The conversation regarding theft at campsites (Safety Check) is interesting and maybe this is the time for the alarm companies to step up.
We have installed a proper alarm system in our caravan, with a movement sensor in both the tent and caravan. The siren is bolted to the bulkhead in the nose cone and is LOUD! It makes enough noise to waken anyone within 500 metres of us and to give both of us a heart attack if it goes off while we are sleeping, as our double-bed is at the front of the van.
We cover the indoor sensor while we are in the van, but always close our doors a zip up the tent at night to keep animals out.
The alarm is switched on using a remote, and we have an LED on the front window, visible from outside the van, and also on the side cupboard inside, to show that is has been activated or deactivated.
Being ex-Joburgers, we are very used to this and know that the best way to chase intruders away is with noise.
We are so used to this that even the nightly loo trips are easily handled, as the alarm is deactivated and re-activated using the remote which we keep on the counter inside the van. If we forget because we are ‘sleep-walking’, the siren is enough to wake us in a hurry.
If the alarm does go off while we are in the caravan, we never just walk out. We check through the windows fi rst, as thieves could be armed. Cellphones are at hand in the van with us.
Firearms are okay in a house, but in a van you are likely to shoot your spouse; or (with caravan sites so close together at some parks) you are likely to shoot through your own van into your neighbours’ and put an end to the snoring for good.
When we leave the van during the day, both sensors are on, so that even if someone avoids the tent and tries to come through one of the windows, this will trigger the alarm.
The cost of having this made up was about R2000 and was worth every cent.
If we leave the van for any length of time, we leave a spare remote with one of our neighbours, but that has seldom been necessary. This alarm has a battery backup, so even if the power to the van is disconnected, it will work.
Prevention is far better than cure in this case and your insurance is less likely to give you a hard time if they know that this is being used.