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Have you ever gone to see wildlife and historical structures in a monument, and on getting back, you found out that your hiking bag is missing? Or you have been robbed while you explore cities with little or no people around. Perhaps, you have been attacked by mountain lions or any other wild animals while you live on the road? Then, this van life and RV security essential guide are for you. Van life and RV security essential guide is a crucial subject for everyone who spends a lot of time in a recreational vehicle. When you go hiking, climbing, biking, or surfing, you need to keep your luggage from being stolen. There are times when you would have to keep your van from the fire outbreak.
Since you wouldn’t want your items taken away while you off to a music concert in New York City, here are the essential equipment and strategies to keep you and your belongings safe while you are on a van life trip.
Vanlife Safety and Security
While you plan to visit numerous monuments and parks, hike a lot of mountains, enjoy delicious meals, taste local beers, and enjoy thrilling events in your hosting city, it is also essential to have your safety and security in mind and make a lot of plans on it. With adequate planning, you can enjoy your van life trip with no fear of fire outbreak or theft. Staying safe on the road is being alert and conscious of your surroundings.
Since you will be visiting a plethora of places while you camp, it is vital to know the security strategies about the areas you explore. Here are a few tips to keep you as well as your valuable items safe while on the road.
Your campground is one of the most important places to keep safe while you are on the road. Not only will you spend a lot of time there, but you will also have your campervan parked there for an extended period. The campground serves as the place where you pass the night and wake up the next day unless you on an adventure trip overnight. However, there are different types of campgrounds in every continent of the world. Private as well as public campgrounds are the two most common. Under these two types of campgrounds, we have the tent camping, backpacking or hike camping, survivalist camping, canoe camping, RV and van camping, winter camping, winter camping, re-enactment camping, adventure camping, bicycle camping, and themed camping.
Unlike public campgrounds, private campgrounds are safe. These campgrounds have officials as well as equipment to help you keep your belongings safe while you are out hiking. However, these sites often enforce strict rules and regulations that infringe on your privacy. Likewise, you have to pay a certain amount based on how long you will stay hosting. Even though public campgrounds are also safe, but the safety of properties is your duty only. No one will look after your van unless you are with your partner, who would love to stay in the campervan while you see wildlife. Meanwhile, there are some public campgrounds where you have to pay little bucks, and others are free. If you are a van lifer who wouldn’t want to spend extra dollars on campgrounds, make sure you check Instagram or YouTube for the famous public camping site in your visiting state.
If you pay attention to the critical security strategies and equipment, both private and public campgrounds can be safe for you, your partner, and your belongings. Meanwhile, if you find your camping site dicey, make sure you relocate to another campground with adequate security. It is safe to transfer to camping sites where you have other campers or van travelers with similar interests. You will still have to take a few precautions, especially in the night, even if you camp in a safe site. While you sleep during the night, make sure your doors are locked. You can leave the windows opened especially if you are out in summers to allow fresh air into the van. Also, it is crucial to go on your trip with a portable toilet. With the portable toilet, you can answer the call of nature without running to the woods in the middle of the night.
Van lifers should also avoid going to places they know can be dangerous. If you have to visit any place around your camping site or the city, make sure you have adequate knowledge of the ups and downs of the area. For instance, most of these parks or wildlife areas have instructions and precautions boldly written at the entrance of the park. You need to abide by these rules so as not to put yourself in danger.
Rest Stop Safety
Aside from the camping site safety, the rest stop is another safety you must dedicate significant attention to. Since you will be spending much of your time on the road, you will have a lot of rest stops. While traveling, you can keep your belongings much safer by planning ahead of the trip. Likewise, you should keep your theme of alertness in case of emergency periods. Therefore, you need to find proper time to outline your logical rest locations along the road before setting out on your van life trip. Many states in the US offer van travelers public rest locations. However, these rest locations can be dicey, especially if you have no initial knowledge of the area. So, you need to avoid these sketchy public rest sites if you want to keep your belongings safe.
Instead of staying over in these dicey areas, you can opt-in for parts and view spots or pull into towns with a lot of people around. Make sure you introduce yourself to the rest so that they can know you there. You can make one of two friends while in the location to do laundry and get something to eat. Van travelers also need people around the area in case of an emergency. Places such as libraries, populated shopping streets, town squares, restaurants, historical sites, historical parks, and other popular areas are perfect for rest locations.
Even though many van travelers underestimate hospitals, this place can also be an ideal place to rest while on the road. You can pull in and stretch for a few minutes while you sleep in hospitals. Campers can also stopover at a cheap cafeteria with world-class dishes.
Gas Station Safety
Although, neither smoking nor striking a match stick are essential safety tips in gas stations, there are more to these safety tips. As a van traveler, you would visit the gas stations more often as you visit several tourist destinations. So you must keep yourself, your belongings as well as your campervan safe from fire outbreak or harmful chemicals. There are also security and safety tips that come with using the restroom or mini-marts for snacks.
Always turn off your engine when filling your tank. Not only that, but you are also to keep your keys always from the ignition area. With the keys out of the ignition, there is no chance for your little boy to turn on the engine when your tank is being filled. Even if you have to visit the cinema as soon as possible, make sure you exercise a lot of patience while you refuel your campervan. Generally known, campers should avoid smoking, using a lighter or lighting a match in a gas station. Smoking is a dangerous behavior due to the risk of ignition and fire. In many nations of the world, it is against the law and will be highly prohibited to smoke in a gas station. Therefore, you should keep out any cigarette, match, or lighter before you visit any gas station.
Like matches and lighter, the use of a mobile phone is highly prohibited in several gas stations. Over the years, smartphones have been known to ignite gas vapors that led to sparks. Apart from this, there is a slew of downs that come with using a mobile phone in gas stations. When you use your smartphone, you get easily distracted and pay little or no attention to what is happening in your surroundings. Likewise, you might overfill your campervan without knowing when you use your smartphone in a gas station. While you fill your tank, make sure your mobile phone is tucked away in your glove box or left in your pocket.
Also, van travelers need to remove any form of static electricity. Static electricity can easily cause sparks, which can lead to a fire outbreak. Friction is the primary source of static electricity, and apart from friction, their other ways that can result in static electricity. There are some cases where a fire outbreak started when a driver left for the car when the tank was being filled and returned to the nozzle. Immediately after he returned, the static electricity discharged and ignited the vapors in the air.
Some other people also think that static electricity can stay in your body as you slide across the seat and ignite a spark when you move near the pump. Therefore, it is safe to discharge any static electric charge before you must get into the vehicle during refueling. You can discharge by touching the metal on the outside of the vehicle or get rid of the nozzle from your van.
RV and Van Safety
Many van travelers believe that it is only essential to keep the campervan safe while out hiking or boating. However, it is also vital to keep your recreational vehicle safe while you are in it. Make sure you keep your van in a place with a lot of people or cars. Do not park your campervan in an isolated area with little or no people or trailers around. Van travelers should look for a friendly and helpful neighborhood, mainly if you stayed long in the area.
Whenever you park your van in a parking lot, make sure you have your keys in a safe place. Likewise, you must have your driver’s seat free from items or things that can hinder you if you have to suddenly move it during an emergency. Also, you need to keep your van locked even while you are inside. There are several cases where campers have been burgled while they were inside their trailers, and most of the valuable items taken away. While you listen to your audiobook, the last thing that can happen is for robbers to climb in your van. When this happens, you can easily use your alarm to get the attention of the neighborhood.
Most of the RVs, as well as vans available today, are designed with an alarm that comes with a panic button. If you can’t find yours in your van, don’t forget to install one before you set out on your van life trip. More importantly, you must give no room for fear! Fear does not only make you lose your valuable belongings but also ruin your life on the road experience.
Basic Safety and Security Equipment for your RV or Van
One of the most critical safety items you must include in your gear is the vehicle safe. With this safe, you can keep your essential belongings such as credit card, passport, wallet, or smartphones. So, you don’t have to prematurely end your trip when you have your credit card stolen. The safe also prevents you from losing your properties while you hike or bike. However, you should opt-in for a compact safe as it is easy to use and install. With a small safe, you don’t need to start searching for a space in your van to mount it. Likewise, this portable safe can be easily moved from the truck when you need to do so!
Apart from portability, you need to be sure that the safe is constructed with a lockable steel cable or any other materials that are hard to access without the proper keys. The vehicle safe makes your van life trip memorable with all your belongings in the right place. For campers with lots of essential belongings, the giant safe is the ideal model for your campervan. Unlike the compact safe, you need to install a larger one in such a way that removing them won’t be easy. Preferably, you can bolt the safe in your van. Even though you will be able to keep as many items as you want in this more giant safe, moving around will be a bit difficult.
Vehicle GPS Tracker.
Many videos on security and safety guides on YouTube, as well as pages on Instagram, pay more attention to the need to have a GPS tracker in your campervan. For van lifers who would not want to go through the stress of insuring their vans, having a vehicle GPS tracker is a great alternative. Unlike other equipment to keep your RV safe, GPS tracker is cheap as well as easy to use. Aside from sending updates on the whereabouts of your van, it also offers an electronic security check.
With the GPS tracker, you can lock all functioning systems in your motorhome using a central control with the centralized locking system. Therefore, you can quickly secure all features in your campervan whenever you discover that your recreational vehicle is nowhere to be found. All you need to do is to get help from the GPS tracking company. Provide them with every necessary information on the van. Fortunately for you, the thief will be locked if he is inside the car while all these features are locked. This way, you can quickly apprehend the thief and get your van back.
Another essential security and safety equipment to have in your van is the alarm. Even though many of the motorhomes or RVs converted today have bells in them, some don’t have, or you might not be satisfied with the sound. All you need to do is to get the proper alarm for your van and install it before you set out on a van life trip. Vehicle alarms are easy to install. Likewise, it is a piece of excellent and valuable equipment to help protect your valuable properties. You don’t have to break up your bank to purchase an alarm system for your van.
Pepper Spray and Fire Extinguisher
The pepper spray is a perfect item to keep thieves away from your van. You can easily use this spray in an unsafe and unfamiliar area to give you an extra sense of security. This unit is mounted next to the doors of your campervan. So, you can easily access them during emergency periods. Likewise, you would have no difficulty using the pepper spray when you find out an attempt to break into your RV is made.
As vital as a fire extinguisher is for your home security, so it is for your van security and safety. No matter the part of the world you are exploring, how long you are staying, and where you are visiting, you need to have a fire extinguisher in your RV. Nobody knows whenever fire may start, but preparing for it is safer. Make sure you get the unit that works on any type of fire. Also, you need to first exit your van when there is a fire outbreak before using a fire extinguisher.
With adequate security and safety for your van, you don’t have to end your van life trip prematurely. This post has reviewed the essential equipment as well as tips to keep you, your partner(s), and belongings safe while on the road. No matter the situation, secure your life first before your belongings or van, you can always replace the vehicle you can’t replace you!