Here is a very brief guide to the basic principles of motorhome security.

Two different generic areas to consider

Broadly speaking, security considerations break down into two separate categories:

  • systems designed to help reduce the chances of your motorhome being stolen;
  • those that are aimed at helping to reduce unauthorised entry and the subsequent theft of the contents, fixtures or fittings of your vehicle.

Reducing the risks of vehicle theft

Typically, your motorhome will come with some forms of inherent security built in.

The first and most obvious of those is usually whatever system the manufacturer uses in order to stop unauthorised ignition of the engine.  Even today, that remains largely through keys but there are also increasing numbers of electronic security systems in place requiring some form of contact technology or a PIN number to be inserted.

Motorhomes often come with professional-quality steering locks and other forms of immobiliser.

Even so, thieves are unfortunately sometimes innovative and may be able to work around some of these proprietary security systems.  That’s why it might be worth considering additional purchases for things such as:

  • additional steering locks and security;
  • wheel clamps;
  • movement and other alarms;
  • professional quality anti-entry locks on things such as all doors, windows and even skylights (crooks have been known to use very small children to gain entrance to vehicles and properties through tiny openings).

Internal security

Your basic objective here is to stop unauthorised parties gaining entrance to your motorhome.

A secondary objective is that of making it too difficult or too risky for burglars to steal the contents.

Your motorhome may come with good quality security locks on its doors and windows but these can sometimes be enhanced and upgraded or supplemented for a relatively modest additional cost.

You may be able to consider other measures:

  • security marking some of your more valuable internal fixtures and fittings.  It may not stop them being stolen but it will mean that you can identify them, should they ever be picked up by the authorities;
  • it’s always sensible not to leave valuable possessions in your motorhome when you are away from it.  However, in situations where you must, it might be sensible to purchase a strong internal security safe which can be bolted securely into the vehicle;
  • fitting alarms can also prove to be a powerful disincentive to many of the more opportunistic burglars;
  • today it’s also possible to get high-quality and hidden video systems which can film intruders and notify you directly to your phone including even, in some cases, streaming video live to you.  Again, this might not physically stop their entry but it may be a major disincentive and could also prove to be useful evidence for eventual prosecutions.

Insurance issues

There are two security-related things to consider in the realm of motorhome insurance and funding security upgrades:

  • some policies may actually require you to take certain specific security steps by way of protecting your vehicle from total theft or its contents likewise.  An example might be limitations about where you leave your motorhome unattended. It’s advisable to read your policy carefully to make sure you comply with all its conditions, including those in the area of minimum security requirements;
  • more positively, some policies might actually offer discounts if you take certain security measures.  That might go some way towards offsetting part of any costs involved in upgrading your protection.

All these points are worth thinking about and we’d be pleased to discuss them further with you.

At Derby Motorhomes, we often encounter customers who are thinking about their first-time purchase of a motorhome.  That means we are regularly asked for our top motorhome buying tips.

We’d like to share some of those motorhome buying tips here.

Do your homework – and speak to an expert

This may sound self-evident but it’s a fact of life that sometimes we can all be swayed by appearance and impulse.

There are lots of great things to learn about motorhomes and all of them will potentially have some influence on your eventual decision as to make and model etc.  Most of those lessons are positive ones, relating to different types of benefits that come with different versions of motorhomes but it’s also important to be aware of certain things to watch out for too.

Of course, we would be only too happy to play a role in helping you to learn more about this great recreational opportunity.

Protect your interests when buying privately

There is nothing necessarily wrong with buying a used motorhome from a private individual.  There are some pros and cons to consider but how you see the balance settling will be affected by your own individual situation and your view of life.

However, make sure you protect yourself against fraud by being fully conversant with and then applying:

  • identity checks, to be sure you know exactly who you are dealing with and that the address they are giving you is, in fact, real;
  • ownership verification – to be sure that they own the vehicle there are selling;
  • cash transfers and related security protection.

Analyse your own requirements

Most of us like to think that we know our own minds and it’s not unusual to find that people new to motorhomes have firm ideas of the type of vehicle they are looking for.

However, there are lots of subtleties involved in selecting a suitable motorhome and many of them are directly linked to the buyer’s individual requirements.  Sometimes, with assistance and prompting through questions, new buyers substantially change their mind about their preferences once they have thought in more detail about their own objectives.

Perhaps the most commonly encountered reconsideration is that arising from space. 

For example, the type of vehicle you might initially think will be perfectly suitable for you and your partner, might suddenly seem not quite so ideal when you start to consider potentially taking children, grandchildren or other friends and family with you on the odd trip.

It can be very useful to have someone help you to construct a list of things to think about before finally fixing on a given make or model.

Think seriously about a driving techniques course

The vast majority of motorhomes are easy to drive and in many respects, they’re not significantly different to driving an ordinary car.  In most cases, subject to your age, aspects of the vehicle’s weight and when your licence was issued, you can drive them on a standard driving licence.

However, they are slightly larger vehicles and need a little getting used to in terms of things such as parking, manoeuvring and reversing.  This isn’t exactly rocket science but there are some modestly-priced courses out there that will help you get to grips with safe driving techniques before you necessarily take your vehicle on the road.

Summary

We have lots of other useful motorhome buying tips plus general advice and guidance for those who are purchasing a motorhome for the first time.

Why not contact us for an initial friendly and entirely non-committal discussion?