We all love our motorhomes, and the thought of leaving them unattended when away can be scary.
Reports of stolen vehicles keep increasing every year, and without good motorhome insurance, you could lose out. The key to avoiding motorhome theft is making a conscious effort to deploy extra motorhome security measures so that it becomes a difficult target to even professional thieves.
You can’t always watch over your new motorhome. For example, what happens when you go on camping trips and need to move around; how do you prevent break-ins by thieves?
Or what happens when parking your motorhome in your garage? What physical security measures do you have to ensure your significant investment isn’t stolen?
Let’s look at a few top tips to keep your motorhome safe while wild camping or when parked on campsites.
How do I secure my motorhome?
It’s essential to insure your motorhome with an insurance company. But you also need to use security devices/products to keep it safe.
Vehicle security has become a thing due to rampant vehicle thefts, and it’s easy to understand why you want to ensure the safety of your motorhome. Preventing motorhome theft involves making your vehicle unappealing to thieves.
However, for your protection and peace of mind, there are several steps you can take to keep your motorhome or campervan safe. Do them, so even the most professional thieves won’t try to steal it.
The first mistake you’ll ever make is not having a tracking device installed in your motorhome. While it may seem you can do without it, you can’t because all motorhomes should have tracking systems installed.
Tracking devices are usually registered with a control centre. If your motorhome gets stolen, you can ask the monitoring service to track it, so it can be recovered.
So, you see that getting a tracking device is important. Make sure you get a high-quality tracker; that way you are sure you can get your campervan back if it is stolen.
The best trackers to get are those approved by Thatcham Research or Sold Secure. Installing a tracker may be mandatory by your insurance company. So there isn’t any way around it unless, of course, your motorhome insurance doesn’t mandate it
Motorhome alarm installation is one of the best security measures you can take to keep your vehicle safe. Motorhome alarms are a necessity, but not all motorhomes come with an alarm system already installed. If your motorhome doesn’t already have an alarm, you should install one.
Alarms are designed differently, and some get activated when the motorhome doors are opened. In many cases, the loud sound is sufficient to scare a would-be thief away.
To make thieves less interested in your motorhome or campervan, you can use window stickers to alert potential thieves that your vehicle is protected by an alarm. Doing this will drastically reduce the risk of a stolen motorhome.
How much does a motorhome alarm system cost?
While motorhome security is great, it can sometimes come at a high price. You can get a quality alarm system for your vehicle for £300. However, there are cheaper options for £40.
How can I check my motorhome has an inbuilt alarm or immobiliser?
Depending on the model of your vehicle, it might have either an alarm or immobiliser fitted. You can check which one you have in your vehicle handbook.
Your motorhome security is incomplete without an immobiliser. Your motorhome might come with one. But if not, you should install an immobiliser. Having one in your motorhome prevents it from moving even if hot-wired by a thief without a key.
So whenever you turn off your campervan, the immobiliser becomes activated. Also, you need to ensure your immobiliser is Thatcham category 1 to meet insurance requirements. The average price you’ll spend on installing an immobiliser is around £300.
Security cameras can help protect against vehicle thefts. They act as a deterrent. And in the case of a break-in, they can help identify the thieves. It’s advisable to use stickers on the windows that indicate your motorhome is under surveillance by cameras 24/7.
Some motorhome owners install fake security cameras to deter thieves. And, sometimes, it works. But if your motorhome is stolen, the police will have limited information to work on. So you might want to get real security cameras to protect your motorhome. After all, it’s an expensive asset. You can buy a quality security camera for £200.
If your vehicle has an inbuilt ladder, it’s best to keep it folded when you aren’t inside your motorhome. Simple precautions are usually effective. It may seem unimportant, but it’ll make it harder for a thief to climb on the motorhome roof and steal your satellite dish.
Security film for windows
This is specifically designed to make your windows stronger, meaning thieves will have a hard time trying to break them to gain entry.
Steering wheel/crook locks
With a steering wheel lock, it’ll be difficult for an intruder to steal your motorhome even if they have the keys. Steering wheel locks usually use sirens or lights as a deterrent. For £100, you can buy a security crook lock.
If you leave your motorhome for more than a few minutes, you should use a steering wheel lock. It can take a while for a thief to remove a steering wheel lock, so it might discourage thieves from even trying. Steering wheel locks protect your motorhomes and don’t take up too much space.
Protecting your motorhome’s wheels with wheel clamps is essential. It then becomes impossible to move your motorhome or campervan from its position. Most thefts occur because it’s easy to move a motorhome that isn’t secured in place. So using wheel clamps is a must. You can buy a wheel clamp for as little as £50; that’s a small price to pay for securing your vehicle against an attack by a thief.
Blinds & Curtains
These are especially important if you have an attractive motorhome interior and don’t want it to catch the attention of thieves. Using curtains to cover the windows so that thieves can’t see inside your motorhome leaves them zero clues as to whether you have any valuables inside or not.
For motorhomes with swivelling seats, it’s best to turn them backwards and use a padlock to secure them. Doing this will safeguard the seats and make it impossible for a thief to drive away with your motorhome or campervan because the seats are facing the rear.
Secure door locks
Whole vehicle thefts are not the only issue. Some thieves steal different parts from motorhomes because selling stolen parts is easier. Fixing additional locks to the doors of your motorhome or campervan gives it extra protection against theft. With less than £150, you can buy extra locks for each door to provide an extra layer of security and prevent your motorhome doors from being easy to unlock.
Exterior & interior motion sensor alarms
Sensor alarms activate and make a loud sound when there’s any unusual movement within their perimeter range or when there’s a breach of the interior security measures.
Cab door locks
You can get a locking cab bar that’ll lock in place two cab doors and prevent them from being opened without a key. However, ensure you invest in a door lock that fits.
A gearstick lock is a simple piece of security equipment. But it’s challenging to open without the actual key. A gearstick lock is excellent security protection for a motorhome. It cannot be moved because the handbrake and gearstick are locked and immovable.
Clutch locks & pedal clamps
These items of vehicle security equipment are used to lock the brake and accelerator pedals together, so your motorhome can’t be driven away.
Dual aspect dashcam
Having a dashcam installed in your motorhome helps monitor all activity. It can be used as evidence for the police and your insurance company in case of theft. The benefit of a dashcam cannot be overemphasised. There are many manufacturers and models, so find one that suits your needs and purchase it. You can get one for about £100.
HAL Locate – Thatcham 7 approved
With this device, you can be sure that the would-be thieves will be caught if they try to steal your motorhome. HAL Locate runs on GMS, GPS and GPRS. Plus, when your motorhome is turned off, HAL Locate is still working in the background. You can buy it and have it installed for you in the UK, and you can also control it from your smartphone. HAL Locate is available in different categories, with a price range of £299 to £649, so choose the plan you can afford.
This equipment is a tracking system and a Thatcham category 1 alarm dedicated to keeping your cab doors and bonnet safe with internal sensors. It’s authorised to work with your remote control to disarm during nighttime. You can also use the app so that the hours when it is turned on and off are regulated.
Fitting this device into your motorhome or caravan can help save on insurance premiums. Phantom sentinel costs £799 to £1199.
Use vaults and safes for valuable possessions
If you are unsure how to keep your valuables like money, then get a secure safe to store them in your motorhome. However, it’s unwise to take your expensive possessions on camping trips. Thefts from a campsite occur frequently.
Remove valuables from plain sight
Avoid leaving valuables on display for the world to see. Passing opportunists will take advantage and try to access them. You put yourself at risk when you don’t pay attention to relevant details. We advise that you never leave your valuables in plain sight when you’re going to be away for long periods.
Make sure your motorhome is insured
When you do your due diligence on insurers, you will save on insurance premium costs. Although motorhome insurance is important, you must double-check and ensure you have put in place the necessary security measures to prevent theft of/from your caravan.
You need insurance cover for your motorhome if you plan to drive it, and it’ll be illegal not to do so. However, basic cover may not include the theft of your vehicle. So, you need to research and look for a reliable UK insurance company that offers insurance cover to protect you in case of theft. You can check out Caravan Guard insurance and subscribe to the plan that meets your standards. They offer excellent deals for motorhomes and caravans.
Extra tips for securing your motorhome at home
Most thieves target motorhomes because of their lower mileage, regardless of the specific model. So you need security devices and security measures to protect your vehicle.
For those without specially designed storage, which is the ideal option to safeguard your motorhome, you can choose one of the options listed below and implement the tips that resonate with you. The main goal is to keep your motorhome or caravan safe when you are home and not travelling.
Home CCTV System
Whilst this might not be effective in preventing theft, it helps figure out who did it. This is essential because you can’t keep an eye on your motorhome all the time, so install a home CCTV system to see what goes on in your driveway. The average cost of setting up a CCTV system in your home is £830.
Having a dog in your yard makes sense because you are 100% certain that you’ll be notified when an intruder enters your property. For security, you can buy a bulldog and sleep better at night.
Thieves prefer operating in the dark where no one can see them, and you should use sensory lights to discourage them. They act as a visible deterrent by keeping the area where your motorhome is parked well-lit.
Security driveway post
A security post is a physical deterrent sign, and any thief will think twice before trying their luck. The best part is that it’s cheap, and you can get it at any local market.
Secure garage lock doors
Do you store your motorhome in a garage? Then you need to thief-proof the location by installing additional locks on the garage door.
Motorhome security tips when on the road
- Always lock your motorhome or campervan – windows and doors – even when you step out for a few minutes; no exception.
- Never hand over your keys to anyone, whether a campsite guide or a stranger.
- Remove all valuables from plain sight when camping.
- Make sure you always use your steering wheel lock and wheel clamps.
- Take your keys and lock your motorhome when buying fuel.
- Be careful about parking spots, and always make sure the location is secure and hard to access by a thief. Park in well-illuminated areas when you leave your motorhome unattended.
- When driving, make sure your door is locked.
What to do if your motorhome is stolen?
Sadly, your motorhome, campervan, or any vehicle can still be stolen even after you have taken security measures. But, when this happens, inform the police immediately. Yes, it can be traumatic, and we understand you are the victim. But there’s a higher chance of vehicle recovery when you report the theft immediately. The police will ask you about your driving and travel history, proof of ownership, and details of your motorhome or campervan, such as the colour and model. Plus, they will ask about security measures taken.
There’s a high chance that you’ll get a theft report number you can show to your insurance company. As long as your motorhome is insured, you are covered.
Is there a way to prove security measures were taken?
Yes, it’s not impossible. Take pictures of the security devices and tools you put in place and show them to your insurer in case of theft. Plus, ensure you always use security cameras so you can erase any doubt. There are also aftermarket security products such as VIN Chip that can be tracked by the police.
Motorhome security and insurance are important if you value your vehicle. You must take every measure to ensure that thieves don’t catch you by surprise and steal your expensive asset.
Choose the most appropriate security measures for your circumstances so you can enjoy driving your motorhome!
Frequently asked questions
1. Do motorhomes get stolen?
Motorhome theft is increasing, and it’s even worse because most models have lightweight bodies that are easy to dismantle. The goal is to reduce the risk of your motorhome being stolen and contact the police if it is stolen.
2. How do I know when I’m purchasing a stolen vehicle?
It’s quite easy to buy stolen motorhomes, especially used motorhomes. However, check if the V5 matches the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). You can find this next to the driver’s seat. Plus, carry out a data check to be sure the vehicle you are getting hasn’t been reported stolen.