After speaking with several customers, I decide to do some research on RV vandalism. Of course, to my dismay, vandalism of Recreational Vehicles is on the rise all over the country. I recently came across a great article posted on Bish’s RV blog, on how to protect your unit from vandalism. I thought I would share some high points from this article with my fellow readers. Most of the well made points are common sense items. Such as removing high dollar value items, the same thing most of us do when we park our vehicles. Of course once a vandal does strike, the damage that results must be addressed. Hard earned money must be spent in repairing the damage, and in some cases your insurance premium will go up.
If your RV or travel trailer spends a lot of time unattended or in a storage unit (especially during the winter months), there is a good chance that someone could break into your unit. Before putting your unit into winter storage, you need to take precautions to make sure your RV is safe from vandalism. Here are some tips to make sure your RV is protected from vandalism and robbers who cause it. These tips are not only for long-term storage. We should all try to practice them on a regular basis.
1. Take all valuables out of your RV. This includes all electronic items. For motor homes with built-in dash radios, upgrade the system to newer system where you can remove the faceplate of the head unit.
2. Remove the roof ladder on the back of your RV (if possible). By leaving the ladder, you are giving a robber access to your roof. If someone really wants in your unit, they could kick in the roof vents to enter into your unit. This causes serious damage to not only your vent mounts but also to your roof.
3. Leave up a few window shades in your RV (about 10 inches). If a person is able to see into your unit before breaking in, they are less likely to break in if they see all of the electronic items have been removed. Do not leave up all of you shades, just a few main ones.
4. Ask the manager at your storage facility about their security system. See if they have a system or if there are any guards that come to regularly check on the storage lot. Also, ask for a lot space where all sides of your unit can be seen easily, especially the back of your unit. If your RV is backed up against a fence where there is a forest, a field or a close building behind it, this gives a vandal the perfect opportunity to enter your unit without being detected or seen.
5. Positioning your RV. Make sure when you back in your unit into the storage space that your RV is at least a foot away from the fence. Just because there is a security lock on the fence, doesn’t mean a desperate robber won’t try to climb the fence. If your unit is backed up close enough to the fence you are actually helping the robber enter into the storage lot. The vandal can climb over the fence, use your ladder to climb down into the storage lot or on your roof.
6. Lock the doors! Before leaving your RV, make sure all your doors and storage compartments are locked. This is particular true if your unit has a hamper access panel or under-bed storage that leads to a storage compartment. If you have deadbolts make sure those are locked too.
7. Check on your RV regularly. Check on your unit regularly, even if there is a security system in place at your storage facility. Just don’t forget about the unit after you have parked it. Make sure to check on your RV especially if you have a winter cover on it, this gives vandals an excellent ‘invisible cloak’ to hide behind. So schedule visits to your unit.
If you are parked at a permanent site at a campground and only use the coach during the weekends. Have your neighbors keep an eye on your unit for you, be sure to do the same for them. Many bold and brazen vandalism attacks have been made in broad daylight. The whole joy of camping and the RV lifestyle in general is to make friends, to help one another enjoy life, to establish lasting relationships in the RV community, and to create those lasting memories. So help each other out.
Safe Travels & Happy RVing!