For people that are new to RV camping and even seasoned campers, safety is an issue that always seems to crop up time and time again. This is very understandable as news channels are always littered with sad stories of different crimes. In this post, we will be offering some safety tips, talking about the different crimes that are likely to occur in campgrounds and making sure that you don't regret setting out on the RV trail.
Despite the massive influx of people that go through campgrounds on a daily basis, RV campgrounds are safe. The odds of being a victim or a major crime in an RV campground are 1 in 25,000. That's much lower than in many residential areas in the US. Some campgrounds are safe than others, depending on the number of people in the area and what kinds of security systems are in place.
We understand that it may be difficult to allay your fears with a few paragraphs. That is why we have decided to break campground security down for you. Keep reading as we discuss the types of crimes that may take place in a campground, safety instructions and tips on finding the safest campsite for you.
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Crime in RV Campgrounds
RV campgrounds are considered by many to be safe havens where one can relax and connect with mother nature. And that's true, for the most part.
However, there is no good without the bad. We both know that crimes occur everywhere. Your preferred RV campground is no different. The good news is that most of these crimes prove to be petty and inconsequential to personal safety. After going through a couple of campground blogs and forums, we can split campground crimes into two broad groups. They are
- Petty Crimes
- Major Crimes
Petty Crimes in RV Campgrounds
When talking about RV campgrounds safety, petty crimes are really the main concern, as they are far more common. The incidence of these crimes is still low, but sometimes they do happen.
Some avid campers reported that they have never witnessed a petty crime take place. Others have tales of criminals trying to steal household appliances, gas cylinders and trying to break into parked RVs. The best thing about petty crimes is that you can stop them by just being security-conscious. Locking your RV with a deadbolt, keeping all windows locked, and keeping all valuables hidden and out of sight can deter the odd petty criminal.
Major Crimes in RV Campgrounds
As mentioned earlier, the odds of you being a victim of a major crime in an RV campground are extremely low. Most campgrounds have security systems put in place to stop them from happening.
We are far from criminals, but we have seen many action movies. We can conclude that major crimes require a lot of planning and timed execution. On any given day, a lot of people move in and out of RV campgrounds. The large number of people and unpredictable factors present seem to always deter perpetrators of major crimes. Apart from the odd bomb scare which usually proves to be a prank call, significant crimes in RV campgrounds are few and far between. Well, except you are the 1 in 25,000.
Still not convinced, why don't we talk about the security systems used in the average campground?
Campground Security Systems
With the number of high tech equipment available, you can be sure that campground authorities are using tech to secure their facilities. Total security can only be achieved with the help of every member of the community. However, it all starts with the administrative authorities at the campground.
The following are a few security measures adopted at campgrounds:
In most campgrounds, there is always an eye in the sky watching your every move. Of course, these cameras are not situated in your private spaces. However, as long as a particular area is public, the chances are high that it is covered by surveillance cameras. Even criminals know this. Since nobody wants to be caught on camera carrying out criminal activities, surveillance cameras do a pretty good job of stopping crime at campgrounds.
They say that charity begins at home. Well, in this case, it starts at the front door. Most campgrounds have heavy gates, speed bumps and security checkpoints at all access points. It may seem inconsequential to you, but we can guarantee that it contributes to the air of security around a campground. These checkpoints are there to prevent nefarious elements from gaining access to the campground and by extension, you.
Nothing like a good old security guard doing his rounds to make sure that you are safe. Even prisons make use of security patrols, and so do RV campgrounds. These days, they have security teams split into different shifts to make sure that your property and life is safe. What more could you want!
How to Pick a Safe Campground
Staying safe starts with you. Before you commit days - or possibly weeks - of your life to living in a particular campground, it would do you well to carry out a little research. You don't just want to necessarily stay in the first campground you come across. Except when it is an impromptu decision, there are certain factors that you should take into consideration when selecting a campground.
Here are a few tips to make sure that you don't make the wrong decision.
Make sure the campground has a working security system
Before committing to an RV campground, do a little bit of research. Make sure that the campground has a functioning security system. As highlighted above, you should check for the presence of surveillance cameras, an able-bodied security patrol and security checkpoints at strategic locations.
Choose a campground where you see others are staying too
Location is an essential factor that affects the safety of an RV campground. When you think about it, a campsite will be safer if it is closer to other people. You don't want to stay somewhere deserted, compromising your safety for a few bucks.
And yes, it's a delicate balance between privacy, peace, and quiet on one hand, and safety on the other. As you gain more experience RVing, you'll find the right point for you.
Talk to other RVers
In as much as you have the internet at your disposal, you should endeavor to talk to other people who have stayed at the RV campground in question. Join RV forums, read the comments on their blogs and check out the campground's website. This should give you a pretty rough idea of how safe the campground will be.
Personal Safety Tips
- Always lock up your RV whenever you want to leave the campground. Even if it is only for a short period, lock up to deter perps. All outside storage spaces should also be afforded the same level of security.
- Keep your shades and window blinds down. This is the best way to eliminate temptations. You don't want your RV to become an object of interest.
- Try as much as possible to park near other RVers. The expression "safety in numbers" also applies in RV campgrounds. If you are near other campers, they can watch out for you and vice versa.
- Install security equipment in your RV — alarms, motion detectors and deadbolts all serve as a deterrence. Apart from protecting your person, they also prevent your RV from being stolen. Read more in our guide on how to prevent your RV from getting stolen.
- As much as possible, try to avoid carrying cash and precious objects. It is far safer to rely on credit and debit cards.
- When moving around the campground, walk in pairs and avoid dark areas.
- If you're carrying arms in your RV, keep them securely locked so no one else can steal them, or use them against you when breaking and entering.
Staying over at an RV campground is an enjoyable experience. Don't let your fears concerning safety stop you. RV campgrounds are a haven. As long as you follow my suggestions on selecting a safe one, you will be fine. Don't forget to have fun!
Still worried about taking the plunge? Read this post to see whether an RV vacation is right for you.
Don't forget to comment — let us know about your personal experience and any other security tips!