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Caravan security - can it be improved?


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Has anyone any ideas of their own on improvement over the present security devices that might prevent a caravan from being stolen?

 

With the brains of members on CT someone is going to come up with a winner.

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It’s the inconvenience factor when one gets stolen. At the minute it’s made worse by a lack of (secondhand) replacements and long waiting times for new ones. Personally I would sooner protect and hang

Your van is surely safer on the drive where potential thieves can be seen than in storage. All you can do is fit as many security devices as you can the slow them down.

No matter how expensive, complex or comprehensive a security system you can come up with, someone will equally come up with a way of overcoming it no matter what it takes - the Great Train Robbery, th

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No matter how expensive, complex or comprehensive a security system you can come up with, someone will equally come up with a way of overcoming it no matter what it takes - the Great Train Robbery, the Brinks Mat Robbery, Millenium Diamond attempted robbery and the Hatton Garden Safety Deposit burglary being just some of the examples of the extent thieves will go to, even if they did get caught.

The best you can hope for is a detterent to ward off the opportunist and "amateur" but those that plan with determination will not be deterred and often view it simply as a challenge.

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Your van is surely safer on the drive where potential thieves can be seen than in storage. All you can do is fit as many security devices as you can the slow them down.

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26 minutes ago, BOAC said:

Has anyone any ideas of their own on improvement over the present security devices that might prevent a caravan from being stolen?

 

With the brains of members on CT someone is going to come up with a winner.

Hi added flashing L E D  light to the outside  as when the caravan is alarmed There is nothing to show that the caravan is alarmed did not want the locks damaged in a attempted brake in I can turn the L E D from the inside also handy if parking up for the night at stop over on route 

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Ours is stored at home and I have made it VERY difficult (note I have not said impossible) to steal.

Making the caravan really secure when away is much more challenging. I suspect where you leave it (EG Barriered club site  VS  one van on a deserted CL accessed direct from a quiet country road) has far more impact than any devices you could add.

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It is difficult to envisage any system which could prevent a van from being hoisted onto the back of a low loader.

The best protection for your van is probably just to make it more difficult to steal or less desirable than the next guy's van.

In addition, any devices which make your van more difficult to steal also tend to make it more difficult to use, and so are a bit of a two edged sword.

Perhaps safer to look at the problem from the other end and simply buy better insurance!

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1 minute ago, Stevan said:

It is difficult to envisage any system which could prevent a van from being hoisted onto the back of a low loader.

Physical security devices of good quality will deter but not necessarily prevent theft. Ours is stored at home on a cul-de-sac populated largely by retired or work at home, friendly neighbours. Any unusual activity or strangers/vehicles in the vicinity would stand out. I can't imagine someone grinding locks off and heaving my van onto a low loader without being noticed :)

I think I feel more vulnerable when on site than at home so do the best I can with AL-KO wheel locks, hitch lock, levelling jacks and alarm.

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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18 minutes ago, KnausCol said:

Physical security devices of good quality will deter but not necessarily prevent theft. Ours is stored at home on a cul-de-sac populated largely by retired or work at home, friendly neighbours. Any unusual activity or strangers/vehicles in the vicinity would stand out. I can't imagine someone grinding locks off and heaving my van onto a low loader without being noticed :)

I think I feel more vulnerable when on site than at home so do the best I can with AL-KO wheel locks, hitch lock, levelling jacks and alarm.

I was actually thinking of the van simply being picked up and lowered onto the low loader, locks and all. It could then be taken away and the locks cut off at leisure 

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You'll never stop a determined thief, but you can do a lot. 

 

For me the biggest deterrent is not an anti theft device as such, but winter wheels. If your van will not roll it is much more difficult to steal and getting winter wheels off and real wheels on would take much longer than defeating even the strongest wheel or hitch lock, plus if the wheels are not available to the thief they will have to have some of their own to fit which means forward planning and eliminates the opportunist. 

 

Our van lives in the back garden. We are lucky that our house used to belong to a builder who kept his vans in the back garden, so we have wide double gates on heavy steel posts with steel bars to close them, so the van is reversed through and then the gates closed and barred. I have welded a tow ball to the lower bar so we nose the caravan up to it then hitch it to the bar and lock it on. The bar with the tow ball is locked to the gateposts either side. Then we swap the wheels for winter wheels and the caravans own wheels are locked away, which helps protect the tyres as well as making it harder to steal. Then we lower the steadies and lock them down. 

 

Finally we have motion sensing alarm so if anyone tries to lift the van it squeals like hell. 

 

It might not be totally secure, but I think we have done all we can. 

 

 

 

 

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One additional measure which we like  is to normally use rallies rather than commercial sites. We know almost everyone and almost everyone knows us, any stranger trying to move a van is likely to be noticed and challenged before managing to unlock a van!

 

One phrase used in other security contexts is "strength in depth". Using multiple defences, completely independent of each other which add together to give an even greater level of protection.

These might be any combination of :-

Wheel or hitch locks,

Steady locks,

Alarms,

chains to a ground anchor,

Physical obstructions to prevent a hoist getting in close enough

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1 hour ago, Stevan said:

"strength in depth". Using multiple defences, completely independent of each other which add together to give an even greater level of protection.

"Strength in depth! I like it :)

So, let me see......

1. Small cul de sac of only 6 houses where everyone knows everyone.

2. Caravan not visible unless you drive into cul de sac.

3. Caravan kept under full cover - so harder to tell if it's desirable to steal.

4. Multiple CCTV coverage.

5. Usually blocked in by a car, but to be fair not always.

6. Stored in a very tight access space, nose first, with steep banks preventing access for loader or to turn or pull out using brute force. No room to swivel off the raised drive extension (It is much steeper and more awkward then the picture suggests).

7. A custom solid stainless steel post with no visible means of unlocking and set deep into concrete.

8. Other hidden devices which I shall keep to myself (sorry).

 

9. And of course the usual wheel locks, hitchlocks factory alarm, etc.

 

 

Cvr1.jpg

cvr2.jpg

Edited by Ukzero
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2 hours ago, Stevan said:

I was actually thinking of the van simply being picked up and lowered onto the low loader, locks and all. It could then be taken away and the locks cut off at leisure 

That I think would still raise the suspicion of my very good neighbours :D

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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I purposely don't make much effort regarding security, preferring to only fit the bare minimum of security devices to satisfy the insurance policy. Other than a current lack of supply due to Covid, my caravan is very easily replaceable. To me it's just a caravan, nothing more.

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19 minutes ago, JCCD said:

I purposely don't make much effort regarding security, preferring to only fit the bare minimum of security devices to satisfy the insurance policy. Other than a current lack of supply due to Covid, my caravan is very easily replaceable. To me it's just a caravan, nothing more.

 

Hey Ho - I agree it's just..... but have you ever had one stolen bringing a massive amount of inconvenience?

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56 minutes ago, JCCD said:

I purposely don't make much effort regarding security, preferring to only fit the bare minimum of security devices to satisfy the insurance policy. Other than a current lack of supply due to Covid, my caravan is very easily replaceable. To me it's just a caravan, nothing more.

It may be just a caravan but I, like many others I suspect, invest a lot of time and some money in personalising our vans to get them how we want. For that reason having to replace it would be a big inconvenience.

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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Short of physically embedding a caravan into a huge lump of concrete there really isn’t a 100% sure way of preventing theft.

 

Make it as difficult as possible is the best course of action. Just how many physical devices you use is down to how much you are prepared to spend weighed up against the perceived risk.

 

If you have a mover then if possible drive your caravan into its parking space, it just makes it a little more time consuming if a thief cannot “just” hitch up. Another really useful factor are nosey neighbours, never underestimate their worth! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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I always think the AL-KO wheel lock could be improved to make one “insert” fit all wheels and not have to rely on such precise alignment of wheel & lock receiver. Having a receiver on ALL wheels would allow every wheel to be locked. As KnausCol, ours is at home, in a cul-de-sac so not visible to the casual passer-through.

 

As I have said before, the latest rechargeable battery angle grinders are very good and can make short work of a lot of locks.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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24 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

I always think the AL-KO wheel lock could be improved to make one “insert” fit all wheels and not have to rely on such precise alignment of wheel & lock receiver. 

 

Whilst I agree in principle, I doubt that this is possible without fitting identical wheels on all vans.

Alternatively, how about using the same concepts but locking the brake drum/hub assembly to the chassis?

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42 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Whilst I agree in principle, I doubt that this is possible without fitting identical wheels on all vans.

Alternatively, how about using the same concepts but locking the brake drum/hub assembly to the chassis?


The AL-KO principle relies on all wheel types having an aperture, if the insert was simply cylindrical and a loose fit in the aperture but had a large “head” on it, it could be fitted with a bit more leeway in the wheel alignment yet still cover the wheel bolts. I think Bulldog did something like this but it infringed an AL-KO patent and had to stop selling it.

 

Like you say, some method of stopping the hub from rotating would be good if it could be applied to all wheels.

 

 

Edited by GaryB1969

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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3 hours ago, KnausCol said:

It may be just a caravan but I, like many others I suspect, invest a lot of time and some money in personalising our vans to get them how we want. For that reason having to replace it would be a big inconvenience.

 

Not for me, there's no changes of any value made to mine, it could be replaced with an identical one quite easily. I don't see my caravan as a personal thing, it's just a caravan like 1000's of others.

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20 minutes ago, JCCD said:

 

Not for me, there's no changes of any value made to mine, it could be replaced with an identical one quite easily. I don't see my caravan as a personal thing, it's just a caravan like 1000's of others.


It’s the inconvenience factor when one gets stolen. At the minute it’s made worse by a lack of (secondhand) replacements and long waiting times for new ones. Personally I would sooner protect and hang onto the one I’ve got.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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I am guilty of more personalising and modifying than most.

Our caravan is our home from home and tinkering is all part of the hobby for us.

If it got stolen we would get 95% of the value of the components added because the major ones are listed on the schedule, but apart from waiting who knows how long for a replacement, the many many hours of work I have put in would be lost.

It's the same with my "special" weekend car, which I have also modified, again because I can and that gives me pleasure.

I feel I gain more enjoyment because of this "personal investment", but I do concede that I have more to lose in case of disaster.

There is no right or wrong attitude to take here, we are all different with different priorities and as long as these don't impinge on others, Vive La Difference I say :)

Edited by Ukzero
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I am another one who likes tinkering. I have added a fair few modifications to my  current caravan (as I have done with previous caravans and motor homes) 

I wouldn’t expect to get the money back that I have spent (which in fairness isn’t a lot) As for the time element well that doesn’t bother me in the slightest, I enjoyed doing the modifications and would happily do them all again. They would probably take a lot less time second time around. 

I have a near neighbour who wouldn’t dream of altering anything  “It lowers its value” apparently :rolleyes: and because of that he has removed all of the fitted carpets, bought an off cut of carpet to use instead. It fits where it touches (which isn’t in many places) has frayed unbound edges etc He has even left the thin protective film on his caravans TV screen “ To protect it” Strange chap ! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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14 hours ago, Stevan said:

How about using the same concepts but locking the brake drum/hub assembly to the chassis?

 

Brilliant !!!!                                                                                                                         :goodpost:

 

This idea is worth pursuing  I think.

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GaryB - you have just described the Full Stop Excalibur lock which we have. Its acceptable to Supersure insurance which we have.

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