The top five touring caravan security devices
Caravans make attractive targets for thieves. They’re relatively easy to strip down and re-sell, and they also appeal to opportunists just interested in slipping inside to help themselves to valuables. Losing your caravan when you’re out on the road can be devastating, so it’s worth making the effort to invest in some serious security.
The simplest way to stop somebody towing your caravan away is to fit a good wheel lock. These come in different sizes and it’s important to get a close-fitting one to make sure it can’t easily be pried off. Clamps that cover the wheel nuts generally provide the best security. High quality steel is harder for thieves to break. Look for the Sold Secure logo as an independent guarantee of quality, and choose a lock that’s simple to fit so you’re not tempted to go without when you’re only stopping for a short time.
Hitch locks are designed to prevent anybody else attaching a towball to your caravan by covering the hitch. The best ones cover the aperture and securing bolts but not the handle. It’s worth investing in high quality steel and choosing a barrel lock, which is harder to break than a padlock. If you use a towball stabiliser you may need a specially designed hitch lock to fit your caravan. Remember that it’s illegal to tow your caravan on a public road with your hitch lock in place.
Caravans are just as much at risk in your driveway as they are when you’re travelling, and police experts recommend security posts as an effective way of discouraging theft. They’re relatively cheap and straightforward to install. Look for solidity and good quality steel, and think carefully about positioning – if your caravan can be moved around them by dragging it through your flowerbeds, a thief won’t hesitate. In some cases it’s worth fitting two or three.
They’re simple to the point where they can seem old-fashioned, but alarms can still be remarkably effective. Use them to discourage breaking and entering when your caravan is unattended on a site, and use tilt alarms to increase the chance of someone noticing if a thief is trying to tow your caravan away. Make sure any alarm is securely fitted or concealed so it can’t be quickly pried out of the caravan and left behind. For night-time security, alarms which also make your lights flash are particularly good.
Tracker devices can significantly increase the chances of a stolen caravan being recovered – and recovered quickly, sometimes on the same day it goes missing. They depend on the provider having a team ready to take action, however, so it’s advisable to look for one that offers 24 hour monitoring. You should also choose one with a low battery alarm and check it regularly to make sure it has enough power to call for help if necessary. Even if you opt to use window stickers to advertise its presence in the hope of deterring thieves, you’ll need to make sure that the tracker itself is well hidden within the caravan.
Most experts recommend fitting a minimum of two different devices in order to deter thieves. You will never be able to stop really determined individuals, but most thieves look for easy pickings, so will consider your caravan too much trouble if it’s obviously well protected. Good security will also cut your insurance premiums. Just remember to use it, even if you’re only going to be away for a few minutes, whether you’re at home, on a site or just taking a break at a service station. You can never be too cautious.