It used to be that RV theft was primarily related to a unit being broken into while an owner was off on a day adventure. Not any more. With the weak economy and the uncertain outlook for the future, not only are thieves looking to steal your stuff to make a quick buck, entire RV units are disappearing or even being “borrowed” without the owners knowledge or consent!

It’s no stretch to say that many people are hurting right now. You only need to listen to the news to know that the homeless population is growing, people are struggling with rent, mortgages are going unpaid…all making your home on wheels a prime target.

Just like your “permanent” home, thieves are always on the lookout for EASY opportunities. So think like them and don’t give them quick, nor easy access.

There are several ways to help ensure that your recreational unit is not stolen:

  • Run a chain through your wheels and suspension. This will make sure no one can easily just drive it off
  • Leave jacks in the down position. Again, making it harder to just pull up and drive away
  • Insert a coupler lock on your trailer so no one can quickly hook up to your RV
  • Install lockable wheel chocks. These, along with a chain through your wheels will make your unit super secure!

Specifically if you own a motorhome:

  • -Use your power levers and raise the wheels off of the ground
  • Install a hidden switch to disable your ignition
  • Use a “club” or any other device that will render your steering wheel useless

Most RVers don’t even think about installing a security system. Cameras, door alarms, entry sensors and motion detectors can all detour a criminal or desperate individual. Some of the newer security options are super easy to install and very inexpensive.

Now for what’s inside: Criminals are on the lookout for anything that can be sold quickly or used without detection. Leaving your RV parked in a remote or other “bad place” can be an open invitation.

One of the best ways to ward off theft is to make your RV look occupied. Leave a battery powered light or radio on; use timer switches that allow you to program for multiple days and different times or, if it’s convenient enough for you: open and close curtains, etc. Moving your RV from place to place can help a lot, too.

Regardless of what type of recreational vehicle you own, be vigilant about who’s around and what they think might be inside your RV. Never keep expensive personal or electronic items stored inside.

The best way to prevent RV theft? Keep your RV stored in a reputable storage unit or on a secure RV storage lot that has locking access, lights and security measures in place.

We looked into some storage facilities and found that ones like Wildhorse Self Storage provide customers with a high degree of security. Kym Smith of Wildhorse in Pueblo West, Colorado told us, “We use unique codes for gate access for each tenant so that we can tell who’s coming and going. And, each storage unit door is also individually alarmed.”

Wildhorse Self Storage greets thieves with an eight-foot perimeter fence and over 40 security cameras in the lot. Bright LED lighting around the property are not only there to help customers feel safer at night, it makes RVs stored at the facility less likely to look like an easy target.