Motorhome security – tips for campers to protect their van
If you’re planning your next camping trip to France in your motorhome, you may have some questions about motorhome, campervan and RV security whilst on the road and in the campsite. Whilst break-ins and theft are rare, unfortunately they do happen, so it’s always best to be prepared. There are certain steps you can take to make sure your motorhome or campervan is as secure as possible, which will minimise potential risks and let you get back to what’s important: spending quality time with your family or loved ones. The key to motorhome security is being prepared in advance, which is especially important to remember if you are new to camping, or setting off on your first trip in a while. Whether you want to learn about how to keep you and your motorhome safe when you’re driving to France, how to practice best motorhome security at the campsite when you’re out exploring, keeping your motorhome safe in between trips, or you want to feel secure at night when you’re asleep, we will cover all of the essential topics you need so you can feel confident and ready for your next adventure in France. Travelling by van is an amazing way to explore France, and with Campsited you can explore pitches that have been designed especially for your vehicle, whether you are planning a trip to Bordeaux, Montpellier or Lyon.
How to practice best motorhome security
Some of the main security points to consider when getting ready for your next motorhome, RV or campervan holiday.
Buying the right equipment
It’s extremely important to purchase the right safety equipment before you set off on your trip to France. We recommend buying high-quality motorhome security essentials and investing in well-reviewed products. A good place to start is improving the security locks on the doors and windows of your vehicle, fitting a motorhome alarm system, and installing a motorhome tracker, which you can set up to send you notifications if there is any unusual activity.
Preventing others from being able to drive your motorhome
Another great preventative measure to keep your motorhome safe is to install equipment that will help prevent thieves from being able to drive your vehicle. It’s a good idea to purchase wheel clamps that you can use when you’re not in your vehicle, to stop anyone being able to move it, or consider steering locks, which can be more convenient to attach and store in the van.
It may sound obvious, but getting into the habit of making sure all the windows are fully closed and locked is the first thing you can do to help prevent incidents. While further motorhome window security can be quite difficult, we recommend installing window catch locks or window restrictors, which are also useful when travelling with children.
It’s important not to attract any unwanted attention to your motorhome, to help prevent theft. Try not to leave valuable items where people will be able to see them and practice common sense at all times, like making sure you are always careful with the keys and leave them out of sight, keeping the doors of the vehicle locked, and closing blinds and curtains.
Security at night
When sleeping in a motorhome within a campsite in France, generally there is nothing to worry about and you will be safe as the campsites are very secure. If it’s your first trip or you are not used to sleeping in a motorhome, take measures to make sure you feel comfortable and get accustomed to normal noises you may hear at the campsite during the night. If you do spot any suspicious behaviour, it’s always best to report it to the campsite staff.
Leaving your motorhome unattended
If you have implemented best campervan security practices, you should have no problems leaving your motorhome unattended in your campsite while you explore. As a general rule, campsites in France are very safe and leaving your vehicle for the day should not be a concern. We do not recommend leaving your motorhome unattended for more than a short time outside of campsites, however, especially in places where there aren’t many people around.
Having a safe and trusted place to store your valuables is one of the best things you can set up in advance to help you feel relaxed about your trip. We recommend purchasing a small and lightweight safe, where you can store your most important items safely. Of course, it is important to keep the safe out of sight of the windows at all times.
Motorhome or RV storage
When you’re not using your motorhome or RV, you will need somewhere safe and secure to store it. If you are storing it at home, it’s a good idea to purchase as much additional safety equipment as possible, which can deter thieves. The safest way to store your vehicle is by using a dedicated motorhome storage site.
Our Top Tips to Keep your Motorhome Safe
Check out some of our expert tips to ensure the safety of your motorhome at all times.
Always prepare in advance
Our best motorhome security tip is to prepare in advance. Although it’s highly unlikely anything will go wrong during your trip, if you’re prepared you will feel calmer and more confident during your trip and will be less likely to make any careless mistakes. Make sure you have purchased all your safety equipment and are confident on how to use it before you leave for your trip.
Research the campsite where you’re staying
Staying in a campsite is the safest place to enjoy a holiday in a motorhome, but it’s still worth carefully researching the campground and surrounding area before you set off, so you know what to expect. You can also read reviews of the campground on Campsited, to see if there is any particular equipment or items that other motorhome campers recommend.
Get your family into good habits
It’s a good idea to discuss motorhome safety measures with everyone who will be sleeping in the motorhome. If everyone is aware of things like how to operate motorhome security locks and where to store valuable items, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of staying safe. Get the family used to best practice and routines regarding motorhome security, so everyone can work together.
Don’t bring unnecessary items
This may sound obvious, but don’t bring anything on your trip that is of value and is not necessary. Not only will they take up space in your motorhome, it means more items to keep track of and get worried about. Consider leaving your kindle at home and bring a book instead, avoid bringing expensive jewellery and ditch your iPad or laptop to truly disconnect and spend time with the family.
Make friends with your neighbours
Getting to know your neighbours is one of the easiest ways to improve your campervan security during trips. Even if you are on a short break, striking up a conversation with your neighbours and introducing your family will result in your neighbours being more likely to keep an eye out for any unusual activity around your van, especially when you’re out.
Common questions about motorhome security
We’ve shortlisted some of our frequently asked questions about motorhome security.
How difficult is it to drive a motorhome?
How difficult an RV is to drive depends a bit on its size. Most motorhomes are not very hard to drive, but if you are not used to driving large vehicles it’s best to practice turning and parking in advance, so you get used to the length and the range of mirror vision before you set off on a longer journey and reduce any risk of little accidents which could mar your trip. For a first-time driver with only a couple of passengers, we recommend starting by driving a Class B motorhome.
Is it legal to walk around in a motorhome whilst it’s moving?
No. The rule in France is simple: all passengers in the motorhome or campervan must be fully seated and wearing a seat belt whilst the vehicle is moving. Some people get up for quick trips to the bathroom or to get something during the journey, but it’s much safer to get into the routine of staying fully seated, as if you were in a car, and pulling over for toilet or food breaks.
Is it common for motorhomes to get stolen?
Whilst motorhome thefts do happen, it’s highly unlikely anything will happen to your motorhome if you follow basic safety precautions. Most thefts occur when motorhomes don’t take the necessary security measures to make their vehicles safe, or because of an opportunity, like leaving a key in the door.
Can you live in a motorhome or campervan permanently?
As long as your motorhome has an up-to-date MOT certificate or equivalent and is fully taxed, you can live there permanently. If you are living in your RV full time, it is even more important to follow security precautions and advice, as you’re likely to have a lot more valuable items and there are a lot more chances to make a mistake.
Is there anything to look out for when choosing a pitch for a motorhome?
It’s best to choose a pitch area on a hard surface for your motorhome. If you prefer a grass pitch, make sure the ground is firm before parking up. You should also check your chosen campsite in advance to make sure they don’t have any height or weight restrictions for motorhomes.
Now that your motorhome is secure, you can set off for your trip worry free!