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Old 08-16-2020, 06:39 PM   #1
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Default Is it safe for a single woman to camp in a nice Class B alone?

I am a newbie, newly retired and looking to buy a Class B for both camping (mostly at National Forests and private campgrounds) and for road trips. I am single, petite, in my early 60s. I do have a medium sized dog but he is not young. I am wondering if I would be a target for theft or break-in, especially if my rig was "nice." My preference is to buy something used but it needs to be mechanically sound since I am not a DIY-er when it comes to fixing things. So that probably means a newer vehicle. How common is theft or break in with these nice Class B RVs? (I highly doubt I will boondock alone. Just don't feel comfortable).
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Old 08-16-2020, 06:43 PM   #2
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if you are not comfortable pulling into an area, you won;t get the rest you want.

you may want to self restrict to KOAs and other family type campgrounds- campgrounds with "hosts"

sometimes the "more rigid" and unpleasant the campground hosts seem to be...the more orderly the campground is

stay away from those which cater to permanent residents ( piles of junk under blue tarps is an quick indicator)

most of us park with windows covered for heat and privacy
we've never experienced anything unpleasant

Mike


koas are the "mcdonalds" of campgrounds, you can be assured of a certain minimum std of cleanliness and facilities, laundry
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:10 PM   #3
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If you're 62+ get the Senior Pass which will get you into National Forest, National Park and Army Corps of Engineer campgrounds at half price.

A lot of these have hosts and those are the ones we stay at. If you are concerned try to pick a site near the host.

An app like Allstays can help you locate these and the Army Corps has a CD that lists all their campgrounds.

Of these 3 we think the Army Corps campgrounds are the best. They generally have electricity and the nicest facilities. Our second favorites are National Forest campgrounds.

One of our best friends is a widow in her 60's who's been solo camping for 12 years with no trouble and she doesn't even have a dog. She stays mostly in Army Corps campgrounds and state parks.

If you feel uncomfortable move to another campground.

That's one of the best features of a Class B. You can start the van and drive away without getting out of the vehicle.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:06 PM   #4
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If you're 62+ get the Senior Pass which will get you into National Forest, National Park and Army Corps of Engineer campgrounds at half price

good tip, I just bought mine...not sure when I'll use it- but it's lifetime!
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:25 PM   #5
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good tip, I just bought mine...not sure when I'll use it- but it's lifetime!
mike
Why wouldn't you use it? We camped 50 nights last year and averaged $10.57 including nearly half with electric.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:35 PM   #6
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I am a newbie, newly retired and looking to buy a Class B for both camping (mostly at National Forests and private campgrounds) and for road trips. I am single, petite, in my early 60s. I do have a medium sized dog but he is not young. I am wondering if I would be a target for theft or break-in, especially if my rig was "nice." My preference is to buy something used but it needs to be mechanically sound since I am not a DIY-er when it comes to fixing things. So that probably means a newer vehicle. How common is theft or break in with these nice Class B RVs? (I highly doubt I will boondock alone. Just don't feel comfortable).
I think as long as you are not boon docking in the wilds. No problem. Most national and state campgrounds have excellent security from your neighbors.
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Old 08-16-2020, 10:34 PM   #7
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Tgregg, Thank you! I will definitely buy a pass. I am just wondering whether I have to be concerned about anyone stealing my vehicle while I am out hiking for the day? Are there any sort of wheel locks or other anti-theft devices?
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:44 AM   #8
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Tgregg, Thank you! I will definitely buy a pass. I am just wondering whether I have to be concerned about anyone stealing my vehicle while I am out hiking for the day? Are there any sort of wheel locks or other anti-theft devices?
Not single nor female, but in any place I've been in the midwest or west, I've never worried about anyone stealing a locked vehicle. I pay attention to where I park and am careful about what I leave out at night.

As others have said, stay away from sketchy places.

In my experience, in any state and national parks and forest campgrounds, any camping trailer or RV is far more secure than any tent, and tenters leave their tents, tarps, coolers and chairs in their campsite unattended all day, all the time. I did for decades. A locked RV is way more secure and less likely to be a target.

I have never had any reason to think that a nicer RV would be more (or less) of a target for theft than an older one.

The 'Cheap RV Living' YouTube channel has many stories of solo female full-time boondockers who are doing just fine. I'd suggest reviewing them to get an idea how they are managing.

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Old 08-17-2020, 01:02 AM   #9
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All of that is good to know Mike! I do all sorts of travel alone---just have never RVd alone. And then wonder about one of those expensive rigs being a target for thieves. I will put those concerns behind, stay away from shady areas, and continue with my quest to find the right vehicle.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:32 AM   #10
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Just got home from 5 nights boondocked in a remote FS campground. We tow a trailer to haul our motorcycles, and the trailer actually is more secure than the van - no windows, and I have some pretty hefty locks on it. So when we leave for the day, valuables go in the trailer (not that we travel with anything that can't be replaced, and insurance covers the value of everything else).

It was super hot this past week, so we ended up hiking up a river next to the campground to soak in the cool water after our long day rides. We just left the van completely open to air out and cool down, gone for a couple of hours, and no issues.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:41 AM   #11
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We love National Forest campgrounds and find that the "campground hosts" tend to be the same folks year after year. In all of our years of camping we have had no problems. One great thing about a B is you can be a hundred miles away from a place in less than two hours. The comments Michael made about tent campers are spot on...........they are the most vulnerable ones if there are bad people about.

I always sleep with my vehicle key accessible from bed. I figure if I had someone try to break in, I would hit the panic button on the fob and sound the horn alarm. The next level of personal protection we carry is more significant: bear spray. The third level you can guess.

I have never had anything taken from a campground when we were gone hiking or exploring in the Roadtrek. Of course it can happen, but we have never experienced it.

I agree with the other posts about National and State parks as well as National Forest parks. We only stay in commercial campgrounds on an "only choice in the area" situation. Just us and our preferences.

I could not begin to tell you how many gals we have met over the last three decades traveling by themselves staying in tents, Bs and Cs. It is pretty common where we travel and, candidly, I think you will find if you are there a few days and meet your neighbors you will find they will watch out for you. We do.

I don't think you would find one bit of difference in susceptibility of break ins or anything else based on age of the B.

By the way, we camped for years in a National Forest campground in Colorado and got to know a lady that pulled a small trailer up there in the mountain every year from her home 900 miles away. She was in her late 80s when her kids finally convinced her "it was time" to quit. Yep, she was perfectly comfortable pulling that trailer up there behind her pickup by herself. Every one in the campground loved her and the campground hosts watched over her like a hawk. We all did.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:28 PM   #12
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As a female who bought her first RV in her mid-50s, and has traveled a bit since with one, (also traveled the world on my own), it is mainly just using common sense. By this time in life, most women have developed a bit of radar to pick up situations that may be dangerous. The great thing about a Class B is that one can easily just jump in the driver's seat and go. My first year heading south for the winter, I did stay in one campground that was more than a bit marginal, but I was new to this (my second ever) and was so exhausted, it was time to stop. Too many permanent trashy trailers is a good hint to avoid. The office looked like a hoarder's house and the manager had no teeth... and she said just pick any spot where the electricity works... the third one finally worked. LOL Never again..

There are more women full-timing and camping out in the middle of nowhere than most imagine. For all these years, I've been following many blogs, forums, and now Facebook, and thus far no one has reported any serious issues. The most common is theft of things left outside in state and national parks which is rather predictable. Most of the serious thefts I've heard about were in urban areas... and of course, if it is the only vehicle parked near a trail for a few hours, it could draw unwelcome attention, but the age and condition of the rig likely isn't a major factor.

A barking dog on the inside is likely a bit effective, although if it was like the little dog I traveled with for a number of years, once they opened the door, it would have been "oh boy... a human... can I help you find anything?"

Anyway... jump in!! The water's fine...
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:36 PM   #13
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I don't think class b travel makes you a target. Just stay out of areas you wouldn't visit in a car or on foot and you should be ok. But today, in these crazy times, it's important to stay up on current events. It's only certain cities, but you need to make sure you don't unexpectedly encounter a riot.
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:51 PM   #14
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VandZ, good luck on your search for a campervan and future travels. I enjoyed reading this blog by a solo woman fulltimer. She is no longer full-timing and updates her blog intermittently, but Sue traveled extensively for several years with her dogs, and shares many tips, camps, strategy for selecting sites, etc. https://rvsueandcrew.net/
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:10 PM   #15
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My mother started solo RVing at 60 when my father passed. She started with a small travel van with a bed and microwave, graduated to a small Class C, then a larger Class C, then downsized to her last, a Chevy Roadtrek. She made her last cross-country trip at 89, and after a few more shorter trips decided to give it up at 91.

I have camped and RVed all my life. There are some sketchy "RV parks" out there that cater to long-term residents, but for the most part campgrounds are very safe. Mom stayed in state parks and private campgrounds mostly. She did not boondock or overnight in parking lots or rest areas. When she was on the road, I worried about the driving part far more than the campground part. She had a good roadside service plan (something you'll probably want to look into), but she never did catch onto the whole cell phone thing!

As far as being a target because it is "nice," there are lots and lots of RVs on the road these days, ranging from old and run-down to million dollar busses. You'll blend in. A Class B is more secure overall than a conventional RV because it has factory steel doors and locks. Some have alarm systems like cars (but be careful- false alarms in campgrounds won't exactly endear you to your neighbors). Some people install a small bolted down safe for valuables.

You'll be fine. Enjoy!
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:44 PM   #16
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Some people install a small bolted down safe for valuables

good points


some have posted the hidey holes that have found in their van- mine is at the bottom of what was an "armoire"...the base panel lifts out to service water pump.
we converted to a pantry with shelves and a sliding lower pot and pan rack, mounted on that panel- I have my hidey hole
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Old 08-18-2020, 12:22 AM   #17
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Late thought... On some of her trips Mom took along a travel companion. It's not that she required help, but she enjoyed the company. If that's something that might interest you, choose a layout with separate beds.

There are also groups for single females to travel together in separate RVs.

Being with other people has advantages and disadvantages. Temperament comes into play. It may be something to do part of the time but not all the time.
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:40 AM   #18
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All of that is good to know Mike! I do all sorts of travel alone---just have never RVd alone. And then wonder about one of those expensive rigs being a target for thieves. I will put those concerns behind, stay away from shady areas, and continue with my quest to find the right vehicle.
The short answer is yes, it is safe. I have observed and met many solo women travelers. Several such youtube channels are still running through the pandemic. Depending on your budget start with rv campgrounds with hosts and reserved sites. Venture out as you get more experience and have a plan. Park facing the exit, keys readily available, cell phone reception, Mace, windows covered at night.

I have never seen an occupied RV attacked. There have been events related here where the RVer was scared witless sitting in the aisle with a gun waiting for someone to break a window. Do a search on Security and get the threads.

Normal female awareness and defensive actions which I know little about are all you will need.

The youtube channels do talk of rare anxious moments when bothered while alone down a remote road. Just stay in more regimented campgrounds till you can handle it. The tragedies we have heard of had nothing to do with solo women.
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Old 08-20-2020, 12:58 AM   #19
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Thanks Done Working! (Love that name! I am also done working! All that is very encouraging! I will move forward with my education and my search for a rig!
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Old 08-20-2020, 01:02 AM   #20
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Thanks Mumkin. It is exciting and a bit scary but I am pretty self-reliant (have traveled internationally in developing countries for months at a time, alone---but I was younger then!). I have a dog who is getting older and it's possible I might leave him in the RV if I wanted to do a longer hike. I might need to teach him to bark though! He tends to be quiet! Although I think he'd know if someone was up to no good and would rise to the occasion.
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