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Old 05-26-2022, 06:20 PM   #1
NXR
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How I Installed a CatStrap on a 2019 Ford F-53 V10 Motorhome Chassis

A CatStrap is a catalytic converter anti-theft device. While I found a lot of information on installing one on a car or truck, there was almost nothing available for a Ford F-53 gas motorhome so I decided to write up what I did.

The installation turned out well and so far the catalytic converter on the motorhome stored in our suburban driveway has not been stolen!

Of course, it's been stored there for the three previous years without getting stolen either.

Hopefully this will help anyone considering this device. I've read that some storage yards are now requiring catalytic converter protection devices and this problem is not likely to get better soon.

I hate spending money on something like this but I balanced the cost of the CatStrap against the insurance deductible plus the hassle and wasted time and decided that if mine got stolen I would buy something like this anyway so why not just skip the deductible cost and the hassle.

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Old 05-26-2022, 08:09 PM   #2
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From the appearance it does not seem to be much of an impediment to someone with a cordless sawzall wacking out the cat. Just another 5 minutes of cutting vs. stock it would appear.
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Old 05-26-2022, 08:37 PM   #3
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Hi Ray,
An excellent write-up. Thank you for doing this; great job.
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Old 05-27-2022, 08:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by powercat_ras
From the appearance it does not seem to be much of an impediment to someone with a cordless sawzall wacking out the cat. Just another 5 minutes of cutting vs. stock it would appear.
There are three loose steel cables inside the strap made from different materials. The ability of the cables to move sideways (supposedly) means the sawzall blade will not be able to get a good grip on any cable and perhaps multiple blades would be needed due to the different metals used.

Because the strap uses a high-temperature adhesive the thief cannot get a reciprocating saw blade between the strap and the catalytic converter if it's properly installed.

A cutting wheel likely will not have that issue, though, but a cutting wheel needs to go all the way around. On a motorhome that's not hard but on a car or truck it is due to the reduced clearances. That's a reason I wanted the CatStrap on the top and on the bottom.

Apparently the thieves cut the "necks" of the catalytic converters because the metal is a lot softer than the stainless steel exhaust pipes. The use of the 4" exhaust clamps on the "necks", properly secured from removal, can make it more difficult to cut the necks (and make it more difficult to use a cutting wheel).

All of these products first act as a visual deterrent. If a thief has a storage yard full of motorhomes they hopefully would save ones with an anti-theft device for last, if at all.

Any anti-theft device reminds me of the old joke about you and a friend being chased by a bear. You don't have to out-run the bear, just your friend.

I did install their really loud motion alarm as well so hopefully the combination of the two will cause someone to move on.

But if a thief knows they have all the time in the world then nothing will stop them. For example, Forest River had 94 catalytic converters stolen from a fenced storage area for brand new motorhomes over their week-long Christmas break.

The thieves obviously knew there were no cameras and no security guards or patrols. All FR could say was the catalytic converters were stolen between December 23rd and early January when a returning employee noticed a hole cut in the fence.

People often equate "possibility" with "probability". Trying to defend against all possibilities is a fool's game. I'm just hoping the bear will eat my friend, not me.

As an aside, I did look at the Cat Clamp which is a steel cable "cage". Those moving cables also will give a reciprocating saw a hard time because the cables will move. But the cables can and have been cut and some people complained the cables rattled as they drove. Those might have been defective installations, though.

I just want them to move on.

Ray
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Old 05-27-2022, 09:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for the explanation. Sounds like it will accomplish your goal of having them move on hopefully before they start trying to remove the converter and do damage.
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Old 05-27-2022, 09:37 AM   #6
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And if not, well, I still do have the comprehensive insurance.
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Old 06-01-2022, 07:53 PM   #7
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catclamp on an E450

I installed a catclamp on my 2014 access premier with the E450 chassis. It only took a few hours. I didn't photograph my installation but this one is very similar. Every cable goes around a frame member. I think the cables would be very difficult with a reciprocating saw. I think it was well worth the money and time.

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Old 06-01-2022, 08:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jimgossett2
I installed a catclamp on my 2014 access premier with the E450 chassis. It only took a few hours. I didn't photograph my installation but this one is very similar. Every cable goes around a frame member. I think the cables would be very difficult with a reciprocating saw. I think it was well worth the money and time.
Agreed. None of them can protect against someone with time and a good toolset on their side so we can just hope the dumb and/or lazy ones come to visit us.

I've seen pics of the CatStrap cut but it looked like a bad install because the thing was not bonded to any metal. Plus they've changed their installation over the years. In the old days you had to slather an adhesive on and now it's already there. It seems like a more user-proof method than in the past.

On Amazon there's a pic of a "1" review for the CatClamp showing how the thief simply cut the cables. I'd think the cables would move too much for a recip saw to do that so they probably used something different.

Those two people got the ambitious crooks with time and good tools on their side.

Funny story. My sister told me yesterday how a neighbor of her son in his condo complex was awoken by a noise, looked out the window, and saw two guys jacking a car at 3 AM. He went outside with a gun and they took off but left all of their tools. He then called 911.

The cops said those people were from the other side of Ohio and they had been trying to catch them. The cops hid out, hoping they would come back for their tools. The idiots did. But they saw the cops and took off with the cops in pursuit. About five miles away on a dark state route they missed a curve at high speed and wrecked. They tried to run but were captured.

The car being jacked up? Yup, her son's 1999 Honda Accord. No damage this time. They don't know yet why his car was targeted by people from over two hours away. But he got the dumb ones.

And I'll bet this thief is hurting: https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-new...n-pike-county/

Ray
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Old 07-29-2022, 05:17 PM   #9
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CatStrap Installation on a Minnie Winnie 22M

Hi Ray,
I just installed the CatStrap on my Minnie Winnie 22M. I used one 3" Muffler Clamp and three 3" Muffler Clamps.
Eagle5

View from passenger's side; the Catalyst is to the right.


View from passenger's side; the Catalyst uses six straps for the two hoops.


View from passenger's side looking forward.


View from driver's side; forward is to the left.


Exhaust pipe for the passenger's side cylinders; this one spot uses the smaller 3" clamp.
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Old 07-29-2022, 07:10 PM   #10
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Nice. One thing I did not mention is that the CatStrap really smoked the first time we drove it. White smoke and we could smell it inside. When we stopped at a light two miles away we could see smoke in front of the motorhome but we didn't know if it was us or the truck in front of us..

We weren't sure whether it was us so we pulled over in a parking lot and I could see white smoke from the CatStrap, probably because the catalytic converter gets a lot hotter while driving as opposed to idle. It stopped shortly afterwards.

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Old 07-29-2022, 09:45 PM   #11
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Hi Ray,
Anytime I take the Eagle5 up to Light Speed, I always worry about getting some white smoke. Unless, of course, the guy in the car in front is vaping! Actually, I am glad to know what to expect. I did try to keep all of the cooling holes and slots clear on the Catalyst Heat Shield.
Thanks, Eagle5
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Old 07-31-2022, 09:31 PM   #12
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... additional ...
I just added four steel zip-ties to the CatStrap. Pictures #1 (+3 ties) and #5 (+1 tie) above have been refreshed to show this change.
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Old 08-04-2022, 11:54 PM   #13
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My wife just found this on the internet, and I had to share.
So funny.
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Old 08-25-2022, 09:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NXR View Post
A CatStrap is a catalytic converter anti-theft device. While I found a lot of information on installing one on a car or truck, there was almost nothing available for a Ford F-53 gas motorhome so I decided to write up what I did.

The installation turned out well and so far the catalytic converter on the motorhome stored in our suburban driveway has not been stolen!

Of course, it's been stored there for the three previous years without getting stolen either.

Hopefully this will help anyone considering this device. I've read that some storage yards are now requiring catalytic converter protection devices and this problem is not likely to get better soon.

I hate spending money on something like this but I balanced the cost of the CatStrap against the insurance deductible plus the hassle and wasted time and decided that if mine got stolen I would buy something like this anyway so why not just skip the deductible cost and the hassle.

Ray
Good write up, and still trying to follow some of the sections in your document. I am visual guy so it challenges me a tag.

I have few questions as I have same chassis as you.

1. Assume you only had 7', how would you wrap? Or where would you start on front side of converter meaning side that closest to the engine. I don't think wrapping top & bottom is option with 7'?

2. How did the orange hold up with the heat from normal use? I have seen some that had discolored. My High Temp Orange paint on my Converter only last about a year.

3. Where did you mount your siren? Did you add a inline fuse, if so how many amps?

4. Where did you mount the sensor?
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Old 08-26-2022, 01:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoldman;
I have few questions as I have same chassis as you.

1. Assume you only had 7', how would you wrap? Or where would you start on front side of converter meaning side that closest to the engine. I don't think wrapping top & bottom is option with 7'?
I just met someone with a motorhome who bought two 7' CatStraps and used one on the top and one on the bottom. They had theirs stolen at the dealership. They did not loop either one through a frame opening.

I did see one video where a person with a motorhome spiraled their 7' CatStrap around the catalytic converter. That could require a thief to cut from the top and bottom but it's still one cut per end. Other than higher visibility I'm not sure what spiraling will accomplish.

Quote:
2. How did the orange hold up with the heat from normal use? I have seen some that had discolored. My High Temp Orange paint on my Converter only last about a year.
Fairly well. The very front, closest to the engine, actually peeled loose about 4" (the thin orange layer, not the CatStrap itself.). When I shot that piece of the pipe with an infrared temperature gun it was 100+ degrees hotter than sampling the catalytic converter temps or the exhaust pipe to the rear.

Where I angled the CatStrap back to loop it through the frame, the edge of the CatStrap touched the exhaust pipe and it got singed somewhat. Overall the orange is intact but maybe a bit darker. The point is to just make it more obvious to a potential criminal anyway.

Quote:
3. Where did you mount your siren? Did you add a inline fuse, if so how many amps?

4. Where did you mount the sensor?
The siren comes with its own inline fuse holder. Please see the attached doc I created for the motion alarm installation. It shows where I mounted the siren and the motion sensor.

Anyways, orange paint does not seem to be an effective deterrent.

Hope this helps,

Ray
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Old 08-26-2022, 02:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NXR View Post
I just met someone with a motorhome who bought two 7' CatStraps and used one on the top and one on the bottom. They had theirs stolen at the dealership. They did not loop either one through a frame opening.

I may have to consider buying a 2nd; but wonder if it it could be added later or if I would need to do both same time. it might be tricky adding a 2nd one after clamp already mounted at the necks of the converter and the exhaust pipe.


I did see one video where a person with a motorhome spiraled their 7' CatStrap around the catalytic converter. That could require a thief to cut from the top and bottom but it's still one cut per end. Other than higher visibility I'm not sure what spiraling will accomplish.

It may easier to steal because you may need only one cut through catstrap; the 2nd cut could be at the end of the catstrap against the exhaust pipe?


Fairly well. The very front, closest to the engine, actually peeled loose about 4" (the thin orange layer, not the CatStrap itself.). When I shot that piece of the pipe with an infrared temperature gun it was 100+ degrees hotter than sampling the catalytic converter temps or the exhaust pipe to the rear.

Where I angled the CatStrap back to loop it through the frame, the edge of the CatStrap touched the exhaust pipe and it got singed somewhat. Overall the orange is intact but maybe a bit darker. The point is to just make it more obvious to a potential criminal anyway.

I have an older bundle, so it is Silver not Orange. My Cat is painted Orange, so my question was really to see if the Orange last? I may question to ever install the gray one? The paint on Cat only last 1 year (if that long)

The siren comes with its own inline fuse holder. Please see the attached doc I created for the motion alarm installation. It shows where I mounted the siren and the motion sensor.

The kit ( bundle) I bought did not come with a inline fuse holder. I thought it should but it didn't. What size fuse is in yours?


Anyways, orange paint does not seem to be an effective deterrent.

Hope this helps,

Ray
See above
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Old 08-26-2022, 03:16 PM   #17
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Few things...

I just noticed, was your Cat painted orange and still stolen before you bought the CatStrap Bundle?

We may have same chassis but maybe different RV? I was thinking to put the siren and the brains physically inside the battery compartment which is under the steps?

You don't think the motion is so close to Cat that all they do is cut the wire? Or will the siren go off if the wire is cut and just keep blasting?

I assume you connected power to the Siren/Controller via the Chassis battery?
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Old 08-26-2022, 04:35 PM   #18
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I just noticed, was your Cat painted orange and still stolen before you bought the CatStrap Bundle?
Oops. I should have mentioned that pic was not mine. There was a thread going on about painting catalytic converters and someone else posted that pic of theirs.

Quote:
We may have same chassis but maybe different RV? I was thinking to put the siren and the brains physically inside the battery compartment which is under the steps?
As long as you're not muffling the sound underneath that should work.

Quote:
You don't think the motion is so close to Cat that all they do is cut the wire? Or will the siren go off if the wire is cut and just keep blasting?
In that doc I mentioned that I asked CatStrap about that. Their response was that cutting the motion sensor wires would cause the alarm to sound continuously. I never tested that, though.

Quote:
I assume you connected power to the Siren/Controller via the Chassis battery?
No, directly connected to the house batteries. The current drains I measured are in that PDF.

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Old 08-26-2022, 04:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoldman
See above
If you did not damage the exhaust clamp threads or use Loctite they will come right off to add a second CatStrap.

Apparently the necks of the catalytic converters are made of a metal much softer than the stainless steel exhaust piping. So it's important to protect the necks from cutting.

It was a 5 amp fuse.

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Old 08-26-2022, 06:30 PM   #20
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Oops. I should have mentioned that pic was not mine. There was a thread going on about painting catalytic converters and someone else posted that pic of theirs.

As long as you're not muffling the sound underneath that should work.

In that doc I mentioned that I asked CatStrap about that. Their response was that cutting the motion sensor wires would cause the alarm to sound continuously. I never tested that, though.



No, directly connected to the house batteries. The current drains I measured are in that PDF.

Ray
I just realized you have two different pdf file. So I have not read the CatEye one short of going straight to the picture of the siren/sensor location. I had assumed I had missed that in 1st doc.

I was planning on connecting to chassis battery. What if you want the House battery in store mode, then you couldn't use the alarm? Same systems on regular cars and suvs use the main battery, so I am not sure draining is a problem?

I will read through everything over the weekend. I may focus on CatEye for now.

I may also spray paint the silver catstrap with the high temp. Don't have to be pretty but may help?
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