How many uses can my RV have? Let me count the ways: family camping in the mountains of Colorado, ATVing in Utah, snowbirding in Arizona, infield accommodations at a NASCAR race, my “cottage” by the lake. The many uses of a travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, or park trailer include everything from an overnight stay at your favorite local campground to your home-away-from-home for snowbirds or full-time RVers. But what if your RV could be put to use to help others? What if it no longer just serviced you and your family, but it became a destination for others in need? Let’s look at a few ways an RV can actually be put to use as a lost & found station.
Whose Child Is This?
Since the main function of an RV is to provide shelter, it’s natural to see how easily it can be turned into a haven or safe house when needed. One of the scariest moments for a parent can be discovering that their child, who was just standing next to them, is gone. This happened to me once at a football stadium during a crowded high school game and it was terrifying! One minute my five-year-old was with me, the next he was gone. Unbeknownst to me, he thought we were ready to leave since the game was over, so he walked up to the mezzanine and stepped into the sea of people flooding the walkway. When I turned around to put his coat on him he was gone. A small child lost among giants in a crowded stadium in downtown Detroit—a mother’s worst nightmare! Luckily this story has a very happy ending with our good friend (who I am forever indebted to) finding him just minutes later standing with a security guard. But in a case like this wouldn’t it have been nice to know that there was a “safe house” for lost children at the event? A place that both parents and kids know to go to when someone gets separated from their group. Your RV could be this very place!
When not using it for waterfront vacations or visiting colleges with your teenager, consider setting it up at events for this such purpose. Arrange with the event planners that you’ll have your RV open and accessible in a clearly marked and visible location for any child or adult who needs a safe place to go to. After all, most RVs have all the amenities someone would need while waiting for someone to get them: shelter from the weather, water, a comfortable sofa, a bathroom, a TV, even a bed if a small child wanted to lay down for a nap. Location is everything! Park it in a spot that is safe, well lit, and approachable. If it’s tucked in a dark corner, nobody will feel comfortable using it (if they can even find it). And weather permitting, keep the RV door(s) open at all times for liability purposes.
However, this “service” only works if people attending the event know about it. Get the word out by handing out flyers at the entrance to the event. Or post something on the event’s website or Facebook page so people know about it ahead of time. You could even hang up posters at the event so people who are searching for someone might catch a glimpse of it.
Does This Belong To You?
Your RV could also be designated as a lost & found for items as well as people. People lose things all the time at events—cell phones, wallets, sunglasses, hats, clothes, bags, keys, children (see above), etc. If you’ve ever been at a concert or sporting event and had that feeling of “Oh ***! Where are my keys?”, then you would probably agree that having a clearly marked lost and found onsite would be a godsend. If your RV is the go-to site for lost children/people, why not also advertise it as the lost & found for things as well. Most people are good-natured and honest and will pick up a lost item and look for somewhere to take it. Your RV could be the place for lost items to sit until they’re claimed. Just think of all the thanks and hugs you’ll get from people who thought their favorite sweatshirt or pair of sunglasses was lost forever.
Perfect Events for an RV Lost & Found Station
If using your RV for a lost & found station sounds like something you’d like to do, there are undoubtedly tons of opportunities to do so, but it’ll depend on how close you are to a big city. Large events happen where people are, so head toward nearby cities with big populations (and venues that can hold them), like these:
- Music festivals like Coachella in California and the Electric Forest right here in our home state of Michigan are the perfect opportunity for your RV lost & found services. People overdo it in every way at music festivals, so there’s bound to be a plentiful supply of lost and found items (hopefully not children!).
- Carnivals are family attractions, and they can be pretty overwhelming with all the sights and sounds. Kids can easily get separated from their parents and need somewhere to go. If possible, set up somewhere that’s close to all the action so it’ll be easy for kids and adults to find you.
- Local sporting events are popular family activities, so seek these out. Local little-league all-star games, Friday night football, soccer tournaments, etc. These are all held outdoors, so your RV could be parked front and center and clearly designated as the lost & found.
Does turning your RV into a mobile lost & found station sound like something you’d consider doing? Have you already done this? If so, post pictures on our Facebook or Instagram pages and maybe you’ll inspire other RVers to do the same!