Shopped at a big box retail store recently? They probably use an anti-theft system like a plastic alarm box or a “spider wrap” with an alarm on smaller, easy to conceal items that a customer could walk right out with.
The same concept applies to a RV surge protector. The part that keeps your electronics and appliances safe is also fairly small, a bit expensive, and easy to just swipe.
Securing your RV surge protector can be done in many ways. You can get a lock, lockbox or other methods to ensure that no one runs off with your surge protector.
Why do people want RV surge protectors?
You’ve likely heard the phrase, “People will take anything that’s not nailed down.” This applies to surge protectors. The RV surge protector is a bit more expensive than a traditional surge protector, in part because some are designed to be used outdoors.
RV surge protectors typically don’t have a serial number and are hard to trace. They can be sold easily.
How do I secure my RV surge protectors?
We are going to start by saying that all the methods we suggest are somewhat similar. We will provide the pros and cons for each as we go, but they all generally secure the surge protector to your RV.
Bicycle Chain and Lock
These are as basic as you get, but they work. In case you are not familiar, a bicycle chain lock is typically a coin lock made of tough plastic or metal that is designed to wrap around a bike frame and secure to a post in the ground. These are generally fairly cheap, like under $50, and when paired with a high quality lock, can stop thieves who are not overly dedicated to their craft.
The downside here is going too cheap – or if you are away and the thief has lots of time. Bolt cutters can indeed get through many types of chain and locks
You could also use two chain locks.
Ideally, you can put the chain lock through an opening on your surge protector, around a post at an RV park, and secure it to the RV itself. Try doing this without creating a spider web of tripping.
Bike chain locks are also pretty easy to find. Head to a hardware store or even a place that sells bikes.
A cable lock is simple a padlock with inserts for a cable that wraps inside an opening within the surge protector, then returns to the cable lock.
These are the easiest to use because they combine a lock with a chain. Unfortunately, with ease of use normally comes ease of cutting or breaking.
One important idea here: Get one for outdoor use, regardless of whether you intend to use it outdoors. These come with steel cables and are corrosion resistant.
Cable locks, like a bicycle chain lock, can be broken or cut by more dedicated thieves. They also buy you time to notice someone cutting the lock to either stop them or call authorities.
Ball Plug Lock
These are moreso used in conjunction with a cable or bike lock, but are still effective. A ball plug lock looks like a ball! You can put the wiring for the surge protector inside of here and even hide a cable or bike lock inside.
A ball plug lock is easy to use, but is also possible to just smash and break. One upside to the ball plug lock is that is secures your wiring too. Have the kids in the RV? They could attempt to unplug cables from your surge protector to be somewhere between funny and naughty. A ball plug lock presents this problem.
Get a lockbox
A lockbox is a bit different from a cable lock or a regular bike lock. A lockbox contains the surge protector unit. A lockbox is typically a bit more expensive, but can be mounted to the RV with all the electrical wiring inside.
The upside to a lockbox is that a thief basically has to dismantle the entire box to get anything done, and will likely make enough noise to notice.
The downside is that you’ll have to open the lockbox whenever you want to access your surge protector. Be sure to keep the key on a chain or ring, preferably with the rest of our keys to avoid losing it. A cable lock or a bike lock can be put or destroyed by you in an effort to get to your surge protector, but the lockbox presents a bigger challenge.
This ultimately doesn’t actually keep your surge protector safe, but consider getting a small security camera for your surge protector and exterior of your RV. RVs can and do get broken into by thieves. Having even the presence of a security camera can keep thieves from approaching – whether it works, or is plugged in or not.
Security cameras require a bit more setup and likely money than other options, but they do more than one thing. Someone approaching the door or your RV might see the camera and decide not to pick your RV. Others without a security camera visible are easier targets.
Your surge protector needs its own protection to ward off thieves, and potentially even youngsters curiously unplugging things. The suggestions above are some example of what you could do to secure the potentially expensive electronics to your RV.
A combination of these things, and some vigilance, can readily help keep your RV and possessions safe. Many of these are designed to at the very least slow thieves down, or make it noticeable if they are approaching and tampering with something.
Use what works for you. Another suggestion: Make multiple copies of any keys. Making a key copy is way cheaper than breaking and replacing a lock if you lose the key.