It is a sad fact that very few caravans or motorhomes that are stolen are ever recovered. This is usually due to the fact that their identifying features are removed before they are sold on. Here we are taking a look at the factors that can increase the chances of caravan theft, along with measures that can be taken to prevent it.

What increases the chances of caravan or motorhome theft?

Caravans and motorhomes that are not securely stored; that have not been fitted with additional security devices and that are around two or three years old are more likely to be stolen.

How to prevent the theft of your caravan or motorhome when not in use?

There are various ways in which caravan or motorhome theft can be prevented when the vehicle is not in use:

  1. Always close rooflights, doors and windows when the vehicle is not in use.
  2. Secure your caravan or motorhome using a hitchlock, locking wheel nuts, wheel locks and clamps and / or steady locks. Upgrade existing door locks with more sophisticated cylinders. Always look for Sold Secure and British Standards rated locks to be certain that you are buying quality, fit-for-purpose products.
  3. Fit an alarm and switch it on whenever the van is vacated.
  4. Never store your caravan keys in the same place as your car keys. Keep them in an insurance graded safe to prevent theft.
  5. Take out all removable contents and personal belongings and leave cupboard doors and curtains open to show that nothing of value has been left in the vehicle.
  6. Keep the vehicle in a secure storage compound, preferably one assessed for security and accredited by CaSSOA, the Caravan and Storage Site Owner’s Association, and always follow the security procedures set out by the site.
  7. If storing the vehicle at home, fit lever or pull-up security posts to obstruct the driveway and prevent the vehicle being driven or towed away.

How to protect your caravan or motorhome on a day to day basis?

The following measures will help to secure your caravan or motorhome when in general use:

  1. Fit a GPS tracking device – if your vehicle is stolen this will help you recover it. There are systems available that will allow you to track the vehicle via your smartphone. Be sure to choose a system that is designed for use with caravans and one that is approved by Sold Secure or Thatcham. Consider a police response tracking system, but do bear in mind that the police won’t recover the vehicle for you, although they will respond to any request made to find it.
  2. Register your vehicle under the Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme (CRiS). All touring caravans manufactured from 1992 onwards by members of the National Caravan Council (NCC) are marked on their chassis and windows with a unique 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and these are recorded on the central CRiS database. Since 1997, NCC vehicles have been electronically tagged with RFID chips and, since 1999, the CRiS was extended so that caravans manufactured before 1992 were included in the scheme. CRiS also includes a marking system which can be applied to various surfaces within the vehicle. The marks carry the VIN.
  3. If not already present, attach a number of identifying RFID electronic tags around the vehicle. This will assist in situations where thieves take the vehicle and remove the vehicle identification numbers (VINs).
  4. Never leave paperwork related to the vehicle inside it, especially any CRiS registration paperwork as this will assist thieves in selling on the vehicle.
  5. Always take plenty of photographs of the interior and exterior of the caravan or motorhome, especially unique identifying marks. In addition, note the serial numbers of all on-board equipment. These can be used to identify the vehicle should it be recovered following a theft.
  6. Apply roof markings that can be spotted by police helicopters or from motorway bridges. Include the CRiS number along with the year of manufacture to help with identification.

Where to find advice on caravan and motorhome security?

Barry Bros Security has been providing advice on all aspects of security for more than six decades. If you are looking to upgrade your caravan or motorhome locks or need additional security measures to protect your vehicle, why not get in touch? We’ll provide the guidance you need to keep your van safe and sound at all times.