Tuesday, September 26, 2023


6 tips for keeping the bad guys out of your RV and tow vehicle

Here are six easy tips for keeping the bad guys out when stopping overnight in a rather sketchy campground, rest stop, truck stop or even your favorite Walmart.

Lock it up!

  • Lock your tow vehicle. We seldom locked our toad until one night when we unknowingly stopped at a campground that could have been a drug drop or a spot for ladies of the night and decided to lock the car. In the middle of the night at around 3:00 a.m., the car alarm went off. The next sound was someone running and toppling garbage cans. The tow vehicle is always locked now with the keys out of it if still hooked up.
  • Double-check that all RV doors are locked at night. It may seem like a no-brainer, but last week after a very long day of traveling we pulled all the shades down but wanted to keep some of the welcome cool evening air circulating. So we left the exterior door open… all night. Oops.
  • Lock the bay storage doors. If the locks aren’t unique to your RV, change them! Many RVs use the same key! Lock up valuables – particularly expensive bikes or other gear.

Make it harder to get in

  • If you have an interior step cover, move it over the entrance steps to make it more difficult to get into the RV.
  • Know who is at the door before opening it. Several times we have been approached by panhandlers, both at state parks and in rest areas. Best to just not engage.

Secure the doors

  • Use the seat belts as a deterrent by looping them over the door handle – as a lot of truckers do. Watch this interesting video from a van camper on securing doors.


RVer Safety: Let’s review safety and security ideas


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


  1. I asked Airstream, “after spending $100K for a trailer, why do you install the cheap little lock that everyone has a key to?” I am still waiting for an answer.

  2. Don’t forget security during gas stops. A friend of mine had her purse stolen via the passenger door while she was outside the driver’s side gassing up.
    I nearly had my phone stolen while walking my dog at a rest area. A woman holding a child’s hand (!) was preparing to break my driver’s side window when I climbed back in the other side.

  3. We have a TT. I try to make sure everything is locked and then I put the keys close to the bed so that I can press the panic button if I have to.

  4. I have often thought about blocking the steps and/or tying up the doors but then I shudder when I consider the evacuation risk that creates!

    Unless your whole family practices using the fire exits {or unblocking the stairs} and I mean really practices (with blindfolds), then those are really dangerous ideas.

    I do practice with firearms (a lot) and it is not neat holes in paper targets. It is important to train for real world scenarios.

    I think fire or CO, or gas, are greater risks than nut jobs but I still want to protect against that without creating danger for my family.

    BTW you won’t find me sleeping (or spending for that matter) in any state or locale thats says I can’t keep a firearm in my home without their permission.

  5. I can’t believe in this day and age someone would be naive enough to not lock their toad or tow vehicle before going to bed, nor going to bed with the entrance door open. When we had our motorhome/toad I locked the toad if we stopped for lunch and couldn’t see it, the appearance of a key in the ignition would be to great a temptation for a thief. It doesn’t take 30 seconds to pull 2 safety pins and it’s gone, I also would replace one pin with a lock just to keep mischievous teenagers from taking a joy ride, a lock is there to keep honest people honest, a thief could care less about a lock, so you have to make the toad next to yours more easily stolen.

  6. In my 19th year full time. I have never locked the bay doors and have never had anything stolen. I don’t spend the night in Walmart parking lots, boondocking in some remote area or rest areas. For me I mainly stay in commercial rv parks. I use RV park reviews to see what others have to say about a rv park before I stay there.
    When I started this lifestyle I decided if I couldn’t afford to stay in an rv park I should just stay home.

  7. In the RV park where we’re currently camped. there were “break-ins” on several cars. After talking to one of the park workers, he said, “There were no break-ins. Only cars left open and unlocked with people leaving money, guns, and other enticing things openly visible”.

  8. We had a “dummy” key made up for our Jeep toad. It unlocks the steering wheel but because it doesn’t have the chip it won’t start the Jeep.


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