How to Keep Your Recreational Vehicles Secure
Most people know how to set up car, home, and life insurance. It’s just another part of “adulting.” But did you know that there are many other kinds of insurance out there that can protect your other valuables? Or that insurance isn’t the only solution to keep your recreational vehicles secure?
Whether you have an RV for the weekends or you’ve amassed an impressive vintage hot rod collection, you need to keep your toys secure when they’re not in use. The value and integrity of your vehicles, even motorcycles and boats, will hold up better if you protect them appropriately.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the top three ways you can protect your recreational vehicles for peace of mind.
Protection from the Elements
Motorcycles, campers, classic cars, and boats all have one thing in common: they break down over time when exposed to the elements. Like most things, leaving your vehicles out in the sun, rain, wind, cold, and heat damages them.
Each type of recreational vehicle needs its own specific kind of shelter. Boats may be alright in a marina over time, but you wouldn’t want to leave a motorcycle or car outside for years. Travel trailers can be parked outside for months but the sun is likely to crack the sealant on the roof and moisture may gather underneath if left unmonitored.
The first step is to research the best forms of protection for your specific vehicle. Then, see what options are available in your area. If you’re thinking of getting a boat, is there a marina you can store it in? Do you have access to a dock or garage? What about transportation to and from where it’s stored? Then, investigate each option before you make a decision. While one marina or storage solution may seem great over the phone or on their website, you’ll want to evaluate the security of the premises yourself.
At marinas, it’s common for security cameras to cover the entrance and security guards to be present during the day. But neither of those are effective against thieves in the night who enter the marina via the water.
If you choose a long-term storage spot for your travel trailer, you’ll want to consider the number of gate codes needed to access the storage lot, as well as if there are security guards on duty and security cameras to act as deterrents.
Motorcycles and Cars
If you are keeping your sports car or motorcycle at home, you should still consider extra security measures for where they are parked. Can you keep them in the garage, out of reach of potential theft and safe from the elements? Is your garage connected to your home security system? Are there cameras both inside and outside of the garage to act as deterrents externally and keep an eye on what’s being stored inside?
This all may sound like overkill, but these measures not only deter potential theft, but also ensure that if your vehicle is stolen, there is evidence to help locate it.
But you can do more than rely on other businesses’ or people’s security measures. You can take security into your own hands.
Homes with security systems are 80% less likely to be targeted by burglars, and you can add security systems to nearly any type of vehicle as well. Motorcycles, boats, campers, and cars can all benefit from the added protection of a security system.
Many cars already come with a security system, so you may not need to install one yourself. However, you can add a security system to a boat, travel trailer, or motorcycle. There are even products that are specific to each type of vehicle to ensure it is fully protected.
Boats and RVs
When it comes to boats, you could choose a residential style alarm system or one specifically made for boats. There are pros and cons for both choices, so do your own research and see what features make the most sense for your lifestyle. For travel trailers, you can choose a modified residential security system. We have an entire blog post about choosing the right security system for your mobile living situation. Making the right decision comes down to finding a security system with enough components and flexibility to fit your travel trailer (or boat, depending on how large it is).
For motorcycles, you’ll need to choose between something that’s more technical or low-tech. If you want an automated security system, you can purchase an alarm specifically made for your motorcycle. This one from Scorpio has a perimeter sensor and accelerometer. They also have a hands-free smart remote to ensure that you don’t set off your own alarm.
If that isn’t the right option for you, you can DIY an alert system for when you keep your motorcycle parked at home. By rigging string and glass bottles to your motorcycle, you can set it up so that the bottles break if your vehicle is disturbed. The sound of glass breaking (especially if you use several bottles) can be enough to make the thief run away and alert you to the attempted robbery.
But you don’t want to only focus on deterrents and alarms. You also want to prepare for the worst. And that means being able to track your property if it gets stolen.
No one wants to imagine their things being stolen, but having a plan can determine whether you will find your property again should that happen.
Luckily, GPS trackers are now affordable and small enough to put on your vehicle without being easily noticed. Especially for motorcycles, which are generally easier to steal than a boat or an RV, ensuring that there is a way to track your vehicle down will make it easy for the police to find it and apprehend those responsible.
When it comes to choosing a GPS tracker, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Power: Choose a GPS tracker with a long-lasting battery. You don’t want something that needs to be charged frequently, otherwise you run the risk of the power dying after your vehicle has been stolen. Don’t count on the thieves to recharge your tracker for you.
- Size: You want your tracker to be small and inconspicuous. Some thieves may look for a tracking device while others won’t even consider it. Either way, you don’t want the tracker to be so noticeable that any thief with half a brain will recognize it.
- Cost: Nearly all GPS trackers charge a monthly or annual subscription for their services. Depending on your budget, this may or may not be an important consideration.
- Notifications: How can you use your GPS tracker? Nearly all will come with some sort of app or smart remote for updates and to see where the GPS tracker is on a map. Ensure that the method works with your lifestyle. If you’ll lose a separate remote, don’t choose one like that. If you don’t like having apps on your phone, keep that in mind.
Once you know what matters to you, you should be able to narrow down several GPS options to what will best fit your vehicle and lifestyle.
However, there’s one more step you can take to make sure that your recreational vehicle is fully secure before and after it gets stolen, and that’s insurance.
Choosing the right insurance coverage is tricky, as it depends on your budget, location, and what kind of vehicle you have. What works for a camper doesn’t work for a boat or motorcycle. However, there is no shortage of options to choose from.
While we can’t recommend the perfect insurance coverage for everyone and every vehicle (that blog post would be much too long), we can make recommendations based on the most important criteria to consider:
- Vehicle Type: You want to choose the most specific type of coverage available. If you are considering a travel trailer, look at insurance options for RVs specifically. The same goes for boats and motorcycles. Even classic cars can have their own specific type of insurance since they aren’t driven as often as commuter or work vehicles.
- Coverage: While not every state requires it, it’s in your best interest to have an insurance policy. We recommend choosing one with as much coverage as possible, particularly in the event of theft. You want to look for the phrase “comprehensive coverage” and see that theft and damage related to theft is covered. “Liability insurance” often does not include theft or damage related to it.
- Bundling: If you already have home, life, or car insurance, consider getting a policy with the same insurance carrier. Often, insurance carriers will reward customers for having multiple policies with them. This is called “bundling” your insurance policies, and it can lead to savings across all your policies.
- Cost: Try to find an appropriate balance between coverage and cost. Getting too little coverage to save on cost may lead to regrets if something happens to your vehicle. But overloading on coverage that isn’t necessary can also cost you (literally).
Keep these factors in mind as you research which carriers and coverage make sense for your recreational vehicle. You’ll want to do this before you purchase it and then review your policy annually. Comparison shopping once a year, as well as after any major life change, can ensure that your policy is up to date and that you are getting a fair price.
Make Your Security Plan Today
With this information, you can build a comprehensive plan to secure your recreational vehicle. Whether you have a boat, collect antique cars, or plan to hit the open road with a motorcycle, protecting your property is important. Create a security plan to protect your vehicle from theft or damage for peace of mind.