This page sets out some some security measures you can take while your caravan is in storage at a location other than your home.
Storage at the Home or Premises of a Friend, Family Member or a Neighbour: Some people like to keep their caravan or motor-home in storage at the home of a friend, family member or a neighbour. In this instance all or most to the suggestions that I make for helping to keep your van secure at home will work here also. Simply read through them and apply as many as possible to your borrowed premises.
There are also some dynamics that you may not have thought of when availing of a kind offer by others to keep your RV at the homes of your family and friends. I have touched on some of these on my caravan storage page. You can have quick look there, just scroll down to the heading Friends, Family or Neighbours, before coming back here to read on.
Using a Secure Location that is not a Dedicated Caravan, Motor-Home or RV Storage Facility: Firstly check what else this facility is being used for and find out if there a lot of traffic in and out of the space. If traffic volume is high and various other things are constantly being moved, this is first and foremost a good thing. The more positive activity there is in the space the less room there is for people who have nefarious designs on your property to lurk in readiness for a chance to relieve you of it. Positive activity tends to drive out negative activity. Do have a close look however to satisfy yourself that the other things being moved will not bump or scrape your caravan or motor-home. If this is likely to happen either try to find a safer place within the space or leave and find a better organised storage facility.
Even though this may not be a dedicated caravan storage facility, there may be other units stored there. If this is the case, and if they have been there for a while then this is a reasonably good sign that everything is functioning as it should be.
If the space that you have chosen to look at is indoors, check for security measures on the building or shed. Does the main access have a secure lock and is there somebody appointed to make sure that this is used? Are there there access points to the building through which it may be possible to drive away with your property? If the space is an outdoor compound is it visible to others who may have no business knowing about it?
The chances are high that if the storage space you are considering is with a larger facility such as an industry or business park then the access points to the park will probably be controlled by a security system. This may consist of passive measures like lighting and security cameras which monitor comings and goings, or there may be security patrols in place. This will all add to your peace of mind and will help to reassure your insurance company. Do get in touch with your insurance company and let them know about the measures that are in place as you may well qualify for a discount on your premium as a result.
While we are on the subject of insurance, you should check with the storage facility what insurances they have in place. Is your unit covered by their insurances if it is damaged or stolen while in their care. As you will already have plenty of cover yourself this may sound like a belt and braces approach, however if anything were to happen and you were able to claim on their insurance it would save you paying an excess and keep your no claims bonus intact.
Dedicated Caravan and Leisure Vehicle Storage Facility: You will generally find that these dedicated storage spaces are better suited to your needs and that the owners are in tune with the rhythms of the caravan seasons. If you are somebody who likes to go out during the off season check that it will be possible for you to easily and safely access your caravan when you want to.
Sometimes these facilities are outdoors and some are under cover. If the one that you are considering is outdoors, then many of the same suggestions that I have made in connection with keeping your caravan at home will apply. Is the facility hidden away? This can be a good thing and a bad thing. If is hidden it is out of mind but it can afford opportunities for bad people to operate with impunity. It is probably better if it is overlooked by the owners premises or indeed by premises belonging to neighbours. The more eyes on the street the better.
Do look for good secure fencing, secure gates and doors and have a look at how the units are stored. Does the facility appear to take care in handling the caravans, RVs, motor-homes and boats that they have in their care? Are they all located on hard surfaces where grass, weeds and other vegetation cannot grow underneath them.
Sometimes these facilities are informal businesses and may have some or indeed no security facilities. Others will be businesses that have been properly thought through and that are well organised. You will get a feeling for this as soon as you walk into the premises and you should, generally speaking, trust your first impressions. If it looks well organised, secure, clean and tidy then you can probably conclude that all is well. If on the other hand it looks dis-organised and untidy then the chances are that it is not very secure or well attended and you should probably have a look elsewhere instead.
In addition to secure perimeter fencing and well secured gates, look also for things like lighting that is triggered automatically by movement and security cameras that will record visits by people who have no useful business to be there.
In addition to ensuring that the premises is well organised, tidy and accessible when you need it you need also of course to ensure that yo take all of your own security measure. Make sure that your alarm is set, your hitch-lock and your hub locks are in place and that the caravan doors and windows are secured. I have dealt in a little more detail with these precautions on the page where I deal with caravan security at home and you can pop over there for a look at that.
One thing to remember, and this is based on recent experience, when you set your alarm while your caravan is in storage do ensure that you are hooked up to the mains. The fact that the alarm is on will drain the battery over a period of time and once this happens it may not take another charge. If this happens you will in all likelihood need to invest in a new battery. I realise that not all storage facilities will have electric hookups or even if they have a supply some may not want you using up their electricity. I do like to keep my battery charged and the alarm on when the van is in storage as if affords just a little extra peace of mind.