Anyone planning their first motorhome holiday usually has a lot of questions: How safe is camping? Which is the safest motorhome? Or also: How do I protect my mobile home? After all, safety is an important factor to ensure you have a perfect and relaxed holiday. In this article we point out the most important accessories, tips on how to behave and measures that ensure even more safety on motorhome holidays. Starting with choosing the right parking space, to optionally available locks and security features, to preventative tips for avoiding breakdowns and damage to luggage.
Holidays with a motorhome or caravan are the ultimate in freedom: just go where the wanderlust takes you and do what you feel like doing. And even if you feel as comfortable in the camper as in your own four walls, it is less burglar-proof compared to a permanent building. Therefore, safety is always an issue when travelling. Especially if you travel to remote places or use your motorhome as a base camp for extensive excursions. Of course, the travel destination also plays a decisive role. You can find out how safe your travel destination is on the Government website, because in some places it is more important than in others to make the motorhome burglar-proof.
When parking, you have the most security if you park your motorhome on official campsites and pitches. These are usually fenced areas guarded by security personnel. Your mobile home can also be parked there without burglary protection.
The situation is different when you make stopovers in public spaces or when you are out in nature. The rule here is: trust your instincts. Your gut feeling will give you a bias on how safe you can feel around you. For example, are you surrounded by other campers? Then you can ask them to keep an eye on your vehicle while you're away.
Burglaries are less likely in busy places than in rest stops and supermarket car parks where there is only through traffic. Do not consider the safety of your RV to be a given, park in such a way that you can drive off quickly if the worst comes to the worst and do not take your eyes off your vehicle if you have a bad feeling. If you do, you should secure your mobile home against burglary.
Anyone who is concerned with the security of their mobile home usually comes to the conclusion: doors and windows are the first choice for burglars and thieves when they want to gain access to the vehicle. For this reason, it makes sense to think about additional RV door and window locks.
It is in the nature of things that the structure of a mobile home is less robust than the driver's cab. You should therefore further secure the motorhome habitation door. A common way to secure your RV door is with additional door locks. They are mounted on the inside and also locked from the inside. Therefore, they are particularly suitable if you want additional security in the motorhome during the night.
Corresponding locks can be used on all doors of your vehicle. Because rear garage and storage space flaps are also motorhome doors that you can and should secure. A do-it-yourself method for securing RV doors in the cab is to stretch a ratchet strap between both doors. The disadvantage of this method is that when attempting forced entry, locks and windows can be damaged due to the forces at work.
Our HYMER motorhomes are fitted with extremely stable frame windows as standard, which offer better burglary protection than curtain windows. If this is not the case with your motorhome, window locks promise security in the motorhome. These are usually additional bars that are attached from the inside in such a way that windows cannot be opened from the outside.
Alternatively, you can secure mobile home windows by attaching ‘security profiles’. These are rails that ensure that the window cannot be pried open, even if force is used. With the appropriate devices, you can provide additional burglary protection for your motorhome windows.
If, despite all the precautions, you want even more security in the mobile home, an alarm system is the right choice. Depending on which system you choose, an alarm system will scare off thieves and burglars or inform you as the owner of the break-in.
In the first case, an acoustic or visual signal ensures that the thief is deterred and, ideally, runs away instead of your valuables. The other solution can use a GSM unit to send information about the break-in directly to your smartphone, so you can immediately know about the break-in and inform the police.
This of course depends entirely on which system you prefer. Therefore, we can only name a rough framework. For 200 - 400 Euro, for example, you can get wireless systems that offer high-quality sensors and good workmanship. If, on the other hand, you want a complete system with various optional components that have to be installed by an expert, it can be closer to 500 - 1,500 Euro.
It is safest if you carry your valuables with you. But this is not always possible, especially on a relaxing or active holiday. If you need to leave something valuable in your vehicle, you can add extra security with an RV safe.
There are two categories of RV safes: the former serves as a hiding place for smaller valuables and ensure that thieves do not even think of breaking in. In most cases, these are inconspicuous dummies of soup or beverage cans, for example.
Permanently installed safes are recommended for larger valuables. These are massive, lockable metal boxes that cannot be stolen and thus ensure safety in the mobile home. Depending on the vehicle model, we offer such safes as optional extras ex works. There is a choice of such safes with a key or combination lock. If you opt for a model without a combination lock, remember: You also have to keep or hide the key for the safe.
What should you protect against burglars?
The fact that campers are all the rage is not only evident in the enthusiasm for the holiday form and the good sales figures in the industry, but unfortunately also in the mobile home theft statistics. The theft of mobile homes and other caravanning vehicles increased by 8.7 percent from 2019 to 2020. You can use immobilizers or GPS trackers to prevent you from becoming a victim of theft. More on that below.
The most valuable item you have with you on a caravanning holiday is probably your mobile home itself. It is therefore advisable to think about an anti-theft device for your mobile home.
Some of the built-in measures you can take to protect your motorhome against theft include hidden switches to activate the vehicle's diesel pump or battery separately from the ignition. If you don't know about the hidden switch, you can't drive away, and you have increased the security for your motorhome.
Alternatively, you can use a steering wheel claw for your motorhome. As the name suggests, this is screwed to the steering wheel so that the steering wheel can no longer be moved. As a result, nobody can drive away with your motorhome without removing the motorhome steering wheel lock, for which only you have a key.
Wheel claws work according to the same principle. However, these are attached directly to the wheels outside of the mobile home and make it clear from afar that thieves have no chance. You bring an extra dose of security for your mobile home - especially when it is parked for a long time or over the winter.
However, should it happen that your vehicle is stolen, you and the investigators will do everything in their power to find it. In this case, you'll be glad if you've created additional security for your motorhome with the help of a GPS system. A corresponding GPS tracker can determine the position of your camper at any time and communicate this to you via SMS or app. You can then forward the coordinates to the police in the event of an investigation.
In addition to protection against intruders and thieves, avoiding breakdowns and accidents also plays a major role in the safety of your motorhome. The most common breakdowns are punctures. If you happen to be at high speeds, accidents can occur which, in addition to endangering your health, can also endanger your vehicle.
It is best to carry out regular visual inspections and check the tyres on your motorhome for damage. You should also check the tyre pressure regularly and change your tyres in good time.
You can create additional safety while driving by ensuring that the load is loaded and secured correctly. This starts with the right load distribution in storage spaces and garages and ends with the careful securing of your roof and rear luggage.
Luggage should be doubly secured or lashed down with several tension belts while driving so that nothing can fall off. Because loose luggage would endanger the safety of your mobile home and other vehicles, especially on the motorway.
In the rear garage of your HYMER motorhome or on the loading area of your HYMER camper van, you will find special lashing rails including luggage securing eyelets as standard, in order to perfectly secure the load with lashing straps. When you're not driving, when you're standing still or even during short breaks, you should also secure roof and rear luggage with locks to give thieves no chance of stealing your bicycles and other items from the roof or rear luggage rack.
To have even more security in the mobile home, you can protect yourself with a gas detector. The small, barely visible tool detects the gas content in the air and warns you before the air gets too thin. For example, gas can leak into the air unnoticed from a defective hose on your gas cooker.
According to various reports, it should also happen that caravanners are stunned by criminals with an external gas supply in their mobile home and then robbed. To minimize or avoid this risk, you can ensure even more safety in the mobile home with a gas detector.
The safety of your motorhome depends on many factors. But with the right precautions, you can increase your sense of security and reduce potential dangers. Because well thought-out protective measures, which you are welcome to mark with signs à la "Caution, alarmed" or "GPS-Protected", will keep potential thieves away from your vehicle.
Choose from a wide range of safety features and enjoy peace of mind from now on when it comes to motorhome safety.