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Camping Safety

nhshep
Explorer
Explorer
Not politics. Is it as safe to travel these days in an RV as in prior decades. I used to say 10% of any population are bad but 90% are good. It feels like that 10% has changed to 30%. Or is the media cherry picking for drama. My father in law said in 20 years of camping he had one issue where his family stopped overnight in a rest area and a bang on the door happened at 2:00 am, woke them up, he shouted that he called the police, whoever was banging went away. That was his only issue that stood out in 20 years. He retired from RV/camping in 2002. Is it as safe today to drive across country stopping in Walmart, off road stops, between campgrounds as it was 15 + years ago. I understand it can depend on location (near Chicago verses near Myrtle Beach). Not just cities, are remote scenic areas as safe today to visit as they were a decade ago. Looking a the population in general, do you have concern to travel the open roads today than you did in years prior. Most campgrounds are safe. I am talking traveling to those campgrounds making stops, taking in the sights.
2018 Prime Time Crusader 29RS
35 REPLIES 35

RoHa
Explorer
Explorer
JIMNLIN wrote:
For us its safer today in campgrounds with park rangers....cell phones...active campgrounds hosts or mgrs or owners and active CSO deputys...gated COE campgrounds vs years past (60s/70s/80s) where there was little to no help from the above.

We stay away from campgrounds close to big cities....close to a college town or campgrounds known for partying.

In the early '70s we were camped (fishing) in one of our favorite COE campgrounds in NE Oklahoma.
Sat afternoon 12-14 pickup loads of the local KKK chapter thugs started drifting in with water tanks in the back of several trucks that were full of ice and beer. By 10 oclock most were drunk ...then their guns came out. Pistols...shotguns...two AKs...calibers and gauges of all sizes. They had the road blocked so no one could leave or get in.

A farmer about a mile away heard all the gun fire...called the sheriff office. Deputies from two counties....several cars full of state troopers swooped in and bagged all of them. One trooper told us who these jerks were and confiscated 26 weapons of all sizes.
My kids were under 10 years as were several other campers. The whole campground was scared of these idiots. I sure was and I carried back then.

I feel much safer today than 50+ years ago while camping.


I do agree, those were different times. Having a gun for general safety is not a bad thing, but guys like those are giving everyone else bad rep... Over last years I've only gotten a few new guns from local gun stores (mostly just upgrading my CCW setup and a new deer hunting rifle), but there are a lot of folks who buy new gun every month
Personally, never had to use my CCW at the campgrounds, it's more of a ritual that keeps me feeling safer. I know a lot of folks who kinda do the same: they have rifles or shotguns in their RVs that they only use for plinking or bottle shooting and it's been like that for decades. It's nice to know that you have it, doesn't mean you have to use it

afidel
Explorer II
Explorer II
The most dangerous thing you can do while camping is end up on the side of the road. That's why whenever I see a camper on the side I stop and lend a hand and if needed my tools. Today was another situation, father and son headed to mid-Ohio for the races, a few miles before leaving the interstate when the tread separates from a drive tire (luckily the passenger side). I got over a few hundred feet in front of them because there was an overpass just in front and I didn't feel like trying to squeeze by as I got back up to speed. I asked the folks if they could use some help and they definitely could, nothing but the factory hand tools to change the tire. I grabbed my big impact, my 22mm socket (Chevy like mine), 1/2" extension and my inflator with a spare battery. I stopped at about 8:15, sunset was 9:05. I had them back on the road by 8:30. Since their spare was completely flat they would have been on the side of the road until well after dark if I hadn't stopped to offer assistance. Gentleman tried to offer me the cash from his wallet but I told him the only thing I needed was for him to carry a few tools with him going forward and remember to pay it forward when he has an opportunity.
2019 Dutchman Kodiak 293RLSL
2015 GMC 1500 Sierra 4x4 5.3 3.42 full bed
Equalizer 10k WDH

Microlite_Mike
Explorer
Explorer
toedtoes wrote:
Gangs are not driving into Yellowstone commiting drive by shootings against each other, so the risk of a stray bullet hitting a camper is negligable.

Someone stopping overnight in a Walmart parking lot in a bad neighborhood is putting themselves at risk - just like 40 years ago - is the risk greater? Possibly. But the risk was big enough then to stop people from doing it.

Like everything else in life, common sense goes a long way.


I believe the risk is greater today due to the paradigm shift in law enforcement and prosecution of offenders.

Criminals are more emboldened due to the lack of consequences.

Times have really changed in my almost 8 decades.
"Knowledge is realizing that the street is one-way, wisdom is looking both directions anyway."


~ Albert Einstein

Microlite_Mike
Explorer
Explorer
Lightning55 wrote:
We've been doing this for a long time and I think you just have to use common sense and not expose yourself to potential dangerous situations. I do not stay at rest stops, Walmarts or places that might not be safe. I also always have the ability to protect myself if I need to.


Those that don't have a means to protect themselves sadly often become victims. If worried about safety where you camp then only camp in safe areas --------- like RV Campgrounds with security cameras etc.

I prefer to boondock and am prepared to provide my own security from "man or beast".
"Knowledge is realizing that the street is one-way, wisdom is looking both directions anyway."


~ Albert Einstein

Durb
Explorer
Explorer
Contrarian view here - It seems like travelers are more civil now days. I remember camping with my family when I was young. Every stall was covered with graffiti. All the picnic tables, poles, trees, benches and monuments had people's names and love hearts carved into them. I don't see much of that anymore. I'm thinking that with instant communication via phones and easier ability to protect oneself with available products that I feel pretty secure in most situations.

I learned a lot of poetry in those early days. Most poems started with "Here I sit..."

bigred1cav
Explorer
Explorer
A nice sturdy fish priest is good one in car one in rv

NamMedevac_70
Explorer II
Explorer II
I adjust my safety features to the changing times, locations and conditions of the moment. Extra caution is cheap insurance. Still having fun fishing and camping in the scenic PNW. Always prepared to

Lightning55
Explorer
Explorer
We've been doing this for a long time and I think you just have to use common sense and not expose yourself to potential dangerous situations. I do not stay at rest stops, Walmarts or places that might not be safe. I also always have the ability to protect myself if I need to.

Cassy0110
Explorer
Explorer
Bad things happen. Yes, I suppose people become angrier.. But there are a lot of good people, who can help you in your travel

Deb_and_Ed_M
Explorer
Explorer
I feel like "opportunistic thievery" is on the increase - even in "nice" neighborhoods, bikes get swiped or cars get broken into, for example. In the past, we have overnighted in RVs at Flying J's or Walmarts, and been treated to hearing drunken brawls, squealing tires, loud music. Now, when we camp, we tend to stay in campgrounds, where like-minded people tend to look out for one another and I don't feel like I have to sleep with one ear open to problems outside the camper
Ed, Deb, and 2 dogs
Looking for a small Class C!

fj12ryder
Explorer II
Explorer II
No offense taken, none intended.
Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

jffnkrn
Explorer
Explorer
fj12ryder wrote:
jffnkrn wrote:
WOW, the OP just wanted some info on safe camping. Hopefully all this and that didn't or doesn't discourage them. OP, just do it, and enjoy it and like said a number of times, be aware, use your gut and eyes, you'll be fine. so safe travels,
You ask an open ended question asking for opinions, you may get a lot more than you figured. I didn't see anything in any posts that would cause someone to be discouraged from traveling or RV'ing.


Sorry, My interpretation of some of the comments, not meant to offend anyone.. Travel safe, Have a great day.

fj12ryder
Explorer II
Explorer II
jffnkrn wrote:
WOW, the OP just wanted some info on safe camping. Hopefully all this and that didn't or doesn't discourage them. OP, just do it, and enjoy it and like said a number of times, be aware, use your gut and eyes, you'll be fine. so safe travels,
You ask an open ended question asking for opinions, you may get a lot more than you figured. I didn't see anything in any posts that would cause someone to be discouraged from traveling or RV'ing.
Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

Reader1
Explorer
Explorer
My husband & I have been camping for 40+ years and have NEVER had a problem We travel throughout the country and spend a lot of time in Nat'l Parks. But we have never stayed in Walmart parking lots or Rest Areas except a couple times in a very large Welcome Center. My daughter and her family is on vacation now and are finishing up their travels through 45 states. This summer was Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri In order to count as a state they have visited they spend time in the state touring cities, state and/or national parks, and area sites. They have also never encountered any problems.
I wonder if the feeling of lack of safety is more associated with staying at Walmarts and/or Rest Areas.
The one change that we make is in regards to the children in the family. Due to human trafficing concerns even in the midwest, children are never alone. We always went with the kids to play areas, but sometimes they would ride their bikes alone, they no longer do that.