30/07/2015
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Caravan Security Accessory Guide

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You want to protect your caravan. You want to keep unwanted attention away from it and you want to make sure it stays exactly where you left it until you're ready to get towing.

When it's hard to find caravans for sale, in good nick, for under a couple of grand at least, only an idiot would disagree with those two opening sentences. So it makes sense to take time and effort when it comes to caravan security.

You’d be surprised what extremes thieves will go to in order to get your caravan. Our job, as owners, is to make it as hard for them as possible! Or, at worst, waste as much of their time trying before they get caught or spotted and put off.

Here are a things to think about depending on your situation, and key points to remember when choosing which security options to buy for your pride and joy.

I want to keep my caravan at home

Whether it's a lock, a cover, a post or anything else, think about how you can put as much in the way of a thief getting to it (see below for your options).

Also remember the implications of storing your van at home... If thieves don't go after your caravan, they could always know when you're not home as it's not on the drive, leaving your house at risk.

We're not into scaremongering, but Caravan magazine always recommends storing your tourer in a secure compound of some sort, not just for insurance benefits but peace of mind, too.

I want to store my caravan in a compound

Pick one with great feedback and genuine testimonials (caravan forums can help with this). Campsite owners are another great source of information when researching where to keep your tourer (or for almost any related subject in general), as they speak to countless caravanners from far and wide. It may be that they even store caravans on their own land as an additional service to the campsite in general.

Secure storage sites vary. As mentioned, they may be extensions to a caravan site as an additional option for returning campers, or dealership forecourt-style areas behind a fence, or larger and more purpose-built compounds.

Any caravan storage facility you use should be fitted with CCTV, like those that have been awarded a CaSSOA status. Another thing to think about is whether you want your tourer stored in open air or undercover.

Sites secured in garages or lock ups may offer an extra level of security, and they'll be covered from the elements, but you'll pay for the benefits. There are plenty of outdoor storage sites available that are affordable and will keep your tourer as safe as it can be. Still, if you do choose to store your pride and joy outside, you should check out the Caravan Cleaning Guide for when you pick it up ready for the summer.

What about if I'm away in the caravan?

If you’re holidaying with it on site, make your caravan’s contents as uninteresting to nosy parkers as possible by not leaving out your tech gadgetry and personal possessions around – it’s not just the caravan itself they’re after!

Money off insurance with good security efforts

To give you some idea of the benefits of extra security when it comes to your insurance policy, here are some of the kinds of discounts you could get:

• AL-KO wheel clamp – 25%

• Proactive tracker (security markings) – 25%

• Non-active tracker – 10% (often not available with a factory-fitted alarm discount)

• Factory-fitted alarm – 10%

• Anti-snake stabiliser – 10%

• CaSSOA storage (four or more months per year) – 25%

• CaSSOA storage (less than four months per year) – 10%

However, the small print is that often there are maximum limits to the discounts available when the above are combined.

Find out more about security product discounts with our insider guide to the secrets of caravan insurance.

What kit can I get my hands on?

Different security devices are more appropriate in different situations. We list the main types and suggest when you need to use them

Wheel locks and clamps

Most Sold Secure (see below) Gold and Diamond Standard wheel clamps are options will keep away anyone looking to take your pride and joy off your hands.

There are also other, even more robust, wheel clamp products available, but their increased weights mean that they’re not really a viable option for touring.


 

Winter wheels

The other option for wheel security is winter wheels. Sometimes referred to as square wheels, these provide a visible deterrent to the theft of a caravan and make it impossible to simply tow away.

Hitch locks

Often a decent wheel clamp and hitch lock will deter thieves if leaving your caravan for a short time. Long term storage requires more of the below security options in addition though.

Secure storage sites

There are plenty of storage options that have been awarded top marks (known as “gold status”) by CaSSOA – the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association. Yes, thefts have still been known to happen on these sites, but the chances of them are greatly decreased thanks to the excellent levels of security.

Caravan covers

While it's not exactly a lock, a caravan cover is another layer of something that a thief has to get through before they can get access to your caravan or its contents. On top of any security benefit, it will do the job of protecting your bodywork from the elements and more, too.

Security boxes

It’s not just about the caravan itself that needs looking after, your belongings inside are just as vulnerable, if not more so, if you don’t take the correct precautions.

We’d always recommend taking as much of your gear with you as possible when leaving the tourer. If there’s kit in your caravan that has to stay there, get a security box fitted to keep it somewhere inconspicuous.

Remember to fit it securely (professionally) though, or your valuables will just be carried off in the box by criminals.

Posts and ground anchors

Make sure the anchor point for any security post is in a place that’s not easy for criminals to get to if they wanted to break it, but is convenient enough for you to unlock.

Deadlocks

Anything that makes it more difficult for an unwanted ‘guest’ to get in or out of your caravan is worth investing in. The time spent trying to get around deadlocks may mean that the perpetrator is spotted by a neighbouring caravanner or storage site owner.

Skytag

It all sounds very high tech, but Skytag is simply a code, made up of vinyl letters and numbers, affixed to the roof of your tourer. They’re very tough to remove and can be spotted by police helicopter or CCTV cameras on the roads.

All you need to pay is a one-off fee of £30, and the only real downside is that it’s for recovery only, as opposed to prevention. Still, should the worst happen, this is a great way of getting your caravan back as soon as possible.
 

Tracking devices

Many new caravans are fitting trackers as standard these days, and dealers often regard this method of security as the greatest deterrent. The jury is still out on whether anyone should advertise that they are fitted.

CCTV

Another security option that’s only useful after someone’s stolen a caravan, but the addition of a camera on a storage premises could be the difference between a would-be thief giving it a go or walking away. The best example of CCTV used for storage security is in the case of CaSSOA, where every entrance and exit is monitored.

Motormovers

While a caravan motormover isn’t a security device per se, it can be used to secure a tourer in places previously inaccessible by towing, reversing, or pushing.

If you have to store your caravan at home, your motormover could manoeuvre your tourer into the tightest spots between your house and your garage, for example, hitch first! It's easy to use (even kids can do it) thanks to the handy remote control and intuative buttons.

This kind of storage, plus locks, posts, and everything else listed above, makes for a very unattractive theft attempt on your caravan compared to an easier option down the road or in another neighbourhood.

Sold Secure

Sold Secure is an organisation dedicated to reducing the risk of crime by the assessment of security products. Established in 1992 by Northumbria and Essex Police with the help and backing of the Home Office.

Sold Secure is now owned and administered by the Master Locksmiths Association and works from purpose-built laboratories.

Products are tested by a team of professional locksmiths, and Sold Secure Approval is classified into 3 main categories; Bronze, Silver & Gold (with an additional Diamond level for certain Caravan security products).
 

Browse Caravan Security Companies

 

For more information about caravan security devices, click here.

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