Boondocking, or dry camping, is a great way to unplug and get in tune with nature! Venturing into secluded areas, away from noisy and crowded campgrounds, can be a great and relaxing experience! But for some, it raises some concerns for personal safety and security of personal property. So what things can you do to take the proper measures to ensure security while boondocking in your RV?
Likelihood of Becoming a Victim
When attempting to research camping crime statistics, you’ll be hard pressed to find any substantial numbers. The reason? Fortunately, the number of crimes committed while camping is very low! It is pretty rare to be the victim of a crime while camping or boondocking, whether it is a matter of theft, or even less likely, a more violent crime. There are several reasons that could attribute to this.
RV living provides less opportunity for potential criminals to monitor normal, day-to-day activity to get a sense of living patterns, and they have less access to look into your RV to see what kind of property might be inside. Also, with most campgrounds and communities, it is usually good etiquette for neighbors to keep an eye on another’s property while they are away, discouraging thieves and providing them with less incentive to steal for fear of getting caught. As reassuring as these facts are, it does not mean your concern is unwarranted, and it is true that there are always instances of these things happening. It is smart to always have the mindset that anything is possible and, especially if you have doubts, to be prepared! So what kinds of things can you do?
Use Common Sense
First and foremost, it is best practice to use your common sense! From the beginning, it is best to trust your instincts. When choosing a spot for boondocking, if you don’t feel secure in an area, find another! It is also good practice to make sure that you keep the nearest neighboring campsite in sight, as there is safety in numbers. Make sure to lock up any outside equipment, securing things like chairs, fishing poles, grills, and anything that can easily be snagged. Things as simple as bike locks can be enough to deter potential thieves! If you are using any recreational vehicles while boondocking, be sure to keep them locked and secured when not in use. Never leave valuables out in the open; be sure to keep them hidden when in use. Also, remember to never leave cash in your RV!
Even simple things like stickers on your rig can make a huge difference! Never display your name or the fact that you are a full-time traveler on the outside of your RV, as this could alert criminals to the fact that you are potentially traveling with your most valuable possessions and could allow them to come calling you by name, leading you to think there is someone you know at your door. At the same time, certain stickers could make criminals think twice about messing with your RV. Posting things such as “Beware of Dog” signs could drive off thieves, and stickers for organizations such as hunting clubs could indicate to criminals that you have training in using firearms.
The addition of certain items can also help to put you at ease. Keeping a baseball bat or simple weapon of some sort by the door or your bed is handy to use at a moment’s notice. You could always get a licensed firearm, you’ll just have to be sure to follow each state’s particular gun laws when traveling. If you’re up for the responsibility, bringing along a decently-sized dog to guard your RV is a great way to protect yourself and your belongings!
If you still feel like you require more extensive security, there are a variety of camera and alarm security systems available to further boost your security while boondocking. They have some great benefits, with some models highlighting interactive features such as smartphone connectivity. Some models will send alerts straight to your phone if any activity occurs, while some also allow you to access security cameras via the internet and smartphones. Depending on the system and where you purchase them, they can be easy to install and require no monthly charge for service. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to ensure that you have proper RV insurance coverage against theft and damage, just in case an incident does occur.
The level of security you choose to implement is completely up to you! Although crime tends to be a more rare occurrence, you will be able to have a more relaxed and enjoyable time while boondocking if you have peace of mind about your security! There is no right answer about what you should implement, but the camping experience should be safe and fun for everyone! Have more good tips for boondocking security? Leave us a comment!