This was a first for us: The first time someone stole fuel from our truck. We’d taken our fifth wheel to an acreage in the country approximately three hours away from our stix-n-brix home. In exchange for full hookups and fresh country air, we were helping friends build their new house. The beautiful Ozark Mountains provided a wonderful backdrop to their home site and things were progressing at a steady pace on the build. The furthest thing from our minds in this peaceful setting was protecting ourselves against fuel theft.
It must have happened during the nighttime hours. We didn’t hear a thing. When we fired up the truck a few days later, we noticed that our fuel level was significantly lower than before. We’d been robbed! If we were going to continue working here, we had to figure out some ways to protect ourselves from further fuel theft.
Here are ways to prevent fuel theft we’re considering:
- Parking strategies. The serene setting lulled us into a false sense of security. We’d made it relatively easy for the thief to snitch our diesel fuel because we’d parked the truck quite a distance away from our RV. There’s no way we could hear clanking gas cans or any other noise, for that matter. The truck was also far from the yard lights that helped illuminate most of the long driveway. If we’d parked under one of the bright lights, perhaps the thief would have thought twice about taking a chance on being seen. From now on our truck will stay under a light and much closer to our rig.
- Locking fuel cap. There are lots of choices for locking fuel caps on Amazon. The price is quite reasonable, too! This seems to be a simple yet effective way to secure our fuel from the opportunistic type of thief. However, there have been reports that some thieves have gone as far as to completely rip out fuel caps, so a locking cap isn’t completely theft-proof.
- Fuel alarms. Wireless alarms are another “add-on” we’re considering, in addition to the locking fuel cap. There are several vibration-sensing alarms on the market with very high customer reviews. Why invest in a fuel alarm? More and more thieves are bypassing the fuel-siphoning method altogether. Instead, the crooks crawl under the vehicle, punch a hole directly into the gas tank, and let the fuel drain out into their container. For these thieves, a locking fuel cap is not a deterrent. It’s important to note that thieves looking to use this “unconventional method” of stealing fuel, target SUVs and trucks because they can crawl under the higher-clearance vehicles more easily. Not only does the consumer lose expensive fuel, but they also will need to replace their vehicle’s fuel tank!
- Cameras. Security cameras are another safety measure we’re considering. While a camera may not prevent fuel theft, it may help police track down the thief. A highly visible, posted sign, “Cameras in use,” may also cause a crook to think twice before attempting to pilfer some fuel.
- Garage. When we’re home, away from the build site, we park the truck inside the garage. So far, it has protected our fuel from would-be thieves.
With high gas prices, I’m wondering if this has happened to others and other RVers too. Has this happened to you or someone you know? What precautions (if any) do you take to deter fuel theft? Please share your ideas in the comments below!