A total of 11.6 million caravanning and  camping trips were taken by Australians for the year ending June 2016, according to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA).

While it can be an extremely cost effective family holiday, the outlay for caravan and camping equipment can be substantial. Sum Insured data from 2016 demonstrated that the average cost of camping equipment owned by a family of two adults and two children who participate in camping activities is $3,786 and can even increase to an average cost of $12,000 for families who own top-of-the range camping items.

With a large range of equipment and accessories used in the great outdoors, RAC’s Home Claims Manager; Glen Walker, advises those taking caravan and camping holidays to think about the total value of their gear and to consider insurance for it.

“The many gadgets and camping equipment we take with us does add up and unfortunately thieves can take advantage. Over the summer period busy caravan and camping sites allow thieves to scan and snatch valuable items that are visible and within reach, even in broad daylight." 

Some of the most common items stolen from camping and caravan sites include mobile phones, wallets, bicycles, eskys, fishing gear, towballs and roof-racks.

Here are our top tips for protecting your gear:

  1. Minimise bringing anything unnecessary of high value with you – if you don’t need it for everyday use, then it’s best to leave it at home.
  2. Keep your higher-value items locked in the car, both when not in use and at night.
  3. Keep valuables out of sight and away from prying eyes that might be scanning campsites for expensive gadgets and easily accessible items.
  4. Use chains and padlocks for large items, such as portable fridges or BBQ’s.
  5. Introduce yourself to your neighbours – just like when you’re at home, they can help to keep an eye on your site and recognise if there’s a stranger lurking around that isn’t from your camping group.
  6. Consider engraving some items, such as bikes, with your license number so that in the event that they are stolen, the police will be able to contact you if they are recovered.
  7. Remove mounted portable accessories such as GPS devices and music players from your car so that they’re not on display.
  8. If you don’t have a car alarm, you can purchase small blinking light devices from most car accessory shops that can be fixed to your dashboard and resemble a car alarm sensor.
  9. Most importantly, use common sense and take the same precautions that you’d take at home – don’t keep your valuables altogether, keep car keys out of sight and don’t make it known that you have valuable items with you.

Most caravan insurance policies provide limited contents cover for theft or damage to contents items that were kept inside of your caravan. If you’re camping, or to make sure you have enough cover for higher-value contents items, you may want to add specified personal valuables cover to your home insurance policy.