Safety is an important factor to take care of while preparing for a caravanning holiday. This includes personal, road safety as well as the safety of your valuables. Valuables include cash, important original documents (passports, driving licenses, insurance papers, etc.), jewellery and anything that would translate into a heavy loss (monetary or otherwise) if stolen or damaged. Here are some helpful guidelines to keep your valuable possessions safe and secure in your caravan.
Get a safe
Install a small safe inside your caravan, in a location that is not visible from the outside (just in case your curtains are open and someone can peek in). The safe should be large enough to hold any items of jewellery, cash, items of personal or sentimental value, gadgets including cameras, mobile phones, keys and documents. With that being said, it's always best to carry most of these items with you when you leave your caravan parked for more than a few minutes. If you’re driving out, keep them in your car and if you’re taking a walk carry as much as you can on your person. You can also go the divide-and-store route, where you divide and store your valuables in multiple locations, so you won't lose them all at once. Unless you're extremely unlucky.
Think outside the box
Or out of the safe, to be more precise! At the end of the day, if a thief were to make their way into your caravan, a visible safe would be the first place they’ll look. The key is to think ahead and try to outsmart a potential thief. Look at the specific interior fit-outs of your caravan for places hidden from sight, where a contraption to store valuables can be incorporated. Ideas include false bottoms in cupboards and using the space under your beds or fixed benches. Whatever you do, take care to make the joineries between any such safety contraptions and the surrounding areas as invisible as possible. Use the same colour of paint, the same edgings and so on.
Other than anything that is absolutely essential, don’t carry a world of important articles with you on a caravanning holiday without having backups. Remember, your road trip is about making new memories, so keep objects that are very dear to you safely locked up at home, where you can always find them when you go back. Try and reduce the number of gadgets you need on your trip and divide up your available cash among all the members of your group. Wherever possible, carry scanned digital copies of important documents instead of the actual originals.
Invest in caravan theft-proofing
No matter how much care you take in storing your valuables safely all that effort goes to waste if your caravan itself is stolen. In addition to thoroughly vetting the in-built security features of your new caravan, invest in old-school security implements such as wheel clamps, chains, coupling locks and burglar alarms. Photograph your caravan carefully, taking care to include any distinguishing features or identifiable marks. Always park in a secure site and preferably at a proper caravan park or government-authorised rest area. Avoid leaving your caravan unattended in unmarked areas off the road. And lastly, keep the window curtains drawn and your valuables out of sight when you leave your caravan parked.
Of course you’d much rather spend all your spare time trekking, picnicking and exploring the sunny outdoors, but take a few minutes to review your caravan’s safety score nonetheless. Because a safe caravanning holiday is always a happier holiday!