By William Coleman
So the new season is pretty upon us, not that people have stopped touring during the “off season”. So with the van being used a lot more and perhaps being stored in the public eye, which brings a level of possible vulnerability. So with that in mind here a few easy and practical tips for keeping the van safe and sound between trips.
Caravans and motorhomes have been and will always be a prime target for thieves, vandals and criminals. Maybe because some really hold their value well or maybe they just appeal to the opportunistic thieves out there.
During the winter some of us securely store than vans away so they are of sight, out of mind and most importantly out or reach, but what about during peak season when the van is out and about a lot more?
It is not like you securely stow away the van into a dark room after every use, it’s a bit too large for such measures between uses. So what can you do when you just need to keep the van out for a few days before you go away? Here are our top tips for short storage safety.
The Trusty Wheel Lock
Sometimes the most simple method can be the most effective. A locking wheel lock can be effective in more ways than one.
The initial effect is that with a lock on the wheel you cannot shift the van quickly so a lot of would be van thieves see the lock and walk away as it is can be more hassle than it’s worth.
I very much doubt that someone is going to go through that much effort to remove the lock to take the van and leave themselves vulnerable to being caught in the act.
Some owners I know use a chain with a padlock, a practice that I cannot recommend as they are extremely easy to remove. All it takes it a pair of bolt cutters and then just like that your van is gone.
So invest in a decent wheel lock which is both a visual and physical deterrent. Well worth the investment which will also work for short and long term storage.
‘<' . strtolower('Array')>A Block Can Be A Defence
Another really silly one, well not that silly as I see a lot of people not doing it, is to park your tow car or primary vehicle in front of your caravan.
If your caravan or motorhome is blocked in then it will make it extremely difficult to get to. This way you do not have to buy any additional kit, should you not already have it.
I realise that this only works if you have a front garden or drive at the front of your home so it may not work for everyone. But if you do have space out the front then this is a sure fire way to keep things safe and secure.
Another good system, which can cost under £100, is a hitch post of moveable security barrier. Something so small and simple is super effective. The hitch post in such a good invention which will immediately put off anyone who tries to make off with your vehicles.
The small movable security poll/barrier is universal, unlike the hitch post, so it is ideal for motorhome or campervan owners.
The lock on a caravan or motorhome doors are not exactly known for their durability. I have seen some doors removed with very little force and some locks picked within a minute or so.
If they cannot take the van you can bet they will try and walk away with something. So the next best thing is to get inside to see what they can make off with.
Pretty much anyone, especially someone who knows what they are doing, can get inside a caravan with not much effort.
So to reinforce your caravan door I would strongly suggest adding an additional external door lock. If you shop around you can pick one up quite cheap, which I would avoid like the plague. You buy cheap you buy twice, but on the second purchase you may have to replace most of the contents of your van.
I would speak to whoever you bought your van from to see who they recommend or if buying new get it fitted before you pick it up. A brand that always comes highly recommended it Fiamma so I would always point someone in that direction.
What About If The Van Does Go Missing?
According to Phantom Tracking Systems over 3000 caravans are stolen each year, a number I was not expecting at all.
So you’ve put in some safeguards but someone has still managed to take off with your caravan or motorhome. What do you do next?
Well that all depends on what you did before to van was taken. Once the van is gone all you can only really do is rely on what you did prior to it going walkies.
So if you are in a position where, in the event of, your van being stolen you are not left with just a spare key to a van you will never see again I would suggest getting a tracker type system fitted.
VIN CHIP is a great way to to ensure that your vehicle can be tracked and hopefully found in the event of theft.
The VIN CHIP is such an effective too that Swift have actually partnered with the company to add them to all of their 2019 motorhome models as standard. You can read more about that here.
There are many different ways to protect your van and today’s day and age with such advanced technology being introduced to the caravan world you can rest easy know your van is safe and sound no matter where you store it.