Caravan and motorhome security is a big and important topic. Its something I’ve discussed with our guests to Horton Common many times over the years. I’ve previously written posts on hitch locks, wheel locks and even corner steady leg locks. However, these devices are focussed on trying to stop potential thieves from stealing the vehicle. What about making it harder for thieves to actually enter the caravan or habitation area of the motorhome? Due to the lightweight nature of caravan and motorhome bodywork, the doors themselves feature fairly light duty locks. Understandably, many caravan and motorhome owners want to consider door lock security upgrade options. However, many people also don’t want to start drilling into the bodywork, and for good reason.
On the subject of drilling into bodywork, its not a requirement of all door locks, but quite a few of them. If you do decide to opt for a door lock for your caravan or motorhome which requires drilling into the bodywork, check with your dealer and your vehicles warranty. Many modern caravans and motorhomes come with a water ingress (damp) warranty. Typically for a period of 8-10 years from the date of manufacture. The warranty will be conditional on an annual caravan service or motorhome habitation check. However, if you as a DIY project drill into that bodywork while the vehicle is still under warranty you may have invalidated a potential future damp claim. So please check your vehicle warranty conditions before you proceed to drill into the bodywork to fit a door lock.
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Introduction to Door Locks for Caravans and Motorhomes
The first type of door locks I want to discuss is for caravans and the habitation door on motorhomes. However, towards the end of the post, I will also discuss additional door locks for motorhome cabs. While I’ve included ‘Best Door Locks’ in the title of this post, that’s obviously a subjective statement. With regards to caravan door and motorhome habitation door locks, I personally believe the best option currently available is the Fiamma door frame lock. Why? Well, its a door lock you can fit without having to drill into the bodywork of the caravan or motorhome. It does still involve drilling and screws, but into the side of the aluminium door frame.
I personally feel the Fiamma door lock is one of the best options available, but why?: Image – Amazon.co.uk
Why is The Fiamma Door Frame Lock The Best Option?
Is the Fiamma door lock the best in terms of being the most secure? Unfortunately, I don’t have information/data I can reference from an independent security testing company who has tested the various door locks etc. Above I’ve stated I feel its one of the best options available as the Fiamma lock doesnt require you to start drilling into the bodywork. That in and of its self is a benefit, but there is more to it than that. As the Fiamma door lock doesnt require drilling into the bodywork, I feel its more likely that more people will feel comfortable installing this door lock. My point being, I feel its better to have a door lock fitted than putting it off due to concerns over drilling the bodywork/water ingress.
Door Locks are Visual Security Deterrents
So part of the reason I feel the Fiamma door lock is currently the best option is that it will appeal the broadest range of caravan and motorhome owners. All external caravan and motorhome security devices are first and foremost a visual security deterrent. You want a potential thief to look at the vehicle and think its not worth the risk. Most thieves make a risk to reward assessment on their potential targets. You want to make your vehicle appear high risk. In the sense, it will take more time to steal/enter the vehicle. The more time it takes for the thief to bypass the security devices the higher risk of being disturbed and caught in the act.
Furthermore, when you fit a visible security device such as the Fiamma door lock it infers to the thief that other security devices will likely be present. In other words, if someone has fitted a door lock the potential thief will believe its more likely there is an alarm and or a tracker fitted which is working/active. Making your caravan/motorhome an even less appealing option to a potential thief in their risk to reward calculation.
How to Fit the Fiamma Door Frame Lock
As I’ve stated above, with the Fiamma door lock you do not have to drill holes into the caravan/motorhomes bodywork. You do however have to drill holes and fit self-tapping screws into the aluminium door frame. Below is a video from Martin, who goes by ‘The Caravan Nut’ on YouTube. Martin has produced an excellent video on how he installed the Fiamma door frame lock on his caravan. I also personally like Martin’s approach of using clear silicone as part of the door lock installation.
As Martin also shows in the video above, when you are in the caravan the Fiamma door frame lock can be rotated away from the door and locked into position. Hence, children or other adults cannot accidentally (or deliberately) rotate the lock into position over the door when you are inside the caravan. Now, you can also get the Fiamma lock with a plate to secure it to the bodywork if you believe that would be more secure etc. However, as stated above, be cautious about drilling into the bodywork. Not only for invalidating your water ingress warranty but also for making a mistake and drilling holes in the wrong places.
Something else to note with the Fiamma door frame lock is that its not limited to the main entrance door on the caravan or motorhome. Some caravans/motorhomes come with garage lockers which can contain lots of valuable items, bikes etc. Its well worth considering fitting a door lock on a garage locker access door as well.
Other Door Lock Security Options?
As you would expect that are lots of door locks out there for caravans and motorhomes. The other type of door lock potentially worth considering are grab handle door locks. However, grab handle security door locks do involve drilling and securing into the bodywork. With security grab handle door locks you need it to be securely fixed not only for security reasons but so it doesnt come away from the bodywork when you pull against it. These grab handle security door locks feature top and bottom hinges. When you are away from the caravan or motorhome the handle is hinged over the door and locked into place. When you are in the caravan/motorhome the handle is locked into a position perpendicular to the bodywork, as an aid for getting in and out of the caravan/motorhome.
Grab handle security door locks are another option. However, holes will need to be drilled into your caravan/motorhome bodywork: Image – Amazon.co.uk
If your caravan/motorhome still has its water ingress warranty, personally, I would get your dealer/service centre to install this type of handle/door lock. Keep the receipt of works as evidence, should you need to make a damp claim under warranty in the future. Even if your vehicle is outside of its warranty period unless you are very confident in your DIY skills its probably a good idea you let the service centre/dealer install it. At least four holes are going to be drilled into the bodywork, and you don’t want to get that wrong. If you are choosing to opt for a grab handle security door look for accessibility reasons make sure your caravan/motorhome step is a suitably stable choice aswell.
Motorhome Cab Door Locks – Additional Security
The above door locks are only applicable to caravan doors and habitation doors on motorhomes. Well, what if you want to improve the security on your motorhomes cab doors. If you have a panel van conversion door locks may also be applicable for additional security for your sliding and rear doors. For instance, there is the HEOSafe Zadi door lock. If you have hinged door handles this type of security device fits behind and in front of the handle. Once locked, the HEOSafe Zadi door lock stops you being able to lift a hinged door handle. I do know that some motorhome owners want their cab to be more secure when they are actually inside and using the motorhome, especially while they are asleep. Another type of door lock fits on the inside of the motorhome cab doors.
This particular motorhome cab door lock is designed for motorhomes based on the Fiat Ducato: Image – Amazon.co.uk
There are various motorhome cab door locks based on a similar design to the one above. All of them to some degree are going to require some mechanical fixing to the motorhome cab door/bodywork. There is another type of motorhome cab security device that I only recently became aware of and manufactured by Fiamma. Its effectively an adjustable telescopic pole that braces the cab doors together. How this type of security device would perform compared to the mechanically fixed locks above I’m not sure. However, an advantage of the Fiamma door locking bar is that its a visible security device, where the internally mounted door locks are not.
With a security device such as the Fiamma door locking bar as seen in the image above the potential thief may see the locking bar through the window and choose to walk away. With the internal door locks, the thief will not know its fitted. Hence, they will have already damaged the external lock on the door before the internal door lock has any benefit in stopping the thief gain access.
Conclusions on Caravan and Motorhome Door Locks
Another reason why I personally like the Fiamma door frame lock referenced above is that it comes in white, silver, grey and black. Therefore, you can choose a door lock to best suit the colour scheme of your caravan or motorhome. While you want a door lock to be visible security device to hopefully put-off a potential thief you also don’t want it to ruin the aesthetics of your caravan/motorhome. With the various colour options available for the Fiamma door frame lock you can get that additional security with minimal impact on the appearance of the vehicle. Hence, another reason why I feel this particular door lock will appeal to most caravan and motorhome owners.
Now, you may be wondering if your insurance provider will provide an additional discount for fitting door locks such as those above. Unfortunately, I’m not currently aware of any insurance provider who will provide an additional discount for fitting such a security device. However, these devices can still provide you with additional peace of mind that you are doing all you reasonably can to protect your valuable asset.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this post on what I think are the best door locks for caravans and motorhomes interesting. I also hope in the near future you consider coming to visit us here at Horton Common caravan site to experience our excellent views over the Staffordshire Moorlands and Peak District National Park. 🙂