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The Ultimate Guide to Motorhome Theft Prevention

Motorhome Theft Prevention GPS systems for Motorhome

Understanding Motorhome Theft

Motorhome theft is a significant issue that impacts a vast number of motorhome owners worldwide. Understanding the statistics and common methods of theft can help motorhome owners make informed decisions about their motorhome security system.

Motorhome Theft Statistics

In the United States, motorhome theft is a prominent problem, with an estimated 85% of stolen motorhomes never being recovered (Camper Report).

Looking at the geographical distribution of motor vehicle thefts, certain areas are more prone to this issue than others. Below is a list of the top 10 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas with the highest motor vehicle theft rate in 2022:

  1. Anchorage, Alaska
  2. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  3. Bakersfield, California
  4. Pueblo, Colorado
  5. Odessa, Texas
  6. Redding, California
  7. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California
  8. Vallejo-Fairfield, California
  9. Stockton-Lodi, California
  10. Springfield, Missouri

Additionally, the top 10 states with the highest number of motor vehicle thefts in 2021-2022 are:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Florida
  4. Washington
  5. Georgia
  6. Colorado
  7. Missouri
  8. Michigan
  9. Oregon
  10. Nevada

Figures courtesy III.org

Common Motorhome Theft Methods

Understanding the common methods of motorhome theft can help owners protect their vehicles effectively. One of the most common methods used by thieves to steal motorhomes is by breaking into the owner’s home and using the keys to drive away with the vehicle (Camper Report).

Motorhome thefts can occur anywhere, including campgrounds, parking lots, and residential areas, and are more likely to happen at night (Progressive). The most common types of motorhome thefts are break-ins, where thieves gain access by breaking windows or forcing doors open (Progressive).

In terms of theft methods:

  • About 30% of motorhomes are stolen by simply driving away with them, as they are easy to start and operate without a key (Lightcatch).
  • Approximately 20% of motorhome thefts occur by thieves breaking into the owner’s property and stealing the keys (Lightcatch).

Armed with this knowledge, motorhome owners can take proactive steps to prevent theft, including investing in a quality motorhome alarm system and ensuring robust physical security measures are in place.

Essential Theft Prevention Measures

Taking proactive steps to secure your motorhome is crucial for preventing theft. The following are some of the key measures to consider.

Importance of Motorhome Locks

One of the most basic, yet critical steps in motorhome theft prevention is ensuring that your motorhome locks are secure and robust. This includes door locks, window locks and additionally, wheel locks or hitch locks, which can provide an additional layer of security for a motorhome, making it more difficult for thieves to steal (Lightcatch). Upgrading to high-quality locks can make it significantly more challenging for potential thieves to gain access to your motorhome.

Alarm Systems for Motorhomes

Investing in a good quality alarm system can also vastly improve your motorhome’s security. Alarm systems deter thieves and alert you if someone attempts to break into your motorhome (Source). An alarm system can provide additional security for your motorhome, deterring thieves with acoustic or visual signals, or notifying you of a break-in through a GSM unit that sends information directly to your smartphone (HYMER). For a comprehensive guide on choosing and installing a motorhome alarm system, check out our article on motorhome alarm installation.

GPS Tracking Systems

Installing a GPS tracking system in your motorhome can significantly increase the chances of recovery if it is stolen (Camper Report). GPS trackers provide real-time location information, which can be critical in helping law enforcement retrieve a stolen motorhome. Additionally, some tracking systems offer alert features that notify you if your motorhome moves out of a designated area or exceeds a certain speed. This can be particularly useful if your motorhome is parked for an extended period, as you can set up a geofence around your parked motorhome and receive an alert if your motorhome moves outside of this area. For more information on GPS tracking systems for motorhomes, check out our article on motorhome security system.

By implementing these essential theft prevention measures, motorhome owners can greatly enhance the security of their vehicles and enjoy peace of mind, whether they’re on the road or parked at a campsite.

GPS tracking system for motorhome

Physical Security Measures for Motorhomes

Physical security measures are an essential aspect of motorhome theft prevention. By investing in suitable security devices and following certain safety guidelines, motorhome owners can significantly reduce the risk of theft.

Steering Wheel Locks and Wheel Clamps

Steering wheel locks and wheel clamps are straightforward and cost-effective security measures. A steering wheel lock makes it harder for thieves to manoeuvre the vehicle, while a wheel clamp immobilises it completely. Both these devices act as visual deterrents, often discouraging potential thieves from attempting to steal the motorhome. Installing a steering wheel lock is a simple and affordable measure that can deter thieves (Source). Similarly, wheel clamps make it harder for thieves to move the motorhome, thus offering an additional level of protection (Source).

Motorhome Parking Safety Measures

The location where a motorhome is parked can significantly impact its vulnerability to theft. As recommended by experts, parking in well-lit areas or near surveillance cameras can discourage potential thieves (Source). In addition, parking in a location that is visible to the public can also act as a deterrent, as thieves are less likely to risk being seen.

Extra Door and Window Security

Extra door and window security measures can provide additional protection, especially during the night. Additional door locks can be mounted on the inside of the motorhome habitation door to provide extra security (HYMER). Moreover, rear garage and storage space flaps should also be secured with locks.

Window locks and security profiles can prevent windows from being opened from the outside. Window locks are additional bars that are attached from the inside, while security profiles are rails that ensure windows cannot be pried open, even with force (HYMER).

Remember, the key to motorhome theft prevention lies in making it as difficult as possible for thieves to gain access to your vehicle. By implementing these physical security measures and combining them with an efficient motorhome alarm system, motorhome owners can enjoy their travels with peace of mind.

Impact of Insurance on Motorhome Security

Insurance plays a significant role in motorhome security, offering a financial safety net in the event of theft. However, many insurance policies have specific requirements regarding the security measures that must be in place for the policy to remain valid. This section will discuss the insurance requirements for motorhomes and the importance of comprehensive coverage.

Insurance Requirements for Motorhomes

Motorhome theft is a significant concern for owners, as these vehicles are often expensive and contain valuable items (Insurance.com). As such, insurers often require certain security measures to be implemented and maintained.

For instance, insurers may require the installation of a motorhome alarm system or specific types of locks. It is crucial to check your insurance policy documents for any specific requirements to ensure your coverage remains valid in the event of a theft.

Additionally, providing proof of these security measures can often help in the event of a claim. Taking pictures of the security measures when they are in place can serve as proof of their usage and effectiveness (Motorhome Insider).

Importance of Comprehensive Coverage

Beyond basic insurance requirements, it’s highly recommended for motorhome owners to have comprehensive insurance coverage. This type of coverage protects against theft and other risks, offering peace of mind to owners (Progressive).

Comprehensive coverage can help cover the cost of replacing stolen items from inside the motorhome, as well as the vehicle itself. This is particularly important as motorhomes often house personal belongings that can be costly to replace.

However, it’s important to note that even with comprehensive coverage, taking proactive steps towards motorhome theft prevention is crucial. This includes implementing physical security measures and maintaining safe storage of valuables. For example, keeping important documents, such as the vehicle’s title and registration, in a safe place separate from the motorhome can minimize the impact of theft (Insurance.com).

While insurance is an essential aspect of motorhome security, it is only one part of a comprehensive approach. Implementing robust security measures, like a motorhome door alarm, and following best practices for safe storage and documentation are just as important in preventing theft and ensuring the security of your motorhome.

Additional Safety Measures for Motorhomes

Beyond the fundamental security measures such as locks, alarms, and GPS tracking, there are several additional steps motorhome owners can take to further enhance their vehicle’s security.

Safe Storage of Valuables

To protect valuables in your motorhome, consider using vehicle vaults and safes. Smaller valuables can be discreetly stowed away in inconspicuous dummies such as soup or beverage cans, while larger valuables can be secured in permanently installed safes. These safes, which are lockable metal boxes, offer an extra level of protection and can be equipped with key or combination locks. Companies like HYMER offer such safes as optional extras (HYMER).

Importance of Proper Documentation

It is also vital to keep important documents, such as the vehicle’s title and registration, in a safe place separate from the motorhome. This precaution minimises the impact of theft by ensuring that critical information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands (Insurance.com).

Visible Vs. Unseen Security Measures

An effective motorhome theft prevention strategy combines both visible and unseen security measures. Visible deterrents, like steering wheel locks and external wheel clamps, can discourage potential thieves from attempting to steal the motorhome in the first place. Meanwhile, unseen security measures, such as immobilisers, trackers, and alarms, provide an additional layer of protection if a thief manages to bypass the visible deterrents (Motorhome Insider).

For instance, installing the Vanguardian, a robust motorhome alarm system, can alert you or others in the vicinity if someone tries to break into your vehicle. Similarly, a motorhome door alarm can provide added security for the entrances to your vehicle.

In conclusion, a combination of secure storage for valuables, proper documentation, and a mixture of visible and unseen security measures can significantly enhance the safety of your motorhome. These steps, along with the necessary insurance coverage, form a comprehensive motorhome theft prevention strategy that can provide peace of mind for motorhome owners.

Vanguardian Motorhome System



Picture of Michael Horsfall

Michael Horsfall

Michael Horsfall, a seasoned plumbing and heating engineer with over 35 years of trade experience, is the innovative mind behind VanGuardian, a proactive van security solution. His journey into the realm of security was triggered by recurrent incidents of theft, particularly copper pipe theft right from outside his residence in Leeds. The rampant van crimes led him to envision VanGuardian, a patented alarm system engineered to deter theft by activating upon contact, safeguarding assets before any damage occurs. Michael's in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by tradesmen, paired with his endeavor on Dragons' Den to secure investment, underscores his commitment to fostering van safety. His profound expertise and real-world experience equip him with a distinctive insight, making his blogs an invaluable resource for individuals seeking pragmatic advice on van safety and security.

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