Does your RV spend much of it’s time unattended or in storage? Vandalism is most commonly a crime of opportunity. Someone might see belongings, equipment, or accessories through windows and decide on the spot that they are in more need of them than you.
Sometimes there is the assumption that things of value are contained inside. Risk vs. gain being their motivation, they break in however they choose expecting to reap some reward.
My motor home was broken into recently. I thought I had taken reasonable precautions to prevent such an occurrence. Sadly looking back there were numerous things I could have done different that may have stopped the perpetrators in their tracks.
First off the RV was backed into it’s parking spot with it’s rear wall within 12″ of the 8′ high, barb wire topped, chain link security fence. Yes, the only access gate was securely locked. The problem with this arrangement is behind this, thought to be adequate, fence is woods. Perfect for someone to approach undetected.
Secondly, mounted on the rear of the RV is a roof access ladder. It was a simple matter for the thieves to scramble undetected up the chain link fence and continue up the ladder onto the roof.
The first damage they caused was to kick in the roof vent over the bedroom. Of course in their hurry they broke the mounts to the rear ladder rendering it unsafe for further use.
Not being able to get into the RV through the obviously too small vent hole, they came back down the ladder and kicked in the rear window. Once again, with the rear of the RV facing the woods they could go about their destruction unseen.
Because all the shades were drawn and all the windows covered the thieves were assuming there were valuable electronics within this 30′ Class A motor home. They were wrong…
Their smash and dash tactics gained them only the dash mounted AM/FM radio. I on the other hand will be facing about $1,500 dollars in damage as the result of a 5 minute intrusion by two with no respect for other peoples property. The digital TV, VCR, and any other entertainment items are not permanently mounted. At the end of every outing they are removed and returned to the safety of our home.
What will I do differently to prevent further intrusions.
1. The damaged roof access ladder will be removed. No ladder, no easy way to reach the roof or rear window.
2. The rear window glass will be replaced with a fiberglass panel reinforced by plywood. We always kept the shade drawn as the window was over the head of the bed. It served no useful purpose so a solid panel will eliminate a weak spot in our defenses.
3. As I must fabricate a replacement dash panel myself, because you can’t purchase panels for older RVs, I will eliminate the in dash AM/FM radio. We never listened to it and our portable radio is fine for sitting on the picnic table outside.
4. I will request a parking spot in the storage area that is on the front side of the lot. With no woods behind providing a hidden approach, hopefully the next victim will be somebody else.
It’s a shame when you have no alternative but to place your RV in a storage lot that you must look at it as an undefended fortress. Fortunately there are a few things you can do to lessen the odds of your RV becoming victim to smash and dash vandalism.