There are really two types of thefts. Different cases respond to different deterrents.
The professional or semi-pro. Maybe they are or know end buyers. Such as remote drug operations or resellers. With homelessness high a camper might well have a gray market to sell into. RV parts might also be a market. A 3 way fridge
, water heater, toilet, tires
etc. might well find ready resale. Even at 50% or 25% of actual value parted trailer can represent a decent sum of money.
The opportunistic thief. They see and covet and if it looks easy enough... they will steal it. Might even steal the camper just for the contents. Or just to have it for own use. Casual thief isn't going to be thinking about reselling unless they already know a buyer. Or as secondary to getting the TV and Microwave
inside and selling the camper cheap as a bonus. These are the people that will steal stuff left around a camper. See it, want it, steal it.
The Pro is probably better at weighing
risk vs. reward. However they are also more likely to be equipped to go though deterrent devices. Battery
powered 4 or 5 inch grinder with a cut off wheel goes through locks and chains really fast. A bit noisy, throws some sparks but can be done in a couple of minutes. Flat bed tow vehicle can pull a booted camper up and drive off pretty quickly. Making the trailer less accessible is only real defense. As others have said layers that have to be circumvented one after the other.
The less visible and accessible the better the amateur won't covet what they can't see. Or if it clearly looks like it would be difficult.
A couple of things not often mentioned that I think can help. Security lights
pointed toward the trailer. People seem to point the lights
outward so they blind anyone looking toward the house or garage. Point the security lights
at the thing you want to provide security for! Ground lights pointed up so anyone at the trailer (same for house window) is stepping onto a lighted stage.
Anchor the trailer by the middle of the frame or axle
. Having to crawl under the trailer to unlock a chain or cable attached to a ring anchored to buried concrete is a hassle for you, even worse for someone trying to cut the thing and get out of there. It will also potentially get missed initially. Trailer not moving when they try to hook up or haul on flat bed is a good thing. Time is your friend and their enemy. Just make sure there isn't slack in the anchor chain. Slack allows for trailer to start moving and the yank force goes way up. American Graffiti, back axle
chained on cop car. No slack no yank, no yank not as likely to damage trailer.
I personally am hoping to move camper to fenced back yard this winter. Between fence, dogs (mine and neighbors) and limited view and accessibility I'll feel pretty confident. I really don't like camper next to garage where people can see it going by. If it is gone and tow vehicle is gone... sort of lets people know you are on vacation and not home. Neighbors watch out for each other but better to not invite problems.
Been doing a bunch of stuff to camper so wanted it closer to tools and power. Parked next to garage and then it snowed, so was already there this spring, didn't move it. Won't make that mistake again.
Last but not least have a hard conversation with your homeowners insurance agent
. Old Scamp
might be worth $4,000 or more but don't count on insurance acknowledging it after it is stolen unless you have it in writing. Mine was damaged in an accident and despite the "value" I gave them when coverage was established they saw that as the "Max" value, tried to use blue book and one recent sale from clueless dealer as basis to pay on claim. Man I wish I had been at that dealership!
I used the for sale
posts of this forum, along with some from www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com
and printed postings of sold
trailers like mine. Finally got them to provide proper value. Might be good to do that up front. They wanted to total mine for a crack in the shell from a jackknife incident. I could cover the crack with my hand. Value of $1000 less deductible....
With a $4k value having a fiberglass body shop repair it good as new started looking much better to them. But I had to fight for it. Better to do it up front.
One thing about thieves. They are like the squirrel that raids the bird feeder in our back yard despite two dogs that have been bred for hundreds of years to have a strong rodent prey drive. Squirrel beats the dog to a tree or the fence squirrel wins. However the dog only has to catch the squirrel being a thief once and all the squirrels past wins mean nothing.
Do it often enough and you gonna get caught eventually and bad things will happen. Well bad from the thieves perspective the dogs really seem to relish their eventual win.