While RV crime may not be super high, it never hurts to put a few safety measures in place to keep you safe and your valuables protected. This doesn't just protect against break-ins, either. By keeping up safety practices, you can reduce the likelihood of a road accident or accidental damages. Keep in mind that a good amount of RV safety comes from taking preventative measures such as making sure that everything works well and is put away when you leave. And while theft isn't as common within campgrounds as it may be in the city, it's always a good idea to protect yourself. Keep in mind that a thief can take anything from the lawn chairs you left out to the laptop left sitting on your table and even your entire motorhome. There are several ways to keep your RV safe and secure, however, one of the best ways to keep specific valuables secure is by investing in an RV safe.
Within the RV safe family, there are two big distinctions: safe vs vault. An RV safe is a mobile box that is secured usually by a lock or bolt. A vault is a safe that has been secured to the RV wall or floor so that they are not able to be moved. Two main types of safes are the briefcase safe, which is compact, affordable, but easier to move around, and the document safe, which is affordable, larger in size, and a bit harder to move around. Vaults generally cost at least double the amount of safes, however, they are the safest option. If you want the vault to be installed into your RV floor, you'll need to contact a qualified dealer to install it, as they are the only ones who would be certain of what exactly is located under your flooring.
Once you have a safe installed, you'll realize just how many benefits having a safe in your RV gives you. When you're traveling, you could have cash, electronics, firearms, gear, insurance documents, medications, and more. With an RV safe, you don't worry about where you will put these things to keep them safe; there is a specific location with a secure access point. RVs as a whole tend not to be the most secure. With the thin walls and doors, they can seem like they would be easy to break into. A safe, however, is much more secure, being made of sturdy materials with a locking mechanism designed to only let you in. And even past burglary, a safe keeps your valuables safe from other things such as breaking down, fire, and more, depending on your safe.
When you're looking for a safe for your RV, there are several things you'll need to consider. First, you'll need to think about the type of valuable you'll be putting in it. If you're carrying cash or documents, you're going to need a different type of safe than if you were carrying firearms. This also determines the size of the safe. With all the varying sizes of safes, you don't want to have to lug around a big box when you're just storing a few documents and you don't want to be caught without enough space to store all of your valuables, either. Second, you'll need to know the capacity of your RV. With larger RVs, you can get away with buying a large safe or vault. If you're in a smaller camper, however, your space will be limited and you'll need a smaller safe. Finally, you'll need to consider the extra features of the safe. Consider things like fire and water protection, kind of lock, type of material used, and extra safety features that might be specific to the safe. Once you consider these factors, you are better able to make a good choice for your safe or vault.
Improving RV Safety
For the most part campgrounds are safe, both from thieves and from other kinds of danger. The most danger you're likely to find yourself in is from a skinned knee or poison ivy. Even so, it pays to be safe when you're RVing. When parked in a campground, there are several things you can do. First and most importantly, make sure you choose your RV park wisely and check to see what kind of safety measures they have in place. Check to see if anyone can wander into the park or whether it is specific to those camping there. Also, check to see whether the sites are well-made so that your RV can park with stability. Once parked, there are a few other steps you can take to make sure that you, your valuables, and your RV are safe and protected, specifically against theft.
- Think about how you park your RV. Most people park their RV in reverse so that they can easily pull it back out when they leave. This may make leaving easier, however, it also makes it easier for someone to steal your RV. Instead, try turning it around and placing the hitch away from the easy access point. To do this, you'll likely need a jockey wheel or tongue wheel, which you can get at a local travel or outdoor store. Also, if you don't think your spot is safe enough, ask for a new one.
- Make sure to lock up when leaving your site. It's never a good idea to leave your campsite unattended and unlocked. When you leave for the beach or museum, take in your lawn chairs and lock your doors and windows. For extra protection, you can invest in a lock that goes around the kingpin or a boot that covers the wheel and lug to prevent the RV from being stolen. These precautions also protect from unexpected damage, such as a surprise wind storm whipping away your chairs from your campsite while you're gone.
- Remove temptation by keeping valuables out of sight. Don't leave your laptop on the table or flash your cash in public. Just like with any other form of travel, it's best to keep your valuables away from public view. Even with little things like a child's toy left outside, losing it may not be expensive but it can put a real damper on the vacation.
- For extra security, invest in a security system. This is best for full-time RVers who carry all of their belongings and important documents with them. This safety system can have alarms, a deadbolt, motion detecting lights, or more. The motion detector lights are especially useful when you're boondocking, as it can get pretty dark when you're away from civilization. Having a motion detector light can help you know when a person or animal is approaching your RV.
- If you don't want to invest in a safe and just want a simplistic way to hide a few extra dollars, there are a ton of hacks online for hiding valuables, such as emptying out shaving cream cans, food cans, and lotion bottles and placing your extra cash and jewelry in there.
If you're not staying in an RV park, there are a few other precautions you could take to remain safe and secure while on vacation. If you're boondocking, you have to be careful, as you are not in an area with already established safety procedures. If you're only looking for a place for a quick nap, such as in a parking lot or truck stop, try and park in a more crowded lot, as there is safety in numbers. Also, it is a good idea to only open the door for officers and officials. If you aren't sure who is knocking at your door, don't open it for them. If you find yourself stopped due to a road accident, stay inside until help comes. To prevent this from even happening, check on the condition of your electrical system, tires, and other systems before leaving on your trip. Finally, if you're staying in a city, avoid the bad parts. Every city has them. Just stay away and try not to look like a tourist, just like in any other form of travel.
RVing With Guns
Roughly 40% of RVers carry at least one firearm in their RV, whether for hunting or safety. Before you take your firearm with you in your RV, however, you'll need to be aware of federal, state, and local laws in the area in which you're going to be vacationing. Also keep in mind that specific campgrounds might have rules against firearms or regulations on them. Also, keep in mind how you will store your firearms. Most RVers use an RV gun safe to store them. This not only keeps their firearms safe from theft and misuse, it helps them to stay in line with laws and regulations in their specific area. Basically put, being on vacation isn't an excuse to stop being responsible with your gun ownership. Stay safe, stay legal, and you should be fine