Can Thieves Steal Your RV?
RV theft is something most people probably don’t put much thought into. Although it is generally less likely than auto theft, RV theft is something that should be considered by RV owners.
Your RV is a significant investment in many cases. Often, our RVs are left stored and unused for periods of time leaving them vulnerable to theft.
The 4 Best Ways To Prevent RV Theft
So what should we be doing to help prevent RV theft? Here, we look at some steps you can take to prevent the theft of your RV along with some things that may help prevent theft from within your RV.
1. Physical deterrents
This is probably the option most people will think of when they think about ways to stop RV theft.
Physical deterrents are objects that attach to your RV to prevent it from being moved.
Some options include wheel locks that attach to the wheels and prevent them from turning. They have to be unlocked and removed before the RV can be moved.
Hitch locks are very common and are a cheap option to help prevent RV theft. Hitch locks simply lock in place on your hitch and prevent your RV from being hooked up to a potential thief’s vehicle. Simply attach it to your ball hitch or fifth wheel hitch, lock it shut and that’s it.
There are different types and price points for these types of locks. You should consider the price of your RV when looking at the cost to secure it. As with padlocks, some of the cheaper options of hitch locks are easier to break than a higher quality built lock.
If you have a motorhome or van, you may want to consider having a steering wheel lock to prevent would-be thieves from driving away with your home on wheels.
2. Environmental deterrents
Where you store your RV is very important and can have a large impact on vulnerability.
If you store it at home, having your RV parked behind a locking gate adds another obstacle for thieves to deal with and any extra obstacle is a deterrent. An open driveway can be an easy getaway.
Having your RV in an area with lights and/or motion sensor lighting is another great deterrent. Often RVs are not stored directly beside your house and maybe in a back corner of the lot. Being able to light this area will be beneficial.
Many RVs are stored off our properties in large storage lots. For the most part, these lots are secure and a great option for those who do not have room on their property.
If you do choose to use a storage lot, be sure to look around the property for things such as full perimeter fencing, security cameras, after-hours patrol, or onsite dog watch.
It is smart to utilize other forms of security such as wheel or hitch locks even if you’re using secured storage lots.
3. Electronic deterrents
Having a GPS such as WhereSafe GPS attached to your RV is a great option for preventing RV theft, regardless of any other deterrents you are using.
WhereSafe GPS is a simple install of a tracking sensor that is hidden out of the way. With the smartphone app, you are able to get notifications of the movement of your RV and track the location.
Monthy and yearly service plans are available and are a small price to pay for knowing the 24-hour location of your RV. They also offer a seasonal package that allows you to hold the plan for 4 months of the year.
Car alarms are another obvious choice for motorhome and van owners. Many newer motorhomes and vans will have a factory alarm, however, if you have an older unit, vehicle alarms are readily available and most often installed by the retailers.
4. Contents theft
A more likely occurrence than having your RV stolen is having something stolen from inside of it. Here are some easy things you can do to help ensure you don’t lose any valuables.
Lock your RV!
Oftentimes at campgrounds or while boondocking, people don’t lock their RVs. While we would like to think nobody would steal in these places, it does unfortunately happen. If you are going to be away from your RV for any length of time, lock it up.
Locked or unlocked, it is never a good idea to leave any valuables in your RV if possible. Things that are left behind, like say a laptop, should be stored out of sight. Like in many homes, locking safes that are bolted down are a great idea for your RV.
Valuable outdoor items such as your surge protector, and if you have one, your generator, should be secure and locked when not in use. If possible, have your generator in your truck or tow vehicle and secured inside.
Leave a light on inside and outdoors.
A lit-up RV and surrounding area may be less appealing to steal from.
Communicate with your neighbors.
Let your neighbors know you will be out for the day and won’t be expecting any guests. Campground attendants can also be notified.
Another trick some people have used is having a sign for the door reading “back in 20 minutes” or something along those lines to suggest the owners could return at any moment. Having a sign announcing you are a dog owner, whether you are or not, can also be effective in preventing RV theft.
Utilizing any of the available options for RV theft prevention along with some common-sense actions will help deter thieves. Any obstacle or added risk can be an effective way to discourage RV theft.
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.