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RV Theft Statistics

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9 RV Facts & Theft Stats You Need To Know!

Did you know that protecting your RV or travel trailer has never been easier if you employ some simple safety tips? The reality is RV theft statistics are up, but leaving your RV on a campground is actually very safe. This might sound confusing, and that is why we are here to help break down everything you need to know about to protect your motorhome, RV, or travel trailer. First, let’s dive into some of the statistical data and facts when it comes to RV security!

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1. Crime Statistics Don’t Give Clarity On How Many RVs Are Stolen

Although motor vehicle thefts are clearly recorded, the number of stolen RVs isn’t so easy to track. Despite the growing popularity of recreational vehicles, most states report vehicle thefts by motor class types, without offering clarity about whether the type of vehicle stolen is an RV or not. What’s more, RV crimes aren’t always reported, making it harder to know if vehicle theft statistics are accurate. Nowadays, many RV parks and campgrounds are notorious for being associated with illegal activities; and because of this RV owners with connections to such happenings don’t always file reports when an RV gets stolen. So, while we know that RV thefts happen far less than motor vehicle thefts, stolen vehicle statistics don’t provide RV owners with the specific intel they need to feel confident that incidents involving stolen RVs are still considered a rare crime.

2. Approximately 10% Of Vehicles Stolen Are Classified As RVs

However you look at vehicle theft statistics, the number of stolen RVs isn’t that high. In a report published by the National RV Dealers Association, Florida, Kentucky, and West Virginia are the states with the highest rates of RV crime. And while theft rates of auto vehicles surged in 2020, motorhome theft along with other towables only makes up around 6% of the total figure. Of course, it seems logical that stolen RV rates are lower due to there being fewer of them on the road compared with other types of autos. But when you consider how low motorhome theft rates are overall, they’re not as frequently stolen as you might think. What’s more, the stats we’ve seen lump RV thefts into a bucket along with all other types of towable vehicles, including travel trailers and more. It makes sense there the number of RVs stolen is lower since there are fewer RVs on the road. Still, 6% is incredibly low.

3. Is RV Theft Common?

Although it’s not an impossibility, the likelihood of an RV owner having to deal with a stolen RV remains low. Enhancements in RV security make RVs safer and harder to break into. What’s more, many recreational vehicles have safety features, including specialist RV locks that make it easier than ever to protect your motorhome.

As one of the least frequently stolen vehicles on the roads, most RV owners use tried and trusted techniques to keep their RV safe and secure. Simple security measures, such as making an RV look occupied at all times, securing RV doors properly, and making sure these types of vehicles aren’t left without checks for long periods of time all help. Other things, like installing a steering wheel lock or trailer GPS tracker can deter RV thieves and prevent RV thefts from occurring.

Add to this the fact that aside from having to know how to break into a recreational vehicle, and there are many different RV types, a thief will then need to hotwire the vehicle, remove it, and find somewhere to hide it; all of which takes a much bigger effort compared with standard auto thefts. So, while RV thefts do occur, they are a rare occurrence, rather than commonplace.

If we look at the period between 2013-2019, the year with the highest number of stolen RVs was 2016. This year, a grand total of three RV thefts took place.

4. In 2020, RV Theft Rose Nearly 865%

With all the above information about RV crime rates considered, it’s important to mention what happened in 2020. While at first, this figure seems alarming, the total number of stolen RVs this relates to is 26. Yes, that’s right, less than 30 overall.

When you consider the pandemic, and the connected financial implications, it makes sense that there were more RV crimes and auto thefts in general due to the fact a greater number of people (RV thieves) had to find ways to make money, people had to leave their RV parked up for longer than usual.

5. Auto Theft Is Dropping Overall

Despite figures suggesting RV thefts are at an all-time high; overall, auto theft is on the decline. As most RV owners can now track RVs of any type, this is a stronger deterrent for RV thieves. Considering how slow and large these vehicles are, they’re incredibly difficult to move discreetly. With GPS trackers now installed by most RV owners, RV thieves face an uphill struggle, reducing crimes involving recreational vehicles considerably in recent years.

6. Most RV Theft Occurs In Florida, West Virginia, and Kentucky

RV thefts are more likely to occur in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Florida compared to others. West Virginia, Kentucky, and Florida report higher than average theft rates; most likely to there being a greater number of RV owners here, along with increased rates of poverty too. In tandem, these two factors contribute to there being more RVs stolen. Therefore, if you are taking a 5th wheel or RV rental to one of these three states make sure you take precautions when it comes to protecting your RV!

7. Campgrounds Are Not Hot Spots For RV Theft

Contrary to what people believe, more RV thefts take place when RVs are parked outside of restaurants, houses, or other places where they’re temporarily unoccupied. When a recreational vehicle is parked at a campsite, there are usually more people around, and there are more people who are alert to the RV thieves. In public locations like those we’ve mentioned above, there are more RVs stolen, due to there being fewer people around.

8. RVs Are More Likely To Get Stolen In The Summer

Throughout summer, there are more RV thefts than any other season. Considering a higher number of people use RVs for traveling and taking their RV camping, it makes sense. Comparatively, the period between December and March is when the lowest number of RV thefts take place.

9. Faulty RVs Are Targeted Most By RV Thieves

Evidence suggests defective RVs are more frequently targeted than those in full working order. RV owners tend to be laxer on RV security measures when an RV is defective – as such, RV thieves have an easier job breaking in. 

TLDR RV Theft Facts

  • Crimes statistics don’t give clarity on how many RVs are stolen
  • Only 6 in every 100 vehicles stolen are classed as RVs or a similar vehicle type
  • RV theft is not that common
  • In 2020, RV thefts rose by approximately 865%
  • Auto theft overall is declining
  • Most RV thefts occur in Florida, West Virginia, and Kentucky
  • Campgrounds are not hotspots for RF thefts
  • More RVs get stolen in Summer than any other time of year
  • Faulty RVs are more susceptive to RV thieves

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Do I Need To Worry About RV Theft?

The likelihood of getting an RV stolen is low, so it shouldn’t be an everyday concern when you and your family are enjoying the outdoors. With that said, RV thefts do happen, so it’s important you take any necessary RV security measures possible to protect yourself, secure your vehicle, and avoid the chance you’ll fall victim to any type of RV crime.

What Can You Do To Prevent RV Theft?

There are many security measures to take to reduce the chances of falling victim to RV theft. If you park your RV and leave it, make sure it looks occupied, ensuring your RV doors are fully secured. You can also install a GPS tracker, and make sure you have a sticker on the RV to show this. This can stop RV thieves in their tracks, and it doesn’t cost as much as you might think. Make sure you secure the RV with RV accessories too, things like wheel locks, coupler locks, cable locks, hitch pins, tire boot locks, hitch locks, and motion-activated lighting.

Other standard RV security measures include alarms and locks for steering wheels can also deter a person from wanting to steal your RV. Also, if you’re going to use storage facilities for an RV, make sure you vet the facility and hold the right type of coverage.

Pro Tip: Not all types of RV storage facilities are created equal, so be sure to look around at the best options for protecting for RV should you need to use an RV storage company.

Where Can I Track RV Theft Stats?

The National RV Dealers Association is the only place you’re going to be able to do this. Here, you get specific data that is related only to RV thefts. Every year, they release data that shows RV-specific data, that omits things like stolen trailers, fifth wheels, and towing vehicles; something that stats from the Insurance Information Institute doesn’t do at present.

Every year, the organization releases a list of stolen RVs. You can also look at other online sites and forums to see other individuals who post about stolen RVs, but these locations will almost always site the NRDA.