10 Camping Safety Tips for Solo RVers

Solo RVers often ask about camping safety for solo campers.

You’ve been dreaming about it for years: finally taking the time to travel and enjoy some fresh air by yourself. You’re so excited that you can hardly wait until your trip starts. But safety is a concern, especially since many people are now choosing to RV alone as their preferred mode of travel. In this post, we’ll review 10 safety tips to make sure you stay safe while RVing on your own!

camping safety

I recently did a small survey to see what my subscribers would like more information about. Many of you asked for tips on how to RV alone safely.

Experiences and Comfort Levels Vary

First and foremost, everyone has their own comfort level and ideas of what feels safe and secure to them. We are all in different stages of our journey, with different experiences and tolerances. Some may feel more cautious than others and that’s OK. The most important tip I can give you to RV alone safely is to listen to your intuition. If something just doesn’t feel right, don’t blow it off. You have wheels. Move somewhere different where you feel comfortable and have no tiny nagging voice begging you to pay attention.

Camping Safety – Have a Plan

Know where you are and know where you’re going. Make sure someone knows your plan. If you don’t check in with someone regularly and something does happen, it will take longer for anyone to realize you might need help. My daughter gets regular updates from me.

It’s not unusual for her to wake up to a message from me saying I’m going somewhere before dawn. I just like knowing someone will miss me if I go, poof. When I’m safely back home, wherever that may be, I call to let her know I’m alive and all is well.

Situational Awareness

Perhaps the most important thing (in my mind) is situational awareness. Be aware of your surroundings. Research your destination before you arrive. You can’t RV alone safely in high crime areas. I personally avoid densely populated areas. I feel much safer in the middle of nowhere than in a populated place. People are so unpredictable and with the world in such chaos, it seems even more so lately. Don’t choose to be in places where you are more likely to have a problem.

solo camping

Self Defense

Self-defense is extremely important as well. If you need help, even if you call 911, it takes time for help to arrive. I’d rather be proactive and have at least two methods of self-defense.

Handguns

I have my concealed carry license and I feel safer having a handgun on me. While I don’t always have it at arms reach, it’s there if I need it. Keep in mind, there are different laws in each state and some larger cities around the possession of firearms. For more information see, Handgunlaw.us.

Obviously, firearms are not something to be taken lightly, but it gives a safety net that no other method can give you besides another person by your side. If you choose a firearm for self-defense and camping safety, please get training so you are comfortable and proficient.

Pepper Spray

Another option for self-defense is pepper spray (or any kind of personal defense spray). It may not always be effective, but it might just buy you enough time to escape. If you’re caught off guard, a strong whiff of pepper will make someone wish they never messed with you. Plus, safety sprays are easy to carry and take up little room, so it’s not a burden.

Bear Spray

I have a can of Bear Spray. I like it because it’s big, holds and disperses a lot of product, and lasts longer than small canisters of pepper spray, and it shoots much farther. It’s expensive but I feel it gives me another layer of camping safety.

Carrying something that can save your life without knowing how to use it will do you no good. If you choose to carry pepper spray or bear spray, make sure you know how to use it.

Communication

If something does happen, it’s important to have a way to call 911 or at least get a message to someone letting them know you need help.

Whether your vehicle breaks down in a remote location, you are followed by someone suspicious, or worse, make sure you have the means to get help.

Cell reception

When I’m looking for a campsite, I really try to find places with a good cell signal. I use Campendium.com first to find campsites. There is a lot of useful information on the site. Most locations have a good number of reviews and people will say if they felt unsafe or how the vibe was.

I also love Campendium for the cell signal information. It helps me be prepared in advance so I can let my people know when I’ll be out of touch.

Satellite devices

I also carry a very small Garmin device that works on a satellite signal. No cell signal is required. I have it set up so I can send off a quick message to preprogrammed numbers and let them know I’m OK. I’ve used it a few times when I don’t have a cell signal. I let my family know where I am and then contact them by phone when I get cell coverage.

I’ve never needed it to call for help but I take it with me all the time just in case. It makes me feel better and I suspect it makes them a little more comfortable with my crazy adventures. It’s a great thing to have with you when you go out hiking too.

Vehicle Break downs

When I travel, I always have anything my truck might need with me. I travel with extra water, engine oil, a spare tire, and a tire inflation device. I also have several gallons of gas in the back of the truck for my generator and can use it if I need gas and can’t make it to a gas station. Texas is big and there are many miles between gas stations in some areas. Camping safety is about more than the boogie man or predators.

Predators

Remember, predators, come in forms other than humans. Brush up on the variety of wildlife wherever you are camping. Whether it’s snakes and scorpions in the desert, or bears and mountain lions in the mountains, every place has its own assortment of natural predators. Take your bear spray and your satellite communicator along, when you go out for that hike in the mountains.

Don’t dwell on what might happen, but stop for a minute while you’re preparing to head out for the day, If something were to happen, will you have a way to get help?

RV and Property Security

Someone asked if anyone had ever tampered with my RV while I was out. To the best of my knowledge, no.

I do leave my RV alone at times when I’m boondocking but I lock everything up and I don’t leave things lying around. I put my generator away, or take it with me. It only takes a minute to cut a lock, load a small generator and drive away. That’s an expensive mistake.

Invest in a good hitch receiver lock. Lock your hitch when you leave the RV. Some campers even go as far as to buy a boot lock for their RV. Hitch locks are not a universal fit item. Make sure the one you choose will fit your RV.

People steel RVs all the time. Towables are a big target because you can just hook up and tow them away. Honestly, if they want your rig badly enough, there’s not a lot you can do to stop them. That’s what insurance is for.

There are GPS tracking devices you can affix to your RV to make tracking them down easier as well. Be aware, you have to make sure these devices have a good battery in them or are hardwired. However, even a hardwired unit won’t work once the house battery is drained.

Bonus Camping SafetyTip!

If your vehicle has an alarm, when you go to bed at night, keep your keys near your bed. If you are met with a thief or intruder during the night, hit the alarm. You’ll draw attention to and probably scare them away.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re a solo woman or man who is an avid RV traveler I hope this article was useful. The first step to camping safety is having the ability to help. The ability to call 911 or at least get a message to someone letting them know that something went wrong is crucial.

Whether your vehicle breaks down in a remote location, if you are followed by someone suspicious, or worse – make sure you have the means to get help! Cell reception can be spotty when traveling so knowing where there’s good cell service will come in handy. Satellite devices are another way to stay connected without relying on cell service and work in remote areas.

You may also like, The RV and Travel Guide For Beginners.

If you like this post on camping safety, please pin it.

20 thoughts on “10 Camping Safety Tips for Solo RVers”

  1. Great article with lots of excellent recommendations. I have yet to venture out on my own, but when/if I do, I will certainly think differently about what I need to take with me.

    1. Thanks Maggie! I honestly don’t feel vulnerable or unsafe when I’m traveling. When you’re ready, get out there and enjoy!

  2. I just wanna get home. Myself, my Mom & new Husband left Wales in late 2005 to sell our property near Kingman, AZ & It’s been a nightmare. 1st, the Real Estate market took a header & we got stuck, & #2, my hubby had to get a green card; not much work in the desert for a either a Tree Topper or Groundskeeper. Getting the Green Card was both scary & expensive. 3, We sold the AZ Property 3 times (they kept faultering.) 4, Then my mom died. My husband & I bought a 36′ RV to live in while we traveled across country. Being a seasoned Camper (tenter) I knew how to rough it. At 58 I figured the RV would make life simpler (Ha!). 5, my husband became ill; the doctors said it was Valley Fever, they LIED. He died on Oct. 5th, 2005. 6, The life insurance company refused to pay. 7, I am disabled & I’m still trying to get home. After my husband died, it was all I could do to pay the bills & buy food. Until recently I haven’t been able to budge, but now, with some credit cards, I’m going to try to get home to Wales. My mom’s property in AZ is under a Rent to Own contract. My is to get to Kingman Kingman 1st, hang until the contract is completed & then bug out. I have nought a van which, during the waiting period, I can adjust myself to an drive to New York, catch a boat, taking my van with me.
    To be frank, this adventurous woman, now 64, who could run like the wind while towing a family behind her, is Scared!
    Of what you ask? Almost EVERYTHING! About the only thing I’m not afraid of is pulling the trigger. In weapons (firearms & the Bow and Arrow, I am an expert.
    I scared of getting caught off guard & my legs failing me, my back (I have a shattered 5th lumbar & 3 nonexistant discs) being it’s usual pain in the backside or my heart making waves again. It almost put me under in Dec 2020. These things can be very debilitating, even now I have been unable to even getvout of my RV for a fortnight because of a medical issue.
    I tried to enlist a friend, but she’s concerned about her cats, why she lives with her sister. I tried to get my granddaughter (21) to come as caregiver, but she’s afraid to leave home.
    I took much of what you said to heart. I will get acquainted with the gun laws in every state between Nevada & Vermont (I want to see the statue of Figure (the 1st Morgan horse) before I go. I pla s on getting a Tracking device & thst other gismo. Not having squat for lodging money (I need every dime to get to Wales & find a little place to stay) so I guess I boondock my way there.
    Ive afraid of supermarket lots, heard lits of horror stories. Been told that truck stops are pretty good, & I figure I can pull into an RV parks once a week on Monday morning to shower, do laundry, get a weeks cooking & baking done. Sounds hectic! My van is pulling a bed from a utility truck and that trailer conversion is equipped with 4 solar panels, 6 batteries and a Gas/Propane generator which runs the things in the van. That’s all being doing presently & by the time mom’s property is a done deal, I hope to be proficient.
    I think I’m also afraid of being alone. It can be pretty vicious out there in the country. I was never afraid when I was in Pembrokeshire Wales.
    I will get all of the safety devices you mentioned & it would probably be a good idea to also get a 2nd phone on a different carrier. A couple motion detectors would be good, especially one that sound like a ferocious canine.
    Is there any more advice anyone out there can offer this once intrepid adventure?
    Has any had experience with the rather new A/C that hangs on the window frame?

    1. I”m so sorry for your losses and the difficult time you’ve had over the past few years. I sincerely hope your situation improves soon.
      I have not seen the new A/C you mentioned so I can’t help there. Best of luck to you.

  3. My Doberman travels with me, she warns me of what I cant see, is great company and shes sweet but most people are afraid of them

  4. I’m a firm believer in owning and learning to use a handgun regardless of your sex. However, if some of your readers want to venture up to Canada, please remind them don’t even think of taking it with you. Even a long gun requires a permit and applying in advance.

  5. Heading out today towards Utah hoping to do some boondocking for the first time. I think your post is full of good info. I plan to go back to read your Sedona and marble canyon posts. Thanks Juley
    Glenda

  6. Great information in this article Juley. Thanks so much for all the hard work that went into writing it. I am sure you have helped many camper or future campers be much safer.I am definitely going to pin this.

    1. juley.torkomian

      Thank you, Karen!
      I thought of something I should have added last night. I’ll go in and edit the post. If you keep your vehicle keys by the bed and hear something, you can hit the alarm button and potentially scare an intruder or thief away.

  7. This is just about the best write up on this subject I have ever read in my 50 years of messing around with RV travel. My one item that I would change is that the information is just as important to men. A point I tell folks now days, I am 75, is that old age decrepitness causes me as much worry as the rest of the points you point out. A very excellent and well written article. Thank you.

    1. juley.torkomian

      Barney, I’ve always thought of you as Superman! You have a valid point and I welcome both men and women alike.
      Thank you for your comment!
      Juley

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top