Believe it or not, but caravan theft actually exists. If someone really wants to take your caravan or get inside, they will – if they’re given enough time and access. So, the first step in theft prevention is deterrence – not making it easy or enticing for a thief to take off with your caravan or valuables.
1. Storage and setting up camp
One of the first things you should consider regarding caravan security is location. Whether you’re locking away your caravan for the winter or just for the day, park it in a secure location or shed, behind lock and key. And when you’re out on the road do your best to park where you can keep an eye on it or put it in a busy location out in the open. Using locks, clamps and security covers with go further in helping you to customise your caravan and keep it secure.
2. Coupling lock/security cover
A coupling lock fits over the top of your coupling. It secures your caravan by preventing the coupling latch from being lifted. When your caravan is attached to your tow vehicle, this ensures the coupling cannot be released from the tow ball. And when your caravan is uncoupled, the lock will prevent it from being coupled to a vehicle.
3. Universal coupling lock
Like its name suggests, a universal coupling lock can work with a variety of different couplings up to a certain size. This type of lock features a tow ball, on to which the coupling fits. It is then secured by a lockable bar, which arches over the head of the coupling. By design, a universal coupling lock is only for when your caravan is uncoupled.
4. Wheel lock/clamp
A wheel lock or clamp is another great deterrent. This device simply makes your caravan immobile by preventing its wheel from turning.
5. Pad lock and chain
While not the most secure solution, chaining your caravan’s drawbar – or in the case of a tandem axle caravan, chaining two wheels together – can help deter theft.
6. Securing your valuables
Keeping your property safe and secure is all about commonsense. Unless you post a security guard at the door, a thief who wants in will get in. It’s therefore important to make theft difficult. Always lock your caravan when it’s unattended, even if it’s for a minute. This is especially true at busy caravan parks.
7. The shop-front window
When you’re leaving your caravan unattended keep items of value, including tools and accessories, tucked away. While items of significant or sentimental value should never be left in an unattended caravan, you can install a small safe inside.
8. Security screen door
Whether you’re at the beach or just ducking out to the shower block, a security screen door is a great alternative to the typical, flimsy screen door that you find on most caravans. It’s also a sure way of adding value when you customise your caravan.
9. Lockable wheel nuts
Just as you would on your tow vehicle, secure the wheels of your caravan with lockable wheel nuts.
10. Data Dot Tagging
MicroDOTs such as those included with AL-KO ATS are tiny metallic flecks, invisible to the naked eye, that feature a unique code laser etched into them multiple times. Hundreds or even thousands can be brushed or sprayed to your caravan – so, even if a thief knows what they’re looking for, the chances of them getting them all off are next to none.
11. GPS Tracking
It wasn’t long ago that this kind of technology was science fiction, but nowadays, for less than $170 a year, you can track your caravan and/or tow vehicle using a simple GPS tracking device that’s only a bit bigger than a key fob and every bit as incognito. In the interest of saving battery life, the device can be set to activate itself when the caravan moves and can be tracked via a website or smartphone app.
It pays to approach caravan security with a healthy level of paranoia. While you can’t prevent a determined thief from taking your property, there are measures you can take that will deter most.
Do you have any other hints and tips for securing your van and deterring would be thieves? Share them with us on the Without A Hitch Facebook page.