks won't work in the park, but if you ever go into a national forest, maybe it could help.

Elk riverrat
02-22-2008, 07:23 AM
I ALWAYS leave my rod/reel carry case wide open on the passenger side to say all the valuables are gone has worked in the park since 1985.

Rog 1
02-22-2008, 10:35 AM
I have been driving to the park for 45 years to fish....no problems so far...guess the best advice is what all are saying.....out of sight out of mind...I have had only one incident where someone picked up a jacket of my buddy beside the trail as we were fishing a pool coming out of FC Prong...ended up being some local yahoo who had been camping for the weekend....found him at the parking area and when confronted quickly gave it up with some BS story about having found it the day before....