These days, most of us are concerned about our safety, and for good reason. Crime is on the rise in major US cities, largely due to poverty, lack of education, and drug use. Luckily, RVing has you escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city and retreating to a more relaxed, peaceful setting for your getaway. While crime isn't as commonplace in campgrounds, you can't ignore the possibility of bad guys lurking somewhere nearby. The good news is that there are some things you can do to ensure that you and your items stay safe when you go RVing. Check out these RV security tips to help keep yourself and your belongings safe and sound.
Things to Do on Your Own
When you get to your campsite, you probably back your rig in and get it set up so that it’s nice and easy to hitch up and get out when you’re ready to go. Keep in mind that if it’s nice and easy for you to hitch up, it’s nice and easy for someone else to do the same. It’s pretty rare that someone will steal a whole camper, but you don’t want to find out you’re one of the unlucky ones. The farther away from the standard access you can get your hitch, the harder it will be for someone to pull off with it while you’re out exploring. While this may not always be a possibility, especially with pull-through sites, keep it in mind. Even if your RV just looks hard to get at, it might deter would-be thieves. You can also block access to your hitch by parking and locking your vehicle in front of it.
You probably lock your RV's doors when you head out for a day of adventure, but do you do the same when you just run to the bathroom or the showers? If not, you should! It doesn’t take long for someone to sneak in and run out with some of your items. A locked door would keep unwanted visitors out.
The best way to protect your valuables is to leave them at home. However, sometimes this isn’t a possibility as there may be things you need to have with you. If you have valuable items in your RV, such as jewelry or money, put them out of sight. Pull the shades when you leave for an extended period of time so no one can see what kinds of TVs or entertainment systems you may have. For an added measure of safety, invest in a safe for your smaller items of value. This way, if someone does make it into your RV, they won't have access to the valuables inside the safe.
Take Advantage of the Campground
Most campgrounds have rangers and security. Check in with campgrounds and see what type of patrol they do or how close your site will be to the ranger station. If you’re trying to decide between a couple of campgrounds and one offers an hourly patrol and the other just has officers on call, choose the one with the hourly patrol for routine security checks. Get to know the campers at surrounding sites as well. Introduce yourself so that neighbors know who's in your traveling party. Since campgrounds are busy, people don’t always pay attention to who belongs where. But if you make it a point to say hi and introduce yourselves, neighboring campers are much more likely to notice if someone doesn't belong.
Never boondock alone! Both you and your possessions are at risk if you boondock alone. If you’re out in the middle of nowhere, there’s no one around to notice if something is wrong. You also don’t want to go too far off the beaten path. Make sure that emergency vehicles can find you and that you’re not so far out that no one would hear a cry for help. Try to ensure you either have cell service or another way to make contact in case of an emergency. Lastly, if you are out boondocking and someone comes to your door, don’t open it until you know who it is and what they want, especially in the middle of the night. It may just be a fellow camper with a site near you, but it may also be someone looking to cause you harm.
Fortress Total Security System
Fortress Total Security System makes a lot of different alarm systems for the home and other assets. Their basic package is wireless and comes with a security panel, 2 contact sensors for doors, a motion detector, 2 remote fobs, and 2 RFDI key tags. This system is easy to use and set up and will help to protect your RV from intruders. Add on to the basic package to include extra door/window sensors, more motion sensors, additional remote fobs and RFID tags, a panic button, siren, additional keypads, and glass break sensors. If they don’t have the exact package you’re looking for, you can simply build your own system that comes with everything you want!
The iSmartAlarm system is another great security system for your RV. The basic “Preferred Package” comes with the control cube, 2 contact sensors, 1 motion sensor, 2 remote tags, and window stickers. You can step it up to the deluxe package which has 2 extra contact sensors or the premium package that also includes a camera. If you don’t see what works for you, you can add on items to custom build your very own security system.
For a less-expensive option, Reliance Controls offers the THP212 The Home Protectors system. It is a motion sensor with a remote that uses infrared technology to detect movement. You can even set it up as just a door chime if you want to. While this one is not as reliable, the cost is considerably less than the other ones.
It is important to be aware of your surroundings and always be on the lookout for possible threats when in an unfamiliar place. Consider trying some of the RV security tips above or investing in an RV alarm system to keep you and your possessions safe. Remember, while threats are very rare in the camping community, it’s always good to be prepared.