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Old 08-16-2013, 07:00 PM   #1
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1994 21' Sovereign
Paradise Valley , Arizona
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Protection on the road from ruffians?

Reading the Wal-Mart camping thread raised another question for me. What are group members thoughts on having some sort of protection on board? Dog/gun/mace/etc?

I have never owned a gun, but have shot a couple of rifles in my life. Not too crazy about being around one. Traveling alone it is something to give thought to.

Ben has a big bark but does not use it often and once your are within a few feet he suddenly loves you. Of course we have never been in the company of someone with intent to harm, not sure what he would do then.

I would appreciate thoughts.

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Paradise Valley, Arizona
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:23 PM   #2
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1978 31' Sovereign
Covington , Louisiana
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I am gun enthusiast and carry one at most times.

Unless you are comfortable with a gun around, committed to actually firing it if necessary and living with the consequences, and are very proficient with it. Then you shouldn't have one. If the above items are not true, then you would likely be disarmed and your gun used against you.

Additionally the laws for carrying a gun in your RV or vehicle vary from state to state and requires effort on your behalf to stay legal. Only 3 national parks currently have laws against guns, but several state and private parks do.

Useful but has its limitations.

Possibly your best bet. I bet your dogs would become very aggressive if they felt or witnessed that you were in danger. If you don't think so, then possibly either some specialized training for them or obtaining another dog that was more protective could be an option.

Dennis & Denise Thomas

1978 31' Sovereign
2006 Hummer H2
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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First of all, You need to find out what the gun laws are in the state that you will be visiting as they vary from state to state. Mexico....forget about it ! (Unless you want some prison time). The online RV Book Store has a book on gun laws in all 50 states.

An alternative would be Taser Gun or Pepper Spray.

And of course, being careful as to which Walmart one decides to stay at! That would be a last resort in some Metro Cities.
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"Better to have more then you need, then need more then you have because you don't have enough!"
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:29 PM   #4
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1999 25' Safari
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I guess this falls under this thread's heading, so to speak. I've often wondered if anyone has ever had problems when out boondocking. I'd really like for us to go boondocking, but then again, I remember that couple a few years ago who were on their way to meet up with friends for a camping trip, stopped at a rest stop, and were overcome by escaped convicts and their friend who then killed both of them. Foregive me if I have this story incorrect, but I think this is the way I heard it.

Has anyone had any scary moments when out boondocking they'd care to share? And if so, how did you handle it, if you can mention it here.

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Old 08-16-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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I agree with Dennis & Denise Thomas entirely!
James Rudd
2001 25' Safari
2003 Dodge 2500
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:34 PM   #6
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2007 22' International CCD
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Dogs probably best deterrent...

Even though all of our couch-potato doggies are either little, or totally easy-going, the entire pack of 4 will simultaneously respond with great gobs of snarling and barking if they do not like the looks of someone approaching the TV when they are inside with the rest of us. They have done this in odd circumstances where they just did not like "the cut of somebody's jib".

I do not know what they react to, but typically strangers are no issue with them. They alert and watch, but generally do not bark at all strangers.

The odd coincidence--the time they barked the most was at a point in a trip where we were in Oregon--where you can't pump your own gas--and that was the trip when the card we habitually used for gasoline was mysteriously fraudulently used somewhere else in the country after we got home. I think dogs can read the character of strangers, and were trying to tell me something. I generally listen/observe the dogs reactions to others as part of my situation awareness--small kids are also good at this on a visceral level...

Other armament details, of course will not be specifically mentioned, but I do claim that "We're insured by Smith and Wesson" in a conspicuous spot on the rig...
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:48 PM   #7
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1970 21' Globetrotter
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In 40 + years I have never had a problem. We usually boondock, rarely use private campgrounds and probably have spent hundreds of nights in rest areas.
I would not be too concerned boondocking. The areas where I am most uncomfortable is around major cities. I am a lot more concerned at a mall than when out of town.
That being said, I do have weapons in the trailer, however if you are not comfortable with firearms or mace I have heard that long range wasp spray can be effective. Something to check out anyway. No legal hassles with that.

The advantage we have as RV travelers in the U.S. is that no one knows what you may have in there. It could be an arsenal and 5 German Shepards In Canada that advantage is gone because of the gun laws. I hasten to ad though I have never had a bad moment in Canada either.

I read the Walmart camping list also and you will notice the few reported problems with panhandlers etc are usually around major cities.

If you have ever stayed in a truck stop around a big city and turned on your CB the number of "business dealings" is interesting.
All that said though, never any problems.
Where boondocking is concerned, you are often on federal land far from the city. Some one would not be too bright to come miles from town to hassle someone who may be armed on federal land.

There are risks in anything we do but I don't think boondocking is too high on the list
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
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99 Dodge TD 577K miles

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Old 08-16-2013, 08:20 PM   #8
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Petaluma , California
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Wasp Spray and Working Goils

I have wasp spray at the ready but my biggest weapon is our intuition. If something feels wrong, hit the road and move on down the line. Same thing with hotels. Once or twice we (the family) got to the hotel room and we all looked at each other and said "NAH, let's GO"

Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post

If you have ever stayed in a truck stop around a big city and turned on your CB the number of "business dealings" is interesting.
I used to work in the Bronx as a projectionist and I was on the way home to NJ one night round midnight when I picked up a female hitchhiker on the Cross Bronx just before the George Washington Bridge. (Yeah I know, what was I thinking?!) Anyway, I asked her where she was going and she said "to work". After a few minutes of light banter she asked me to drop her at the Vince Lombardi rest area and asked if I'd just leave her at the far end near the trucks. I said "have a great night" and she said "you too"!
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:43 PM   #9
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Protection on the road

We have a strong guard dog, followed by mace and blinding laser lights, followed by hand guns with blinding lights and low velocity bullets to stop the perps but not damage the trailer shell.
Do not mess with 7100.


PS we are not disclosing our entire arsenal. All available to our friends and neighbors in need of help.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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So far I have a Air Horn, Pepper Spray and Mag Flashlight..but Im adding the Wasp Spray and maybe a Golf Club.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:53 PM   #11
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oops and a Hiking Whistle hehe
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:00 PM   #12
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North Vancouver , British Columbia
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I've spent my adult life travelling solo in big cities and the countryside. All I've ever needed is my wits and an awareness of my surroundings. If something doesn't feel right, I move on.
Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:24 PM   #13
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Most people are terrified of snakes.

A sign that says "Guard Pythons" with a couple of pictures can be very cautionary to others. Actually walking around a campground with a four footer (preferably yellow) wrapped around your arm - priceless!

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:30 PM   #14
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2004 28' Classic
Midland , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Safety on the road

You raise a very valid point about safety and security while traveling / camping / boondocking. It is a subject that is difficult to address in a few short sentences. I have been a Texas CHL Instructor since 1995, and have certified thousands of people for the Texas Handgun License. If you plan to own a firearm for protection get serious training from a competent source, and be proficient with it. Be familiar with the laws concerning the carry of firearms. They vary from state to state. Absolutely don't carry into Mexico or Canada. If you are not comfortable with firearms, tasers and pepper spray can be a viable alternative, again with proper training. Dogs are great to give the alarm and warn the goblins away, but a determine assailant may get by anything but a trained attack dog. The best quick advice is to always be aware of your surroundings and the people you come in contact with. You don't have to be paranoid but at the same time don't be complacent. If a situation does not look right, get away from it as quickly as possible. There is safety in numbers, try to get to know the people that are camping around you. Sort of a neighborhood watch on wheels.

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