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RV Security

Feeling safe in camp is a necessity for enjoyment of the RV experience. You need to feel safe from personal injury and you need to feel confident that your possessions will also be safe. The safety of others is often not too high on the list, but your liability and responsibility for others and their possessions must also be a part of your considerations.

What you need to be safe from is also a consideration. The human criminals are likely what first comes to mind but there are also other threats that must be considered. Lions, and tigers, and bears ... well, bears, anyway, and other creatures can cause havoc in your camp. And there are the no-see-'ums that can make your like miserable. You need to plan in order to avoid these dangers, plan to meet them if necessary, and plan what to do if you do suffer an unfortunate encounter.

Your security is a very personal responsibility. Here are some ideas to consider as a 'start here.' Add your own knowledge, experience, and training to put security in a proper place in your RV priorities.

Avoiding dangers

The two key components to consider in avoiding danger are location and community. If you find yourself in a place that is uncomfortable or unsafe - move! If you find yourself in a community that cannot help you keep an eye on things and cannot respond to cries for help take appropriate measures to be able to secure your property and person and find help when you need it.

How can you tell if a location is unsafe? You can't really. You can only guess.

Meeting dangers

When danger attacks, you should have defense in depth. Planning to avoid dangers is the outer ring of your defense, target presentation is another ring, access is yet inside that ring, and personal demeanor and personal defense are the innermost rings of a defense in depth plan.

Target presentation is a matter of appearing to be not worth the effort. This often conflicts with a desire to 'show your stuff' but may require that you mute your visible image depending upon circumstances. If you are in unknown or dangerous locales, try to avoid showing anything to attract attention or indicate that you have something worth stealing.

Access is a matter of locking doors and otherwise putting physical barriers in the way of a thief in order to slow them down and make their efforts more noticeable. Keep in mind that locked doors may have limited security. Most RV storage lockers, especially, have common keys and their locks are easily breached. RV's are not built to be strong against break-in and door locks and such should be considered more of a way to make you aware that someone is trying to get in.

You can also inhibit access by distraction and misdirection. Keep ignition keys separate from house keys so anyone trying to steal your rig will have to search to find the ignition keys. Store valuables out of site and in such a way that you have to dig a bit to get to them (don't worry about trying to hide them - thieves probably know more about hiding habits than you do). The idea is not to prevent access but to inhibit access and make it more trouble than it is worth. But keep in mind that your RV is a vehicle and can be stolen to move all your property to someplace where a thief can take his time tearing it apart to remove any valuables. Bears also don't mind tearing apart vehicles on the spot if they smell food.

Personal demeanor is also a factor to consider in meeting danger. Calm, cool, and collected may be a bit much to ask from a person faces with imminent danger but they do represent a demeanor most likely to encourage meeting that danger with utmost success. At this point, the issue is one-on-one driven by raw emotion and raging hormones. You do not want to stimulate any behavior escalation if at all possible. The usual advice is to go along for the ride and not to do anything to cause your attacker (man or animal) to feel threatened or suspicious.

But there is a point where the attack crosses the line and it appears that you will having nothing to loose. Or it may be that you have special skills and equipment that you are willing to use to up the ante for the attacker. This is where personal defense comes in. You need to know where this point is for you and what you can or should do in various circumstances.


Surviving has three components to consider. Most critical is the immediate health and safety in treatment of any injury. Second is physical comfort such as if you get left standing in a parking lot in your pajamas in the middle of the night while a thief drives off with your property. Third is the recovery from the emotional impact of being a victim of loss or injury. The first step in surviving is to call for help. Second is to take care of urgent requirements. Third is to collect the resources you will need for healing. And finally you will need to use those resources to help you recover as completely as possible.

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