Friday, 4 February 2011

Caravan Security

I came across this article which Ive tacked on below. For those of you who have been caravanning for years then all this may be old hat, but for those of you who are new to caravanning, you may find it helpful.

Ideas To Make Your Caravan Secure

Author: Carl Way

Caravan Insurance is a must if you own a caravan. A caravan is a valuable item, and you could find yourself very out of pocket if you don't insure it adequately. Caravan insurance provides protection if your caravan is stolen and/or damaged, but there are a various means to stop this happening.

Did you know that there are around three thousand caravans stolen in the UK each year, and with the growing popularity of the 'staycation' and the resulting increase in caravan ownership and holidays, this figure is set to go higher. Caravan owners are wise to make sure they have the best security they can to prevent their caravan being stolen. Following are listed 10 of the most effective ways to protect your caravan, together they add up to a very effective deterrent.

Security posts are a great idea for people who park their caravan on the drive at home. These help prevent thieves from taking the caravan from in front of your home, because they are cemented into the ground. Some posts have a towball on top that the caravan is hitch-locked to, and others are either detachable or foldable to allow the caravan to move in and out of the drive.

Hitch locks are a useful device in providing a good level of defence against opportunist thieves. Check that it is made of heavy steel that will cover the tow socket fixing bolts, and also has a very strong lock. Bear in mind that on their own though, they don't provide a sufficient level of protection for periods when the caravan is in storage.

Wheel clamps are another option. Wheel clamps come in a range of qualities, but a useful rule of thumb is that by and large the easier they are to fit, then the easier they are for a thief to remove. It is important that you invest in a good wheel clamp and also ensure that it fits your caravan. Beware that some clamps that are available on the market will allow a clever thief to take off the wheel and the clamp in one go, so don't get one of these.

Another useful security measure is to etch either the caravan's chassis number or your postcode on all of the caravan windows, and in several covert places within the caravan. Alternatively you could just use a permanent marker on plywood inside a cupboard and under the beds, as this is nigh-on impossible to remove. Even cleverer, you can use an ultra violet pen.

Another available deterrent is wheel stands. However, don't underestimate the capability of a determined caravan thief, as this on their own won't be likely to stop them. You should check they are locked in place, and you should also check that your insurers are okay with you doing this, because some policies need wheel clamps to be fitted. Be sure to check your handbook, as many caravan manufacturers recommend using axle stands for winter storage.

You should also take plenty of photos of your caravan, particularly of any distinctive features it has. These photos can assist you in identifying your caravan should it be stolen.

Another alternative is to paint or use some commercially available large stick-on letters to put a number or code specific to you on top of the van. For instance you could use any number that is known only to you, or perhaps a parto f the caravan's serial number. This is of great assistance in the event that the caravan is pinched because it will make it easily identifiable from aircraft and helicopters that police forces make use of nowadays.

Your will find various companies around that offer a service that will embed a tracking microchip into your caravan. These chips can then be identified using a scanner. You will find that most vans manufactured from 1998 will have datatags installed as standard. All previous 'Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme' (CRiS) registered caravans are able to have the datatags fitted retrospectively. Bear in mind that there is a bit of a flaw to these services though, in there is no centralized network of available scanners to track down these missing caravans.

Another choice is a tracking system scheme, which requires the fitting of a transmitter which is hidden somewhere inside the caravan. If the caravan is stolen the transmitter starts to send out a signal to enable the police to find the van. There have been quite a few good successes using this scheme. However there exist several issues this presents to caravans (rather than motorhomes and cars), the first is that the transmitter needs battery power to be able to transmit, and the second is that the transmitter is only activated once the vehicle has been reported stolen. These issues can be a difficulty if the van is in storage for any length of time, and only checked upon occasionally.

You should definitely keep a record of the chassis number of the caravan, and if it is registered with CRiS, you should keep these documents in a safe place away from the caravan. Any other important information should also be recorded and stored in the secure place.

The more of these tips you put in place, the better the odds are that your caravan will not get pinched in the first place, and secondly, should it get pinched, that it will be returned to you.

Article Source:
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  1. A really useful article! I would think stress levels about security increase the newer your van actually is and the more it is worth....I'm so pleased we got Abbey for a book of Green Shield stamps and some embassy vouchers (warning - you have to be of a certain age to get that feeble joke!) Bugs

  2. Green shield stamps! I remember sticking them into booklets for my Nan!

  3. Ahhhh , cup of tea , radio six live and catching up on the caravan blog ... what sundays are made for :-)


  4. I agree with you about caravan insurance, although as a new 'full timer' I am unable to find an insurance company willing to insure my caravan. The only option seems to be to lie and if I make a claim and they see that I live in it, the insurance is invalid anyway. How do I get insurance?