If you’re new to RVing you might be surprised to learn what thieves will steal from your rig. For example, one of the most commonly stolen RV items are RV batteries.
They’re easy to rip off just by cutting cables; even the dumbest thief can quickly grab one and turn it in for quick cash. Deep cycle RV battery cores can fetch about $40 when taken to a recycling center.
While all RVs are at risk of having the batteries stolen, those RVs kept in storage and unused for any length of time stand a greater chance of being affected.
Your best precaution to avoid RV battery theft is to remove the batteries from the rig when you’re not using it for any length of time. However if you’re an active RVer and removing batteries is out of the question, you’ll find helpful battery theft prevention tips in the iRV2 Discussion Forums.
Here are three easy ways to avoid RV battery theft. Although you’ll need to lay out some cash to implement them, it’s an inexpensive investment compared to the cost of replacing RV batteries that can sometimes cost over $300 each.
Tip 1: Move the batteries inside your RV
If your RV batteries are mounted outside the rig, see if there is a safe space that can accommodate them inside the rig. For example, this RVer’s travel trailer had an empty space behind the front cap that was perfect for storing RV batteries.
Since vehicle batteries can emit noxious and explosive gasses, be sure to keep safety in mind and install adequate ventilation from the battery storage area to the outside of the RV. Poorly maintained RV batteries give off even more noxious gasses, so if you don’t already know, learn how to maintain your RV batteries to prevent any build-up of gasses.
Tip 2: Install a battery box
Purchase either a truck bed tool box or an RV-specific trailer hitch box with enough space for storing your RV batteries.
This box can fit between the trailer and propane tanks or tanks and trailer tongue tip. Just keep safe trailer towing tips in mind and ensure that the battery box will not over-extend the trailer’s maximum tongue weight, towing capacity of your vehicle, or load capacity of your trailer.
- 23″ Diamond plate aluminum box.
- Fits 2 – Group 24 Deep Cycle batteries in the front tongue of a camper trailer.
- Slide top. Tab for adding your own lock.
- Knock outs for battery cables on three sides.
- Slits for nylon battery hold down straps.
- Grommet and fasteners included.
- Dimensions – 23″ long x 9.5″ wide x 10.875″ high
Protects battery and charger from the elements and corrosion
- Plastic case with lockable tab and a bolt-on mount
- Inner Dimensions: 3″W x 5.75″L x 3.75″H
- Outer Dimensions: 4″W x 6″L x 5.5″H
Tip 3: Lock your RV batteries
You’ll find a number of manufactured RV battery locks on the market. A product called The Battery Shackle is a three-piece unit that straps underneath, on top, and through the middle of your existing battery boxes.
You don’t need any special tools, and according to the company, anyone can install the Battery Shackle in less than two minutes.
For the product to be an effective theft-deterrent, your battery boxes must be new and in good condition without any cracks. And of course the device is only as good as the locks you use for it. Here’s a video explaining how The Battery Shackle works:
It’s an unpleasant reality that thieves are on the prowl and ready to steal your RV batteries. However don’t let that fact stop you from enjoying the great outdoors.
Because most criminals are lazy people, they tend to only go after the easiest theft opportunities. By taking regular RV theft prevention steps like keeping valuables out of reach, you’ll ensure that your RV is low on a criminal’s potential target list.
Often called “The O.G. of full-time RVing,” Rene Agredano and her husband Jim Nelson hit the road in a fifth wheel trailer in 2007, after their dog Jerry lost a leg to terminal cancer. Sixteen years later they are still traveling and sharing their nomadic adventures at LiveWorkDream. As a self-employed wordsmith, Rene shares her expertise for many RV industry videos, publications such as the Escapees RV Club Magazine, and has authored numerous books, including the Essential RVing Guide to National Parks, and Income Anywhere, a guide to earning money on the road. She has been featured in global media outlets including the PBS documentary “NATURE: Why We Love Cats and Dogs,” The Guardian Sunday Edition, and the Dan Pink book Free Agent Nation.