Emergency RV Security Tips for Boondocking | You Must Know

Boondocking, also known as “dry camping,” refers to camping in a self-contained RV without connections to water, sewer, or electrical hookups. As rewarding and cost-effective as boondocking can be, spending nights in isolated areas poses unique security risks.

Implementing key security precautions is crucial to stay safe while enjoying off-grid adventures. This is what I follow during my boondocking session and I think these things are essential for boondocking safety. So, learn about the emergency preparedness tips for your next RV trip, now. Autobots, ROLLOUT! 

Emergency RV Security Tips for Boondocking

Why RV Security Matters During Boondocking

Boondocking often involves camping in remote locations away from developed RV parks and campgrounds. Without access to on-site staff and security personnel, RVers assume greater responsibility for their safety. Threats may range from theft to wildlife encounters to medical emergencies.

Advance preparation provides peace of mind should problematic situations arise. Taking proactive security measures also deters crimes of opportunity. By implementing appropriate safeguards, RVers can relax and fully immerse themselves in the natural solitude boondocking affords.

General RV Security Tips for Boondocking

Select and Set Up at Low-Risk Boondocking Sites

Carefully choosing where to park your RV should be your first consideration to minimize security issues. Research locations thoroughly and communicate with local authorities. Strategically position your RV and utilize lighting effectively.

  • Research and Select Secure Remote Locations

When selecting potential boondocking sites, vet locations through reviews and local tourism bureaus. Avoid areas with recent crime reports if possible. Consider the pros/cons of both isolated spots and those near small towns. Drive or walk the site during daylight to personally assess safety. Choose flat spots with natural barriers like trees to deter intruders. Verify cell signal strength for communication ability.

  • Check-In with Local Officials When Possible

Contact the local sheriff’s department, ranger station, or visitors center when possible. Ask about recent unlawful activity and extra security suggestions. Provide your planned camping location and arrival/departure dates. Request notification if any urgent safety issues arise. This builds positive community connections and allows officials to assist faster if needed.

  • Strategically Park Your RV

When parking, position your RV to maximize visibility and deter unwanted visitors. Face the door and vehicle exits toward open areas for quick driving departure ability if needed. Avoid blocking yourself in corners without escape routes. Keep sides facing walking paths or roads visible so pedestrians and vehicles can monitor your campsite. Leave ample space around the vehicle perimeter as an extra barrier.

  • Use Exterior Lighting Effectively

Use exterior motion sensor lighting to enhance natural surveillance of your campsite after dark. Install bright, energy-efficient LED security lights. Position lighting to illuminate all four sides. Ensure lights activate within at least a 25-foot radius to cover key areas.

Secure Valuables Inside and Outside Your RV

Protecting your belongings prevents thefts and associated safety conflicts. Be diligent about locking up and stowing items properly.

  • Lock Doors, Windows, and Interior Storage

Treat locking up as part of your normal boondocking routine. Lock all doors and windows when away from your RV, even briefly. Secure interior, exterior, and basement storage compartments. Ensure deadbolts and lock bars are engaged as applicable.

  • Safeguard Personal Belongings

When away from your site, keep valuables like wallets, laptops, and keys on your person or hidden out of sight in locked spaces. Stow gear properly when not using it. Never leave expensive items unattended outdoors. Be particularly cautious with generators, tools, bicycles, and other theft-prone gear. Secure them with locks and chains.

Assemble Essential Emergency Preparedness Items

Boost self-sufficiency by gathering key items to treat injuries, communicate issues, and handle wildlife safely. Prepare for rapid responses until professional help arrives.

  • Stock a Complete RV First Aid Kit

Equip your RV with a well-supplied first aid kit able to treat cuts, burns, sprains, and other common injuries. Include sterile gauze pads, wraps, tape, antibiotic ointments, antihistamines, oral pain meds, antacids, laxatives, eyewash, tweezers, trauma shears, instant cold packs, and a thermometer. Also, pack several days’ worth of vital personal medications if applicable.

  • Carry Reliable Communication Devices

Carry charged cell phones and an emergency satellite communicator like a Garmin inReach. Program key emergency contacts like 911, family members, and roadside assistance. Know the GPS coordinates of your camp location.

  • Follow Proper Food Storage Procedures

Follow proper food storage procedures to avoid unwanted attention from bears and other wildlife. Store food and scented items in hard-sided, latched containers. Never keep food inside your RV, tent, or vacant vehicle. Position storage bins at least 100 yards from sleeping areas. Clean up spills immediately.

  • Prepare Wildlife Deterrents

Prepare wildlife deterrents like bear spray, air horns, or other non-lethal devices. Understand proper use ahead of time. Install temporary electric fencing around the perimeter if spending extended time in Bear County.

Handling Boondocking Emergencies

Even with extensive precautions, unexpected emergencies may still arise during self-contained dry camping. Have response plans ready for key issues like theft, medical problems, and vehicle breakdowns.

Respond Decisively to Theft Incidents

If theft occurs, speedy reactions can help minimize losses and aid investigations. Before touching anything, walk the perimeter to identify suspicious individuals or items left behind. Lock your RV immediately and safely store the remaining gear. Determine what specific items were stolen once law enforcement arrives.

Call 911 right away in the event of imminent danger or if the thieves are still nearby. Also contact park rangers, sheriffs, resource officers, or State Police to report criminal acts. Provide detailed descriptions of missing items and serial numbers when possible. Notify your insurance provider about losses and follow their documentation process for claims. You may need to show proof of ownership to replace certain stolen items.

Address Medical Emergencies Miles from Advanced Care

Medical emergencies pose additional challenges when miles from advanced care. Having first aid skills and knowing where to access treatment can save lives if injury or illness strikes. Follow standard protocols like checking responsiveness, calling 911 if warranted, controlling bleeding, stabilizing fractures, or administering CPR. Apply additional dressings, ice packs, or medications from your first aid kit while you await EMS based on the issues involved. Transport the patient via RV if possible, continually monitoring vitals.  Drive directly to the closest hospital or urgent care listed in your RV GPS if it becomes unsafe to remain on-site without medical assistance. Alert staff you are en route with the patient.

Respond Properly to RV Breakdowns

A vehicle failure miles from help is daunting but manageable with preparation. Secure your RV by activating hazard lights. Set out roadside reflectors behind your vehicle to alert approaching drivers. Attempt quick repairs yourself using nearby tools or parts if possible. Call emergency roadside assistance for substantial mechanical issues requiring a tow truck or repairs at the nearest reputable shop. Arrange rental vehicles or lodging if necessary during downtime.

Key Takeaways for Safe, Secure Boondocking

Boondocking allows RVers to connect with natural settings but requires assuming more self-reliance. By selecting low-risk sites, securing belongings, preparing for emergencies, and planning responses, travelers can conquer off-grid adventures with confidence.

Responsible boondockers help maintain positive relationships with local communities by supporting businesses and driving tourism dollars to rural regions when resupplying. Taking safety precautions enables public lands to remain accessible for future generations of RVers.

With this guide’s wealth of tips at your fingertips, relish your next boondocking trip knowing procedures are in place to handle potential issues. Embrace self-contained RV camping as an affordable means to tour incredible backcountry destinations in comfort.

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