If you are leaving the RV for a couple of days in a campground, make sure to take a few precautions. We have left our motorhome at campgrounds for a couple of days or for several weeks due to family emergencies and, for the most part, everything has been fine. But there are a few things that I have learned to help keep our RV secure and put my mind at ease while we’re away.
Tips for securing your RV when leaving it behind
- Let the camp host or office know when you are leaving and when you are to be expected back. Make sure you’ve paid up for that time and that the campground has no issues with the RV being vacant.
- Leave a key with the office or a trusted campground neighbor. Make sure you leave your contact info, too.
- Put any outside items away that would be costly or hard to replace. I usually leave an old camp chair and mat out to say “coming back soon.”
- Lock all bay doors and double-check that they’re locked!
- Secure valuables inside. If the RV was broken into, what could you afford to lose? I take some essential papers with us and leave the rest in a safe. I also have digital copies of important papers that go with us.
- Pull in awnings.
- Let down the satellite dish and/or any other collapsible antennas.
- Consider pulling in slides. I always debate about that. Slides pulled in shout “this RV is vacant,” but doing so can save your topper awnings in wind gusts.
- Turn off the water at the spigot. You don’t want a flood inside or leaking hoses outside!
- Make sure the water pump is off.
- Depending on time spent away, consider emptying the fridge. The smell of rotten food can be almost impossible to get out.
- Set a small light on a timer to go on and off in the evening.
- If mice or, worse yet, rats are an issue, continue normal precautions. For us, that is keeping rope lights on a timer way under the RV to deter rats and spraying interior with peppermint oil. Note: Rope lights should be well under the RV to avoid disturbing neighbors.
- Close shades or curtains. Again, all shades tightly down scream “gone” so I vary it a bit and pull just the privacy shades down in a few windows.
What other precautions do you take when leaving your RV in a campground for a few days or extended time? If you have other suggestions for RVers, please share them in the comments below.
Place a wireless Gps location devise in your Rv so you can tell if its being moved. Once stolen they are hard to Recover.
I always pull up the stairs when I leave, so It is more challenging to work on the door lock or break the door window in the hope someone sees a person working there and reports him to the manager.
Make sure to turn off your water heater tank. If a drop in water level occurs, and then temperature drops in tank, you might burn out elements. Easier to flip breaker and turn off propane.
If you haven’t already done so, strongly urge you to make sure all locks (entry and bays) are NOT using a ‘universal’ key to open. In fact, I also got rid of ‘master key’ lock cylinders as those keys are also becoming too easy to get. And for what it’s worth, none of the locks will prevent a break in, but will make the crime more obvious – do you have insurance?
I would suggest the most basic tip of all- be a nice camping neighbor. If you party loudly every night until the wee hours, keep bright lights on all night, (while knowing it irritates your neighbor), let your dog bark outside all day long, burn your garbage in a smoldering fire pit, and any of a hundred other annoying bad camping etiquette practices, you are probably going to find your neighbors a lot less likely to watch over your RV while you are gone.
Dump your tanks.
I’ve heard about rope lights keeping away rodents. I’ve also heard they don’t work. Where is the evidence rope lights do work? I was unfortunate enough to be parked next to a motorhome with all those rope lights. They had black out inserts in all their windows. I only had shades. Kept me awake. I think campgrounds should ban the lights, and the inconsiderate people who have them.
Where is the evidence that the lights do not work? I think if lights bother you that bad, you should get blackout inserts in your windows.
Spoken like a real inconsiderate neighbor. Put your lights up under the rig, shining down. Not all over the ground like a UFO landing zone. There are also safe powdered deterrents that can be used. They do work!
Mousetrapmondays dot com!!!
Rats and mice crawl all over them. Mint oil, sonic sound devices and most of these kinds of methods shown to be mostly ineffective. But, if they make you feel better to use, go for it.
Spoken like a real inconsiderate neighbor. EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!
I use a string of rope lights around my RV, as well take out the garbage every night, AND ensure ALL food in my cupboards are in IKEA type plastic tubs with snap lids. Result? ZERO rodents. So my advice is get some better shades because my lights are staying!
Another real inconsiderate neighbor.
Security systems are another great idea. Our RV has a security system connected via the cell service allowing us to remotely know of issues and dispatch authorities if needed. We also installed cameras on all sides that allow remote viewing and recording of all activity. We can now leave our RV for the day or several days and not worry about unwanted guests.
Which system do you use. I’m thinking about just a Ring, but concerned about it’s ability to remain mounted while moving.
Good question I’d like to know too.
Leave the steps down and the grab handle out, steps in and grab handle folded in is sure sign nobody home
Turn off the propane tanks.
This is an excellent one!
Unless in a potential freeze zone. If so, at least blow out water lines, turn down thermostat and have somebody checking tank levels.
I can’t agree as should the power go out your fridge can’t automatically switch to propane.