Is your caravan or motorhome at risk of theft?
Caravan and motorhome-lovers across the UK are currently unable to take their homes-on-wheels on hard-earned road trips (really gives a new meaning to ‘staycation’!). The last thing you need is to have your precious holiday home stolen or broken into and be without your means of easy travel when you’re able to use it again.
In 2019, Tracker recovered over £1 million worth of stolen caravans and motorhomes. Due to existing lockdown restrictions, owners are facing a prolonged storage period for their caravans. Combined with vehicle manufacturing hiatuses means that the stolen parts market could see an uplift, along with organised crime syndicates looking to target caravans and motorhomes.
The team at Tracker want to ensure that touring-enthusiasts are taking caravan security seriously during lockdown and beyond. So we have written up some easy and practical tips for caravan and motorhome security.
Tracker’s Top Tips for Caravan and Motorhome Security
1. Park your caravan somewhere safe and visible
If you can park your caravan or motorhome in a locked garage connected to your home, this is the ideal place to park it. Stealing a caravan or motorhome that is parked in a locked garage in a residential area is not ideal for thieves, even though some may try.
Other safer places to rest your home on wheels would be a drive with gates; in front of your home (so long as it doesn’t cause an obstruction); or a secure storage site specifically for caravan and motorhome storage, with entry control and 24-hour surveillance.
Some risky places to store your caravan include badly lit streets or any street that is away from your house.
Some local councils may have rules in place regarding parking caravans on the street, so it is worth double-checking where you can park your caravan in your area.
2. Fit security posts or a substantial gate to your drive
If you can, fitting a physical barrier around your caravan whilst it’s on your drive will go a long way to deterring and stopping thieves from taking your motorhome. If a thief tries to break-in, you should hear the alarm, and it would be very difficult to steal the whole vehicle with posts or a gate.
3. Make sure windows and doors are locked when unattended
This is a simple and free way of improving security for your caravan or motorhome but one which can be overlooked when parked at home and on tour. Double-check every time you leave your caravan unattended, even if it’s on your drive, that all the windows, doors and any other entry points are locked and the alarm is set.
4. Get a Thatcham Category 1 alarm system for your motorhome
Many caravan and motorhome owners buy second-hand units which may already have alarms installed, however many owners of both new and pre-loved will be surprised to discover they do not have one.
Some motorhome insurance policies will insist on a Thatcham approved alarm system to insure your beloved touring vehicle. Regardless, if a thief tries to break into your motorhome, your best bet of interrupting them in time is to get an alarm to alert you before the thief is off with your belongings or worse, your whole vehicle.
5. Store your valuables out of sight
Another simple tip which can be easily forgotten is what a thief might be able to see through your windows. As you should with your everyday vehicle, keeping valuables out of sight can help to deter thieves from breaking into your motorhome.
If your caravan is parked at home, ensure you bring any valuables inside the caravan into your home. You can also mark valuables and interior fitments inside the caravan with your postcode using an etching tool or engraver.
6. Don’t leave registration documents in your caravan
Leaving your caravan or motorhome registration documents in the vehicle whilst unattended can make it easier for thieves to sell on your vehicle should it be stolen. Keep them on your person at all times if you’re away from your caravan whilst on tour.
If you’re at home, it’s worth keeping them in a safe or secure place. Your motorhome is likely to be your second biggest investment next to your house and you need to protect your property.
7. Install physical deterrents
Showing potential thieves that your caravan or motorhome will be difficult to break into may prove invaluable. Steering wheel locks, wheel clamps, surveillance warning stickers, hitch locks and deadlocks on doors are all simple security measures that will slow down thieves from breaking into your motorhome or taking it with them.
8. Security-mark the caravan if it is not already done.
Security marking your caravan will help police to identify your caravan in the unfortunate event that it is stolen. This may help you to become reunited with it should the worst happen.
9. Purchase a caravan or motorhome tracker
Despite many owners taking measures to protect their assets, caravan and motorhome theft are still ripe today. They are both high-demand vehicles in domestic and international stolen-goods markets and like many valuable vehicles are often stolen-to-order.
The best caravan and motorhome trackers
In the awful event that your caravan or motorhome is stolen, having fitted a Thatcham-approved motorhome tracking system will help police to find your vehicle quicker, hopefully before it is sold on or deconstructed for parts. Many trackers use GPS tracking, which can be easily jammed by thieves, rendering your tracking device useless.
Tracker’s vehicle tracking and recovery system is the only Thatcham-approved vehicle tracker in the UK to offer VHF technology. VHF technology has anti-GPS-jamming features, which means that your vehicle can be found anywhere in the UK, even if it’s underground, or in a container.
Tracker also has a unique relationship with the UK Police Force with other 2000 police patrol cars fitted with Tracker devices, 20 police helicopters and are fitted at most major UK seaports. This relationship ensures that your vehicle has the fastest possible response times from the UK police, drastically improving the chances of recovering your caravan or motorhome before thieves can sell it or take it apart.