Is RV Camping Safe?

Father and daughter camping by the campfire

Camping is seen as a good wholesome way to enjoy family fun and also a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. It provides us with a way to get away from it all when we’ve had a rough week at work or we just have an itching to get out in nature and enjoy something different.

I work behind the computer most of my days and camping is a great way for me to get out and enjoy different sites, hearing nature sounds and enjoy being up close and personal with the great outdoors.

Sometimes we get so involved in our modern lives that we forget to take the time and enjoy the simpler things in life. Camping allows us to unwind, unplug and enjoy a more primitive style of living.

We, humans, were not made to sit in offices all day and nature helps us to get back on track. We live in our plush homes with modern conveniences and it’s good to get back to nature and be able to enjoy something simple and free from worries.

The only problem is, some people worry that safety could be a concern when out on the road camping.

Is this reality? Is it safe to camp in an RV?

Camping in an RV is relatively safe and free from the worries of crimes or other misfortunes. Although there are rare occasions when bad things happen, these times are the exception instead of the rule. The majority of campers remain safe during their camping expeditions.

The people you will meet in RV circles are among the kindest people you will meet. Besides the occasional trouble maker, you can expect a pleasant experience no matter where you park your camper.

Not only can an RV provide more convenience for the outdoor and adventure seeker, but it can also provide added safety over more primitive camping options.

When I was first getting into camping, I wondered how safe camping in an RV actually was. I have been tent camping most of my life and during my time in the Marine Corps, I did my fair share of all kinds of “camping.”

There are often worries of safety that go beyond crime from other people when using these types of camping methods. Thoughts of bears entering your tent or a massive thunderstorm with lightning in the area come to mind. Both of these can be stressful for those who are camping without the safety of four walls and a solid roof.

However, those in RVs do not usually have to worry about such things. Although a thunderstorm may be scary, you are fairly safe from the elements within your RV. A bear walking by isn’t likely to even attempt to get inside your RV and probably wouldn’t be able to anyway.

In this way, RVs provide a great deal of safety for those who may have doubts.

The rigid walls of an RV make for a safe place to lay your head and rid yourself of worries that you might have in a tent.

RV Parks vs Boondocking

When staying in an RV Park, you have the added benefit of a community of people who are generally looking out for each other. This isn’t always the case but for the most part, if something bad happens, others will come to your aid more often than not.

RV Parks have staff and, in some cases, security. They are sometimes gated and free from non-residents passing through. Camping in a place like this can be very safe and you shouldn’t have any concerns about bad things happening.

Boondocking leaves you on your own in remote places which could be good or bad, depending on the person. For me, I’m happy with boondocking and feel a sense of security knowing that no one is around. You may not always be alone when boondocking but there will probably be limited campers dispersed throughout an area.

On one hand, it would be out of the way for an evil-doer to seek out a boondocker to commit a crime. On the other hand, if something were to happen, you’d be mostly alone with no one nearby to come to your rescue.

Although boondocking is generally safe, it is something to consider and decide which option you are more comfortable with. I enjoy both but I really enjoy getting off the beaten path and pulling into an off-grid spot for the night. I feel safe and peaceful as I camp in the middle of nowhere with only nature as my friend.

Others may not feel this way and opt to only stay in areas where other people may always be close by. This is a judgment call that you should make by listening to your intuition.

3 Common Camping Fears

Other people committing crimes

Robberies, assault, and other crimes may be at the forefront of people’s minds. This can be especially true for solo travelers.

Having the fear that others may hurt you while out on your trip can usually be tamed by using common sense. Avoiding sketchy areas and always locking your doors are two starting points for anyone traveling in an RV.

If you do travel alone, make sure someone knows where you are at all times. RV communities are generally some of the nicest people you will meet and you will likely feel very safe and comfortable in RV parks.

Wild animals (Bears)

No one wants to be eaten by a bear and you never know what you will see in nature. Many people fear the day when they come face to face with a scary, aggressive animal.

However, this isn’t usually a problem for those in RVs or for people who camp using other means. While you may see bears or other wild animals in places that you camp, it isn’t likely that you’ll have to fend any of them off.

Common sense prevails here as well and you can avoid any problems by knowing your area and being prepared.

I travel a lot in the Smokey Mountains and there are many bears in the area but I have never had any issues whatsoever. Keep your food and trash put away and don’t make your area a target for bears and you’ll be just fine.

If you are in an area where bears may be, you might consider having bear spray in your RV. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it but if you need it, you’ll have it.

Inclement weather

Camping during a thunderstorm, hailstorm, high winds, and other bad weather conditions isn’t fun and camping with little protection from the storm can be scary.

An RV provides a good amount of shelter from a storm. You wouldn’t want to be in an RV during a major storm such as a hurricane or tornado but the normal thunderstorm is no big deal.

A vehicle is protected from lightning so you are safe from lightning strikes in an RV. High winds, torrential downpours, hail, and other bad weather conditions my do some damage but you’ll most likely be safe inside your rig.

10 Tips For Staying Safe In Your RV

Traveling in an RV is a fairly safe way to travel but there are many things you can do to make sure that you are maximizing your security. The following list outlines ten ways in which you can make your journey a little safer.

1. Trust Your Gut

You know when something feels off. Your body has a way of telling you that something just isn’t right. I have pulled up to places before and thought that something just didn’t feel safe about the place. If your gut is telling you something like this, it’s best to listen to it and get out of there.

2. Park your RV for an easy escape

If you happen to be in an area where you feel a little uncomfortable, make sure you have your RV in a position that makes it quick to leave. This isn’t always easy to do if you have a fifth-wheel or large trailer but a motorhome can pack up and be gone pretty quick.

3. Research before you go

We are in the Information Age so there is no reason to arrive at a place knowing nothing about it. Unless, of course, you have no internet access and can’t do your due diligence. In this case, you will need to listen to your gut. Otherwise, make sure you research an RV park, campground or boondocking site before you arrive.

4. Install an alarm system

There are multiple options for installing a security alarm in your RV. You may choose to use a camera system that will allow you to view surrounding areas or traditional loud-sounding alarms that go off if someone were to open a door.

An alarm like this will alert others in the area and the perpetrator will likely flee. If you don’t want to install an actual alarm system, a fake alarm sticker on your window can help to ward off potential criminals.

5. Always keep your doors locked

Make sure your doors are locked at all times. You’d be surprised at how many people ignore this and leave their rigs open and unattended. This makes an easy target for burglars. Even if you are in an area where you feel safe, it’s still best to keep your doors locked. You just never know what could happen so it’s best to be safe rather than sorry.

6. Travel with a dog

A dog can be the best security system that you can have in an RV. They will alert you when something is wrong and scare other would-be criminals aways by barking and calling attention to the area. Besides being your best friend, they will be your protectors and will give their lives to protect you.

7. Properly maintain your RV

Caring for your RV is a great way to stay safe out on the road. You don’t want to break down in a sketchy part of town because you didn’t properly maintain your engine or have a tire blowout because you didn’t check and fill the air in your tires. Stick to a maintenance routine and keep your RV running in tip-top shape.

8. Keep windows covered

Don’t allow others to see in your RV, especially if you are a solo traveler. It’s best to keep it a mystery about what is inside your RV. You don’t want would-be criminals knowing the situation of what might be waiting for them behind the walls of your RV. Windows covered and a dog inside will go a long way in warding off evildoers.

9. Make sure other people know where you are

Even if you are not traveling alone, it’s good to keep someone in the loop on where you are at all times. Keep your family or a friend notified of your whereabouts when you are out camping, especially if you are traveling and are staying at different places regularly.

10. Carry self-defense weapons in your RV

If you are legally able to carry a gun, it can be a huge help if you were to run into problems while out on the road. If not, there are non-lethal ways that you can protect yourself and items that you can easily carry in your RV.

Pepper spray, stun guns, tasers, batons, fire extinguishers, knives, and personal alarms are a few items that can help you protect yourself. You could also opt for a baseball bat that stores near your door as an easy-to-grab weapon.

No matter what type of weapon you choose to carry, make sure these items are legal in the state or area that you will be camping in and that you have any necessary licenses.

Bottom Line

Many of the concerns that people have about safety in their RV are unfounded and based on unreal expectations that have been popularized in movies or books.

It’s common to hear about the rare case of something happening to a camper and assume that it’s a dangerous world out there. However, camping isn’t dangerous and is fairly safe.

The best way to stay safe in your RV? Use good old-fashioned common sense.

In general, camping is a very safe activity and most RVers that you’ll meet are very responsible and welcoming.

This community usually consists of older adults who simply want to enjoy their time. When you pull into a campground or RV park, you will usually be surrounded by people who want to enjoy their trip just as much as you do.

It’s also a community of people who understand each other and look out for one another.

Camping in an RV is fun and can be a very enjoyable and safe experience as long as you are prepared and make common sense choices on your trip.

Dan Collins

I consider myself an outdoor enthusiast. I love to travel and go to places that most people don't get a chance to go. I want to see it all and live life to the fullest while I'm alive. My camper van is helping me to do just that. I write about my experiences to help inspire others to do the same.

Recent Content