With foreign travel still being hit by the pandemic, staycations are back on the agenda for summer 2021 with more people than ever opting for a UK campervan or motorhome holiday.
Data from the National Caravan Council shows that registrations of new motorhomes and campervans were 71% higher in July 2020 than they were in the same month the previous year. Industry experts say the upward trend is ongoing.
Demand for rental motorhomes and campervans exceeded supply in 2020 and looks like doing the same this year as more first timers decide to hit the road for their motorhome holiday.
The second-hand motorhome market is booming too but with the increase in sales and rentals it’s almost inevitable the number of thefts of and from motorhomes would increase too.
Thefts have gone up 50% in five years, with Home Office figures revealing that 111,999 vehicles were stolen in the UK between April 2017 and March 2018, compared to 75,308 from April 2013 to March 2014.
That means it’s more important than ever to make sure your holiday home on wheels is safe and secure, whether it’s on the road, parked on your drive, in storage or at a campsite.
The team at Adrian Flux offer some timely tips on how to keep your motorhome safe for summer 2021 and beyond.
Invest in good security before your motorhome holiday
Even though you are supposed to be relaxing you must remain vigilant during your motorhome holiday.
Ensure your motorhome has good security, the best you can afford to buy. Security alarms, immobilisers and CCTV can put off potential thieves, and if your van does disappear, a tracking device will make it easier to recover. GAP Security has a wide selection of alarms and trackers.
Clutch claws which lock the brake pedal and clutch pedal in place, steering locks and gearbox locks which secure the gear stick to the handbrake are all powerful deterrents worth investing in. They are very visible too so a thief might be put off just by seeing them.
Protect your OBD port
The OBD is the On Board Diagnostic which is the computer which measures all sorts of things like emissions, mileage, speed and faults. The OBD port is normally located underneath the driver’s dashboard.
It should be used by garages for checking your motorhome’s efficiency but can be manipulated by thieves to override vehicle security so they can steal it without needing the key.
You, or your garage, can fit a lock which covers the OBD port on your motorhome so thieves can’t access it.
An OBD blocker prevents unauthorised use of the OBD port. These fix into the port and prevent thieves being able to connect to and disable your motorhome’s immobiliser. You need a specialist to fit a blocker.
You could also consider moving the OBD port and having a dummy port in the usual place before your motorhome holiday.
Beware keyless motorhome theft
Keyless motorhome theft or “relay attack” is incredibly simple for a thief with the right equipment. Thieves work together using electronic signal relay devices to steal the vehicle, normally from outside the owner’s home.
One stands by the motorhome while the other stands close enough to the house to enable the device to pick up the signal from the vehicle key fob.
The signal is transferred to the second box held up to the motorhome effectively fooling it that the key is present.
With the doors unlocked, the thieves can start the motorhome with the press of a button. The procedure takes less than 60 seconds.
Although the relay device signal can pass through doors, walls and windows, it cannot penetrate metal, so storing your keys inside a metal container, a signal blocking wallet or even a microwave oven will safeguard your vehicle against an attack.
You can purchase a signal blocker pouch or “Faraday bag” for as little as £8 on Amazon.
Check your locks before your motorhome holiday
Before your motorhome holiday consider fitting after-market security deadlocks to the doors and ensure all door and window locks are in working order.
Lock your motorhome every time you leave it. Never leave the keys in the ignition when you are not in the vehicle, even for a brief moment or when you are filling the tank.
Also, during your motorhome holiday don’t leave valuables on view and don’t leave paperwork relating to your motorhome inside the vehicle as this may make it easier for thieves to sell it on.
Be cautious about where your motorhome is stored
If you store your motorhome at your residence, consider fitting a pull-up security post that stops it being driven away.
If it is to be kept at an external site look for a CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association) site. There are 450 of them throughout the UK and they generally have higher levels of security than other facilities such as farms.
CaSSOA sites are statistically proven to keep your caravan or motorhome safer than if it were stored on your driveway or at a farm. In addition, because of this higher level of security, you may be eligible for a discount on your caravan insurance if you store on a CaSSOA site.
Insure your motorhome
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning an overnight stay, a short break or an extended motorhome holiday, your vehicle is your holiday home from home so invest in peace of mind insurance.
Adrian Flux is a specialist insurance company able to provide competitive quotes for all makes and models of motorhome. And we shop around to find the best prices and the best levels of cover for our clients.
If you plan on doing any work to your motorhome, Adrian Flux can also cover modifications on a like-for-like basis. The security measures you invest in could also earn you a discount on your insurance.
Save time and money and call for a quote today
Call 01553 400399 for an Adrian Flux motorhome insurance quote — 79.5% of all customers receiving an online quote in July 2020 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone, based on the information they provided.