Are you concerned about a thief loving the thought of owning a roof top tent as much as you do and want to stop them from stealing yours? Well, we'd first of all like to mention that they are very difficult to steal due to their size, weight and the time it takes someone inexperienced to uninstall them- and that's if they brought the correct equipment with them to do so! However, here are some ideas (written in a random order) for you to think about if you would like the extra peace of mind anyway!
1. Security Nuts (£40 - £45)
M8 Security Nuts - Tiger Parts (need 2 sets)
M8 Security Nuts - PDT010 (need 2 sets)
These will ensure a burglar can’t untwist the regular nuts off your roof tent. Again, this will be a time consuming method for someone that has never taken a roof tent off a vehicle before, but these should make it even more difficult for a thief to take them off. The size of these nuts will vary depending on which roof top tent you own, but as an example the RoofBunk hard shell uses M8 bolts, so any M8 security nuts will do. Above are some that we found that are suitable.
2. Wireless Vibration Alarm System (£14 - £65)
If a criminal decides to use some sort of a cutting device such as a bolt cutter to attempt to cut the clamps that the roof tent is attached to directly, then this will sound off a loud siren to scare the criminal off! You would put one of these underneath the roof tent and in the middle to ensure it’s as far away from being able to be tampered with as possible and just disarm it using the remote control once you’re next to your rooftop tent again. You could even put one of these next to the clamps in all 4 of the corners (behind them though, so the thief will struggle to find the alarms), so if a criminal attempts to steal the roof top tent by untwisting the nuts on the bolts in a hurry, this will signal the alarm because the vibrations should be enough to set it off. The alarm is about as loud as a chainsaw and if you had multiple alarms, it would almost be guaranteed to scare off any criminal! You can also hook it up to call an SOS phone number too if your roof tent has started to get moved off your car/vehicle roof, so it really should offer you plenty of protection!
3. Motion Alarm Padlock With Security Cable (£22 - £70)
Wrap the cable around your roof tent, making sure you also go under one of the roof bars. Then if it moves during the burglary attempt, it will signal off a loud alarm (about as loud as a chainsaw or motorcycle) to scare off thieves! Unlock the padlock to deactivate the alarm once you’re back. The cable also acts as an extra deterrent for the burglar to even attempt to steal it too. You could even choose to have 2 of these if you want extra protection! There is the option to just have a regular padlock instead, but since these are a similar price, we feel these alarmed versions offer better value for money.
4. Insure Your Roof Tent (Price Varies Depending On Your Insurance Company)
If all of this doesn’t provide you with enough peace of mind, then you can either add your rooftop tent on your home insurance/personal property insurance, as an add on to your car insurance or even with your Camping And Caravanning Club insurance, so you'll be covered if it does get stolen. Our advice would be to ring up your providers to check if they can cover you, as things will vary depending on who you insure with!
5. Roof Tent Cover/Tarp (£16 - £60)
Get a cover to both hide it, so thieves don’t know what it is and to keep it extra clean/dry. It doesn’t have to be a rooftop tent specific one if you're not using it while driving, it's just a way of hiding that you have something of value. Any tarpaulin will be able to cover up what you have, but we've linked one large enough to cover most roof tents. The main thing you have to watch out with these is if they end up scratching your roof top tent- especially if yours is a hard shell. You may find that the more expensive cotton types of tarps could help with this problem though!
6. Item Finder/GPS Tracker (£25 - £65)
You could put one of these item finders in a hidden location in your roof tent (such as underneath your mattress), so if your roof top tent does get stolen, you can easily see where it is on your phone and report it to the police!
7. Roof Tent Security Clamps/Mounts (£120 - £200)
These go over where the usual brackets/clamps for your roof top tent would go and are far stronger and difficult for a criminal to cut with bolt cutters ect. At the time of writing this article in 2021, as far as we know these are only available in the USA, but these might be a good solution if you’re willing to pay extra for shipping from the USA. The large roof bar brands are the same in the USA as you’ll find in the UK, so they might have your roof bars listed on their website and therefore be compatible with your setup!
8. Extra Nuts (£3 - £6)
If you're looking for a very cheap solution, then you could also simply add extra nuts onto each screw, so it will take the thief twice as long to steal! You’ll have to research what nuts you’ll need for your particular roof tent. As an example, the RoofBunk uses M8 nuts, so you’ll need 8 extra nuts (one for each screw) in order to double your protection!
9. Lockable Security Straps (£50 - £120)
This is more of a solution if you're wanting to stop burglars from opening up and stealing what's inside your roof tent, rather than to stop them stealing the roof tent altogether. However, you could position the lock strap so it goes under the roof bars too, which should at least make it more difficult to steal, but it wouldn't be as secure as using a security cable like we mentioned earlier and positioning them like this would make it easier for the criminal to cut them too!
10. Luggage/Tent Zip Locks (£5 - £20)
If you're just looking to feel more secure from a person trying to break into your roof tent while you're in it, then besides bringing the ladder up into the roof tent with you, you could lock it from the inside by putting a luggage lock through the two zips' loops, so they won't be able to unzip it from the outside!
So there you have it, multiple solutions to calm your thief worries that also don’t break the bank! Like we said earlier, most roof tents- especially the hard shell versions are difficult to steal anyway because someone who hasn't ever taken one off some roof bars before, who has the right equipment will take quite some time to unscrew all the bolts and they also weigh too much for one person to run off on their own. Plus, the thief would need to have a van large enough to fit one in! So that's why we think it's unlikely that anybody would attempt to steal one, but hopefully you feel the solutions we've suggested are good enough to squash any concerns you may have been having!
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