Our top recommendations for the safety of your motorhome accessories
RV security is often overlooked, but it’s an important aspect of RV travel because RVs are more susceptible to security concerns and malicious attacks than a permanent residence. Just because you enjoy the pleasures of the great outdoors doesn’t mean you can ignore potential threats. According to Gitnux,
“RV theft is a growing problem in the United States, with a nationwide increase of 30% between 2016 and 2020. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), California, Texas and Florida were the three states with the most RV thefts in 2020. In 2018, RV thefts accounted for about 0.2% of all motor vehicle thefts reported that year. In 2020, 88% of stolen RVs were towable, with an average of 208 per month. The median payout for RV thefts was $7275, but this can vary depending on the location and type of RV stolen or damaged in a burglary attempt.”
Even if you are traveling by RV, you must remain vigilant as numerous unfortunate incidents can happen to you and your personal property. The volatility of your location, the changing population around you, and the time you spend away from your RV make it a more attractive target than your house or apartment.
Furthermore, the risks do not disappear when you park your motorhome on your property or on a pitch. Your vehicle can still be damaged by vandalism, theft or environmental influences such as wind, hail and falling branches. It could even catch fire or be flooded due to a burst pipe. The threats to you and your motorhome are real, and solid motorhome safety precautions are essential whether you are using your motorhome or storing it. Here are some resources, tools and strategies to help you secure your RV and mitigate these risks.
- Install a security system for motorhomes
- Consider adopting a dog
- Self-defense tools such as a handgun, bear or wasp spray, or a baton
Many tools and methods to improve RV security can be used in different areas. One important tool is a wireless RV security system, which can be equipped with sensors, cameras, night vision devices, exterior lighting, and GPS tracking. These systems are designed to alert you when doors or windows are opened, when people are lurking outside, when someone has entered your RV, and to help pinpoint the vehicle’s location in the event of theft.
The complexity and price of these systems can vary. While they do not prevent break-ins, theft or vandalism on their own, they can notify you via your smartphone of a security breach so that you can respond immediately. Such systems protect your property both in storage and in use.
If you choose a wireless security system for your RV, you should choose one that does not rely on Wi-Fi, as many campgrounds do not have reliable Wi-Fi networks. The night vision feature is particularly important for identifying perpetrators of the common night-time attacks on motorhomes. You can also opt for motorhome security systems equipped with lights and audible alarms to prevent malicious acts.
Aside from security systems, traveling with a dog can improve your peace of mind while in the RV. Dogs can quickly detect and respond to threats. Statistics show that homes with dogs are less likely to be burglarized because burglars generally avoid the unpredictability of dogs. Even if you don’t own a dog, a dog bowl and a few toys can deter thieves. Other self-defense tools such as a handgun, bear or wasp spray or a baton can provide protection from intruders or aggressive animals.
Security on site
- Secure your equipment
- Use motion lights
- Use a digital multimeter and overvoltage protection
Securing your RV site could be as simple as securing your gear when you’re not in your RV. Your campsite neighbors are probably watching your comings and goings, and even if you have a sense of solitude when camping, you’re rarely alone for long.
Leaving valuable camping and sports equipment unsecured is an open invitation to thieves. It is advisable to lock items such as e-bikes, propane tanks, generators and barbecues or secure them to fixed structures. If you prefer not to install a full security system for your RV, consider motion-activated floodlights to illuminate your campsite and deter intruders at night.
Another essential tool for campsite security is a digital multimeter (DMM), which you can use to check the AC and DC voltage in the campsite’s shore power network to prevent damage to the electrical system. Similarly, a surge protector can protect your motorhome’s electrical system from power surges. A good set of hand tools is also important to fix minor problems before they grow into major ones.
- Use a coupling lock
- Update the locks on the storage compartments of your motorhome
- Use a built-in, fireproof safe for important valuables
The range of gadgets and tools available for securing motorhomes is extensive and varies depending on the strategies used to secure your motorhome. Using a hitch lock can deter thieves from towing your camper. Replacing common locks on your motorhome’s storage compartments with individual keys increases security, as many locks are keyed alike as standard.
Using locking cords for bicycles, grills, propane tanks and surge protectors can also protect against theft. Investing in a fireproof safe or document bag can protect cash, vehicle documents, passports and other valuables in the event of a fire.
- Smoke and liquid detectors
- Fire extinguishers
- Carry a tire pressure gauge and an air compressor with you
Other hazards such as fires or gas leaks can be avoided by having working smoke and liquid detectors and easily accessible fire extinguishers in your motorhome. Something as simple as a spare battery for your smoke detector can be a lifesaver. Don’t get so caught up in technical solutions that you neglect simple measures to improve the safety of your motorhome.
For a safe driving experience, make sure your tires are properly inflated with an accurate tire pressure gauge and an air compressor. In addition, a wildlife warning system can help prevent collisions with wild animals.
Be mindful wherever you are on the road
RV safety is an ongoing task that should be part of your routine if you own and enjoy an RV. While many devices and techniques can help with this, the best defense is still your perception and awareness. Be suspicious of suspicious places and people. Trust your instincts – if something seems strange, don’t ignore it.
Effective RV security requires more common sense than technical gadgetry. You don’t need a tool to know that you shouldn’t park under a dead tree. Do everything in your power to secure your motorhome, listen to your inner voice, use common sense, stay alert and then enjoy your motorhome without worrying about safety issues. Also, find out about campsites in advance to have a better idea of the areas you’ll be traveling in.
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