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Prevent theft at the campsite: 10 tips against burglars

Thieves can strike anywhere, whether camping with a caravan camper. Campsite owners also try a lot to keep thieves away. But avoiding it completely is almost impossible. Unfortunately, most camping equipment is also complicated to secure against burglary or theft. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. We have some handy tips and tricks for you to make it difficult for burglars.

1.      Only take valuables with you that you need

Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. But, of course, you also want to take your good camera and other electronics with you. And maybe even some lovely jewelry or other valuables. But the less you take with you. The less there is for a burglar to get. Even if a burglary only lasts a few seconds, a thief can get a lot of loot because everything is close at hand in a tent, caravan, or motorhome.

It is better not to leave valuables in the tent. It is best to keep these in the car or in the locker of the campsite.

So leave your expensive camera and jewelry at home. Your smartphone probably takes equally good photos, and cheaper jewelry looks just as beautiful. The risk of burglary is considerable, especially for tent campers. A good option is to leave your valuables in the car.

But, never keep your valuables in plain sight. Instead, put them in the trunk and, if possible, even under the mat that covers your spare wheel.

2.      Close everything properly

Opportunity makes the thief, also at the campsite. So whether you’re quickly going to the camping shop, taking a dip in the pool, or doing something else, you have to lock it as soon as you lose your camping gear. This even applies to the zipper of a tent. Of course, any lock can be broken open, but it is very difficult for burglars to make their move during the day if you close everything properly.

3.      Don’t save on locks

Motorhomes and caravans have always had a lock. That already seems like a lot, but usually, these are very simple locks with a lot of plastic around them. As a result, they are very easy and quick to open, even for an inexperienced burglar.

Older motorhomes with a lower current value should also be adequately insured. Limited airframe coverage is the minimum.

Therefore, put a safe lock on your motorhome or caravan. You can buy much better cylinder locks at the hardware store or from a specialist auto locksmith Tampa for a few bucks.  Of course, you can go to your motorhome or caravan dealer to replace a cylinder or install additional locks.

4.      Are you optimally insured if something goes wrong?

Good (ongoing) travel insurance and car, motorhome, or caravan insurance are essential when you go on holiday. Before your holiday, check carefully for which amount you are insured for which category because that can differ per insurance. By the way, don’t forget that if you don’t have your caravan or motorhome locked, you are not insured either. Also good to know installing a good cylinder lock is often cheaper than the deductible of an insurance policy. Prevention is better than cure!

5.      Don’t rely on classic hiding places

Motorhomes and caravans are easy targets because they are so compact. You have very few hiding places. So be a bit creative with hiding valuables. You don’t fool a burglar with cash under a mattress.

Make it as difficult as possible for a burglar. And we have an excellent tip for that. Of course, there is no guarantee that a burglar will fall for it, but it is still handy because it costs you next to nothing.

  • Take an empty, carefully cleaned (but still labeled) screw-top glass that usually contains something opaque, like tomato sauce or peanut butter.
  • Put in a little bit of paint that matches the color of the original contents.
  • Close the glass and shake it so that the paint completely covers the inside. You can add additional paint if needed. Then let the dry glass open.
  • Fill the glass a third with fine sand in a bag. That adds some extra weight. You can now store your valuables in this glass. Few burglars will open your glass jars in the fridge. Maybe they’ll lift them, but there’s no time for more.

6.      Provide an alarm system

Burglars do not want to attract attention. The quieter, the better. With an alarm for your caravan or motorhome, you ensure that a burglar is startled and will probably flee quickly. You can place universal equipment on your windows or doors yourself. But even better are the professional alarms. You can have it installed by a specialist.

7.      Don’t be the hero

You come back to your caravan. The door is open, you go inside and face a burglar. What now? Never be the hero. Run outside and yell loudly so other campers can hear you. Walk away from your caravan or camper and go to people nearby, only then call the police. Because a burglar who feels cornered can react aggressively. You don’t want to end up in the hospital because of a small television.

Try to remember the description of the burglar as best you can. He may have other notable features. The better you can tell the police what he looks like, the more likely he will be caught.

8.      Apply window film

Large and clear windows provide plenty of light. But they also ensure that burglars can easily see in from the outside. Even ordinary curtains cannot completely prevent that. Of course, you can cover the front and rear windows with curtains when not driving. But you do want to keep some light in your motorhome or caravan.

A trick for this is mirror foil or milk glass foil. You can get these foils as static or more permanent foil, and you can apply them both with some soapy water. It takes some time but is certainly not complicated. And a nice extra is that the neighbors can no longer see inside.

9.      Always carry the essential things with you

Of course, there is a lot in a camper that is of value to a burglar. However, it makes a big difference whether a criminal takes the DVD player or takes your credit card. Especially things that can ruin your vacation if you lose them, you should always carry with you. These are, for example, debit cards, mobile telephones, and cash. A regular fanny pack is enough for that.

It is best to carry wallets, keys, and smartphones with you at all times.

Very important: if you have your laptop or tablet with you (i.e., internet devices that are too big to be carried around all the time), always protect it with a password. Also, never store your login details for shop and payment pages on the computer. A thief who takes these devices with him immediately has the option of accessing a PayPal account, for example.

10. Secure the accommodation too

Now that you know how to limit the risk of theft and its consequences, there is only one thing left: your caravan or motorhome itself! It is already sufficient to install a good steel drawbar lock with a caravan. Ensure that the lock you use for this is also good, preferably with a quality mark.

Modern motorhomes almost always have electronic immobilizers. So then, it becomes tough to steal a camper without the original key. But even better is to use a wheel clamp.

Do you have any tips to prevent theft at the campsite? Tell us in the comments!

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