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Home security is a top priority for most people. Break-ins and burglaries not only result in loss of property and often damage, they also have a huge psychological impact on the victims. But what about caravans, mobile homes and motorhomes? With many more people in the UK opting to staycation this summer the demand for caravans and mobile homes has never been so high and this is only likely to fuel an increase in caravan theft.
Caravans left outside owners’ homes, parked on driveways or in static caravan parks are a known target for increasingly brazen thieves. In some cases the criminals have simply hitched caravans to their own vehicles, during the night, and driven them away without any prevention. Increasingly high demand is supporting a black market trade in stolen caravans which are quickly sold on by organised criminal gangs.
In this post we look at a number of practical tips which will help ensure that your valuable caravan doesn’t become booty for caravan thieves.
Selecting a secure location for storing your caravan when not in use is vitally important. While storing a caravan in a driveway or off-road location near your home may be a practical option its important to optimise security.
By far the best place to securely store a caravan is inside a locked, secure facility. This might be a commercial caravan storage site or you might be lucky enough to have a lockable, secure garage that’s big enough. Wherever you choose, be sure to thoroughly assess how secure the location is. If its a commercial storage site or maybe a static caravan site be sure to thoroughly evaluate site security and follow our additional tips to keep your valuable caravan safe and secure.
Its always a good idea to securely lock your caravan to an immovable anchor point using a high security chain and lock. If your caravan is in your drive, installing a robust anchor point will immediately deter opportunist thieves who are hoping for a quick and easy getaway.
Its also beneficial to secure the caravan towing hitch using a hitch lock. Its worth noting that these devices are often recommended by caravan insurance companies as the most basic level of security. It should be ensured that whenever your caravan is not hitched to your vehicle the hitch lock is in place.
Another practical security technique that will prevent your valuable caravan from being towed away by thieves is to clamp the caravan wheels with wheel clamps. This is another security requirement that’s recommended by many insurers and UK police forces.
An alternative option which performs the same function is to replace the caravan wheels with what are called winter wheels. The name is something of a misnomer as these security wheels can, of course, be used at any time of year. But many caravan owners swap their existing wheels for winter wheels during the winter months when their van isn`t being used, hence the name. Not only does this routine help keep caravans safe, it also prevents tyre damage caused by long term storage in the same position.
CCTV in the area where your caravan is stored is another powerful theft deterrent that will put off most would-be caravan thieves. When assessing secure storage locations and static caravan sites, look out for CCTV security.
When your caravan is effectively in storage and not in use always remove all personal items. Some recommend that curtains should be left open so that it can be seen that the caravan is empty and there is nothing inside worth stealing.
CRiS is the UK Crime Report Information System. This organisation provides a valuable National Register of UK touring caravan keepers, much like the DVLA. When purchasing a touring caravan its worthwhile carrying out a CRiS check to confirm the registered keeper and find out if the caravan has ever been stolen, written off by insurers or whether there is any outstanding finance on the vehicle.
Importantly, you should always register your caravan ownership with CRiS. This ensures you are recorded as the registered keeper, links the caravan’s unique 17 digit VIN to you and will help the police should your caravan ever be stolen.
You should always keep a record of the VIN number, model, serial number and any other distinguishing features of your caravan. It can also be enormously useful to take some photographs and possible video recordings on your smart phone. Be sure to note and record any identifying marks such as scrapes or repairs as these can be enormously helpful in identifying and recovering stolen caravans. As noted in these tips, your caravan CRiS documentation should never be stored inside your caravan where it could be beneficial to thieves.
UK police forces recommend that valuable assets are always security marked. This applies to your caravan along with any additional valuables which might attract the attention of criminals. Asset marking is a very affordable, easily implemented security precaution that’s highly effective.
An important aspect of caravan security is not only protecting the caravan from theft but also ensuring criminals can’t get inside. Always make certain that roof lights are locked, all windows and doors are locked, the gas compartment is locked and any external lockers are also securely locked. It can also be useful to draw the curtains to give the impression that someone may be asleep inside and prevent anyone from seeing your property inside the caravan. Developing a basic security checklist that you quickly run through before leaving your caravan unattended is a good idea.
As noted, when your caravan is effectively in storage and not in use, either on your property or perhaps in a static caravan site, always remove all personal items and valuables. Never leave anything of value inside your caravan.
When your caravan is in use its important not to make it easy for criminals to gain access and steal your personal belongings. As recommended, make certain your caravan is securely locked when unoccupied and never leave valuable personal items on view. Its important that you never leave any of your caravan documentation, such as your CRiS registration, inside your caravan as this can help a thief to sell it on.
Alarms and trackers make caravans far more difficult to steal. While the previously recommended precautions to lock your caravan to an immovable anchor point and use wheel locks are vitally important, adding another layer of security can be very beneficial, especially when touring. A tracking device can allow you to pinpoint the location of your caravan using a convenient app on your phone. Some of today’s caravan and mobile home trackers include movement and vehicle disturbance detecting capabilities which send out immediate alerts if your caravan is disturbed.
We are certain that by following these tips your caravan and belongings will be far more secure. Investing a little in security goes a long way toward ensuring your caravan and personal possessions remain safe and secure and your summer vacation isn’t spoiled by criminals.
If you have any questions regarding caravan security and how to secure your mobile home remember that we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll provide you with free, expert advice.
This message was added on Thursday 29th July 2021
Need Help or Advice?
Call the Insight team
01273 475 500