Every year the topic of gas attacks on caravanners and motorhomers on the continent does the round on all of the forums and is possibly one of the most contentious issues discussed.
There are people who are convinced that they have been gassed and robbed whilst they slept and others who are equally convinced that this is an urban myth and quite possibly an insurance scam.
Without wishing to put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons it is possible that people are sleeping more soundly in their outfit as they have had a long and possibly stressful journey and therefore haven’t woken when someone has broken in; or perhaps some people have been gassed but because they haven’t been tested for it immediately, it cannot be proved.
Regardless of your train of thought on this issue, the fact does remain that caravans and motorhomes are being broken into at motorway parking areas and aires in France and Spain.
If you are concerned about the thought of being broken into whilst you sleep, we would advise that you take the following precautions –
- Use established caravan sites for your overnight stops especially around large towns, cities or the Channel ports.
- If you do need to stop at a motorway service station consider leaving someone with the vehicle if possible.
- Make sure that you lock your doors and windows securely whenever leaving the van and at night.
- Consider fitting additional security devices.
Whilst no device on the market can fully protect you against a possible gas attack, there are inexpensive products on the market that can make your vehicle more secure.
Milenco manufacture and sell Sleep Safe alarms that can be very easily fitted to your caravan or motorhome doors and windows. Sold in a pack of six alarms for around £25, the small unobtrusive units contain an integrated circuit that sticks inside the door or window. When the unit is switched on (indicated by a small flashing LED on the top) and the circuit is broken by more than 10mm, an extremely loud siren will go off alerting you to the fact that all is not well.
These alarms are also useful if you have children that you are worried about escaping without your knowledge or falling out of bunk windows whilst you sleep.
As the alarms have a flashing LED to show that they are active, they will also be useful at home and on site as a visual deterrent to potential thieves. The batteries inside the units will last for around 1000 hours (approximately 120 days) and replacement packs that contain enough batteries for the six units are also available.
As previously mentioned, these alarms cannot detect gas, but should you be incapacitated by gas and the alarms are then activated, your fellow caravanners will be aware that something is not as it should be due to the loud siren and will be able to raise the alarm with the authorities and seek help.
Obviously, we hope that you have a safe and uneventful trip away in your outfit, but remember that there is no substitute for good quality insurance for either your motorhome or caravan. Protect your investment with one of the best policies on the market by calling 01480 402460.
If you found this article useful or have any suggestions or questions, please leave a comment below.