Theft is a significant concern for all rental companies, including RV rental companies. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, it is estimated that there were 773,139 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide in 2017. The number of motor vehicle thefts increased by 0.8% over 2016 with approximately $6 billion lost nationally that year. However, the report does not specify makes or models of vehicles, and identifies motor vehicles as “a self-propelled vehicle that runs on land surfaces and not on rails.” This means that although there aren’t specifically RV theft statistics to look at, those numbers would be included in the breakdown of vehicle categories, which include:
- Trucks and buses
- Other vehicles
How RV Rental Companies Can Reduce RV Theft
In addition to the significant cost of replacing stolen assets, there is also the cost of lost business opportunities and rental profits that result from the theft to consider. Thankfully, there are several ways to help prevent theft for RV rental companies. Rental companies can:
- Park RV assets in secured lots, busy parking areas, or storage areas. Although this may seem basic, it helps to prevent RV theft by forcing a thief to think twice before attempting to steal an RV. Parking in an active, well-lit area means that a potential thief is more likely to be seen by passersby. However, parking in a busy area also increases the risk of an RV asset becoming damaged accidentally by a third party. This is why the other option would be to park in a more remote but secure area — one that requires access and approval.
- Install a fifth wheel lock on each unit when it is not in use. For fifth wheels and travel trailers, hitch locks are a great RV security measure. The device wraps around the hitch, beneath the trailer, helping to ensure that the fifth wheel can’t be attached to a thief’s vehicle hitch.
- Purchase a security system. Much like homeowners do with houses, some RV rental companies elect to install security systems in their units to increase RV security. Some systems include video feeds while others provide remote monitoring.
RV GPS Tracking Solutions for Rental Fleet Management
Another way that RV rental companies are protecting their assets is by equipping each vehicle with an RV GPS tracker. GPS tracking, which uses orbiting satellites to triangulate the specific location of a tagged asset anywhere in the world, is an effective way for fleet and asset managers to keep an eye on their rental assets.
Some of the benefits of GPS tracking for RVs are the safety and security alerts:
- Zone alerts indicate when a tagged asset enters or leaves a specified area;
- Ignition alerts notify any ignition events, such as when the ignition is turned on or off;
- Panic alerts provide immeasurable value during emergency situations, allowing drivers to activate a panic button discreetly when something is wrong;
- Route alerts notify fleet managers when drivers deviate from their assigned routes.
Remote RV GPS tracking allows RV rental companies to know where their assets are at any given time to ensure the rental contracts are being followed by keeping the RVs within the specified area(s). An additional benefit of GPS tracking is that managers can remotely monitor the conditions of their assets with:
- Automated reports on engine performance data to promote fleet optimization;
- Maintenance and inspection interval tracking to stay on top of vehicle maintenance appointments; and
- Convenient renewal reminders that can be set by mileage or date.
Remote Starter Disabler Prevents Unauthorized Use
In addition to tracking the locations of your vehicles using RV GPS tracking and geofencing, RV rental companies are armed with another weapon in the battle against RV theft or misuse: a remote starter disabler. This means that with select GPS devices, asset or fleet managers have the option of remotely disabling the starter on their tagged assets when a vehicle is used without authorization. It won’t deactivate it while the vehicle is in motion. However, once the RV is parked and its starter is disabled remotely, the vehicle can no longer be operated.
Don’t want your business to become one of the RV rental companies that fall prey to RV theft? Take control with RV GPS tracking for fleet management. Contact one of our project consultants today to schedule a demo by clicking on the link below.