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Old 08-21-2018, 10:37 AM   #1
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Campground Safety

We plan to go fulltime within the next year. It appears the camping lifestyle is certainly changing with more and more folks heading out on the road. Vast majority are good folks, but like the rest of society some aren't.


My question is: Is there any way to determine if a campground and/or area is relatively "safe" both in the case of personal safety and theft risk.


We do look at reviews etc but many are very old and not up to date. I would also assume there are certain areas to totally avoid.

Paranoid... NO.....overly cautious...likely.... we are certainly not young kids anymore (upper 60s).


The bottom line is if we don't like what we see, move on, that's understood.


Just wondering what others think as it may apply to trip planning, etc.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:46 AM   #2
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Great that you'll be full timing soon. My own opinion is camping (and rv'ing) is probably one of the safest things you can do today. Get out of the cities and enjoy. Many full timers I know have never had problems of any consequence...other than rig problems. Your good instincts and common sense will help guide the way....have a great time and check in often!
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:54 AM   #3
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If in question, ask at the park. We leave our MH unlocked during the day almost everywhere we stay. Key has never been out of the ignition in 7 years. There have been a few parks that we have stayed in where we lock up. We have had bikes stolen at the KOA in SLC (locked with a cable lock) and at Tiger Run in Breck, (not locked up), it can happen anywhere. We only have locked our storage bays when we stayed at Main Street Station in Vegas.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:03 AM   #4
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The campgrounds that you shouldn't stay in due to safety and security should be readily apparent. And it's a personal thing. Some folks can tolerate things others can't.

I can tell you that it's more about you than the place. You can't prevent everything but you can minimize the changes you'll be victimized. Be aware of your surroundings and situation. Lock everything up all the time. Leave if you don't feel safe...you've got wheels. Don't leave valuables in plain site.

But we just left a casino last week because a tweeker entered our coach and into our bed. We left the coach unlocked while we walked around the parking lot to look for a better spot. Gone less than two minutes and the coach was in view the whole time. And this is a well-rated casino that's not near a big city. Everyone and everything is okay but we lock our coach if we leave the camp site now.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:11 AM   #5
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^^. you left the coach for 2 minutes and came back to someone in your bed? Wow.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:13 AM   #6
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What happened when you came back Dan?
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:19 AM   #7
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We full-timed 16 years, traveling constantly and the majority of stays were in public parks or boondocking on national forest or BLM lands. We never had an instance that we felt unsafe and never had anything stolen.

If you're doing RV parks then just choose the safe-looking surrounding for that park. If you're uncomfortable once in the park then just move. You've got wheels.

I certainly wouldn't worry about this. No need. Go and enjoy your new lifestyle.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake21 View Post
^^. you left the coach for 2 minutes and came back to someone in your bed? Wow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn Driver View Post
What happened when you came back Dan?
We walked about 200 feet away, surveyed the parking lot and walked right back. Guy had to get in there. He also dined and dashed at the casino restaurant so we know he hadn't been back there longer. We proceeded to level and it was only when the wife went to open the bedroom slide that she noticed him. I was in the coach leveling for 15-20 minutes with him. But we was high as a kite and wasn't really aware of me...thankfully...until came back there with cheater bar in hand. Even then he was docile and zoning out.

Anyway, security was called while I rousted him from bed and had him sit on the steps to wait. But once they left, we found pills on the bed. Sheriff was called and he was taken to jail. We left so no idea what happened to him.

The moral: When you're out and about and not in someplace that's secured (RV park, campground, etc.) lock your door. This was a one in a million thing but who wants to be the millionth guy? Safety is about you more than your location. If our door was locked, he'd have likely moved on.
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:50 PM   #9
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Do you worry as much when going to grocery store, department store, bank etc etc?


CGs are no more unsafe/safe then any other place you go in the course of a day.


Stuff can happen anytime, any place


So what to do......
PAY ATTENTION to surroundings, to folks, to situation

Get that 'raised hair' feeling...spider tingling ---move on, leave



One thing we found was 'introduce yourself' to neighbors.
Fellow campers feel connected when they know who you are vs just some stranger

Folks that feel connected look out for each other.
Might sound silly to some.....
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan McMartin
We walked about 200 feet away, surveyed the parking lot and walked right back. Guy had to get in there. He also dined and dashed at the casino restaurant so we know he hadn't been back there longer. We proceeded to level and it was only when the wife went to open the bedroom slide that she noticed him. I was in the coach leveling for 15-20 minutes with him. But we was high as a kite and wasn't really aware of me...thankfully...until came back there with cheater bar in hand. Even then he was docile and zoning out.

Anyway, security was called while I rousted him from bed and had him sit on the steps to wait. But once they left, we found pills on the bed. Sheriff was called and he was taken to jail. We left so no idea what happened to him.

The moral: When you're out and about and not in someplace that's secured (RV park, campground, etc.) lock your door. This was a one in a million thing but who wants to be the millionth guy? Safety is about you more than your location. If our door was locked, he'd have likely moved on.
Great camp fire story! Old Biscuit has some good points- If my neighbors look receptive, I like to say hi and introduce myself.
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:36 PM   #11
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The reviews & actually looking at a CG on google earth is how I research. We have never been any where that made me feel like I should break camp and move on down the road. However there have been plenty where I always kept basement & coach locked. Unlike when we weekend camp at home in state parks basements are unlocked all weekend.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:47 PM   #12
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I would say by and large the more sketchy parks would be in the cities. Small town America, or Canada for that matter is pretty safe. Thieves and crooks can be anywhere, but hard to not get caught in a small town. Most of the larger parks in the cities have security 24 hours a day. We have never had any issues in approx. 40000 miles of rving most of North America. We took the wrong city bus trying to get back to Cherry Hill Park in Washington DC, and ended up in a pretty rough neighborhood. We had to wait for the next bus back the other way for about 25 minutes. The bus driver told us not to leave the bus terminal while we waited. Pretty sketchy to say the least.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:52 PM   #13
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I normally check a park or any camping stop out on Google Earth using the street view.
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