Dear RV Shrink:
We have just started doing more remote camping or, as some of our friends call it, “boondocking.”
My husband is much more comfortable with this arrangement than I am. We are not just parking on the side of the road somewhere. We are birders and we like wild, natural places.
I am very comfortable staying in most of these areas, I just don’t like heading out for the day and leaving our RV and all of our worldly possessions. We have never had a problem, but I think about it all day long while we are out hiking or driving around the area.
Should I just “get over it”? Am I being too paranoid? Thoughts, please. —Unsecured in Utah
We all have our own threshold when it comes to security. Every boondocking site has its own set of circumstances. Sites can be too populated, too unpopulated, too remote, too accessible or even on the cusp of illegal. I think we have stayed in all those places and I will admit some of them made me a little nervous, and my wife very nervous.
You have to decide between the two of you where you draw the comfort line. Personally, I would feel better leaving my RV for the day in a well-used BLM desert than a Walmart parking lot. When traveling we use Walmart for overnight stops a lot, but seldom do we leave our rig there and go off to town.
I would suggest making your RV look occupied as much as possible, learn as much about the area as you can, and try to find others camping.
Once you have made your decision, go with your gut and enjoy chasing your birds. Stuff happens, and it can happen anywhere. If you talk with other RVers that boondock, you will discover that few have ever had major problems.
That said, my good friend just had half a bike stolen off the back of his motorhome while parked next to a very nice urban bike trail. He had his expensive mountain bike locked, so the thieves just took the front suspension and wheel.
“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” —George Burns
—Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink