4 Tips to Maximise Your Motorhome’s Security
When the season’s done and you’re ready to park your motorhome, or caravan up until next Spring, security is priority. The UK has a seen a sharp rise across the country in the theft of leisure vehicles so to help you protect yours, take a read of our top tips for securing your motorhome or caravan.
- Invest in Locks Approved by Sold Secure or Secured by Design
Sold Secure is owned Master Locksmiths Association, which is the UK’s largest body that advises the insurance industry about secure products based on their testing. Secured by Design is a security initiative by the Police.
Lock manufacturers with the Gold Standard Sold Secure label indicates that the lock has a high level of resistance against theft. In practical terms, it will take longer for a thief to break it.
Don’t stop with the steering wheel lock though. Too many motorhome owners only view the steering wheel lock as a deterrent. They will make a would-be thief think-twice about trying to steal the vehicle because it will take longer, making it higher risk. Up the ante by installing a gear lock, clutch claw lock, a wheel clamp, and for motorhomes with turning seats, you can also angle the seat and secure it with a bike chain and padlock to prevent the driver’s seat being usable without busting another lock.
If you’re securing your motorhome on a site or secure parking facility with CCTV and perimeter fencing for longer-term, it’s worthwhile taking the extra precautions because not all secure sites have manned CCTV or security patrols on-site. Most have CCTV recording, in which case, thieves have longer to plan their moves. Make sure your vehicle looks like the most difficult. You won’t need every type of lock but every one you use is an extra deterrent.
- Install a Folding and Lockable Security Post/Bollard
Bollards are ideal as they can be folded down when not in use, and locked in place when your motorhome is parked up. These are solid and should be securely fastened to the ground, preferably by a professional. Ideally, install them as close to the vehicle as possible to prevent the vehicle being manoeuvred around it. If a thief has the space to manoeuvre, they will not hesitate to drive your motorhome over the lawn, through a fence, or ram through locked gates.
If your driveway is large with space either side, it may be worth investing in one for the front and rear of the vehicle.
- VIN CHIP and CRIS Registrations for Caravans and Motorhomes Built before 2016
VIN CHIP is installed on newer motorhomes and caravans built from 2016 onwards. If you have a model pre-dating 2016, the VIN CHIP scheme is being rolled out across more police forces. In 2020, North Wales police introduced the scheme and later in August 2020, it was rolled out by Cheshire Police Constabulary following an increase in caravan and motorhome thefts in the Chester and Ellesmere Port areas.
The VIN CHIP scheme is low-cost and involves installing RFID chips discreetly at random locations within the motorhome or caravan. The tags contain information relating to the vehicle’s chassis number, registered keeper, and the make and model. Police have readers that can scan the information on the chips on moving vehicles traveling up to 60 mph, making it easier for them to identify and recover stolen vehicles. The downside is, the police need to first find the stolen vehicle, then use the reader to confirm it is stolen.
- Install a Motorhome Tracker
The vast majority of motorhome thefts are being done electronically. Tech-savvy thieves are using programmable devices to plug into the OBD (on board diagnostics) system to override the immobiliser. Every motorhome has an OBD. It’s the Blackbox that’s usually found under the dashboard on the driver’s side. The purpose is to collect and store all the telematics data that a mechanic needs to service the vehicle and perform any diagnostics or repairs.
A port lock can be installed over the OBD to block access or as a delay tactic, it can also be repositioned to another location with a fake OBD box installed in its place. A much better alternative that’s also easier is to install a backup immobiliser that’s completely independent to the OBD system.
A great Motorhome Tracker that also has a built in immobiliser, and is developed particularly to combat modern theft methods is the the Meta Trak S5 Deadlock. One of the most comprehensive vehicle security systems available on the market today, the Meta Trak S5 Deadlock combines advanced immobilisation, driver ID tags, next-generation tracking and 24/7 control room monitoring.
Insurance-approved to meet Thatcham’s strict CAT-5 and S5 criteria, the Meta Trak S5 Deadlock works with driver ID tags. The system will alert the secure control centre if the vehicle is moved without the ID tags within proximity. Live tracking is available at your fingertips 24/7 via smartphone app and web portal.