Here at Camplify we know that the safety and security of your caravans and motorhomes is crucial. Who better to give you some advice than Cassoa (Caravan Storage Site Owners' Association), who were formed in 1999 to give owners just that! They're experts in all things storage and caravan safety so you can keep your assets safe whilst you aren't using them...
As a caravan owner it is important to make sure that you do all that you can to protect your caravan against theft. One of the first things you should think about is where you’re going to store your vehicle. Whilst storing your caravan on your driveway may be the cheapest option, data shows that it’s far more vulnerable to theft if stored at home.
So, what are your options?
You could opt for an informal, unsecured storage location, like a farm. Again, this may be a cheaper option but often there will be little security in place. Ask yourself this – if it’s easy for you to drive in and collect your caravan, it’ll be easy for someone looking to steal your caravan.
Unaccredited secure storage is the next option. Whilst this may be less costly than an accredited storage facility, there are no standards which the site has to adhere to and security features can vary significantly.
CaSSOA Caravan Storage
CaSSOA accredited storage could be your best option. CaSSOA has over 400 storage facilities across the country, all surveyed to ensure they meet security standards. Some insurers may even offer up to 25% discount on your caravan insurance premium due to CaSSOA’s commitment to reducing caravan theft.
An experienced risk surveyor visits each site to check site security (perimeter fencing, access control, exit/entry system, CCTV, alarms, fire protection) and on-site facilities. CaSSOA offers three levels of accreditation for storage site owners; Bronze, Silver and Gold, with awards based on a number of factors including security features and on-site facilities. Accreditation is based on a mandatory survey which is required every 5 years to ensure that standards are being maintained. Don’t take the risk of storing your caravan at an uncertified site. CaSSOA sites are committed to maintaining secure storage standards and actively working towards our pledge to reduce caravan theft.
With all of these options, you’ll need to make sure that you’re meeting the standards of storage required by your insurer. Of course, you don’t have to insure your tourer, but can you afford to lose it?
There is a huge range of caravan security devices on the market so it’s best to do some research before you purchase. Look for the Sold Secure
badge – this is the industry standard which tests and approves security products. Security devices can also be approved by Thatcham, or by European bodies such as TUV and SCM.
Whilst no product can guarantee that your caravan won’t be stolen, security devices will help to deter or at least slow down a thief. Fitting more than one security measure is worth considering.
Here’s our round up of how you can protect your caravan when it’s not in use:
Hitch locks fit over the towing hitch and prevent a caravan being towed away. They also provide a good visual deterrent. Look for a hitch lock made from heavy steal and make sure it covers the hitch fixing bolts.
Wheel clamps work in a similar way to hitch locks and fit over the wheels to prevent them from moving so the caravan can’t be towed away. You’ll need to make sure that you get the right type and size for your caravan, as some can’t be used with alloy wheels. Some wheel clamps leave the caravan’s wheel nuts exposed, which means that the clamp could be removed by taking off the wheel. In this instance, you may want to use locking wheel nuts as well.
When in storage, you could replace your caravan wheels with wheel stands, which would make it more difficult for a thief to drive off with your unit. However, check your insurance policy – if it stipulates the use of a wheel clamp of wheel lock, using wheel stands would invalidate your insurance.
From small alarms that can be fitted to doors and windows, to devices which have sensors to detect vibration or movement, there are plenty of choices to suit your budget. Whichever you decide on, make sure they’re switched on and in working order. Caravan immobilisers bolt the wheels to the axle preventing the caravan from being towed away without first being unlocked.
Many caravan now have theft recovery devices fitted. If yours has, make sure that you’ve paid the subscription for the monitoring. GPS tracking systems can be installed inside your caravan and are linked to a central database. If your caravan is stolen, your vehicle can then be tracked by the control centre, located and recovered.
The Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme
(CRiS) is similar to the DVLA for cars and is a national register for caravans in the UK. It provides registration documents and information relating to the history of the caravan.
All UK caravans manufactured since 1992 are automatically given a CRiS number which is etched onto the body of the van. If your stolen caravan is recovered or sold on, a CRiS number will allow the owners to be contacted. Similarly, if you were to buy a used caravan, you should contract CRiS to confirm that the unit has not been registered as stolen.
Remember not to keep your registration documents in the caravan – store them in a safe place at home.
If the worst were to happen and your unit is stolen, you’ll need to notify the police, your insurance company and CRiS. Make sure you have your CRiS or chassis number and serial numbers recorded, as you’ll need these.
If you’d like to search for a CaSSOA accredited storage site, please click here.
To find out how Camplify can work with you and your RV,
register today here.