Buying and maintaining a caravan is an expensive, time consuming business. It is especially important, having gone to this effort; that you ensure that your caravan is protected against thieves. In this article, we shall discuss ways in which this can be done.
Caravans make for tempting targets for thieves. Before we begin, let’s consider why this is the case. It doesn’t take too long to form a conclusion: caravans are designed to be portable. They are made from light metals and are designed to transport a collection of high-value goods easily and conveniently. What more could an aspirant thief ask for?
A caravan can contain a number of high-value goods. If the thieves are lucky, they might find high-end consumer electronics, like a tablet or a laptop. Televisions and games consoles are also often left in caravans overnight. The kitchen will also invariably contain an oven, along with a fridge freezer and a microwave – all items which can be sold quickly for a high price.
As well as the contents of the caravan, thieves may also be attracted to the caravan itself. Newer caravans will fetch a high price, but older caravans are attractive, too; they can be stripped for parts.
Efforts to make a caravan more secure should concentrate on the areas where it is the most vulnerable. Thieves will likely be dissuaded if they should fail to break in at the first attempt. Thieves are not a persistent bunch – the longer they spend trying to break in, the greater the risk of them getting caught.
The most obvious point of entry for a caravan is the one which is designed to be used as a point of entry. As you might imagine, a caravan door is significantly easier to force open than the one in your house. The best way of preventing potential thieves from breaking in is to install a deadlock.
Windows are an especially vulnerable area of a caravan. A thief can, using a crowbar or some similar implementation, force open the window and gain entry to the caravan.
Gas bottles are a valuable asset which can be stolen with relative ease. The lockers which contain the cylinder are often vulnerable – particularly if left unlocked. You should always remember to lock the gas locker when you’re finished with it!
A jockey wheel should be kept down. This will make it a lot more difficult for thieves to remove it using chains.
In older caravans, the fuse which protects the alarm is on the same circuit as that which protects the rear lights. Thieves can therefore smash the latter in order to disable the former – and thereby plunder the caravan under cover of silence.
Fortunately, there are a variety of security devices which can be used to keep your caravan secure.
A larger budget will allow for the installation of CCTV wherever you park the car. This will allow you to observe the space immediately surrounding the caravan and record the goings on. While CCTV is undoubtedly an expensive option, the technology is getting cheaper and will confer added security to your property as a whole.
Most caravans come with some sort of device in order to prevent it from moving – but these devices can be easily sabotaged. It’s often best to elect for something a little more heavy-duty. If a caravan’s wheels are clamped, there is absolutely no way that it will be driven anywhere – a fact to which anyone who has ever had their vehicle clamped will attest.
There are a number of tracking devices which can be used to track the location of stolen vehicles using GPS. While it is true that these devices, if located, can be removed, this is often a difficult task; they are smaller than ever and getting smaller by the year! A caravan usually provides ample room in which to hide such a device – and thereby confound any attempt to sell the caravan!
In the UK, all caravans are registered in a central database, called the Central Registration and Identification Scheme (CRiS) and given a unique 17-digit number. This number will be displayed on the caravan – this will help to identify the caravan if it should become stolen and allows buyers to check the history of the vehicle before parting with money. If your CRiS number has been removed, then this is usually a sign that it has at some point been stolen.
You might think that closing the curtains in order to disguise the contents of a caravan is a worthwhile security measure – after all, if a thief cannot see what is inside a caravan, they will be less inclined to try to break into it, won’t they? This is untrue – in fact, a thief will take drawn curtains as a sign that there is something worth hiding. Instead, remove all of the valuables from your caravan and open the curtains.
When visiting a motorway service station, you should stay with your caravan at all times. This is perhaps a thief’s best opportunity to steal a caravan; every year, many caravans are stolen in exactly this way.
It is important that you do not leave any documents inside the caravan, especially while on holiday. If nothing else, it will contain your address – which will tell the thief exactly where an empty house can be found.
Of course, there is no point in taking all these security measures if you are going to park up at a caravan site which does not share your vigilance. Give yourself some peace of mind by only staying at sites which take security as seriously as you do.