If you’ve recently purchased a camping trailer, RV or travel trailer, you know what a significant and important investment it is. You’re ready to take all the precautions to keep it well-maintained, store it safely, and protect it from harsh weather conditions. Unfortunately, RV theft is another thing that you’ll need to consider – though it’s fortunately far rarer than you may think!
Despite the unlikely occurrence that you might experience RV theft or stolen goods from your vehicle, it’s still worth the small effort it takes to help keep your RV safe from ne’er-do-wells. Here are some precautions you should consider.
Be Mindful of Where You Store Your RV
Where you store your RV is a major consideration for all RV owners. From preventing RV theft to just keeping your RV protected from the weather, the best storage solutions usually end up being inside a garage or facility of some type. This could be on your property, or a reputable storage rental facility near your home.
Thieves have started to become bolder in recent years, sometimes stealing campers right out of driveways or garages if they are convinced that no one is home. 2020 was a particularly rough year for stolen RVs (likely due to the RV shortages and the increase in their value) though it’s still worth noting that the statistics show it as incredibly low possibility.
The best way to avoid a stolen RV from your property is to leave your RV inside of a locked garage or fenced-in and locked backyard. This will always beat parking it in the front yard – especially when you are away from home. Like anything, opportunity is often the biggest impetus for crime. If someone knows you aren’t home and has the ability to hook your trailer up to their vehicle quickly then leave, they’re more likely to try.
Shop for Anti-Theft Devices
You can also look into purchasing a quality electronic anti-theft device (available from most dealers or in retail shops.) It’s a wise investment that could help you deter theft by making it too time consuming or exposing the RV thief to too much risk. On top of that, many of these devices offer tracking mechanisms. That means if your RV ever were stolen, you’d be more likely to have it safely returned.
The list of anti-theft devices for RVs is similar to the ones you might expect for your home. This can be something as simple as motion-activated lights that make it impossible to approach your RV in the dark to active monitoring systems.
For avoiding stolen items at the campground, locks and alarms are often your best bet. These can be simple things like window or door alarms that chimes whenever they open. This deters most crimes of opportunity.
Make Your Camper Look Occupied
If you have to leave your camper trailer unattended at a campsite or in a wilderness area, do your best to make it look like someone is around. It’s a known fact that thieves generally pick low-risk targets, and an occupied RV is about as high-risk as it gets. Especially if their plan is to take the whole RV!
There are plenty of ways you can make your RV look occupied, or at make it seem likely that you’re somewhere nearby. Set up lawn chairs outside, put dishes and silverware on a picnic table, or hang up clothes to dry on a line. Anything you can do to make it look like the owners are right around the corner will help you protect your vehicle from thievery.
Of course, you could always take it a step further and actually do your best to keep your RV occupied. If you’re traveling with a group, it’s never a bad idea to have someone hang back at the RV if it won’t affect their enjoyment of the trip. Scheduling your activities to keep someone near the RV is a great way to keep it safe. As an added bonus, having someone at the “home base” is generally considered a safe travel tip in case something happens to the group – like getting lost or injured on a hike.
Wheel Clamps, Towball Locks and Locking Hitch Pins
Wheel clamps are an affordable, noticeable and effective theft deterrent. If you’re unable to lock up your camper behind a fence or in a garage at home, using a wheel clamp will help keep your investment secure. In fact, if you can’t store your RV in a locked facility or somewhere else that’s already protected from trespassing, you should consider these types of clamps or locks a necessity.
Wheel clamps are difficult to remove, and there are several different brands to choose from. A good wheel clamp only costs a few hundred dollars, and they are simple to install. This small investment can make all the difference in the world when it comes to stopping a would-be thief from simply driving up, hooking up, and rolling away with your beloved camper.
Towball locks and locking hitch pins are also inexpensive (although slightly less effective) options for securing a camping trailer. They’re extremely easy to put on and take off (for the owner) and add an additional layer of deterrence for thieves.
Keep Your RV Well Lit
Lastly, when it comes to RV theft, the best thing you can do is make sure your RV isn’t somewhere that can be accessed unnoticed. At home, that means keeping it in areas that will be well lit by your lighting system. If you don’t have a garage light or similar fixture, they’re typically not too hard to add. Just keeping the RV lit up makes it less appealing to try and approach at night.
When camping, always stay in well-lit areas when possible. For boondockers this won’t always be an option, but if you’re at a campsite, in a parking lot or anywhere else, aim for areas underneath lights or nearest to populated areas. Nobody wants to be under the spotlight when they’re doing something illegal, after all!
The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (855) 629 3326.
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