Many RVers cite safety concerns as to why they don’t camp in the boondocks.
Statistically speaking, you are much more likely to be a victim in your house than in your RV. A RV is much less appealing to a thief than a permanent residence, it is less likely to have the same amount of removable appliances, jewelry or fixtures that can easily be converted to cash. Setting up camp down a dirt road on public land makes you no more of a target for a bandit than anyone who lives in a home or cabin on a remote country road.
Now if the above information does not alleviate your safety concerns about boondocking let’s look at some methods to make it even safer:
– Place a sticker on your RV to indicate a guard dog or alarm system is contained in your rig.
– When boondocking alone, put two chairs, an extra pair of large men’s shoes, or a large dog dish outside your door. I quite often leave our dog’s large traveling kennel under the awning right next to the entry door.
– Park where there is cell phone service if possible.
– Know your exact location before you need help. Capture the coordinates on your GPS, note the name of the road and where you are parked on it.
– Park out of view or in view depending on the circumstances
– If you RV in a towable RV, keep the keys handy. The panic button on the wireless remote entry system would scare away most any criminal. The honking horn and flashing lights can be seen / heard for miles.
– Carry a Spot Messenger. It allows you to summon 911 services from most anywhere. See my previous blog https://rvlife.com/index.php/67-dave/1633-spot-on.html for more information.
Many RVers choose to carry a personal weapon. The choice is totally yours.
Some things to consider:
1) Some RVers believe that by carrying a weapon, you’re providing one for the intruder to use against you or in their next burglary. If you do carry a weapon, are you prepared for the consequences of actually having to use it?
2) The Castle Doctrine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Doctrine in the United Statesgives you the right to protect your place of residence.
However, if your choice of RV is a motorhome, please be aware there are some laws that can work against you:
(A) No person shall knowingly discharge a firearm while in or on a motor vehicle (insert motorhome for motor vehicle).
(B) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (insert motorhome for motor vehicle) in such a manner that the firearm is accessible to the operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle.
Finally, no matter where you RV, if trouble is going to find you, it can find you anywhere.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.