BOISE, Idaho — As winter arrives, RV owners everywhere are preparing to store their vehicles for the off-season. Supply chain issues have created a demand for RV parts, and now yours is at high risk for theft.
We found out taking expensive components from an RV is incredibly easy, even in a storage facility.
The coronavirus pandemic led to a boom in RV sales as people wanted to get out. Due to the supply chain shortage, some parts are six to seven months behind.
Catalytic converters contain expensive chemical elements and can be sold for hundreds of dollars. Even more valuable, the power inverter that converts battery power into AC electricity for things like microwaves and televisions.
“People can forget to lock them up, they walk right up, four or five screws couple wires cut and they’re running away with an inverter,” said Matthew David Black, service manager at Leisureland RV Center.
The inverter is often found in one of the many storage containers built in most RVs. These storage doors can be locked, but one key opens almost all types.
“This is the same key we used on this unit and using the same exact key on this travel trailer,” said so and so.
Black says in just 15 minutes, thieves can strip an RV of thousands of dollars in valuable gear. Outside your garage, almost nowhere is safe.
“Probably close to 90 percent of the problems are in storage facilities,” said Black.
To avoid problems, you can change your storage locks and mark your catalytic converter with what resistant paint or engrave your contact information on it.
“Believe it or not, scrap yards look for that kind of thing.”
You should also store loose valuables in your garage and pick a storage facility with barb wire fences, 24-hour surveillance and if possible, on-site security.
A typical RV can yield equipment worth $2- to $3,000 in resale value. The cost to replace it all can run in excess of $5,000 and you have to wait for the parts.