I think it is safe to say that while you are actually driving your property is reasonable safe from criminal interference by others. It is when we are stationary that we need to be aware of having some security measures in place that will protect us and our property.
When stopping to consult a map or a guide on the way to your destination or while sightseeing, we have all being guilty of leaving property unsecured and in plain view of those who might wan to to help themselves. We have often pulled onto the shoulder or into a parking space in a town or village and while looking at the map or re-setting the GPS opened a window to let some fresh air and the sounds of the local area into the car. A quick check has often revealed a handbag, a pair of binoculars or even a laptop lying on the seat ready for somebody to reach in and grab it. In a strange place, probably with a language that you don’t speak very well, you are going to find it very difficult indeed to persuade the thief to give you back your stuff, and if that doesn’t work to report the loss. It’s much easier to put everything away out of sight before you set out, keeping only the essentials for the trip like bottles of water and the map on you lap.
When storing stuff for the journey put things out of sight in the car boot, or in a compartment in your caravan or motor home. It may well make sense to chose one reasonably secure area for all your valuable bits and pieces, either in the caravan or in the tow vehicle. Whether this is simply a place where stuff is stored out of sight or whether you invest in a caravan safe or other security measures is up to you. The important thing is to remove the potential for opportunist crime to take place.
Some people like to travel really long distances before arriving at their destination and this often involves overnight stops at temporary locations. It is often tempting on short stops such as these to perhaps not take as many security measures as we would if we were pitching up for a longer period. It is always worth during these stops using whatever locks you’ve got, especially your tow-hitch lock and hub-lock. You should at least make sure that all portable property is locked away and out of sight.
Units can be left unattended on shorts stops while we make comfort stops or go the cafe for snack. Therefore, even if your van remains hitched up to the car, it is worth sticking the tow-hitch lock on there. This will prevent caravan thieves who operate swiftly from uncoupling and driving away with your property. The more secure you make things the easier it is to find them when you get back to where you left them.
It is possible to tow your unit with some models of tow-hitch lock in place for the entire journey. Do check carefully with your supplier and both with the manufacturer of you lock and you caravan before doing this. If it is possible it does ensure an extra measure of security during short stops. I think however that it is better always to remove your hitch-lock before you move off as it will allow emergency services, in the unlikely and un-fortunate event they are needed, to easliy remove the unit if they need to do so.
There was a lot written and talked about a few years ago about people, especially at temporary overnight stops in Europe, whose units were entered forcibly during the night and who were burgled without their knowledge. They did not wake up during these events and the story was told that they were the victims of gas attacks, which knocked them out while the thieves entered the caravans and camper vans and operated with impunity. Was this a myth or did it really happen? The only opinion I can offer is based on the experience of friends who did wake up one morning with no recollection of being woken and whose caravan had been burgled during the night while they slept inside it. Looking back on forums and discussions on-line, the conversations are all quite old now, however it may bring peace of mind for you to invest in a caravan gas alarm which you can install.
There are two such alarms and it is I think worth looking at a combination sensor. This type of gadget will generally operate off either your 12volt system or mains power and will sound an alarm if it detects either narcotic gasses or gas leak from your your on-board cooking system.
All in all a little common sense will go a long way in ensuring your security and the security of your caravan while you are on the road. Check before you set off, and at the various stages in your journey what openings there are for opportunist crime to occur. Close these gaps. Use any locks and alarms you have while stationary and equip yourself with at least a tow-hitch lock, a hub-lock and a multipurpose gas alarm before you set off. Happy and safe driving and if there is anything yo want to know about that I haven’t covered here drop me a line and I’ll chase it down for you.