New Zealand is a good destination to choose if safe travel is high on your list. However, if you follow our safe travel tips to protect your campervan and the things inside it you will dramatically reduce the chances of being the rare traveller who is the victim of a theft. Ideally, you wouldn't leave anything valuable at all in your campervan, but the reality of travel is that your campervan is going to serve as much like a safe travel deposit box or luggage storage closet as transportation.
Safe Travel Tip 1.
Pack valuables securely when you pick up
Find a secure location in your campervan for your valuables especially keep safe travel documents, mobile phones, laptops, and wallets and pack them in there before you drive away. By the time you pull into a campsite or any parking spot, everything you plan to leave in the campervan should already be well stowed and hidden. To pull into your spot and then take your most valuable items out of the campervan then repack them is to broadcast to anyone within view exactly where to focus their attentions if they want to rip you off.
Safe Travel Tip 2.
Don't leave valuables in sight
Remove temptation. Always put your valuables back in their safe travel storage spot when you have finished using them. If you have a laptop, use it inside your campervan especially if other people are around. Don't leave the GPS or even its cradle on the windscreen (windshield) or dashboard. Don't leave your rental contract in the campervan as this document has just about all the information you will need if the campervan is stolen and also all the information a thief will need to evade detection if he or she is stopped for any reason before you report the campervan as stolen. Pack everything away in a drawer or cupboard when you are not in the campervan. If the campervan has under seat storage, this spot is ideal for safe travel storage as it is not an obvious location that thieves will check. Seeing your belongings through the window tempts thieves to force entry.
Safe Travel Tip 3.
Choose your parking space wisely
In an urban area, park in busy, open, well-lit areas. Use an attended, secure parking building if you can. Parking near the attended exit booth or parking office is the safest place. When parking on the street, try to park within sight of a busy store or building entrance, under a street light, near a busy corner or out in the open away from things that might provide shelter to a thief (like thick or low-hanging trees).
Safe Travel Tip 4.
A neat campervan is less likely to get robbed
A campervan that is filled with jackets or beach towels that appear to be covering items of value or has wires sticking out here and there suggesting that electronic devices may also be stowed are much more likely to attract interest. If a potential thief sees nothing but campervan upholstery, he or she is less likely to be curious about what might be hidden in the campervan.
Safe Travel Tip 5.
Lock up when sleeping or leaving the campervan unattended
It may seem like common sense but it's amazing how many people don't do it. As crime rates are lower in New Zealand than in many countries, people get complacent about safe travel and thieves will cash in. Double check that you have locked the campervan before you walk away. Signs are often posted in areas where there’s been a history of campervan break-ins. Take extra precautions here.
Safe Travel Tip 6.
Keep your campervan keys with you
Don't hide your keys on the campervan - thieves will find it.
Safe Travel Tip 7.
Try not to look like a tourist
The more nondescript the campervan hire model the less likely to attract attention it is. Thieves are less likely to target people who look like locals as their gear isn't as appealing as tourists’.
Safe Travel Tip 8.
Check for your valuables as soon as you return to your campervan
If you have any suspicions, you will want to make sure nothing was stolen before you drive off. If your campervan does get ripped off, you'll want to figure out the location it was robbed in case you have to file a complaint. When surveying your campervan, keep in mind that thieves know what to take - often items you won't notice until you are long gone. For example, a common tactic is to take a camera out of a camera bag, but leave the bag behind; it looks like it was undisturbed so you won't figure it out for hours or days. If the campervan is damaged in anyway, report it to Wilderness as soon as possible.
Safe Travel Tip 9.
Rent models that are not easily exposed or broken into and that have sufficient storage for anything you need secured. A hip and tiny van sounds like a great idea but it could be harder to hide stuff and easier to break into.
Remember that as a traveller or tourist, you are a mark. Making the time and effort to take a few safe travel precautions with your vehicular home away from home can help ensure that you and all your stuff return home intact.