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It can be a challenge keeping campers and RVs safe at all times. Recreational Vehicles are vulnerable to theft. An RV security system may be the ultimate preventative measure in keeping your camper safe.
Campers and Campfires believes that most people are honest and will not steal from their fellow campers. However, theft of belongings and campers does occur at campsites, homes, and storage facilities. It is essential to take precautions that prevent theft from occurring.
Do-it-yourself RV security systems are available for purchase to help keep your camper safe. Unlike homes, campers may not always have access to electricity, especially when parked at a residence or a storage facility. Battery operated (battery back-up) alarm systems that include monitoring are not always practical because battery life is typically short in these systems. As a result, Campers and Campfires recommends four methods for protecting your camper.
If you have access to power each time your camper is parked, Campers and Campfires recommends the Simplisafe Alarm System. Simplisafe is a great option for RVers and part-time RVers that keep their camper hooked up to a power supply both at campgrounds and at home.
Simplisafe (Check it out on Amazon) is an economical alarm system that can be self-installed in your camper and used anywhere that power is available. This system is ideal and does not require a landline or Wi-Fi. Simplisafe uses a cell signal to dial out in case of an emergency and a keypad is used for arming and disarming the unit. Entry sensors on windows and doors, motion sensors, glass break sensors, and video monitoring can be installed. A security monitoring agency can be used with Simplisafe. Call the monitoring agency each time you set up your rig in a new site. If an emergency occurs, 911 will send the responders to the correct location.
Unmonitored Security Systems
Unmonitored security systems are used for alarms, although the police are not contacted or dispatched. This an excellent deterrent because the noise is usually enough that an intruder will leave immediately. Unmonitored systems work well when a camper is parked and not occupied, such as at home or a storage facility. The systems are battery operated, so they do not require that you have power running to your camper.
Door and window entry alarms are optimal to keep intruders away from your camper. When a door or window is opened, an alarm sounds so that intruders will leave your camper immediately.
There are two important features when choosing an alarm system, the decibel level and the remote control. It is important to choose a decibel level (dB) that is loud enough for your neighbors to hear. You also want a remote that you can quickly disarm before entering the camper. Campers and Campfires recommend the Hendun Wireless Door Alarm (Check it out on Amazon). The Hendun sounds at 105 dB and can be heard from 100 yards away. The alarm also has a feature where the remotes can be programmed so that one remote controls multiple units.
In addition to door and window entry alarms, an unmonitored motion detector can be mounted inside your camper to serve as a deterrent. With motion detection, a remote is unnecessary because the alarm generally has a 30-second delay, allowing time for you to arm and disarm the system before the alarm sounds. Campers and Campfires recommends the Sabre Wireless Motion Sensor Alarm (Check it out on Amazon). The Sabre unit is easily installed and has a 120 dB siren that sounds once motion is detected.
Motion Activated Lights
Another strategy is with the use of motion detecting lights. These lights will startle and draw attention to intruders. Thieves are more likely to leave if they are no longer working in the dark and have the possibility of being seen. Several options are available when deciding how to use motion lights. Lights can be mounted so that they will shine on your camper when it is parked at home. They can also be installed on the outside of your camper so that regardless of where you are located, lights will be activated.
If you mount lights on your camper, it is essential to choose lights that can easily power off. When camping, you do not want a motion light that will disturb fellow campers (unless there is an emergency). For this reason, we do not generally recommend mounting lights onto the camper unless you frequently boondock and your lights will not be a distraction to other campers. Campers and Campfires recommends the SunnyOn LED Security Light (Check it out on Amazon). This light uses solar power and the charge lasts up to 12 hours. SunnyOn is water-proof and can be easily turned on and off depending upon your needs. The SunnyOn has five different modes, making it convenient in a variety of settings.
Motion Activated Cameras
One more precaution that we recommend if you store your camper in a location where you have access to Wi-Fi is the use of Blink Cameras (Check them Out on Amazon). Blink cameras are battery operated and activated by motion. Video footage is saved to cloud storage at no charge. Notifications can be sent to your phone that movement was detected. Blink gives you the ability to immediately view the video clip no matter where you are located. The cameras do require Wi-Fi to work effectively. A Wi-Fi Extender (Check it out on Amazon) can be purchased so that the cameras can be installed from your home. Campers and Campfires use Blink cameras for RV storage, and with a Wi-Fi extender, the cameras are effective over 200 feet from the router.
Additional Camper Security Tips
It is relatively easy for someone with a hitch to hook-up to and steal a camper (Click here) to read 5 ways to prevent camper theft.) Typically, a camper is backed into a camping spot, even at home when it is stored. If you have the opportunity, park your camper in a position that makes it more difficult for someone to steal. This can often be accomplished by pulling the camper in forward rather than backing it into its spot.
Keep camping items out of sight. Blinds should be drawn so that people cannot see in your windows. Just like car thefts, camper break-ins occur when someone looks into a window and sees a tablet, laptop, or something of interest or value.
Be careful where you camp. Camping involves visiting locations that you may not have previously visited. It is essential to research these locations to ensure that you are not in a dangerous area of town. It is crucial to not only research the campgrounds, but also the crime rates in those areas. Unfortunately, most thefts that occur at campgrounds are by residents in the area who have learned that campers are easy targets. The thieves know that they can go to campgrounds and blend in, grab what they want, and be gone. Do not stay at campgrounds located in high crime areas.
Keep your camper locked. If you leave the campground, double-check all doors and storage units to ensure that they are locked. Also, ensure that outdoor items such as bikes or grills are secured.
If you are away from your campsite at night, leave the interior camper lights on until you return. The lights will make it appear as if someone is in your camper. As long as the blinds are drawn, strangers will not know whether anyone is in the camper or not.
Camp near others when possible. Do not choose a remote location. If no one is nearby, your camper becomes an easy target.
When camping, we love meeting new people, learning where they are from, and sharing stories. There is a side benefit to meeting and visiting neighbors at the campground. These acquaintances will serve as the neighborhood watch when you are away, and they will naturally keep an eye on your camper.
Campers are significant investments that should be protected. A security system for your camper will help ensure that your camper and belongings remain safe.
Do you have any camper safety tips? We would love to hear from you. Please drop us a line in the comment section below.