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Old 03-16-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
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Safety Considerations for Women Travelling Alone?

Hello Everyone-- New here. And to the Airstream life. I am in the process of getting a divorce after 10 years of marriage and am seriously considering storing what little I want and going on the road.

I have some concerns, however, that might be addressed in these forums-- I have to say that it seems like you have a great little community of folks here.

My first concern is about my cats-- but I posted that in a thread on the pet forum so we can focus more fully on that there.

My other concern is my safety. I know that there are alot of single women out there who fulltime and travel and I would love to hear from some of you about what you do in regards to your security. I won't have a big dog or a gun so that knocks those two off the list.

I have travelled to various places alone in my life but always in hotels, etc. How secure are you in a trailer? As I understand it most Rv'ers/full-timers are very gracious and look out for each other. Anyway, I'm not sure what my specific fears are-- perhaps this will help start the discussion and clarify what I'm worried about or help dispense with some of those fears.

Thanks!
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:14 AM   #2
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You will enjoy the Airstream lifestyle and all the wonderful people you will meet.

Always have an awareness of your surroundings and stay in "safe" places. I would avoid rest-stop type places, but that's just me. Usually, wherever you will stay, there will be fellow RVers that will hear you and respond if you need help.

A lot of RVers carry and know how to use a weapon for protection. Since you are not comfortable with a gun, perhaps pepper spray, a baseball bat, a loud whistle. You'll probably never need it, but just have an idea ahead of time of what you would do if you get into trouble.

It's smart that you're thinking about safety, but don't worry too much. Just get out there and enjoy your new lifestyle.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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Listen to the little voice...If your uneasy leave...

Welcome, I would suggest listening to that little voice inside we all have. Every time I have pulled into a campground that looked bad... it was. Now if I make reservations in advance when I pull in if I hear that voice say no way...it does not look good, I just continue on if possible.
  • Have a plan which includes how to get out of the campground or parking area before you settle in. Check your routes.
  • Be aware of your surrounding as mentioned before in other posts.
  • Have that whistle, baseball bat or frying pan handy if the worst case develops. Have a plan in your head of what you would do if something happened don't get yourself sick.
  • Have a bag or small backpack with your keys, meds, eyeglasses, and personal info near by, to grab if you need to exit in a hurry.
  • Consider putting out two (2) chairs to give the look of more than one (1) person, to people driving by or walking through the area.
  • Don't telegraph that you are alone give the impression you are waiting for a late arrival after work or at the end of the day. Obviously people will realize you are solo.
With common sense you will do great.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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Good advice so far...

I'm married but camp alone sometimes. Here's a couple of small things I do when I do...
  • Carry a large pair of used, muddy men's work or hiking boats - leave them out side your door at night.
  • keep your keys with the car alarm fob nearby - especially at night
Also the two chair thing...our Zip Dees have our names embroidered on them or you could do "his" & "hers", which is even better because your name isn't on it for people to see.

Shari
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Old 03-16-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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Since you said you won't have a gun, this won't help you - but I'd reconsider.
Pepper spray is good, as is a taser. I have a left-over can of bear-spray (pepper spray on steroids) that we keep in the TT.
If you hang laundry, get a pair or two of men's tightie-whities to add to the line.
One of those marine-air horns will make a heck of a racket in an emergency.
I agree with whirlaway - you can usually tell when you pull into a place if it's gonna be ok or not so much.
Best of luck in your travels - and be careful out there!
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
I'm married but camp alone sometimes. Here's a couple of small things I do when I do...
  • Carry a large pair of used, muddy men's work or hiking boats - leave them out side your door at night.
  • keep your keys with the car alarm fob nearby - especially at night
Also the two chair thing...our Zip Dees have our names embroidered on them or you could do "his" & "hers", which is even better because your name isn't on it for people to see.

Shari
Whirlaway's suggestions were great as were Shari's. We have a friend who traveled alone. She had a construction hard hat from a friend's job site. She would keep the hard hat in the back window of her car when she traveled ... sort of same concept as the muddy men's work boots. Seems to have worked for her. She's 89 now and still travels alone occasionally without any bad incidents. She stays very aware of her surroundings. I do recall her mentioning a time or two that she had that uneasy feeling about a rest area -- and would keep going rather than stop.

nancy mac
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:00 PM   #7
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Burn a CD of a medium-sized dog barking, and play it occasionally in your trailer's stereo, loud enough to be heard outside. If you are creative, you can wire it so when people push the doorbell, the CD of the barking dog plays.
Invent a companion, and add the companion's name to a couple of towels and/or lawn chair. A license plate frame that says "we love our airstream" would be another subtle clue you are not alone. Learn to use the "Royal We", as in "we are going to the store", or "we went to the movies last night".

Probably 99+% of the time, you will not need any of these suggestions, and most of the rest of the time, the subtle hints given in this thread will probably stop at least half of the rest of the potential problems.
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:41 PM   #8
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You should try to get some input from Michelle (THECATSANDI) who often posts here.

I am a VERY security conscious guy, having worked the better part of my career in a security related function in a major multinational corporation.

In most respects, but not all, the risks are similar for you whether you are a female going to the mall or traveling across the country in an RV. Just be aware of you surroundings, and don't put yourself in risky situations.

One difference though is the big rig that you'll be towing behind you when you're Rving. This will restrict your mobility to some degree -- it will limit your ability to get into and out of some places as easily as you could without it, and it will reduce the speed with which you can move (to get away from a bad situation if necessary).

That being said, I'd want to carefully plan ahead where I'm going, and for the most part travel in the daytime. You don't want to get lost and going down a dead end street at night in the wrong part of town, towing your Airstream (worst case scenario), for example.

Other than that, I think you'll have a ball, and shouldn't be unduly concerned.
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:52 PM   #9
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One of my customers was the cheif of police in a medium sized city. He said they were in one hotel or another to look after an incident almost every night of the year and often more than once. He said he could not remember ever being called to the two RV parks in town.

A charged cell phone with the park # programed in and at hand is a good insurance policy.

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Old 03-16-2009, 09:24 PM   #10
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Your own comfort level is going to guide you - and it is likely to change over time - but in addition to most of the suggestions already mentioned you might also want to consider:

- frequenting campgrounds or parks with security
- choosing sites in the busier parks are busier areas of parks
- pointing your vehicle towards your campsite so that if you do activate the alarm you are also lighting up your unwanted guest.


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Old 03-16-2009, 09:48 PM   #11
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What I do is plan for 2 stops at the end of the day with the 1st one around 4 to 5 PM if for some reason the 1st stop just doesn't feel right or the CG does not meet our expectations move on to the 2nd.
Always plan on being off the road and set up before dark.

So far I have never had to move on but it is nice knowing I have a back-up.

I think you are far safer in a CG than in a hotel however, in an Airstream you may have more visitors than in SOB since Airstreams seem to attract more attention.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:01 PM   #12
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Unless they see you alone. Most people will assume you are travelling with a man.
I have spent many a night in a wal-mart parking lot, truck stops(both have security cameras). I do not like rest stops. Much less security.
I do have a large can of pepper spray at my bedside.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:36 PM   #13
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Just DO It.

I've always been independent, but for some reason after a long life of making my own decisions I hesitated about getting the Airstream and going full timing.

Got a LOT of encouragement right here.

Best thing I've done in the last 20 years (since kicking his cheating ass to the door).

Ditto on the his and hers chairs, hardhat or muddy boots... especially with the muddy boots (size 13 preferably), as you leave the trailer you shout back in the open door "I'm taking the trash out, you lazy bum! Next time, you stop cleaning the shotguns and get your own lazy ass out!" Then you slam the door.

Seriously I've done the truck stop thing, the WalMart lot, etc. I agree, stop early and listen to that inside voice. More than once I've chosen to move on, but most of the time it's all great.

Only once had anything really creepy happen. Fortunately I just used my remote key to set off the horn alarm on the truck... the guy vanished.

Paula
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maccamper View Post
She had a construction hard hat from a friend's job site. She would keep the hard hat in the back window of her car when she traveled ... sort of same concept as the muddy men's work boots.
Heck, I have my own hard hat and actually have to wear it for work! For those who don't, you can pick one up at most hardware stores. Couple of tips...put some beer and sports stickers on it, then take it out and throw it around in the street to rough it up. A "real man" would never have clean and un-customized hard hat ~

Shari
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