While caravans offer the chance to enjoy a lifetime of memories, the trick is to makes sure thieves don’t interrupt these brilliant adventures by stealing the van. Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO Stuart Lamont said: “The thing travelers need to keep in mind is that you need to be just as security conscious when you are traveling as you are in your own home.”
There’s a range of security products providing the chance to stymie the wannabe crook – from low-tech inexpensive choices to high-tech global tracking and microscopic coded technology.
AL-KO EASY CLAMP ANTI-THEFT WHEEL CLAMP
The AL-KO wheel clamp is adjustable to suit 13in to 15in wheels and is a key-operated lock that comes with two keys.
AL-KO UNIVERSAL COUPLING LOCK
One of the most intuitive and easy to use anti-theft-systems, the Universal Coupling Lock simply inserts into your 50mm coupling while bolting over the top to render the coupling useless.
AL-KO ANTI-THEFT SYSTEM GPS TRACKER
These days GPS technology is everywhere, from your car to your smartphone. Using a convenient app, state-of-the-art tracking systems are designed for caravans, trailers and motorhomes.
AL-KO has collaborated with Black Knight Global Tracking Systems to provide a purpose-built anti-theft system. AL-KO Anti-Theft System GPS Tracker includes 12-month connectivity anywhere in the world through 3G networks allowing you to monitor the device from the free application or your PC. The application also features the facility to set an alarm that alerts when the van is moved beyond its defined ‘geofence’ and precision tracking to five metres accuracy. With this system, there are no data limits or text messaging charges and no need for a separate SIM card. After the 12 months of free connectivity has expired, there is a low monthly subscription fee only.
THE RIGHT APPROACH
As most caravans that are stolen are never recovered, it’s worth making your chances of recovering your stolen van better. RACV General Manager Insurance, Paul Northey, said the RACV figures showed thieves continue to prey on caravans. As the problem isn’t going away any time soon, the future of caravan security is looking very interesting as security technology changes over time. Given the rate of technological change, the future of ATS is full of some big surprises. The word is that the ATS buzz will be around a mix of systems all working together.
A control panel or app might become the way to access your caravan, control lighting and many other functions and may work with access to CCTV that will trigger and record when the user is not-identified or when someone interferes with a hitch lock or moves the van. The key to these future systems might be biometric technology that recognises a selected human characteristic unique to each individual authorised to use the caravan – a match grants them entry. This may include fingerprints or iris and retina scans, or perhaps voice recognition as the key to anti-theft systems.
You’ll talk to security systems and obtain any necessary information about your caravan and who’s around it without the need for a keypad. We may also see new machine-to-machine technology (M2M) through robotic systems with artificial intelligence that learn the caravan owner’s behavior patterns; arming and disarming the security automatically. Fibre optics will help convey audio, video and data while reducing vulnerability to electronic noise and false alarms. The future brings with it many conceivable changes and improvements helping ensure your caravanning memories are happy and secure.
MEET THE AUTHOR
David Gilchrist is a Brisbane based journalist, author, radio presenter/producer and documentary filmmaker. As a filmmaker, David has worked with ABC Landline, ABC Compass and ABC Open. In radio he has worked in community radio as a presenter, a 4EB producer and ABC local radio as a community correspondent. David has produced on-line video content for ABC and several magazine and content providers. Beyond video production for his business 4G Production, he has written for a variety of publications including The Independent in London, Australian Geographic, Outthere and The Australian Newspaper, The West Australian and The New Zealand Herald, Caravan World and Camper Trailer Australia. The Queensland Hotels Association published David’s first book Raising the Bar and Penguin Random House published his second book Life in the Saddle which became a best seller in its genre.