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Author Topic: QUESTIONS of Random non rv parks/campgrounds places you stayed that was legal  (Read 4550 times)

nakamuru

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  • Posts: 46
I'm doing lot of research on getting a small trailer rv and some immediate concerns or questions I had were following.

There will be times where campgrounds or rv parks are filled and saw some app/websites where some parking is ok and safe and wanted to know following if that was the only option.

1). Have you experienced random people knocking on door or bothering you (panhandlers, police, teenage/college kids wanting to disturb for fun of it) ? (worst will be while your sleeping)

2). Any soloist out there doing this and is it pretty safe? I have a girlfriend but she doesn't live with me or anything and obviously would feel more safer with her next to me but then again, I'll be doing my work as well so it's actually good so i can focus.

3). Do you guys carry any weapons inside your rv? I'm not really fond of guns but maybe a baseball bat or pepper spray or something lol

UTTransplant

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  • Posts: 2206
  • Cedar Falls, Iowa
I have never spent the night in a place where someone came to my rig, either a trailer or motorhome. The advantage of having wheels is that is the spot looks sketchy I move on. I only felt I needed to do that once over numerous years, and that was actually in a remote Forest Service campground with no other campers but a car full of young men who just kept circling and circling the place.

Lots of solos here, though I am not one of them. I have camped by myself using a travel trailer a number of times though. In that case I stayed in a regular campground. For “protection” I kept a boat horn next to me. Since there were a number of people around, generating a lot of noise was my best protection. If you don’t feel comfortable with a weapon, you shouldn’t have one. I am not comfortable with one, so I don’t keep one with me. My DH is, so he sometimes does have one though mostly for target shooting.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
2018 Tiffin 37PA
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk toad
https://toobusyforwork.com

SeilerBird

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I full timed solo for ten years and traveled the entire country. Never felt unsafe for even one second. Never had any random people knocking on my door other than two people who wanted to buy my RV when I was in the process of buying a new one. I don't carry weapons. I am not paranoid and I have never had a reason to use one in my 70 years. Personally I feel that campgrounds and RV parks are some of the safest places in this country. About the worst thing I have ever heard of happening in an RV park is someone hitting a low branch while pulling in.

Old_Crow

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  • Posts: 1872
  • Phormer Phantom Phixer
We use freecampsites.net a lot to find overnight spots when traveling. 
This often puts us in places where we're all by ourselves.  Never been bothered once, and the only time we've ever had a problem was in a National Park campground on the Natchez Trace Parkway, when we had our Jeep stolen.  The people who stole it were on the run from crimes in another state, and ours wasn't the first vehicle they'd stolen, so I think it was just a fluke. 
Oh, and I didn't use freecampsites to pick that campground.
We do carry firearms, but that's only because we're full time and I wasn't ready to pass them on to my kids yet. 
Wally Crow
Retired 30+ year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53   "Kobayashi Maru"
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
FMCA F494768

"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

Hfx_Cdn

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  • Posts: 3636
     As Pam and Tom have said, when you pull into a potential place to park and you don't feel comfortable, move on.  We only look to boondock when trying to make time moving from one location to another, and that usually is when heading south in the late fall.  We have never had anyone come to the door or felt threatened by people.  As Canadians we cannot bring firearms into the US, so that is not an option.
     Actually the only time I felt threatened was a long time ago, when we were set up in a campground in the White Mountains National Park, in our then Pop Up TT and a black bear decided it was hungry and attacked the dumpster a hundred feet or so from our trailer.  A gun would have been useless given other campers and total darkness.

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

NY_Dutch

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  • Posts: 5958
  • Home is where our wheels are!
In 76 years of tent and RV camping, I've parked in many non-RV park locations over the years. The only time I've had a knock on the door was a Walmart security guard suggesting that if we were there for the night, that we park closer to a light pole where we could be seen better by the patrols. The closest thing we carry to a weapon is a WWII block warden's nightstick that I've used as a tire thumper for many years. With our TPMS, I haven't used it on a tire in several years, but it still rides along next to the drivers seat out of habit.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Heli_av8tor

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  • Posts: 802
Only been at this for a couple years, most times not in campgrounds, but have never felt threatened.

However I agree with Pam, and always keep something close by that will make a very loud noise  ;)

Tom & Theresa
2004 Pace Arrow 37C, Workhorse W22, 8.1 Vortec
2014 Honda CR-V Toad, Roadmaster -5 Base and tow bar
SMI Stay and Play Duo Brake system

nakamuru

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  • Posts: 46
Not saying there are guarantees but seems more safe when I'm in the city in my own home. Had my car break in, to take 4 bikes stolen, almost backpack taken with all my work and 3 pics in it. 

Well in glad to hear that. I'm sure common sense goes long way and noticed things happen that could have prevented for me.

ArdraF

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  • Posts: 10623
We've never had people knock on the door.  We did have a Newfoundlander ("Newfie") circle us in a shopping center parking lot after seeing our California license plate but he just wanted to say hello and welcome to Newfoundland.

I will say that you also need to be aware so you don't act suspicious.  For example, avoid parking near schools where parents and/or neighbors might call the police.  And you certainly don't want to park in a church parking lot on a Saturday night unless you can be sure you'll be gone by Sunday morning services!

I second the advice - check out the neighborhood/parking lot before settling in and move if things start to change or get rowdy.  If a neighborhood looks scuzzy then it probably is best to move along and find a more desirable location.  Always pay attention to signs such as "No on-street parking 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m." or "No overnight parking."  Many communities (especially in nice weather locales) have problems with itinerant parking and are enacting restrictions.  If you do stay overnight in their community, be a good citizen and pick up trash around your rig.  RVers need to make a positive impression when they boondock in someone's community.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

NY_Dutch

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  • Posts: 5958
  • Home is where our wheels are!
Speaking of church parking, one of the best non-park spots we've had happened when we asked a parish priest if we could overnight in the church parking lot. He said we could if we wanted to, but recommended we go around to the back of the recreation building instead. A former maintenance man had lived in his TT there, and the 30 amp full hookups were still in place. We left a generous donation... :)
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Roy M

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  • Posts: 985
The only time we ever felt uncomfortable was at a few rest stops where there were a number of transients and and persistent panhandlers. I was more worried about a paranoid with a weapon, met one in Reno  ::)

Isaac-1

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I have only experienced a couple of such incidents, over the years, the first that I recall was 20 years ago in a busy rest area in west Texas on I-10 with someone knocking on the door asking for money.  I had a 10 year old camper van at the time that had about 150,000 miles on it, so I am not sure why they picked my door to knock on at 3 am.  I rolled down the window, gave them my own half true sob story, about being recently divorced (true part), out of work (half true, I owned my own business and had closed it down to get out of town for  couple of weeks and clear my head of things), wished them luck and told them I did not have any money either,...

Most recently 2 years ago, I had a similar sort of encounter while camped in a small 25-30 site Forest Service $10 per night dry camping campground just off I-80 in Wyoming, the campground was at near 100% occupancy, and it was daylight, though I don't recall if it was morning or evening when a rather disheveled looking middle aged woman knocked on my door asking for money.  Her story was that she was camped out nearby, boondocking where it was free to park somewhere near the campground, and needed money to buy gas to get to wherever she was going.  I have no idea if it was true or not, but I gave her $5 or so, told her that I was short on money too, and that I was camped out there for a couple of days waiting for my monthly check to hit my account, so I could go on into the next city to restock groceries and move on along the road.  There was some truth to that story as well, I was waiting for my wife to fly in so she could join me on the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone part of the trip, I was also a little shorter on cash than I would have preferred.

As to defense, I keep a large, very bright  Maglite LED flashlight in my coach, I also have bear spray, but that is primarily due to the chance of bears in places like Wyoming.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Rob VanVoorhis

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We've been roaming the country for close to 10 years now and never a knock other than a neighbor in the park sharing some cookies or BBQ! No guns for us, have never owned one, don't hunt or anything like that however, I do have a Louisville Slugger with me always and lots of knives seeing I'm a retired chef LOL... We're at a park in Fort Pierce Fl and a few weeks ago there was an incident where some crooks got into quite a few unlocked vehicles and managed to grab some small change and believe it or not a couple of hand guns!!! Leaving hand guns in an unlocked or even locked vehicle doesn't seem like a great idea to me, seems maybe an irresponsible gun owner or two put many of us in danger and possibly others.... I don't know gun laws so I don't know if this is normal practice or not, common sense tells me no??

Rob VanVoorhis
2017 Ford F250 Power Stroke
2019 Montana High Country 375FL
Awesome Wife & Tillie Our Yorkie
Retired
USN Vietnam Era

Wizard46

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  • Posts: 2082
Only had someone knock on my door once. Walmart in Wynne Arkansas, 3AM, had permission. Turns out there was a crew repainting the lines in the parking lot and had done all except where we was parked. We moved over a couple of lanes that was done and went back to sleep. Turns out they didn't want to paint anywhere near us in fear of damaging out motorhome.
Jerry & Patsy Potter, Taz & Jake Jr.
2000 Winnebago Journey
2006 Ford Explorer 4X4
Home: Milledgeville Ga.

DamianF

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  • Posts: 19
Two times we've had drunk panhandlers at the door, one in Gallup NM., and the other in Farmington NM.  We also had an aggressive panhandler at the Sky City Casino along of I40 between Flagstaff and Albuquerque.  We've had overly curious individuals checking our rig over for freely available items on the truck at the Sierra Vista AZ Walmart when we stopped just to go shopping, street racers pulling up to overnight units and then peeling out during the night in Harrisville UT. (several people departed in their rigs in the middle of the night), and of course the 6 or 7 Cactus Wren that sneaked in through the screen door slider I had forgotten to close, and stole dog food from the bowl. Our dog Viper was in Heaven when we came back to find live birds in the trailer.  It doesn't get much better than that!
Yes we carry firearms...
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 08:49:30 AM by DamianF »
Damian, Trina, & Viper
1983 KW W900B, 3406b, 15spd, 355's
1995 Carriage Chaise triple axle
1971 Fiat 850 Sports Spider

Oldgator73

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  • Posts: 2527
Fulltimed for 5 years and crisscrossed the country several times. Stayed at many a Walmart, rest stop, truck stop and sometimes just pulled off the road next to a river or a stream. Never had any trouble or been asked to leave. We now have a small 17’ TT. Same procedures. We often take the grandkids with us. Stay overnight at Walmart’s, rest stops, truck stops, etc. never had a problem. As for guns, no. Never felt a need for one in my stick and brick or RV.
Retired Air Force
Retired DoD Chief, Education & Training
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier
1952 Wife
Do you know the difference between Education and Training: Would you rather your daughter take sex Education or sex Training?

bigfatguy

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  • Posts: 110
Frequently stay in truck stops, rest stops, or boondocking areas. Never had any issues.

I will say one thing about weapons: they are only the solution to one, very specific problem... and most people will get through life without ever needing one... but if you do need one, you'd better have it already. :-)

With regard to bats and sticks, have you ever tried to swing it inside your RV? If you have a small rig, you might be much better off with a small knife, or a brick. it takes a lot of room to swing a bat.

RVMommaTo6

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  • Posts: 2140
  • New York
    • rvmama6 blog
I travel with my kids, but alone in the sense of no other adults with me. I'm also a female who looks younger than I am, so I could be considered an easy target and I've never had anyone come knocking or bother us in any way.

I don't usually carry a weapon, I figure my fire extinguisher is by the door if I need anything. However, we live in NY, so there isn't much risk here. I am taking a gun when I go out west. I doubt I'll touch it even once. It's mkre just a peace of mind thing.
Amanda
Mommy to 6 great kids who love camping and traveling
Aug 1, 2019- began our 10 month cross country trip
2015 Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. 30.2 aka "home" 
2010 35ft Springdale bunkhouse TT
2001 Jayco Pop-up
https://rvmama6.home.blog/

Wizard46

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  • Posts: 2082
Please Amanda, take it only if you know how to use it and make sure its secured where the kids can't get to it easy.
Jerry & Patsy Potter, Taz & Jake Jr.
2000 Winnebago Journey
2006 Ford Explorer 4X4
Home: Milledgeville Ga.

RVMommaTo6

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  • Posts: 2140
  • New York
    • rvmama6 blog
Please Amanda, take it only if you know how to use it and make sure its secured where the kids can't get to it easy.
I know how to use it, I'm a great shot, bullseye every time at the range. My kids know how to shoot s well, but they won't be touching it.
Amanda
Mommy to 6 great kids who love camping and traveling
Aug 1, 2019- began our 10 month cross country trip
2015 Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. 30.2 aka "home" 
2010 35ft Springdale bunkhouse TT
2001 Jayco Pop-up
https://rvmama6.home.blog/

Oldgator73

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  • Posts: 2527
I know how to use it, I'm a great shot, bullseye every time at the range. My kids know how to shoot s well, but they won't be touching it.

Shooting at a target is quite different than shooting at a human being. Experts say you have to shoot to kill. You have to decide before you even pick the gun up if you are willing and able to kill another human being. You are going to be extremely nervous, shaking, maybe some tears that will obstruct your vision. And if you do shoot and kill, what if it was a mistake. Something you will have to live with. Maybe while in prison. Except if you live in Florida or Texas where you can kill anyone and get away with it.
I’m pushing 70. We have lived in 14 States, visited 49, lived in two foreign countries and visited dozens more. We have never thought we needed to carry a gun. But that is a personal decision that everyone must make on their own. I wish you well on your trip. Have fun. It will be a trip of a lifetime for your kids.
Retired Air Force
Retired DoD Chief, Education & Training
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier
1952 Wife
Do you know the difference between Education and Training: Would you rather your daughter take sex Education or sex Training?

solarman

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  • Posts: 377

In all my years of camping, I have had no issues with people, more problems with wildlife..!
i do have a shotgun and bear slugs for "wildlife protection" but have yet to use it..

KZ MXT20 480 W solar
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Ram 2500 CTD

Matt_C

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  • Posts: 154
Nakamuru,

You have a lot of good and honest replies here.  In all our years of travel, we have probably bought fewer than a dozen crampsites that were not at rallies.  When we travel in the free states, I may have a firearm or two, but never in the police states.  For those, we carry "Shoots 20feet" wasp spray and a baseball, a glove and a bat.  Showed the bat to one person and that was all that was required.  Wife was behind me once with the spray because she was nervous. 

If you carry a bat (not a bad idea) also carry a ball and glove.  We were harassed by a LEO in one of the police states because I had a nice Louisville Slugger I was transporting for a friend and he was getting a bug because I had a weapon.  If you have the rest of the kit, that stops that accusation dead.  (Oh, the bat was a signed collector's item.)   

Matt   
A lifelong waterman with a trophy wife and a pair of mutts going places we cannot get by boat.

Lou Schneider

  • Global Moderator
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  • Posts: 10188
I often spend the night in non-campground areas, and only once have I been approached by anyone.  It was 30 years ago when I stopped for dinner in a rest area in my beat up green and white Ford Xplorer Class B.  I had several RVs over the years that I used under the "buy'em cheap and fix'em when they break" plan.

While I was there several people knocked on my door and asked if I needed any help.

When I went to use the restroom, I found a note pasted on the mirror ... "Broken down, need help.  Green and white Ford camper".

As I drove out I saw another beat up, green and white Ford camper on the other side of the restroom.  The occupant glared at me as I drove past.

RVMommaTo6

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  • Posts: 2140
  • New York
    • rvmama6 blog
Gator, although it's not people I have in mind needing it for, I would shoot someone in a heartbeat if it meant protecting my kids. And I don't see shedding any tears over it. IF, and I doubt it would ever come to this, but IF I had to shoot somebody, I would do it confidently because I know I could never pull the trigger for a "maybe" situation. If the trigger is pulled and someone is at the other end, they did something to deserve it.
Amanda
Mommy to 6 great kids who love camping and traveling
Aug 1, 2019- began our 10 month cross country trip
2015 Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. 30.2 aka "home" 
2010 35ft Springdale bunkhouse TT
2001 Jayco Pop-up
https://rvmama6.home.blog/

Oldgator73

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  • Posts: 2527
Gator, although it's not people I have in mind needing it for, I would shoot someone in a heartbeat if it meant protecting my kids. And I don't see shedding any tears over it. IF, and I doubt it would ever come to this, but IF I had to shoot somebody, I would do it confidently because I know I could never pull the trigger for a "maybe" situation. If the trigger is pulled and someone is at the other end, they did something to deserve it.
Amanda, I really hope so. You seem like a kind person and I know you love your children. I would hate for you to have to pull the trigger on someone. I would do anything to protect our grandchildren. But I refuse to carry a gun. I refuse to be afraid. In my heart I know you will do the right thing.
Retired Air Force
Retired DoD Chief, Education & Training
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier
1952 Wife
Do you know the difference between Education and Training: Would you rather your daughter take sex Education or sex Training?

Chet18013

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  • Posts: 1824
I was on the NJ shore and needed an overnight spot. Ask the local Cop I saw and he directed me the police station parking lt. Never felt safer than that night.

Chet18013
Full time in a 45' '04 Monaco Signature
towing a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel

NY_Dutch

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  • Posts: 5958
  • Home is where our wheels are!
I was on the NJ shore and needed an overnight spot. Ask the local Cop I saw and he directed me the police station parking lt. Never felt safer than that night.

Heh! Years ago I was working a service call on Long Island, and I asked a local cop where there was a safe place to spend the night in my truck camper. He started to say the station parking lot, but stopped and said a fellow cop had been mugged there the night before! He made a phone call and sent me to a nearby potato farm where I spent the night next to the barn complete with an electric hookup. Even had a nice farm breakfast the next morning... :)
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

RVMommaTo6

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  • Posts: 2140
  • New York
    • rvmama6 blog
If we're in a town with an ordinance against overnight parking thus making Walmart a nonoption, I've been known to look at GPS and find a church with a parking lot blocked from the road by the building. We pull in at night, leave in the morning, have never been bothered.
Amanda
Mommy to 6 great kids who love camping and traveling
Aug 1, 2019- began our 10 month cross country trip
2015 Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. 30.2 aka "home" 
2010 35ft Springdale bunkhouse TT
2001 Jayco Pop-up
https://rvmama6.home.blog/