With holidaying in the UK set to soar this summer due to the pandemic making foreign travel difficult, caravans and motorhomes have never been more popular – but that also means they are increasingly attractive to thieves. Follow our tips to help ensure your caravan or motorhome is kept safe.
With the UK tourist industry set to try and recover some of its losses from the past year this summer, many families around the country will be looking to take to the roads in their motorhomes or with caravans and go on holiday, with many having been denied one since 2019.
But owners need to be wary, as thieves are targeting caravans and motorhomes. Data from vehicle tracking solutions provider Tracker found that not only did thefts of caravans and motorhomes rise year-on-year in 2020, but they did so by 50% in the weeks following periods of lockdown.
So now, as social distancing measures are set to end later this month and life is set to return to something like ‘normal’, caravan and motorhome owners will need to be vigilant and ensure their vehicles are as secure as possible because thieves will also be back on the prowl.
Figures from Tracker found that certain models were targeted most by thieves, including the Elddis Avante, Swift Challenger and Swift Escape caravan models.
The appeal is obvious – caravans and motorhomes can be worth thousands of pounds, and many are well equipped with technology such as televisions that are attractive to thieves. Those that are occupied are likely to have even more stealable items in them, such as tablets and laptops.
Tracker added that caravan and motorhome thefts are happening across the UK, with police forces including West Midlands and Nottinghamshire all putting out appeals for information following thefts.
Clive Wain, Tracker’s head of police liaison, outlined how thieves commonly steal vehicles: “Professional criminals are quick to cut through barriers, locks, and other physical deterrents to steal in seconds valuable vehicles parked on driveways,” he said. “Caravans and motorhomes locked up in storage facilities, even premium sites which boast top of the range security measures, are also being targeted.”
So, how can owners keep their vehicles safe? Here are our top tips:
Fit security posts: If you store your caravan or motorhome on your drive outside your house, it is worth considering investing in security posts. These devices are concreted into the ground – something that needs to be considered before you invest – and can be locked in place, creating a substantial barrier for anyone wanting to steal the vehicle.
Upgrade the door locks: Of course, a thief might not want to steal the vehicle, just the contents inside. Many caravans and motorhomes are only fitted with relatively lightweight locks, which are no match for an organised criminal. There are a range of locks that can be fitted, but caution is advised as some will require some drilling to fix, and that could invalidate the warranty if not done carefully as it may allow water ingress. If you are unsure about installing a lock, then call the Keyworx team – one of our skilled professionals will be able to come out to you and fit it for a competitive price.
Other devices available include handles that can provide extra help getting in and out of the caravan but can then lock in place to provide extra security across the door, as well as security locks that fit onto door handles without the need for drilling or screwing in place.
Upgrade the window locks: Windows are even more vulnerable than doors, but usually just have small plastic locks. However, there are devices available, for example that can reinforce the window catch and jam it into place.
Fit wheel clamps: It is a simple yet still relatively effective device – it makes it more difficult and time-consuming for a thief to steal a vehicle and, when speed is often of the essence in such thefts, can put off some criminals.
Remove valuables and documents when not in use: This is a basic tip, but still something that many people forget to do. With caravans and motorhomes spending much of their lives parked up, it is always worth taking any items of value out as it makes it less attractive to steal. Keeping registration documents elsewhere also makes sense, as it means that, if the worst happens and it is stolen, it is more difficult for the criminal to sell it on.
If there are any devices or appliances left inside, you can put security marks on them, such as etching your postcode onto them.
Hitch locks: A common security device for caravans is a hitch lock, which, as the name suggests, fits onto the hitch and prevents it being hitched up to another vehicle while it is on. There are a range of locks on the market, and, as usual with these things, the more expensive devices claim to provide greater protection.
Fit a tracking device: While this isn’t a preventative device as such – although it could put some less-determined criminals off – a tracking device has more use if a caravan or motorhome is stolen as it makes it easier to recover.
While no anti-theft tips or devices are 100% reliable, following these tips will help decrease the chances of your vehicle being stolen or broken into.
If you live in the East Midlands and want to discuss the security of your caravan or motorhome, or upgrade your locks, then call Keyworx today
or email us and one of our friendly team will be happy to help, including providing a no-obligation quote for any potential work.