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How to Protect Your RV Patio from Thieves

Campgrounds have a reputation as family-friendly communities, but you should still do everything possible to protect your RV patio. 

Opportunistic criminals are always on the lookout for loot. So what can you do to secure your home away from home?

Fortunately, we have all the answers to help you deter potential thieves from targeting your RV.

Let’s get into it!

Problems Protecting Your RV Patio

Safety and security are top priorities for most campers. But protecting your assets can be difficult on the road, especially items on your RV patio. 

Three main factors contribute to theft. First, bringing a lot of things on the road when you travel for extended periods is unavoidable. While clothing, linens, and food tend to stay inside, bulkier objects must go elsewhere. 

While the inside of your camper may fit all your gear while you’re on the road, a small living space crammed with stuff isn’t comfortable or safe. So when setting up camp, it’s typical for many things to go on your patio. 

Finally, campgrounds have lots of transient folks coming and going. It’s just the nature of these establishments. And while the RV community tends to be tight-knit, you never know when a stranger might have bad intentions. Some parks have on-site security, cameras, and gated access, but others don’t.

Protect Your RV Patio by Locking Everything Up

No one wants to risk losing their RV keys. Since campgrounds tend to feel serene and homey, it’s easy to convince yourself nothing terrible will happen if you step away from your unlocked camper. But unfortunately, thieves are often on the prowl for unsuspecting victims. 

Sure, losing your keys on a hike and calling a locksmith is inconvenient. However, returning to your site to find it ransacked, or worse, gone entirely, isn’t worth the risk. If you’re concerned about misplacing your keys, install a keyless entry system or lockbox.

Not only should you ensure doors and windows are locked when you leave, but you’ll also want to secure any valuables you have outside.

Pro Tip: Use these tips on How to Easily Prevent Vehicle Break-Ins while on the road.

Caravan unhitched at campsite at night
Safety and security should be your top priority when on the road in your RV.

Don’t Leave Your Valuables Under Your RV Patio

You want to make your campsite feel like home, but most of us don’t have strangers milling about in our backyards all the time. So while leaving out camping chairs, bikes, toys, and other camping accessories is convenient, those things are easy targets. 

Campground thieves might take anything that isn’t nailed down. You can’t assume that your old, beat-up cooler isn’t a desirable find. 

Protecting your RV patio is essential whether you’re heading out to explore or inside for the night. Stow items out of sight and lock up any outdoor compartments. Because most criminals target commodities they can see and access easily, putting things away is the first line of defense. 

A lockable safe is an excellent investment to protect high-dollar objects like laptops or handguns. Place it in a closet and bolt it to the floor for the highest level of security.

To Protect Your RV Patio, Make It Look Like You’re Home

What’s an excellent way to deter thieves? Make it look like you’re home! After all, the last thing an opportunistic burglar wants to do is encounter his victim.

Close the blinds, turn on some lights, and maybe even leave a radio turned on. Ideally, you should use battery-operated lanterns and radios to create this illusion, as you don’t want to run down your battery.

You can even take additional measures like leaving an old pair of men’s work boots and a large dog bowl outside to give the impression that a big, scary man and his canine equivalent are home. While it may sound excessive, this is fantastic advice for women traveling solo.

Protect Your RV Patio with Security 

It’s easier than ever to get an inexpensive security camera. These aren’t the clunky units of the past that require a CCTV system. You can easily install a doorbell camera or motion sensor device, then access the live feed from your phone. 

Some of these systems require a paid subscription to store footage after a certain period, so if you get home to find you’re belongings missing, it might not help you identify the perpetrator.

However, many cameras come with motion-sensor lights, so someone poking around your campsite will immediately know the jig is up. While cameras won’t necessarily deter a determined criminal, they’re a great way to protect your RV patio. 

RV woman solo RVer at night
An RV CCTV system can give you peace of mind while on the road.

Choose Your Campsite Wisely to Protect Your RV

Knowing what kind of neighborhood you’re in can be tricky when you’re on the road. Some places simply attract more crime than others, so without local knowledge, you could be putting yourself at risk without even knowing it.

Before you choose a place to overnight, check campground reviews and websites like to determine if crime is a big issue in the area.

Of course, campgrounds with gated access and security patrols are usually safer than free places like parking lots and rest stops. But thieves can still target your RV patio even if you choose a well-protected location.

Use a tongue jack to reverse your camper rather than backing it in as an added precaution. While it may seem unnecessary, you’ll be glad you did if your neighbor’s travel trailer disappears while they’re not around. 

Are RV Break Ins a Problem?

There’s surprisingly little data about the frequency of RV break-ins. While the research out there shows that these crimes are less common than others, it’s still crucial to take every safety measure possible to secure your things. 

The unfortunate truth is that rotten apples often hide in plain sight, and since traveling means encountering many people, there’s no way to know they all have good intentions. 

Campgrounds may not be able to guarantee thieves aren’t lurking about, but you can take a few extra steps to reduce your chances of becoming a target. 

Pro Tip: Beware of these 5 RV Safety Concerns before you hit the road.

Don’t Drop Your Guard

Overall, RVing is a safe and fun way to travel. There’s often a sense of community at campgrounds that you won’t find anywhere else. But you still need to take action to ward off wayward thieves.

You can protect your RV and any items on your patio by adequately storing your stuff and setting a few security measures. 

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