How to protect your caravan when on holiday
There is no better feeling in the world; the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you’ve just set out on the open road for a well deserved holiday. It stands to reason that the last thing on your mind is caravan security.
However, thinking about what you can do to help keep your caravan safe and secure while away from home is important, and can save you money on your insurance premiums too, so below we include some great advice from two caravan safety and security experts; Tim Booth of the ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service and Nigel Coppen of Club Care Insurance.
Service area security
Many caravan owners are well aware of the dangers of parking up at a service area or petrol station, therefore caravan theft from these areas has reduced dramatically. According to Tim, the last confirmed theft of a caravan from a service area was four years ago, but it is still important to realise that an unsecure caravan is particularly vulnerable to opportunist thieves.
Nigel advises that the two basic things you should do if leaving a caravan alone for any length of time are to:
- Lock the caravan onto the car using a hitch lock
- Deploy the wheel clamp
A good quality hitch lock is an important investment. Some cheaper models will not allow you to use the hitch lock with the stabiliser, so while the security element is present, the level of safety is not. Ensure you purchase a hitch lock that allows you to clamp the stabiliser fully down and into place so that remains locked on. Some time ago there was an urban myth circulating that the police did not approve of caravans and tow cars locked together, however, provided you use a product that allows full mobility whilst you are towing, this is not a problem.
Thankfully, while thefts of caravans at service areas are declining, there is still the issue of contents theft. Thieves know that there are high-value contents in caravans because people take a lot of their belongings with them on holiday. If you are leaving your caravan for any amount of time, ensure that you set the alarm, and keep valuables hidden out of sight.
On site security
Again it is important to think about caravan security whilst parked on site, so here are Nigel and Tim’s top tips for a happy and trouble free holiday:
If you want to keep this information in your caravan then you can download a copy here.
It’s easy to fall into a false sense of security while abroad and take the attitude that thefts won’t happen, however, they do. Overseas caravanning tends to be a much more laid back and casual activity, but it is still advisable to take the same precautions as you would when in the UK, being careful about leaving your caravan unsecured at service areas, particularly on French national routes and autoroutes.
Finally, make sure that you have insurance that will cover you for European travel, so that if the worst should happen while you are overseas, your insurance company will be able to help you. Club Care touring caravan insurance includes up to 365 days European cover.
Caravan Theft Alerts
Finally, if the worst should happen and you are a victim of caravan theft, then make sure that you list it on our caravan theft alerts website. The system carries a widget on almost 100 caravan-related websites, so you can rest assured that you are maximising the chances of getting it back. Find out more or list your caravan at www.caravantheftalerts.co.uk.