Is RV Theft Getting Worse?

Someone stealing from you gives you an awful feeling. It can feel like someone violated your privacy and space. We hear of vehicle thefts occurring occasionally, but what about RV thefts? Do RV thefts rise when RVing becomes trendier? Let’s find out!

How Common Is RV Theft?

Typically, RV thefts are extremely rare. However, finding statistics regarding RV thefts is nearly impossible due to how people report them.

Depending on the type of RV, officials could classify them as either a vehicle or a trailer. Many reputable websites don’t separate RVs into unique categories for their databases.

However, considering the tremendous amount of RVs available, the number of thefts is relatively low. Steeling a fifth wheel or travel trailer is more challenging than stealing a small cargo trailer. Still, RV theft happens occasionally, and you must take RV security seriously.

A big white motorhome parked in a secluded area of the forest.

Is Theft a Problem at Campgrounds?

Overall, theft is not a significant problem in most campgrounds, especially the theft of RVs. There are reports of some seedy people stealing from their fellow campers.

Typically, when you hear about thefts at campgrounds, it is the theft of gear and other equipment, not the RV.

We’ve heard of thieves stealing campers’ surge protectors, bicycles, and camping chairs from their campsites while they were away.

RVers Tom and Cait share how their bikes were stolen off their rig — while they were inside!

This is why you must always secure your belongings at your campsite and choose your campgrounds wisely. You don’t want to stay at a campground if it has a reputation for theft.

Is RV Theft Getting Worse?

Statistics on RV-specific thefts are nearly impossible to come by. However, a boom in RVing from 2020 through 2022 aligned with an increase in RV thefts. 

Most RV thefts occur while an RV sits unused in storage. RVs typically sit with their slides closed and ready for travel. All thieves need is a compatible towing system, then they can hitch up to the trailer and take off with the RV. They likely won’t worry too much about damaging stabilizers or landing gear when taking off with the property.

RVs often become incredibly popular during the summer and holidays, and you must take steps to avoid becoming a victim. Secure your RV and ensure you take a few crucial security steps to keep it safe.

Eddie Munson Steals Winnebago in ‘Stranger Things’.

Tips to Help Burglar-Proof an RV

While RV thefts are pretty rare, burglaries are substantially more common. A thief can be in and out of an RV in minutes. Let’s examine several things you can do to keep you and your RV safe from burglaries.

Upgrade Your Locks

The locks manufacturers install on most RVs are usually complete garbage. There are only a handful of lock combinations, so there’s a good chance someone in the campground has a matching key that could unlock your RV or storage compartments.

One of the first RV upgrades every owner should do is to upgrade their locks. We recommend locks like RV Lock, which not only uses a million unique lock possibilities but has a numeric keypad.

You can set the keypad to a custom code and not worry about using your keys. You can also easily lock your RV by pressing a button on the keypad or remotely using a key fob.

Put an Alarm on Your RV

Like a residential home, you can have an alarm on an RV. Since very few RVs come with alarm systems, this would be something you need to install. However, you can find wireless systems like SimpliSafe that you can use in homes and RVs.

These systems will set off a loud tone anytime a door or window opens while the alarm is active. Whether the RV is in storage or a campground, an audible alarm will attract attention.

Installing a security camera outside of the home.

Use Blackout Window Treatments

You don’t want to put your valuables on display for anyone to see easily. Using blackout window treatments makes it more challenging for people to see into your RV.

Tinting your windows can be an option as it allows you to enjoy the views inside your RV but makes it harder for anyone to see the interior.

Park in Safe and Well-Lit Areas

You need to take into consideration where you’re parking your RV. It would be best if you only park in safe and well-lit areas. Most campgrounds do a fine job installing security lights for safety, making it manageable to maneuver around a campground at night. However, that’s not the case if you’re boondocking.

While boondocking is typically very safe, you need to do some research when selecting a spot to camp. Resources like Campendium and iOverlander can be beneficial for learning about new and unfamiliar areas.

Get a Dog

Dogs have a reputation for being man’s best friend and for being fantastic security systems. A barking dog is sometimes enough to scare away anyone looking to enter an RV.

Many dogs are territorial and defend their home. A dog can be an excellent way to protect your RV.

A cat and a dog looking out a motorhome window.

How To Protect Your Campsite From Theft

You need to maintain a clean campsite to protect yourself from theft. Avoid leaving valuables or items out, especially when you’re not using them.

Thieves are opportunists and will jump into action if they can make a quick buck. Keep your stuff in a secure location.

Secure your items if you’re planning to spend time away from your campsite. Use storage compartments with locks. Locks often slow down or cause thieves to think twice about whether the theft is worth the effort.

Most thieves look for the most convenient opportunity, requiring the least amount of work and risk.

Are RVs Hard to Break Into?

RVs aren’t overly challenging to break into. However, this is because most RVers do the bare minimum to secure their rig.

While we recommend everyone upgrade the locks on their storage compartments and door handles, it’s a waste of time and money if RVers don’t lock their belongings.

Please do yourself a favor and take precautions to make it harder for thieves to break into your RV.

Have you heard of thieves breaking into RVs at campsites or storage areas?

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