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How easy is it to steal a Slide-on Camper?

At a camping show, some years back, we had a prospective customer come to us asking:

“How easy is it to steal a Trayon Camper?”

He continued to say that the question came up at another stand for a company that sold camper trailers. 

He was in the market to buy a camper trailer from them or a slide on camper from Trayon Campers.

He mentioned the camper trailer salesman responded with something to the effect: 

“Oh those things get pinched all the time when you leave them free-standing, our trailers don’t get stolen when you leave them”.

We were a bit puzzled by this, and simply mentioned to the customer that in 27 years of hand-making over 1000+ Trayon Slide-on Campers in our factory on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland – we have NEVER heard of a Trayon Camper being stolen while free-standing on its legs.  

The customer then placed his deposit on a Trayon Camper of his own. 

Thinking Like a Thief.

But we were still baffled by the salesman’s response. We think with over 1000+ campers sold, we have a good sample size to be statistically significant. 

So we can say confidently that Trayon Slide on Campers are incredibly difficult to physically steal while free standing. 

Trayon Camper – Free Standing

To demonstrate this, let’s muster up our inner Sherlock Holmes and think like a thief for a moment.

First, let’s understand the mind of a Thief… In Australia, it’s widely known that 75% of vehicle thefts are opportunistic.  Which means, they see something they like and a window of opportunity to take it quickly without the owner realizing, and not necessarily to sell it for profit. (Gant & Grabosky 2001, p.1)

For example: Keys are left in the car, window is open, garage door is left open.

The remaining 25% are stealing for profit from professionals. This is premeditated theft, where the vehicle is specifically stolen for resale.

So since most thefts are opportunistic, favouring opportunities they can get in and out with the goods literally in seconds or minutes. Ask yourself: 

How is something that has stationary legs easier to steal than something that has wheels?

Let me explain:

A Trayon slide-on camper has 4 legs that you attach to raise and lower it from the ute and to use while free-standing the camper for camping on site or storage.  

These legs can only raise up and lower, the “wheels” component of the slide on camper is removed when you take the camper OFF the ute.  

Camper trailers & Caravans keep the wheels component when you detach them from the vehicle.

So in general they are easier to move and this makes them more susceptible to theft than a slide-on camper when it is detached.

But, why is being easier to move, make an item more susceptible to theft? 

Well, for the same reason no one steals the bank building itself but instead will steal the money in the vault.  

The money can be placed in bags and then put in a vehicle and driven away, whereas the building won’t move so easily.

Opportunistic Theft: Scenario 1  

Picture this scenario: Perhaps not the most real life scenario, but it will demonstrate our point.

A Trayon Camper is free-standing next to a caravan and a camper trailer (not in camping mode).

A thief drives by and makes the split decision to pinch one of them – the numbers show that he will most likely steal the caravan before the other two first because he can simply reverse up to it, hook it on his tow bar and drive off, because most vehicles have a towbar but not a flat tray for a slide on camper.

Opportunistic Theft: Scenario 2

Now let’s change that scenario where the Trayon is fully set up with the canvas roof open at a campsite but NOT free standing (still on the back of the ute), with a caravan and camper trailer also set up for a camp next to it. 

It’s still likely that the thief would choose the caravan to steal, because the thief can simply shut the caravan door, reverse up to it and take it.

Whereas the slide on camper, will need to be closed up, which requires specialised knowledge of the closing procedure that only a Trayon Owner would know. Even if the ute had it’s keys in it, with the windows down. 

Likewise the camper trailer would require knowledge to close it up. The caravan would be a more appealing opportunity for the thief. 

The Stars Need to Align to Steal a Trayon Setup for Camp

There are several things that would need to fall in place to move a Trayon:

  1. Pack up – you need to get into the aluminium framed security door without being heard or seen to be able to access the inside of the camper to pack it up – if you know how to pack it up
  2. Raise and Lower – you need a 19mm socket or spanner or drill with a 19mm socket to raise and lower the camper to place it on the tray of your ute.
  3. Tray – you need ute or trailer with a tray the right size to carry the Trayon
  4. Tie-downs – You need the J-hooks to hold it onto the tray while making your getaway

As a thief – before you start ticking this list off, you would be inclined to simply reverse up and hook up the caravan. 

That said, if the Trayon is packed up on the back of a ute and the Keys are either left in the ignition or the keys are otherwise obtained by the thief, then it is susceptible to theft. As it would be for any car.

What about Professional Theft?

So we have covered opportunistic thefts because they account for most of the thefts in Australia. What about professional thefts that sell for profit.

If a thief aligns all the stars and knew exactly what to do, when you were away from the camper and successfully stole it.

His troubles wouldn’t be over. He wouldn’t be able to use any online methods to sell the Camper, because the owner, one of our staff or even a member of our community will likely find it and report it to the authorities.

So, How easy is it to steal a Slide-on Camper?

So, it seems the original salesman made the statement as a sales ploy to deter the customer from choosing slide-on camper. 

Luckily common sense prevailed in this instance but we have had the question pop-up again and again since then so unfortunately this salesman from the other company is still spreading conjecture.

Is it impossible to steal a Trayon Camper while it is free-standing? Of course not! If someone wants it bad enough and if the opportunity presents itself with the above stars aligning, then we are sure it could happen, like most other products on the market.

All we are saying is that the idea of a free-standing slide-on camper being stolen more often or easier than a camper trailer or a caravan is very unlikely.

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