If you are wary or concerned about personal safety when boondocking, especially when choosing a spot beyond sight or sound of another rig, remember that thieves do not usually hang out in the boonies. You are more likely to find a thief in the grocery store parking lot, urban parking space, or at an event with big crowds.
However, you should consider the following safety tips to thwart the “thief through convenience” if you make stealing too easy.
Boondocking Safety Tips
- Never open your door to anyone you don’t know after dark. For instance, once a couple knocked about 8:00 on a winter night in the desert and said their car ran out of gas. I told them (through the window) that I couldn’t help them (I had no sympathy for them if they actually let that happen).
- Don’t tell strangers that you meet in town, even those that seem perfectly harmless, where you are camped. If you want to socialize, do it in town until you get to know them better.
- Lock your door when you leave (I admit that I don’t always do this). You don’t want to come back and find a homeless person inside your rig.
- Boondock with friends or with club members. Many solo RVers belong to solos clubs (such as Loners On Wheels) and often camp together.
- Bury some land mines around your rig to protect yourself from intruders. (Wait! Don’t call Homeland Security, that’s a joke.)
- Don’t leave stuff lying around outside your rig when you leave. Camp chair, table, rug—OK. Portable generator—put in a locked compartment, or make sure you chain it up with a heavy duty chain, not one a simple bolt cutter could cut through .
- Close your blinds and drapes so the curious can’t see what you have inside.
- Lock all your outside locker doors.
- Re-key your lockers. Most RVs have the same key to open lockers, which is easy for a would-be thief to acquire.
- If you still feel uncomfortable, buy a simple red LED light and mount it near your entry door, operated by a switch on the inside. When you go out, flip the switch. The red light looks like you have a burglar alarm that is set, and it draws minimal power. In all my years of RV boondocking I have never had a problem or felt in danger (even from the couple who ran out of gas), and the only theft I experienced was out of a state park campground.