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RV Theft Prevention Tips To Keep Your Rig Safe


camper being towed on foggy road

What You Should Know About RV Theft Prevention

RV theft is a concerning trend these days. Thieves most often target towable RVs, although other RVs aren’t immune to theft either. 

Thieves often prefer towables over other types of RVs, presumably because they are often easy and fast to steal. A thief just needs to have a truck with the right hitch, be able to hitch up, and away they go with somebody else’s rig. 

Depending on where the thief sells the stolen trailers, state or provincial laws can make the transfer of ownership process for trailers easier than for other types of RVs. 

Where is your RV most likely to be stolen?

RV theft is widespread across the USA and Canada. Theft prevention begins with always parking your rig in safe places. 

Thieves typically target certain places more often than others. Statistically, RV storage facilities are the top place RVs are stolen. The reason for this is simple: At night, thieves can work unseen and undetected. It might be months before anyone notices their RV is missing. If they exist, security cameras probably won’t be set up within the viewing range of all the RVs in the storage yard. 

According to police, night workers at RV storage facilities are often involved in RV thefts. They are either paid by thieves to look the other way, or they are actively involved in RV theft rings.  

In addition to storage facilities, thieves also target RVs in parking areas outside of businesses, which can include RV dealerships and repair shops. Always be sure your RV repair shop has measures in place to prevent theft from their lot.  

It’s far less likely (but not impossible) that your RV will be stolen from your driveway. Your RV is probably not going to be targeted while you are camping either. 

Making sure you lock up when you’re out and about, and using a variety of anti-theft devices, will help minimize the chances of your travel trailer being stolen.

Be sure your RV insurance policy has coverage for RV theft

Obviously, insurance won’t stop thieves from taking off with your RV, but it will help to mitigate your loss.  Be sure your RV insurance policy includes RV theft coverage. 

It’s often included in comprehensive insurance but not always. Be sure to ask your insurance provider if your RV is covered for theft.

8 Tips For RV Theft Prevention

RV thieves generally don’t like to work hard to steal an RV. No matter how nice your RV is, there are some things you can do to make your RV unattractive to thieves. 

1. Change the locks

Manufacturers make RVs with locks that have a master key. This makes it easy for RV techs and dealers to get into RVs when they need to. 

This system fails from a security standpoint and makes it easy for any thief with an RV key to get into your RV.  Having an aftermarket entry lock and compartment locks will help prevent thieves from easily gaining entry to your RV.

2. Store your RV at home, out of sight 

RVs that are stored at home and out of sight are statistically less likely to be stolen. An RV garage in an out-of-the-way location can really lower the risk of being targeted by RV thieves.

3. Hide a GPS tracking device in your RV

Make your RV trackable. This won’t prevent your RV from being stolen, but it will allow you and the local police to know where it goes if it does get stolen.   

An RV GPS tracker like WhereSafe is an excellent option. Do It Yourself RV explains more on these useful devices.

4. Park your RV with slideouts extended

Your RV will be a lot harder to steal successfully with its slides extended. An RV being hauled down the road with slideouts extended is sure to attract attention. You can remove the batteries as well if you really want to be sure it won’t get stolen.

5. Make your RV less convenient for thieves

Thieves want to be gone with your RV before anyone has time to notice. They’ll go to an easier target if you park in an inconvenient location or with a secured vehicle perpendicular to the front of your RV.  

6. Install motion-detecting floodlights on or near your RV

Thieves like to work undetected. A floodlight will help dissuade thieves who work at night. As a side benefit, a motion-detecting floodlight light on your RV will discourage wildlife from marauding your campsite while you sleep.

7. Always secure your RV with multiple anti-theft devices

Anti-theft devices have proven effective for RV theft prevention. A good hitch lock is a good start toward securing your RV. However, with few exceptions, hitch locks are easy to break off using the right tools. 

That said, some hitch locks are better than others. Even then, it really pays off to have two locks on the hitch, plus a wheel lock on both sides of your RV.   

A boot-style wheel lock will prevent thieves from accessing lugnuts to remove wheels and replace them with the road-ready wheels they stole from someone else’s trailer. A thief will probably take their pilfering ways elsewhere when they are overwhelmed by the number of anti-theft devices on your RV.

8. Put unique decals on your RV so it’s easy to identify

RVs can all look alike to the average person. You can make your RV easy to identify by putting unique decals on it. The crooks may end up removing them, but at least you may get sightings of it if your RV happens to get stolen.  

Get tips from other RVers

You can fight back against crooks who want to steal your RV by being proactive. Theft prevention requires careful thought in parking, storing, and securing your RV. 

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.

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Author Lynne Fedorick Avatar

Lynne Fedorick

Lynne lives, travels and works full time in the R-Pod 180 with 3 pointers and 1 small but vital corgi mix named Alice. Lynne began full time RVing as an experiment in 2019, but she quickly fell in love with the convenience, freedom and minimalist lifestyle offered by full time RV living. Lynne is a professional dog trainer, offering mobile and online dog training services through her website at www.mydoggeek.com. You can read about her travel adventures on her blog at: https://rpodadventure.wordpress.com/

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