If you have purchased an RV you know that it’s a serious investment and not one that you want to take a gamble on, so it’s important to consider RV security to make sure that you protect your home away from home (and yourself!).
Unfortunately, travel trailers have become like a homing beacon to thieves who prey on those that either live in their RV’s full-time or those that park theirs up for longer periods of time.
Either way, in order to protect your RV, your possessions, and yourself, taking precautions is essential!
Luckily, there are many steps you can take to reduce the chances of being broken into, and that can give you peace of mind knowing that your RV has the security it needs to deter any would-be thieves coming to your door.
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12 Ways To Secure Your RV From Theft And Break-ins
When it comes to RV security there are many great options to consider. And in order to make your camper secure, you probably will need to include multiple security measures in order to keep everything safe.
Now, we can’t guarantee that by adding these security measures you won’t fall victim to a break-in, but by taking a few precautions you will dramatically reduce your chances.
Interested in learning more about RV security? Here are twelve tips you don’t want to miss!
1. Always Lock The Doors
This may seem like a silly suggestion, but have you ever gone to bed without locking the doors but didn’t realize it until the next morning? It is an easy mistake to make, after all, you are inside so surely no-one will break-in while your camper is occupied, right? Wrong.
While most burglars do plan to strike when your vehicle is unoccupied, there are those that are looking for any opportunity to commit a crime. Therefore, while you are dozing, if you have left your doors unlocked your mistake may end up being your downfall.
Another time that some RVers have a habit of leaving their campers unlocked is while going off to enjoy a bike ride, water-sports, or an afternoon at the beach.
It’s easy to think that your travel trailer will probably be ok, especially if you’re nearby, but remember- just because you can see your vehicle does not mean that it is safe.
In this instance, if you do need to lock your doors but don’t particularly want to take the key with you (I have no doubt that losing a key while out in the water would be extremely stressful) perhaps investing in a hidden key box of some sort would be a great option.’
This way, you can enjoy your recreational activities without worrying that your keys will go missing.
2. Shut Window Blinds, Curtains, Or Shades When You Are Away
Again, this may seem like common sense, but so often people walk away from their RV forgetting to do this.
If you have something of interest lying around and it is on full show for others to see, I guarantee this will be all it takes for some.
By closing your blinds and curtains either before going to sleep or going out, you are significantly reducing your chances of becoming another crime statistic.
3. Hide Expensive Items
The modern day traveler has many different gadgets and devices that help to make their lives easier.
Where we used to travel with just a map and a guide book we now have pricey sat-nav systems, phones, tablets, and laptops all designed to help us when we are on the road.
For some, their laptops or tablets may double as tv’s or can be necessary for work, therefore these possessions are extremely important to us.
To deter others from coveting your goods, you need to make sure that they are well hidden whenever you leave your RV unoccupied.
That may mean you need to find a special hiding place or that you need to invest in a small, secure safe to keep your valuables locked inside.
It doesn’t have to be big and bulky, but this small addition to your RV will improve its security no end.
4. Research Where You Will Stay Before Setting Out
Deciding where to stay beforehand is far easier than it used to be.
With apps now in abundance, and with the internet at our fingertips, you can easily research where you would like to stay ahead of time.
And luckily, our investigations are made easier because we have become a world of reviewers, we all love to post photos and our thoughts on certain websites in order for others to make more informed decisions.
Apps specifically for campers can provide a wealth of information including where to stay, whether there is electric hook up and water available, which spots have been designated wild camping areas (and therefore may have limited availability), and campsite locations.
If you have a particularly large RV many of these apps also suggest whether sites and their access roads are suitable for larger vehicles.
Those that use these apps to review locations will also be quick to share if there are any security concerns.
5. Choose a Well Lit Area Of The Campground If Possible
Many of us have been guilty of seeking out a place that is quieter or without lights hoping that this will lead to a better night’s sleep. The only problem with this is that it also leaves you more vulnerable.
If you park on the edge of the campground, away from others you become a shining beacon to all those looking to cause mischief. You are better off parking closer to others and in a well-lit area meaning thieves are less likely to target your RV.
If you do decide that the remote location is for you, we strongly suggest investing in motion-activated solar lights on your camper as well as around your camper which will light up if anyone gets too close.
It is also added security for yourself should you decide to go for a wander in the evenings. When you return the lights will pop on so that you can see that no-one is lingering around waiting for you to return.
If you decide to camp off-grid and prefer to park in alternative locations we strongly suggest that, along with your upgraded lighting, you use a website like Spot Crime, which will inform you of any issues that you need to be aware of currently.
6. Keep An Interior (& Exterior) Light On If You Leave
Adding to the point above, if you do leave your RV unattended for a short period of time, it may be worthwhile considering leaving a light on. This way, people will be unsure whether you are at home or not and is a massive deterrent for any would-be opportunists out there.
This is, however, only a short-term option. Interior lights should not be left on for hours at a time in case it runs the battery down. Therefore if you have parked in a location with no electric hook-up available this may not be the most sensible solution.
During daylight hours, instead of leaving a light on, perhaps leave a radio playing; this would suggest to anyone walking by that there was someone at home.
7. Put Away Any Outside Belongings Before Leaving
When we think about RV security we also need to consider our belongings that are used outside of the camper or travel trailer.
Portable items like BBQs, folding chairs and tables, plus nice-looking candles and soft furnishings may not be as expensive as a laptop but they are items that make our RVing life enjoyable. Take away the ability to cook outside or the comfortable, reclining seat and you can feel just as violated as if someone has actually broken into your home away from home.
It may also indicate two things to a would-be thief. First, that you are not home, especially on warm, pleasant days where others are enjoying the fresh air, and secondly, if you have nice items outside, what treasures might be laying in wait on the inside.
8. Be Friendly With Neighbors
Overall, campers are an extremely friendly bunch, and therefore if you can meet your neighbors and start up a positive relationship, they can keep an eye on things for you when you’re not around.
We all want to know that our RV’s are secure and making friends with those around you is the quickest, and cheapest, way to achieve this.
9. Park Facing Outwards
There are a few reasons to park facing outward. First, reversing into a spot will make it far easier when it is time to leave because you will not have to worry about limited visibility if the road is tight.
Parking in this way also gives you better visibility of the pathways and routes that others may use to approach your vehicle, giving you the opportunity to spy on anyone loitering and potentially up to no good.
10. Upgrade RV Locks
The standard locks provided on your RV are a deterrent but realistically that is all they are.
In order to ensure your vehicle is as secure as possible, investing in quality locks is a must!
Your standard RV lock will be a latch and handle feature with a key entry system, so consider adding an upgraded door lock to improve security.
Of course, you also need to consider the door itself.
If you have purchased an older RV with a flimsy door, then no matter how strong the locks are, the door will only withstand so much pressure. It might be worthwhile also considering upgrading to a more secure door with a solid seal.
The added benefit of also updating the door means that you can improve the insulation as well, leading to a warmer RV for the winter months.
Consider also, the various points of entry into your RV.
Can someone access the main vehicle from the garage for example? This is often a weak point that people forget about and as such don’t even realize that this could be a point of entry for a burglar.
If this is a weakness for your RV, consider adding a hasp bar latch. It will provide extra protection and turn a normal lock into a high security door lock.
11. Invest In A Security System
An RV security system can consist of many different things – motion sensors, door alarms, window alarms, security cameras, and even devices that will allow you to speak to people when you are not actually at your RV.
Make sure when purchasing an alarm that it is loud, in fact, the noisier the better. This alone is likely to see thieves running for the hills.
By adding a high-tech security system with cameras easily scares away any would-be criminals while potentially alerting you to their presence.
Any well-appointed RV security camera could also help catch anyone in the event that they do break-in and get away with any of your belongings.
12. Lock Your Motor Home Steering Wheel
Steering wheel locks and wheel clamps make your RV difficult to steal.
There is even a lock that you can place over your pedals which can make it difficult (or impossible) for a thief to drive your car or truck.
Simply by putting one of these on your motorhome or tow vehicle you are increasing your RV security. Thieves want to be swift and adding something that will take time for them to remove makes it less appealing.
Do These RV Security Measures Really Work?
This may seem like a long list of precautions to take to secure your RV but ultimately it will make your vehicle less prone to break-ins.
Many of the suggestions require an easy installation and the rest are simply habit-forming. None are really difficult-but all are important!
RV’s are only easy to break into if you allow it.
If you decide to turn your RV into the equivalent of Fort Knox you are less likely to fall victim to crime.
In this respect, I don’t believe that owning an RV is any different from owning a car or a property – people will always try their luck – but by implementing the strategies listed above you are most certainly protecting your valuable possessions, your RV, and most of all- yourself.
Sadly, campers, RVs, and their content are becoming increasingly attractive to thieves, so it is up to you to put into place positive, preventative measures to make sure that you are protecting yourself, even when you are not around.
Even implementing a few of the security suggestions will go a long way in making sure that your next trip is safe and secure!