One of the best parts of the RV lifestyle is meeting great people on the road, many of whom may become lifelong friends. But when you’re moving your RV around a lot, it’s natural to consider your RV’s security.
When considering how to prevent RV theft, it’s best to be prepared. RVs are a significant investment themselves, not to mention that they’re often full of belongings you value. Here are several ways to deter Grand Theft RV, from simple outdoor lighting ideas to complete RV security systems.
Do Your Homework
Knowledge is your most valuable asset in the fight against RV theft. Researching where you’ll travel and the potential dangers of those areas is critical. It doesn’t require a ton of time, and it may lead to something as simple as booking a campground in a safer neighborhood, but that can go a long way towards improving your RV’s security.
Utilize Trailer Hitch and Fifth Wheel Locks
For travel trailers and fifth wheels, swiping a full rig can be as simple as backing up, hooking up, and pulling away. Unless you always keep your trailer attached to your tow vehicle (which is unrealistic), you’ll need a way to secure it when you detach.
Hitch and trailer locks fit into the hitch opening and lock with a bar over the top, preventing anyone from dropping the hitch onto their own vehicle. A fifth wheel lock wraps around the hitch beneath the trailer and makes it impossible to connect to a fifth wheel hitch.
You can even double your trailer hitch’s security by installing a hitch lock and a traditional padlock. Swap the regular hitch pin for a heavy-duty padlock for an easy-to-install, dual-factor hitch security system.
Additionally, Camping World’s selection of wheel chocks includes chock locks and RV wheel locks (also known as wheel boots). Both are difficult for thieves to remove to get your RV rolling.
Upgrade Your RV Locks and Deadbolts
When you’re traveling, the ability to solidly lock your RV door at night can provide peace of mind. While the RV camping community is generally trustworthy, you might not always be overnighting in a safe campground.
If you’ve decorated your RV’s interior, you may have heirlooms, trinkets, and personal touches that hold emotional value. Because your RV is a rolling living space, it comes with door and window locks—just like your home.
But just like in a house, those locks have varying degrees of security. Replacing and upgrading the standard door lock on your RV is easy. Some modern RV locks offer Wi-Fi compatibility and an infrared camera that lets you see who’s knocking.
Others feature door alarms and entry sensors. And you can even install a keyless entry system that improves your RV’s security when you’re gone and makes it more convenient to get in when you get back.
When you do leave, it’s a good idea to close your windows, as these can be access points for RV theft. Oh, and always—always—lock your deadbolt if you’re concerned about your RV’s security.
Install Exterior and Interior Lighting
A person is far less likely to enter your RV if it looks occupied or like the owners are nearby. If you do leave for a while, leave a light on inside your RV, or let the radio hum tunes from your favorite station.
For some high-quality lighting options, check out our selection of RV light bulbs suitable for both indoor and outdoor lighting. Some of these even include motion sensors, so they’ll turn on if anyone wanders a little too close to your RV.
Even if you don’t invest in motion detector lights, think ahead when you leave your RV. If there’s a chance you won’t return until after dark, leave an exterior light or spotlight on. This can deter thieves and make it safer for you to navigate your campsite when you return in the dark (unless you have night vision).
Pull Blinds or Shades When You Leave
Alternatively, keep the blinds or shades drawn so that no passersby can see any of your goods inside. RV theft is more likely if there are valuables clearly on display through your RV windows.
This also pertains to your RV’s outdoor living space. If you bring e-bikes, kayaks, or other camping gear, put everything away before you leave your RV for an extended period. The more you can keep your valuables out of sight, the more secure they’ll be.
On this note, you can also research RV safes to keep very valuable or sentimental items locked away. That way, even if someone breaks into your RV, they won’t have direct access to your most prized possessions.
Camp in Groups
Camping in groups is also helpful, as others around are more likely to watch your RV and belongings while you’re away. If you just need to make a supply run, you’ll know that a trustworthy friend or family member is near your RV while you’re gone.
Sometimes, those who stay behind don’t have to be diligent about watching your RV. Their presence alone can be enough to deter potential RV thieves. Just ensure you can trust the folks you invite on your next RV camping trip.
In addition to who you camp with, some even recommend considering how you park in a campground. Most campgrounds are designed for RV owners to back into campsites, and this strategy has obvious benefits.
But in the interest of security, there are benefits to parking with your nose in. This is rarely possible for travel trailers, but if someone is trying to steal your Class A RV, the fact that they’ll have to back up to get out of your site is an added hurdle some thieves won’t want to overcome.
Install an RV Security System
Various electronic theft-deterrent devices exist for RVs as well. From motion-sensor lights to security alarms, equipping your rig is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Some RV security alarm systems even come with an outdoor motion-sensor camera.
These systems often include Bluetooth compatibility, allowing you to monitor your RV’s security, whether on-site or away having fun. Most systems operate using efficient rechargeable batteries, and some can be trickle charged by a built-in solar panel.
Have other RV security tips? Leave them in a comment below.