With almost half a million touring caravans in the UK, its not surprising that theft of and theft from caravans is a massive problem. In fact, both professional thieves and opportunist favour caravans to cars as their chosen prey!
Not only are they easy to steal, but if broken into often contain a large amount of personal effects and appliances. For a great many caravan owners, the caravan is actually a second home, with items of such great personal value, they simply cannot be replaced.
Many caravan owners resort to fitting a basic DIY security system, which unfortunately seldom defeats anyone and once the wires to the siren are cut, or the leisure battery is disconnected, are useless. The use of mechanical security devices like wheel clamps and hitch locks aren’t much better; only deterring the amateur thief from actually taking the caravan, but not even creating much of a hurdle to the professional thief and leaving the contents vulnerable.
As for physical caravan security locks; they may provide peace of mind with their very obvious presence, but they are by no means much of a hurdle for the professional thief, nor will they protect the contents.
In recent years MINDER was introduced to security tag caravans manufactured after 2001, which although is a step in the right direction, is only of benefit if a stolen caravan is recovered at a later stage.
Ultimately, as with any other vehicle, if you want a solid line of defence, an alarm is the only sensible option. Perhaps one of the best selling and most effective products available actually incorporates a battery back-up which provides power after the leisure battery runs down, of up to 14 days. This is perfect for caravans that are parked or stored elsewhere. It is also possible to add a text messaging device to the alarm which will not only send you a text message if the alarm goes off, but will also text you if the leisure battery drops below 10.5v.
The caravan security alarm itself incorporates a wireless infra red motion sensor, which will detect anyone entering the caravan via a window or skylight. Being wireless there is no need to run wires everywhere, which are often unsightly and the need to remove trim, carpets and cupboards is eliminated. It also protects the entrance with a magnetic reed switch. Another piece of good news is that owners can have their alarm armed while they sleep, or if they leave a pet inside.
Added to the alarm are two more sensors; the first is attached to the steady leg, designed to detect it being raised or lowered while the alarm is armed and the second is attached to the electrical hook-up. Thus, the caravan cannot be entered or moved without the alarm being triggered.
As with most things in life where a tradesman is required, the effectiveness of this caravan security alarm (as with any other) will ultimately lie in the quality and skill of the person that installs it. Fitted correctly by an approved and Thatcham recognised installer, this system will protect both the caravan and its contents for many years to come.