Leaving Your Van On-site
Things to keep in mind when leaving your van on a site.
It’s not only those with seasonal pitches that need to consider on-site security, many vans are stolen from sites when the owner is simply out for a walk, taking a trip to local attractions or enjoying the site facilities. Where there are caravans and motor homes, there are potentially thieves and a van packed full of your valuable possessions is a prime target.
In most cases, people on a site are strangers. Vans come and go all the time so someone hitching up or driving off is likely to go unnoticed and unchallenged. We also tend to be a little lax with security when on holiday but all the advice you’ve received about protecting your assets are as pertinent on-site as they are at home or in storage, maybe more so.
As soon as you’ve pitched up, deploy any security devices you have such as wheel, hitch, steady and handbrake locks right away, you won’t be moving for a while anyway. It’s also a good time to introduce yourselves to your new, temporary neighbours. If they know you they’re more likely to spot and challenge a stranger around your van.
Whenever you leave your van unattended, make sure any valuables are out of site, secure all windows and doors not forgetting the lockers which often give access to the interior. If you have an alarm and/or tracker fitted, activate them. It may also be a good idea to let your new neighbours know you’re away and ask them to keep an eye on things. I personally like to give them my mobile number in case they need to get in touch. Do not leave keys for the van, car, security locks or your home in the van, take them all with you. Likewise any van documents, these are very useful to someone selling a stolen van, keep them with you. Of course you won’t forget to switch off unnecessary electrical equipment and turn of the gas will you? A fire will deprive you as much as a theft!
Last but not least. Think about valuable items and equipment around the van or in your awning. If you can’t lock them in the van, consider chaining them up in some way, deckchairs, barbecues even water butts can be expensive.
As vanners, we are a community with a shared interest. Be an active part of that community and stay vigilant to what’s going on around you on site. I’m not suggesting you go challenging people but if you see something suspicious, report it to the site staff immediately, they will never criticise you for being security conscious, even if it is a false alarm. You never know, you could well save someone the anguish of a stolen van and make a friend for life.