RV Safety Travel Tips

While enjoying the open road we must be alert to RV safety issues. We have had several close calls while full-timing and we’ve only been at it a few years.

Close Encounters of the Criminal Kind

Our first encounter was at 3:00 am in Arizona near a fancy restaurant of a strip mall in an upscale retail area. We were awakened by the screeching of tires as a couple of muscle cars skidded around our motor-home. Hooting and howling they came extremely close to hitting us. As soon as they drove off we seized the opportunity, threw open the curtains and drove off. We were concerned for our personal and RV safety and didn’t want to take a chance on them coming back for more games.

While traveling from Oregon to California we decided to pull behind a shopping center around 5:00 pm to get something to eat. The shopping center was busy with people everywhere and a security guard trolling the parking areas. We had our new ’09 fifth-wheel in tow with our Sterling semi. Don pulled the rig into an open area and walked towards our car. No sooner had we began to pull away we noticed a car pull into the parking area and circle our rig. The driver pulled over gabbed his cell phone and began pointing at our rig and gesturing to hurry. We circled back to our rig and parked beside it. As soon as we did the driver hid his face and pulled away. He was still on the phone and we noticed he didn’t go far. The driver hid in the parked cars waiting for an opportunity. Needless to say we didn’t give him one. Don waved over security and the two of them watched the rig while I quickly grabbed food for the road. Even though it was broad daylight, with security and lots of people this guy was planning on a road trip with our rig.

RV Safety Travel Tips

  1. When choosing a place to rest remember even in the best areas in broad-daylight with lots of folks around your rig can be taken or broken into. Your best defense is to stay alert and don’t leave it unattended.
  2. When choosing a place to stay overnight an RV park is generally your safest bet. If we can’t find a park or we just want to dry camp we always look for a truck stop. It might be a little noisy, but there is a lot of activity and people around. Many truck stops now have RV parking and you can pull right in next to other RVs. The Truckers Friend is a directory of Truck Stops that lists RV facilities nationwide. Don’t park on the side of the street or shopping center unless they have overnight security that allows it. City parks can be havens for criminal activity after dark. Don’t risk it.
  3. Another option is to try the local hospital parking lot. We have parked overnight at Loma Linda in California. There is a guard on duty 24/7.
  4. We never stay overnight in roadside rest areas anymore. It’s just too dangerous. We may stop for a quick bite to eat, or stretch the legs, but never overnight.
  5. Recent news reports have shown RV windows and doors to be vulnerable to break-ins. In minutes a thief can be inside your RV. The compartments can easily be opened with a screw driver and the door keys on many RVs are common and readily available to anyone.

Practical Advice

Our best advice for travel safety; Plan your trip and enjoy parking in RV parks along your journey. If a park isn’t available look for truck stops with RV parking. You should look for places where traffic, bright lights and continuous activity will deter criminals. Stay alert, never leave your rig unattended while traveling and carry a cell phone for emergencies.

If you’ve encounter RV safety problems on the road we’d like to post your story on our website as advice to other RVers. Send us your stories on our Contact Us page.

Helpful Links:

RV Safety Travel Tips & Checklist

How to Calculate your Cargo Carrying Capacity

Check out the handy Road Trip Planner from the Road Trip Team providing the most creative ideas, the absolute best free games, and low-budget options for your road trip vacation.