Security for caravan

Jul 3, 2020
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After having my caravan stolen from the drive back in May, I'm going to pick a new (to us) caravan on Thursday.. So getting a bit nervous concerning the security side of things.

Not sure if the caravan is CRIS registered if not, I will be registering it.

We're be buying Hitch Lock and Wheel Clamp.

But ponder whether to buy Stay Locks, are these worth while for another item for them to deter as more time to get them off,

GPS systems, do ponder whats the worth of these, even though I've seen many acclaim to how quickly a caravan been recovered, doesn't it rely on the coppers reacting in a swift time when they receive the call to say that the caravan is on the move!

Any suggestions...
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It does seem that newer caravans are more frequently chosen by the criminal fraternity, and if they really want it they'll defeat almost any security system to get it. It seem the most effective type of security is principally aimed to make other caravans seem more appealing or easier to steal.

You should check with your insurers regarding the security they need for the policy, then (if you use one) there may be certain specifications your storage site has. but apart from that you can add what ever you like, and you will have to judge whether you think its worth the cost and effort.

Other than adding security, also consider removing things that might be attractive to thief. For example do not leave obvious valuables in the caravan, open up draws and cupboards so it's obvious they're empty - not only does this reduce the attraction, it helps to allow air to circulate to keep your caravan free from mould etc. It might help to remove the seat & bed cushions, as they'd be an expense the thief wold need to meet if they wanted to try and sell the caravan on.

I know that some people who lose their caravan find it difficult to think about using it if its been recovered, So that might be a factor you want to bear in mind when choosing to use a tracker or not.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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I have steady locks and they should be treated as another piece of hardware to remove to get the caravan hitched.

The type that fit to the winding nut with some grub screws, aren't really worth it. They can be pulled off or the leg wound up with pliers. Plus you need the hex-adaptor to wind the leg down with it fitted.

The other type which fit the rear steadies only on my caravan are ok, they stop the threaded rod from turning, but could be defeated quickly with the right tool. And they only provide any resistance if the caravan is rear-high with the steadies down.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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If you are still keeping it at home consider one of these as an added deterrent.

These are, in my opinion, even better if they actually block the van in, in that way a thief will need to separate from the hitch as well as lay it flat to free the van.

I am not a fan of leaving the blinds up. Or emptying out the van. I can clearly see the logic but the extra work, finding space and sun damage put me off. I always leave with sun blinds up to 90% with fly nets to meet.only fly nets on the roof to allow ventilation and some heat to keep things warm. Also cupboards open to allow air movement. Works well for me.

John
 
Oct 8, 2006
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All new caravans come complete with CRiS registration. You can get an additional pack which includes some microdots to put around the van and a radio transponder as in dog microchips which will respond to an interrogation device that the Police use.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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On the drive or in stowage I always use the Alko wheel lock and Alko hitch lock. I take the view that the noise created in removing them would wake us or the neighbours when on the drive. In stowage it’s a different matter but with 500+ other vans to choose from it would be bad luck fir mine to be stolen.
Never leave blinds down. But do close curtains to protect upholstery. All cupboards and lockers left open to air and show no contents. Battery removed when in store as well as most kit which lives at home.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Never leave blinds down. But do close curtains to protect upholstery.

But Why!

I am aware that in the days when blinds had springs, the springs could become weak after a prolonged period of tension. But even then they could be adjusted to compensate. Now, with friction blinds why not make use of them to do the job as intended. I realise that there is a danger, if closed completely, that they can overheat and buckle the window. That's why I don't close my all the way so I get the best of both worlds. In fact my windows have a little picture on them suggesting this.

Looking around my storage area. Many vans have windows clear and you can clearly see sun damage in the van. Others have the curtains closed, and the curtains get the sun damage.

Just my opinion you understand, and apologies for the drift.

John
 
Jul 3, 2020
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I like the hitch idea, pretty cheap not sure I'd want to dig the top off the drive up to install, but feeling that I've got enough room to install at the end of the drive.

I want something to delay, I did ponder whether I could find a sensor alarm, that I could sit in the caravan, that would kick off with any movement, that I could leave at home while away.

Hubby said, about keeping the caravan on the drive durning the season, and then putting it in storage over winter
 
Nov 11, 2009
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But Why!

I am aware that in the days when blinds had springs, the springs could become weak after a prolonged period of tension. But even then they could be adjusted to compensate. Now, with friction blinds why not make use of them to do the job as intended. I realise that there is a danger, if closed completely, that they can overheat and buckle the window. That's why I don't close my all the way so I get the best of both worlds. In fact my windows have a little picture on them suggesting this.

Looking around my storage area. Many vans have windows clear and you can clearly see sun damage in the van. Others have the curtains closed, and the curtains get the sun damage.

Just my opinion you understand, and apologies for the drift.

John

Clearly I should have said “I never.......”. Until quite recently some vans were still being fitted with spring blinds. And there are still a lot with spring blinds still in use.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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On the drive or in stowage I always use the Alko wheel lock and Alko hitch lock. I take the view that the noise created in removing them would wake us or the neighbours when on the drive. In stowage it’s a different matter but with 500+ other vans to choose from it would be bad luck fir mine to be stolen.
Never leave blinds down. But do close curtains to protect upholstery. All cupboards and lockers left open to air and show no contents. Battery removed when in store as well as most kit which lives at home.
I also agree with (Clive ) don"t leave your blinds down because they can lose there tension but shut curtains because we have had new upholstery done also no contents on show .
 
Nov 6, 2005
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I also agree with (Clive ) don"t leave your blinds down because they can lose there tension but shut curtains because we have had new upholstery done also no contents on show .

There's "expert" advice both ways - don't close the blinds or curtains, then potential thieves can see you've nothing to hide - close the blinds or curtains so potential thieves can't see inside.

We've never closed them when parked at home, had no thefts, break-ins or faded upholstery - so I reckon it's a fuss about nothing.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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There's "expert" advice both ways - don't close the blinds or curtains, then potential thieves can see you've nothing to hide - close the blinds or curtains so potential thieves can't see inside.

We've never closed them when parked at home, had no thefts, break-ins or faded upholstery - so I reckon it's a fuss about nothing.


I think that my approach is somewhat of a hybrid that I've stuck with over the years,as the kitchen and door window do not have curtains and I do leave their blinds up, and any would be thief is welcome to look if they want to. But we don't leave anything of value in the van when its in store so other than the caravan, there is not a lot to attract anyone. One year we even travelled around France with the door lock broken so each time we moved on I duct taped the door, but when on site it was open to all comers.;)
 
Jan 31, 2018
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We;ve always left the blinds down springs or no-they can be retensioned and the heat can be quite high in a caravan in the summer in storage. Interesting to see some do and some don't. We're of the opinion that in storage we want to make our caravan the most difficult to take, period-bit of a mean attitude but-Alko hitch lock, both whels Alko wheel locks, and on the other side we have two fairly cheap simple wheel clamps-those with arms that slide in to the wheel spokes-so every wheel has some sort of lock on it, alarm on std tracker . On site we do the same now I have got the hang of the Alko wheel locks-bit of a faff and damaging to the coating somewhat-so have put felt pads on the insert!
 
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May 7, 2012
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The ALKO wheel lock is certainly the best there is although not infallible for touring. At home you can I believe still get a Milenco wheel lock that is filled with concrete and to the best of my knowledge has never been overcome. It is however too heavy for touring and unless you are fit might be too heavy to fit at home.
Hitch locks will not deter the determined thief as they can simply bypass this with a length of chain or a prefabricated steel frame but would help against the opportunist ones. Further things like steady locks help as thieves might not spot them until they go to hitch up and make them waste time but are of limited use.
If the caravan is at home, an alarm is useful, but do make sure that it cannot be easily disabled, on one caravan we had it was fitted with one with a delay, it was fairly clear anyone familiar with it could overcome it by ripping the speaker out before it started to go off. Possibly one not standard on the caravan is more effective, or moving the alarm speaker might help.
The posts work but for the best security position it needs to be positioned with the caravan hitch fastened to the top.
 
Jul 15, 2020
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I'd like to ask if anyone has any idea how many caravans are broken into or stolen each year in the UK or generally across Europe? Are there any official sites for statistics?

Also, what is the main objective of the crimes? For example does someone steal a caravan to use it themselves or are they usually sold onward to order or to an unsuspecting buyer?

And finally, are most of the thefts relating to more common brands and what appear to be factory standard?

To throw in a couple of thoughts on prevention, albeit not for everyone, I changed my door locks to residential deadbolt locks and I have an 8 camera infra-red security system running 24/7. If I was a thief, I think I'd choose the next target, at least thinking that way I can sleep better at night.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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About 3000 caravans are stolen in the UK each year.

Some are stolen for use by the thief, others are stolen to strip for parts and others for export to other countries.
All makes of caravan are a target , at the present time the main UK made vans are prime targets, Bailey< Swift etc, followed closely by such as Hobby, and other EU makes.

It does not matter what locks you have, if the thief wants your van ,he WILL have it.

They dont need to enter your van when stealing it, they can do that at leisure later.

A camera system may give you an idea how easy it is to see your van go, but a camera is not going to jump off the wall and stop them, and they are careful not to show faces most times.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Like what Damian says it does not matter what locks security camera no locks are going to stop them if your caravan is on there list and a customer wants it they will get it .
 
Jul 15, 2020
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About 3,000 is a staggering number of thefts annually. Are they usually stolen from homes and storage facilities while not being used or do they disappear from campsites during the day too? Is the situation consistent across Europe?

My biggest fear is having my rig broken into or stolen during the day while on a trip.

Has anyone actively used a GPS tracker? I've run camera and tracking devices via my own server space before, which is great to see exactly where your vehicle is (active camera view and map location). The major downside though is the cost of the mobile data and if anyone cuts the power then the system is instantly useless.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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About 3,000 is a staggering number of thefts annually. Are they usually stolen from homes and storage facilities while not being used or do they disappear from campsites during the day too? Is the situation consistent across Europe?

My biggest fear is having my rig broken into or stolen during the day while on a trip.

Has anyone actively used a GPS tracker? I've run camera and tracking devices via my own server space before, which is great to see exactly where your vehicle is (active camera view and map location). The major downside though is the cost of the mobile data and if anyone cuts the power then the system is instantly useless.

I understand that pro ratae it’s nit such a problem in Europe. I’ve always considered site to be secure in so far as the van being stolen is concerned. And I’ve not read anything fir years about a van being broken into and items stolen. We don’t carry valuable items in the caravan. Things like cameras or iPads are taken out in the car or not taken on a trip.

Sometimes on CL/CS there could be a risk especially one where the owner doesn’t control or see access.

But to be honest as others have said if it’s going to go it will. I’ve got good security hardware and insurance cover and if it’s stolen it’s stolen. More things in life to get on with.
 
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Damian

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The majority of thefts are from storage compounds even the so called "Gold Standard" sites, but they are also taken from homes, service stations, and, rarely, from campsites.

As for being broken into, that tends to be when in storage , but people have had, and still do have, items stolen when on camp sites and the van is unattended or in the dead of night.(usually things that are left outside like bicycles, etc.

Many caravans have GPS trackers fitted (at additional cost) but they are quite easily found and dumped, or the place the van ends up on, the Police will not go into due to the high level of aggression of the dwellers of the site.

Occasionally the Police will mount an operation to target these sites but only when they have sufficient numbers of Police and all the protection available.

The question most folk ask themselves is "would I want my caravan back if it had been stolen and damaged"
Caravan theft is not considered a high priority situation and with funding cuts and Police numbers down , they do not have the time or manpower to follow up on every case.
 
May 7, 2012
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3,000 sounds very high to me, but I have not seen the latest figures. The majority of these are the larger twin axle models and Hobby seems to be the main target but any make is possible a target. Newer models are also more of a target for obvious reasons.
The majority of thefts are carried out when in storage either at home or storage areas. Thefts form sites that are open are fairly rare probably because there are normally too many people about to make that easy.
The other potential risk is when stopped for breaks and you leave the caravan to eat. There are rare thefts where thieves have watched people leave and simply unhitched the caravan and driven off with it. To be safe you should fit a lock to imobilise the caravan.
The risk when touring is low but it is there anywhere in the world and I do not think the UK is any worse than anywhere else.
Locks are a contentious point on here. You should remember that thieves do want to get away as quickly and quietly as possible, so the more secure the caravan the less likely it is to be stolen. You can get specific caravans targetted by thieves, but this is normally when in storage and they can go to enormous lengths to get the one they want then. This is fairly rare though and most thefts are opertunist which generally means good security will work
Break ins rather than outright theft can happen, but again this tends to be when they are in storage.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'd like to ask if anyone has any idea how many caravans are broken into or stolen each year in the UK or generally across Europe? Are there any official sites for statistics?
The risk when touring is low but it is there anywhere in the world and I do not think the UK is any worse than anywhere else.

Stolen caravans are virtually unheard of on the Continent. I don't even possess any locks for my caravan and I've had my caravans stored for 30 years on a compound to which access can be gained with little effort by virtually anyone.
I put it down to caravans on the Continent having to be registered with their own number plate, just like motor vehicles. Also, the number plate has to be validated by the vehicle licensing office. That makes it relatively easy to identify caravans on the road with no number plate or a false number plate.
 

Damian

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Stolen caravans are virtually unheard of on the Continent

There is a French contributor who disagrees with that statement:

"Daily caravan are stolen in France, often by people of communities , to be sell in Hungary or Romania"
 
Oct 17, 2010
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I like the hitch idea, pretty cheap not sure I'd want to dig the top off the drive up to install, but feeling that I've got enough room to install at the end of the drive.

I want something to delay, I did ponder whether I could find a sensor alarm, that I could sit in the caravan, that would kick off with any movement, that I could leave at home while away.

Hubby said, about keeping the caravan on the drive durning the season, and then putting it in storage over winter
I have that hitch post. it is concreted over a foot into the ground in front of the van wheel clamp and hitch lock, plus if not using the van for any length of time, I fit two lockable triangular winter wheels and store the wheels away from the van. Have checked insurance they are OK. I also have a PIR security light, not sure that's a good idea though. The van only 3 yards from my bedroom window. As been said, if they want it they will find a way.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There is a French contributor who disagrees with that statement:

"Daily caravan are stolen in France, often by people of communities , to be sell in Hungary or Romania"

Talking to people from the caravan trade I understand that the numbers on the Continent are very low compared with the UK. If they weren't, one wouldn't find about 90% of the caravans stored on the compound where mine stands, too, to be without any form of lock. The only times that I have seen caravans on the Continent with a hitchlock fitted in any numbers are those standing virtually permanently out in the street, but even there I have had mine parked next to my garage for up to 3 weeks without a lock.
 

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