Pulling up to the RV park or campground after a long day on the road is one of the greatest feelings you can have traveling. You can breathe easy knowing your mission is accomplished now that you've arrived at your destination, and the time for setting up camp and kicking back is finally here.
Before you put your feet up and let your guard down completely, however, remember that whenever you embark on any travel adventure, it's important to keep a few safety tips in mind. The world of RVing is no different, and while RV parks almost always offer safe environments, it's never a bad idea to take some simple preventative measures to ensure your stay ends on a happy, upbeat note.
Whether you're new to the RV lifestyle or could just use a refresher of RV park safety tips, here are a few pieces of advice to help keep your possessions safe so that you can seal in some peace of mind during your next campground stay:
Always Keep Your RV Locked
Your RV serves as your home-on-the-road, so naturally, it's important to treat it as such. Most of us lock our home doors anytime we leave the house - regardless of what kind of reputation our neighborhood has - and the same tactic is useful when residing in your fifth wheel or travel trailer. To be as effective as possible, make sure all points of entry are sealed shut if you leave, including windows. It also helps to pull blinds shut so that any valuable items in your RV aren't advertising themselves in plain sight. This is one of the simplest ways to reduce the risk of any theft, and it really doesn't add any inconvenience to your situation. It's best to make sure all of your passengers have a key so that they can come, go, and lock up as needed.
On a similar note, you may even want to consider changing your RV's locks, as some RV manufacturers create their locks to be the same on many rigs, meaning that another person's RV key could open your storage compartment or even your entrance.
Consider Locking Valuables in a Safe
Locking your RV when you leave is the first step against theft you can take, but it isn't foolproof. If you have items that are extremely valuable, sentimental, or hard to replace, you may want to think about putting them into a safe.
Special pieces of jewelry, wallets, passports, IDs, etc. are all examples of things that would make a safe worthwhile, as no one wants the stress of trying to deal with replacing a driver's license during their vacation in a state or location they're not familiar with.
If you truly want to ensure that you and your belongings are as secure as possible, you can also look into installing an RV alarm system.
Research the Campground Ahead of Time
Knowledge is power, so take your time and research each campground you plan to stay at ahead of time. Here are a few questions to ponder that will help you assess if the RV park seems like a safe bet:
- Are the reviews of the RV park positive or negative?
- Do RVers seem willing to go back?
- Is the park located in a safe area?
- Does the RV park offer security measures, such as on-site patrol, video surveillance, etc.?
- Is the RV park enclosed, or would it be easy for non-campers to waltz in?
Clean Up Outdoor Belongings When You Step Away From Your RV
If you bring quite a bit of your own gear to set up your campsite with, you may want to consider packing it up if you'll be stepping away from your campsite for a long period of time. Patio furniture, awning mats, firewood, etc. can be inconvenient and/or expensive to replace, so if this is a concern for you, consider spending a few minutes locking everything away before you go exploring.
Possible theft isn't the only reason why you should pack away your loose items, as humans are less likely to stir up trouble than a wave of turbulent weather. Weather can be unpredictable, and failing to think ahead could result in expensive repairs and lost items. Because of this, you should also retract your RV's awning before leaving your campsite for a long period of time, as wailing winds could tear it off of your rig, ruining your awning and even causing possible injury to those around it.
RV parks aren't generally breeding grounds for trouble, human-caused or otherwise, but it never hurts to take a few cautionary measures. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so remember that if it makes you and your passengers feel safe and sound, any protective measure is more than worth it. Happy travels!
By Darla Preston
Darla Preston is a writer and traveler, and though her home base is in Colorado, she wanders the country off and on with her husband and two blue heelers. She frequently contributes to RV and travel-related publications, and she always has her sights on new places to explore. All opinions expressed in this article are her own.