It’s difficult to say how many people live in their RVs full-time due to the nomadic nature of the lifestyle. The most relied upon number comes from Texas A&M and was released around 2006, and even that was more estimate than fact. According to the survey, no more than 250,000 people own an RV as their only home. These full-timers know that bad things are as likely to happen on the road as they are to happen in a permanent dwelling. Here are real safety tips from people who have been through the things that you hope to avoid.
1.Don’t Believe the Hype
If you’re the type to buy into everything that you hear or read, you may be frightened away from full-time RVing. You’ll hear stories that make RVing sound scarily similar to sailing the big seas with pirates on your bough. It’s true that there are bad people out there who want nothing more than to do harm to good people, but those people are few and far between. You are in very little danger of being robbed blind by roving bands of thieves.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use a modicum of common sense. Treat your RV as you would your home. Lock windows, secure doors and keep expensive belongings out of plain sight.
Many people are unaware that they can secure their RVs in the same manner that they secure their homes: with a reliable security alarm. Forget the alarm that’s attached to your car. We hear these alarms so often nowadays that they go virtually ignored. Instead, outfit your RV with the same type of home security system that you would install in a house.
You can also consider a portable motion sensor. These sensors have a loud alarm that will sound whenever someone is moving inside of your RV. Full-timers utilize these motion sensors as added security devices when they leave their RV for a day of exploring or shopping.
Sure, it’s popular to have a tiny version of a canine in an RV. Small dogs don’t require much room, don’t eat a lot of food, and don’t create as much of a mess as their large counterparts. If you were planning on robbing someone blind, would you let a Chihuahua stop you? Chances are that you snickered at that question.
The old tried-and-true dog is as good an alarm system as you can purchase, or adopt as the case may be. A larger dog is more likely to intimidate a would-be intruder. The bark can be worse than the bite, but a burglar is likely to pass up your RV in favor of the next one if you have a large dog barking through the window. Believe it or not, there are large breeds that do quite well in small spaces provided they are given adequate amounts of exercise.
You’ll need auto insurance for your RV, and most people are aware of that fact. What you should also know is that auto insurance may not cover you in the case that you’re robbed and use your RV as a home. You will do well to purchase a solid property insurance policy.
As the experts at Kanetix will tell you, one of the most important things that you can do is to keep your policy up to date. For example, if you outfit your RV with a security system, let your insurance company know. If you make alterations or add expensive equipment to your RV, talk to your agent. If you switch from RVing as a hobby to RVing as a living; you got it: Let your insurance company know.
5.Know Where You Are
Sure, you can always call 911, but wouldn’t you feel safer knowing where you are? When you pull over to spend the night in any area, know where the nearest hospital is, where the police station is, and how far you are from the fire department. This information can easily be found via an Internet search in less than 15 minutes.
Along with knowing where you are, always make sure that a family member or friend knows your location. You may not want to be tied to anything permanent, but you better be tied to at least one family member. Check in with this person any time you stop to spend the night somewhere, update them with your location, and alert them to when you may be moving on.
RVing full-time is not as dangerous as some may lead you to believe. The thing to remember is this: You are no more likely to be robbed in your RV than you are to be robbed in a house. Keep your wits about you, use common sense, and follow the tips above. If you do these things, you’ll be as safe as you can reasonably expect to be.
Daniel is an insurance blogger and avid camper. Follow him on Twitter @daniel_w2012 to learn more about recreational safety.