A great deal has been done over the last 17 years to prevent and reduce the theft of Caravans and Motorhomes. With regard to Motorhomes, many manufacturers such as Fiat, Peugeot and Mercedes have introduced the installation of a Thatcham approved Category 2 engine immobiliser as standard, to the production line, in an attempt to reduce hot-wiring and the actual theft of the vehicle itself.
Caravan manufacturers on the other hand, haven’t been as proactive. Although, the Explorer group have made the wiring looms inside their Caravans prepared for the installation of an Autowatch system from 2006.
In 1992 the National Caravan Council, in conjunction with HPi, established CRis, the Caravan Registration Scheme, encouraging people to register their Caravans on a national database. In addition to this, they have recommended several simple steps, most of which are just common sense, to reduce your chances of becoming a victim.
For example, ensuring that the Caravans legs are securely down and locked; keeping windows, the main door and roof hatches locked when the Caravan is left unattended; etching an identification number onto the windows and finally marking with an ultraviolet marker, the Caravans interior fittings.
However, in reality, how much difference to these measures makes?
As with all methods of vehicle security, it’s all about buying time. We need to make it as difficult or as time consuming as possible to steal your vehicle, hoping that the thief moves onto the next one.
To add insult to injury, it’s not just the massive inconvenience that a theft causes, but the hidden costs incurred afterwards, like trying to replace items that have sentimental value, or just cannot be economically replaced easily. Also, the cost of your insurance premium may rise as a direct result of a claim and any no-claims bonus could be lost forever after being so very careful so such as long time.
When you consider the cost of a Motorhome for example, it’s hard to understand why they come with just a basic immobiliser when it’s often the contents that are most at risk. However, adding an alarm that meets the rigorous tests set-out by Thatcham can often reduce your insurance premium, in some cases the discount can be more than the cost of the alarm itself. For Motorhomes that already have remote controlled central locking and a Thatcham approved Category 2 immobiliser, we recommend fitting an upgrade alarm which operates via the existing remote controls. There are two different types of alarm available depending upon what Motorhome they are to be installed to. The most popular are System 7 and System 8, which including a mobile installation cost as little as £349.99.
With regard to Caravan security, rather than spending your weekend fitting deadlocks to the doors and etching the windows, we would recommend the installation of a Sold Secure alarm system, such as our Caravan Alarm System 2, which even has its own power supply, which is handy if the Caravan is left unattended to periods of time without an electrical hook-up.
Whether you decide to fit an alarm or not, one thing is certain and that’s the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” and therefore, keeping valuable items out of sight will always help. Tale-tale signs like suction cup marks on a Motorhome windscreen, are proof that a Sat/Nav has been used and may well be sat in the glove box. A quick wipe and the mark is removed and the risk of theft reduced.