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Old 12-27-2022, 07:03 PM   #1
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Theft Deterrent Ideas

After 25 incident-free campground stays this year (full-time since March), we experienced minor theft at both of our last two campgrounds. We were very lucky compared to some other victims, and things could have been much worse. But we are wondering what a good deterrent might be? I am leaning toward a motion-sensing strobe light/alarm. Of course, I would never enable the alarm function in a crowded campground, but the strobe light seems a good deterrent. I'd also like to have something to alert me in the RV, but have not seen any such thing.

Apart from booking stays in better areas, or taking shifts on night patrol like in Platoon (ha-ha), what ideas do you have to deter thieves?
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Old 12-27-2022, 07:22 PM   #2
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Depends what you are securing...
From cable locks to stick on vibration alarms with remotes, most things are cheaply secured.
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Old 12-27-2022, 09:01 PM   #3
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Were the items inside the storage compartment, or outside unsecured?
If you elaborate on your situation, you may get some constructive ideas.


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Old 12-27-2022, 09:19 PM   #4
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If you are talking about things getting stolen during the day when you leave them out and you leave the campground, of if you leave things out at night while you are sleeping inside, I have a simple rule. I never leave anything out that I would miss if it went missing. If it's important enough, I'll put it inside when I'm not around.


If you are talking about people breaking into your RV or into your external compartments when you are not there, to me that seems more serious. There are inexpensive alarms you can get (motion sensor and/or window/door type sensors) that can protect your actual RV. As long as they are only going off during a real robbery (and not a bunch of false alarms), I wouldn't be worried about a siren at a campground. PM me if you'd like an inexpensive alarm option.


Stay safe!
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Old 12-27-2022, 09:51 PM   #5
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This is not about a break-in, just items being taken from our little yard area at night. We left some things on the table -- outside, unsecured. Table and chairs were not taken, but the items were. I guess I'd like to prevent someone from walking in to our little area undetected. But I think Chris is probably right that it is best to just lock everything up if it is easily purloined and of some value.
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Old 12-27-2022, 10:09 PM   #6
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Don't leave anything of value outside overnight or when you're away.

Please don't think of using strobe lights or an alarm!

Where did this happen? We full-timed for 16 years with no thefts.
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Old 12-28-2022, 07:46 AM   #7
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Sounds like some bored kids running around at night. Scare lights may help. Lots of solar powered motion lights available.
Another thing, though it won't stop the theft is a game camera. You'll have pictures of the incident.
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Old 12-28-2022, 11:36 AM   #8
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Don't leave anything of value outside overnight or when you're away.

Please don't think of using strobe lights or an alarm!

Where did this happen? We full-timed for 16 years with no thefts.
This was at a resort in Pahrump, NV, and then at a resort in Desert Hot Springs, CA. (I'd rather not name park names). I agree the strobe light function could be very annoying, especially since it might be hard to keep it going off when the wind blows the trees or bushes.
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Old 12-28-2022, 11:38 AM   #9
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For us, it was always a matter of our convenience vs value of the items. Mostly convenience won out, but we mostly avoided parks where theft was a concern. Maybe our antennae were better than most - in over 20 years of camping we've lost only a few trivial things to thieves. A bottle of wine from a cooler, a potted plant, that sort of thing. If the park inhabitants looked a bit dodgy, we put stuff away and locked the bay doors. If not, we risked it.
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Old 12-28-2022, 11:46 AM   #10
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Desert Hot Springs is a nice place to visit, but many of the residents are CROOKS. This is well known in the area. These crooks are aware people are passing through so they just drive through and shop a few times a week. This even happens in the nice areas. A few weeks ago in Carlsbad my buddy had his generator stolen that was locked with a cable while he slept.
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Old 12-28-2022, 12:24 PM   #11
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Canít comment on Pahrump, but if all you lost in Desert Hot Springs were a few tabletop items you got out lucky. I wouldnít venture into that town in the middle of the day with armed guards. Spent many a winter in the Palm Springs area and one trip into that hovel was one trip too many.
As for alarms and strobes etc., all they would do is annoy the neighbors, a snatch and run thief couldnít care less.
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Old 12-28-2022, 03:34 PM   #12
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If you get you some Visible Stain Anti Theft Detection Powder available on Amazon, you can sprinkle it on a few of your broken power tools or whatever else that you would want to throw away anyhow. Place them under your coach. The powder will stain their hands for days. Maybe they will think twice before they come back to the neighborhood.

Be sure to handle with gloves and if the items donít get stolen, store them for the next time.
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Old 12-28-2022, 07:40 PM   #13
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If you get you some Visible Stain Anti Theft Detection Powder available on Amazon, you can sprinkle it on a few of your broken power tools or whatever else that you would want to throw away anyhow. Place them under your coach. The powder will stain their hands for days. Maybe they will think twice before they come back to the neighborhood.

Be sure to handle with gloves and if the items donít get stolen, store them for the next time.
Neat idea, Eddie. Probably a good thing to try the night before departure to avoid retribution!
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Old 12-29-2022, 07:26 PM   #14
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We have camped so often in bear areas that the only things left our overnight are chairs and maybe a table. Everything g else including grills and ice chests, gets packed up,when we are away from our rig. When we had an external generator and portable satellite antenna, they were attached with double hardened chains and high quality locks. You want your site to look like either there isn’t anything worth pawning or that that your site is less attractive than the neighbor’s.
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