Highhouse Insurance Guide to Caravan Security
Every year many caravans are stolen in the United Kingdom, usually from outside of the owner’s property or from a commercial storage site. Caravans that are 2-3 years old are statistically the most likely to be stolen. Even in the event that the caravan is recovered by the police, are often never returned to the owner as all marks of identification are removed by the thieves. Taking the correct securities for touring caravans is important and precautions against theft can be taken with many different security devices available, varying widely in price.
These are a deterrent to thieves acting where they find the opportunity to do so, and they can provide protection against roadside theft, on site theft and also theft at service station areas. They do not, however, provide adequate protection against theft at home or in storage. When looking for a hitchlock ensure that the model chosen covers the whole hitchhead and the securing bolts to provide maximum security. Also look for the Sold Secure standards to ensure that you get the best quality.
Though not very suitable for use whilst making a short stop, a wide variety of wheelclamps are available. Ensure that you look for a wheelclamp that cannot easily be removed by a drill or hacksaw and bear in mind that thieves may let the caravan’s tyres down whilst attempting to remove this type of security device.
A wheel lock works in a similar way to a wheelclamp but it also fixes through the wheel and into the brake assembly. A wheel lock can be difficult to attach and unsuitable for a short stop, but when fitted wheel locks are highly effective. Different types of wheel lock are manufactured for different types of caravan.
Many types are available and costs vary considerably. If you are looking for a Sold Secure alarm, i.e. a quality tested one, then it is advisable to check their website as very few manufacturers of alarms have a Sold Secure status.
These help in the location of stolen caravans by tracking their whereabouts using either satellite technology or radio signals. There is a large selection of tracking systems available on the market, though it is important to recognise that tracking systems designed for motor vehicles may not be suitable for use on caravans.
Tracking systems can be costly to fit and may require an annual payment if a monitored system is purchased. It is also worth taking into account that not all insurers will give a discount on insurance premium if a tracking system is installed.
This is the Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme. All touring caravans manufactured by the NCC since 1992 have had a 17 digit vehicle identification number marked on their chassis, as well as having been recorded on the CRiS database. Since August 1997 they have all also been electronically tagged and from 1999 the scheme was improved to extend registration to caravans manufactured before 1992 as well as privately imported ones.
CRiS also offer Silent Tracer which is a security marking system that makes caravans much harder to steal. It also deters fraud through cloning by providing a unique identity for each caravan. Details of the current costs of CRiS sevices and memberships may be found on their website.
Whilst CRiS does not prevent theft, it does help in the recovery of stolen caravans and it may have an effect as a deterrent as caravans in this scheme are much harder for thieves to sell on to others.
These are a useful security measure whilst your caravan is at home. A post is concreted into the ground, on to which the caravan ballhead can be fixed into place using a hitchlock.
Contents theft from caravans has increased in recent years and thieves regularly steal expensive electrical goods, such as laptops, tablets, digital cameras and mobile phones. Security tagging these items will not prevent theft from happening but it will aid the police in the identification of stolen goods if they are found.
Many methods of security tagging exist, varying in cost. A cheap method of tagging could be by using UV markers to mark your expensive belongings with your postcode. A more expensive alternative would be using microdots, which involves a registration fee and monthly payment to ensure that your belongings remain registered on a database.
Roof Marking and Photographs
Marking the roof of the caravan with at least the last six characters of its CRiS number with stick on letters is a good way to ensure that the caravan will be easily identified by roadside cameras in the event of a theft. It is also recommended that the caravan is photographed both inside and out so that you have photographs to provide to the police should you become a victim of caravan theft.