This page sets out some measures which you can take in order to secure your caravan while it is being stored at home. Firstly lets have a look at a few cost free measure which you can take to ensure that all is well at your home storage facility.
Hide it: To begin with, if your unit is out of sight then it will be out of the minds of the owners of prying eyes. If you can get it around the back or side of the house where it is not visible from the public roadway, then you should do that. Sometimes this is not possible and it may be visible from some viewpoints, however do park it in a place that makes it as invisible as possible.
Make access as difficult as possible: You should try to make it as inconvenient as possible for any disreputable types who have nefarious designs on your motor home or caravan to access your yard. The obvious things are parking it behind fences or walls that have locking gates or doors. Keep mind also that robust hedging, especially if it has thorns, can be a very effective barrier. This kind of planting doesn’t need to look out of place as it will integrate with your other garden planting.
If you keep your van in a space used for parking your family cars, then it will most likely be convenient to have it at the back of the space, furthest from the road. This ensures that your cars have easy daily access to the public roadway, while ensuring that they become obstacles to caravan thievery. Whatever you do, make it as inconvenient as possible both to access your storage space and to leave with your caravan.
Make it visible to you and your neighbours: If it is necessary to pass by your windows and doors, or via other populated areas, indoors or outdoors to get at you parking space this is also a deterrent. Evil people who steal caravans, or anything else for that matter, tend to like private spaces and as much anonymity as they can get. Therefore if they have to pass your front door, are visible from an adjacent workplace or can be sen from the local shop this is often a distinct advantage for you. Therefore if you can’t completely hide your unit, try to ensure that is is in a place where other eyes can see wrongdoers. They don’t have to intervene, and indeed direct intervention is not encouraged if you do see a crime being committed. Simply get yourself to a safe place and call the police.
On the same theme if the miscreant is aware that a number of windows overlook your property and that he or she may be visible at any time from any of them, they may be less inclined to interfere with your property.
Fill the Vacuum: Antisocial activity tends to be drawn to vacuums, and a vacuum in this instance can be filled in a number of ways:
Tell your neighbours your movements. Let them know that your van is in storage in your garden and that only you will every move it, if this is correct of course. Then, if they do happen to see somebody posing as a service engineer or a town planning inspector who appears to be taking a particular interest, they are free to summon help. You must ask them never to interfere directly on you behalf, simply summon qualified help instead.
Neighbourhood watch may have specific advice that is relevant for your area. They will have accumulated lots of experience over the years that is specific to your neighbourhood. It is always a good idea to get in touch with them and to discuss specific security measure that you can take for your particular area. In fact why not join up and play an active part in your local group.
It’s nearly always useful to pop into the local police station and ask there for any advice on crime prevention they may have available. More often than not you will find a community liaison officer who works regularly with local neighbourhood watch and who will be happy to help and advise you.
If you own a dog he or she can be very useful in terms of alerting you to unusual activity in your garden or parking spaces. Simply arrange it so that the dog can see the space at all times, and explain nicely to him or her that you simply want them to bark when they spot, get it; Spot! anything unusual. To be serious for a moment, do arrange things so that your dog will be safe and can simply bark when he or she sees anything that you know they will be unhappy about. People who have no business on your property will tend to become nervous when the dog barks and move on to an easier target.
Automatic lighting or music, especially classical music, can be a great way to fill a space in a way that will drive out unwanted activity. You probably have an external lamp in the area already, so simply fitting a switch that will detect movement and turn the light on is a simple matter. If you want to add some music to this, and this is not a daft suggestion, it has been tried and tested, then you may need to speak with your electrician in order to wire up some outdoor speakers and a switching system. There is no need to turn the volume up, simply have it loud enough to fill the space and it will help to deter intruders.
Active Security Measures: All of the above, common sense and mostly free precautions, will help to keep your unit safe. There are in addition a number of things that you can do, and which will cost some money, to protect your investment. With these in place you should experience peace of mind and you should easily find your camper van or caravan where you left it.
Security Cameras: A security camera, or cameras can be a really worthwhile addition to your storage space. These are relatively affordable now and are also pretty easy to set up, done either as a D.I.Y project or by your electrician. These are used to record to tape and perhaps some still do, however most now record to their own hard drive or can be attached to your P.C. Some are wireless and for others you will need to run wires indoors to power the cameras and to capture the signal.
Whichever you chose try to ensure that they can be seen, as this is a deterrent in itself, and also that they are safe from damage. Take precautions against caravan thieves who can reach the camera without being seen by it or another camera. They may decide to damage it or to cover it, rendering it useless while they help themselves to your hard earned property. The best security camera system to get, I think, is one that operates at infrared and that will record good quality colour images. This in operational terms means that it will see in the dark, and be at least in a position to record details of the towing vehicle and the perpetrators should the worst happen. Try to anticipate where a towing vehicle is likely to park or circulate, in order to successfully carry out the wicked deed, and position your camera or cameras in order to get as good a view of this space as possible. Camera systems can be monitored via the Internet and you can keep an eye on your property from wherever you are in the world, provided of course you have Internet access.
Alarms: You can probably get an alarm that will sound if somebody enters the outdoor space where your caravan is stored, however it would be difficult to control switching for this. It doesn’t really matter if a sensor attached to a light activates now and again because the cat strolls by, however it could become a bit trying if this were to happen constantly with your alarm.
It is of course a good idea to have your caravan fitted with an alarm and many of them now come with these as standard . If your van does not have an alarm, these are now easily available either through you dealer, from specialist dealers or directly from the manufacturers. Probably the easiest to operate is a remote control unit which you can set and disable via a key fob similar to your car alarm.
If you have an alarm fitted to your house it is always a good idea to be able to activate it manually from inside the house. It is never a good idea, under any circumstances to confront burglars and you should not do it, ever. If somebody is helping themselves to you caravan or it’s contents call the police as quickly as possible and give clear directions to where you live. If you can activate your alarm and your security lighting from within your house then do so. It will help to deter the thieves and it it will also help the police to locate your property, especially if you advise them during your call that you have activated your alarm.
Locks: The two normal locking devices available for your caravan are those for the wheel and those which fit and disable the tow-hitch.
Most of the newer vans come with a wheel lock fitted and this consists of a two parts, a mechanism built into the wheel assembly and and a secure locking piece which fits neatly into that disabling the wheel. If your unit doesn’t have a wheel lock supplied with it you may well find that the fitted wheel receptacle exists anyway. All you’ve go to do purchase the removable part. When you van is safely parked have a look through the open wheel spokes & if it exist you will see it, probably protected by a neat plastic cap to keep out water and road debris.
The aftermarket fitted locks can be quite expensive so you’ve also got a choice of going with something generic which usually encases the wheel and renders the van immovable. These come in a number of shapes and sizes and again your caravan dealer or a specialist caravan security company will be able to advise you.
The other popular option is a hitch lock and again these come in a number of shapes and sizes. If the towing mechanism on your van is supplied by Al-KO the chances are that you are already using one of their locks, or at least an aftermarket unit that fits this tow-hitch. One of my favourite types of tow-hitch locks come with a ball which is fixed and locked in place where the tow bar ball will go during use. This tends to make it difficult for somebody to improvise a connection between your van and a tow vehicle, slows them down and hopefully encourages them to move along, to reflect, and to consider the errors of their ways.
Ground Anchor: Is it’s simplest form, this is a straightforward and robust way of securing your caravan. The simple way to do this is to anchor a strong steel loop in a cubic meter or so of concrete set in the ground and in turn use this to chain and lock you van or motor-home to it. Depending on the lock, the type of steel that you use and the chain, you will help to prevent, or significantly slow down any attempt to relieve you of your property.
Moving on from this basic type of home made anchoring system there are a number of commercial products available which work extremely well. All of them will need to be, obviously, firmly set in the ground and most are low profile and designed and engineered to have a low visual impact. These locks are used for a number of purposes including boats, motorbikes and quads and are designed to be very difficult to tamper with.
If you have a specific security issue with storing your caravan, motor home or RV at home let me know and i will do my best help you find a solution. Likewise if you use or have seen an interesting way of keeping your unit safe that you know would be of benefit to others, let me know and I’ll write it up. I won’t make reference to you or any details relation to you or your property unless you want me to.
This, and all the other pages on the site are for your information only and you should always rely on professional supplies and advisers to supply you with the information and equipment that you need.