How to Keep Your Campervan Safe

See our tips to keep to reduce your chance of having your campervan robbed

Living on the road can be a fun, carefree, and exciting venture… That is until something bad happens.

Imagine parking your car and coming back to an empty parking spot, or, perhaps coming back and finding that the doors and windows of your campervan are wide open. If you are like most people, it is only when something awful occurs that you will start ruminating about what you could have done to prevent the tragedy in question. In most cases, simple answer is that there is a lot that you could have done.

One undeniable fact is that prevention is always better than cure. When hitting the road, it is important that you take all steps possible to ensure your security and that of your possessions including your van. When on the road, you should ensure that your home away from home (read van) is safe – perhaps even safer than your actual home. After all, it is easier to steal a van compared to stealing a townhouse.

That said, we can now proceed to take a look at the top 14 ways you can ensure the security and safety of your van and possessions within while on the road.

The Best 14 Ways to Protect Your Campervan

1. Insure Your Van

Yes, I know, this sounds mundane and repetitive but we still have to stress the important issue of insuring your van and the valuables within. Truth be told, no matter how many security features you fit in your van, there is still a small chance that your van will get broken into, vandalized, or even stolen.

campervan insurance

Before hitting the road, it is highly advisable that you acquire a comprehensive insurance cover that guards you against the most likely scenarios you may come across on the open road. Ideally, you should acquire a comprehensive cover that covers even the valuables in your vehicle. The best thing about insurance is that it protects you against unforeseen scenarios and bad scenarios that may arise as a result of your actions.

2. Stay Vigilant

Next to insurance, the next best deterrent you can have against thieves while on the road is being vigilant. This simply means that you should take all steps possible to actively discourage thieves from coming near your van. For example, you should ensure that you lock all windows and doors, and, you should also avoid leaving your valuables on display.

3. Install Security Alarms

One of the best ways you can beef up your van’s security is to install a standard security alarm (Thatcham Accredited). Though your vehicle should come with a security alarm from the manufacturer, adding an after-market alarm system will act as an extra deterrent to thieves.

Security alarms come at varying price ranges, and as it is you cannot lack one that fits within your budget.

4. Install Immobilisers

All vehicles produced in the EU since 1998 have had to be fitted with immobilisers. Immobilisers basically prevent theft of vehicles through hot wiring by automatically activating dual-circuit immobilization once you turn off your engine. Though your van’s original immobiliser should have been persevered by your motorhome builder when they were converting your vehicle, ensure that you ascertain that this feature is functional before hitting the road.

5. Install Deadlocks

Deadlocks on your van’s doors will help prevent thieves from accessing your vehicle. A van’s deadbolts work akin to the deadbolts of a house. You first have to lock the van’s doors with a fob before using a separate key to activate the deadbolts. Deadbolts add an extra layer of protection for your van even when you are not around.

6. Ensure Your Steering Wheel Has Locks

Steering wheel locks remain a classic way of protecting vehicles. They provide a secondary and very visual layer of security should your get breached. In fact, most criminals avoid cars with steering wheel locks since they know that they are practical impregnable if one doesn’t have an angle grinder at hand.

campervan lock

You can find steering wheel locks in the market in the traditional bar style or in the form of a circular cases that are designed to seal off the steering wheel.

7. Install a Pedal Box Lock

A petal box lock is quickly gaining popularity as the must-have manual security feature for campervans. It is thick steel box that is usually placed around the pedals and then locked with a puck-style lock. The positioning of the pedal box lock usually makes it awkward for thieves to remove not to mention that if it is removed forcibly, it is usually extremely noisy. This security gadget usually prevents the operation of pedals whilst it is in place.

8. Install Gearbox Locks

Gearbox locks have a similar working mechanism to steering wheel locks. They are designed to prevent thieves from removing a campervans gears from ‘park’ or ‘neutral’ position by attaching to the handbrake and gear stick. A gearbox lock is a cheap but highly effective and visual way to deter thieves.

9. Install a Security Ground Post

If your campervan spends too much time in your driveway, it can attract unwarranted attention from thieves. A great way to prevent it from being stolen from your driveway is to install a security ground post. This means installing a post behind your van or two security post at each end of the driveway connected with an item to act as a physical obstruction such as a metal bar. Security ground posts are extremely effective since they take a lot of time to remove and can only be removed noisily. Another great benefit of this security feature is that it is inexpensive to purchase and install.

10. Use Wheel Clamps

Often associated with vehicles that have been wrongly parked, wheel clamps act as a highly effective visual and functional deterrent against thieves especially since they can be seen from miles away. Rather using the standard heavy clamps that you often see attached to unlucky vehicles on the side of the road, you can use the relatively lightweight and easy-to-install version to secure your motorhome.

11. Fit Your Campervan with Trackers

Tracking devices should act as a last resort to protect your vehicle against theft. Though they do not deter theft (they can if you put up a sign that says, “This Vehicle Has a Tracker”), trackers can help you find your campervan if it gets stolen.

campervan tracker

Most trackers usually have in-built GPS that uploads the real-time location of your campervan through an app or SIM card. Basic trackers can inform you of your motorhome’s location at periodic intervals while the more advanced ones give you a real-time feed on the location of the vehicle and even give you the option of remotely switching off your vehicle’s engine.

12. Acquire and Install Security Window Films

Security window films make it harder to smash through your van’s windows even when the perpetrator has a hammer or brick. They are a very effective way of preventing thieves from breaking into a vehicle. They increase the time it takes to illegally enter your van and attract a lot of noisy attention when being broken. For maximum protection, consider complementing security window films with deadlocks on your van’s doors.

13. Install Lockable Safes in Your Campervan

Despite installing premium security features and gadgets in your van, thieves may still gain access. Should this happen, imagine their shock on finding that you have locked all your valuables away.

It is important to ensure that you get lockable storage installed inside your van so that you can protect items such as cash, keys, and electronics when you are away from the vehicle. If you are fitting out your motorhome from scratch ensure that the professional doing the job also fits locks on all your cabinets. If you have a prefabricated campervan, you can also install safes and lockable storage units later, as long as you ensure that they are bolted in place.

14. Consider Getting a Dog

We have saved the best (and cutest) security feature for last, a dog! A dog will provide an extra layer of security for your van while also providing company while you are on the road. See how you can bring your dog on the road in comfort here.

Final Word

As we conclude, there are a few other ways that you can ensure that you remain and your van remain secure on the road. They include:

• Only parking in safe and well-lit spots

• Putting security stickers on your van (For example, you can warn potential intruders that there is a dog on board or that your van has a tracker)

• Hiding your valuables out of sight when you are not in the vehicle

• Closing your window and door blinds before leaving

If you follow the tips we have provided above, you will be ensuring the safety of your motorhome and in the process guaranteeing a fun and adventurous life on the road. Vroom!

Book your campervan hire Ireland holiday here with us!