As the summer season gets into full swing, caravanners and campervanners across the UK
are preparing for much-needed post-lockdown getaways. But sadly, these vehicles are also
more likely to be stolen during the summer months.
According to caravan insurance specialist Towergate Insurance, caravan thefts in the UK
rose 78% between 2015-18. With many people opting for staycations this year, leisure
vehicles are in high demand. And this makes them a prime target for criminals.
Anyone who owns a caravan, campervan or motorhome knows that an insurance pay-out
could never really replace a much-loved vehicle. So, taking steps to prevent or deter theft is
essential. Here are three approaches that can help boost protection.
1. Think like a criminal
According to the Camping and Caravanning Club, many caravans are stolen to order. An
article titled How to spot a stolen caravan says “police believe criminals are using Google
Maps to spot where the best caravans are and plot routes in and out of the site”.
Whether your vehicle is parked at home or on an official site, try ‘thinking like a criminal’ to
identify any vulnerabilities and take steps to make theft more difficult. This might include
using physical devices like wheel locks which demobilise caravans, motorhomes and
campervans. Hitch locks are a great second line of defence for caravans, making it harder
for thieves to hook them up and tow them away.
These security measures also act as a visual deterrent. When potential thieves can see that
it will take time to access and mobilise a vehicle, they’re more likely to decide it isn’t worth
2. Stay on your guard when you’re on the road
When you’re excited about heading off on a trip, the last thing you want to think about is
security. But when you stop to grab a bite to eat, it’s important to remember that service
stations are a hotspot for theft. Criminals may take advantage of the busy environment and
make a brazen attempt at stealing your vehicle, knowing they can make a quick getaway if
If you’re traveling in a group or as a family, take it in turns to use service station facilities
while one of you remains with the vehicle. If this isn’t possible, take five minutes to fit a
wheel lock and/or hitch lock as above. It may seem like an inconvenience, but it doesn’t
compare to the hassle and upset you’ll face if you’re left stranded on the motorway.
Simple measures like turning on the alarm and securing doors and windows are also
effective, but easily forgotten when you’re in a hurry.
3. Keep up with new security technologies
Tracking devices are a good way to protect a vehicle by keeping tabs of its whereabouts.
Newer vehicles include them as standard, but they have to be retrofitted into older models.
They make it easier to recover caravans, campervans and motorhomes in the event of theft,
which can result in reduced insurance premiums. Making it clear that your vehicle is
protected in this way – for instance with window stickers – can act as a deterrent.
Traditional tracking devices can sometimes be removed or disabled by determined or
professional thieves. However, more advanced technologies are on the horizon.
Here at Sentry, we’re getting ready to launch our Smart-Lead product which offers ‘track-
trace-immobilise’ functionality for caravans, campervans and motorhomes. If a vehicle fitted
with the Smart-Lead is stolen, it can be tracked via our dedicated portal and interior electrics
can be immobilised, making it worthless to thieves. Because the technology is integrated
with core electrics, rather than held in a separate electronic box, it isn’t easily removed or disabled.
We’ll soon be launching crowdfunding activity to raise the capital needed to manufacture the
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