Today’s world can be a scary place…especially if you are traveling alone. But for an RVer, most of these fears can be alleviated with attention to a few common-sense steps. As a single female, I’ve been traveling the country alone for more than 30 years, and have heard that incidents of violent crime increase almost every year.
That could be enough to cause some people to hole up behind barred windows with their security systems set on high alert. But I haven’t let the statistics stop me from doing what I love, mainly because I actually feel safer in an RV community. And I follow a few common sense rules for my own peace of mind.
If you’re like me and enjoy traveling, especially by RV or travel trailer, there really is no reason to lock up your wanderlust behind a wall of fear and stay home. It makes sense that if criminals are looking for easy access to belongings for theft or destruction, they would be looking in more densely populated areas. That doesn’t describe many campgrounds or boondocking sites that I know of!
Follow these steps to feel safe
So go ahead, rent that RV… and hit the road! Don’t let fear or the lack of a travel partner detour your plans! Just use these tips with a little common sense and some planning to make you feel secure when traveling alone:
- Research your destinations. Today’s technology has made it very easy to discover an enormous amount of information on campgrounds and travel destinations. Use the internet to see a street view, read reviews of the area or attraction, email administrators with your questions, and sometimes even take virtual tours
- Don’t leave valuables in sight. Just like in a car, your camera, phone, laptop and wallet should not be left in view of a passersby.
- Program your phone. Put local assistance numbers in your phone for quick access and utilize phone apps like Siren GPS, which allows you to contact the police, fire department or ambulance with your GPS location and all of your pertinent information on one button. SafeTrek is also a simple app that allows you to hold a button down UNTIL you feel safe. If you let go of the button and don’t enter a deactivation pin within a certain time limit, the app will contact local police with your GPS location.
- Carry protection, whatever that means for you. If you are not comfortable with a gun, bear spray is pretty effective on humans up to 30 feet away, and is also good to have on trails in certain areas of the country. Although you probably won’t need it, you will be glad you have it if you do.
- Put out signs that you are not alone. The old standard is two pairs of shoes outside your RV – one of them being a big pair of men’s boots. I travel with a dog, and although he likes to lick people to death, he will bark if he feels threatened. No criminal wants to draw attention to him- or herself and likely will move on.
- Trust your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t stay at a campsite if you don’t feel comfortable. Check your surroundings, talk with other campers, and if there is an inkling in your gut that says, “I just don’t feel safe here,” then leave. If you were to stay, you wouldn’t enjoy the experience anyway, so head on to another destination where you’ll be at peace.
I have found the RVing community as a whole to be quite kind and generous. They are loyal to their own and will look after one another, and as a fellow traveler, you are one of them. That’s not to say that crime doesn’t exist in the camping world. But by and large, the community is much safer than your average city subdivision. And if you take the precautions listed above, you’ll have peace of mind wherever you go.
So don’t let news headlines keep you from experiencing the gift of travel. You really can be very safe AND still explore every nook and cranny of this great country. Think about the people you’ll meet, the vistas you’ll see and the memories you’ll make traveling down a road that many never venture!