When investing thousands of pounds into a motorhome or campervan it is natural to want to secure it as much as possible. So I've put together this checklist of security measures you can use to keep your vehicle safe.
It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry, so in this blog, we’re revealing the best ways to beat those thieves and make your rolling home more difficult to steal.
Let’s start the list off with the ever-effective wheel clamp. It is what it says on the tin: a clamp that fits around the outside of the wheel making it immovable. Now, this type of security doesn’t stop someone from breaking into your campervan or motorhome but what it does do is aim to prevent them from driving away with it. But saying that, just seeing this visible deterrent may put a ‘would-be thief' off targeting your vehicle completely as to where there is one form of security there is usually more. As they’re portable you can take them with you wherever you go and won’t need to worry if you’re parked at home, on the road or at a campsite.
A great example is Bulldog’s heavy-duty CA2000C Centaur Wheel Clamp. It’s Sold Secure and insurance approved, strengthened with steel, and features a drill and pick resistant lock. Coming in at over £200, it is a more premium choice but it’s also one of the most popular clamps used by motorhome owners.
Steering wheel locks
Steering wheel locks are another great example of a visible deterrent. It’s said that they are even harder to get past than a wheel clamp, so I’d recommend beefing up your security with the highest-rated lock you can afford. It’s best to find one which has been approved by Thatcham or Sold Secure, a good example would be Stoplock’s flagship lock. With an anti-theft bar and around £50 price tag, this is an approved and affordable option that’ll help protect your valuables.
Team the steering wheel lock with a wheel clamp and your vehicle will radiate with a menacing ‘don’t mess with my home’ attitude. However again, whilst it makes your vehicle less driveable it doesn’t stop an actual break-in – but give me a minute because we’re going to get onto that next.
As I said, you shouldn’t stop at just visible deterrents, you’re going to want as much security as you can afford. An audio deterrent is always a good idea. Even if someone breaks into your vehicle it’ll give them the shock of their life they’ll deserve, alert you (or whoever is nearby) and scare them away stopping them from hopefully ever doing it again. It’s best to get the highest quality alarm as most insurance companies will advise having a Thatcham-approved or specific model anyway.
When researching I’ve found that alarms range between £5-£600, whatever your budget there will be an option for you, however how effective that will be I don’t know. What I do know is that the highest-rated amongst owners are Autowatch and Cobra alarms. These are both over £300 (fitting included) so are pretty expensive, but they’re extremely recommended and are also approved by Thatcham. So really the question you need to ask yourself is how secure do you want your vehicle to be?
Now, this is a good piece of equipment, especially as most insurance companies will insist a tracking device is installed on a higher value or more premium-priced home before issuing a quote or offer cover at all. Ultimately, it’s going to give you more hope of retrieving your vehicle if the worst were to happen.
Door and window security
No one can steal it if they can’t get into can they so, make the doors and windows as hard to access as possible. Whether that be using a cab door security bar (a bar that tucks down the window rubber or each cab door) or installing window sensors. You want to do everything in your power to protect your four (or six) wheeled home and, as thieves and their techniques seem to be evolving, it’s always good to know you have that extra layer of protection. Even the more basic technology will help to prevent or at least slowdown, screwdrivers or lock picking tools.
These smart little devices can be discreetly hidden within the chassis of your campervan or motorhome. They contain and record important information including the owner’s contact information, make, model, and vehicle chassis number and can be used to help the police identify your vehicle if it is stolen. Additionally, if law enforcement is suspicious, they are able to read this information from a distance or at speed – I said they were clever didn’t I!
If this is something you’re interested in I would head straight to VIN Chip’s website, however whilst prices aren’t disclosed you can get more information by chatting with one of their experts.
Parking and storing
Wouldn’t it be great to be out on the road all day every day? Unfortunately, reality comes calling and we all have jobs to get to and lives to lead. So, whilst thinking of security equipment you also need to consider where to park your vehicle and how safe it is.
Are you parking on a public street? On your private driveway? In a locked garage or storage unit? These are all things you need to consider when choosing a place to park – whether that be overnight, a few hours, or for the season. Many insurance companies encourage private storage in a locked garage or storage unit as this offers another layer of protection. However, if this is something that isn’t accessible try using any of the deterrents on this list, a driveway post or CCTV stickers (even if you don’t have it, they don’t know that) – be smarter than they think they are!
Protect your keys
Last but by no means least, and I know this may be something you’ve heard a hundred times before but I’m going to say it again anyway, when leaving your vehicle unattended always take your keys out of the ignition and keep them with you or put them in a safe place away from it. You don’t want to give a thief the opportunity to snatch your pride and joy right from under you, and this is probably one of the simplest ways to prevent this. Just to add to this, no campsite should ever ask for your keys so be aware of this when traveling. If they ask don’t hand them over, it’s more than likely going to be a scam and an easy way to lose what you’re trying so hard to protect.
The moral of this story, and what you need to remember, is the more the merrier. As thieves can be extremely determined, they will try their utmost to achieve it, so as a precaution it’s best to have the armor to fight and defend.
One last thing before I go, it’s also important to always make sure you have the correct insurance - if you're looking for insurance, make sure to get a motorhome insurance quote direct with Lexham!