I often get asked how to make sure our most expensive purchase ever stays safe and doesn’t get stolen by one of the many clever thieves either at home or in the towns and cities we visit across Europe.
We have experimented with wheel clamps, steering wheel locks and electronic immobilisers but some of these can be very expensive and ot foolproof. For example, a wheel clamp to fit our motorhome wheels would set me back £150 from a leading supplier.
The problem with these is that they have to be carried everywhere and seldom collapse down to a handy size. They also weigh a considerable amont, reducing your meagre payload still further.
2. Next comes the steering wheel clamp. Many of these are inexpensive and easy to fit. I have one which doubles as a club in case of attack.
The problem with these is that they are relatively flimsy and can also be used as a tool to break the steering lock to aid vehicle theft. They are, however, like the wheel clamp a visible deterrent. A variation on this is the pedal clamp which clamps the brake and clutch pedals together. Great idea but no good for automatics.
3. The most expensive is the electronic immobiliser, a gadget that is hardwired into your vehicle and which prevents the engine from being started except by deactivating with an unique key. We had one like this fitted when we bought the motorhome at a cost of £350.
While these are highly effective in the first instance they are invisible to the thief and may result in the vehicle being damaged as the thief tries his luck.
4. The clever option. I came across this idea a few months ago while looking for something else entirely. The concept is simple, make the vehicle visibly impossible to drive. It relies on the fact that many motorhomes have driving and passenger seats that swivel to form part of the habitation. If you could lock the driving seat in the reverse position then there is no facility to use the steering wheel and drive the vehicle away. This is accomplished by drilling a small hole in the swivel plate and attaching a padlock, immobilising the seat. Job done for £4.99!
Whatever you decide to fit, do it NOW!