As a Wayfinder-on-wheels, you don’t have the security of a stick n’ bricks house. Somebody could roll away with your house and home.
Whether you’re a road-tripper, remote worker, dirtbag, or full-time RVer, you need to protect your domicile from the bad guys.
17 RV SECURITY TIPS FOR KEEPING THE BAD GUYS AWAY!
1. Lock Your Tow Vehicle
This isn’t Mayberry. Lock your tow vehicle, and never leave the keys anywhere inside the vehicle. For that matter, if you store a spare key anywhere on the tow vehicle, either A) make it super-hard to find or B) use a lockable box.
2. Research Campgrounds Ahead of Time
Read campground reviews or call the campground manager ahead of time to ask about security. Have they had problems with campground theft? If so, how recently? Are there any security measures in place?
3. GPS Tracker
You can buy a battery-powered GPS tracker that syncs to your phone for as little as $10-$12 a month! These devices can be planted on your main rig, storage property, bikes, golf carts, tow vehicle – heck, even your kids! Popular brands include SPOT and WhereSafe,
4. Post a Sign
Let passersby know you mean business. Post a sign or paste a decal stating “Smile! You’re on Camera!” Whether you have cameras or not isn’t the point. Just make people wonder, and the bad guys might move on to an easier target. Other favorites include “Beware of Dog.”
5. Plant Evidence
Wouldn’t a thief think twice about raiding an RV or Tiny House owned by a shotgun-wielding 260-lb semi-pro wrestler? Maybe plant some evidence in or around your campsite, like empty shotgun shells or discarded empty cans of muscle-building protein powder. Or as some ingenious travelers do, post a “note” on the door to your “friends” who are due back “in an hour or so.”
6. Invest in Security Cameras
Many companies provide security and surveillance cameras for RV owners and Tiny House dwellers, such as Cove, SimpliSafe, SafeWise, and Vosker. When connected through WiFi or cellular internet, most of these systems can relay data straight to your smartphone.
7. Anchor Your Rig
No matter what your rig is – conversion van, camper or Tiny Home – you can make it more difficult to tow or drive away. Leave stabilizer jacks down and slide-outs extended. Extend the awning. Make it less mobile. If you’re living in a Tiny House, put it on blocks.
8. Park in Well-Lit Areas
(If you’re boondocking, ignore this advice.) If you’re urban stealth camping or parking overnight in a Wal-Mart parking lot, then avoid the dark, dank corners of the asphalt. Park close to a street light. Parking within sight of a security camera is even better!
9. Use a (Real) Hitch Lock
Most thieves simply pull up to your RV or Tiny House, hitch it to their vehicle, and drive away. You can complicate this process by investing in locking hitch pins, coupler locks, king ping locks, and other security locks. Be warned – no lock can stand up to an angle grinder forever! But high-end locks will require a looooong time to cut off, so cough it up once.
10. Hide Your Valuables
If someone strolling by your campsite can see a $6,000 Trek bicycle on a $1,200 Thule bike rack, there’s a good chance you’ll be identified as a “target.” When possible, hide your valuables. Close blinds and shades to block peepers, and use outdoor covers to protect your exterior-mounted valuables.
11. Replace Your Door Locks
If you have a coach motorhome or RV camper, then chances are you have a “universal” entry door lock and baggage door lock that you share with thousands of other campers (from many different brands!). You need to replace them with custom locks and new keys. Better yet, get a keyless entry pad, like the RVLock V4, that is passcode-protected.
12. Use a Chain
If you’re leaving your campsite for the afternoon but don’t want to pack up your exterior living space, why not use a chain to hold everything together? You can use a product like ToyLok, a retractable security cable, to chain all your chairs, bikes and golf carts together.
13. Insure Your RV
Ok, so insurance isn’t really protection. But if you have an RV or other mobile dwelling, you should insure it! It’s not just an investment – it’s your home. Check out Good Sam, Progressive, and Liberty Mutual for the best rates.
14. Lock Your Entry Doors
Yes, you already know this one. We all do. But do you follow it? Or do you get lazy and assume “that could never happen here”? Do yourself a favor, and even if you just spent all evening socializing with the neighbors, lock all your baggage doors and entry doors anytime you’re away from your campsite.
15. Interior Lights & Sirens
If you’ll be away from your beloved RV, just the lights on! Better yet, get a motion-sensing switch, and wire your lights so that anyone approaching the front door will set them off! Or you can go full “Home Alone” and blare pre-recorded conversations and gun-shot sounds, too. Or a loud siren.
16. Tell Your Neighbors
If you’re leaving your campsite, why not ask a neighbor to keep an eye out? Tell them you won’t be back until 5:00 p.m. If they see anything shady or suspicious, they can report it to the campground manager.
17. Use a Wheel Boot
If you liked Tip #9, you’ll love this one! You can buy your own lockable wheel chock lock for as little as $25! (although the good ones cost $100+). Cutting through a steel chock lock is noisy, time-consuming and exposed. Most thieves will move on. Bonus idea: Use locking lug nuts!
Andy Herrick is a blogging nerd, #8 Enneagram, wannabe bread baker, INTJ, RV industry professional, and small business entrepreneur. He can be found hanging out with his lovely wife and family, skiing, cycling, climbing, hiking, and convincing anyone who will listen why dogs aren’t really that great of pets. Also, he runs this website.