Campsites prepare to reopen but surge in demand for motorhomes could see thefts spike, warn Tracker and Caravan Guard
Leisure vehicle dealerships around the UK reported a boom in caravan and motorhome sales when they reopened their forecourts in June, with an overwhelming number of consumers preparing to enjoy a staycation after 4th July, when campsites in England can officially reopen. However, as lockdown eases, stolen vehicle recovery expert Tracker and specialist leisure vehicle insurer Caravan Guard, are joining forces to remind owners of the very real threat of theft – a risk that was on the rise even before lockdown.
Liz Harrison of Caravan Guard, explained: “The increasing interest in staycations is fantastic news for the caravanning industry after a very challenging few months. We’re delighted to see so many people looking to take the perfect socially distanced holiday break at campsites and holiday parks within the UK, especially as many are looking to invest in a caravan or motorhome for the first time. But whether staycationers are seasoned campers or first-timers, they must make sure they protect their leisure vehicle against the growing risk of theft. Physical barriers and a Tracker are the best protection as they deter thieves but also provide protection in the event that a ‘van or camper is indeed stolen despite these measures.”
Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison for Tracker, the stolen vehicle recovery expert, added: “With the demand for caravans, campervans and motorhomes rising, as they offer a safe and socially-distant alternative to a foreign holiday, thefts are expected to increase. Professional criminals often steal to order, and thefts consistently mirror demand in the legitimate sales market, so we fully expect to experience a rise in highly valuable caravan and motorhome thefts as lockdown restrictions ease.”
A recent Tracker recovery of a stolen caravan, alongside five other stolen caravans and two valuable trailers estimated to be worth in excess of £150,000, demonstrates how profitable this market is for criminals.
“For new and experienced owners taking up the opportunity for long-awaited getaways, a stolen vehicle would be devastating, so they must do all they can to protect their home-from-home. Caravans and motorhomes should be stored securely, with multiple physical barriers in place to deter criminals. Unfortunately, many experienced professional thieves will still get past even the best security measures, in which case a Tracker device is invaluable protection. Having an active Tracker device installed significantly increases the chances of a vehicle being recovered quickly and in one piece, before the criminals have a chance to sell it on,” concludes Wain.
Working closely with the Police, Tracker has a successful motor vehicle recovery rate of 95%. Professionally installed and hidden in one of several dozen possible locations around the vehicle, a Tracker device has no visible aerial and thieves will not know it is present until the police arrive to recover the vehicle and make an arrest. Unlike other devices, Tracker’s solutions benefit from unique and market-leading technology which is resistant to jamming and can locate stolen vehicles anywhere, even when they are hidden in a garage or shipping container, stored underground or have been shipped overseas.
Tracker's Caravan and Motorhome Security Tips
To protect your vehicle while in storage:
- Fit security posts or a substantial locked gate if parking the leisure vehicle on your drive.
- Security mark the caravan or motorhome if it’s not already done.
- Mark valuables and interior fitments inside the caravan with your postcode using an etching tool, UV-pen or engraver.
- Fit Sold Secure approved physical deterrents such as hitch locks, wheel clamps, motorhome steering wheel locks and deadlocks on doors to make it difficult for thieves.
- Remove all valuables from inside and keep keys out of sight and away from your leisure vehicle at home.
- Do not leave registration documents in the caravan or motorhome as they can help thieves sell it on.
- If storing away from home, choose a site with good security rather than just a good price.
- Check caravan and motorhome insurance is up to date and provides comprehensive cover.
- Fit a Tracker device to increase the chance of recovery in the event of theft or make sure subscriptions are active if a tracking device is already fitted. This will also attract a healthy discount on your caravan or motorhome insurance with Caravan Guard.
Reminders for post-lockdown:
- Consider fitting a timer switch if you’re out after dark, as lights on will make it look occupied and deter opportunist thieves.
- Always close and lock doors and windows when you leave your caravan or motorhome, even if it’s just for a short time.
- At a time when many are valuing their neighbours and community, get to know your neighbours on the campsite and look out for each other’s vehicles.
- Don’t be afraid to report suspicious activity.