Crime And RVing

 Posted by at 12:27 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 232019

A while back I posted a link to a blog titled A Violent Encounter about our experience returning to our RV one night while we were parked at a repair shop and coming face to face with an armed burglar.

As I wrote when I first reported on our crime, RVing is a safe activity overall. But, as I also stated, crime can and does happen anywhere. Most of the crimes suffered by RVers are petty. Unsecured bicycles and coolers have a way of walking off in campgrounds if their owners go away and leave them. Most of the reports of this activity we have heard about occurred in state parks.

A few years ago in Quartzsite, Arizona there was a rash of thefts of portable generators. Some were stolen even when chained to the owners’ RVs. The thieves cut the cables with bolt cutters and carried them off. Bicycles were also disappearing in Quartzsite about the same time.

But crimes of violence, while uncommon in the RV world, do happen, as our experience shows. A few years back the Bandera County Courier in Texas ran a story about a couple camping at the Medina Lake Thousand Trails in Lakehills, Texas who were accosted by two teenagers wearing ski masks who pointed a gun at them and said, “Give me all your money or I’ll kill you.” As it turns out, the gun was a BB gun, and the boys were at the campground with their grandparents.

These two punks were damned lucky. If they had pointed a BB gun at somebody else, they may have found out their victim was carrying a real gun. Just because their gun wasn’t real doesn’t mean a victim wouldn’t have been justified in blowing them away. In the dark, who can tell?

As I also reported earlier, our only other crime related incident happened in our first months on the road, when somebody tried to steal our pickup while it was still attached to our motorhome by its tow bar when we were in a Coast to Coast campground in California. So much for the “security” of campgrounds, even membership campgrounds!

Still, you have to keep in mind that in eighteen years of fulltime RVing, including hundreds of nights spent dry camping in every corner of the nation, those were the only criminals we came into contact with. Most folks living in even a medium sized city rub shoulders with all kinds of thugs every day and never know when they might become a victim.

By using common sense, choosing a well lighted area when spending a night in a parking lot, keeping your doors locked and your valuables out of sight, and by being aware of your surroundings, you will go a long way toward avoiding becoming a victim of crime. Whether you are in an RV park or boondocking in the middle of the desert, never open your door to anyone at night, not even somebody wearing a police officer’s uniform. A real officer will wait while you call the police department to verify his identity.

Remember, the most effective weapon you own is right between your ears, and you don’t need special training or a permit to possess it. So use it.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of Big Lake Wedding, the fifteenth book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – Don’t you hate it when you clean out your freezer and find dead people you don’t even know?

Nick Russell

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

  2 Responses to “Crime And RVing”

  1. I was home alone one evening and not expecting anyone so I didn’t answer my door. But, I did answer my phone. Only to be told the name of the police officer at my door trying to deliver my Operation ID kit.

    In all our years of camping/RVing (1970s to 2010s) the only “incident” we had was when we left a tablecloth on the picnic table to let people looking for a site know we planned to return–only to have the tablecloth go missing.

    Well, there was the bear deciding whether or not my pack was worth stealing. Sure wish that photo had turned out. Hang your toiletries in the tree with your food bag, people.

  2. Unfortunately, Thousand Trails parks are becoming cheap places for drug dealers to ply their trade. I’ve heard of many incidents of stolen items from their parks. In spite of our “RV park campers are nice” ideas, it’s not always true. Sadly, you have to lock up everything nowadays.

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