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Yes, You Can RV Alone: 5 Safety Tips for Solo Campers

It's a sentiment that echoes around RV forums: "I want to camp solo. Am I crazy?"The answer, of course, is no. Still, every solitary RVer, from the young work-from-home traveler to the retiree about to embark on her first solo adventure, has probably wondered this at some point.For many, safety concerns are the biggest reservation, especially for single female campers. But you may be surprised to learn that after years of camping, the overwhelming majority of RVers say that camping is typically very safe—often much safer than city living. Most never experience a problem and come to fully embrace their solo RV life. Check out some firsthand accounts of solo campers in forums or blogs, and you'll see story after story from campers who have never experienced an issue. That said, there are some simple precautionary measures you can take to stay safe out there. This list is geared toward single RVers, but most of the advice applies to anyone looking to be safer while camping.
Trailer Pulling Boat

Tip #1: Know How to Drive Your Rig

You'd be surprised how many experienced campers RV for years with their spouses without ever climbing behind the wheel. (As a side note, even if you plan on camping with someone else, it never hurts to know how to drive the motorhome in an emergency!)RVs—especially those class A bohemoths—are intimidating, to be sure. But if you're going to be RVing cross-country (or even down the road), you're going to have to know how to drive it. Just like the first time you drove a car, you'll probably feel awkward in the beginning. But also like driving a car, it will get easier with practice.If you're not comfortable learning alone, ask an experienced person to help you. You can even take a course on driving your RV for personalized instruction. Knowing how to back up, park, and drive on both the road and highway before you head off to camp will leave you feeling more comfortable and confident.You can also stabilize and improve the handling of your motorhome with custom-fit steering stabilizers, anti-sway bars, or axle stabilizers (or some combination of the three). These types of stabilization products will help reduce dangerous sway and body roll, diminish the effects of crosswinds, and overall do their part to keep you safe and confident behind the wheel. Blind spot sensors designed for motorhomes, such as # RVS-BES02-MV-VAN and its longer counterpart, # RVS-BES02-MV-MH, are also available.
Note: Some states require a special driver's license if you're going to be driving a rig over a certain size or weight. Make sure to check the requirements in your state before hitting the road!
Truck Pulling Fifth Wheel

Tip #2: Seek Out Support

When you decide to camp in your RV or trailer, whether you're going to be a weekend warrior or a devoted full-timer, you are automatically inducted into the camping community (and what a community it is!). If you plan to stay in a designated RV park, other campers are almost always willing to lend a hand or offer advice. Making friends at the campsite is usually pretty easy, and it can be nice to have a "buddy" nearby to help keep an eye on things. If you plan on boondocking (camping outside of parks in remote locations without hookups) or you aren't comfortable asking for help in person, there's a vast online community of RVers and RV resources. There are online forums where you can post questions and endless websites with helpful information. There are groups for single campers, for seniors, for women, for full-time RVers, and for almost any other type of RVer you can think of. There are even websites and phone apps with recommendations and reviews for the safest places to camp.And of course, there's also our staff here at etrailer! We offer hundreds of installation videos, product reviews, and personalized recommendations. Plus, our knowledgeable experts are just an email or phone call away.Most importantly of all, don't let naysayers or even well-meaning friends or family discourage you. There are plenty of resources out there to make sure you're prepared for your solo adventures, and there are plenty of experienced campers and industry experts willing to lend their knowledge and support.
Multiple Trailers

Tip #3: Invest in Security

There are no shortage of affordable security products made for and recommended by campers. These are products to deter thieves, discourage prowlers, and give you peace of mind so you can kick back and relax. Here are a few common favorites:
Motion Lights
Motion lights: A few well-placed motion lights on your RV will alert you if anyone approaches your camper after dark. Both 12V and solar-powered lights are available.
Wireless Detection System and Cameras
Wireless detection systems/cameras: Acting as a second set of eyes on your rig, these wireless systems set up a protective zone around your camper. If motion is detected anywhere in the zone, you'll receive an alert on your phone. Some systems include motion-activated cameras to capture the event, and the high-end versions can even transmit a live video feed to your phone, so you can keep an eye on things from wherever you are.
RV Alarm Systems
Alarm systems: Aside from simply alerting you with a blaring noise, some systems can be programmed to text or email you if you're away. Others can even contact emergency services for you, much like a home alarm system.
Hitch Locks
Hitch locks: If you're towing a trailer or fifth-wheel camper, a hitch lock is a very affordable investment to deter potential thieves. There are even base plate locks available if you plan on flat-towing your daily vehicle behind your RV.
Pest Control Spray
Spray: For defense against stinging, biting, and bloodsucking pests, pack pest control spray. If you're camping in bear country, bear spray is highly effective. In the same vein, pepper spray is an easy-to-use deterrant against human threats.
Boots and Dog Bowl
Decoy products: Many RVers recommend leaving a pair of large men's boots outside the camper, or even a large dog bowl (even if you don't have a four-legged friend). There are even fake TV lights available to deter potential burglars when you leave your camper unattended.
Emergency Supplies
Emergency supplies: First aid kits, flares, warning lights, battery chargers—you can never be too prepared. It's a good idea to keep a bag or container of emergency supplies on hand, for those "just in case" scenarios.
Steering Stabilization - Anti-Sway Bar
Safe-driving products: We mentioned these above, but it's worth repeating that a good anti-sway bar or steering stabilizer will make for a safer ride and prevent white-knuckle driving. Blind spot sensors like # RVS-BES02-MV-VAN and # RVS-BES02-MV-MH will alert you when an object enters your blind spot zone.
Motion Security

Tip #4: Beware of Dog (and Bears, Bugs, etc.)

This piece of advice may not be for everyone, but for the dog lovers out there, a furry friend can be a great companion as well as a source of protection. In fact, pets are so often part of their humans' RV adventures that there are pet supplies specifically designed for camping, including portable pet houses, spill-proof dishes, and high-visibility toys. Some wireless detection systems also allow you to check on your pets while you're away from the RV.Of course, on the other side of that, it's worth remembering that not all animals are friendly. Make sure to keep your campsite tidy and free of garbage or food scraps that might attract unwanted pests or wildlife. Some type of pest deterrent is also usually a good idea. Animals will generally leave you alone if you leave them alone, but a pile of tasty trash in bear country is asking for trouble.
Dog in Portable RV Pet House

Tip #5: Make a Bathroom Plan

If you have a camper with its own bathroom, you're already set. But if you plan on using public bathrooms at the campground, try to reserve a spot nearby so you don't have far to walk after dark. It also never hurts to carry some pepper spray or other means of self-defense after dark, and it can make you feel a lot safer.
RV Toilet

Tip #6: Use Common Sense

The truth is, staying safe while RVing is just like staying safe anywhere else. Be aware of your surroundings, trust your gut, and if something feels wrong, leave.Solo camping can be a wonderful, fulfulling experience, and most RVers go their entire camping lives without coming to harm. There's no reason fear should get in the way of your wanderlust, so don't let anyone—including the doubtful voices in your own mind— convince you that you can't go it alone.With a few precautions and a healthy dose of awareness, your personal adventure can be everything you want it to be. And with the RV community behind you, you're never really flying solo.
Wireless Detection System
Related ArticlesRelated ProductsWritten by: Amber S.Updated on: 6/15/21


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