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-   -   We have to talk, boondocking and security (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f382/we-have-to-talk-boondocking-and-security-202614.html)

Hermes 11-04-2019 12:57 PM

We have to talk, boondocking and security
 
This is not a particularly fun topic. The RV community is generally a happy, adventurous, sociable bunch of folks where many are living their dream of freedom and their love of nature, but the recent tragic deaths of a New-Hampshire couple who had their TV and trailer stolen (not found yet) in the Corpus Christi / Padre Island TX area does raise questions about security for the many who love to boondock.

Some will say that they never leave home without packing some fire power, so be it, but for those who can’t or do not wish to do so, are there any other security tips or technologies (cameras, alarms, satellite tracking, etc.) that you use to secure your prized rig and more importantly your personal safety? Are you concerned by security? Some have stated that the further you are from cities the safer you are, true or not? Others will only stay in “secured” campgrounds and wouldn’t consider boondocking. Does security influence your decision as to where you stay overnight or for longer periods?

There are new members joining the airstream community every year; do the more experienced “old salts” have any recommendations based on their years on the road?

panamerican 11-04-2019 01:23 PM

First and foremost, common sense should be the very first thing that one takes stock of surroundings, locked access doors, secure valuables.

In the city we call alarms electronic crickets. Folks are so use to hearing them, few actually take note. There are several devices that will make it difficult to steal your Airstream.

A good hitch lock (not endorsing any one in particular):

https://unitedlocksmith.net/blog/5-i...f-your-trailer


RV boots (again not suggesting any particular model, this link is for examples only):

https://www.amazon.com/Denver-Wheel-.../dp/B0087PWP4O

For personal safety if going off the grid, or way off the grid as I do, I would strongly suggest you look into personal protection devices (firearm, slingshot, bear bells, etc). In my opinion firearms are just not to protect from other humans, but can be a help in not becoming lunch. ;)

I understand some folks are hesitant when it comes to firearms, but in very rural/rustic areas where there are lots of bears, and such, and you have little to no cell signal, I find it somewhat comforting to know I have one with me on those trips. Rarely do I worry about my rig getting stolen and such in the boonies, but the opposite is true in more urban settings. Leave the firearm at home, bring the good lock and boot.

Just my opinion.

pteck 11-04-2019 02:21 PM

It's a concern that we've all pondered before. Especially as I travel with my young kids and wife.

To put this in perspective, I'm surprised I don't hear of more stories like this. As opposed to crimes and homicides that hit regular homes in the suburbs and more crime in the cities?

ghaynes755 11-04-2019 03:08 PM

Common sense as mentioned is your best bet. If you don't like the surroundings and vibe move on. Predators will usually go where the sheep are. More targets in cities and suburbs. The places you see on the nightly news with major issues are not places where you would likely camp. Theft of trailers, incredibly small percentage. It does happen but very very seldom. Few over the years reported here on the forum as an example. I'd guess I've read about less than a dozen.



The tragedy down on Padre, I can't remember any other instance of something like this happening since I've been rv'ing.



Personally I fell less safe in state and federal parks than other places especially on summer weekends. Noise, smoke and drunks don't make for a pleasant time.

Lily&Me 11-04-2019 03:24 PM

I’ve been in that area on Padre Island three times, the last one by myself this past January, with the dog.

Always plenty of others there, never a fear or concern.

I don’t go miles down a dirt road by myself, but do boondock alone and have many times been the only one in a spot and had no problems.

I don’t carry a gun, and won’t, do have a dog who could do some damage if she chose to.

You can run into serious trouble anywhere, and my thought is the couple in Texas ran into someone prepared to kill without hesitation to take their truck and trailer, and did.

I feel certain this is a highly unusual incident.

I will continue to be aware of my surroundings, but don’t plan to change anything.

Maggie

Al U. Minium 11-04-2019 04:51 PM

Sans a pistol, ir better yet, a 12 gauge auto, the next best thing (in addition to common sense and situational awareness), is a good sized dog or 2.

And who really wants or can tote a blaster around with them at all times? Get a dog. They are good for many reasons, protection is just one. By the way, avoid the "protective" breeds, bad guys will avoid even sweet puppies if puppy is of size....

n2916s 11-04-2019 05:49 PM

In 15 years of Airstreaming, I’ve only had to “move on” twice. In both cases, there was just something about the place that made me err on the side of caution.

We do have bear spray (been to training but hardly necessary) and it stays by the front door.

Waiting for our next dog to find us.

Follow your instincts.

Shermy1987 11-04-2019 06:05 PM

Do a simple calculation on the chances of of your safety being compromised whilst boon docking. You'll soon find out that your preservations of life and property would be much better spent else where.

Lumatic 11-04-2019 06:24 PM

Here's a link to a pretty sensational case in NM in 2010.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/murder-ch...soaked-getaway

As for me, don't carry, ever had and probably never will. Probably have more pf a chance of being killed walking down a sidewalk in any city

pt.reyesfan 11-04-2019 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hermes (Post 2304815)
This is not a particularly fun topic. The RV community is generally a happy, adventurous, sociable bunch of folks where many are living their dream of freedom and their love of nature, but the recent tragic deaths of a New-Hampshire couple who had their TV and trailer stolen (not found yet) in the Corpus Christi / Padre Island TX area does raise questions about security for the many who love to boondock.



Some will say that they never leave home without packing some fire power, so be it, but for those who can’t or do not wish to do so, are there any other security tips or technologies (cameras, alarms, satellite tracking, etc.) that you use to secure your prized rig and more importantly your personal safety? Are you concerned by security? Some have stated that the further you are from cities the safer you are, true or not? Others will only stay in “secured” campgrounds and wouldn’t consider boondocking. Does security influence your decision as to where you stay overnight or for longer periods?



There are new members joining the airstream community every year; do the more experienced “old salts” have any recommendations based on their years on the road?



In over 25 years of RVing, with quite a bit of boondocking, we have had 3 incidents. (1) found someone in my trailer (break in) after a trip to the laundromat, while camped in Mojave NPreserve. I bolted. He bolted. No harm done. (2) my dog heard someone in the truck while we were sleeping, in No Ca. Dog’s noise woke me up. I went out. They ran away. I started yelling. (3) In nearly empty campground near Big Bend, late at night, someone came up to me asking for some gasoline and $$, with a sad story about their hard luck. Didn’t look right. I had just been out emptying the trash. I said I didn’t have any gasoline and was very low on cash (both true). I have a diesel truck. He asked if he could siphon gas out of the car that was parked in the front of our spot. I told him and his girlfriend that it was not our car. (It was not.) He said he didn’t believe me, and started to get very close to me. He kept pushing to get me to admit it was my car. I walked away- quickly-,to get back into the trailer. He followed me in. I could not keep him out. Lucky for me, my wife had been listening , and seen what was happening, and had the 20 gauge in her arms as I came into the trailer. End of story. The creeps split. We called the police. Blah blah. But, bottom line, I am convinced the gun saved us from harm.

KK4YZ 11-04-2019 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pt.reyesfan (Post 2304962)
....... But, bottom line, I am convinced the gun saved us from harm.

The gun and your wife’s awareness.... The funny thing about guns, one can go a lifetime an never need one. But one instance like yours changes everything.
I’ll just say if you’re going to carry, get practical training and know the local laws wherever you go and whatever place you pass through....and be real careful with kids around.

Most of all, like mentioned earlier use situational awareness and common sense to try to avoid risky situations.

billrector 11-05-2019 05:00 AM

My thoughts are that I have insurance to protect the Airstream and a firearm to protect me and my family.

The change of using the insurance, moderate.

The chance of using the firearm, extremely low.

We boondock in remote places a lot. I figure the chance of something happening to us in a remote National Forest is minuscule compared to driving to that National Forest!

djb75 11-05-2019 07:19 AM

You might also consider motion-sensing floodlights. While they might trigger on raccoons/deer/etc, they might also make predators reconsider approaching your rig and head off for more vulnerable prey. Lights coming on let them know you are aware of their presence, will probably annoy your dogs enough to make them start barking (waking you and again, signifying awareness), and make sighting in on them easier if you are carrying firearms.

If you go this route, you'd definitely want one to cover the approaches to the door and possibly consider others so you could set up a full perimeter of coverage.

Also consider getting the kind that you can selectively turn on and off (rather than self-arming ones that automatically go active after sunset) - with lots of legitimate movement going on, you wouldn't be too popular in a full campground with your all night strobe light show!

As has already been mentioned, if something seems off, keep rolling. There's a reason we have instincts, and you ignore them at your own peril.

greenflag 11-05-2019 10:30 AM

Alternative to firearms try the Kimber Pepperblaster II.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1014178864?pid=344219

My personal choice is a 12 guage tactical shotgun propped in the corner. If you are not trained in the use of firearms, leave it at the gunshop. I have friends who like their Pepperblasters

trikdacy 11-05-2019 10:33 AM

I have always thought about this. I live in NYC and purchasing a legal firearm is very difficult. I can by an illegal firearm in about 5 minutes. While I do carry an assortment of personal protective devices, a legal firearm, such as an ROTH XM2XI Integrated XRAIL Benelli M2, would be a superior option. I do have coupler, latch, and wheel boots, I remain not so protected. Weighing these facts has made my choice of camprounds limited to KOA's, and Military Campgrounds, and more populated campgrounds until I can better protect myself.

david.steed 11-05-2019 11:06 AM

We live in a small Swiss village. Not one thing has been missing in this village for a few hundred years. Just want to share another perspective. Cheers.

cazual6 11-05-2019 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pteck (Post 2304850)
It's a concern that we've all pondered before. Especially as I travel with my young kids and wife.

To put this in perspective, I'm surprised I don't hear of more stories like this. As opposed to crimes and homicides that hit regular homes in the suburbs and more crime in the cities?

When I first got my rig, that was one of my concerns. The sales person, Nevin, said to me, most RV'ers are not that kind of people. He then said, having said that, I do not want you to be the first.

With that in mind there are several rules my wife and I follow:

1. If you don't feel comfortable, leave. So what if you lost the overnight stay, chump change compared to what can happen.

2. Be cautions

3. I carry a fire arm(s).

Others will chime in on other ideas.

new2trailer 11-05-2019 11:42 AM

For me, firearms present more of a danger to myself than any target. I've "Rv'd" far in the back country with everything from a motorcycle to a bus and now a trailer.

All the brazen characters I've meant were close to civilization with highway rest stops ranking at the top of unpleasant encounters.

To give you an idea of how seldom Padre Island type of tragedies happens, when was the last time you heard a similar news story about a RVer/camper being accosted in the wild.

Bottom line, go enjoy your AS no matter what you decide.

Mike

earljones458 11-05-2019 12:01 PM

Although I carry a firearm mostly for human predators, one of the other best self protection items is a can of wasp and hornet spray. It's easy to use, has very good range (25-30 ft) and will stop anyone if you spray them on the face. It's also legal, even in Canada, and readily available. It's also great to keep near your doors at home.

ELKHUNTER 11-05-2019 12:38 PM

INSURANCE coverage for the vehicles and ALWAYS carry a firearm to protect me and mine. Or you can take a chance, on not being able to PROTECT yourself.


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