A caravan is an ongoing source of pleasure and holidays for you and your family. It also represents a sizeable investment, with prices for a new caravan starting at around £8000 and increasing to over £20,000, so you will want to keep it secure.
When you leave your caravan at a site and take off in the car for the day, or in your driveway during the winter (or at a storage place), even at motorway services, there’s a chance your caravan can be stolen or broken into. It’s your home away from home and you need to protect it.
Your caravan will sit for months at a time during the off peak season. If you don’t take adequate precautions you might well come home one day to find it gone. Apart from being sure you don’t leave anything valuable in the caravan (which also applies when you leave it for a day at a caravan site or even if you stop at motorway services for a quick coffee) you need to be absolutely sure it’s immobile.
There are several ways of achieving this. Having two or more methods working together simply makes theft less likely. One favoured tactic of owners is to use wheel clamps on the caravan. These are very effective, although they take a little time to set up. Most thieves won’t risk sticking around long enough to be spotted removing clamps.
You also have to look after the coupling heads. By making them inaccessible you prevent thieves towing the caravan away. To do this you’ll need to lock them away in a cover, using a hitchlock. It’s an extra level of security to stop theft. Finally, use padlocks on each of the corner legs to keep the caravan firmly in place. If you use a chain on the padlocks, make it thick and short as that will gives potential thieves a much harder task. If you combine all three techniques you’ll be almost certain have no trouble.
You might choose to store your caravan away from your home over the winter, maybe in a storage facility or even a farmer’s field. Remember that it’s very vulnerable here so take as many of the above measures as you can to secure it. Ideally you’ll be keeping it somewhere that’s locked and maybe even has CCTV. Without that, thieves can have all the time they need to get away with a caravan and weeks might pass before anyone notices.
There are some very basic steps you can take to help cut out theft.
Each caravan has a chassis number. Note this and etch it on each of the windows. The idea behind this is that thieves will be less likely to smash a window to break in and make off with the caravan as they’ll need to pay for replacement windows if they take the vehicle.
Mark your Property
Similarly, you can mark all the fittings with your postcode. Use an engraving tool. They don’t have to be in open sight, but if the caravan is stolen it can be a good way to help identify items.
Buy a Deadlock
There are also deadlocks made specifically fort caravans that make breaking in much more difficult. Buying one can prove to be an excellent investment.
It should go without saying but whenever you leave the caravan, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, check that all the doors and windows are locked. Leaving one open is like giving a thief an invitation. If you’re going to be away for any length of time, have an alarm in the caravan. It’s definitely a case of better safe than sorry.
Be certain the compartment for your gas cylinder is properly locked. A full cylinder makes a tempting target. Where there’s no compartment you can padlock the cylinder to the clamp.
Finally, a little neighbourliness can go a long way. If you and the people around you keep your eyes on each other’s properties – a sort of mini Neighbourhood Watch – it can prove to be a very effective way to cut down on burglary and theft. It’s not foolproof, of course, but it’s simple, and it’s free. By employing as many of these ideas as you can you should make sure your caravan remains safe and sound to enjoy for many years.