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When choosing high quality, accredited security products, there's a number of criteria to think about which is why we're on hand to help.
We have previously talked about choosing high quality security products with a recognised accreditation but which types of product should you choose?
There’s a number of criteria to think about before purchasing your chosen product:
If there is time to work on it, there’s no security product which can be guaranteed to defeat a determined, knowledgeable and well-equipped thief. So it's in your interest to do everything you can to slow a thief down. The longer it looks like it will take to do the deed, the more likely a thief will think twice. Effective products may add time as they may require the use of more sophisticated attack tools. More security products on your vehicle also adds more time the thief will need to spend.
As the name suggests, these lock the wheel to the axle, preventing it from rotating. They’re probably the most effective way of immobilising a caravan, and require serious tools to get them off, as well as increasing the risk of peripheral damage. It is quite straightforward to use wheel locks on a single axle caravan, but can be a bit challenging to fit to both axles on a twin, which your cover provider may require.
This requirement is to avoid the method where thieves can tow a twin axle caravan at least a short distance with one axle still locked, by using extreme towball heights. If you do only lock one axle, always lock the rear one, as it is much harder to take weight off by this technique.
Wheel clamps lock around the wheel, although the wheel can still rotate, the clamp will cause considerable damage to the caravan as it tries to. Those products that meet the higher accreditation standards, can delay thieves for several minutes.
A hitch lock is a visable theft deterrent that is designed to stop the theft of your caravan. These locks cover the hitch and makes it almost impossible for thieves to attach your caravan to their own car and tow it away. Hitch locks are most effective when they are used to lock the caravan onto something else. An example could be the towcar, which is especially useful in motorway service areas. However we don’t advise leaving the hitch locks on whilst towing incase there’s a need to urgently uncouple, for example, a brake fire.
In storage, especially at home, a good hitch lock in conjunction with a security post that is securely attached to the ground can be effective. If you’re able to move the caravan in such a way that the security post itself becomes a barrier, this would be extra effective as the barrier would then need to be defeated too.
Removal of caravan wheels/use of ‘winter wheels’ stands or axle stands:
Although this might seem like a good technique to use and it may deter casual thieves, the wheels of a caravan tend to be fairly standard sizes and thieves will happily bring their own set. Currently we’re not aware of any products which incorporate an accredited locking system.
Chains and padlocks:
Accredited products can be effective if you can secure the chain to something like an accredited ground anchor or another fairly immovable object. It is also useful for securing ‘loose’ items like bicycles, for example.
An alarm is only likely to be effective if you are around to hear it. Truthfully, when did you last react to someone else’s car or house alarm going off with anything other than annoyance? Alarms may be effective for home storage but are unlikely to add much protection for a caravan that is stored remotely. If storing remotely, it is worth checking if there's any restrictions in your storage location.
Even though the best trackers claim to be hard for thieves to detect, it is still challenging to effectively conceal a tracker in a caravan from a skilled thief. Trackers with 24/7 monitoring, means that owners should at least receive an alert that the caravan is being attacked, even if they’re ultimately defeated, although that might not result in sufficiently rapid police action. Cheaper devices that alert the owner directly do tend to be reliant on the owners inventiveness to fit the tracker in a hidden location and cannot guarantee a police response. Tracker effectiveness is an issue which the Club is currently reviewing.
As with all security products, it’s sensible to consider them as a ‘system’ along with where you store your caravan. Visible deterrents are perhaps more effective where thieves have a choice of other, less well protected options to target. A remote storage setting, unless it’s a highly secured site, does need the most effective combination of security products, as thieves are likely to have more time to work undisturbed.