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Camper Break-Ins:
How to Protect Yourself

Unser Van in Italien

If you’re traveling in a camper, you probably have some expensive gadgets with you. Either way, a camper break-in is always super annoying. In this article, we describe how we prepared ourselves for our multi-month stay in Italy. 

There are countries where you worry less about break-ins than in others. Italy, for example, is known for its many car break-ins. On our drive all the way to southern Italy, we’ve already encountered some strange characters who were definitely looking out for our camper. Fortunately, there has never been a break-in yet (we’ve been here for 6 weeks now).   

In our opinion, there are 2 main approaches, both equally important: 

  1. Preventing a break-in from happening 
  2. Make a break-in attempt more difficult and less successful 

Preventing a break-in from happening 

  • Putting privacy curtains in front of all the windows and from the driver’s cabin to the living area. We have sewn ours from this fabric. 
  • Park so that the side windows of the camper do not face a “dark corner”.  Otherwise, you create a comfortable environment for thieves. It is better to park with the windows facing the street. 
  • Rather park in well-attended parking lots if you will not be in the camper for several hours. 
  • If you found your parking spot on an app like Park4Night: Read the comments in advance and don’t be blinded by the beautiful landscape pictures already. There are often reports of break-ins if such a thing has already happened at the parking space. 
  • Make security installations visible from the outside: Attach alarm sticker, chain through the steering wheel, install exterior lock – more on this below. 
  • Go with your gut. In Italy, we take all the break-in precautions even at the supermarket. If your gut tells you the place is unsafe, keep driving.  

Make a break-in attempt more difficult and less successful 

Here the options are many. We list what we have chosen:

In daily life, it looks like this:

With all the locks, you don’t even know how to get in and out of the camper anymore? When we leave the van, we lock the cab with the chain and the rear doors with the lock and then use the side door to get out. When we are outside, we lock the side door with the curtain lock from the outside.  

When we are in the van, we just lock the side door from the inside and the rear doors with the hinged sprint (included). Because these locks are quick to open from the inside, so that we – you never know – can quickly leave the van in emergency situations. 

What else you can do (but we don’t): 

What also serves our safety: 

As you can see, there are endless ways to avoid break-ins in your camper. The most important thing is definitely to always pay attention to your gut feeling and rather look for another parking space if you feel uncomfortable.   

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