Here is a very brief guide to the basic principles of motorhome security.
A tale of two halves
Security considerations fall into two broad categories:
- systems designed to reduce the chances of your motorhome being stolen; and
- measures 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 integrated security from the point of manufacture.
The first and most obvious of those is usually whatever system the manufacturer uses to stop the unauthorised ignition of the engine. Even in today’s technologically advanced age, a physical key remains the most often used device. But there are also increasing numbers of electronic security systems in place, and these require 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 nothing if not imaginative and innovative – so, may be able to work around some of these proprietary security systems. Vehicle thefts increased by more than 50% in the past six years, according to a report by AutoCar magazine back in 2020.
That’s why it might be worth investing in extra security measures – and a guide published by the Camping and Caravanning Club details some of the most common of these, such as:
- additional steering locks and security devices;
- wheel clamps;
- intruder, movement, and other alarms;
- tracking devices of one form or another; and
- 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).
Your basic objective here is to stop unauthorised parties from gaining entry 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 decent 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 might want to consider other measures, such as:
- security marking some of your more valuable internal fixtures and fittings – that 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 – but in situations where you have no other option, it might be sensible to purchase a strong internal security safe that 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 that can film intruders and notify you directly to your smartphone in many cases live-streaming the video to you – once again this might not physically stop a break-in, but it may be a major disincentive and could also prove to be useful evidence for an eventual prosecution.
When it comes to insurance cover for your motorhome, there are two further security-related aspects – and the opportunity to save money on the premiums you pay if you upgrade the vehicle’s security:
- some policies may actually require you to take certain specific security steps by way of protecting against the theft of your vehicle or its contents – an example might be limitations about where you leave your motorhome unattended – so, it’s always a good idea to read your policy carefully and make sure you comply with all its conditions, including those touching on the minimum security requirements;
- more positively, some policies might offer attractive discounts if you take certain security measures – and might go some way towards offsetting part of any costs involved in upgrading your protection.
All these points are worth thinking about and, of course, we’d be pleased to discuss them further with you.