In the same way that you protect your home, you also need to protect yourself and your RV, especially when you live in it full-time. While everyone enjoys the freedom of being on the road, living in an RV also means that you are living on the road, where danger can be lurking around any corner. You and your personal belongings are at risk when you are in the middle of nowhere, in a park or just stopped in the Walmart parking lot for the night.
Personal safety is defined as the state of being free from danger or threat. Personal safety is something that everyone needs to be concerned about, whether its home personal protection or on the road RV personal protection. Only YOU can protect yourself and your family. You need to take control of your safety before someone takes control of you.
It is also defined as recognition and avoidance of potentially harmful situations to you or within your surroundings. The dangers of being on the road or camping will be different from those you could face at home so it is important to understand personal safety in the context of RVing. That is the best way to keep you, your loved ones, and your belongings safe – regardless of where you are.
Be Alert and Be Aware:
When you are out with nature, you feel relaxed and at ease and this can work against taking precautions and being safe. You need to maintain some alertness so as to protect yourself at all times. Always be aware of your surroundings and who is camping near you. Be alert to what is happening especially weather changes what other campers are doing or where people are going.
This is not a matter of if something bad will happen to you on the road, but it’s best to be always on the lookout. If you are aware and alert of your surroundings your chances of surviving an attack or robbery go up. Most robberies and attacks happen because people were just going about their business as they normally do – unaware.
Lock your RV:
This might probably sound utterly simple, but it really is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your safety while on the road. If someone has access to your RV and it’s not locked, they gain access to everything inside and every attachment point for trailers which could be used as a weapon against you.
Whenever you are not in the camper or RV make sure it is locked. This includes when you are going to the bathroom or laundry facilities. You also need to use window locks so you can keep your windows closed and locked at all times. It is a good idea to use a chain or secondary lock on doors so they cannot be forced open even if the window locks are tampered with.
Do not leave any valuables in plain sight so there is no temptation to others while you are not around. In other words, you need to make sure that no one can enter your RV from other than the normal door/entryway.
Just as you would secure your home, you should secure your RV. It is essentially your home away from home and a security system can go a long way in keeping you and your stuff safe. When you have a good security system for your RV, you can relax and enjoy your trip while you are away from the site.
Some of the RV security systems available are:
Motion sensors that go off if anyone gets near your RV after you have set them. These can be activated from a remote or by a timer. You should keep these sensors hidden so that someone cannot disable them and enter your RV undetected. Perhaps, the best way to hide them is by placing them inside cupboards to maximize your chances of them being activated when needed.
Motion sensor lights that activate if someone is near your RV. Less crime happens in well-lit areas.
Window sensors that go off when windows are broken or tampered with.
Door Camcorders that record everything that happens in front of your RV if it gest triggered.
Passive night vision cameras also record everything that happens around your RV and can be viewed remotely.
A good security system will keep you safe as well as deter criminals from getting near your car or RV. It is important to research different systems before settling on one so that the deal you choose is the right fit for you and your needs.
Use the Buddy System:
When out and about, personal safety is important and this means be very alert when you are alone. I would not recommend hiking alone! If there is an accident or injury, you want to have someone with you to help or to go and get help for you.
During your trip, you need to be aware of where you are and what is happening around you. This means that should something happen to you, someone will know exactly where you were and the route taken making it easier for other campers or other people to find help for you should anything happen.
When camping near others, still think about your safety. Camp in well-lit areas so that no one can sneak up on you unnoticed. I would also recommend avoiding secluded sites unless you have someone to keep you company.
It is also important to let your friends or family know where you are when you are camping alone. I don’t like to sleep overnight in places where there is no good cell reception. If you like to be in places where there is no reception, use a satellite messenger. This is a device that sends messages to family or friends letting them know where you are. These devices are very useful if you are traveling in wild areas or secluded campgrounds.
I am not here to advocate for guns or to speak against them. It’s your decision to make. But, here is some useful info you need to know if you decide by having one.
If you can drive your RV, it’s a vehicle. If you can start the engine and pull away, it’s a vehicle and the laws are the same as for a car. In most states, you will need to keep your firearm unloaded, locked, and stored in an outside compartment. It should never be in the glove compartment or center console or anywhere anyone can easily reach it.
As long as you follow the local handgun laws, which are enforced by the National Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, then you should be fine.
If your RV is set up, your slides are out, your camp chairs and tables are outside, and/or you are attached to hookups so you can’t just drive away, the laws consider your RV a residence or home. You are no longer mobile without a bit of time to unhook all the stuff we RVers hook up. In most states within the U.S., the Castle Doctrine gives you the right to protect your place of residence which includes RVs. At this point, you can take your gun out from the case and use it for self-protection. Please make sure you are aware of the local laws and always safe with your gun around.
Learn First Aid:
There is a saying “It’s better to know and not need it than to need it and not know.” This is true with first aid. It may not be the most exciting subject but learn enough to treat small stuff yourself while out on the road.
Accidents can happen anywhere and are more likely to happen in the wilderness than at home. It is important to know CPR and First Aid or bring someone along that does. These courses are readily available and will benefit you for life. Being knowledgeable on what to do in emergencies can save lives.
You can even have your children learn or you can teach them while camping to make it fun for all.
Don’t forget to bring some first aid essentials such as bandages, gloves, and alcohol swabs. Alcohol should always be carried in your camping supplies whether you use it or not. In a pinch, it can help disinfect an open cut or wound should anything happen while out on the road. Your first aid kit should be well-stocked at all times.
Many of us take medications for various things daily, if you are one of them, make sure that your RV is fully stocked with enough to last for at least a couple of days. You will want to check with your local medical supply store or hospital before hitting the road because they might have some deals on medical supplies that you can purchase at great prices.
Just as first aid can save a life so can self-defense. It never hurts to know a few moves to protect yourself both at home and away. If approached by a stranger or threatened in any way, be sure to be loud, yell for help, and try to resist. Use a taser, pepper spray, bear spray, or alarms. This goes hand in hand with making sure your RV is secure as criminals will be looking for those that are left open and unattended. This can be a car or an RV.
Watch the weather:
Weather changes can happen in an instant even when you looked ahead before your trip. Personal safety also involves avoiding dangerous conditions and weather so you need to always have a plan in place for when the weather changes suddenly.
Protecting Your Family:
If you’re traveling with your family, including your children, it is vital that you teach them the basic safety rules. Teach your kids to never approach strangers inside or outside of the RV. Let them know how to stay out of harm’s way in the RV when you are not feeling safe.
As family members, one’s top priority is the children so be sure they know how to stay safe in your vehicle or at your campsite. Teach them what steps to take if approached by a stranger. Sit down with them and discuss any safety concerns or fears they may have.
Camping and RVing are fun but there are always dangers involved. When you are prepared and stay alert and aware, you can have fun and keep your family and your belongings safe.
RVing is not just a hobby or a sport, it is a lifestyle. It has no boundaries and draws in everyone from all walks of life. RVers come with their families, friends, pets, and whatever else they may bring along for the ride to enjoy the open road.
An RV is a big investment so invest in protecting it too with a high-quality security system. Then be sure to follow these personal safety tips to keep everyone safe so they can focus on the fun.