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Old 11-27-2019, 12:09 AM   #1
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Boondocking theft losses

Question for the remote boondockers out there:

I'm getting a class C in shape for pretty much full-time tripping starting in the spring. Deserts, mountains, fields, and the like.

It occurs to me that I'm putting a lot of money into stuff that will sit up on my roof for all to see: solar panels, cell antennas, TV antennas, kayaks . . .

I'll have a small motorbike with me, and plan on doing a lot of riding around in the places I stay, leaving the RV unattended for hours at a time.

Should I be worried about things disappearing? Do I need to run security cables and alarms? Do people lose expensive items off of their roofs?


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Old 11-27-2019, 12:42 AM   #2
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I have never lost anything due to theft while boondocking in the West. The only thing I lock is the (expensive) bikes. I think they might be a target.

I certainly don't think you will ever lose anything off your roof.

I also use a bike cover - for weather protection and also "out of sight, out of mind..."

I do lock the door and the outside compartments, although some say the damage a thief causes getting in would cost more $$ than anything they would take.

Excessive worry about theft would ruin the experience for me! So I don't.

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Old 11-27-2019, 02:55 AM   #3
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"Excessive worry about theft would ruin the experience for me! So I don't."

Perfect. Thanks!

(I had to ask. I figured an informed "I don't need to worry" would be better than an uninformed "What? Me worry?!" )

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Old 11-27-2019, 06:31 AM   #4
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The more remote your site the less you have to worry. It takes a lot of effort to get to where we camp. I believe since most thieves are basically lazy they can find much easier pickings closer to home. Where we are most folks are armed so it’s pretty risky to be sniffing around someone’s camp.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:56 AM   #5
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Theft from remote areas is going to be a crime of convenience. They are either going to steal the whole rig or take what they can load in a truck and carry away. They won't take the time to unbolt things. Randomly scanning a remote BLM area is not going to provide enough drug money to supply a thief so they will stick to populated areas to do their thing.
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:24 AM   #6
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Sometimes I think we watched too many cowboy shows when we were young where a band of robbers are roaming the desert or mountains looking for someone to rob. It's hard to keep that out your mind when boondocking.
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:49 AM   #7
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Only theft we ever experienced was a loss of a new camp chair, that is in 20 years of FTmng. But many times in our California stick houses.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:04 AM   #8
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Just another data point here, to add to the unanimity -- we have done a lot of boondocking and have never lost anything to theft. Thieves are bad folks but they are not fools -- they hang out where the pickings are good, which means campgrounds. The boonies are just too empty for good thieving.

Having said that, I do lock my bikes and my generator, out of habit.

And having said that, we rolled up to a campground in Utah a few years ago and started locking up our stuff. A Utah native walks over and smiles. "You folks are from California, right? Folks in Utah usually don't lock their stuff."

Bottom line -- not to worry!
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:21 AM   #9
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Keep scooter in the basement. Never lost anything, but have only been out 2 weeks at a time. Never had anyone come to my door when I am in the middle of nowhere. Took advice from people here and got my buddy a camera and motion lights for his Montana. Wireless wifi camera which is motion activated, and solar flood motion detection lights.

He can pull the camera up on his TV or phone for live views. I believe that if you boondock away from large urban areas then you will be away from homeless RVers and homeless with sticky fingers.. One night at a 24 hour Walmart was worse than every other night I spent in the middle of nowhere. You would have people walking by the RV all night, and after midnight the weirdos come out and stand there and scream for no reason.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:27 AM   #10
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I have cable with looped ends and larger than needed locks for the few things I lock up, like my generators. Things I have left unlocked did not get stolen. If out in the middle of nowhere and folks don't know you're there, they don't know you're there to steal from. If you're boondocking with a bunch of folks in an area, there will always be people that will see everything that goes on when you are away. Get to know your neighbors a little if you have them, you'll find the nosy and busybody types, and make friends with them.

You;ll either be far away from folks, or there will be others around, and you have to judge how you feel about each setting before you start setting things out.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:31 PM   #11
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We've never had anything stolen either. We keep out chairs, BBQ grill with a large propane tank.

For the kayak and generator chain them down. Many put their generator inside when leaving if it's a small one.

As stated, the more remote you are the less chance of theft.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:52 PM   #12
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Thanks, y'all. My gut feel was that this was the case, but then I pictured the withering glance of the deputy as I described the very nice equipment that used to be on my roof, and his eye-roll comment of "everybody knows . . . "

(Clicking my heels together:
There ARE no stupid questions.
There ARE no stupid questions.
There . . . .)

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Old 11-28-2019, 03:22 PM   #13
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Bobby F,

Not sure how much Boondocking you have done. As there is always some risk, the bad guys will drop by while your away. But that is true anywhere you are. The higher percentages of being left along or Okay, while Boondocking is good. Fewer people and most other campers don't go out of there way to bother someone trying to be alone. But yes it can happen where someone for who knows what will drop by your campsite.

This is why I keep a few trail camera's set up around my camper and carry a rake to clean and clean the dirt area in front. Some folks call me paranoid because of the steps I sometimes take to protect myself and to them I say, don't lock your camper as anyone with the same model key in many cases can open your RV door.

The law says we can't set up booby traps like the old man in Miami, Florida did years ago who kept getting robbed and set up a bobby trap whereby a guy has unmercifully killed the man some 30's years ago.

So in all truth, I have had four breaking into my home while I was there. All but one got away and the courts let the guy off. After I had held him at gunpoint until the police arrived. I had fixed the rear sliding doors so they could not be opened. He had broken into the backyard, but not the house where my wife and daughter were.

So my point to all of this is leave it opened or locked. If someone wants to break in, then what will you do after the fact?
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:03 PM   #14
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Never lost anything in 30 years of boondocking. I have a 35’ 1/4 “ cable with loops at both ends for a lock that I can run thru the wheels of RZR’s, bikes, BBQ, if I am at all concerned. We boondock 99.9% of the time. I would be more concerned with idiots in a Wally parking lot than in the country. 🕶

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