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Old 03-23-2013, 08:52 PM   #183
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:27 PM   #184
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OK as a 35 year veteran and current big city police officer I will weigh in.
Here are a few things that we should all keep in mind about personal safety and the use of deadly force.

1. Being aware of your surroundings, risks, etc will help you to make better decissions to begin with. Prevention is always better than responding. Who would park their coach in the middle of a gang fight and get out of it? Pay attention to where you are. I bought a coach so I could have options when traveling.

2. Use of deadly force laws vary from state to state. Before any of us (cops included) decide to start using guns, we must first carefully reflect on what that might end up meaning. I know their are folks who will say and believe that they would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6, but there is a whole lot more that needs to be said. You or I might be darn justified to shoot at a person threatning us, but it is darn easy to miss and hit an inocent person. We will be held responsible!

3. It is not easy to kill a man. Taking human life, even in self defense is going to seriously complicate your life and that of your families. Right or wrong you will be scrutinized by local law enforcement and the courts for any use of deadly force (some areas that we like to camp have far less contemporary law enforcement and judicial systems then where we live and work). Yes you have the right to use deadly force in most states (better check the laws when you travel) but you will most likely end of defending your actions in court and you will most likely be spending some money!

4. If you are going to rely on a weapon (especially a gun and most especially a semi-auto pistol) you had best know how to use it well. You should practice regularly in realistic scenarios, you should understand what it will do and not do, you should care for it and keep fresh amo in it. Most importantly, have a gun you can shoot accurately in the scenario you expect to encounter, have a gun that you have when you need it, and the correct amo in it! Not every gun works well in every combat scenario!

5. Practice, practice, practice! In self defense you will not be shooting at stationary paper or cans. You will probably have an adrenalin dump, a heart rate of about 190 and you will probably have old information in other words you will be in reactive mode not proactive mode. If you examine the statistics, cops don't do a great job of hitting their targets under stress and most of us practice a lot! A good way to test this, is to exercise at a rate that you would call extreme for about 15 minutes and then shoot your gun with your off hand. That will aproximate how well you will do in a real gun battle!

If you consider all that I just said, and there is a lot I have not said, you might see that having a good awareness of where you are camping is a smart move.

If you are not willing to do the work in order to have confidence that a gun will save you, I suggest changing your plans and being very proactive about where you stay. Or chosing a different self defense system: Base ball bat, pepper spray, making sure that where you camp has a cell phone signal.

If however, you are scared day or night, a motorhome is a pretty strong and secure place to be. You are up high, and if you stay low and in the middle of the coach it would be darn hard to hit you! Making noise, turning on lights, calling 911, and if possible driving away would be my first choices.

Never open the door. I am a cop not a doctor, I am not opening my door for anyone if I have any suspision or concern. I am not talking about some small child in freezing weather, I am talking about walk ups in the dark. If they are not in the coach with you, it will take them a long time to get in.

At the end of the day, this is a worthy topic for travelers to discuss. Like with fire safety, we should have a plan, practice the plan, and then try to use the plan should an emergency occur.

Best Regards,

Dave
Dave, Thanks for you expertise. We just bought our first MH and are an older couple. This subject has been a concern. You furnished some good pointers.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:23 PM   #185
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When overnighting while traveling between the relative safety of campgrounds i.e. Walmarts, truck stops and you get a knock on the door in the middle of the night - how do you handle that? It could be a good semaritan telling you of something, a cop or a criminal. We are new to this and wondering what most do!
Only my laundry man would know !!
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:16 AM   #186
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Only my laundry man would know !!


One should not refer to one's DW as his "laundry man".
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:02 AM   #187
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I had this happen once in a walmart parking lot by security personell. if it happened in the dark secluded area you shouldn't be in in the first place. don't answer the door. Speak loudly and ask who it is. hold your weapon at their chest level, and consider the cost of repairing the door later. cops have an almost impossible job and it's unrealistic to assume they will get there in time when called. your responsible for your families safety. if there is to be a report written about the incident, be the one present to sign it.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:00 AM   #188
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"and consider the cost of repairing the door later.
Really?
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:29 AM   #189
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Ok ..I'm gonna unsubscribe from this conversation ....in the years of camping ,boondocking ,tenting ...I have never had any problems ..other then chasing a bear away from the campground ..I do believe you will find problems if you look for them ..or worry enough that they are drawn to you ..if you want a safe and fun place to go ...Port Renfrew ..or Tofino or nearly anywhere on vancouver Island will make you happy ..so ..take care ..and if you come over here ...coffee is on at 6:30 am ..bring your own cup...
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:57 AM   #190
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Ok ..I'm gonna unsubscribe from this conversation ....in the years of camping ,boondocking ,tenting ...I have never had any problems ..other then chasing a bear away from the campground ..I do believe you will find problems if you look for them ..or worry enough that they are drawn to you ..if you want a safe and fun place to go ...Port Renfrew ..or Tofino or nearly anywhere on vancouver Island will make you happy ..so ..take care ..and if you come over here ...coffee is on at 6:30 am ..bring your own cup...
And I, OTH have had to show I would not be a victim in 2004 in Wyoming. Glad I was not a statistic BTW.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:24 AM   #191
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I was awoke at 2 am with hard knocking while in a Walmart lot. Earlier I asked the roving patrol and was given permission. I entered 911 on my cell and kept my finger near the send button. I flipped on only the exterior lights and loudly asked who is it. He said patrol. I asked him if he was armed and to place his ID against the window. checked it with a flash light. Never told him I was. I did not open the door, remained in the dark, and we spoke thru a side window. Happens that He was not informed of my being given permission.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:31 AM   #192
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I was awoke at 2 am with hard knocking while in a Walmart lot. Earlier I asked the roving patrol and was given permission. I entered 911 on my cell and kept my finger near the send button. I flipped on only the exterior lights and loudly asked who is it. He said patrol. I asked him if he was armed and to place his ID against the window. checked it with a flash light. Never told him I was. I did not open the door, remained in the dark, and we spoke thru a side window. Happens that He was not informed of my being given permission.
Was overnight parking not allowed at this Walmart because it would not make sense for parking to be allowed based on individual permission and have security check each unit in the middle of the night to see if they asked. You will never know for sure if this guy was actually who he claimed. You were very wise in not opening the door.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:48 PM   #193
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I asked at the CS desk at one WM and was told "it depends on who the security guard is that night."
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:27 AM   #194
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This is exactly why we dont boondock or stay in Wal Mart parking lots. You never know whos on the other side of that door. If its not a cop knocking you could be in trouble in todays economy. Crime is rising If its cop he might shoot you if he sees a gun. If its a crook he might shoot you anyway even if he doesnt see anything. And remember He could shout out "police open up" Now is it a cop or someone up to no good. I admit its not very probable any of this would happen. But it does give a reason for caution. Im sure somewhere along the line these circumstances have happened
I've stayed at perhaps 50 Wal Marts for overnight sleeping. I've never had a problem. However when I paid to spend the night in a Florida State forest my motorcycle was stolen in the middle of the night. Which one is the safest, a well lite parking lot or a dark forest?
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:11 PM   #195
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...coffee is on at 6:30 am ..bring your own cup...
6:30 AM!!!!!!!! We're only rolling over for the first time at 6:30 AM.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:15 PM   #196
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I don't get it. Why open the door to anyone at any time when all RVs have windows? Even in a CG I'll look out the window before opening the TT door if it's shut.
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