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Old 09-23-2014, 12:03 PM   #1
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Self defense precautions

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?
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:11 PM   #2
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Hi. One guy's opinion here...


1) I've yet to stay in a location where I've felt threatened. If it feels "squirrely", don't camp there.

2) while I've never felt threatened, I do lock my camper doors at night.

3) does your tow vehicle have an alarm? If so, have your tow vehicle key fob handy where you sleep. If needed, press the panic button. Instant security alarm.

4) for extra protection, have a can of wasp spray (the kind that shoots 20' out) handy where you sleep. If needed, deploy to intruder's face.

5) see 1 above

Happy, safe camping!
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:16 PM   #3
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Good stuff stevesuemac
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:17 PM   #4
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Use Common sense, the same as you use at home.
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #5
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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?
Others have given you sound advice. If you are going to be staying in campgrounds, your biggest problem is likely to be the smoke from your neighbors campfire. We've never felt unsafe in any campground.
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #6
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To suppliment the TV's panic button, carry a compressed air horn to blast out the vents or windows, bear spray (not allowed in Canada) and dog(s).
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:27 PM   #7
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The precautions you choose to take are a personal matter. Personally I am more uncomfortable at the mall than on the road. I have been an RV'r for over 40 tears and also spent 10 years delivering trailers all over the country. In that time I have never had a problem and I have spent 100's of nights in rest areas and truck stops. I can only remember 2 times when my instincts said I should move and I did , but don't know if the gut feelings were unfounded or not.
We spend a lot of time camped in out of the way places with out problems. After all would you drive 30 miles out of town to a federal site to potentially rob some one in a hunt camp where most every one is probably armed?
For the most part the trouble makers will be around the cities
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:35 PM   #8
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Just don't leave the beer cooler outside at night.

In Alaska I was advised not to park on land that said private property. I asked why not and was advised I would be shot. But then again you can camp anywhere else in Alaska.

40+ years and over 300,000 miles
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:46 PM   #9
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Just don't leave the beer cooler outside at night.

In Alaska I was advised not to park on land that said private property. I asked why not and was advised I would be shot. But then again you can camp anywhere else in Alaska.

40+ years and over 300,000 miles
If you do insist on leaving your beer cooler outside, only stock it with Coors Light or Bud Light. Keep the craft-beer in the trailer!

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Old 09-23-2014, 12:52 PM   #10
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Been rving many years and just recently had first problem. Was sitting in the stream at a fuel stop and suddenly the door opens and a very drunk (or high) person was standing in the trailer asking for money. we weren't in Canada so I was able to carry. I reached behind the couch and suggested he adios immediately. He persisted so I showed him what was behind the couch. He immediately left. That was the first time I have ever had to do that. I think the lesson is always lock your door. What a shame it has come to that (or maybe it was always that way?). My wife is still very upset about the whole affair. I guess I am too.
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:57 PM   #11
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I'm not even going to address weapons; that's a hot-button issue best alone lest it devolve into a pro-gun/anti-gun tirade.

But some things to consider:
1 - Without a land-line phone connection, a 911 dispatcher can only identify the location of the nearest cell tower to your location. So if you're not able to accurately describe your location when you call for emergency response, they can't find you. Be prepared to give your GPS coordinates when you call 911.
2 - If you don't like the looks or the manners of your neighbors in the campground, you can always hitch up and drive away before a confrontation occurs. They may really be harmless and misunderstood and you might be hurting their feelings, but you don't know them, and saving your hide is more important than saving their feelings.
3 - Your Airstream is all the flash and glitter you need. You don't need to wear jewelry or a dress wristwatch while camping. You don't deliberately have to go for a scruffy look (I can't help it, though; I'm just naturally scruffy) but don't show any bling if you can help it.
4 - Anyone who is likely to accost you is going to be bigger, stronger, faster, younger, and/or meaner than you are. The rules of engagement are that you can't legally preemptively get in the first strike until they at least threaten you. So anything to even the odds is all to the good. Around the campground, a stout hiking stick is your friend since it gives you a hand-to-hand weapon with a good reach, already in your hand. Bear spray is good, too. A pet bear is even better but you might not have one handy.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:15 PM   #12
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No disrespect to SteveSueMac intended here, but...

Instead of the wasp spray, if you feel the need for non-lethal weapons, go ahead and buy some good OC spray. The wasp spray, while possibly effective, opens you up for all sorts of legal problems. Imagine when you're drug into court by some thug that just tried to rob you, for pain and suffering and loss of wages etc. that he incurred because you shot him in the face with a product that was designed to be a nerve agent on insects... His lawyer will present the MSDS on that wasp spray, showing all the chemicals in it that are harmful to people, and start grilling you on your knowledge of those same chemicals.

Go to your local police department, ask them what kind of pepper spray they'd recommend, and use it. Preferably, exactly what they use. That way when said thug drags you into court, your defense is, "My local law enforcement recommends this for use on bad guys..."

Read up on some Mas Ayoob. "In The Gravest Extreme", and "The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry". Mas has spent years studying the legal aftermath of self defense situations, and has been a professional witness in many trials. The guy really knows his stuff, and gives some great advice...

Just my .02 worth...

-Red
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:17 PM   #13
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I only have felt uncomfortable twice in my camping life. One was at a state park that we overnighted in where there was absolutely no one else camping. The other time was another overnight in a town where the local college had a large paved full hookup lot next to their football stadium. They had a security box on the lot where you deposited your money for your site. We had dusk to dawn lights on the lot but we there only one camped on that lot with no visible signs of any type of ride by security.

We don't do urban parking lots or Interstate rest areas. Not that you are going to get great security in any campground, but being alone is typically something we try to avoid. Maybe more an offshoot of growing up in an urban society where you are used to having others around.

Any trouble I have run into has been limited to thievery when we were out of the campground. In one case in a busy Myrtle Beach private campground, we had our sewer line bumper caps and my wheel chocks stolen. We had a pretty good idea who took them. It was a neighboring wreck of a trailer camped next to us that didn't have either when he pulled in. They were gone when we came back to the trailer and noticed the thievery.
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:23 PM   #14
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Lock your doors when not present and at night. Don't leave anything valuable unsecured. Pretty simple stuff.

We made many trips to Europe, Central America and Mexico before we started RVing. Our policy was never to take anything with us that we would not walk away from, as we might just have to do that. When we travel in our trailer we pretty much follow that policy.
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