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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to thwart those thieving burglars

RVers, and especially boondockers, take safety seriously. We tend to camp out in the hinterlands, often far from any possible response from law enforcement and well beyond the possibility of a thief being caught in the act.

Safety can be broken down into two issues: personal safety and protection from burglary. Here I will offer some ways to deter or prevent the chances of break-ins when you are boondocking and away from your rig, auto touring or going to town for supplies for instance.

You can take some basic security measures to thwart any but a dedicated thief, which you are not likely to run up against. For instance, did you know that many RV lockers have the same locks, which can be opened with any key with the CH751 identity. Check yours. If that’s what you have, change your locks.

Additional easy security considerations include:
  • Close blinds and drapes when you’re gone so the curious can’t see what you have inside.
  • If you don’t have an electronic security system, pick up a small red LED light from Radio Shack and mount next to your entry door controlled by a switch on the inside. When you go out, turn it on--it's power requirement is negligible. It looks like a security system is turned on.
  • Do not leave anything valuable like a portable generator outside if you are going to be gone long, unless it is secured with a heavy duty chain.
  • Don't tell strangers in town where you are camped.
Most thieves are products of opportunity--when it is easy for them to take something.
Keep your valuables out of sight and follow these few pointers--removing the opportunity--and it will prevent most grab-and-run thieves.

Check out my new eBook, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Land for more boondocking tips and ideas.


  1. For larger objects that are difficult to hide (generators, bicycles) chain them to the far side of your rig away from the road, and cover with a camo tarp. The bright red and blue generators etc readily grab the eyes of someone cruising the campground looking for a quick grab. Covering with a camo tarp hides the bright colors. Just go to the fabric section of Walmart and buy a couple yards of camo cloth.

  2. Get a dog or three. They're great companions and good alarm systems!