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Top Tips for Securing Your Small Camper from Theft

As a Little Guy Micro camper owner, ensuring the security of my beloved teardrop camper is important. In the past, I had a bigger camper, that just its size helped to deter thieves.  Now I have a very lightweight, small teardrop camper that could be a little more attractive to thieves, a Little Guy Micro Max.  So now, whether I’m on a weekend getaway or an extended camping trip, I take steps to prevent it from being stolen that give me peace of mind and protects my investment. Here are eight steps you too can take to keep your small camper safe from theft.

Choose a Secure Campground

When selecting a campground, prioritize safety and security. Look for established campsites that have proper security measures in place, such as gated entrances, surveillance cameras, and on-site staff. Read reviews and gather information about the campground’s security record to make an informed decision.  RV Life is a great app to use for looking at campground reviews.

Invest in Quality Locks

Did you know that almost all RV door locks are keyed alike?  Manufacturers do this so salespeople only need to carry one key to show potential customers different units.  The same goes for storage compartments on campers.  So, it’s a good idea to change the door and storage locks on your camper with high-quality locks.  Consider using deadbolt locks, padlocks, or heavy-duty hasps to make it harder for potential thieves to gain access. RV Lock makes an easy to install keyless door lock.   To see how easy it is to install, check out my article on How To Install A Keyless Lock to Your Camper.   Remember to always lock your camper whenever you leave it unattended, even if it’s just for a short while.  If you have an expensive voltage protector, you’ll want to have a separate lock for it too as thieves love to take those.

Install a Trailer Tongue Lock

By using a tongue lock, you can prevent unauthorized individuals from easily hooking up and towing your camper away.  There are different types of tongue locks, ones that secure around the coupler of your camper’s hitch and ones that lock the coupler closed.  I prefer the type that goes around the coupler.  Whatever you choose, pick one that is a durable lock specifically designed for trailer hitches, as these are often resistant to picking, cutting, and tampering.

Use Wheel Locks or Boot Devices

Wheel locks or boot devices provide an additional layer of security by immobilizing your camper’s wheels. These devices are designed to prevent thieves from towing or driving away with your camper. Invest in a sturdy and reliable wheel lock that fits your camper’s tire size.  Combine a wheel lock with a tongue lock for added security.


Install a GPS Tracking System

Consider installing a GPS tracking system designed for recreational vehicles. These devices use satellite technology to track the location of your camper, enabling you to locate it quickly in case of theft. Some systems also offer additional features like geofencing and real-time alerts, which can further enhance your camper’s security.  Apple’s Air Tag is a great low-cost option that doesn’t require a subscription.

Use Motion-Activated Lights

Install motion-activated lights around your camper to deter potential thieves. These lights automatically turn on when motion is detected, alerting you and potentially scaring off anyone attempting to approach your camper unnoticed. Well-lit areas are less attractive to thieves, as they prefer dark and secluded spots.

Get to Know Your Neighbors

Are you in one spot for a while?  Building a rapport with your camping neighbors can provide an extra layer of security. They can keep an eye on your camper when you’re not around, and you can return the favor. Having trusted neighbors nearby can create a sense of community and enhance overall security within the campground.

Decorate the Outside of Your Camper

Thieves generally prefer to target campers with plain exteriors rather than those with decorated exteriors.  A camper with a plain exterior blends in more easily with its surroundings, making it less conspicuous and drawing less attention. Thieves prefer to operate covertly, without arousing suspicion. Decorated exteriors, on the other hand, can make the camper stand out and attract more attention, making it riskier for thieves to attempt theft.  Same goes for expensive coolers.  Thieves want to pawn the coolers and if yours is covered in stickers, they will be less likely to steal it because the stickers diminish its market value.

Other Things You Can Do

Leave your stabilizing jacks down.  Park a vehicle in front of your trailer.  Park it out of sight.  Leave slideouts extended.  Make sure all your windows are locked.  Anything you can do that will make it more difficult to quickly hook up to your trailer, will help deter would be thieves.

By implementing these practical security measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of your small camper being stolen. Remember to be vigilant and proactive in protecting yourself and your camper. With these precautions in place, you can relax and enjoy your camping adventures, knowing that your camper is well-secured. Happy camping!


Lisa McDermott
Lisa McDermott, Vice President of Operations; Writer & Guide with Girl Camper

About Lesa McDermott & Girl Camper

Lesa McDermott is the Vice President of Operations for Girl Camper.  In addition to running the day to day operations of Girl Camper, she also writes for Girl Camper and plans events.  She is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and lives in Custer, South Dakota with her husband Karl and several fur monsters that often camp with her.  She and her husband own a construction company and she is an attorney.  She is also very active with Casting For Recovery, whose mission is to enhance the lives of women with breast cancer by connecting them to each other and nature through the therapeutic sport of fly fishing.

Girl Camper is a women’s lifestyle and media brand focusing on camping, outdoor activities, camaraderie, and travel. It produces the Girl Camper Magazine, has a website with informative and fun blog posts, hosts events, and maintains national and local social network communities on Facebook. Search for Girl Camper on Facebook and find your local chapter.


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