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Must-Have Gadgets For RV Security

Published on November 3rd, 2023 by Peggy Dent
This post was updated on November 24th, 2023

RV securitySource: Shutterstock

Our Top Recommendations To Keep Your RV Belongings Secure

RV security is often overlooked, yet it is a crucial aspect of RVing because recreational vehicles are more vulnerable to security concerns and malicious attacks than a fixed residence. Just because you’re soaking in the joys of the great outdoors doesn’t mean you can ignore potential threats. According to Gitnux,  

“RV theft is a growing problem in the United States, with a 30% increase nationwide between 2016 and 2020. According to data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), California, Texas, and Florida were the top three states for RV thefts in 2020. In 2018, RV thefts accounted for about 0.2% of all motor vehicle thefts reported that year. In 2020, 88% of stolen RVs were towable, with an average of 208 per month. The median payout for RV theft claims was $7275, but this can vary depending on location and type of RV stolen or damaged during a break-in attempt.”

You must remain vigilant and on-guard even when RVing, as numerous unfortunate incidents can befall you and your personal property. The transient nature of your locations, the transient population around you, and the periods you spend away from your RV make it a more attractive target than your home or apartment.

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Moreover, the risks don’t disappear when you park your RV on your property or in a storage lot. Your vehicle can still suffer vandalism, theft, or damage from environmental hazards like wind, hail, and falling tree branches. It could even catch fire or be flooded due to a broken pipe. The threats to you and your RV are real, and adopting solid RV security procedures is essential, whether your RV is in use or in storage. Here are several gadgets, tools, and strategies to help you fortify your RV and reduce these risks.

Personal security

  • Install an RV security system
  • Consider adopting a dog
  • Self-defense tools like a handgun, bear or wasp spray, or a baton

Many tools and procedures to enhance RV security can be applied across different areas of concern. A top gadget for consideration is a wireless RV security system, which may feature sensors, cameras, night vision, exterior lights, and GPS tracking. These systems are engineered to alert you if doors or windows are opened, if people are lurking outside, if someone has entered your RV, and, in the unfortunate event of theft, help track its location.

The complexity and price of these systems can vary. While they don’t prevent intrusions, thefts, or vandalism by themselves, they can notify you via your smartphone of a security breach so you can react promptly. Such systems safeguard your property both while in storage and in use.

When shopping for a wireless RV security system, consider one that doesn’t depend on Wi-Fi, as many camping locations lack reliable Wi-Fi networks. The night vision feature is particularly crucial for identifying perpetrators during the common nighttime occurrences of RV attacks. You can also opt for RV security systems that come with lights and audible alarms to deter malicious acts.  

Beyond security systems, traveling with a dog can enhance your peace of mind while you’re inside the RV. Dogs are quick to detect and respond to threats. Statistics indicate that homes with dogs are less frequently burglarized because burglars typically avoid the unpredictability associated with them. Hence, even if you don’t own a dog, placing a dog bowl and a few toys outside may deter thieves. Other self-defense tools like a handgun, bear or wasp spray, or a baton could provide protection against intruders or aggressive animals.

Site security

  • Secure your gear
  • Use motion lights
  • Use a digital multimeter and surge protector

Securing your RV campsite might be as straightforward as securing your gear when you’re away from your RV. Your campground neighbors are likely observing your comings and goings, and while boondocking may give you a sense of solitude, you’re seldom alone for long.

Leaving valuable camping and sporting equipment unsecured is an open invitation to thieves. Locking up items like e-bikes, propane tanks, generators, and grills, or attaching them to fixed structures, is advisable. If you prefer not to install a complete RV security system, consider motion-activated floodlights to illuminate your campsite and ward off intruders at night.

Another essential tool for site security is a digital multimeter (DMM), which allows you to check the AC and DC voltage in a campground’s shore power to avoid electrical system damage. Similarly, a surge protector can safeguard your RV’s electrical system against voltage spikes. Keeping a good set of hand tools is also vital for addressing minor issues before they escalate into bigger problems.

Property security

  • Use a hitch lock
  • Update the locks on your RV storage compartments
  • Use a built-in, fireproof safe for important valuables

The range of gadgets and tools for RV property security is extensive and varies depending on the strategies for fortifying your RV. Using a hitch lock can stop thieves from towing away your trailer. Replacing generic locks on your RV’s storage compartments with unique keys enhances security, as many are keyed alike by default.

A fireproof safe stashed under the bed.Source: Author
A freestanding fireproof safe hidden under the bed is not as effective as a built-in safe but it’s better than nothing for securing important documents and valuables.

Using locking cables for bikes, grills, propane tanks, and surge protectors can also deter theft. Investing in a fireproof safe or document bag can protect cash, vehicle titles, passports, and other valuables in the event of a fire.

Safety gadgets 

  • Smoke and LP detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Carry a tire pressure gauge and air compressor

Additional threats like fires or gas leaks can be mitigated by ensuring that smoke and LP detectors are in good working condition and by having accessible fire extinguishers inside your RV. Something as simple as a spare battery for your smoke detector could be lifesaving. Don’t become so consumed with technological solutions that you neglect simple measures to improve your RV’s security. 

For a more secure driving experience, maintain proper tire inflation with an accurate tire pressure gauge and air compressor. In addition, a deer alarm can help prevent wildlife collisions.

Be mindful wherever you travel

RV security is an ongoing commitment that should be part of your routine if you own and enjoy an RV. While many gadgets and techniques can aid in this endeavor, the best defense is still your perception and awareness. Be wary of suspicious places and individuals. Trust your instincts—if something feels off, don’t ignore it.

Effective RV security involves more common sense than gadgetry. You don’t need a tool to know not to park under a dead tree, for instance. Do everything within your power to secure your RV, heed your inner voice, employ common sense, stay alert, and then go out and enjoy your RV without becoming preoccupied with security issues. Also, be sure to research campgrounds ahead of time to have a better idea of what areas you’re traveling in.

Image Sources

  • DSC_7616: Shutterstock
  • IMG_4978-2: Author

About the Author:




3 thoughts on “Must-Have Gadgets For RV Security”

  1. I have to caution you on one security item you repeated more than once. The use of arisol wasp spray is not only not effective in the immediacy of an attack but is illegal in several states. It has minimal immediate effect but can cause severe harm and even death in the days following the spraying of a person. In California using wasp spray on person can lead felony charges and, if the perpetrator dies, may also lead to murder charges. Some people have died a week after a severe drenching with wasp spray. It is a very poor deterrent and may not slow an attacker at all.
    In some cases a derelict or drunk person has been sprayed with wasp spray being wrongfully identified as an attacker. (Or someone acting weird who is actually experiencing a medical emergency such as a stroke.) In which case the Defender will be held liable for all medical expenses.
    I would suggest any references you make to wasp spray to be clearly stated to be used for an attack from wasps and stated not to be used on people.
    Sincerely,
    Robert Eakin

    Reply
    • This is a tough question. If your system doesn’t use WiFi then it needs cellular if you want it to be able to notify you of events or if you want to check the status of your rig. Assuming you have an intranet set up for your IoT with a NAS serving as DVR, it could record events but not notify you unless you’re on the same intranet which kind of defeats the purpose other than being a fancy dashcam.

      Reply

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