It’s every RVer’s worst nightmare: you return to your RV one afternoon only to find that it’s vanished from the spot where you left it. RV theft happens all the time and as this Canadian snowbird in Texas recently learned, not even RV storage facilities are immune from ambitious thieves who want to make a quick buck selling your stuff:
Whether you own a trailer, truck bed camper or motorhome, if thieves want your RV they’ll find a way to get to it. Thankfully most thieves are lazy and just looking for an easy opportunity so your job is to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to steal your RV. Here are four easy theft prevention tips for your RV:
Be aware of your surroundings. Whether you’re on the road full-time or just parking your RV in a neighborhood until your next adventure, take a visual assessment of the local conditions. Although theft can happen in high rent districts as easily as it can happen on the wrong side of the tracks, your RV will be more conspicuous in an economically depressed area. Parking in well-lit areas with people around can decrease your odds of being a target.
Don’t travel with high dollar items. The lightweight nature of most RVs makes them easier to break into than sticks-and-bricks homes that have heavy front doors, windows and gates. In the event that your RV is broken into, you’ll suffer a lot less heartache if you keep your on-board cash and expensive possessions to a bare minimum when living and traveling in your rig.
Invest in a security system. Make it harder for thieves to break into your rig by security devices. Start with visual deterrents like window warning stickers and alarms. Next, consider RV motion detector lights that shine a spotlight on dark areas around your rig. Replacing your RV cabinet keys and installing a keyless RV door lock are more good actions you can take. For motorhome owners, anti-theft systems connected to the engine are a worthwhile investment. Progressive Insurance advises anti-theft systems with kill switches, alarms and tracking devices.
Store your RV with care. If you’ll be parking your rig in a storage facility, grill the management to find out how many security guards are on patrol on any given day and what kind of access are guests and visitors allowed to have. You’ll also want to check local crime statistics to uncover property crimes in that area.
As this Oklahoma RV owner discovered, even RV storage facilities with security cameras aren’t immune to crime. Do your best to keep thieves from choosing your RV at a facility and hit the road with the confidence of knowing that you’ve done everything you can to keep you, your valuables and your RV safe from theft.
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.