People become very attached to their caravans; they can become almost part of the family.
But the threat of theft is very real. “We have seen a rise in caravan thefts in the past 12 months,” says Craig Thompson, marketing director of insurance specialist Caravan Guard.
Fortunately there are some simple steps that you can take to keep your home-from-home secure.
Most touring units spend far more time in storage than on tour. So, when you’re choosing where to store your ‘van, its security should be priority.
Start your search for secure storage at CaSSOA (the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association). All of the 400-plus sites listed on the CaSSOA website must reach a minimum level of security, which is independently assessed every five years.
Despite all that, don’t rule out a storage facility just because it isn’t part of CaSSOA, suggests Thompson. “Remember, there are some good storage sites that are not CaSSOA accredited.” Judge a site by its security features.
Features you need to look out for include CCTV, 24-hour on-site security, robust perimeter fencing, security lighting and controlled access.
A stay-at-home option
If you have space, keeping your caravan at home is a convenient solution. But that can also be all too convenient for would-be thieves.
“You must invest in good security,” recommends Iain Geddes, senior technical advisor at The Camping and Caravanning Club.
“Hitchlocks on caravans, for example, are not very effective until the hitch is on something, so a security post with a ball on the end could be really effective, as you lock the caravan to this, then install a wheel clamp and augment with steady-leg locks, too.
When choosing a security device such as a wheel lock, look for one that has been certified Sold Secure Silver or Gold, preferably Gold. A handful of products achieve the even higher Diamond standard.
Locks and clamps should prevent a theft, but not always. As another tier of security, consider a tracker, such as those available from Bulldog Secure, so there’s a chance you’ll get your caravan back in the unfortunate event that it is stolen.
Touch wood, locks and clamps should prevent a theft. But as another tier of security, consider a tracker, so that there’s a chance you will get your caravan back if it is stolen.
“Of all caravans that have been recovered following theft since 2016, 44% were due to a tracking device,” says Thompson.
Trackers are assessed by the insurance industry body, Thatcham. Categories S7 and S5 cover tracking devices.
Insurers are likely to insist on a minimum level of security, such as a hitchlock and an axle- or wheel-clamp. The more valuable the caravan, the more particular insurers are likely to be, so check the policy wording carefully.
Go beyond the minimum required and you could get a discount. In the case of Caravan Guard, “caravan alarms get a 5% discount, approved axle wheel-locking devices 10%, and an approved tracking device offers a 15% security discount. We give a 25% security discount if you fit an approved tracking system.”
Keep your kit secure
Owners need to be vigilant on holiday, as well as at home. It’s not just your caravan that might be at risk, but items inside, too.
“Don’t have any big-ticket items on show,” says Geddes. “There are aftermarket safes available that you could secure inside a locker.”
Window locks are also worth considering to make it harder for a thief to gain access to the inside of your caravan. Lock M Out produces 11 security devices for different types of window catch.
Stay safe on the road
It’s important to keep yourself safe when you’re out touring, too, so breakdown assistance is recommended – that way, should you suffer any mishap on the road, you can rest assured that help is only a phone call away.
Anybody whose caravan or possessions have been stolen will tell you what a miserable experience it is. But by investing in the best storage and security products, you greatly improve the odds of beating the thieves – and you could even save on your insurance into the bargain.
Features to look out for include CCTV, 24-hour on-site security, robust perimeter fencing, security lighting and controlled access