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Old 01-28-2007, 06:06 PM   #1
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THEFT - Worse Case

I have read several threads in recent months about the "possibility" of having things from your campsite stolen. The most recent thread on solar panels mentions the possibility of having free standing solar panels stolen. I understand the logic, and the possibility, but in reality has anyone had this happen? I try to trust my fellow man, we tend to stay in good to very good campgrounds but that really means nothing. I am well prepared to protect myself and Tina, I don't fear the theft of the AS on the road, my truck is well protected but what I am talking about is the STUFF associated with camping - is theft a real big issue in campgrounds? While boondocking? In state parks? We are planning several trips this year and I have no real desire to look over my shoulder all the time.

Any experiences out there that I can learn from? What should I look out for?

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Old 01-28-2007, 06:15 PM   #2
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:31 PM   #3
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Late last summer I was camped with my fly fishing club at the group site at Woods Canyon Lake in the mountains of Arizona. This is a National Forest Campground. The ranger stopped by to let us know that they had recently had a number of Honda Generators stolen from the campsites in the middle of the night. Everyone locked their generators and kept them out of sight and we had no problems. The dogs did get excited one morning before sunrise and when I checked it out there was a small heard of Elk passing through the campground. Why would Elk need a generator?


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Old 01-28-2007, 06:46 PM   #4
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So far so good, knock on wood

We go to many state parks, national parks, and army corps parks, and have been very fortunate with no problems, knock on wood. The rangers have done great jobs patrolling and are very friendly and helpful in most places we've been. I'm sure you already do most anything I could share.

We make a point of greeting the neighbors/campground hosts (if they are there) and chatting a little, its a good feeling and it can give you a better sense of things too. Plus most folks like to look out for each other I think, especially if they share a smile and a laugh...

We lock up tempting things in the trailer or the back of the truck (it has a cap), push the other stuff under the awning against the trailer when we leave the site for an extended period of time. We put the bikes/kayaks back up on the truck if we're leaving for a whole day, they lock in their racks on the roof. I've seen folks who put their bikes inside the trailer if they leave the campsite all day which seems smart too.

Here's hoping that you and Tina have a great experience camping through the country! Most of the people in state and national parks are in tents and pop ups and they are pretty much in a less secure state re: possesions than we are--its hard to lock up your tent I mean.
I'm looking forward to learning from others in this thread.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:48 PM   #5
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Q: "Why would Elk need a generator?"

A: Typically, it's a young male elk who is trying to impress a certain female elk. It rarely works but it's awfully cute to watch.
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:55 PM   #6
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You know, it only takes one time. I read on this forum that someone stole a person's weight distrib bars..... you just don't know anymore. I tend to err on the safe side and either put stuff away or make sure it's locked up. It is rare, but it's becoming more common from what I've read.
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:01 PM   #7
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We run a bike lock chain thru bikes and the aluminum tanks. Never had a problem but I have been in Texas close to the border where people steal tanks for resale. They also steal the nice shiny new trucks for export to Mexico.
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:10 PM   #8
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I was talking with one couple while at a rally last year and they were in a tent with a couple of kids. I can't remember where they said they were camping but the first night someone stole their camp chairs and their portable grill. Several years ago there was a rash of hunters trailers stolen off a game preserve about 100 yds. from the game warden's house. A popup belonging to one game warden from another area was stolen as were 2 other other trailers. Some of these had anti-theft devices on them and they were torched off. This doesn't surprise me because there may be 40 trailers at a time there and maybe 20 will be left there during the week when some hunters are back in civilization working.

Obviously, you should make it as hard as possible for anyone to hookup and drive off with your trailer. There have been a number of threads lately concerning ways to theft proof your trailer.

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Old 01-28-2007, 08:32 PM   #9
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We used to do a lot of fishing off the west coast of Vancouver Island. One year we were cautioned that while camper/fisherpeople were out on the water their coolers, good lawnchairs, etc. were disappearing and no one could figure out how it was happening as the camping area was fairly open, well policed by the CG owner and employees, but they were going fairly quickly. Since then we've always put anything of any real value away at night. For the few minutes it takes it sure saves a lot of hassle.

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Old 01-28-2007, 08:36 PM   #10
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Lead them not to temptation. If you are not using it and not there then put it out of sight.
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Old 01-28-2007, 08:41 PM   #11
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I have never had a problem in the campgrounds but I have been in some where I was much more cautious than others. I can happen anytime no matter how well you secure.
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:40 PM   #12
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I've been camping since the early '70s and have never had a problem, although there have been a couple of times that I was a little concerned about my welfare (that would make good stories), but not to the point that I wanted to move. However, like one post mentioned, it only takes one time to ruin a trip. I think things have changed somewhat in the last 30 years. There are a lot more people using RV's which increase the odds of having a problem. If we get too paranoid about it, it takes some of the enjoyment out of the experience. If you use good judgement about where you set up camp, and who is around you it will help to reduce the potential for problems.

I don't like to store spring bars and sway control inside because of the grease, so I carry a padlock with a big enough hasp that will go through the chains of the spring bars and end of the sway control, and lock them to the safety chains on the tongue. Didn't use to do that. I also lock the hitch ball into the trailer tongue with a padlock while I'm camped. Both padlocks are stored on the safety chain connectors on the tongue while we are on the road. I also never used to worry about locking the vehicle up, but now routinely lock up every time I get out.

Be aware, but most of all have fun.
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Old 01-28-2007, 11:22 PM   #13
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We've been camping for a long time and have never had a problem. That being said, we still lock up or put up items that would be tempting to someone.
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:01 AM   #14
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30 + years of "City Learning" taught me this....

Hello all -

Interesting thread going here. I believe that the 'protection' mentioned, really boils down to one simple and easy thing. Make them (the crooks) take their time with your stuff.

IF your stuff is worth the time and aggrivation to crooks, well then, it's GONE! Period. NO matter the level of care, equipment or oversight. Period. File that Insurance claim, because that is all you have left.

My theory, is make'em spend as much time with my /your trailer as possible. That means multiple levels of "BOTHER" at every step - the toungue (LOCKED), the wheels (LOCKED), and the Stabilizer jacks down (Up Control is LOCKED) and the generalized 'aura' of the trailer is one of defense, and "I'm gonna make you WORK to get this trailer off site"....

There are MANY other far more easily removed trailers all around you. Given the state of security at my SilverToy, I would venture to guess that they will move on in immediate hurry. To another SOB where there aren't these 'trips' set up in a series....

SilverToy is destined to live a long and hopefully prospress life within the family she now has.....

Hey folks, do the next best thing you can to keep the crooks from thinking about your trailer for more than a minute - multiple looking locking systems that all need time to overcome or be beat, are great; active and invloved neighbors are a FANTASTIC assett, and well as just making that AS look 'unattractive' compared to all the more profitable rigs standing all about....!????!!

Living in DC/ Philly and Chicago does give you more than a few MAD skills about faking out the crooks that are looking for an easy hit. Make em move on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My .02 cents!


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