Van life can seem like a dream: four wheels, the open road and a world of possibilities. But all it takes is one unfortunate incident to bring this dream crashing down. The truth is that campervans are as vulnerable to thieves, intruders and security issues as any other vehicle. In fact, because campervans and conversion vans are often filled with valuables and driven by out-of-towners, they’re often more at risk.
Thankfully there are a number of precautions that you can take to ensure you enjoy a safe and secure life on the road. Let’s take a look at eight of the most effective ways to secure your campervan.
1. Don’t leave valuables in view
If you plan to be on the road for an extended period you’ll need to bring along a lot of stuff, including electronics, credit cards and other items of real value. Thieves are far more likely to try to get into your van if there’s an obvious reason to do so, so you need to ensure that your valuables are well hidden. Keep them in a locked cupboard or safe when not in use, and use blinds and curtains to obscure the view of people looking inside your van.
2. Lock your doors while you’re driving
Keep doors locked at all times, even when driving. It’s a basic precaution, and one that in an ideal world you’ll never need, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. When you’re driving through somewhere new you might not know that you happen to be in a bad part of town. Speaking of which…
3. Google safe and unsafe areas for each destination
It’s best to avoid the less safe parts of a city altogether. While gut feel and intuition can be solid indicators, jump on Google and do some research on areas that it’s best to avoid. Stick to main thoroughfares when travelling through a city, and when the time comes to park your van for the evening, you should…
4. Choose official campgrounds over car parks and alleys
It’s usually far better to park your campervan out of the city than in the city. This is a simple game of numbers: with more people comes more opportunity for crime. As above, not being familiar with a city can see you parking in an area known for crime, whether a back alley or a shopping center car park. Established campgrounds, meanwhile, bring safety in numbers, as neighbors look out for neighbors. You might also enjoy extra security offered by the campground owners.
5. Install solid locks and an alarm
At a minimum, all campervans and conversion vans should feature central locking, allowing you to lock up your vehicle confidently, instantly, and from a distance. You should also have an alarm that goes off when the vehicle senses an intruder is trying to gain entry, as this can quickly scare would-be thieves away.
6. Use stickers to put would-be intruders off
Prevention is better than cure. Like an alarm, a simple warning might be all it takes to put off an opportunist. Consider installing a ‘Beware of dog’ or ‘This van is fitted with security’ sticker to your van, even if you don’t have this added security.
7. Keep family and friends up to date
Posting to Instagram and keeping people up to date on Messenger is more than just an exercise in vanity – it can save your life. If the worst were to happen, from a remote breakdown to a kidnapping, a lack of update can quickly raise alarm bells, ensuring help is sent as soon as possible. Let your family and friends know where you are, where you’ll be, and how you plan to get there.
8. Have an emergency exit plan
How will you exit the vehicle in an emergency situation? If you don’t know, you need to develop an emergency exit plan. Ensure you have at least two exit points (in case one is blocked off during the event) and consider installing an emergency glass-breaking hammer.
Now that you know how to stay safe, you’re ready to hit the road… and the Drifter team is ready to help you get going.Get in touch today!