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motorhome holiday
  1. Motorhomes
9th April 2021

How to keep your motorhome safe this summer and beyond

With the rise of motorhome thefts in the past 12 months, we’ve compiled a list of ways to keep your home away from home safe.

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Motorhome thefts are on the rise despite the UK being in a lockdown for much of the past 12 months. 

And with staycations on the rise this summer it’s more important than ever before to ensure your motorhome is as safe as it can be, whether it’s on your drive or at a holiday site. 

There are two main types of theft:

  • entire vehicle theft (where the vehicle is stolen and often broken down for parts) and
  • break-ins, where thieves are more interested in your contents, instead of taking the vehicle itself.

It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that whole vehicle thefts are generally carried out by experienced thieves, whilst thefts on the road are, broadly speaking, mostly opportunistic.

Here we break down everything you need to know about keeping your motorhome safe from thieves. 

Invest in a good security system 

It may seem common sense to ensure your motorhome has a decent security system, but you’d be surprised at just how many motorhome owners fail to secure their pride and joy. Items such as security alarms, an alert system, immobiliser, a tracking device or even CCTV cameras can have a massive impact on whether a thief is able to steal your vehicle. Just the presence of the latter is enough to put some thieves off attempting to steal your motorhome. While you may not wish to buy all of the above, having just one or two of them can help protect your home away from home. 

Check your locks

When leaving your motorhome unattended ensure all locks on the doors and windows are working properly. Remember to securely lock your motorhome every time you leave it and don’t leave the keys in the ignition, even if you’re leaving it for a brief moment. You never know when an opportunistic burglar is watching and they could snatch your vehicle with all your valuables in, in seconds. Also, you must never leave your items on view; it can act as bait to the thief and tempt them to steal and never leave any paperwork relating to your motorhome inside the vehicle as this will only help thieves sell it on.

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Invest in a clutch claw

Clutch claws are a fantastic visual and physical deterrent. Locking the brake pedal and the clutch in place so there’s zero chance for a potential thief to drive away. These devices are usually just over £100, but are an efficient way of keeping your motorhome safe in the long run. 

Check where you’re staying

Be more cautious if you’re planning to stay in an urban area, they usually face more crime episodes than the remote camping parks. Consider a well-lit area to stop by, even when you are stopping for a short period of time.

Insure your motorhome

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning an overnight stay, a holiday, or a longer trip across Europe, your holiday home on wheels has everything you need. So for your peace of mind, you will want a motorhome insurance policy for your own needs.

Sterling covers motorhomes of all makes and models, and we will shop around our insurance providers to find you the best prices. If you plan on doing any work to your motorhome, we will also cover modifications on a like-for-like basis.

Be cautious about where your motorhome is stored

If you store your motorhome at your residence, consider fitting a pull-up security post that stops it being driven away. 

If it is to be kept at an external site look for a CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association) site. There are 450 of them throughout the UK and they generally have higher levels of security than other facilities such as farms. CaSSOA sites are statistically proven to keep your caravan or motorhome safer than if it were stored on your driveway or at a farm. In addition, because of this higher level of security, you may be eligible for a discount on your caravan insurance if you store on a CaSSOA site.

Consider getting a steering lock

Invest in a quality steering lock that covers the whole wheel. Not only will this prove an effective visual deterrent, it also slows down any attempt to steal your motorhome. If there’s no chance of a quick getaway, the thief might think twice.

Consider getting a gearbox lock

Gearbox locks that attach to your handbrake can also act as a good visual deterrent to thieves.

Know what your motorhome looks like

Yes we know you know what it looks like, but not everyone does, including your insurer. Before setting out on a trip it’s a good idea to take pictures of your motorhome’s exterior and interior along with the contents inside. 

With the growing number of motorhome thefts in the UK, it’s more important than ever to keep your pride and joy safe.

Tony Avery from Gap Security, the UK’s only truly nationwide mobile installer of alarms, immobilisers and tracking systems, details the most popular ways UK owners are protecting their motorhomes: “There are a number of ways people are choosing to add additional security to their investments.

“These range from Steering locks, Vin Chip and CRIS Registration for Caravans and Motorhomes built before 2016. The installation of folding and lockable security post/bollard to name but a few. 

“Another popular and excellent way of improving your security is to install an upgrade alarm system. This will prevent the vehicle and its contents from going missing. 

“The majority of Motorhomes will only come with remote locking and an immobiliser as standard, so adding this will help give you peace of mind, and take your security up to the highest level of Thatcham Category 1.” 

Protect your OBD port

The OBD is the On Board Diagnostic which is the computer which measures all sorts of things like emissions, mileage, speed and faults.  The OBD port is normally located underneath the driver’s dashboard.

It should be used by garages for checking your motorhome’s efficiency  but can be manipulated by thieves to override vehicle security so they can steal it without needing the key. 

You, or your garage, can fit a lock which covers the OBD port on your motorhome so thieves can’t access it.

An OBD blocker prevents unauthorised use of the OBD port. These fix into the port and prevent thieves being able to connect to and disable your motorhome’s immobiliser. You need a specialist to fit a blocker.You could also consider moving the OBD port and having a dummy port in the usual place before your motorhome holiday.

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