Safety Tips For RV Living, Camping & Van Life

rv safety tips

Have you ever been concerned about your RV safety or if RV’ing is even safe? Not the stuff that prevents breakdowns, but we’re talking personal safety.

You might have heard about the recent news of the deaths of Rv’ers James and Michelle Butler. With this news, many people are looking for ways to ensure their safety while living the RV Life or Van Life.

We’ve traveled thousands of miles in our RV. We’ve stayed in dozens of campgrounds, state parks, and boondock on occasion ourselves. The thought of something happening – well, it feels downright scary.

Tips From The Experts

We decided we wanted to talk with an expert on personal safety and who better to sit down and talk with than with someone in Law Enforcement. So, here are some real answers on things you can do to stay safe while out on the road. (You do NOT have to live the RV life in fear!)

rv camping and boondocking

Tips for RV Safety – From a Park Ranger

Plan in Advance – know where you are going and who you need to contact if something should happen. (Local law enforcement, county sheriff, etc). Know where the nearest hospital is located as well.

Avoid posting on social media while you are in a specific location. Post after you leave that area. This helps avoid people knowing your family’s exact location. We publish most of our content on Youtube after we leave the location we’ve been visiting. We do this mainly for safety reasons.

Know your legal protections. Some states allow conceal-carry. If you choose to carry a weapon and it’s important to know your legal protections in the state you are camping in. It’s also important to know and understand your rights for using any type of personal protection such as a taser or pepper spray.

RV Security

Make sure you lock your RV every time you leave. Be aware of things look when you leave your campsite. Does it look like no one is home? If you are towing a trailer, 5th wheel, etc. it can be obvious that you’ve “left camp” when your tow vehicle is not on the campsite. Also, using cameras are a great way to keep an eye on things while you are away.

Consider mobility if you do not have access to a second vehicle. If there was an emergency and all you have is your motorhome – how fast can you get on the road? How long will it take to pull in slides, raise levers, etc. if you needed to leave in a hurry? This is something to consider and think about especially when boondocking.

RV Campsite RV Safety

Consider phone coverage. If you choose to boondock often, a Satellite phone can be helpful if you are in an area where there is no cell service. Knowing where you will have phone coverage and where you will not have phone coverage is an important consideration. One thing helping in remote locations is the new Starlink system.

Put extra shoes or boots by the door. Especially if you are a solo female camper this can be a great deterrent.

Guard Dogs

Dogs! Dogs are not only great companions but can provide some levels of protection. We have a very large dog with a very deep bark. He’s also a Shepard dog so he’s very aware of his surroundings. The first time we ever had a bear close by, he was the one to give us an alert that something wasn’t quite right.

RV Safety Guard Dog

Get To Know The Camp Hosts – The camp hosts know the area and can be a second set of eyes on your campsite if you are away from camp. Let them know if you are going to be gone for the day so they help keep an eye on your campsite. Also, ask them about any areas that should be avoided in the local town, etc.

Our Tips and Recommendations

  • Use social media groups to find out about the best places to stay and places to avoid. We did this when we wanted to visit the St. Louis Area. We were warned to avoid East St. Louis (which is what we did). We recently listened to another vlogger talks about their experience staying in East St. Louis It wasn’t positive and they mentioned they could hear gunshots at night at the campground.
  • Have a point of contact & check-in process. – someone should know when they should expect to hear from you. This process can be FULLY automated with the use of a Wheresafe GPS unit.
  • Use common sense – trust your intuition.
  • Consider State Parks as an alternative to boondocking if you are wanting to enjoy more natural areas.

WhereSafe GPS – RV Safety Must Have!

We’ve recently been introduced to the Wheresafe GPS which is real-time tracking for well, really anything you want to keep track of. 

Back When I used to work in the automotive industry we installed devices called Lojack that used FM radio signals for tracking on higher-end cars like corvettes, the Ford GT, and other high-dollar vehicles. 

Now GPS technology has evolved and made this sort of tracking technology available to everyday consumers like you and me. 

So picture this: you have a where safe device mounted on your RV, Van, E-bike, or whatever it is you want to keep track of. You can get real-time updates on the location of where your RV is at. But better yet, you can allow others to also see where your RV is located. 

Where Safe GPS tracker

Theft Prevention Meets RV Safety

Can you imagine how the recent cases we’ve seen in the news of missing van-lifers or RVers might have either been different or solved faster with this technology in place?  OR what if your RV, vehicle, or e-bike is stolen? We’ve seen several videos this past year of other RVers who had their e-bikes stolen on MORE than 1 occasion! 

With GPS tracking, you can know right where your valuables are located. 

We’ve seen more social media posts than we can count of RVers who put their travel trailers into a storage situation and were stolen. People are sharing information in hopes that someone has seen the missing RV in an effort to recover it. 

Draw A Geo-Fence

With the Wheresafe GPS, you can draw what is called a “geofence.” How it works is you will receive an alert if your RV, e-bike, etc go out of the “fence” you’ve drawn around where your item is “supposed” to be. 

You can be notified by email or text message, when your loved ones reach a destination or when they leave it to know they are on schedule with their travel plans. 

What we LOVE about this is the peace of mind for the family. We’ve mentioned before that my parents are full-time Rvers and they use a check-in process with family members for personal safety. 

Automating The Check-In Process with Friends/Family

This helps to AUTOMATE this process PLUS helps with recovery should their RV or truck even be stolen. 

Because this technology was originally developed for fleets, you can also get a glimpse of where your device has been and stopped over the past 2 days. This is SUPER valuable information should the unthinkable happen and you need REAL data to be able to help find someone or something. 

And since the tracker is magnetic, it’s also portable.  The GPS trackers can be easily transferred between assets.

So, you can put the tracker on the truck, boat, golf cart, ATV E-bikes, and more. 

RV Parks can be massive (the KOA near Mt Rushmore is the second largest in North America and it’s HUGE).  Knowing where the kids are in the golf cart or if family members/friends are on the trails is great peace of mind.

Because safety is something we think about often while out on the road, we asked Wheresafe to prove our viewers with a discount on their GPS units. They gladly agreed and you can save 10% on a GPS tracker when you use the code Glamper10 at the link below. Wheresafe also has some BlackFriday deals, so make sure you check out what tracker might work best for you as soon as possible. 

All the details are on our partner’s page as well. 

We’d love to hear about your experiences while RV’ing and some of your suggestions too. Head over to our Facebook Group to join the discussion on RV Safety. Be sure to check out all the cool stuff in our shop too!

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  1. I wish more was known about the Butlers and how this happened. All good tips! It’s made us more aware of things.