Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Security For Your RV - Is It Really Needed??

By Its Lonesome
    Like all of you, I REALLY like my RV. I've spent countless hours modifying it, adding personal touches and keeping it up and running. And, it too. I've heard horror stories about RVs being stolen from storage lots and even from people's driveways. Then there is all the stuff we bring along. You can read all about theft of property from RVs if you look online. Generators, property from basement storage, even full-on break-ins with many things taken from inside your RV. It's all possible. But how likely? Just like preventive maintenance, an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure. Or more to the point, "Better to have it and NOT need it, than to NEED it and not have it." So, what to do?

Doors, Windows Locked, Vents Open
First off, is simply modifying your own behavior and that of your traveling companions/family. If you are leaving the RV unattended, LOCK IT! Seems simple enough, but lots of people leave storage compartments unlocked and even the main door! Yes, I know that the keys are often very common and easy to come by, but it's common or "opportunistic" theft we are looking at here. If you have a trailer without a built-in generator, get a chain or heavy cable and a strong lock to keep it attached to the chassis. Close the windows! You can always have a roof vent open for ventilation, but an open RV sliding window (not the "mail slot" type) is an invitation for bad things to happen.

Typical RV Alarm
I have seen burglar-type alarms for RVs that you can install, some wired, some wireless. All requiring some installation and battery power to operate. They range from ones that sound a loud noise to ones that will call 911 or your cell phone in an emergency. I guess, if you are parked at a campground or in a public place the noise will alert a passerby, but will they do anything? Maybe the loud noise is enough to dissuade someone from entering??? It could work, but most of the theft from RVs is "casual." "Oh open door, let's see what we can make off with!" Of course, parking in isolated or "bad" locations will likely increase your chances of a theft occurring. Be smart! Look around, see what's there, how much risk there could be. Then make an informed decision about whether to stay or move on.

Once you park and set up camp, be smart about leaving your RV unattended...LOCK UP! Even if it's only for a few minutes. If you have compartments that cannot lock, install locks! It's Easy!! You can also refurbish your main door locks if they aren't working well. Remember, we're mobile in our RVs..if a place looks bad....MOVE!

Be Seeing You... Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. Last December we got a call from the storage lot saying that several RVs had been broken into, ours was one of them and the sheriff was there now. This was about dusk and when we got there, there was already a crowd of about 20 owners going through their rigs with deputies. Our hearts sank when we saw our motorhome sitting there with the compartment doors open and camp equipment scattered around. They came in over the back fence from a wooded area and stayed between the rigs out of view of the cameras. The way we were parked both cab doors and the entry door were in camera view, so they didn't go inside. All we lost was a compressor and a small tool box. Others were not so lucky. The thieves smashed door windows, reached through to unlock the doors and ransacked and vandalized inside. The sheriff said it was likely teenagers looking for tools and stuff they could sell. The next day we moved to a different storage lot and ordered a SimplySafe wireless security system with cellular. I installed door sensors on compartment doors and motion detectors inside. If triggered, it has a remote wireless alarm hidden under the hood that goes off and the hidden silent base unit dials the monitoring station, who then calls me and unless I give the "ALL OK" code word, calls the sheriffs department giving them the name and address, license plate and description of the RV. They then call a second number, which in this case is the lot 24hr number. We pay $24 a month and the cell is Verizon, which gets a strong signal. The sensors and alarm use replaceable batteries and the base unit is connected to the coach batteries. We are not plugged in to shore power and I was worried about battery drain at first, but we have had no problem. If the coach batteries were to run down, the base then switches to an internal battery and sends you notification that it has lost power.
    When we travel, we can either call and suspend monitoring until we get back, change the location to where we are going to be, or using their app just change the sensors to "notify" and it just sends a signal to my and my wife's phone instead of the sheriff. This last feature is a comfort when we park enroute to do some shopping, etc. I hope none of you have to ever experience a break in. Hopefully our story will help some decide to set up some kind of system.

    1. Anon,
      Thanks for sharing your (sad) story. It just goes to prove, it COULD happen!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

  2. I have imagined security devices for RV storage facilities. These would be drop down chain link walls (such as one sees in a mall or on doors of shops in the inner city). These would be suspended from the ceiling of storage buildings, dropping down around the rv and locking to the cement floor.
    I also imagine them being suspended from frames (similar to home storage tents) for outside storage or home storage.
    Likewise, I can imagine a lightweight version built into the top of RVs, to roll the sides and ends (including the hitch). These would be used when RVs are parked for the day while the owner is away hiking or sightseeing etc.
    RVers need to brainstorm ideas for security since it's painfully obvious that manufacturers and storage facilities owners aren't doing the job. The stupid duplicate keys for doors and storage areas and flimsy door latches are evidence of this. The huge number of thefts from RVs and of RVs being stored at supposedly secure facilities also tells the same tale.

    1. Unknown,
      Sounds like a Zombie Apocalypse protection system! The cellular per month alarms have become very popular right now. I worry, that many of the places we camp have no cell service...what then?

      Rich "The Wanderman"


Thank you for your comment. Our moderator checks each one to make sure we keep the Spammers away. So the comment will likely not appear immediately.