Security while Traveling alone - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-18-2006, 07:01 PM   #1
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We had quite a lengthy thread pre crash with all kinds of good advise for folks that travel alone and what they do about security in the campsite.

Might be time to revive it, as we have many new members, especially women. Not to say men are not in danger of being crime victims at all, but women have a special fear and need for security. I don't think this needs to be fully explained, ladies know of what I speak.

Outside of fire arms, (Which could lead to a WHOLE other thread that could get nasty with political opinion, so please don't go there) what are some of the creative ideas we have come up with to deter crime in the campground or boonies, and even in the big city RV park?

I personally travel 99% of the time on my own. I usually always have two dogs with me, one of which would do some damage before he was overpowered by a threat, but that short time he could give me can help me get out of harms way. (It only takes a split second)

The dogs are also very alert, and they hear and notice everything. They may not bark every time, but they make it known they are on alert with a quick move that makes me look at thier body posture. I have learned NOT to ignore these alerts even tho a vast majority of the time, there is nothing for a human to be alarmed over. My female has twice alerted me to bears.

The dogs are NEVER locked away from me, even tho they may be tethered. They have full access to my areas. They sleep IN the trailer, For thier comfort and my protection. Never in the car.

As mentioned in another thread, I do not have lots of "girly" items around (Like the makeup kit on the picnic table ) and I keep two chairs out, an extra cup or bottle, a pair of boots, male jacket etc and some tools that are usable junkers to give the illusion there are two or more people in the site, the second "Unseen" one probably male.

This practice has fooled many folks, as I have been asked many times by folks if "You guys" or You folks" might have some water, tool, air pump or whatever they can borrow.

The mystery male can't do any real damage, but "he" may just make a less than good intentioned visitor move on to a site that appears to be an easier target.

I also used to, and should again, have a garter hanging from my rear view mirror, giving the illusion of a younger male owner.

I always let the camp host know I am on my own, and usually they keep a special eye out, stopping to make sure all is OK or making an extra trip or two in thier golf cart to check on things.

I also use intuition. If a place just doesn't *feel* right, I move on.

Curtains stay closed at nite, as it is actually easier to see inside when the trailer is lit up like an xmas tree. If they can't see anyone, they don't know HOW many are in there.

My Dad (RIP) was also very good about training me in alternative methods of self defense (Which mostly involved finding the best escape route BEFORE it may be needed) due to my size. (No, I won't fight fair or politely boys.) I always scope out the "Way Out" before I get settled in. This included how many everyday things can be used as unexpected and effective weapons that will make a perp stop for a second or two, allowing escape.

I have little fear in an RV Park, but am alert. Theft is the biggest concern there, not personal safety. It's some of the larger less maintained campgrounds, and boondocking I am wary of.

I actually feel VERY safe in a rest area, snuggled inbetween big rigs or in Wal Marts, where there is usually constant security watching.

I have found it is best to realize that THEFT means nothing, it's just stuff, all replacable and not worth putting yourself in danger for. Your ego won't pay the med bills or funeral expenses. Let them take it and and get out of your site and out of your way as quickly as possible.

Other ideas?
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Old 03-18-2006, 07:13 PM   #2
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Fabulous ideas, Gina! This should be in a brochure!

- Miriam
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Old 03-18-2006, 07:41 PM   #3
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Well done, Gina! I'll add my $.02 from 30 years of law enforcement experience.

You are responsible for your own safety. You don't need a self-defense class or a black belt to be take care of yourself. A little common sense, good observation skills, and pre-planning will go a long way to keeping you safe.

Your best defense is to pay attention to what's going on around you. If you're not comfortable somewhere for whatever reason, LEAVE. We tend to dismiss those feelings of "something's not right". Listen to them. I teach my young officers that a 'tactical retreat' is always an option.

If you find yourself in a situation that isn't safe, don't panic... think. Determine that you're not going to be a victim. Crooks can spot a victim a mile off. Don't act nervous or scared if you're confronted; be assertive. You're in control, look and act like it. Look for that escape route that Gina spoke of. Take inventory of your assets. Almost anything can serve as an improvised weapon if necessary; don't hesitate to use them. A rolled up newspaper or magazine, when used properly, can be devastating. Around your campsite you have the stuff on your picnic table, your lawn chairs, tools, firewood, all kinds of 'stuff'.

The key, as Gina explained so well, is to not get yourself into situations to begin with!


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Old 03-18-2006, 08:08 PM   #4
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Gina..
Excellent points of advise.. I too am alone and have my dogs... when they see my Doberman usually no one will come close to my campsite... I feel very safe with her even the little one will get her two cents in. both always are in the trailer with me at nite too..
I was really nervious the first time I took my first voyage out to the state park.. but I had talked to a ranger and he said they do patrol. The hosts I talked with several times and they also know I am alone.....
I am always aware of what is going on around me too.. I carry pepperspray with me...
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:08 PM   #5
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I used to never worry about security. But since I day-hike a lot while my wife stays at the Casita, I have begun to worry about that. Especially if we're using out-of-the-way National Forest campgrounds where there may be few, or no other campers.
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:25 PM   #6
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Which sort of brings up another subject. Do your wives and girlfriends know how to hitch up and get herself out of there in case of accident or emergency?
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:27 PM   #7
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I also need to say that you're generally much more safe while camping than you are at home in the 'burbs...

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Old 03-18-2006, 09:44 PM   #8
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I also need to say that you're generally much more safe while camping than you are at home in the 'burbs...

Roger
I also believe this be true. Further more, the father off the beaten track the less likely you;ll have a problem. It's been my observation that the baddies aren't going to travel very far off the main roads. Most of the problems I've heard about seem to be in the more popular places.
There's one very popular lake that it became really hard for law officers to keep up with the baddies. I had a tackle box with several hundred dollars worth of fishing gear stolen out of my canoe at that lake. I've left other more saleable stuff in the open around a remote backpacking site and not worried about it.

As for the ladies, it seems to me that the same alertness you have when walking around town would keep you safer than in town. I don't know what the numbers are but, fewer people around also means fewer baddies around.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:54 PM   #9
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Absolutely true. However, help is not quite as accessible after the fact. (Hospitals etc)

It's a long walk to help if you are boondocking.
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:44 AM   #10
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All excellent points. If a situation is turning into something very uncomfortable..DO SOMETHING, anything...but do not FREEZE. This applies to just about any situation I can think of. Hearing on the news about car jackings...the kind where someone drags someone out of a car at a stop light makes me wonder Hit the accelerator, drive on the sidewalk, go through the red light...whatever it takes. The same thing when camping. Do something..when a stranger comes into your campsite, no matter how friendly they look/sound, get out of the lawn chair. You'll have more options from a standing point, rather than struggling to get out of that chair at the least opportune time. etc.

Great topic Gina
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Old 03-19-2006, 01:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Which sort of brings up another subject. Do your wives and girlfriends know how to hitch up and get herself out of there in case of accident or emergency?
Excellent point!
This may go to a social dynamic of coupledom. How well do we share our "toys"?
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Old 03-19-2006, 04:09 PM   #12
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I also believe this be true. Further more, the father off the beaten track the less likely you;ll have a problem. It's been my observation that the baddies aren't going to travel very far off the main roads. Most of the problems I've heard about seem to be in the more popular places.
I have to disagree. I've been a backpacker since I was 15 years old (and I'm 48 now). I've backpacked so many miles of eastern trails that I can't keep track of the mileage. And I can say that the worst crime problems are at places where the scumbag locals have access to forest lands via roads. The closer you are to a passable road, the more likely you are to encounter a joy-riding redneck out to steal, vandalize, create mischief...or something worse. I've talked to rangers who tell me stories that send chills up my spine. If a louse can drive to a spot and think he can get away with something, he will do it.

Now, if that same yokel has to hike in a great distance to cause trouble, he's not going to do it. These guys are tied to their cars for the obvious reasons--laziness, quick access to a speedy escape, etc. I rarely heard of anyone having trouble with another human far from roads. But as soon as vehicle access was added to the mix...look out.
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Old 03-19-2006, 04:18 PM   #13
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BOBSMITH,


I have to agree with you. I used to be a professional landscape photographer (calendars, post cards, etc.) I've backpacked over 3,000 miles to do that...............and much of that was 30 to 60 miles from the nearest telephone pole or road. I've always felt much safer in the backwoods than near a road. I always preffered 4-legged bears to the 2-legged variety!
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:25 PM   #14
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Which sort of brings up another subject. Do your wives and girlfriends know how to hitch up and get herself out of there in case of accident or emergency?

Great point, Gina

Before my current (and final) marriage, I was alone for quite a while. But I must admit that when we decided to buy a trailer, I fell a little into the ---hook up and towing is a "guy" thing---gees, and after raising two boys alone, how could I?

However, John would not buy the "guy" thing. So, on the first day, I learned to tow, hitch-up and un-hitch, and well, it took a lot longer to learn that back up routine.

On the other hand, we met some full timers in Vermont who were working as temps at the city RV park. The husband suddenly became seriously ill, and the wife was terrified. They wanted to get back to where thier family lived, but she had never driven their rig. I don't know the ultimate outcome.

Since we like to travel quite a bit in Mexico, I know that I will never own any type of trailer or camper that I need someone else to handle.

Diane
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