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Old 11-10-2008, 02:43 PM   #1
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Security measures

What security measures do you foks take when camping, especially in isolated places or "rough" looking CGs? Have you ever had a good scare?
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:00 PM   #2
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In the past, we haven't been able to secure anything in our camper because it was a popup. Too easy to remove tenting and get inside. But we've never had anything go missing from inside.

We've always taken small valuables (cell phones, watches, computers, etc.) and stowed them in the locked truck if we were leaving the site for a length of time. Never had a break-in there either.

We've used a cable to lock our bikes up when we're off-site for the day. But we've left stoves, chairs and ice chests out with no problems.

Now that we have a coach with solid walls and lockable doors, we'll probably feel better about leaving stuff inside. But some things will continue to be locked in the truck.

About the only issues we've had at campgrounds have been:

1) People (mostly unsupervised kids) walking thru our campsite to get to theirs or the bath house just because it was CONVENIENT.

2) After hours noise. I mean REALLY LATE and keeping people up.

... and those are pretty minor issues. We've been fortunate in our experiences and find that MOST campers are better neighbors than we have at home!
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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We rely on trust mostly...................especially when we are away from the site (hiking, canoeing, etc). I figure if someone wants something bad enough to walk into another's camp, may as well let them have it. They'll get judged somewhere down the line.

As far as protection for my wife and I while we are at camp (we do a lot of remote camping) I always have at least one gun (never do I do this in a campground environment) and I have Chase, my trusty Pitbull friend.

They can have my stuff.....................just don't mess with the family. I just pray I never have to use either one......................Marshall
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:48 PM   #4
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We to rely on trust mostly especially when we are away from the site.

As far as protection for my wife and me I carry a Gun (I can in over 35 state) I have them in my home as well as my home I tow.

We both shot all the time and carry.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:49 PM   #5
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Up to this time, I've never really stayed in a place that I didn't feel comfortable in, but I believe my style of camping will change now. I am hoping/planning to do some boondocking, state parks, etc. So up to now, any concern about theft of items from the truck and trailer have been pretty nill, and I just relied on the door locks.

I currently do not travel with any of my guns, UNLESS I'm on my way to a shoot. But, as times are changing, I might start to rethink that idea. I just haven't wanted to get into much of a "legal" position about having my guns with me unless I was going to a shoot.

I guess it is something I should really start to look into.

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Old 11-10-2008, 08:10 PM   #6
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Security

In 8 years of camping, and some 2500 campground nights I have never felt any need for extra security.

We have camped alone in many campgrounds through North America and never felt insecure.

We carry no guns, truly inconvenient if you're going to Canada where we've had our entire rig literally x-rayed, nor do we have a dog, tough on a dog and campers when virtually full timing.

To this day I have never met anyone who've ever had anything taken from the inside of their rig.

I have seen a couple of bikes stolen over the years. We do use a cable lock on ours.

I honestly feel safer in my rig than in my home where I have had a break in. I simply don't think crooks frequent campgrounds, they are typically away from major population centers.

Campgrounds due to their nature, limited escape routes, and the general closeness of neighbors makes theft difficult.

Norm Milliard
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:13 PM   #7
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Security

Actually I'd be more concerned about the Pitbull than the crooks. Many campgrounds do not allow pitbulls or other agressive dogs, frequently having a breed and dog weight limit.

Norm Milliard
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:33 AM   #8
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My wife recounts a major theft when tent camping years ago at Stonybrook State Park south of Rochester, NY. A lot of their gear was stolen while they were away from the site for several hours. It should be noted that Stoneybrook SP had a reputation (earned or not) of attracting less than trustworthy people because of its proximity to the city of Rochester, its large day use area, and lack of staff and law enforcement presence. I can not tell you if this is still the case but that is one park that is not on our list of favorites.

Other than that experience, we've never had a theft. Like others, we think that people using our campsite as their personal pathway to where ever is a much more common experience. And yeah, the occasional loud neighbor during quiet hours, too, but most parks are pretty good about enforcing them these days.

I do secure our Honda generator with a bike cable and lock, and we'll lock up the trailer if we are going to be away from the campsite. Our dog will bark if someone comes into the campsite that she doesn't know, and that is a large deterrent. Most private campgrounds and all of the state campgrounds in NY prohibit firearms (with some exceptions for hunting seasons) so I don't carry a gun.

In general, campers seem to be a more trustworthy group, but it is still possible for a group of problem folks to be your neighbors. Perhaps it is my public safety background, but I tend to be aware of my surroundings so I can take precautions early when I see something that might be a problem.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:26 AM   #9
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It depends where we are camped, and if we're taking the truck and dog if we lock up for a hike or not. If we leave Pepper we usually leave it unlocked so that in case of fire someone could rescue him if they are so inclined. This thought came about due to the recent fridge recalls. If we are taking him and the truck we always lock up, and usually will put the computer & wallets in the truck too. Bikes are locked to the Tweety bumper or a tree. Some campgrounds just make me feel like I should lock up (ie. dark deserted state parks with no security gate)....then there are the campgournds that it just seems rediculous to lock up...like Fries New River RV Park where everyone in the entire town seems ready to give you the shirt off their back
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:00 AM   #10
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Keeping Safe

We plan our trips and simply don't travel, let alone set up, where circumstances prevent us from enjoying camping. We always stay in state/provincial parks or commercial campgrounds, never a parking lot. We always lock our truck and trailer, but that's just to deter a casual burglar. If someone really wants my stuff I can't stop them and, while a theft would be inconvenient, we don't travel with anything that it would upset me to lose, nor that would be particularly appealing to someone else. We keep a fairly clean campsite, but the tonneau cover on the truck can be lifted or cut by anyone.

The 11 o'clock news skews our perception of personal threats. On our most recent trip the only threat we felt to personal safety was seeing the bear proof food storage containers at every campsite in Crater Lake NP. And even here we didn't see a single bear on the entire trip.

I've hung out with campers for 40 years and they're a good bunch of people.

Henry
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:36 AM   #11
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This is an interesting discussion. I always lock the coach when not there as well. I used to not worry as much about someone breaking in when the dog was there, but that's a different story now.

The only issue we've had with something going missing is a clothesline in our first season of RVing. And the reason it went missing is because it was left at the campsite (don't look at me!!).

We've never taken any guns along unless it's the hunting trip. But I wouldn't stay somewhere that I thought I'd need one. During the hunting trip, we lock the door if everyone leaves camp (which is rare), but we usually don't lock it at night. Especially in recent years, we've had tenters join us, so if they needed to get inside during the night, it's easier to leave it open.

In the times when we take the bikes along, we would take the fold-ups, and we either lock them to the bumper or something or just fold them up and put them in the back of the car.

The one issue I've sort of experienced first hand (though it wasn't actually broken into) is storage. As others have mentioned, campgrounds are, IMO, very safe places to be, but storage is just the opposite, especially if it's not your back yard. It seems like one can't have enough locks for storage.

Jon
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:10 PM   #12
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This is an interesting topic. The replies are more than interresting. It looks like we all do about the same thing - lock the doors when we leave the camp for awhile. So far I haven't felt threatened at any CGs. Most seem full of decent family type people and older retirees. And judging by their rigs, fairly well off. I had been wondering if theft was becoming a problem these days and if so, where (boonies or CGs). It seems most of you feel safe camping no matter where you go.

I remember bear problems in CGs from the 1970s. Not on the east coast, but out west. They were the smaller black bears, not grizzlies, but pretty frightening.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:38 PM   #13
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I suppose we're pretty typical. We always lock the camper religiously even when away for a quick bike ride. This is more to prevent someone from casually entering the unit for mischief than to block someone seriously interested in taking our stuff. The locks simply aren't substantial enough to prevent a motivated burglar.

We don't carry much that we can't afford to lose. I've even stopped locking the storage compartments. I'd rather have our grill stolen (assuming someone really wanted it) than to have to repair the damage caused by someone breaking through a locked compartment door to get at it.

Any important item (computer, phones, and so on) we store in the cab of the truck unless it's too hot. We rely on our location for entertainment so we don't carry much in the way of electronics. I'm a photographer by avocation and I back up the laptop frequently on a separate hard drive, so even if the computer got stolen I wouldn't have lost important pictures or other files.

We leave items outside without any concern when away, but depending on the location, we might lock up our bikes.

Actually, I probably wouldn't mind someone taking the CD/Radio that came with our unit. It would be doing us a favor.
Don
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by donreitz
Actually, I probably wouldn't mind someone taking the CD/Radio that came with our unit. It would be doing us a favor.
Don
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The only things of value we'll have with us is the laptop and flatscreen TV. We have these for bad weather entertainment and for those long evenings when there's not much going on in the CGs. (See thread about people not being as friendly these days.) Anything else wouldn't be hard to replace. A $5 grill, old clothes, used bedding, old pots and pans..... when someone saw this stuff they'd probably leave us a few bucks or a C.A.R.E. package.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:25 AM   #15
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We have never had nor heard of a problem camping but..........mid October we were camping for three days and had a partial and a full bottle of gas. The second day the partial ran out and the automatic changeover didn't work. I pulled the cover off and the hose to the full tank was loose and the tank was empty. Those things don't vibrate off and if they did, the tank doesn't drain down, it shuts off. Luckily, at 9 at night, mother in law lived near by and had a backyard barbecue which saved our fridge and put the furnace back on in 39 degree weather.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwb01
We have never had nor heard of a problem camping but..........mid October we were camping for three days and had a partial and a full bottle of gas. The second day the partial ran out and the automatic changeover didn't work. I pulled the cover off and the hose to the full tank was loose and the tank was empty. Those things don't vibrate off and if they did, the tank doesn't drain down, it shuts off. Luckily, at 9 at night, mother in law lived near by and had a backyard barbecue which saved our fridge and put the furnace back on in 39 degree weather.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It sounds like someone drained your tank. I didn't know that could be done. I suppose there are low-lifes, petty theives everywhere, even campgrounds.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:58 PM   #17
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We have never had any problems while camping, be it CG or remote access. I NEVER carry firearms if I plan on going to a campground, too many kids and people. I DO, however, carry firearms when camping in a remote area..............too many bored people out there. While in Bald Eagle State Forest last month, there was a carload of idiots, high on life & Budweisser, that run their car into the creek about 2AM and walked back up the road. Although nothing happened, I was very happy that I had the pistol in the camper.

Norm...............as far a the Pitbull goes, I wish you would at least read the literature on the breed and not the newspaper clippings on their "owners". I have shared my home with three different Pitbulls over my life time and I have never had any trouble. The first two died of old age and Chase is 7. I have never been turned down by a campground, Chase plays with children, adults and other dogs............my mom has a Yorkie and my daughter a Great Dane mix. I board him at a kennel, I travel with him and hike with him. The Pitbull is a VERY loyal breed which makes them excellent fighters...........they will fight to the death for their master (alpha male). They will do what the alpha male has taught them to do. I teach mine to love and enjoy life........................And he does a darn fine job.................Marshall
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanda~Lust
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwb01
We have never had nor heard of a problem camping but..........mid October we were camping for three days and had a partial and a full bottle of gas. The second day the partial ran out and the automatic changeover didn't work. I pulled the cover off and the hose to the full tank was loose and the tank was empty. Those things don't vibrate off and if they did, the tank doesn't drain down, it shuts off. Luckily, at 9 at night, mother in law lived near by and had a backyard barbecue which saved our fridge and put the furnace back on in 39 degree weather.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It sounds like someone drained your tank. I didn't know that could be done. I suppose there are low-lifes, petty theives everywhere, even campgrounds.
I think someone simply replaced my tank with an empty and didn't bother hooking the hose back up. If I saw someone doing that to a camper next door, I don't think I'd question it unless I knew them and suspected something. It would all look normal. Will I chain it now? Probably not. I don't think in general there's trouble out there now.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:53 PM   #19
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Propane Lock

I drilled a hole through one wing of the hold down nut and another on the clamp underneath and stuck in a long shackle padlock. Like I said before, all you can do is deter the casual burglar. If anyone wants propane there'll be a couple dozen other trailers out there easier pickings than mine.

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Old 11-16-2008, 09:18 AM   #20
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My view on campground security may be skewed. About 80% of our camping time is done at the same CG, so we know a lot of the people there. It is also part of a private members only campground chain. Not to sound hoity toity but we have found that the environment at these campgrounds to be more enjoyable. Not to say that we haven't had good experiences anywhere else. We very rarely lock the coach if we are going for a walk, ride, or to the pool. We don't even lock the door at night when we go to bed. I've never locked my bikes up either. If I'm going to work from the CG and am going to be gone for 12 hours I do lock the door, but otherwise rarely. I guess I'd rather them just reach in and take whatever they want rather than break something to get in. If they do go in and my attack terriers are inside, they are in for a fight. I know it sounds funny but the girls are not afraid to protect what they think belongs to them.
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