Whether it’s a cake in a bakery or the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, nothing is ‘unstealable’ with a good plan and perfect execution. Your caravan is no exception. However, a lot of theft is the result of carelessness, opportunity and downright bad luck. So when assessing your caravan security, ask yourself what would be required of a thief in order to take it.
We’ve already discussed some of the physical locking devices available for caravans, but which electronic caravan anti-theft devices are available?
Motion sensor lighting
Motion sensor lighting will do for your caravan what it does for your home – it puts anyone who approaches in the spotlight. It’s not a particularly common device on caravans, so your typical opportunist will likely be startled by it. A 12V LED security light can be had for less than $50 on eBay and is a cinch to install. Remember, you’re allowed to do this one yourself if you’re so inclined. And because it’s LED, it’s not going to use much energy.
Another idea is to install a cheap 12V outdoor infrared sensor focused right at the coupling, to which you hook up a regular LED lamp mounted above. You can find them for less than $5.
A caravan alarm should really only be viewed as a deterrent. People are so desensitised to them now that an alarm going off in your backyard or on the roadside is likely to be ignored. It’s possibly a different story in a caravan park where personal space is at a premium (and folks are trying to sleep). Look for a low-cost, wireless alarm system.
Note: A key part of having an alarm installed is making it obvious to a thief with a sticker.
If your other deterrents aren’t enough, a camera is your best bet for identifying who did it. An outdoor camera with infrared lighting can keep an eye out for thieves and licence-plate numbers. More advanced cameras have camouflaged casings and use black flashes, which don’t have the red glow of typical IR cameras. Some of the pricier ones are designed specifically to capture licence-plate numbers on moving vehicles.
GPS devices and services
The new AL-KO Anti-Theft System (ATS) is probably the most effective way of protecting your investment from theft.
There are no surprise costs with unlimited data built in and can be taken and used overseas without data roaming or hidden charges, A ‘geofence feature alerts the owner via a downloadable smartphone app when the device has moved beyond its defined ‘parking spot’, and allows the owner to track the movement of the van with high accuracy.
You can’t stop a determined thief, but you sure can make your caravan look like it isn’t worth the effort with a combination of these electronic solutions.
On the subject of connectivity, read more on mobile internet connectivity.