Kim Rhode: TruckVault Means Security and Peace of Mind

I was like most shooters out there, thinking that it would never happen to me, but I was about to learn how wrong I was. Seeing the broken glass all over the ground and the broken window of my truck, was one of the most heart breaking and sinking feelings I have ever experienced. My competition shotgun was gone! Robbers had rummaged through my truck, gone through my shooting bag, glove box, everything; I assume looking for my Olympic medals as well. Fortunately I had those in my purse with me. If I had my Truck Vault then this would not have happened.

The story is a scary one but one that happens a lot more than most of us realize:

I had gone to a campground near Lake Elsinore, which is about a two-hour drive from my home, to film a public service announcement to get out and vote. I drove around the nearly empty campground for about 15 minutes looking for the film crew and talking to several people asking directions. The filming took less than an hour and involved me holding my gun and wearing my medals while talking about the importance of voting. After completing the filming, I put my shotgun in the case, behind the seat of my truck with my shooting bag and some clothes piled on top. I made sure that you could not see the gun case from outside looking in the window. I remember thinking, “Who would know?” since it was so covered and hidden in a junky old beat up pickup that no one would rob it. I assumed robbers would choose the new truck with nicer things. I placed my Olympic medals in my purse.

From there I drove to the Elsinore Outlet Mall to shop. I wanted to take advantage of the long drive and stop at the mall to do some Christmas shopping. When I came back, I discovered broken glass all over the ground and a broken window on my truck! My heart sank! My competition shotgun was gone! And I was scheduled to leave the next day for a World Cup competition.

The other disturbing fact is that the police were simply going to take my report and said, “Have a nice day.” until I began calling different news people that I knew and had done interviews with in the past. Once CBS and NBC began arriving on the scene both the police and the mall security began to take my stolen shotgun seriously, especially when it aired on the 6 o’clock News that evening.

The police assigned a person to follow up on the case which included pulling the security feed from the parking lot. What I found interesting is that they had my truck entering the mall parking lot and not too long behind me was a truck that stopped in front of my parked truck for about 15 or so minutes and then left. However, the video was so fuzzy they couldn’t read the license plate. It was basically of no value except to give them the make and model of the truck and that it had a tool rack on top.  The mall security was of no help, they only came to sweep up the glass stating it was a safety hazard. It didn’t matter to them that they were sweeping up evidence. They just didn’t want the broken glass in the News videos. I left the mall late afternoon with such a terrible sinking feeling.

About six months later I received a call from the Elsinore Police Department saying that they had recovered my gun! I couldn’t believe it! Apparently they did a random search at the home of a known drug dealer who was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon and found several guns stashed under his bed. One was my competition shotgun. He told the police that he didn’t steal the gun but had purchased it from the robbers (whose names he never gave up) and knew exactly what he had and whom it belonged to. He knew this because the gun case had my name in 3-inch letters embroidered inside… In his conversations with the Elsinore police, he further said the robbers had followed me from the campground. They knew I had a gun in my truck and watched as I walked into the mall.  He stated that “It wouldn’t have mattered where I stopped.” Before I could even drive down to the Elsinore Police Department to recover my gun, this drug dealer was already out on bail. The police commented to me when leaving that “this was the type of person who you didn’t want to know where you lived.”

My gun was just fine and in the case. Not a scratch. They did, however, remove my equipment check stickers from the stock. This was sad as some were from my Olympic competitions, but I was just so happy to get my shotgun back that I really didn’t care about the stickers.  After seeing my gun and getting it back, it made me angry that this person was already out of jail. How could he get out after everything? I decided then and there that I never wanted this to happen again so I actually started researching security products. It is well known that robbers will go to big matches and put tracking devices or marks on vehicles so that later in the night, when you’re back at the hotel, they can drive through the hotel parking lots looking for the vehicle’s they marked or tracked to rob. This is very common knowledge and happens to so many in the shooting circuit. I wasn’t going to be a victim a second time. My research led me to TruckVault.

Since then, I have installed a TruckVault into my new truck and now I can leave my gun with confidence that it will be there when I return. It allows me to safely store not just my gun but my ammo, shooting bag, and anything else valuable.

My husband is a musician and he uses our TruckVault for his music equipment: microphones, cables, speakers, etc. When his band plays, he knows that any extra equipment is locked up and safe. On occasion my father even locks his tools in the drawers. It also keeps everything inside clean and dry. The back seat of my truck is open for passengers and my TruckVault allows me to safely lock everything up and out-of-sight.

The nice thing is there are a ton of different options to make the TruckVault functional for your own personal needs. Each drawer locks and because the drawers pull all the way out, items are easily accessible. The drawers roll out easily even with heavy tools inside.

I’ll never have another vehicle without the security of a TruckVault.

Kim Rhode

6X Olympic Medalist: 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016

3 golds, 1 silver, and 3 bronze

The Best Dog

The loss of a family pet and hunting dog is life changing, a reality that I had to face last May. It wasn’t a matter of “if” but rather “when” I would be ready to start the process again. After a full hunting season without Drake we are now ready to embark on another wonderful journey with Tucker.

I’m not crying….. You’re crying.

As a dog lover there is no doubt in my mind that having a dog brings many upsides to your life. I mean who is happier to see you come home from work than your dog? Who wakes up every day on the right side of their kennel? Who is always wagging their tail in appreciation of virtually anything and everything you do? I mean I love my wife and my kids and grandkids, but let’s face it they all seem to have bad days here and there. A dog however, well they come in with a ton of wonderful built-ins that have been proven to improve your life! As I now embark on the next chapter in my dog owning life, I wanted to share with you a few reasons I discovered as to why.

Don and Drake bird hunting together in Montana.

Dogs improve your mood – spending a small amount of time a day with your dog can help you feel more calm and relaxed. Playing with them increases your levels of serotonin and dopamine, both are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility. Lower your blood pressure – studies have shown that talking to your pet can lower blood pressure and lower the risk of other illnesses associated with it. Lower incidence of skin ailments – children who have grown up with dogs have a lower risk of developing eczema than those who have cats or no dogs at all. Kids also develop less pet allergies if they grow up with dogs. Improved well being and fitness – your dog requires daily exercise and so do you so it goes to make sense that dog people are more active. Recovering from illnesses – dog owners have a much higher recovery rate from illnesses than non-dog owners. In fact, humans with dogs who suffered heart attacks are twice as likely to fully recover than those without! Children with dogs miss less school – research has shown that children from homes that have dogs have better overall health and less sickness and thus better school attendance.

The list goes on and on with dogs being credited for everything from improving self-esteem, to creating unbreakable bonds, to increasing social interactions, to reducing stress at work, and so on. They make great early warning systems in the home, they have been credited with discovering cancer on their owners, and so much more.

Tucker in the South Dakota snow.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to “Tucker,” our newest addition to our family at home and our TruckVault family at work. Tucker is just 5 weeks old in this photo and will be 9-10 weeks old when I drive back to South Dakota from Mount Vernon, WA to pick him up. He came from a litter of 6 (4 females and 2 males) and is absolutely adored by his human mom Rya. Matter of fact Rya had named him Hammy before we decided he was the one for us. His official AKC name will be Drake’s Tuckered Out Hammy in honor of Rya’s original naming and our 15 years old lab we put down last May, Drake. Tucker comes from a long line of working dogs from the Ringneck Retreat Lodge in Hitchcock, SD and has famous labs in his bloodline including Ramer’s Instant “Cash” Machine and Rik’s Risky “Raider”. Good friend and lodge owner, Darik Tschetter, got in touch with me in December saying that his sisters dog Tikka, who was bred to his yellow Noisy Boy, had pups on Christmas Eve. Judy and I had just started talking about a new dog and after seeing photos provided by Darik’s sister Tara, we fell in love. Tucker has a lot of fun ahead of him (as do we) and this certainly won’t be our last post on his progress. Stay tuned!

Follow the journey on Instagram :
@bestdog_tucker

What TruckVault Offers

TruckVault. If you break down the name you would assume that we make vault like products for trucks; of course in the beginning that would have been true. Over the course of 25 years however, our company has evolved from manufacturing only pickup builds to making products for SUV’s, sedans and so much more. Today we manufacture products for virtually every make and model of vehicle on the road in both standard product lines as well as custom configurations to suit your needs. Let’s take a look at a few of our most popular lines.

PICKUP // ALL-WEATHER LINE

Initially, we set out to make standard height pickup units for covered beds and we still manufacture those units today. But as time went by, we were asked to provide a product for an open bed pickup. With necessity being the mother of invention, we developed the first of its kind All-Weather line. These stout, ruggedly built units are completely armor coated and feature an industry leading 2,000 lbs. top load capacity. Integrated bulb sealed drawers backed by top of the line service body industry compression locks, ensure that anyone looking for waterproof, secure in-vehicle storage will get just that. Our All-Weather TruckVaults protect against more than just water, they protect your gear from dust, humidity, and even fire. These top of the line units are available in many drawer height and width configurations and feature many available accessories like integrated tie down rails, interior lighting, additional divider packages, your choice of wood or black composite drawer faces, interior carpet colors and more.

TruckVault_YetiPanga_2_RossRoberts

PICKUP // INTERIOR CAB LINE

Recently we had been asked to develop a secure line of products for the interior of pickups, primarily for under the rear seat in pickups. What we learned was that we had a good deal of customers who did not want to commit to using the entire back end of their pickup for secure storage. They really only needed to secure a long gun or two, maybe a pistol as well, or other valuables while traveling. With that in mind, our engineers set out to develop a line of products to fulfill this need, and the SeatVault was born. The SeatVault has quickly become a customer favorite, with its sleek design that provides security without taking up any extra space in your truck. SeatVault’s can be configured into one or two top hinged doors that integrate with our standard low-profile Silver T-Handle locks or our more secure Kaba Simplex combination lock with key override. Each unit is finished off with true OEM interior carpet colors made to match the interior of your pickup. These lidded secure in-vehicle storage systems fit securely under your rear passenger seat and provide the ultimate in concealment and in-vehicle security.

TruckVault_PickUpseries_CoveredBedLine_CustomSeatVault_Detriot-FBI-12A super custom, super awesome custom SeatVault we did for a Federal agent.

SUV // ELEVATED LINE

Each year we are faced with vehicle model changes and rear cargo re-configurations; in the case of the Ford Explorer over the past few years that has certainly been the case. Due to the rear cargo compartment spare tire in requirement, and this being integral to the rear crash safety component, our engineers had to design a product that took this into consideration. One of the most popular and most affordable designs to come out of this process is our SUV Elevated Line. Our elevated line starts with an industry leading secure in-vehicle drawer solution mounted atop a system of rugged, powder coated, steel brackets. These brackets secure into existing mounting points in the vehicle providing a secure and stable platform for the drawer system to operate. The elevated unit provides ample space to remove your spare tire as well as providing storage for items that do not need to be secured under the unit. Priced favorably, these units have become increasingly popular among law enforcement departments nationwide.

SUVSeries_ElevatedLine_Utility1Drawer_2017_Ford_Explorer_Fleet-Interceptor-3

SPORT UTILITY SERIES // SUV BASE LINE LIFT SYSTEM

Sticking with the theme of providing secure in-vehicle storage systems for SUV’s, we set out to develop a steel platform for our base and custom model SUV builds that would slide and lift — allowing the user to maintain spare tire access. Our TruckVault Lift System product was developed to allow you to place a full sized TruckVault in your Ford Explorer* and retain quick access to your spare without a hassle. TruckVault’s Lift Technology uses four 120 lbs. heavy duty gas springs to make lifting the entire unit a snap. Dual locking star knobs on either side of the unit securely keep your TruckVault in place until you need to access to your spare. The Elevated Line Lift System secures to your vehicle using factory locations with no fabrication needed. Simple in design, its all-steel construction is engineered for heavy service and will last throughout the life of the vehicle.

*The Lift System can only be packaged with Base Line product models

SUVseries_ElevatedLine_LiftSystem_2017_Ford_Explorer_TruckVaultInterceptor1

SEDAN SERIES // SEDAN BASE LINE

Years ago we launched our TrunkVault line designed to fit in the old Crown Victoria patrol cars. It became wildly popular in the Law Enforcement community so of course it made sense to build for the civilian market as well. Nowadays we just call this our TruckVault Sedan Base Line series, though some still like to call it a TrunkVault. We make these sedan builds for all different models from your favorite car manufacturers. This product is perfect for any user who needs a high level of secure storage in the trunk of their daily driver, whether it’s for a concealed carry or to transport . Our single drawer base line in this model mounts to the floor of the vehicle to maximize secure storage space in this area. We also offer an elevated line for this model.

SedanSeries_Baseline_1Drawer_DodgeCharger_FerndalePD_HighRes-6

Above are just a small handful of the products we offer. A quick tour through our website www.truckvault.com will have you finding a plethora of builds for all makes and models of vehicle and for all sorts of applications. An easy to use configurator will allow you to custom build your own TruckVault for your specific vehicle.

Short on ideas? Visit our media Gallery at https://truckvault.com/media where you can break down your search by Vehicle and Activity. We’re also active on a couple social media platforms, check us out:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/truckvault_usa/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TruckVault/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP7ptkJWkGf1FIrVGrsA1hw

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/truckvault/

If you still don’t find what you are looking for please give us a call at (800) 967-8107 to speak with any one of our friendly Territory Managers or Sport Desk personnel, they are always standing by ready to assist you in providing the best information on the best secure in-vehicle storage product on the market.

Don Fenton

An American Success Story

It can be said that our company started by accident, we like to think it was born out of necessity. Twenty-three years ago our company founder and CEO, Al Chandler, was running a team of sub-contractors on a job in Seattle building a high end custom home. He arrived on the job site and noticed one of his guys was removing tools from a rudimentary plywood locking drawer system out of the back of his van. When asked about this crude but efficient contraption his employee responded, “I was getting pretty tired of guys borrowing or taking tools from my van and not returning them.” The seed of invention was now firmly planted in Al’s mind.

PickupSeries_All-WeatherLine_Standard2Drawer_2015_Ford_F-150_OverHead-Merica

Al expanded on what he had seen that day and built a unit for his pickup. Not to tote along tools, mind you, but rather to carry and secure his shotguns, hunting rifles and bows, as well as any other valuable gear. Soon, his hunting buddies were seeing this locking drawer system as something they needed and before he knew it, Al Chandler was in business. Al then gave the product a name…TruckVault. In the early days the product was built exactly as the name implies… locking storage “vaults” built for “trucks”. But at an NRA show in 1995, a customer came up to our booth and asked if we would consider building a product for the back end of an SUV. An SUV vault? Al shrugged off the idea at the time, but a curious engineer back at the plant decided to take the thought when it was mentioned to him and pen some designs. It was that original design that launched us into the Public Safety market and we haven’t looked back since.

TruckVault has made many friends over the last 20+ years and we plan to make many more. When you commit to our company, we commit to you… you can expect more from a TruckVault product and we will make sure you will not be disappointed.

Don Fenton

Waterfowl Recap – Washington 2018/19

With waterfowl numbers in the Pacific Flyway forecast well above the long-term average, many waterfowl hunters, including myself, came into this season with high hopes. Northern numbers were anywhere from 28 to 33 percent above the long-term average and local duck numbers in Washington were up 16 percent over 2017. These local birds are what we rely on for early season shooting until the northern birds arrive.

Playing this by the numbers, everything looked positive for the 2018/19 season here in Washington. The waterfowl hunting wild card is always Mother Nature though. I mentioned the effect that the weather can have on our duck hunting on the Outdoor Line radio show back in October. On years with little to no Artic weather to the north we run out of local birds early and the northern birds have little reason to migrate south.

As luck would have it we were dealt a mild fall and it made our waterfowl season a tough one. Most of the northern birds hung up in southern British Columbia and Alberta and the weather gave them no reason to head further south. On one hunting trip to the famed Potholes region with my good friend and guide Shelby Ross, we were swatting mosquitoes in the blind in early December.

waterfowl

Shelby and some other friends that guide waterfowl ended up with some good shooting later in the season on private land with the perfect combination of water, feed, and weather. By and large though, this was one of the toughest waterfowl seasons we’ve seen here in Washington in quite a few years. Good shooting one day and struggle the next.

The bright spot in all of this is that harvest was down this year and if the birds have a good nesting season, we should see another good flight again next year! We just need Mother Nature to help us out a little.

My guess is that the Pacific Northwest will get hammered with weather next fall and we’ll be back in business. In the meantime, here’s some pretty awesome waders you might want to check out. I really like the new Grand Refuge Bootfoot 2.0 insulated waders from Frogg Toggs. They’ve got a super-comfy zip in/zip out insulated quilt liner and the boots are insulated with 1200 gram Thinsulate. You can remove the liner from these waders for the early season and then zip that warm-and-cozy liner back into the waders when the weather gets snotty later in the season. These waders are on my list for next season!

Rob Endsley 

The Outdoor Line / 710 ESPN Seattle / www.theoutdoorline.com
Prince of Wales Sportfishing / www.princeofwalessportfishing.com                                                  
888-943-4746

Intro to The Vault

Welcome to TruckVault’s new blog, The Vault! We’re super excited about this new venture and see it as a great place for us to share news, updates and content not only about our company, but about our company’s lifestyle in general.

Our blog will allow us to leverage a new social platform to engage in two-way communication with our community and then take your feedback into consideration as we create new content, tools and resources. In addition, we will use this blog to share multimedia, such as videos, photos and more. It will also be a great place for us to interact with any current or potential TruckVault customers. You can feel free to leave comments on our posts and ask any questions you may have. If you’re wondering what you can expect from the content on our blog and how it might differ from what’s on our website…read on.

Here at TruckVault we love hunting, traveling, dogs, camping, and pretty much anything else involving getting outdoors — we do live in the great state of Washington, after all. We want to write and put out content about the things we love, and we hope you like this stuff too! Here you’ll also find customer stories, custom builds, pro-staff testimonials, event updates, industry news and be provided with opportunities to engage with members of the TruckVault team.

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As we continue to build out our blog we will also create specific product content so you can be kept up to date on the latest and greatest from our growing company. We look forward to growing with you as we begin this new journey…thanks for stopping by!

Don Fenton