Motorhome theft to meet the growing demand

By Simon Bennett / 9th April 2023

Did you know that 13% of motorhomes and 6% of camper vans have trackers installed, according to research carried out by Trackershop. The research also said that 54% and 45% of these vehicles respectively don’t have alarms either!

Skate boarders in front of camper van

Because of the pandemic, we have seen a huge hike in regards to the sale of motorhomes, and now we are in the middle of the season, theft is on a high.

The number of people buying camper vans has increased by up to 20% and recent research undertaken by GPS specialists, Trackershop, has highlighted that new motorhome owners need to take precautions to protect their assets. 

It has been proven that vehicles that do not have a tracking device are unlikely to be recovered, particularly as identity markings often get removed when these vehicles are stolen.

In 2020 motorhome and caravan thefts increased significantly with a reported of £1 million worth of stolen vehicles recovered by one tracking specialist alone, and this is because like the high-end performance car market, these types of vehicle are a key target for thieves and gangs alike, it's simply down to supply and demand.

It's very worrying that thieves are aware just how easy it is to steal a motorhome when it is not in use. The world has moved on, where keys are not always required because computer technology is underpinning modern vehicles, and in many occasions the ignition can be bypassed.

Earlier this year in Carlisle, a motorhome which was worth in the region of £35,000 was used in a ram raid, and thankfully the perpetrators are now behind bars but, although this one made the headlines, motorhome theft is not an isolated incident.

Plenty of campervans and motorhomes are stolen where it is often reported on the website for UK Campsite here.

We have many Hymer motorhome and campervan policyholders through our motorhome insurance scheme Vint-tro Cover, and like all of you we wish a happy summer but, remember it is essential that the security of your vehicle is of a good standard at all times.

Orange VW camper in the sunset with two friends

Below we list a few tips on how you can help protect your motorhome and campervan:

Motorhome security - keys

When your motorhome or campervan is left unattended, remember never to leave your keys in your vehicle as this could invalidate your insurance, and you will not be covered for loss or damage due to theft.

Security locks

By making it as difficult as possible for a thief to gain entry to your vehicle the more likely they will give up. Thieves are opportunists so, when time is not of the essence, the less likely they are to go on and break in and steal anything.

We know the value of classic vehicles like our classic Hymer motorhome owners do, and they want to keep the vehicle as original as possible, however standard locks, especially on older classic campervans, are easily picked. We suggest you upgrade your locks with a van lock plate to improve the locking system. A deadlock is also a good alternative.

Security devices

Modern motorhomes usually come with a remote locking immobiliser as a security system but our classic Hymer motorhome owners don’t always have this luxury so it makes sense to have one installed. This will often work alongside your alarm (if fitted) and prevents thieves from driving away in your prized asset. The immobiliser will automatically activate each time you switch off your engine.

To improve your motorhome security even further, why not consider installing an upgraded Thatcham approved category 1 alarm system. Remember thieves do not like loud audible deterrents like sounding alarms.

GPS system

Trackers are highly popular within high network vehicles, such as supercars, and because this technology is moving on so quickly the cost is becoming very reasonable to install. A tracking device allows you to always monitor your vehicle's location, via your phone, tablet or computer. Some trackers can even alert you if doors have been opened or if the engine has been started. With these instant alerts, this makes it much easier to alert the police while the crime is actually taking place.

Trackers also prove very beneficial if your vehicle gets stolen, as there’s a higher chance of it being recovered and returned safely to you. It is estimated that they can offer up to a 95% recovery rate.

At Vint-tro we offer vehicle storage to many of our clients and therefore trackers are certainly worth considering if you keep your motorhome in a storage facility. This will enable you to keep a virtual eye on your vehicle and alert you should somebody try to steal it.

If you are likely to keep your motorhome in storage for some time, it's worth considering a solar battery charger to prevent it from draining your battery.

Safe box

Motorhomes are like cars and are often broken into because something valuable has been left in eye sight. Remember thieves are opportunists, they see something and they act quickly, so always tidy things up and don’t leave things on display.

Items that often temp thieves are phone chargers to phone cables, tablets or sat-nav, or even cash left on the side, make sure you lock it up safely or take it with you when you can.

Do I need insurance while my motorhome is in storage?

When we store vehicles at Vint-tro, we always advise our customer to keep their vehicle Insured, simply as this covers you should there be anything happen to your vehicle that is not the fault of Vint-tro and not covered under our own trade Insurance policy.

Whilst it’s not a legal requirement to insure a vehicle that has been taken off the road (SORNed), motorhomes can be prime targets for thieves during periods of inactivity, and therefore you won’t be covered in the event of theft, flood or fire, or even accidental damage so, again we always recommend insuring your motorhome even if your vehicle is not being used.

Insurance - Do I need specialist insurance to drive a campervan or motorhome

Yes. Traditional car Insurance will not cover you to drive a motorhome or campervan, because you will use your motorhome for different activities such as sleeping in your vehicle, cooking, watching TV and much more. Speak to a team at Vint-tro Cover on 0333 4042 007 and they will advise on what the right cover is for your experience, make and model, and in addition advice on protecting your contents.

It's also worth checking that your driving licence permits you to drive the size motorhome you are looking to buy or rent. If you passed your test before 1997, you will have a C1 entitlement that allows you to drive a motorhome up to 7,500kg. People who passed their test after 1997 can only drive a motorhome up to 3,500kg in weight, plus a 750kg trailer.

Finally, the most important factor is your peace of mind whilst enjoying your adventures, and by getting covered through Vint-tro Cover the only thing you need to worry about is the weather!

If you are considering buying a motorhome or campervan and want to learn more about the Insurance cover you need, please call our team at Vint-tro Cover on 0333 4042 007 who will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Peace & Love

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