How to defeat RV burglars


By Bob Difley

RVers, and especially boondockers, take safety seriously. We tend to camp out in the hinterlands, often far from any possible response from law enforcement and well beyond the possibility of a thief being caught in the act.

Safety can be broken down into two issues: personal safety and protection from burglary. Here I will offer some ways to deter or prevent the chances of break-ins when you are boondocking and away from your rig – auto touring or going to town for supplies, for instance.

You can take some basic security measures to thwart any but a dedicated thief, which you are not likely to run up against. For instance, did you know that many RV storage compartments have the same locks, which can be opened with any key with the CH751 identity. Check yours. If that’s what you have, change your locks.

Additional easy security considerations include:

  • Close blinds and drapes when you’re gone so the curious can’t see what you have inside.
  • If you don’t have an electronic security system, pick up a small red LED light and mount next to your entry door controlled by a switch on the inside. When you go out, turn it on – its power requirement is negligible. It looks like a security system is turned on.
  • Do not leave anything valuable like a portable generator outside if you are going to be gone long, unless it is secured with a heavy-duty chain.
  • Don’t tell strangers in town where you are camped.

Most thieves are products of opportunity – when it is easy for them to take something.

Keep your valuables out of sight and follow these few pointers – removing the opportunity – and it will  prevent most grab-and-run thieves.

Editor: For more information about “How to make your RV compartments more secure,” watch this short video by Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor.

You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.


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Jim I

Don’t be fooled into thinking a campground with manned entry gate and security fence will protect you either. While in Homestead Fl at Goldcoasters RV campground, we left our bicycles out only to have them stolen from someone who drove in late at night and exited a little while later. The guards at the gate said they aren’t paid enough to try and fight thieves.

Tommy Molnar

I think most thefts are from ‘thieves of opportunity’, not pro’s. Nothing we do will stop pro’s, but these tips will thwart most otherwise honest folks from grabbing tempting goodies. Just sayin’ . . .


Great topic. I would add that it’s not just the content of the RV that thieves are interested in. Around here, there has been a spike in RV thefts. Especially high-end 4 season units. A hitch lock and changing your keys (so they can’t easily access your leveling jack/landing gear controls) are a great start but I would be interested in any ideas on further protecting your unit.


Those CH751 locks are really easy to replace — just a screw and threaded nut behind the lock. Combination locks are $3 online, and here’s a video of how to install them.