There’s something incredibly freeing and exciting about traveling solo in your RV. The world is your oyster, and you can go wherever you please, whenever you please. However, many people have a certain apprehension towards anyone traveling solo in an RV. They are often astonished at how I can take off and visit certain places, sometimes for weeks at a time.
And if women are the ones leading such a lifestyle, questions about safety usually arise. While there’s not much different when it’s a woman or man traveling solo in an RV, there are certain precautions every solo RVer should take to feel safe.
The concern is real as there are a lot of aspects to be looked into before traveling solo – this includes both safety and security. There are a certain number of aspects to be taken care of while traveling alone in an RV. Before you hit the open road, there are a few things you need to do to make sure your trip is as safe as possible, with a few general tips and pointers for anyone planning on traveling solo.
TIPS TO ALWAYS TRAVEL SAFE
1. Always Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
Although it’s not good to be always apprehensive about everything, it’s necessary to be conscious of the kind of environment you’re in. This means always having a sense of what’s going around you – the people, sounds, and distractions – so that if any danger or threat presents itself, you can avoid it.
2. Stay Away from Vacant Places
Do not stop at any places like rest stops or parking lots that are suspiciously empty. It’s always advisable to stay away from vacant places. If you don’t know the area it may be not a good idea to stay at, even if you think there’s no one around.
3. Lock Your Doors
Always keep the doors locked. It’s not just for securing your belongings, but also as a safety measure. If you decide to stay at any site that requires payment, keep the doors locked until you check in. This is one of the easy ways to prevent theft. Before you go to bed, lock your doors – and don’t forget to double-check.
Investing in a door stop alarm is a great idea, as well.
4. Stay In Public Areas
Never park in an isolated place or alleyway if you can help it. If that’s where you have to park, always check your surroundings before going off to sleep. Park somewhere with a light post and near people so if there is any problem, you’ll have an easier time getting help.
5. Let Other People Know Where You Are
Keep at least two other people informed about your whereabouts. It’s always good to keep your friends and family informed as to where you are at any point in time. If you don’t want to keep in constant contact with people because it can be time-consuming, let them know about the next place you plan on staying at.
6. Do Not Panic
If you suspect something is going on outside at night, do not panic. The best thing to do is not to bother with anything else at the moment and simply drive away if you can. If you have a phone, call the police and let them know about your suspicions.
7. Travel with a Dog
Having a dog with you is a great option. They help keep away unwanted people. They also make good companions too! Just remember that traveling with a fur friend also requires added responsibilities. Make sure you’re ready for anything, up for any task when you travel with your pet.
8. Invest in Security
Invest in good security devices like alarms and cameras that can keep track of everything outside. These are especially helpful if you’re the kind to wander off on your own at night or like to visit places that seem dangerous (e.g., deserted places). They’re also good to use when you want to go for a swim or hike.
High-quality locks are also important to prevent any intrusion. Make sure you protect your valuables with these devices.
9. Learn How To Use Your Security Devices
It’s not enough that you have security devices; it’s more important that you know how to properly use them. You can consult an expert if needed, but make sure you know the basics of your devices.
10. Do Not Take Any Risk
Do not take any risks when traveling solo, especially if it involves doing something that’s out of character or compromising your safety in some way. You can still attend to adventurous activities but do so only when you think they won’t compromise your safety – and even then, only when you’ve informed people about your plans.
11. Be Informed
Keep yourself updated with the things going on around you. Know what’s going on in the area you are traveling to. Local news, weather updates are all important.
Do a lot of research. There are apps to help you stay in safe locales. Download them and find out about the places and even check on the location yourself. Also, take help from the people who’ve previously stayed there to do the same. A few hours of research can make all the difference.
12. Keep Your RV Well-Maintained at All Times
Do not neglect your RV. Make sure it’s constantly in good working order so you can use it whenever needed. This is one of the most inessential tips to prevent unnecessary breakdowns. Having spare tires is a must. It would also help if you have a few tools to fix stuff yourself quickly and easily. Nothing is worse than to be stranded in the middle of nowhere or in an unsafe area at night when you travel solo.
13. Stay in Well-Lit Parking Spots
At night when you are resting, choose a spot that has bright lights and human activity around. Choose to stay in spots in parking lots that are under surveillance and are closer to any help you can get, just in case. I usually sleep under the cameras by the Casinos.
14. Always Bring a Flashlight
Keep a flashlight with you as it is inessential at all times in one way or another. Although you can use your phone to light up dark areas, it won’t help much in case the battery dies down. A flashlight is way more reliable when it comes to emergencies.
15. Make Sure You Can Use It
If you decide on carrying a gun, know how to use it. Take good care and learn about the state laws wherever you take it. Also, take classes about usage and safety. Keep it in a safe and use it only when absolutely needed. An RV is considered a vehicle if it’s attached to a car or truck or when you are driving. 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 you have your RV connected to hookups, or you have your furniture out and you are camping it is your residence. 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.
16. Be Creative
You can also use creative ways to chase away any trouble. Like keeping a pair of men’s boots outside your RV to chase away unwanted guests at night is a great idea. You can also put on pro-gun stickers to drive trouble away, or use motion sensor lights.
17. Carry a Pepper Spray at All Times
You can also use other forms of defense like bear spray or wasp spray. These sprays can go a long way in keeping away criminals and miscreants. Use them when you actually need them and keep away troubles. This simple trick can deter many criminals from targeting you.
It is good to socialize with the people at the place you’re staying. You can also keep the company of like-minded travelers and seek their help. Traveling together is always good. There are a lot of apps and services online that help you find other solo and/or woman travelers. You can also try boondocking or RV park’s forums for this purpose.
19. Use Apps That Offer Personal Safety Services
There are apps that offer personal safety services and you can use them to instantly inform your family, friends, and the authorities of any problems you may come across. Messenger applications like WhatsApp let you contact anyone with the touch of a button.
20. Don’t Stay At Places With No Connection
It is not fun to stay at places where you don’t have an internet connection when you solo. It is very important for safety as well. Internet is not just for entertainment but it’s easier to get help in case you need it.
21. Ask for Help
You can also ask for help from people at the parking area or locals about staying in an RV. If you’re not sure of the safety of the place, it always helps to ask. Ask them for any local tips and tricks too. You can even try connecting with fellow RVers or solo travelers through social media to get informed of the best spots.
22. Read RV Forums Before Staying at an Area or Camping Site for the First Time
You can also check online forums (or even ask your fellow travelers) about any popular locations that are safe to stay at. This will ensure you safely reach your destination without getting too lost in unknown territories.
23. Get a Dash Cam
This high-tech device helps you record every moment for your safety and security in any location. You can also use it to send GPS coordinates of the place in real-time to your contacts in case anything goes wrong. You can also keep it to record anything that makes you feel unsafe.
24. Don’t Tell Anyone About Your Daily Routines
Do not share any information about your daily routine with anyone, especially the ones where you’re alone. If people know your schedule, they could easily target you at those times. Make sure you change your routine every now and then.
25. Keep a Baseball Bat Within Reach
You can also get a baseball bat and keep it at your reach. It’s an easily accessible item that could be very helpful in self-defense. However, you must know how to use it properly before wielding it around anywhere. It can also be a golf club, a walking stick, or a martial arts weapon to keep away trouble.
26. Study Self-Defense Techniques
It is always good to learn some self-defense techniques. It’s not just for RVs but also comes in handy when you’re on the road or traveling solo. You can use it confidently knowing that you have enough knowledge about defending yourself successfully.
27. Park Your RV Where Other Vehicles Can See You
You must always make sure that more cars, trucks, and other vehicles can see you when you park your rig somewhere. If you can see other people’s faces, they can also see yours. It helps to ward off any trouble that comes your way if someone knows you’re there. You must not park behind thick bushes or anything like that.
28. Avoid Staying in High-Crime Locations
You should not stay at high-crime locations as they are the easiest target for criminals. If you know of an unsafe neighborhood, do not stay there or at least be very careful with your stuff.