Wednesday, November 30, 2022


RVers: To arm or not to arm


By Mike Sherman

Many RVers may not always have safety and security at the forefront of their thoughts as they prepare to travel just for a weekend or maybe on a more permanent basis. Batteries, fuel, proper clothing, etc. There’s a lot of planning involved to a greater or lesser degree, depending on your goals and objectives.

Do you plan on staying mostly in RV parks, surrounded by dozens or hundreds of other folks? Perhaps you dream about being in the wilderness, away from any evidence of civilization. Or maybe a combination of both. Regardless of your plans, you will be on roads both rural and major. You will probably experience big cities and remote stretches of no-man’s land.

At some point thoughts of your personal safety will surface. It might be while you’re packing, or three days into your trip when you pull off the road in a remote area with few resources in the vicinity. What would you do if someone suddenly started banging on your door at 2:00 a.m.?

Eventually, you should consider developing a plan pertaining to your personal safety, just like you would for any other emergency like a fire or mechanical breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Everyone, regardless of their situation, is entitled to some form of defense and self-protection, especially if their family is on board.

As a retired peace officer, I have always been vocal that it is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

While there is a fragmented aspect to the legal ramifications of carrying a weapon through the various states one might travel, survival is obviously the goal when dealing with any emergency.

HAVING SAID THAT, it is important that I stress the importance of always being truthful with any investigating authority in the event you are confronted with questions like, “Do you have any weapons on board?” Always be honest!

As we move forward examining the issues in depth, keep in mind that we are always influenced by personal perspective and life experiences. We won’t dissect the various laws that are printed in resources available to anyone that wants to know the law. I am interested in presenting ideas for self-protection and survival, regardless of where you are, in the hopes of offering food for thought. Ultimately, you are the captain of your ship: You decide what is best for you and your family.

Tune in next month for specifics that you can implement to help avoid problems to begin with, and what you can do if you feel trapped by any ugly developments while you are enjoying your space.

Note: We invite your polite, constructive comments. We know this is a controversial subject. Inflammatory remarks will be immediately deleted. No politics!

Mike Sherman is a retired street cop and investigator with 30+ years of RV experience as a traveler, camp host and all-around advocate for the joys of living on the road. He welcomes your comments or questions at .


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1 year ago

What a great topic. Thank you for bringing this forward to us.
For myself, Yes I carry. I’m a Veteran and continued training as a civilian. One of my trainers provided a guidance, “If you get into trouble from a “bad person”, even after you call 911, it will take 15 to 20 minutes to respond. The average violent act lasts only a couple of minutes. We need to bridge that gap to keep ourselves, loved ones or others safe, until the Police can arrive.”
Another trainer discussed timing: “The day you decide not to carry, is the only time in your entire life that you probably should have.” 
God forbid we will ever be in a situation where we have to, but some of us believe we should be prepared.

1 year ago

Not really sure how I feel on the subject. I’m and avid hunter, gave 20 years of my sole to serve been retired for 25 years But I have observed several individuals running around with firearms that I wouldn’t let watch my grand children. Like those that make statements of shoot first ask questions later. I think there needs to be first a discussion on mental stability. Research the laws before traveling n those states as well as Federal/State parks and BLM lands you’re going to travel through. Don’t rely on others, and be honest with law enforcement if stopped as 99% are very decent folk and are concerned for you safety and others. Remember “DON’T point at anything you don’t intend to shoot”, one of the commandments of gun safety.
Just be alert and safe.

Robert Hulett
1 year ago

Looking forward to more of your information.

1 year ago

I usually have some form of personal protection in my rig. Too easy to become a victim when traveling. Help is not available, I am on my own and will protect myself and my family.

Thomas L
1 year ago

First off I am not anti police. If the police ask you if you have any weapons it is a fishing expedition. Don’t lie. Just tell them you don’t answer personal questions. Its the old “I think you have a turn signal problem, can I search your car” bit.

Thomas D
1 year ago

I djd but not anymore. A book I read on concealed carry said first thing. If you use a weapon, be prepared to spend a night in jail. Be prepared to spend tons of money in your defense. Right or wrong you will have to get a lawyer you will be tied up in court which you may have to travel back to. Yes you may be defending yourself and be totally within your rights but?
I like the idea about wasp spray. I wonder what the legal aspect is on that. BTW, 9 mm and first 2rounds are shot. Wont kill but will make you bleed.

1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas D

That is why I choose to have a membership with CCWSafe. They will handle the legal ramifications if my wife or I need to use a weapon in self-defense. Wasp spray is a very bad self-defense choice, regardless of its legality to use on humans. Lastly, a friend of mine who was a SC State Trooper died from a .22 round. It’s not the caliber you choose, it’s shot placement.

Brian Holmes
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

are they going to spend your time in jail to or give you the money you will be sued for? It’s real simple get a dog and don’t answer the door. But the need to feel like Rambo is very strong for some.

1 year ago

My first defense is pepper spray. They keep coming, they get lead. At 78 can’t do much hand to hand. I’ve had a CCW permit for 40+ years. Drew my weapon once, saved my life.
Carry everyday. Folks it’s your right and choice. Just get trained, in the classroom and at the range.

Jim Ransdell
1 year ago
Reply to  John

He’s very correct, if your not familiar with the weapon you carry, don’t carry one. It may get used on you.

1 year ago

My wife and I were overnighting at Major’s Place in east central Nevada, early spring with lots of snow on the ground, just us in a parking lot of a little bar in our fifth wheel. I did have someone bang on my door at 2 AM. They wanted to know if I had any gas. My truck is a diesel. I told them I did not. I did not unlock or open my door. They left. No issues.

1 year ago

I don’t understand why someone feels a need to disparage or be condescending to someone who chooses to protect themselves. Protecting yourself with pepper spray or wasp spray is alright, but protecting yourself against potential harm with a firearm seems somehow immoral or sign of personality weakness. Being judgmental using former military background does not add to credibility.
Respect others’ choices. Saying “I have been at many campgrounds and nothing has happened to me” is like saying I’ve driven a million miles and don’t need auto insurance because nothing has happened to me. Can we agree to allow people to live their lives without judgment?

Gary Roberts
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

Agree completely

Gary Glenn
1 year ago

Mike, my wife was a sworn peace officer in Abilene TX for twenty years. Your comment of better judged by 12 than carried by 6 is a very true and meaningful statement. We are not the Rambo type but we always carry in our Buss, car, and at home. There are alway a weapon at arms length if the need arises. I look forward to your next installment.

1 year ago

Situational awareness is your first best defense, but is only the foundation to be built upon.

Curt Rissmann
1 year ago

Great topic and great discussion. Looking forward to more. Some carry some do not, some choose to be prepared some do not. I am aware of my surroundings and prepared. It’s all a choice folks. I am glad to live in a country that gives me that choice.

1 year ago

I carry wasp and hornet spray for obvious use in campgrounds when those critters are present in electrical boxes or elsewhere. But I also would use them for self defense from pack dogs or coyote, as well as vagrants or others as needed. Oh, and let’s not forget my trusty 12 gage and hopefully the sound of a round being chambered will discourage would be bad guys.

John B.
1 year ago

Protecting self and family is one of the utmost duties. Very important is good and proper training for handling self defense tools (whatever they maybe). Training is not a one time type of activity, it must be a ongoing effort for proper handling and understanding of when the need to use of appropriate force.

1 year ago

My wife and I carry pepper spray that is legal in all states. BTW, I think I actually ordered it online through a link in one of the previous RV Daily Tips.

1 year ago

If you choose not to carry, keep a wasp spray where you can reach it in a hurry. 25 feet of protection from almost anything that might harm.

Glen Cowgill
1 year ago

Mike, I think the majority will welcome your articles. I am retired military who at one time carried a 1911 frequently while traveling. I do have a CCP and carry daily. My wife is anti-gun but understands why I carry and sometimes ask me to go with her when she has to go to certain areas in our community (Miami). I am 79 and not able to manhandle someone any more, I constantly maintain proficiency with my daughter who is a LEO.
Your articles are welcome and timely in today’s environments.

2 years ago

It would be interesting to do another survey in 2020! With all the gun-grabbers around, the “always carry” might increase.

2 years ago

If someone bangs on one’s RV door and eventually breaks in and assaults, I’m certain one would do something to protect oneself…hit with one’s fists ( a weapon), kick with one’s feet (a weapon), bite with one’s teeth (a weapon), strike with a baseball bat (a weapon), and so on. I do not question what form or item of self defense one chooses to use. Please don’t question mine.

Bill & Judy Frank
2 years ago

We all need to respect each other’s opinion without casting blame or labeling anyone. Just a couple of comments regarding carrying a firearm on your person or in your RV. If you avail yourself of a firearm, have the commitment to yourself and fellow citizens to seek professional instruction, practice on a regular basis and maintain proficiency. If you choose not to have a firearm, fine. Chances are someone close by will have one to provide safety for you while you wait for authorities. Maybe they will place themselves in harm’s way to come to your aid. If not, you have exercised your freedom of choice and have no one to answer to but yourself. Whatever your choice, situational awareness is of utmost importance where ever you find yourself. Be safe and watch out for each other.

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