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Old 03-26-2016, 08:09 PM   #1
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Leaving Trailer at Campsite?

Hello, all.

I just recently signed a purchase agreement for a Riverside RV Waterfall 819 Toy Hauler. This is the first thing I'll ever tow, let alone being my first travel trailer. I'm planning out a fall trip with this beast and, because I'm going to be going through the historical east coast, I'm wanting to travel to a few cities to see the sites. I don't really want to haul a trailer through Boston, so I'd want to park it at my campsite. The question is, how safe is this to do?

Since this is a toy hauler, I could keep it hitched up to my car and simply take my motorcycle into town but, then, my dog can't join me and the wife in town trips. Ideally, I'd want to be able to drop the hitch and ride off in the car with the wife and pooch and leave our trailer as a home base in the campground that I can return to in the evening.

What are your thoughts on this and what safeguards should I put into place to protect my new asset?


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Old 03-26-2016, 08:21 PM   #2
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We have been tent, popup and now TT camping from FL to NY as far West as Kentucky since 1988 and have never had a problem with anything coming up missing or vandalized. If we were gone for a few hours I would leave everything out but lock the camper, if overnight I would put everything inside and lock it.

I guess it could also be your location. The closest we ever camped to a big city was Red Top Mountain in GA. I probably wouldn't camp close to Chicago, Detroit, DC, etc.

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Old 03-26-2016, 08:27 PM   #3
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We have left our MH for 5 day in state park in FL to fly to MN for Xmas. Told the park ranger and provided our phone number if anything came up. Unhooked water but left electic on to keep fridge running. Not a problem, just let someone know if you are going to be gone over night.
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:32 PM   #4
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Glad you joined us.

This is something we all do. Park our MHs, travel trailers,5th wheels etc. and go out. I think the key is to see what protection your campground provides, some have attended gates, some have gated entrances. Some have security patrols. I have never had anything taken while I was away. But it could always happen at the next place. Good locks minimize the threats.

Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:44 PM   #5
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That's what probably most of us do when traveling - explore. Sure, something can happen while gone but the chances are low.
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:51 PM   #6
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Yup - leave it in the campsite - that is what they are for.

In terms of precautions, most people just park it, lock it up, and leave it. You could put in a hitch lock, which is cheap insurance.
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:54 PM   #7
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Thanks, all, for the rapid responses and the warm welcome. Most times, when I'm camping at campgrounds, it's because I want to enjoy that particular park. I leave the tent set up and put valuables in the locked car then set out hiking. I guess I always felt that people couldn't estimate my away time with the car there, so there would be less temptation to take anything. And taking my tent and sleeping bags would never have been a great loss. A livable trailer, on the other hand, would be somewhat more tempting.

I'll be using an Equal-I-Zer WD hitch. Should I worry about any sort of aftermarket locks (hitch club or something?) or, since it's going to be partially disassembled when I unhitch, is it not a worry? I've always felt that the camping community was pretty friendly and "worry about your fellow man" but I want to make sure I'm not naive.

And, I know I said that I want to take the pooch with me but there may be occasions that the wife and I would want to venture out on our own (Kayaking off the coast of Maine). How do you all feel about leaving pets in the camper for a few hours?

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Old 03-26-2016, 08:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Idiotfool View Post
And, I know I said that I want to take the pooch with me but there may be occasions that the wife and I would want to venture out on our own (Kayaking off the coast of Maine). How do you all feel about leaving pets in the camper for a few hours?

As long as they have plenty of water, the A/C on and maybe something to listen to or watch.

But if your dog barks incessantly while you're gone you may have the Host or Ranger talking to you when you get back.
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:03 PM   #9
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Make sure you leave your electric on for Air conditioning for pooch.
Tell the camp hosts or someone if you are going to be gone more than a few hours in case of a fire or something. give them your number so they can contact you should a problem arise say like dog barking endlessly. Might leave music or tv on for company and noise masking for pooch.
Takes a pretty big towing vehicle for a toy hauler... not just anyone can back up, hitch up and make off with it... get a hitch lock if it makes you feel better...
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:10 PM   #10
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Lockable wheel chocks: Look up BAL X-Chocks, they go on sale quite often at Camping world.

For a hitch lock, look up https://www.megahitchlock.com/ . It just might be the best one available.

I use both of the above, and a good lock and chain for my gennies ( Pewag 3/8" Security Chain Kit - 6 ft Chain & Padlock ) and I have had no problems, full timimg since August last year, mostly boondocking.

Yes, eventually someone will come and try to take my gennies away or steal something. I'm sure it will happen eventually. I'm not immune to theft, but I try to do things to convince folks to look for an easier target. If you stay in an RV park/campground, there will always be an easier target somewhere for the quick grab and run thief.

Buy a couple of good locks, lock it up if that helps makes you feel better, and enjoy your trip! Our nation's history is very interesting, and I envy you a little for the education you are about to embark on.

Have fun, and prepare your rig as you like so that you can have fun while you're away from it. Don't worry about the folks that tell you that locks may be a waste of money and effort, this is about what you want so you can feel secure in knowing your stuff will be there when you get back.

I personally have never heard of an RV being stolen from an RV park or campground outside of Alaska, and that was only one instance that was reported here on IRV2, but I have the locks to make myself feel better leaving it alone in fairly remote places, and I am pretty certain that everything else might be stolen, but my home will still be there when I get back.

Bottom line, have fun!!! If you have half as much fun as I have, you're gonna have a great time!
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:21 PM   #11
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DH has limited mobility so can't hike/bike etc. so often all we do all day is explore in the truck. We might leave early to eat breakfast at the nearest interesting restaurant and return at the end of the day to go to bed. Never had a problem. We do take our dog with us if it is more than a couple of hours.
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:39 PM   #12
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This is what insurance is for. So that we don't have to worry. Go do what you need to do with the wife and pooch. Enjoy. I find the camping/RV community to be one of the most honest and loyal that can be. No point buying things if your going to constantly worry about them.
Life is too short for that!
Just go enjoy my friend.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:38 AM   #13
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Regarding the WD hitch, I remove mine when not in use and lock it up.
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:24 AM   #14
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We have been dropping our camper on a campsite and going off wandering for probably close to 50 years. To date, nothing has ever come up missing though we are more careful these days then in the past. We seldom leave much more then lawn chairs out and if going for more then an hour, at least drop the corner of the awning though that is no guarantee that wind or a gully washer wont take it out (as I found out a couple years ago). Being careful with possessions left out, notifying the park office if gone more then a day is about all you need to do. One consideration - if your compartment locks use a CH-751 key, change them as probably 80-90 percent of ALL towables have that key as OEM. When we had a TT, I left everything about the hitch attached but locked with a heavy duty Master lock or put it a compartment. Even the current RV's 5th wheel hitch is locked to the truck.

You need to exercise caution but not to a paranoid level - campers are usually not thieves.

Dave W along with my DW, Susan and our poodlepups, Callie & Molly,2011 Ford F250 6.7 CCLB, 5er Hitch Option w/B&W Hitch,,Ride Rite air bags, 2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')
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