There are around 3000 caravans stolen in the UK each year, and with the increasing popularity of the ‘staycation’ and the resulting surge in caravan ownerships and holidays, this figure is set to rise. Caravan owners are wise to make sure they have the best security they can to deter thieves. Below are listed ten of the very best ways you can protect your caravan, together they add up to a formidable deterrent.
The more of these ideas you implement the more likely it is that firstly your caravan will not be stolen in the first place, and secondly, if it is stolen, that it will be recovered.
Security posts are a great idea for people who keep their caravan on their drive at home. These prevent the removal of the caravan from the drive, as they are cemented into the ground. Some have a towball on top that the caravan can be hitch-locked to, and others are either foldable or detachable to allow the caravan to move in and out of the drive.
Hitch locks are a useful device in providing some degree of protection against opportunist thieves. You should make sure it is made of heavy duty metal to cover the tow socket fixing bolts, and also has a strong locking mechanism to ensure it cannot be forced open. Bear in mind that on their own though, they don’t offer a sufficient level of security for when the caravan is in storage.
There are good wheel clamps and there are bad wheel clamps, but a rule of thumb is that generally the easier they are to put on, then the easier they are for a thief to take off. So you need to make sure that you buy a good clamp and also be sure that if fits your caravan. Beware that some wheel clamps available on the market will allow a clever thief to remove the wheel and the clamp at the same time, so don’t get one of these.
A very good security measure is to etch either your caravan’s chassis number or your postcode on all of the caravan windows, and in a few hidden places within the caravan. You can just use a permanent marker on plywood under a your beds or inside a cupboard, as this is nearly impossible to remove. Even more subtle, you can use an ultra violet pen.
Wheel stands offer another potential deterrent. However, don’t underestimate the tenacity of a determined caravan thief, as this alone will likely not stop them. You should make sure they are locked in place, and you should also check that your insurers are okay with you doing this, as some policies require wheel clamps to be fitted. You should also check your handbook, as some manufacturers recommend that axle stands are used for winter storage.
Be sure to take some photographs of your caravan, in particular any distinctive features it may have. These photos can held you identify your caravan should it be stolen.
Either paint or use some commercially available large stick-on letters to put a number on top of the van. You could use part of the caravan’s serial number, or any number that is known only to yourself.
Shake and shake and shake everything else that you can think of, but not your caravan.
Keep your caravan as high and dry as possible so that it looks as though the top layer of storage is taken care of.
Dampness produces a great deal of condensation. Look for large rolled down doors and windows that will catch the rays of the sun, as this will reduce the amount of condensation you will have to deal with.
The optimum way to store your caravan is to store it below ground. Squeeze all doors and windows to make sure there is no moisture entering from above.
Should you then store it horizontal, with the floor downwards and head-up, for best results.
Check for soft spots in the floorThis will be where water will accumulate I’m sure.
Check for sharp edges and cornersOnce you have removed all visible water entry points, you should have a good idea about how your caravan will be stored.
Making scratches on the floor won’t do damage very quickly. But make sure they are deep and flowing.
Marinell can be used for initialing your caravan at your driveway. But be careful with this approach, you will be aiming directly at your front door if you have a low garage door position.
Tie the awnings to the ground with the last drive provided. This will keep the canvas away from the walls of your caravan.
The front windscreen should be tied to the awnings and secured in the upright position.
The FS rage mesh will self-propagating from the caravan with little effort.
Flathead screwdriver for emergency repairs.
Caravan Hitch Lock should be replaced after certain dates.