Traveling the country in retirement is a dream for many couples -- and with gas prices still at their lowest point in the last 18 months, there is no better time than the present to pack up and hit the road. However, even the most freewheeling retirees may be worried about physical safety when parking at unfamiliar campgrounds and other locations. What can you do to prevent your RV from being burglarized? Read on to learn more about some basic safety precautions while parked in a campground or other public site, as well as some higher-tech security systems that can provide you with some added peace of mind.
What should you do to protect yourself while camping in an RV?
While parking in an annual campground for months at a time is one of your safest options away from home (due to the close proximity of RVs to one another and the ability of neighbors and passersby to quickly recognize strangers), if you're just parking your RV a few nights in a row and then hitting the road again, you may not be able to count on the "stranger danger" factor to help protect you unless you're proactive. Read on for some safety tips you'll want to employ even if you do later invest in an electronic RV security system.
- Park in a well-lit area
Even if you require a completely dark room to sleep, investing in blackout shades for your RV's sleeping room is a much better option than camping in a poorly lit area and giving a would-be burglar visual cover to toy with your door or window locks and open them.
- Be friendly with your neighbors
One way to improve your RVing experience is to quickly introduce yourself to your neighbors once you've parked and set camp. Not only will meeting your neighbors face-to-face help you recognize strangers upon approach, it will help you establish yourself in the community (even for a brief time) and provide you with a bit of an informal neighborhood watch.
- Change to custom locks
Because RVs are mass-produced, many models often share some version of the same default lock, making them easy targets for those who already have a key to the same model. Installing custom door locks and deadbolts can help ensure that any fellow campers with ill intentions won't be able to use their own door key to unlock your RV.
- Invest in hidden storage
If you can't bear to leave high dollar value items (like jewelry and expensive electronics) at home, you may want to purchase some secret storage compartments that will help conceal and protect theses items in the event of a burglary. These storage compartments can either be custom-built into your existing RV's frame or created in the form of a hollow locking book or slightly raised drawer bottom.
What are some high-tech security options that can provide further protection?
Even after taking these basic precautions, your RV's doors and windows can be more vulnerable to outside entry than those of a non-mobile home. If you're determined to deter burglars, motion lighting and door and window alarms should do the trick by immediately dispelling a burglar's main advantage -- privacy. Motion-detecting outdoor floodlights can be purchased relatively inexpensively, with some battery-operated models even attaching with magnets to help you keep them safe while driving from one destination to another.
Alarm systems that sound a loud peal when door or window sensors are triggered should also help prevent all but the most determined burglar, even if you're in a relatively remote area. You can choose an alarm-only system or a monitored alarm system that will notify the local police force whenever illegal entry is sensed.
Contact a company like Videotec Corporation for more info about installing alarm or camera systems.