Motorhomes are expensive vehicles and historically have had pretty poor security – the accommodation door on a coachbuilt motorhome is often especially flimsy and unlike modern cars, motorhomes tend not to be fitted with alarm systems by their manufacturers.
As a result, motorhome (and caravan) theft has been an increasingly big problem in recent years. You may want to consider having a good quality alarm system or tracker fitted, but there are a number of things you can do that will cost little or nothing and will reduce the chances of your pride and joy becoming another crime statistic:
- Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t leave anything remotely valuable visible in the cab or accommodation parts of the motorhome.
- If you use a sat nav, when you remove the holder from the windscreen, a circular mark will probably be left behind by the suction cup. Wipe this off – it’s a sign to a potential thief that your sat nav might well be sitting in your glove box.
- Make sure that all windows, roof lights and doors are closed and locked whenever the vehicle is left unattended. Many people leave roof lights open to ventilate their motorhomes when they go out – but many of these roof lights are large enough for a person to climb through, and even smaller ones could allow someone to rip them off and use a long pole to unlock the accommodation door from the inside.
- Get your motorhome’s windows etched with its MIN number (if post-2001) or perhaps its registration mark.
- Mark removable appliances such as the fridge and cooker with a UV pen, so that they can easily be traced if removed from the stolen motorhome and sold separately.
What If My Motorhome Is Stolen?
If your motorhome is stolen, act immediately:
- Inform the police
- Inform your insurance company
- Post information and (if possible) a photo of the stolen motorhome on the various internet sites that have message boards for this purpose.
In addition, all motorhomes built since 2001 should have a Motorhome Identification Number (MIN) in addition to the normal VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) that all vehicles have. Make sure you have a record (kept outside your motorhome) of its MIN and VIN and provide these to the police and your insurance company if the vehicle is stolen.
Buying A Used Motorhome – HPI Checks
If you are buying a used motorhome, make sure you or the supplying dealer runs a HPI Check on it, as you would with a second-hand car or van. Motorhomes built since 2001 can also have their MIN checked by the HPI service for motorhomes, known as MINDER.