While the theft of caravans themselves appears to be in decline, break-ins are on the increase.
The majority of caravan break-ins are opportunistic rather than pre-planned. The casual thief can be put off by simple but obvious security measures. If it’s a hassle to break in, they’ll simply move on to a likelier victim. So, a few security improvements can spare you burglary woe.
Strengthen door locks
You’ll find that caravan and motorhome door locks aren’t the strongest in the world. Step up security by fitting an external padlock/hinge or bolt, ensuring that they are rock solid and cannot be easily crowbarred off.
Do not fix a padlock internally, as this could prove fatal in the event of fire.
Caravan specialists can also strengthen the door locks. They might suggest fixing a Brightlock which slips over the door handle and is then unlocked when required. From around £40.
Fixing strong window locks is essential, too.
Read our guide to caravan security accessories.
Don’t leave valuables in obvious places
Don’t leave laptops, tablets, phones, etc, on charge while you’re away from the caravan. Even if they are not on display, a thief may have been watching you and know exactly what technology you have. If you leave them hanging out of plug points, they can be easily found.
Invest in an alarm
Guard against night time break-ins, and sleeping gas attacks (which although rare in the UK are not uncommon on the continent). Around £20 will buy you an easy to install, six- alarm set by caravan security experts Milenco. Uninvited visitors in the middle of the night will be greeted with flashing LED lights and a wailing alarm.
Restrict the number of valuables you take with you
You may consider having a floor-fixed safe installed. But are you likely to be invited to visit the local mayor while you’re away? No. So don’t feel you have to take valuable jewellery with you.
Keep the minimum amount of cash you need, preferably in your pockets, wallets and not left around lying on shelves and tables.
Keep your technology to a minimum – laptops, mobile phones, etc – and leave the rest at home.
‘Tin can’ safes, disguised as soup or baked bean cans are a fun, novelty way of concealing money and valuables. If you know about them, thieves probably do, too.
Stay legal with our guide to caravans and the law.
Check all windows are locked
Nothing says ‘unoccupied’ like an open window and a padlocked door, so close all windows when you are out (don’t forget the toilet), even if you want to get some air into the caravan.
Check the skylight, too, if you have one. Rain isn’t the only thing that get in through an open skylight.
A secluded pitch is a treat if you like to be away from crowds. It can also prove great cover away from witnesses for an attempted break-in.
If you have a lower premium because of anti-theft devices then you must use them every time you leave the caravan. An insurance company won’t look kindly on your claim if you say you didn’t use the padlock because you were only popping out to the campsite shop for a couple of minutes.
Do not assume that your home insurance policy automatically covers you for touring/static caravan or motorhome cover – you could be in for a nasty shock, so check with your insurers.