Caravan theft isn’t that common, but that’s not to say you’re not at risk. And, like all theft, nobody likes it when it happens to them.
Caravans are taken from driveways, supposedly secure storage sites, campsites themselves – and even from outside Birmingham’s NEC.
Motorway service stations are a common area for theft, too. What’s more, recovery rate of stolen caravans is less than 5%.
Caravan security products to deter thieves and prevent theft
There are several inexpensive theft prevention devices you can install:
A wheel clamp is a must. Even the sight of one can prove a deterrent to a thief, and the more you spend the better the security.
Modern wheel clamps are strong but lightweight and durable. It should be both saw and lock-pick resistant. Milenco is a trusted name among caravaners.
Wheel clamp prices start in the mid-£30s, but investing £100 or so will provide a far more theft-proof device and greater peace of mind.
Insist that the one you buy is marked ‘Sold Secure’, which means it’s been tested before being sold.
Alarm systems, even the most basic kits, can discourage a thief, but not if he can disarm it quickly and easily.
If you keep your caravan at home, fix an internal locking security post to your driveway or garage. They are more secure than a chain and padlock.
A hitchlock fits the coupling, rendering removal of the caravan difficult, though not impossible.
Seeing a hitchlock fitted, a thief would be tempted to look elsewhere as it’s fiddly and time-consuming to force off.
It is not advisable to attach it while driving, in case emergency services need to uncouple the ‘van in an accident and you may be put off having to attach it every time you stop for a break.
How much do they cost? From upwards of £40. Again, always look for the ‘Sold Secure’ mark.
Invest in a tracking kit. Expensive but worthwhile in the event of loss. Any movement of the caravan will trigger a text to your mobile phone or app, telling you where it is located. There are plenty of systems around, so shop around.
‘Tracking device installed’ stickers in the windows warn the thief that you have electronic tracking devices fitted to you caravan, even if you haven’t. A very cheap option, but will they call your bluff?
General security tips
If you can avoid leaving the caravan unattended - at a service station, for example - do so. Nothing deters a thief more than a human presence!
All caravans manufactured after 1998 have a National Caravan Council CRIS (Central Registration and Identification Scheme) number on the caravan. Keep a record of the number at home, and mark it with indelible ink inside caravan drawers. Some canny caravaners even mark the roof of the ‘van with their CRIS number. If it’s made before 1998 then register with CRIS at www.cris.co.uk.
Check with your insurer (and ask for written confirmation – email or letter) what their minimum security requirements are for your policy.
For those that protect their caravan, Saga Caravan Insurance offers a range of security discounts.