This is a bitter lesson that I learned first-hand when my own rig, a fold-out Opus camper trailer, was nicked from my driveway one Saturday night. The cheeky scoundrels circumvented the coupling lock, hitched up and took off, all while we were inside putting the kids to bed. The cruel irony: we were days away from completing a special parking spot for the camper in the backyard, where it would’ve been safe from even the most daring camper crooks.
One can only wonder what has become of the rig. Stripped for parts? Set up as permanent accommodation on some bush property? With the VIN stamped on the drawbar, it’s hard to imagine it being re-registered in someone else’s name, but nothing would surprise me. There are some crafty people out there, many of whom believe they have a greater right to your property than you do.
These scumbags would rather take what’s not theirs than work for it. They would know nothing of the satisfaction that comes from earning something, and they’d surely have no concept of the devastation created by their greed.
They’d rationalise their actions: it’ll be insured; they’ll get another. But such thinking fails to account for the pride RV owners take in their rigs. It’s their home-away-from-home. They’ve personalised it and created something unique to their touring needs. The hours spent nutting out solutions to the layout or 12V system, the dreams of hitching up and heading off on an affordable holiday... gone in seconds.
Anyone who has had their van stolen would understand this view, and we’d love to hear from you. The more awareness we can raise, the more van owners will be encouraged to clamp down on their security.
Often, the van is more expensive than the vehicle towing it, to say nothing of the sentimental value. And yet they are in many instances easier to steal than any 4WD, so it’s bewildering why anyone – including yours truly – would invest more in the security of their tow vehicle than their van.
Though the Opus is no doubt long gone – stripped down or gathering dust in an outback shed – the rego is W56 758 and the VIN is 6T9T2700SEOV7003. Please drop us a line if you see it in your travels. The drawbar has been resprayed with dark grey ‘Cold Gal’ paint and is noticeably darker than the chassis.
Meanwhile, if you don’t have them, get a coupling lock and a wheel clamp. If you can’t put your van behind gates, park your car in front of the drawbar. Make it as hard as possible for the thieving rats to take off with your hard-earned pride and joy.
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #542 October 2015.