With some strategic planning you have a long weekend on your hands South Africans! Put in three-days’ leave (Thursday 4 August to Monday 8 August), make your mark on voting day and off you go for a six-night holiday. Just the medicine you need for that mid-year slump.
What you don’t need is for anything to happen that may disturb your well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Our friends at Lock Latch have some tips and tricks to help you navigate safe caravanning.
#1 Location, location, location
One of the most important security measures you can take is choosing the right location. Whether it’s for storage when you’re stuck in the office, or when heading off on your next outdoor adventure, choosing the right spot is vital for keeping your caravan and your belongings safe. When exploring, choose a park with good safety records and park your caravan close enough to you so that you can keep a regular watch on it. When your caravan is not in use, make sure you are storing it behind lock and key, and of course behind security gates.
There is nothing worse than getting back to a caravan that’s been standing in the sun – with all the doors and windows closed – while you’re off fishing for the day. Hot and stuffy! Products such as Lock Latche’s, which fit on all types of caravan doors and windows, are a great way to let the air in, while keeping the baboons and petty thieves out! This is particularly helpful on those hot and sticky nights when you are reluctant to leave a window open in case of local animal life.
#3 Clamp those wheels
Whether you’re traveling or parking your caravan at home, a wheel clamp is a great safety addition. A wheel clamp or lock, the same kind a traffic cop may use if you park in the wrong place, prevents your caravan wheels from turning and therefore rendering it immobile and ultimately making it almost impossible to steal.
As an added precaution, keep your valuables (wallets, phones, passports etc) out of sight and difficult to find. Keep them in a hidden cupboard or hiding place whether you’re ‘home’ or out and about beaching. Caravan parks are busy places, and even if you’re around the campsite a phone or wallet on a counter can be very tempting to even the most shy of pickpockets.
#5 Install security systems
There are a variety of security systems you can install to add security to your caravan. The two main systems are GPS trackers and battery powered alarms. Trackers use GPS to be able to track your caravan should a burglar manage to drive off with your vehicle. While a battery powered alarm system, that works similar to how a home alarm system works, allows you to arm your alarm when leaving your caravan unattended when out for the day. This way, if anyone does try to get in, the alarm will sound and alert everyone in the park to their attempts.
#6 Lock up
There are a few must-have locks in order to keep your caravan safe when on and off the road. These include a coupling lock that stops the coupling latch from being able to be lifted, which in turn will make it impossible for your caravan to be towed away by another vehicle. Another cost effective way to prevent theft is, to place a chain and pad-lock around the caravan’s drawbar or by tying two wheels together.
Upgrading your regular screen door to a secure screen door not only gives you a lot more peace of mind when you pop out for the day or go for a quick shower, but also will increase the value of your caravan. Replacing the flimsy screen door will deter any unwanted guests from getting into your caravan when you’re out or sleeping.
#8 Storing your caravan until the next adventure
When you’re heading back from your vacation, don’t forget to drain the toilet and water heater, cover exhaust vents to keep critters out and clean out the perishables. It is also recommended that you store your caravan on jacks – this not only helps take the pressure off the tread, but makes your caravan much harder to steal when you’re not on the road.
Have any caravan safety tips of your own? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is Steve Pearce?
Steve Pearce is the MD of Lock Latch Retail SA and Lock Latch International.