It’s always important to remember safety when travelling in a campervan and living ‘vanlife’, especially for female solo travellers.
Whether it’s safety to prevent opportunistic thieves, or feeling safe as a solo female traveller, there are several things we should bear in mind to keep us and the vehicle safe – whether we are renting a campervan or own one.
It is quite unlikely that something bad will happen, however it’s great to be prepared. Prevention is always better than cure! Plus, campervans certainly don’t come cheap and many people who own one say it is their pride and joy – so they certainly don’t want anything happening to it, and nobody wants their holiday ruined!
There are many things you can do to ensure you and your campervan stay as safe as possible and aren’t seen as a target – let’s take a look at them below!
Campervan & Vanlife Safety & Security
Campervan Safety & Vanlife Safety Tips!
Always Lock Your Campervan
This sounds obvious, but you would be surprised that some people can forget to lock their campervan at night when they are sleeping inside. As soon as you are settled in the campervan for the evening you should lock the van so you don’t forget.
And of course lock the campervan during the day when you are out, as well as when it is parked at your house before your trip or after returning home from travelling in the campervan. Many vehicle thefts actually happen outside people’s houses as they are more relaxed when at home.
Even when you’re going to be out of the campervan for just a moment – lock the vehicle. If you’re filling up the tank or popping into a shop, just lock the van. It’s simple – it takes one second and could save you a lot of headache.
Also keep the windows of the camper van closed. If you need to keep one open – have it open just a tiny bit and make sure there is nothing valuable in sight.
Don’t Leave Valuable Items On Display In Your Campervan
Make sure anything valuable you do need to leave in the van you hide in a hidden place.
There is plenty storage space in most campervans so there is no excuse to have things out on display when you leave your vehicle unattended, especially any valuable items.
It’s also wise to close the curtains when you are parked during the day so nobody can see inside. It may prevent someone breaking in as they may think someone is sleeping inside.
Especially don’t leave things on display such as phone charging cables in the front or bags – even if they are empty. There’s just no point tempting people, even if it is just mostly clothes.
I always bring most of my valuables with me in my day pack whenever I leave the van unattended for the day, such as my wallet, phone, ID and camera. At least if my van gets broken into, I would have most of my essentials and valuables.
Don’t Park In A Secluded Place
When parking in the day, try to park near other cars or in busy well-lit places so that your campervan isn’t in a secluded place, which could make it a target for people looking to break in.
Consider Getting A Safe For Valuable Items
It’s wise to consider getting a campervan with a safe bolted to the vehicle so you can store any valuable items or important documents securely away.
Most thefts happen so quickly, with the burglars grabbing whatever they can, so if you have a locked safe in the vehicle it’s often too much hassle for a thief to bother trying to unlock it.
Other Campervan and Vanlife Safety Options To Deter Thieves:
Have An Alarm
If possible, try to get a campervan that has an alarm that goes off if someone tries to break in. These are great for attracting attention to a thief and forces them to run off.
It’s wise to have a GPS tracker on your campervan, so if it gets stolen it can be located. Additionally, dash cams can be useful to record any information or put opportunists off.
Removable Security Devices: Anti-theft Wheel Clamps & Steering Wheel Locks
You may wish to have an anti-theft wheel clamps or steering wheel lock to deter thieves. These bright yellow devices act as very effective thief deterrents.
Campervan Safety & Vanlife Safety: Solo Female Van Life Safety Tips!
Especially as a solo traveller (whether male or female) there are additional measures that you can take to ensure you stay safe whilst camping along.
Don’t Overshare Too Much Information
If you meet people when you are out for the day or the evening, try not to advertise the fact you are travelling alone in a campervan. Or at least don’t say in what type of campervan you are in (incase you’re the only one in town) or where your van will be parked for the night. You just don’t know who you are talking to.
Of course you might meet some lovely people and get along really with them and feel totally fine to tell them, in which case that’s great. But if you ever meet someone you have a strange feeling about, try not to disclose too much information. Always trust your gut feeling.
If you want, you can always say you are staying in hotels or hostels, or say a different caravan park to where you will be staying, or say your boyfriend is back in the van catching up on work. It isn’t common but the odd bad thing can happen, so always remember you need to put your safety first.
Don’t leave on display anything the could indicate you are a female travelling alone such as things like makeup bags, bras etc. It sounds silly, but as a female solo traveller you need to learn how to travel without drawing attention to yourself.
Camp Where You Feel Comfortable
If you are anxious about free camping, just stay in caravan parks. They are quite secure and most will have CCTV or at least a boom gate with a code you need to access the park. Some of the free camping sites can be quite secluded and quiet.
I have freedom camped a few times as a solo female traveller and there were always several other campervans around so I always parked right next to one of them and never felt scared, but if it’s not for you just stay in the caravan parks or paid camp sites – if you’re travelling around Australia you’ll find plenty on the East Coast!
Choose A Campervan That Isn’t Too Obvious
Especially if you are a female solo traveller and plan to do a lot of free camping, you’ll want to get a campervan that doesn’t look so obvious as a campervan. Choosing campervans with less or no windows in the back is a good way to do this, as there is less opportunity for people to look inside the vehicle.
As a female solo traveller travelling in a campervan like this made me feel really safe as it wasn’t drawing attention to me and the fact I was travelling alone. Having few windows also meant I could get changed quickly without having to put up the curtains each time!
In conclusion, campervan travel is a really great way to travel and explore a country, and vanlife safety is important to ensure you have the best trip!
Vanlife is especially popular in Australia and New Zealand -some popular campervan rental companies in Australia and NZ include JUCY, Spaceships and Apollo.
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