Living and traveling in an RV full time is an incredible experience. However, it is important to learn how to stay safe. Today, I’m sharing 7 important tips for RV safety.
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Replace your standard RV door locks.
One of the best tips for RV safety I could give you is to replace your RV door locks. Did you know that most RV doors can be unlocked with any standard RV key?! I don’t know about you, but that thought was not comforting to me at all!
We replaced both of our door locks with Latch.It RV keyless entry locks. There are other brands out there as well if you want more than one option. I have a lot of RV friends who use and love the RV Lock brand as well.
Not only does it make it harder for unwanted visitors to get in, but it also makes it easier for you to get in. They have a touch keypad that you can program with your unique passcode, as well as wireless keyfobs. No more getting locked out of your rig!
Check out this video to see how easy it is to install on your rig:
Use a hitch lock when you’re away from your RV.
This RV living safety tip is especially valuable for boondockers. Have you ever been boondocking in the middle of nowhere and felt that it was unsafe to leave your rig unattended?? We have for sure, especially when we’re off exploring national parks or state parks for hours at a time.
We purchased a hitch lock for our 5th wheel and use it pretty much every time we unhook our truck and trailer. This makes it much harder for someone to try and steal your entire trailer. And yes, it does happen.
Research the area where you’ll be staying and move on if you don’t feel safe once you get there.
If you’re going to be traveling to an area you’re not familiar with, do some research to learn about the area and see how safe it is. Things to know:
- Is there cell service? This is important if you have an emergency and need to contact someone.
- Is there any dangerous wildlife? Especially be careful with food items in areas with bears.
- How far away is the closest emergency center/hospital? It’s always best to know this in advance.
- What is the terrain like? Does the area look trashy/sketchy? Will there be any issues with your vehicle driving here?
- If you’re staying at a campground, is it known to be a safe one?
- Is there adequate fresh water in the area? (Read our list of 15 Tips for Saving Water While Boondocking here)
There are a few ways you can research.
- Use Google Maps on the satellite image function to view what the area looks like.
- Use an app to check campground/boondocking reviews for any mention of an area being unsafe. (Read our list of Helpful Apps for Boondockers here)
- Use Google to search for information about each area.
If you arrive at an area and feel unsafe, move on. It’s not worth taking a chance and you would likely not have a good time there anyway. Try to always have a backup plan for when you need to go somewhere other than your first location.
It’s also important to always try to arrive at your destination long before nightfall and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Lock everything up when you leave and don’t leave any items unattended and lock your doors at night.
We’ve heard many stories of people having items stolen that they left unattended. Especially bikes, camping chairs, coolers, kids’ toys, etc.
Make sure that you lock all of your doors as well as your outside storage compartments. This doesn’t guarantee that someone won’t try to break into your RV and steal things, but it definitely makes it harder for them to do so! Just like your home, you want to make sure you lock everything up when you leave your RV.
This may seem like one of the common sense RV living safety tips, but I’ve actually heard a few RVers proudly say that they don’t lock their doors at night. I wouldn’t be able to sleep haha!
While I wish that everyone in the United States was good, that’s unfortunately not the case. Don’t find yourself in a “wrong place at the wrong time” situation…Just keep your doors locked at night.
Have the means to protect and take care of yourself.
Personal protection comes in many forms. Whatever you are most comfortable having for personal protection, know how to use it and have it easily accessible at all times.
It is really up to your individual preferences what type of self-defense you chose to use, but I recommend having something. Even if it’s a cast-iron skillet like Rapunzel had. 😉
It’s also a good idea to keep a first aid kit on hand for minor cuts and injuries that aren’t life-threatening.
Watch the weather and be prepared.
Make sure to always pay attention to the weather and know what is going on around you. Watch the weather forecast while you’re RVing and try to predict any issues before they come up. This is especially important in areas where flooding could occur or where you might get stuck.
Have an emergency plan in place and make sure to discuss it with the entire family. What will you do in case of flooding? What will you do in case of a fire? What will you do in case of a tornado? Is there somewhere nearby you can drive to for shelter if needed? Etc.
It’s also important to have a weather radio with you in case you don’t have enough cell service to be able to check the weather on your phone. We use this weather radio.
Hopefully, the need to use your emergency plan will never arise, but you will be thankful you had it in case it ever does.
Always let someone know where you’re at and where you’re planning to be.
Share your schedule with a family member or close friend and let them know where you’re planning to be. This is especially important if you’re going to be somewhere with little-to-no cell service.
Let them know when you’re arriving and leaving an area and check in with them from time to time on your road trips.
I hope that you have found these tips helpful and that you stay safe during all of your RV travels!
Have any RV living safety tips I didn’t cover? Drop them in the comments below!