Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Are Vehicle Prowlings a fact of RV Life? How do you Minimize your Risk?

The call of the remote trail in the wilderness appeals to me and car prowlers as well.  Some prowlers find far more than the loose change left behind on the floor.  

After arriving home I read an article in  news paper.  It was about an experience that hikers had in the North Cascades probably while we were there also.

Car prowlers broke into a couples vehicle while they were backpacking on a six day trip.  Thieves stole hidden items including a ring of house keys, a cell phone and vehicle registration.  Thieve also cut the battery cables leaving the car disabled.  Upon return to their home(4 hours away) they discovered their home had been burglarized and the stolen set off keys left on a table.

more details here......

Recommendations for keeping your vehicle safe often suggest keeping everything out of sight or not in your vehicle.   This seems like a sensible and practical solution on the surface, but what are RV folks to do?  Everything they own may be in their trailer/vehicle/RV.


Thieves are often looking for quick and quiet in and out. 

Here are some safety practices to consider.

  • Use drop off services of Park Services or friends when possible to avoid leaving your vehicle unattended for long periods of time
  • Leave your vehicle in a busy area under observation or campgrounds with hosts or rangers in attendance
  • If you must drive yourself, park in a visible area near other cars or restrooms.  Traffic discourages thieves.
  • Take your registration with you rather than leave it in the car particularly if you have a home address listed on the registration.
  • Ensure that doors are locked and alarms activated
  • Obscure from view anything in your vehicle before arriving at parking lot area.  Thieves often wait and observe in parking lots until a promising target arrives. 

 Rethink where you store your Possessions
Every place I have thought of.....they have probably stolen something from.

 The crumpled blanket covering valuables is a signal to prowlers there is something worth looking for.   The glove box while convenient, is the first place thieves will look for your registration and address.

Many Rv ers keep copies of valuable (and necessary) papers in a safe bolted to the frame of the RV.   If you  maintain a safety deposit box that someone can access for you it is always a good idea to keep and extra copy and a list insurances policy numbers, credit cards a backup of your phone contacts.   It is a good idea to keep copies of all important papers in a second location in case of theft or destruction.

I  chose to live my life governed by common sense not fear.  I refuse to live life cowering behind locked doors afraid of what might happen.  But common sense goes a long way to keeping us safe along the way...... 

What safety practices do you use to keep your vehicle or RV safe from thieves?

~ Happy Trails~


  1. Pretty much what I would find impossible to replace is the data on my computer hard drives. I have a network drive where all computer backups live, and I have a 2T external drive that fits in the palm of my hand. It has a copy of the network drive. While I'm on vacation the small drive will live off-site in my locker at work. Not an RV, but that is how I protect what is important to me. Other than my cats, I can replace everything else.

  2. Great Post Karen, It can be so hard to find a place to store things safely.

  3. I am very lax about this issue, as I have always camped with the gals. However, I was rethinking this issue while at Riverside last week. Not sure I want to go to a lot of work over this but a friend just had their car stolen in Spokane yesterday so one has to think.....