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Advice on caravan security

caravan in park

When the summer is over, many caravan users will leave their vehicles sitting on the driveway or parked in an out-of-the-way spot throughout the winter months. Caravan security is hugely important while caravans are unused or little-visited, and keeping them secure and safe and secure from thieves and intruders is a significant concern of owners.

There are many caravan security products on the market, from wheel clamps to security locks for caravan doors, all of which can make a caravan more challenging to break into or tow away.
With so many caravan security devices on offer, deciding which is the best can be challenging. As with most things, you generally get what you pay for. Still, it pays to conduct some research before buying and to check if a caravan security product has been independently tested or reviewed.

Hitch locks can deter caravan thieves

Hitchlocks fit over the caravan towing hitch and use assembly fixing bolts to prevent your caravan from being hauled away by a vehicle other than your own. Caravan hitch locks are a handy device for securing a caravan or trailer, creating a significant obstacle for potential thieves. Hitch locks can make it difficult or even impossible for a thief to hook up your caravan or trailer and drive it away, giving peace of mind that your vehicle is safe when you're not there.
Although hitch locks are more than just a visual deterrent to thieves, it is not a good idea to use them as the sole security device on your caravan. Caravan security hitch locks are usually used in conduction with other devices to provide reasonable levels of protection. Some insurance companies even require that a hitch lock be fitted along with something like a wheel clamp as a condition of their policies.

Using caravan wheel clamps

caravan with wheel clamp

Wheel clamps are often used alongside hitch locks to provide minimum conditions for caravan security and are usually required as the minimum form of protection by caravan insurers. Clamps fit over the caravan wheels to prevent them from rotating, and so help prevent the caravan from being towed away illegally. Some clamps sold as caravan security devices can leave wheel nuts exposed so the clamp can be removed along with the wheel, so it can be worth investing in locking wheel nuts and clamps.
Caravan security wheel clamps come in various sizes, and some may not be suitable for alloy wheels, so do some research to ensure you have the correct wheel clamp type and length for your caravan. It is also worth checking the strength of the material used to manufacture the clamp. The stronger and thicker the material, the better but expect to pay more for extra security.
Also, remember that a wheel clamp made of the highest grade steel is not much use if it is secured with a cheap lock that can be easily broken.
Some caravan owners prefer to remove the wheels altogether when the caravan is not being used and replace them with wheel stands. Although wheel stands are a useful security measure, be aware that some insurance companies insist on wheel clamps being used, and the use of stands could invalidate a policy.

Security posts can keep you safe

Caravan security posts are usually concreted into the ground and anchored to the caravan using a heavy-duty chain and secure padlock. External padlocks can be vulnerable to attack, so for maximum security, the posts should be set deep in concrete and include an internal locking mechanism. Some caravan posts have tow balls set on the top so the caravan can be hitched to the post and locked in place. Again the strength of materials used in the construction of caravan security posts is crucial to their effectiveness in preventing thieves from towing a vehicle away.

Install a caravan security alarm

Caravan security is not just concerned with preventing theft but also with protecting against a break-in for reasons of robbery or criminal damage. A wide range of security devices can be fitted to a caravan to deter and prevent break-ins. Caravan security devices range from small alarms fitted to doors and windows to security sensors that detect vibration or internal movement. It is essential to ensure that a fitted caravan alarm is reliable, as false alarms can be a nuisance and increase the risk of being ignored if there is a genuine criminal act. Some caravan alarms can now be linked to a home alarm system or connected to a tracker device if fitted.

Tracking systems for caravans

It is becoming more common to install GPS tracking devices inside the caravan, which can be linked by wireless to a central database. If your caravan is stolen, it allows you to track its movements through a control centre and eventually be located and recovered. There are various grades of tracking systems; some give an alert if the caravan is moved, and new technologies mean a vehicle can be tracked even if it is parked in a container or underground. Caravan tracking system installation can result in reduced insurance premiums. Still, many insurers will insist that systems are installed and maintained by a professional UKAS accredited security alarm company such as Crown Securities UK Ltd.

Register your caravan

interior of luxury camper van

Many owners have their caravans registered with the Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme CRIS which keeps a national register of caravans in the UK. All UK caravans manufactured since 1992 automatically get a CRIS number etched into the caravan's body. A CRIS number allows the genuine owner to be traced and contacted if a stolen caravan is recovered or sold. When buying a used caravan, it is highly advisable to contract CRIS to confirm that it is a genuine purchase and that the caravan has not been registered as stolen. Caravan owners are also strongly advised to keep any registration documents in a safe place at home and not in the caravan itself.
As an additional security measure, some owners mark the caravan roof with the last six digits of the CRIS number so it can be easily spotted from the air. The owner may also use the CRIS number to mark caravan fixtures and fittings with an ultra-violet security pen. No caravan security device on the market will guarantee that your caravan will not be broken into or stolen. However, caravan security products can deter, hamper, and prevent theft and break-ins if properly installed and maintained. It is better to fit more than one security device into your caravan, and generally, the more you spend, the less likely you are to suffer from theft or damage.

More advice on keeping safe

Keep your home safe while on holiday
Secure sheds protect your valuables
Making sense of security alarm sensors


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Burglar alarms & security systems for the Midlands, the North West & North Wales

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Burglar alarms & security systems for the Midlands, the North West & North Wales