Security is an often overlooked and important consideration for RV owners. Setting up in a secure RV Park is helpful but time on the road and boondocking makes the RV a target for theft. Full-timers are also likely to carry along valuables and sentimental items that are irreplaceable. This means securing the RV is absolutely critical to protect belongings and for general safety while sleeping in places with unknown threats. Most stops are joyful and safe but it only takes one thief to sour a trip.
The easiest method of deterring thieves is through signage. Many homeowners place security system signs on their houses even when they do not have an active system installed. Just the threat of security is enough to turn away many potential break ins. Find stickers and window decals for RV security systems and place them near the doors, windows and other weak points. Even place one on top near the vents to deter access from the most overlooked point of entry.
Consider taking things one step further and add a fake camera in plain sight along with a blinking light that appears as an alarm. This is effective for both RV’s and pull behind campers. Although signs and fake camera systems are helpful, applying more serious and real methods of protection is a good idea.
Unfortunately, most RV’s are not built with high quality locks. A simple door handle lock is not sufficient and a hard kick will break open many RV door models. A dead bolt is helpful and even an upgraded door that is solid with substantial hinges rather than thin metal is a good move. Many RV’s require a significant investment and adding an aftermarket door with a locking handle and a deadbolt will create a more formidable barrier.
Locks on the vehicle door handles are also candidates for upgrades. Aftermarket locks are available to really secure the doors while adding an obvious and extremely difficult lock system. A locking system for the roof vents is also useful. Skilled thieves can remove a roof vent and slide right into the RV. Add a crossbar lock to secure these vents at all times.
Alarms and Cameras
The digital age makes RV security easy and adding cameras that link to a smartphone for constant monitoring is easy. Some systems are made specifically for RV’s but other home models work equally well. The one requirement for monitoring however is a WIFI signal. At most parks, this is not an issue but while boondocking, the cameras will not connect to the smartphone. They will however remain valuable as deterrents.
Alarm systems are a must-have investment. They are easy to have installed and will make some serious noise in the event of a break-in. A simple car alarm system will connect to an RV and will function off the primary battery. Adding an additional alarm or motion detection system to the interior will create and alert system for break-ins coming from the house door, windows or ventilation system.
A guard dog sign is never a bad move and adding an actual dog is not a bad idea when it suits your lifestyle. Some parks do not allow dogs however and this is a major decision. Having a dog on board does work well as a deterrent and can add immense value to your travels. At the least, throw up a guard dog sign.
Add a Safe
Some things simply require an additional layer of security. Adding a safe is wise but bolting the safe to the subframe ensures it remains locked and in place. Anyone carrying one or more firearms must keep and use a safe. Important documents like social security cards, birth certificates and financial records will also store in a fireproof safe. A small safe is adequate for most travelers. Have it professionally installed to ensure the safe is bolted down and cannot be moved.
Leaving valuables out in place sight might encourage a thief. Cover your windows and pull down the curtains when the RV is not occupied. Stow away electronics and cover up anything that looks like an easy grab. Also, consider leaving a small light on to make it look like the RV is occupied while you are out. A dark RV looks unoccupied and is more approachable but a little light makes it look like someone is home and many thieves will avoid the potential for conflict.