Are you concerned that your RV is a target for thieves?
If so, you might think you need an RV security system to guard your possessions.
But before you bust out that platinum credit card, consider the facts.
RV park and campground crime statistics reveal that you’ll likely have a difficult time justifying the investment in expensive monitors and alarms.
And the crimes themselves?
Well, they’re not pretty, but they don’t involve robberies. Of the 11 fatalities, two people were pushed off cliffs, one committed suicide, and one was a DUI accident victim. Only two individuals died due to aggravated battery. Several others were innocent victims of gang related violence and stray bullets.
It’s not all good news though.
In 2010, crimes at California state parks tripled over levels recorded in the mid-1990s. But even with the sudden increase, the crime rate was only equal to levels seen in normal, suburban areas.
Talk to experienced RVers and you’ll find that RV theft and burglaries are rare for several reasons:
- RV neighbors can see what’s going on. When you’re living inside a RV, it’s much easier to watch outside activity than it is when you’re inside a stick home.
- Criminals have a hard time blending in. RV parks and campgrounds are small neighborhoods where people know who belongs there and who doesn’t.
- RVers tend to be neighborly and will usually keep an eye out for each other.
At least not until you review these free tips for avoiding theft in campgrounds and RV parks.
Consider Your Campground Attitude
The old adages “Like attracts like” and “You get what you ask for” ring true when it comes to how your attitude shapes your reality.
For example, the more strongly you believe that criminals lurk behind every tree, the more likely it is these elements will appear in your life – just as you believe they will.
While it’s wise to stay alert and not put yourself into dangerous situations, keeping a positive outlook about your campground environment, and giving your RV neighbors the benefit of the doubt before you get to know them, will go a long way toward keeping crime away from your doorstep.
Park Your RV in a Safe Location
One of the easiest ways to avoid RV theft and crime is to avoid putting yourself in unpredictable environments.
Here are some ways to stay safe in RV parks and campgrounds.
- Read RV park and campground reviews. If you’re concerned about the safety of a neighborhood surrounding a RV park, visit websites like RVParkReviews to learn what others have to say. If you notice a consistent stream of negative reviews about the RV park’s location, move on and find another place to settle in.
- Choose well-lit areas for overnight parking. If you choose to go “blacktop boondocking” in a parking lot or truck stop, remember there’s safety in numbers. Stick by other RVers and only park in areas with enough lighting to deter sinister activity.
Eliminate the Temptation for RV Break Ins
If neighborhood thieves are lurking in your RV park or campground, you can make their plans more difficult to achieve.
Eliminate easy opportunities around your campsite by taking the following RV security precautions:
- Change your RV locks. Most RV storage compartments share the same locks and keys. Protect your belongings by changing the factory default locks and installing after-market ones for every compartment.
- Don’t leave expensive items in plain sight. While you don’t have to put a padlock on everything from your iPad to your gas grill, it’s wise to stow or lock items of higher value when you’re not using them.
- Leave expensive belongings at home. If you’re really concerned about your expensive items, consider leaving them in a more secure location. You’ll feel more at ease when you go camping if you have less to lose in the first place.
- Keep lights on at night when you’re away. Interior lights left on inside the RV will keep criminals guessing if someone is home. Exterior motion detectors are good deterrents too.
- Get to know your neighbors. Even if you’re only in a park for a short stay, getting to know your neighbors will send a message that you care enough to say hello and look out for their best interest – hopefully they’ll reciprocate.
Insure Against RV and Campground Theft
Sometimes crime happens despite your best efforts.
If you’re unlucky, having adequate RV property theft insurance goes a long toward easing the sting of being violated by criminals.
Before you hit the road and put yourself in the potential situation of being a crime victim, call your RV insurance agent for an estimate on property theft coverage that will adequately compensate you in the event of property loss.
Things like mobile devices and expensive bicycles can be covered.
Should you decide that you want additional peace of mind, you might consider installing a Wi-Fi enabled camera system, such as this one made by Dropcam.
But you’re probably better off using the money to buy standard bicycle locks for your outdoor equipment.
Common Sense is the Best Security System
There’s a fine line between being vigilant and just plain paranoid.
But following these common sense personal safety tips will go a long way toward keeping your possessions safe – and keeping you in a carefree state of mind.
The best way to squash any worries about crime is to do what you would do when traveling in general:
- stay alert to your surroundings
- blend into your environment by maintaining a low profile and
- avoid putting yourself in potentially dangerous situations in the first place