Feb 112010

Overall, the RV lifestyle is pretty safe, in spite of our encounter with the burglar in December. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to use common sense and exercise caution. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people. Unfortunately, I have another crime story to report, and frankly, this one scares the hell out of me!

I got a message from a couple whom we met a few years ago at the Western Horizons campground in Casa Grande, Arizona. They said that last week they were in Louisiana, and stopped at a campground near Lafayette for the night. About 3 a.m., the husband got up to go to the bathroom and discovered that someone had slid open the window next to their door, unlocked the deadbolt on their door, and entered the RV while they slept!

They said that all of the overhead cabinets were open, the medicine cabinet in the bathroom was open, and probably most terrifying, the burglar had actually come into the bedroom where they were sleeping, and taken the husband’s pants from the hook where they hung on his side of the bed! They said that a couple of satchels were found outside the RV, and one of their cats had gotten out when the door was left afar, but nothing had been stolen. And this happened in a regular RV park!

Any criminal so desperate that they would come into an occupied RV, and even into the bedroom where the owners were sleeping, scares me a lot more than the thug we caught ripping us off!

Crime isn’t the only thing we have to be aware of. Last weekend, a couple camping at an RV park in Texas were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning from their propane heater. Here is a link to a newspaper story about the tragedy. Folks, be sure your equipment is in good working order, and that your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working and have fresh batteries.

We have used a catalytic heater for years, and have never had a problem. But we always make sure were have a couple of windows cracked for ventilation, and we check all of our detectors regularly.

I have had several e-mails from folks who want to know if the Verizon USD 760 air card I upgraded to a couple of weeks ago works any better than the older USB 720 I replaced. Unfortunately, we are still experiencing frequent periods of very slow, and sometimes non-existent, service here in the Mesa/Apache Junction area of Arizona. I think there are just too many snowbirds here overloading the available cell towers. I fear that as more and more people are using cell phones and wireless communication devices, the problems will only get worse in some areas.

Now that we have the new issue of the Gypsy Journal in the printer’s hands, I need to put all of my efforts into the rally, which starts in just a little over three weeks. There are always a lot of last minute details that have to be dealt with, and many of them just can’t be taken care of too far in advance, such as the details for the pizza party, buying supplies, and printing name tags for the rally attendees.

Of course, Bad Nick never slows down. Check out his latest Bad Nick Blog post, We Need A Moat, and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – Every sixty seconds you spend angry, upset or mad, is a full minute of happiness you’ll never get back.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  11 Responses to “Be Careful Out There”

  1. Wow those are really scary stories… I have been camping/Rving for 40 years and never came across this… Thank goodness. Thanks for the heads up Nick! Have fun & travel safe.

  2. It does help to put a stick into the channel of a sliding window so that it won’t open far, and of course, don’t leave the sliding window right by the front door open! Now that being said, that kind of break in is something so far from our minds that we’d probably never give it a thought.

    As far as Verison service is concerned, you are undoubtedly right about overloading and getting worse. With great faith in technology, we know it will improve gradually, but still lag behind demand. As long as all of us keep on believing that we must be in CONSTANT connection with everyone else (husbands getting their shopping lists delivered to them by cell phone while they are meandering though WalMart or the local grocery store is one example), we’ll be taxing the limits of the system. Me? Suzy gives me a written list, and I use my imagination to complete the tour.

  3. Nick,

    I upgraded to a USB760 from a USB720 right after you did. The performance seems to be about the same where we are but its smaller size lets me get it closer to the indoor repeater and we now have a consistent 4 bars showing on our Cradlepoint router where before it wavered back and forth. So I am very pleased with the change.

  4. In the last 2 to 3 weeks we received emails from the UPS (NOT) saying that
    we had an undeliverable package. These were intercepted by our internet
    carrier and advised not to open as they contained a virus. Since our mail
    is forwarded from our permanent home very few people have our address
    in our winter home. After many punching keys we finally were able to reach
    a “live” person at UPS and they confirmed that these were all spam and were
    aware of the problem. We were suspicious because when you mail a package
    you don’t put someones email address on it. So be careful what you open.
    See you in Elkhart

  5. Nick,
    Have to wonder about incident in LA….. guess I need to come right out and say that I find that less than believable. Maybe an alein being could be stealthy enough to pull this feat off….maybe!

  6. Sid,
    If I didn’t know this couple I might agree. Then again, Miss Terry is such a sound sleeper that they probably could have carried the bed outside, and she would not have noticed!

    I had a neighbor in Tucson once who woke up in the middle of the night and wondered why his guest bathroom light was on. He thought his wife must have left in on during a potty trip, but she never used that bathroom at night, and never turned on a light at night. He got up to turn the light off, and discovered a woman soaking in the bathtub! When the police responded, they told him that she was mentally unstable, and had a history of doing such things.

  7. To the person who doesn’t think somebody could break in and never be heard, we were camped at an Rv park in Oregon last summer, and I was taking a nap while my husband went fishing. It was a chilly day, and the door was closed and locked.

    I woke up when I heared the door shutting, and thought my husband had retuned, and started to drift off again. But he never came back to the bedroom to check on me, as he usually does, so I got up and found my laptop computer and purse missing from the desk! The sound I heard was the thief closing the door as he left. Just as the people Nick wrote about, he had managed to get the window next to the door open, then unlocked the door.

    The people in the RV next to us said they saw a young man stand on a picnic table bench and open the window, then the door, but assumed he belonged there. From their description, the RV park owner knew he came from a house next to the park, and called the police. They found my computer and purse in his car, but by then he had spent the $400 I had in my purse on drugs.

  8. We had a burglar sneak into our one bedroom apartment and take the TV and we never woke up! We didn’t know it had happened until the next day.

  9. OK,OK, I’ll lock my Bus Door!!! M&C

  10. I keep thinking the dog is more nuisance than not… but no one could POSSIBLY sneak into our RV with her on guard. Maybe I’ll give her an extra treat tonight .

  11. Hi Nick —
    We’re presently staying at Mesa Regal RV Park. We have an AT&T aircard with a Cradlepoint setup and a trucker antenna. We’ve been getting GREAT (5 bars) reception here and haven’t needed to use the Park WiFi at all.
    We had trouble with really slow reception in Quartzite… Even kept having our cell phones kicked off.
    Guess it just depends on where you are what works best. The best would be able to afford both a Verizon and an AT&T card… Sigh!

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