Preventing Theft in a Caravan or Camper Trailer


Nothing can ruin a day more than getting things in your caravan stolen after leaving it parked while you go out and about. Securing a caravan or camper trailer can be tricky, especially when it seems like the normal security features of a house can’t be replicated.

Just like with anything else theft of a caravan or camper trailer, as well as the belongings inside, can’t be competently prevented, however there are many things you can do to deter potential thieves.

  • Park it somewhere safe
  • Secure your doors
  • Secure the windows
  • Reduce temptations and opportunistic theft
  • Use an alarm
  • Use a hitch lock
  • Get a wheel clamp
  • Lockable wheel nuts
  • GPS tracking
  • Security camera
  • Make the caravan look occupied
  • Insure your van

Caravans and camper trailers can be easy targets, and if a thief has the time and opportunity to get in, they probably will. But we can show you the best ways for you to prevent theft in your caravan so that you no longer have to worry the next time you leave your caravan for a while.

How to prevent theft in a caravan

Here are some simple steps you can take to deter the theft of your belongings, or even your camper itself.

Park it somewhere safe

Yes, something as simple as parking your caravan in a good spot can make a world of difference when it comes to preventing theft. You may have done everything right in terms of your caravan’s security but there will still be a chance for thieves to find themselves stealing from your caravan if you parked it in the wrong neighbourhood.

So, when it comes to parking your caravan, do your research first so that you will know how safe the place is. Check the surrounding area’s crime statistics to know whether or not you should be leaving your caravan parked there. If you end up parking your caravan in a safe neighbourhood, you would be surprised to know how something as simple as that can lower the chances of theft.

Secure your doors

Of course, the best way for anyone to easily enter a home or a caravan is through the doorway. Nothing is easier for a thief than to notice that a caravan’s door wasn’t properly locked or may not have even been closed at all.

So, in that case, before you leave your caravan or go to sleep at night, make sure that you double check the doors. If you can, use a second lock on top of your usual caravan lock to make sure that it is secured before you leave. And at night, keep the caravan door bolted to prevent thieves from trying anything sneaky to pry the locks open.

If you have a camper trailer with a canvas door, or even a tent, use a padlock between the holes of the zipper tabs so that it can’t be opened easily.

Secure the windows

Whether you are talking about houses or caravans, thieves can always enter them through the window. Similar to how you would want to keep your windows closed whenever you intend to leave your home for a while, you should also keep your caravan windows secured at all times when you are out or when you are asleep.

Before you leave the caravan, make sure that you double-check the windows to see if they are closed and locked properly. Thieves can always enter a caravan through an open window but they also have the means to open a window that hasn’t been locked properly.

Reduce temptations

A lot of thefts are opportunistic. While there are still thieves that will try to enter a caravan in the hopes of finding anything valuable, the fact is that theft will always be higher if there are temptations that are easily seen.

Try to make sure that nothing valuable in your caravan can be visibly seen from anyone passing through. This includes electronics or any other object that may be valuable or expensive so that thieves won’t be tempted to try to get in your caravan to steal your valuables.

If you are going to be away from your van, pop anything inside or out of sight. If you have big things that you always keep outside, like BBQ’s and fridges, secure them to the chassis of the van using bike locks or similar. This stops someone walking past and opportunistically picking things up because it’s easy.

Use an alarm

No matter how you may have safely bolted your doors and kept them locked, there are still some thieves who are sneaky and skilled enough to find other ways to get into your caravan. If this can happen to a house, this can also happen to a caravan. You have to find another way for you to make sure that thieves would be deterred from trying to enter your caravan.

One of the things that you may want for your caravan is an alarm. This can be attached to the doors and can be set off whenever someone tries to open the doors from the outside, or there are also alarms that work on movement like a house alarm. This should deter and shock thieves who may be trying to do something sneaky. Of course, the alarm will also alert nearby people that someone is trying to get into your caravan.

You can also get alarms that activate when someone is trying to steal your caravan or camper trailer by towing it away. Anti-theft devices like this one not only sound an alarm, but also lock the electric brakes preventing anyone from towing the camper.

Use a hitch lock

Hitch locks prevent thieves from being able to attach your trailer hitch to their car. There are many types depending on what sort of hitch you have. In most cases, they fit onto the hitch and usually lock with a key that you can take with you.

Hitch lock on a DO-35 hitch

Get a wheel clamp

Wheels clamps also prevent thieves towing your trailer by immobilising the wheels. They attach through the wheel and make it unable to turn. They are a great option for security at home however, they can be heavy, so you might need to be mindful of your weight limits if you are wanting to use them as a security feature when you are on holidays.

Lockable wheel nuts

When your van is parked up for a while, you may find that thieves even want to steal your wheels. One way of preventing this is by using what is called lockable wheel nuts or lock bolts. These nuts have a specific head on them that you need a ‘key’ to unlock, which matches the specific head of your wheel nuts.

GPS tracking

Caravan GPS trackers such as this one are becoming popular. They are a small box you fit in your van and attach to the vans battery system. They are usually connected to an app that you can locate your vans location if it were ever stolen. There is usually a small ongoing cost involved as they need to be connected to a 3G or 4G network to activate the GPS signal and connect to the app.

Security camera

While security cameras used to be reserved for the most vulnerable places in terms of security risks, they are now readily available to almost anyone thanks to the marvels of modern tech. You can get a security camera for a good price, and it will work in conjunction with your smartphone so that you will be able to monitor your caravan remotely.

By adding a security camera strategically in your caravan, you would be able to see whether or not someone is trying to steal something from your caravan. And you can do so whenever you are away from the caravan because security cameras are now high-tech enough to make use of wireless connections.

The downside is you will need a power source so if you are only running on battery power while you are away it may drain your system.

Make the caravan look occupied

If you intend on going out for a while, one of the things that will deter thieves from trying to steal from your caravan is when they think that someone is inside. So, yes, your goal here is to try to make the caravan look occupied so that thieves will think that someone is home.

One of the ways you can trick thieves into thinking you or someone else is in the caravan is by turning a light or radio on (softly so you’re not annoying others). As long as the lights are on and that there are sounds coming from your caravan, thieves will think that it is occupied. This will decrease the chances of them trying to sneak into it.

Insure your van

Sometimes even the best laid plans can’t prevent someone stealing your camper or belongings so it’s important you have good insurance. Make sure you get one that not only covers your van or camper trailer plus any accessories you’ve added on (such as awnings, bike racks etc) but also includes and amount for the contents inside. Shop around because the amount included between companies can vary wildly.

You may not be able to completely thief proof your caravan or camper trailer, but with some simple steps you can reduce the risk of someone stealing your van or belongings.

Read more...