Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-29-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
Freedomrider's Avatar
2013 30' Classic
Lakeland , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 126
Important Information


My question is, how do you safe-guard all your very important papers and documents, such as, Passports, Birth Certificates, Social Security cards, or any documentation if lost, stolen, or burned-up during a accident, would be difficult or nearly impossible to replace.

When you will not have a permanent home to go back to, what do you do? I was thinking about a place in the Airstream to hide a Fire-proof Safe Deposit box.

Any ideas would be appreciated.


Freedomrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
rluhr's Avatar
1968 17' Caravel
2005 30' Safari
Somewhere , roaming America
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,090
Images: 39
Quite simple, really. Don't bring anything you don't expect to need. Even a fire-proof safe won't help you if the Airstream is stolen.

For three years full-timing all we carried were our Passports. The US Passport is the "gold standard" for proving identity, accepted by everyone. If you already have a Passport you have no need for a birth certificate or social security card, so leave those in a safe deposit box back at home. If you think you "might" need those, leave the key with an authorized/reliable person who can get at the safe deposit box for you.

We made a secret compartment in the Airstream for the Passports (easily hidden because they are thin) and slipped them in along with two 100 dollar bills and some miscellaneous bills in Canadian and Mexican currency. You could also fit Titles to your vehicles in the same place, or leave them behind too.

Also, if you have a lot of irreplaceable data on your computer, keep a second back-up hard drive in the safe deposit box, and update it every time you swing through town. Your primary backup hard drive can travel with you.

Former full-timer | AIRSTREAM LIFE magazine | Tour of America (old blog) | Man In The Maze (current blog)

rluhr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
Rivet Master
Gene's Avatar
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
This is not just for full timers—You can have duplicate originals of some documents—medical and financial powers of attorney, wills, living wills, and DNR orders. Two identical copies executed at the same time; ask a lawyer how to do it.

There no need to have a social security card with you and if it is stolen, getting a new number is a lot of grief. Passports and driver's licenses will be good ID just about anywhere (passports more so, but I don't like carrying another thing that causes grief to replace).

Duplicate birth certificates are usually available, but you don't really need them with you. Other important documents can be copied and may be useful.

Something proving health insurance is important also. A list of networks or how to find out about it are also important—go to another state and you may not have much coverage, or very different coverage, and leave the country, and have none at all, depending on what insurance you have.

If you are injured or get sick away from home, the medical power of attorney may be very important along with a living will and a DNR order if you wish to have one. Some doctors and hospitals can be very difficult even if you have an original with you, and impossible if you don't.

Have a list of all things with their numbers in separate places—one in tow vehicle, one in trailer, for example. Try stopping charges on a stolen credit card without the credit card number, the number on the back, expiration date and the phone number of the credit card company.

A fire safe is very heavy and would better fit in a tow vehicle because of the lack of storage space in an Airstream. You can bolt them to a wood floor with wood screws in the Airstream though, but where to put it? Maybe a really small one would fit under the dinette seat in some trailers, or in a cabinet, but the fit would be hard. In a truck, it could be screwed to the floor with machine screws, but be careful how deep you go and you'd want to have a nut on the other end, so accessibility underneath for you (not a thief) would be important. Fire proof means an hour or two before you have roasted documents, but most vehicle fires burn out far sooner.

Rich, where was that secret place?

Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
Rivet Monster
wahoonc's Avatar

1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,142
Images: 40
I travel...a lot. I carry a encrypted thumb drive with copies of all of my important documents including photo copies of my credit cards on it. I typically only carry a passport if I plan to travel outside of the country in the US a driver's license is usually all you need. Everything else including vehicle titles are stored in a safe deposit box in a stable part of the country away from flood zones. My tow vehicles have small gun safes installed in them that can serve as a storage facility for documents too. I do keep things backed up to multiple hard drives and switch them out regularly. Another thing you can do is back things up to the cloud in a variety of places. I use Google Docs for a lot of things.

__________________ many little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2012, 06:21 PM   #5
Rivet Master
RickDavis's Avatar

1961 24' Tradewind
1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,780
I copy all important stuff and store it on multiple computers plus on a cloud storage service such as drop box.
This way you should have enough info to contact the proper agencies for replacements.
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

RickDavis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 06:20 AM   #6
3 Rivet Member
Freedomrider's Avatar
2013 30' Classic
Lakeland , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 126
Thanks for helping me see how simple traveling should be. Your ideas are excellent on every subject. We will be definitely exploring the benefits of the cloud and the electronic solutions.

Full-timing will be fun!

Freedomrider is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:36 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.