Play it safe when boondocking

Play it safe when boondocking

By Bob Difley

Get out of eyesight or earshot of another RV and you’ll find some RVers get a bit nervous. Concerns about personal safety abound. Are there bad guys around every corner?

First, remember that thieves do not hang out in the boonies, though you should consider the following safety tips to thwart the “thief through convenience” if you make it too easy.

Boondocking safety tips

• Never open your door to anyone you don’t know after dark. For instance, once a couple knocked on my door at about 8:00 on a winter night in the desert and said their car ran out of gas. I told them, through the window, that I couldn’t help them. (I had no sympathy for them if they actually let that happen.)

• Don’t tell strangers that you meet in town, even those that seem perfectly harmless, where you are camped. If you want to socialize, do it in town until you get to know them better.

• Lock your door when you leave (I admit that I don’t always do this). You don’t want to come back and find a homeless person inside your rig.

• Boondock with friends or with club members. Many solo RVers belong to solos clubs (such as Loners On Wheels) and often camp together.

• Bury some land mines around your rig to protect yourself from intruders. (Wait! Don’t call Homeland Security — That’s a joke!)

Theft prevention

• Don’t leave stuff lying around outside your rig when you leave. Camp chair, table, rug — OK. Portable generator — put in a locked compartment, or make sure you chain it up with a heavy-duty chain — not one a simple bolt cutter could cut through.

• Close your blinds and drapes so the curious can’t see what you have inside.

• Lock all your outside locker doors.

• Re-key your lockers. Most RVs have the same key to open lockers, which is easy for a would-be thief to acquire.

• If you still feel uncomfortable, buy a simple red LED light and mount it near your entry door, operated by a switch on the inside. When you go out, flip the switch. The red light looks like you have a burglar alarm that is set.

In all my years of RV boondocking I have never had a problem or felt in danger (even from the couple who ran out of gas), and the only theft was out of a campground.

You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.

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