10 Tips for Better Caravan Security
July 16, 2019
When it comes to the security of your caravan there are two separate areas of concern. The first involves the security of the van itself – your caravan has been designed to be easily towed away making it an easy target for would-be thieves. The second area of consideration is the day to day security in and around your caravan and is more relevant when you are out on the road.
Whether you are looking to keep your caravan more secure at home, or to beef up security when you’re out on the road, we have created the article below to help you turn your home away from home into a castle.
A SAFE PLACE TO KEEP IT
When you’re not on the road, you may view your caravan as being safe, but many caravan thefts involve thieves simply pulling up to an unsecured caravan in storage and hitching it up to their vehicle. That’s why it’s essential to find a secure home, for your home on wheels. Ideally, you want a place where you can lock your caravan behind a gate, or at least limit access to it. Another consideration (which is important, but not essential) is to find a covered spot. This will prevent wear and tear from weathering or sun damage if your caravan is stationary for long periods of time.
TOW BALL LOCK OR HITCH LOCK
A wheel clamp is one of the best ways to secure your caravan both in the off season and when you’re on the road. Wheel clamps lock your wheels in place, and are designed to be difficult (or next to impossible) to remove without the keys. With a decent wheel clamp the only way a thief could steal your caravan would be to load it on a flatbed with a crane, when it is secured the wheels won’t even turn a centimetre. Just like the hitch locks mentioned above, a wheel clamp is a prerequisite for some insurance companies depending on where and how your caravan is stored. While there are many generic wheel clamps on the market, you might want to consider getting one that is custom designed for caravans.
A tow ball lock or hitch lock is one of the most fundamental security measures for your caravan. In fact, most insurance companies won’t let you buy insurance unless you have a hitch lock. The towing hitch connects your caravan to a vehicle, so ensuring this essential link is secure will stop thieves removing your caravan from your vehicle or alternatively towing an unhitched caravan away. There are many different kinds of hitch locks available on the market, but if we can give you one tip, try and find one that uses good quality steel. Your options will range from simple locks, which perform a singular function to more advanced models featuring alarms, which will set you back a bit more. No matter which option you choose, make sure you get a hitch lock as your first step in caravan security.
GET AN ALARM
Just like your home, a caravan should feel like a safe place – and one of the most effective ways to gain this peace of mind is by installing an alarm. We all know how alarms function either by making a big noise to scare thieves away or waking and alerting you if you are inside and someone tries to force their way in. There are countless alarms on the market, and it can be a little daunting selecting one that works for you, but a good place to start is the Caravan Kit from Australian Security Systems this custom wireless solution is packed with all the features you need including mounts, sensors and power adaptors designed for caravans.
GET A LOCKABLE WINDOW LATCH
It’s one thing keeping your caravan locked up while you are out and about, but this can come with its own set of challenges. Caravans need ventilation, without it they can become unbearably hot in summer or start building up damp and mould in rainy conditions. There are very few products on the market that allow you to keep your caravan both secure and allow for air to flow freely through. LockLatch is an ingenious, DIY-friendly, solution that has been designed to do just that. This adjustable window latch is made from high-grade C304 stainless steel and fits easily onto all caravan windows, it can be unlocked to allow you to open windows fully or locked open in place so you can keep air coming in, while keeping thieves out.
GET A GPS TRACKER
Like a GPS tracker microdots aren’t a preventative measure, in fact until your caravan is stolen, you may not even be aware they are there. However, in the unfortunate event that your caravan is stolen they can be a life saver. Microdots are tiny metallic paint flecks that are sprayed onto the exterior of your caravan, each one contains a unique microscopic code that is linked to your vehicle. These cannot be removed, so even if your stolen caravan is resprayed and registration details are filed down you (and law enforcement officials) can still use the microdots to identify it.
In the unfortunate event that your caravan is stolen a GPS tracker can mean the difference between saying goodbye to your caravan forever or having it returned to you. GPS technology has really changed the game when it comes to vehicle security in general and while many cars are already fitted with these tracking devices your caravan should be too. While hitch locks, wheel clamps and window latches are all great additions to your security arsenal but with enough time a thief can bypass these (although it takes a lot of effort and makes a lot of noise). If this happens you will want a GPS tracker to help you reclaim your property. If the cost of one of these devices is prohibitive a similar solution is to buy a cheap Android phone and hide it in your caravan. This will allow you to use the Android Find my Phone service to track your caravan.
While most of the tips shared above require you to spend a bit of money and should definitely form part of your caravan security plan, there are a few affordable or free, common sense-based things you can do to make your caravan a little safer.
KEEP VALUABLES OUT OF SIGHT
The golden rule of home and caravan security is to remove the temptation from opportunistic thieves. If you’re heading out for the day, make sure you lock valuables or outdoor accessories away, especially if you are camping somewhere without security. This can include placing camping accessories inside, but also keeping valuable items such as cameras and electronic devices out of sight and away from windows.
LEAVE THE RADIO ON
Another old tip, but one that might make a-would-be thief think twice. Leaving the curtains drawn and a radio playing inside creates the illusion that you are in fact at home. A potential thief probably won’t take the chance of forcing entry into your caravan if they feel there is a chance someone is inside.
GET A CHAIN AND LOCK
This is a small investment, but one that has many uses when it comes to caravan security. You can use it to secure the caravan to a fixed option, run it through the wheel axis if you don’t have a wheel lock or secure outside accessories if you are heading out for the day and don’t feel like packing it all inside. A lock and chain is not a fool proof solution as most can be cut with a decent set of bolt cutters, but it does provide an extra layer of security by making opportunistic thieves rather look somewhere else.
At the end of the day your caravan should be a safe place, where you and your loved ones feel secure. We hope this article has given you some insight into making your home away from home into a place you can enjoy true peace of mind, wherever the road takes you.
Read more on safety and security tips:
Our Top 10 Home Security Tips
5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of a Home Invasion