I HAD THE great pleasure of spending some time in the company of John Wickersham at the NEC.
For those that don’t know John, he’s the editor of the Haynes Caravan Manual as well as the Caravan Handbook, Motorcaravan Manual, How To Build A Motorcaravan and many other notable texts. In short, Wickers knows his stuff.
When a couple came up to the counter at the show to ask for some simple security advice, I was explaining about insurance companies dictating what security kit is required and John was listening intently. Feeling like I’d answered their question, I was pretty pleased with myself but then John spoke. His suggestion was ingenious.
‘When you are laying up the van, do you take the cushions out and store them indoors?’ he asked.
I thought he’d misunderstood the question and the caravanners were a bit bemused too.
‘No’ they said ‘Why do you ask?’.
‘No-one will steal a caravan without seat cushions in it. A new set costs over £1000 and will arouse suspicion for caravan upholsterers when they don’t have the old cushions to use as a pattern’
Then I realised it was actually a genius idea. That’s why he writes the Haynes manual and I just read it. It got me thinking about some of the best low-cost ideas for better security.
Parking your car in front of the caravan is a bit too obvious, but if you have the option of loading your caravan in your driveway nose-first, you make a potential thief’s life trickier.
Another favourite is to cover the number plate on the back of the caravan with a notice simply saying ‘Stolen’. Most caravan thieves don’t waste time checking their lights when robbing a caravan so will be unaware that they are advert
ising the fact they have stolen the caravan as they make their way down the road.
Removing the wheels is always a traditional favourite but for some vans in storage, that’s not allowed. If the caravan in on your drive however, it has some merit. It will stop a casual thief, but many may carry spare wheels for precisely this reason. It also stops you fitting wheel clamps.
One I do like though, is storing the caravan with the hitch very low down and the back legs
fully extended. It’s nothing more than a way of slowing thieves down, but pair it up with a cheap set of corner steady locks, it all helps make your caravan more effort to steal than the next one, and sometimes that is enough.