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Old 02-08-2019, 12:53 PM   #201
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Your Temporary Import License, Driver’s License, and tourist Card will be checked atbroadblocks. They do not want vehicles being brought in and sold without paying duty.

We were north of Villahermosa at a National Police roadblock. A National Policeman came over and politely me if he could borrow out Temporary zimport zlicense. Wondered what I had done. He returned a few minutes later to explain a guy from Texas did not have one and was told to turn around and head back to USA (1500 miles or so). He would be monitored and if caught headed south, he would be arrested for smuggling
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:34 PM   #202
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Reference fact relating to this thread, to provide some statistical perspective to those who wonder about the size of their risk of a Class B burglary (term I use for entries into an unoccupied van) or invasion (term I use for entries while the van is occupied).

A commercial news media report cited a fresh Houston police figure for "BMV" which is burglarly of a motor vehicle. There are 593 spreadsheet pages of BMV data for City of Houston alone, just for 2018. But the total figure given was just for Houston, which is only one incorporated city within the much larger metro area.

If I take that cited figure and scale it up assuming comparable per capita crime rates across this metro, then that means that the total BMV count for 2018 was in the neighborhood of 85,000 crimes. In one year.

And those are just REPORTED burglaries. Many more go unreported, especially in the case of vehicles, where people assume the police will never catch the perps anyway, so why even bother to report it?

Of course, those crimes are not uniformly distributed in terms of either geography or characteristics of the target vehicles. Nobody breaks into old clunkers that offer low ROI for the criminal risks taken. Anecdotal reports suggest that Class Bs are at disproportionately high risk because they tend to carry more fence-able items than the average car.

Any which way this is sliced and diced, the numbers are sobering. Here's the link to yesterday's news piece followed by a snapshot of the 2018 BMVs in my "safe" suburban city (reported crimes only - not unreported). Our local Walmart is a popular boondocking site.

https://www.click2houston.com/news/m...eas-in-houston

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Old 02-16-2019, 07:57 PM   #203
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Here in Texas, BOVs, provided the thief did not make the vehicle move, are simple misdemeanors. This means at worst, someone who gets caught doing a smash and grab might spend a night in jail until they are cleared out for worse crooks or maybe a DWI or two. The only way a thief in Texas may face serious time is if they possessed some type of illegal drugs (which are actually caught and prosecuted.)

What I do, is keep insurance, and I use lock boxes which are bolted down, which are resistant to a meth-head's crowbar or long screwdriver. I also use sun shades even in parking garages. If the tweaker can't see it; they can't steal it.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:57 PM   #204
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I really like this lock installation job shown below. Not the slam locks necessarily, but the deadlocks and Armaplates - yes. I'm in the process of trying to find out who might do analogous work in my area. Many of the run-of-the-mill contractor van reinforcements are bloody ugly, big clunky add-ons. My husband would have a melt down if I considered any such measure. But these are seamlessly integrated.

Edit: My bad; the slam locks are shown in another video from the same maker. They are more appropriate for delivery vans than Class Bs.

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Old 02-20-2019, 04:13 PM   #205
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Those deadbolt locks seem to be a very common item that is sold for European vans, mainly because they ensure the doors stay closed, and are far less ugly than the hockey puck locks/hasps sold in the US. Fiamma even sells "Safedoors" which are secondary locks for RV doors as well.

My concern is exiting in case of an emergency. I just don't think I'd remember to unlock all those deadbolts before I embark on a trip, or lock all of them when I leave.

Another British solution I've seen is a fog machine. Someone breaks a window, the vehicle starts pumping (harmless) fog everywhere and flashing strobe lights. What a thief can't see, they can't steal. However, the last time I've seen a system like that in the US was in the 1990s, the Dragon burglar alarm.

Wish there were a solution that provided resistance to entry, but also provided for a quick safe exit.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:33 PM   #206
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Sometimes there is no need to reinvent the security wheel. Our dog is a welcome addition on trips and earns his keep.
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:52 PM   #207
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:20 PM   #208
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Those deadbolt locks seem to be a very common item that is sold for European vans, mainly because they ensure the doors stay closed, and are far less ugly than the hockey puck locks/hasps sold in the US. Fiamma even sells "Safedoors" which are secondary locks for RV doors as well.....
If the customer service goes well, I will probably be buying from Sussex Installations. I emailed them my van specs to confirm that the Locks4Vans products they sell can be retrofitted. Window glass and interior build components can interfere, and of course, we have left-hand drive vans here in the U.S. The slider most commonly ends up on the opposite side as a result. I'll see what they say.
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:56 PM   #209
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Important post-script on this topic.

TL;DR - Approximately 1 out of every 2 of us will become a victim of VIOLENT crime at some point in our lives, if crime continues at 2017 rates. And pretty much everyone becomes a victim of NON-violent crime (primarily theft). That is why we talk about personal safety strategies in the context of Class B ownership on threads such as this one.

Rationale and explanation -

After noticing significant push-back (on multiple forums) on the issue of crime incidence, with pretty much all of that push-back underpinned by a general lack of awareness of the statistics, my husband and I set out to better illuminate the math. After all, nobody can formulate a rational Class B personal safety plan unless they have some grasp of what they are planning FOR.

That lack of statistical awareness is not entirely the fault of forum readers. American crime statistics are heavily politicized. What isn't manipulated to serve an ideological end goal tends to get obscured entirely. It is very difficult to obtain a 30,000 foot view. I know - I've been working on it.

One number that serves as a useful perspective is the lifetime incidence of a particular phenomenon - people can wrap their minds around what that means for them personally.

As a society, we present that kind of data very well WHEN it suits our purpose. For example, it's common knowledge that American women have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives. Nobody disputes that number, what it signifies, or the method used to calculate it.

But then what tends to happen is that those SAME people look at the way that crime stats are presented, and they are misled into drawing a very different conclusion. They see (for example) that about 1.2% of Americans were the victims of violent crime in 2017, and they conclude that THEIR risk of becoming a victim is 1.2% this year, and still 1.2% next year, and still 1.2% the year after - that at no point will it ever rise above 1.2% if violent crime continues at 2017 rates.

And then they get on internet forums and ask the question, "Why do people even want to talk about crime in the Class B context when the chances of victimization are so astonishingly low?"

But of course, the statistics don't actually work that way. The public presentation of the data is misleading.

There was an effort in the late 1980's to present violent crime data using the same perspective we now use for phenomena like breast cancer. But then that effort ceased, despite continuing interest (even Reddit, which can be counted on to "out" BS in all its forums, took a shot at examining this issue). Given that we haven't been able to identify a published source for that information, my husband built a generalized model to approximate the calculation method used in the 1987 Department of Justice work that is excerpted below. He iterated about 5 million spreadsheet cells to come up with the estimate 44%, but that does not represent the whole of a human lifespan, just a 50-year period.

And THAT is why we talk about these things on forums. For those of us who use our Class Bs very heavily over the long term, obviously by common sense, we are upping our chances of experiencing violent crime in that specific context, and that is true BEFORE we even get into factors such as specific destinations and travel behaviors that may amplify our individual risks.

I'm throwing this graphic out there because it's the best way to debate these things publicly. If someone doesn't like either the Department of Justice source study or my engineer husband's generalized replication of that study, then GAME ON - show us your own research, show us your own calculations. That is the way to move forward on a contested issue such as this one.

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Old 03-06-2019, 03:26 PM   #210
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I looked at that source PDF, https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/llv.pdf
as well as some 2017 docs, such as "Criminal Victimization, 2017" https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv17.pdf
From what I can see, the rates you cite do not separate out important considerations for use as a boondocking statistical reference, like rates of crimes committed by a known acquaintance, rate of crime victims while traveling, rates and types of crimes committed while boondocking, chance of being attacked on any particular camping trip * number of trips a person typically takes in a lifetime, etc.


While there is always a chance of getting robbed in the back-country...just as there is a chance of being attacked by a bear, or breaking a leg while hiking.
As a fellow engineer, I don't think the statistics you cited are sufficient to draw any conclusions about the "dangers" of boondocking.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:31 PM   #211
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I looked at that source PDF, https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/llv.pdf
as well as some 2017 docs, such as "Criminal Victimization, 2017" https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv17.pdf
From what I can see, the rates you cite do not separate out important considerations for use as a boondocking statistical reference, like rates of crimes committed by a known acquaintance, rate of crime victims while traveling, rates and types of crimes committed while boondocking, chance of being attacked on any particular camping trip * number of trips a person typically takes in a lifetime, etc.


While there is always a chance of getting robbed in the back-country...just as there is a chance of being attacked by a bear, or breaking a leg while hiking.
As a fellow engineer, I don't the statistics you cited are sufficient to draw any conclusions about the "dangers" of boondocking.
Hmmm: Just some questions.
Granted that the stats presented don't specifically target boondocking, which started this whole discussion, but where pray tell, might one find such data in order to control for that population? (If I have used the term correctly)
So the stats apply to the general population. I'd be interested in opinions about whether the risks while boondocking are greater, or less than, those applying to the general population, and why.
I'm certainly not comfortable when trying to decipher statistics, but an issue that often comes up in self defense discussions is the number of times the presence of a gun prevents at crime, and thus could cause the stats on crimes to be understated because obviously they didn't happen, and therefore probably weren't reported. My guess is that the boondocking incidents would be more likely to be reported than not.
I for one greatly appreciate the data presented, whether I'm in the boonies or not. Oh wait; I live in the boonies!
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:27 PM   #212
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Hmmm: Just some questions.
Granted that the stats presented don't specifically target boondocking, which started this whole discussion, but where pray tell, might one find such data in order to control for that population? (If I have used the term correctly)
So the stats apply to the general population. I'd be interested in opinions about whether the risks while boondocking are greater, or less than, those applying to the general population, and why.
I'm certainly not comfortable when trying to decipher statistics, but an issue that often comes up in self defense discussions is the number of times the presence of a gun prevents at crime, and thus could cause the stats on crimes to be understated because obviously they didn't happen, and therefore probably weren't reported. My guess is that the boondocking incidents would be more likely to be reported than not.
I for one greatly appreciate the data presented, whether I'm in the boonies or not. Oh wait; I live in the boonies!
My opinion only:
I would be far more worried about repeated attacks and thefts in high density environments like cities, where the population density is surely skewing the overall rates.

I also live in the boonies, and worry more about crime in cities than crimes in our forest.
Even the occasional back woods meth lab is not something that (I suspect) really is major risk factor for boondockers.

I do carry firearms when camping, but not really for fear of an armed intruder. My (limited) knowledge of gun statistics is that in bulk, more innocent folks are hurt by an UD than are saved by the presence of the weapon.

I have no idea if there are any boondocking specific stats on crime or gun incidents. It just seems reasonable that being somewhere in the middle of nowhere, with low population density and little traffic would also be a low priority area for prowlers to choose for making their living.

So I don't worry much about it. YMMV.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:32 PM   #213
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My opinion only:
I would be far more worried about repeated attacks and thefts in high density environments like cities, where the population density is surely skewing the overall rates.

I also live in the boonies, and worry more about crime in cities than crimes in our forest.
Even the occasional back woods meth lab is not something that (I suspect) really is major risk factor for boondockers.

I do carry firearms when camping, but not really for fear of an armed intruder. My (limited) knowledge of gun statistics is that in bulk, more innocent folks are hurt by an UD than are saved by the presence of the weapon.

I have no idea if there are any boondocking specific stats on crime or gun incidents. It just seems reasonable that being somewhere in the middle of nowhere, with low population density and little traffic would also be a low priority area for prowlers to choose for making their living.

So I don't worry much about it. YMMV.
We live in downtown Tampa which is a very small city. Much more crime I would expect then while boondocking...........but somehow we feel safe and maybe it is the numbers of folks all around all the time..............boondocking is remote with the perception of no quick/nearby assistance so we feel we need to be prepared as we are "on our own".
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:48 PM   #214
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We live in downtown Tampa which is a very small city. Much more crime I would expect then while boondocking...........but somehow we feel safe and maybe it is the numbers of folks all around all the time..............boondocking is remote with the perception of no quick/nearby assistance so we feel we need to be prepared as we are "on our own".
I agree that being prepared is always a good idea.
So we carry first aid kits, have bear spray, an inReach, good maps, proper clothing for the seasons, tools, and adequate food/water for more than the trip.

We also try to be stay aware of our surroundings. We won't camp someplace where the area has been trashed. But that is also for aesthetic reasons. We tend to set up camp when it's light out.

The main reason I carry firearms when traveling is to quickly put down a badly injured animal. I've had to do that twice in my life...one a gut-shot hunting victim left untracked by some hunter, and one hit and left on the roadside.

Possibly it's because I've been camping and backpacking since I was a kid, possibly because I don't generally feel all that comfortable surrounded by people, or I just have an overinflated sense of my own competence, but I have always felt safer, and more at peace, out in the boonies than near other folks.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:41 PM   #215
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Very sad. Wished he tried kicking.

You can also carry a baseball bat. If you do make sure you carry a glove also.

As for me I have several lines of defense. I am too old to take a beating, too fat to run. Someone might get me but not without a fight.
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:18 PM   #216
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Those that feel secure in the backcountry seem to have a plan. Since the discussion faded away I have come across a few YouTube videos and stories about an RV receiving untoward attention in the middle of the night. A vehicle or person watching it or circling it, for example. The videos have people/person cowering inside till left alone or morning.

That response doesn't appeal to me and think I'd confront the person with a weapons grade flashlight with Mace in hand. A red laser pointer comes to mind but probably has some downside. Confronting by a solo female is probably not the smartest thing to do. Watching from inside with plan B at the ready is probably more appropriate.

One of the videos had a person showing too much interest over several days in a parked tent trailer. It ended up being torched while the camper was gone. The lesson there is if you have gained unwanted attention, move on. Apparently a local, not mentally healthy, felt someone was in his territory.

Just idle thoughts. I have never had a midnight visitor.
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:25 AM   #217
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As I documented above, crime in the US is at an all-time low. The subsequent arguments that started with "That isn't how statistics works..." are simply wrong--hopelessly confusing populations, samples, and individual cases, among other major conceptual issues. (I write this as one who has studied more graduate level statistics than I care to remember.) The risks are, sadly, far from uniform. But the decline in risk is both very real and rather dramatic. Moreover, with few exceptions, it applies across the board.

If it weren't for this fact, the "44% lifetime risk" number might be meaningful, but the incidence of violent crime has been dropping consistently essentially since the dawn of time. There is no reason to think that this trend won't continue.

The "crime wave" in the 1980s is basically an anomaly. For the story of how and why this happened (as well as a thoughtful, scientifically-valid analysis of the big picture in this area), I recommend the following:

https://www.amazon.com/Uneasy-Peace-.../dp/039360960X

With great difficulty, I will forbear sharing my opinion of attempts to use these statistics as a justification for carrying firearms.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:55 AM   #218
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Avanti, you've convinced me: I'll carry for some other reason.
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:24 AM   #219
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As a fellow engineer, you probably understand the importance of "starting somewhere". The same arguments you made against using those data as a jumping off point for this discussion could also be made for breast cancer - along the lines of, "Well, we can't just say 1 out of 8 because that number doesn't account for [this] and [this] and [this]."

Of course it doesn't - it wasn't designed to. It's a substantial generalization the purpose of which is to serve as a mechanism of motivation. We start with the fact that 1 out of 8 American women will get breast cancer. And from there, we can make effective logical arguments that encourage women to control the factors that lower their individual risks.

It becomes very difficult to frame that same issue in these terms if many people erroneously believe that their lifetime risk of violent crime is somewhere around 1.2%. It's as if all the 30-year-old women in the crowd are piping up and claiming, "Hey, breast cancer prevention is not worth talking about because our risk is only 0.4%!"

Which is true - for that briefest of instant of time when women are exactly 30 years old, the incidence of breast cancer is about 1 in 227 - but that's not where the whole story ends. Not even remotely.

I realize that this is a new way of viewing the issue, hence my heavy use of analogy.
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:30 PM   #220
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I was told a long, long, time ago, by an engineer who at the time had several times more experience than I had been alive, that if the data aren't specific enough to apply to essentially only what the topic is, you really don't have proof of anything, and what you have is reference point in the data string you really need. The problem comes in when the rest of that data is not available, which I think is the case here.



As mentioned, crime statistics that include inner city problems, domestic violence, and all other violent crimes can't really say much about the odds of getting robbed or injured while boondocking, or any other specific activity. Even if they are down by 1/2 over the last period of time, more campers being in the boonies now may have made that part go up, or down.



My guess is that the lifetime odds of a random personal injury attack while camping is very, very, small compared to what most people would guess these days. My guess is also that the odds of having a break in of a camper that is sitting unattended for days at a time in a very remote area area are also pretty low, but if it is a semi remote area that odds are higher by quite a bit.



Also everyone should remember that anything you have in your van for self protection, from baseball bats to guns to hand grenades will become a burglar's if they break into the van when you are gone and haven't taken it with you, or made it positively theft proof (including the whole van).
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