Portable generators make our camping trips so much easier. Without a generator, you will be unable to operate any of your appliances or the convertor charger on your RV. Since most portable generators are quite handy, many unscrupulous people will want to take advantage of the same feature that we like so much.
Generator theft is more common than you think. Hundreds of people report their generator stolen while they are on the road or when they head out to the nearest convenience store near the campsite for just a few minutes. When camping, it is important to secure your generator in your RV, outside our RV properly to prevent headaches.
Tips for Securing a Generator at a Campsite
- Tips for Securing a Generator at a Campsite
- Securing Inside RV during Travel
- Additional Steps to Secure Your Generator
- Expert Recommendations
- In Summary
Going camping can be fun, but there is no need for you to sacrifice the comfort of your home. Investing in a portable generator can provide electrical hook-ups for appliances, lights, and electronics. But, there is a big market for second-hand portable generators, and it is the reason why they are a popular target at campsites and in RV parks. But, there are plenty of precautions that you can take to safeguard your generator when you are not around.
Use the following tips to protect, monitor, and even deter potential thieves –
Chains and Lock
One of the simplest approaches you can take to protect your portable generator is to lock it with a chain. You can tie the generator with your vehicle, a tree on the site, or even your storage rack using a thick, cut-proof chain. You’ll have to secure the chain using a padlock that will be difficult to snip using a bolt cutter. Remember that chains are a great option only if you will be stepping away for a few minutes. Most chains can be broken with a hand saw if given enough time. Nevertheless, they work as a great deterrent, especially if the thieves are looking for something that is easier to steal.
Another way to deter thieves is to use special cables along with an anti-cut alarm. These cables come with an alarm that sounds when someone tries to cut the cable. However, these cables will only work if you are close by or when you have neighbors close to where your RV might be parked. Like the chains, these prevent thieves from looking to make some easy cash from trying to steal generators.
Security brackets are installed alongside chains and cables to minimize the risk of your generator being stolen. These are placed over the generators’ plastic handles, allowing you to give something concrete to run the cables and the chain through. These come with a few bolts and need just a few minutes to install them over the portable generator. Make sure to check the security bracket and ensure it will fit your generator perfectly.
Apart from using the above thieve-deterrent, you can also try to make it difficult for a thief to spot or reach your generator. Placing your generator in places where it will be hard for the thieves to reach making them steal-proof. Many people keep their portable generators below their RV, especially when they are parked on an incline and there are enough roofs at one end. They still have to use chains, but not being able to spot the generator easily can work as an added advantage.
If you have a large or a medium-sized dog, and the weather outside is great, they can guard your generator while you are away. Even if they do not attack, most thieves will not take any chances. If you are not a dog person, you can put the generator out of sight or hide it away at night or when you are away. The RV’s storage area or the covered truck beds are some great places to hide the generator.
Many people choose to buy RV generators that come with their own special compartment to prevent them from being stolen. When you have to go out or have to switch off the generator during quiet hours, make sure to lock the generator’s compartment.
Securing Inside RV during Travel
Apart from being stolen, generators are also prone to damages during travel if you are not careful. Since these generators come at a cost, it is important to secure them properly when traveling with them. You want to make sure that the generator does not slip off the RV onto the road and get damaged beyond repair or cause a serious accident on the road. Here are some easy tips to help you keep your portable generator secured when you hit the road –
If you own a pull-behind camper, you can place the portable generator in the truck bed. Make sure to use ratchet straps or cords to ensure they do not slide during travel.
Many modern RVs come with their own dedicated compartment to be used with their generators. The compartment is usually placed under the hitch where you can secure the generator while traveling. Even if there is no dedicated space for the generator, you can put the generator in one of the RV storage compartments if there is enough space. Many people also put their generators inside their RV in places like under the dinette, under the bed, and other places where they won’t move. Ensure you tie them down to prevent them from sliding around during turns and braking.
Hitch or Bumper Mount
If you rather not take a chance with the generator inside the RV, you can mount it outside your RV. One of the easiest options is to invest in a rack that can be attached to the back bumper, but remember these too can be dangerous if not installed properly and can carry the generator’s weight. Another option is to use a frame-mounted hitch that provides you a platform for the generator to be placed on the back of the RV. But, the generator here is mounted to the frame rather than the bumper making it much safer.
For A-frame trailers, you can find racks that can be installed on the top of the propane tank in the front. However, you will have to remove the rack every time you need access to the propane tank, but it is a much securer way of traveling with a portable generator.
Additional Steps to Secure Your Generator
Add Lighting throughout the Space
Thieves do not target brightly lit areas as it puts them at risk. Thus, place fixed lighting around the RV and the generator to create a deterrent. Many modern security cameras come with built-in spotlight cameras that can easily reduce the threat to a great extent.
Use a GPS Tracker
Even though there is no sure-shot way to protect your generator, you can make it harder for thieves to steal it. But, in the event that the generator is stolen, the GPS tracker will make it easy for the police to find and return it to you.
Leave Dried Leaves around the Generator
Another way to secure your generator is to cover it with dried leaves. When someone steps on the leaves, they make a crackling sound. No one comes to the generator without stepping on the leaves and making a sound, making them easy to spot.
Remove the Wheels
If your generator has wheels, remove them when you are not using them. Removing the wheels will make it difficult for thieves to push or pull them away from the site. Once you remove the wheels, keep it inside your RV, and do not just drop it anywhere near the generator.
Choose a Silent Generator
Picking a silent generator will not only not disturb other people around you but also allow you to keep your generator hidden. Thieves won’t even know you are using a generator. Go through online reviews and pick a generator that does not make any noise or is completely silent. No one can steal anything that they actually cannot see.
If you are in the market for a few security products that you can use to secure your generator, there are plenty to choose from. New and improved generator accessories can help you make it more challenging for thieves to steal your generator.
While the generator accessories can vary from model to model, there are some bare essentials that can be used with most portable generators out there. You need to pick the ones that you will feel comfortable using depending on where you go camping. Here are a few products that experts in the industry recommend to help keep your portable generator safe when you go out –
Vulcan Security Kit
The Vulcan Security Kit comes with an armor-plated padlock, three keys, a high-security chain, and a Cordura wear pad. All the different components work together to provide a security mechanism that beats the strongest bolt cutters. The lock is sturdy, and even an expert will need hours to pick. It has an exclusive design and shape that standard burglary tools cannot defeat. This security kit will work perfectly with your RV portable generator.
Theft Deterrent Security Bracket for Honda EU Generators
This is specially made for certain models of Honda Generators. The security bracket is made of coated iron and is covered with tamper-proof bolts. The metal handle makes it difficult to cut through. When used with a cable lock or chain, it can be a great theft deterrent. If you own any of these Honda portable generators – EU2200i, EU2000i, EU2000i Companion, or EU2000i Camo Generator 63230-Z07-010AH, this security bracket will surely come in handy.
Master Lock 8418D Python Keyed Cable Lock – Budget-Friendly Generator Lock
This fully adjustable cable lock can easily pass through cable mounting spaces for cameras, generator boxes, or any post or tree. The locking cable is made of braided steel, making it quite sturdy and scratch-free. The cable can easily pass through places where other cables cannot, and there is enough strap to create compact storage.
Getting robbed can bring out mixed feelings. While you may feel sad because of the material loss, you might feel guilty knowing you could have done something to prevent it.
Create a customized security solution for your portable generator to reduce the risks of generator theft. It might take a little effort, but it would be worth it in the end. Your main aim is to secure the generator in a way that makes others understand that it will not be easy to steal.
When they know it will be risky, it convinces them to leave you and move on to others.