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Italian Thieves
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userRFC7
Posted: 4 July 2019 8:51 AM
Subject: Italian Thieves
 
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Just returned from a 3 week trip to France/ Italy/ Switzerland in my Hymer 588i, here are some highlights, tips and. a Major low light !!
Orange engine advisory light appeared on the Thursday night before leaving for Plymouth/Roscoff ferry the next day !! A quick trip to a local garage in the morning for a diagnostic check showed a failed Turbo sensor !!!!! a 4 day wait for the part and a forecasted £400 bill.
Decisions, decisions... Cancel trip or drive to Italy, the home of Fiat, without a Turbo.?
As an ex-rally driver, I have finished rallies with a blown Turbo and know the only downside is an approx a 22% power loss.
We decided to go, and just suffer the long slow uphill drags, and poor fuel consumption, the Hymer/2.3-liter Fiat euro 5 engine was fine on the straights, etc. (1250 miles at 17 mpg, instead of the usual 28 mpg)
Monday morning,(11.00h) found Great Fiat Main Dealer on the outskirts of Turin, 1 mile from campsite, second diagnostic check confirmed failed Turbo sensor. returned at 1400h, the replacement sensor had arrived, 1 hour and 200 euros later we were sorted and on our way. We definitely made the right decision to drive to Italy without a Turbo....
Until the BREAK-IN at the public 'Parking Piave Pisa',(500mts from the leaning tower of Pisa).
AVOID this place like the plague, the thieves are on view sat around the toilets and pay machine area just waiting....but you only realise that with hindsight. Returned 2 hours later to find side window forced open, Macbook, iPad, binoculars, spare iPhone 7 etc, etc. missing. The local police station was not interested, issued the insurance report and just confirmed that the car park thefts kept them very busy !!!!!!
£5000 worth of personal effects insurance was taken out with Saga just for the trip, subsequently learned this will be reduced to £1000 due to loss from a vehicle, thankyou SAGA, I should have left everything outside the motorhome on display !!
Next day on the Cinque Terre train trip (an absolute must do) caught a thief with his hand in my side pocket with fingers on my wallet, he legged it with a bloody nose, and missed the train !!!
San Gigimano in Tuscany is sensational, as was the rest of the trip, especially Riva at top of Lake Garda in Switzerland. Great drive up the east side of the lake, DO NOT take a Motorhome up or down the west side!!
I Would do it all again tomorrow, minus all the rain, and would definitely give that PISA car park a miss!
One final piece of advice:
DO NOT go to France or Italy (without an adaptor) if you have refillable utility gas tanks, we were four days without gas, you have been warned......
I hope some of the above is of interest, I wish I had read it before I departed !!!!!

RFC7

userstevec176
Posted: 4 July 2019 6:55 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 


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Sorry to hear about your problems, unfortunately the break in could happen anywhere and you'd probably get the same responce from the Brit police. At least it didn't ruin your holiday completely. Thanks for the warnings.
usermel wood
Posted: 4 July 2019 8:22 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 
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Doesn't your motorhome insurance cover items stolen from inside the van if all windows and doors are closed and locked?

(I'm sure that you meant Italy for Riva/Lake Garda)
userspirou
Posted: 4 July 2019 9:08 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 


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Garda is entirely and well within Italy, not Switzerland.
userRFC7
Posted: 4 July 2019 10:23 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 
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You are correct, my motorhome insurance is picking up the shortfall, (£2500 max) I only picked up on that yesterday. I will still suffer an overall financial loss of around £1500, but as they say in Tobago ' Nobody died'.

You can hand out the pencils in Geography class tomorrow, of course, Riva is in Italy, I was thinking of Miralago on Lake Come, which is a fantastic campsite.

RFC7
userRFC7
Posted: 4 July 2019 10:24 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 
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100% correct, I was thinking of Miralago on Lake Come.

RFC7
usermel wood
Posted: 5 July 2019 7:52 AM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 
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RFC7 - 2019-07-04 10:23 PM

You are correct, my motorhome insurance is picking up the shortfall, (£2500 max) I only picked up on that yesterday. I will still suffer an overall financial loss of around £1500, but as they say in Tobago ' Nobody died'.

You can hand out the pencils in Geography class tomorrow, of course, Riva is in Italy, I was thinking of Miralago on Lake Come, which is a fantastic campsite.

RFC7


It is so important to read the insurance documents and to ensure that cover meets requirements.
I'm glad that you eventually found out that you had more cover than you thought.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 5 July 2019 12:58 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Re the break in, I assume you were on a "sosta" in Pisa? Pisa is one of Europe's "honeypot" locations, so it attracts thieves and opportunists. Ditto the (IMO, over-rated) Cinque Terre!

There is a campsite (Torre Pendente) in Pisa within walking distance of the centre, and if you go again, I would suggest you consider using that instead. It is true that theft can occur anywhere, but unguarded locations (aires, sostas, stellplatze) near the major honeypot locations around Europe, especially in or near the holiday seasons, will, inevitably, attract the interest of thieves - especially to high value vehicles such as motorhomes in which high value items are liable to be found.

Better to use nearby campsites and, if necessary, public transport to get to the centre. Then, if the transport system is crowded, make sure wallets and/or handbags etc. are carried in reasonably secure places. Not suggesting your was, but unbuttoned back pockets are a dip's delight.

Also, beware distraction theft. Someone asks you a question while someone else picks your/your companion's pocket or bag while you are answering them. You did well with the nose job - but remember that pick pockets are often in organised gangs, and retaliation cannot be discounted. Knives are fashionable in Italy (and elsewhere) as well as in London.

Sadly, one just has to compute the risks and then seek to diminish then as far as reasonable, according to one's "comfort zones".
userCaptainKool
Posted: 5 July 2019 10:28 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 
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Driving around the west side of Lake Garda with a motorhome is not a problem as long as you drive around the lake in a clockwise direction; this keeps the van alongside the lake. If you drive anti-clockwise around the lake on the west side, agreed, there are many overhanging obstacles which could hit the roof on many motorhomes. Panel vans would be OK. It’s not just Lake Garda where it is better to drive next to the lake - if you want real fear, drive route SP583 alongside Lake Como from Como to Bellagio!
userRFC7
Posted: 10 July 2019 5:12 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 
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Hi CaptainKool, Welcome to the wonderful world of forums.

Thank you for your response to my post, I drove up the Eastside of Lake Garda and was warned about driving on the Westside, however, your suggestion to drive clockwise is good advice, which I have noted.

I did smile at your comments and mention of 'Real Fear', I know a bit about that !!
In a former life, I drove a Rally Car over the Andes, with oxygen on board, at the highest point it's 3 miles above sea level. All the competitors signed disclaimer contracts which actually said if you dropped the car over the edge no one would come and look for you.
I can still recall the Red and White Cessna flying alongside us filming the Rally cars! and the drops were on my side !!!!!!
Now that is proper 'Brown trousers' fear !!! But we made it to Mexico.
RFC7






userGumper
Posted: 12 July 2019 9:58 AM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 
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“Italian Thieves” having spent much time in the country, it would be my guess that it would probably not be native Italians.
userteccer1234
Posted: 12 July 2019 11:02 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 
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Gumper - 2019-07-12 9:58 AM

“Italian Thieves” having spent much time in the country, it would be my guess that it would probably not be native Italians.


I agree that whatever country your in it's not always the natives of that country causing the problems, for example in Spain last winter I had a Romainian girl try to rob me of my Rolex watch, see this video I took as soon as I thought she was up to something taken with my hat cam, watch it to the end to see what happened

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFp--cKP6io&list=PLQSP1klHiecLlcLiXVW1gcwdWZ8263HhN&index=3&t=0s
userMatrix Meanderer
Posted: 12 July 2019 11:36 PM
Subject: RE: Italian Thieves
 
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Brian Kirby - 2019-07-05 12:58 PM

Re the break in, I assume you were on a "sosta" in Pisa? Pisa is one of Europe's "honeypot" locations, so it attracts thieves and opportunists. Ditto the (IMO, over-rated) Cinque Terre!

There is a campsite (Torre Pendente) in Pisa within walking distance of the centre, and if you go again, I would suggest you consider using that instead. It is true that theft can occur anywhere, but unguarded locations (aires, sostas, stellplatze) near the major honeypot locations around Europe, especially in or near the holiday seasons, will, inevitably, attract the interest of thieves - especially to high value vehicles such as motorhomes in which high value items are liable to be found.

Better to use nearby campsites and, if necessary, public transport to get to the centre. Then, if the transport system is crowded, make sure wallets and/or handbags etc. are carried in reasonably secure places. Not suggesting your was, but unbuttoned back pockets are a dip's delight.

Also, beware distraction theft. Someone asks you a question while someone else picks your/your companion's pocket or bag while you are answering them. You did well with the nose job - but remember that pick pockets are often in organised gangs, and retaliation cannot be discounted. Knives are fashionable in Italy (and elsewhere) as well as in London.

Sadly, one just has to compute the risks and then seek to diminish then as far as reasonable, according to one's "comfort zones".

Brian's correct. Torre Pendente is about a ten minute walk from the main Cathedral and leaning tower complex. Quite a good campsite.
However we made the mistake of forgetting to wind up our cab windows after a hot day when pulling up the window blinds.
Result - nothing stolen but bitten to death by mosquitoes who smelt a meal miles away through our open window. Lesson learnt!
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