RVing With Bikes: Protect Your Bike From Thieves & Bad Weather

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RVing with bikes and landscape in background
RVing with bikes helps us relax when we camp. Photo from Shutterstock.

Protect Your Bikes From Thieves And Bad Weather

For many RVers, camping means bringing along a bike or two. Cycling is a great way to sightsee while you get fresh air and exercise. 

Many mountain bikers, road cyclists, and even casual cyclists hate the thought of leaving their bikes behind when they go on vacation, especially if they are going to an area that has amazing opportunities for bike riding. However, many RVers have concerns about keeping their favorite bike safe and secure when they aren’t riding. There’s nothing worse than having your bike stolen when you’re on vacation.  

Another deterrent to bringing bicycles camping is the possible damage caused by rain, hail, and sand. Any of these can cause unsightly rust and corrosion on a bike. 

There are ways you can protect your bicycles or e-bikes from thieves and environmental damage when you’re camping. If you’re lucky, you can bring it along safely in a toy hauler or RV garage, but not everyone has storage space inside their RV for their bikes. 

Not to worry. Whether you’re already an avid cyclist or you are just getting into riding, we’ve got some great tips for RVing with bikes to keep it safe, secure, and dry whenever you aren’t riding.   

Prevent bike theft

Due in part to the diminished availability of bikes and a huge spike in bike prices, bike thefts are on the rise everywhere. Admittedly, bike theft isn’t as big a concern when we’re camping as it is when we’re in a more urban setting. That’s because professional bike thieves won’t often be hunting for bikes at campgrounds that are more than 30 minutes from a town or city. 

However, that doesn’t mean your bike won’t get stolen at a campground. There are still thieves who only steal if there is an easy opportunity. No matter where you are, these thieves will view any unlocked bike as an invitation to ride away with it the second you aren’t looking.    

Bike theft is also a concern for cyclists when we’re on a road trip and we take a break from traveling. For instance, we might stop at a rest area or to get groceries and leave our vehicle unattended. While practically nothing will stop a determined crook, it’s a good idea to keep unattended bikes out of sight and locked up whether they’re inside your vehicle or on a bike rack while you’re traveling. That way, at least the opportunistic thieves will look for an easier target, and you won’t attract their attention to your vehicle or RV. 

Don’t depend on a camera for security either. Having a camera on your rig might help identify the thief, but it usually won’t get your bike back.

Protect Your Bike From The Elements

With price tags that often range between $300 up to $10,000, bicycles can be very expensive. No matter what type of bike you have, it is susceptible to damage from rain, snow, dust, sand, and salt. 

Whether you ride an e-bike or a human-powered bike, there’s only one way to keep your bike from turning into rusted scrap metal. You need to keep it dry and protected from the elements. This means keeping it under cover or in a shelter when you aren’t using it and drying it off if you ride on a rainy day.  

5 Ways To Keep Your Bike Safe While Camping

We all love our bikes and want to get as many years of enjoyment as possible out of them. Having access to a bicycle while RV camping allows us to enjoy sightseeing and other activities while we get fresh air and exercise.   

Look after your bike and it will always be there to help you explore new paths. Here are five tips to help you to protect your bike from thieves and damaging environmental elements.

1.  Use a waterproof/dustproof bicycle cover while on the road

Using a bike cover when you are on the road will protect your bike from rain and road debris like sand and salt. A bike cover can make your bike less of a target for thieves when you stop for a rest break on the road.     

2. Hide an Apple Airtag on your bike

Hiding an Apple AirTag somewhere on your bike will allow you to use an iPhone to track the location of your bike at all times. If your bicycle or e-bike gets stolen, you’ll be able to call the local police with its exact location. They’ll often be able to get it back for you because of the AirTag. 

3. Keep bicycles and e-bikes locked up when not in use

Whenever your bike is being transported or isn’t in use, lock it up with a decent lock and cable or chain that is really difficult to cut through. These don’t come cheap, but then neither did your bike. It’s worth investing in a decent lock setup for bikes that you bring RV camping with you. However, if you can’t get a good lock setup, any lock is better than no lock. 

Here are a few bike locks that come highly recommended for locking bikes during transport or at camp when you’re RVing with bikes:

4. Keep your bike covered up and close to your camper 

RVing with bikes doesn’t have to mean leaving them to rough it outside. If you’re away from the campsite, store your bike inside the RV or locked inside your vehicle. 

If you can’t store it inside, at least lock it up out of sight. A bike cover or bike tent works well for this. Keeping your bike covered up and out of the rain will add years to its useful lifespan.

5. Strap a bike alarm onto your bike

A bicycle or e-bike alarm lets off a loud siren or alarm if anyone tampers with your bike or its lock. A lot of times, an ear-splitting bike alarm is all that bike thieves need to leave your bike alone. Bike alarms have remote controls so you can turn them on or shut them off from anywhere in the campsite. 

Some bike alarms are also Bluetooth capable, so you can turn them on and off with your phone. Some alarms, like the Padonow Bike alarm, allow you to control the sensitivity of the alarm from between a slight touch to someone actually handling your bike, depending on your preference. This is a handy feature, especially at a campground. 

Having a bike damaged or stolen while RV camping can really put a damper on any vacation. Whether you ride an e-bike or a more traditional bike, keeping it covered and taking steps to keep it secure will extend the life of your bike and give you peace of mind while you’re camping.

Get tips from Other RVers

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.

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