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Old 09-24-2014, 10:22 PM   #57
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Very interesting thread! These are issues we often discuss.

We travel with our male Doberman--he loves people and is very friendly as long as others are friendly. Dobies are very smart, however, with the situational awareness thing: they are observant, judge for themselves when the situation has gone questionable, and react appropriately on their own every time. We take our Dobes through basic AKC obedience training; that's all they need to be good citizens--their genes will kick in when called for.


We have stayed in truck stops, rest stops, and Walmart parking lots and never felt threatened, but a Doberman goes a long way toward turning away the bad guys. He functions as our early warning system, deterrent, intimidator, and final barrier. I often wonder, however, whether we could let him be injured on our behalf--we love him to death and would probably take a bullet for him instead of the other way around!

Vivian
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:01 PM   #58
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Our dogs are Eskimos - also known as spitz, which is a 'watchdog' breed - they watch and bark like crazy, and hopefully shut it down when I ask (we're still working on that part). I would not expect them to do anything to an intruder, but the intruder wouldn't know that! Anyway, they are busier here at home protecting us from the never ending parade of girl scouts, high school football fundraisers, Jehovah's Witnesses, and roof inspectors that come to our door. We have never had any sort of incident on the road, though they do like to bark at all the other dogs at rallies!
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:24 PM   #59
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Our Shepard mix is really getting up in years, and is showing signs of doggie dementia and other problems. Sadly his time is getting close, so I feel for you. Old guy is just plum worn out.

Losing my Shar Pei was very hard on me. I started walking around Green Lake (about 3 miles) every day to deal with the grief.

Sometimes I work from home (I'm a software engineer), and he would lay next to me and stare at me like I was the greatest human on the planet.

He thought he was one of the parents for our kids, and when we would come home without the entire family, he would sit at the door waiting for the last kid to come home.

Dogs are a lot smarter than we give them credit for, or perhaps I should say they have really really great intuition. I sometimes think their sense of smell might be a predictor of human intention.

Vivian, sounds like Doberman's have refined that talent.

The most unsafe my family has felt on our cross county trips tent camping was a KOA on the border somewhere between Michigan and Ohio, simply because of the number of inebriated persons with mullets.
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:31 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
Our dogs are Eskimos - also known as spitz, which is a 'watchdog' breed - they watch and bark like crazy, and hopefully shut it down when I ask (we're still working on that part). I would not expect them to do anything to an intruder, but the intruder wouldn't know that! Anyway, they are busier here at home protecting us from the never ending parade of girl scouts, high school football fundraisers, Jehovah's Witnesses, and roof inspectors that come to our door. We have never had any sort of incident on the road, though they do like to bark at all the other dogs at rallies!
I have always been curious about American Eskimos' origin, so I thought I'd look it up. I found it interesting, so if anyone else is curious, here's the interesting (at least it was to me) story.

American Eskimo Dog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ken
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:17 AM   #61
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I never camped with an RV. I'm headed for my first trip with my family And want to make sure we are prepared/safe.

How does everyone feel about the topic? What precautions does everyone take?
I assume you are primarily concerned about personal safety

First of all do not worry - I feel far far safer traveling in the Airstream than by plane, and, in a campground rather than in our urban, social hamster cages.

You are already half way there by getting prepared.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts - if it does not feel right it probably isn't. Always be confident, never timid or fearful.
  • An RV is not a house - I've yet to have someone knock on the door. If they did, it would be full alert.
  • Regardless of RV'ng, everyone should take a self defense class taught by a former military or law enforcement. I highly recommend "Don't Be a Victim" type of class. Our County Sheriff Dept teaches them. They are great for folks uncomfortable taking the handgun or concealed carry class. Why get in a position to have to use a weapon if you can avoid it? Survive with honor.
  • Rehearse "what if scenarios".
  • A discreet motion sensor hooked to a light. We have a wireless one that turns on a light in the cabin. Turn the sensitivity way down so it only goes off if someone is bold enough to get near the door There is nothing more obvious than a motion sensor that goes off every time someone walks or drives by your trailer.
  • Keep a high intensity tactical flashlight at hand (400 + lumens). They will blind someone for a few seconds even in daylight, which which gives you the time to decide to fight or get out of there.
  • A good book: Escape The Wolf: A Security Handbook for Traveling Professionals
Training, scenarios and awareness is fundamental. For us, I still cannot see being unarmed. A firearm is the ultimate equalizer - if you are prepared and know how to use it.

I understand many are not comfortable with a weapon for self protection - that is a very personal decision. Sadly those who think they know better than we, have made self protection a more serious crime than the assault. So protecting ourselves across state lines has been made difficult. A shotgun is a minimum IMHO. NJ is one of the worst states to travel in and out of, self-protected.

Again - don't worry, do not be a victim, be prepared and you can relax!
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:35 AM   #62
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I have camped for many years and never had a problem, but precautions are in place.
1. Know the area or survey the area.
2. Keep the doors locked.
3. Keep the car key fob handy.
4. Have wasp spray handy.
5. Have big kitchen knives handy.
6. Carry a pistol.
7. Leave the porch light on.
We spent the night once in a church parking lot in a not-so-great neighborhood. I slept where I could reach a .45 and a .357.
We did run into a drunk who had crashed his motorcycle at the campground entrance. He was scary looking, but he just wanted to call his wife. He wasn't too drunk to hide from the law. It took the cops several hours to find him. He hid out in the woods till,the cops left.
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:33 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomotomoto View Post
I never camped with an RV. I'm headed for my first trip with my family And want to make sure we are prepared/safe.

How does everyone feel about the topic? What precautions does everyone take?
We've never taken along anything that even remotely resembles a defensive weapon, be it a knife or a spray or whatever; it's not something we'd ever consider. We do, though, camp very much "ON the beaten track".

As others have said, being aware of your surroundings is a good means of staying safe; if it doesn't feel right, just move on. From judging your surroundings, other actions such as settling down early and locking the doors, will fall into place.

We sometimes travel with our Greyhound, who's scared of her own shadow, but can look and sound very scary if she thinks she's under threat. I doubt she'd be much of a defender but she could at least run away quite quickly.

It's a very personal issue for everyone, and I certainly wouldn't criticise what others do, but we've been fine and we always enjoy our camping.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:14 AM   #64
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NJ is one of the worst states to travel in and out of, self-protected.
I can't disagree, but don't forget NY, CT, and particularly MD/DC, among others.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:20 AM   #65
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Does anyone have a full list of the states that do not respect other states concealed carry permits?


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Old 09-25-2014, 08:34 AM   #66
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Does anyone have a full list of the states that do not respect other states concealed carry permits?


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Try this one:

Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity Maps - USA Carry

Keep in mind that you don't always have to carry concealed. Open carry is legal in quite a number of states.

http://www.usacarry.com/concealed_ca...city_maps.html
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:36 AM   #67
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Does anyone have a full list of the states that do not respect other states concealed carry permits?


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There are sites that have those lists, and here is one, but be very cautious. The laws change frequently and there are other issues that sometimes don't get picked up by those sites. For example, in NJ we can have 15 round handguns (thanks most recently to Chris Christie who wielded his veto power) whereas a lot of nearby states only allow 10. If you are caught with too many rounds it won't matter if you can otherwise legally have the weapon.

Moreover, FOPA is a joke. I don't want to get this thread shut down so I'll just say that FOPA protects you while you are traveling, but don't dare stop overnight (or perhaps for gas or a cup of coffee?) or the local state laws kick in. I wouldn't travel through a state relying on FOPA. What happens if you break down or have to stop for any other reason?
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:21 AM   #68
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I think dogs in camp grounds are far more of a danger and nuisance than being robbed. I may be in the minority but most of the time dogs are more of a pain than the humans. We get barked and growled at way too much. Camping should not be like camping at a dog kennel. Responsible dog owners are usually not the problem but it only takes one bad dog to ruin a trip.

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Old 09-25-2014, 09:53 AM   #69
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So the front door flies open in the middle of the night with a guy coming in yelling something, you fire off three quick rounds. One drops the intruder, another hits a child sleeping in front, and a third goes through your aluminum trailer and the next hitting a neighbor's sleeping wife. Oh, the intruder was the neighbor warning that your truck is on fire.

This is a scenario I would worry about. My wife and I have military careers with firearm training, have firearms at home for sport, and for the safety of us and our fellow campers and to keep us out of criminal court we leave them at home.

Hard tropic to discuss without offending someone. Perhaps rights and needs should be separated.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:38 AM   #70
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I don't feel unsafe camping. Never have, and never felt the need to carry firearms to campgrounds. In fact, having two boys who (like most all boys) obsessed about guns and shooting, persuaded me to eliminate firearms in my household. The alternative would be unloaded and locked away in a expensive gun safe, key hidden elsewhere, etc. No good for self defense anyway.

I get that everyone has different circumstance. I am fortunate enough to be able to afford to choose to live almost anywhere, so choose to live in a stable, safe, and well policed community. When travelling I also consider where to stay, and safe surroundings are a requirement.

If it ever comes that camping is no longer inherently safe, that will be a sad day indeed.
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