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Tiny Homes on Wheels Have One Not-So-Tiny Problem: Theft

published Feb 17, 2019
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Tiny living has so many benefits—flexible lifestyle, lower expenses, less maintenance, reduced carbon footprint. But it turns out there’s one big drawback we didn’t expect: Your entire home is at risk of being burglarized. And we’re not just talking about a thief swiping your jewelry and your electronics—we’re talking about your whole home just up and vanishing.

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That’s what happened to St. Louis resident Meghan Panu’s 12-foot tiny home. After nearly two years of hard work and approximately $20,000 in construction costs, Panu’s home disappeared while parked outside of a home remodeling supplies warehouse. Fortunately for this tiny home dweller, her home was discovered shortly after nearly 30 miles south of St. Louis.

The incident raises a question many may not have asked before: Are tiny homes secure? Experts say yes—as long as you take appropriate measures to secure your property.

1. Secure your trailer

According to Tumbleweed Houses, locking your hitch is the easiest way to protect your tiny home from theft. It’s not foolproof though—locks can be removed—so double up by locking at least one wheel as well. And if you plan to be in one spot for an extended period of time, it may be worth the extra effort of taking the wheels off your home.

2. Park strategically

Though you may love having open space all around your trailer, parking in a wide open field or parking lot may make your home easier for the ill-intentioned to move your home. According to Tiny Home Builders, parking around obstacles—think trees or man-made barriers like a gate—may be enough to deter thieves.

3. Install a security system

Like conventional homes, you can equip a tiny home with a security system. Security cameras are another smart addition to any home’s defense against thieves. The downside? Unless your home is on the grid and has readily available internet access, you’ll be relying on others to hear your security system sound, note the experts at Tiny Home Builders. In remote areas, this may be unlikely.

4. Attach a hidden GPS tracker

You can buy relatively inexpensive GPS trackers on Amazon or at electronics stores. Stash one somewhere inside your home and make sure it’s activated at all times. Think of it like “Find My Phone” for tiny homes!