Figures suggest that anything between 1,600 and 4,000 caravans are stolen in the UK every year. With such frightening statistics, caravan security is a critical issue for owners to consider whether heading off on a weekend break or parking up for the winter. Even if you are only stopping for a short time, just a few moments is all an opportunistic thief needs so it's important to take steps to ensure the security of your belongings.
There are little things that you may think will be okay to leave, particularly if you're just nipping to the toilet in a service station on your journey - but don't take any chances. Tools like wheel clamps can seem time-consuming and unnecessary to fit when you're only leaving for five minutes, but it could cost you dearly if you don't bother. No matter how long you're leaving your caravan for, always lock it up and make it as secure as possible; hiding any valuables under a blanket or in the boot.
When you arrive at your destination, you still need to keep security in mind. You will probably be surrounded by lots of other happy families enjoying their holidays and it can be nice to make some new friends. Of course, you may also see them taking steps to ensure their caravans are kept safe from would-be thieves - and you should too. Windows, doors and rooflights should be closed whenever you leave the caravan; plus, a reliable alarm should be fitted.
A TRACKER is a useful piece of equipment to have fitted in the event that your caravan is stolen. The police can recover your vehicle faster if it has a TRACKER fitted, even if thieves use GPS/GSM jammers.
Find out more about TRACKER products designed specially for your caravan >
If your caravan will be sitting on your driveway until spring, you could invest in a hitchlock that locks the car and caravan together to act as a deterrent for a would-be thief. Wheel locks are similar to clamps, but fit through the wheel and lock to the brake assembly. They're relatively new to the caravan security market and can also be a useful addition to your security arsenal.
Keep any valuables locked away and out of sight. Draw the curtains to stop thieves from looking inside to spot anything they want to grab. Be sure to leave the purchase paperwork at home and not inside the caravan, too. If you do have the vehicle stolen, thieves will find it considerably easier to sell on with documents of ownership.
When fitting any extra security products, look for models that cannot easily be compromised. For example, don't choose wheel clamps that have exposed locks or thin, radiating arms as these can be quite vulnerable. Similarly, hitchlocks that have exposed bolts are also not worth bothering with. Alarms and wheel locks that are labelled 'Sold Secure Standard' tend to be of a good quality and worth the money, so watch out for this stamp when purchasing security products.
Although some security products will only act as deterrents, others may actually prevent your caravan from being stolen. Don't scrimp on the cost of security for it; if you've spent thousands of pounds on the caravan, a few extra hundred pounds on theft prevention won't break the bank.