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Author Topic: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's  (Read 14683 times)

phpvet

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Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« on: November 23, 2009, 10:04:55 AM »
I have a very nice, clean, late model, hi-top van conversion, in which I frequentily sleep on the streets at night, as I travel, to save money.  However, on a number of occasions, I have had someone throw a small ROCK (or other object) at my said camper, usually between the hours of 12 midnight to 3 a.m.  (2-3 a.m. is a VERY bad time for such street camping).  Such invariably leaves a big CHIP in the paint, or a knick on the windows glass.
I DON'T "camp" in bad neighborhoods, nor on remote industrial/commercial streets.  Have any of you, no matter what the circumstances (even RV parks), ever experienced such RV VANDALISM, no matter how "petty"?  I am male, aged 63, white.  I often think that such is RACIALLY motivated, or some local resident wanting to RID such camping from their neighborhood, no matter if it is my FIRST appearance there.  On one very recent occasion, during broad DAYLIGHT here in a very decent area of Mountain View, CA, a group of five young Hispanic youths, while running (ON FOOT) down the street at great speed, ran right by my van as it was PARKED.  Just as they passed, a ROCK hit my van, causing a big paint chip on the left upper side of the hi-top.  At first, I tried to pass-it-off as a mis-fired rock, intended for one of the Hispanics.  But, such was hardly the case.  As I exited my van, said youths were long down the street, and into the bushes.  THANKS for any comments about any SIMILAR type of incidents.  (END)
[edit]Fixed subject line[/edit]
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 01:04:52 PM by Ned »

phpvet

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 12:49:04 PM »
My post here should have been "Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's" (not RS's).  Sorry!

Ned

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 01:05:13 PM »
Taken care of.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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Carl L

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 01:45:49 PM »
I have never experience any type of vandalism with my RV but then I do not camp on public streets.  Very few RV parks are worse than the streets.  

Moreover, in camping overnight in Mt. View you are violating the city's Municipal Code.   Section 19.111c says:   No vehicle parked upon any public street shall be occupied or used for dwelling purposes".

Camping in the streets, you are camping illegally.  It then is a question of who gets you first, vandals or ticket writing cops.
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Fred G.

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 02:07:33 PM »
I could not say I was a victim of vandalism per say, but one night we decided to spend the night by the beach. As it began to get night time, the daytime visitors began to leave, which we tought it was nice to be alone at night. As it got later, the young punks from the town (South Padre Island) began to cruise along the shore after the bars closed down. They were drunk and were being stupid. I was sitting outside the whole time with my porch light on to show presence, and my wife and kids were inside watching TV. I had piece of mind because I have a CCW and carry all the time on me. Plus I also have an AK-47 inside the coach, that my wife knows how to use very well. We were not worry, but we were annoyed cause they came to disturb our tranquility. After a couple of minutes, county sheriff showed up and began to round them up and kick them out. Funny thing is that one of the deputies approached me and told me that if we were planing to spend the night, he would advice us to arm ourselves for safety sake. I smile and told him "don't worry, we are covered (putting my hand over my hip)" he then smiles back and wishes us a good night. ;D  I love Texas!
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seilerbird

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2009, 02:44:16 PM »
Camping on the streets is a really dumb thing to do, as you have been finding out. Yes, it is illegal in almost every community. If nothing else you can be cited for loitering. If you are in a strange town and you need a place to spend the night safely then sign up for this web site. If there are no places that you can find then your best bet is a Walmart, Cracker Barrel Restaurant, Flying J truck stop or a highway rest stop. If none of those are convenient then try motel or a hotel with a large parking lot. Or try a hospital or some other place that has 24 hour parking. But never in someone's neighborhood on the streets. There are gangs walking around all night in many neighborhoods and with your out of state plates you stick out like a sore thumb.

Mc2guy

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2009, 03:22:00 PM »
I agree with Tom.  You really shouldn't be out on the street anywhere unless you have permission.  If I saw someone setting up shop or even just loitering in an RV on the street in front of my house, you can be darn sure I would find whether they belong to a neighbor or not and politely send them on their way if they weren't visiting someone.  (And I am an RV'er...imagine what a non-RV'er would be thinking).

A) Its usually against the law (it is in my county)
B) It invites vandalism
C) It's a street, not a rest stop...there are more appropriate "free" options, as pointed out above.

BTW, I would not throw rocks at you  ;)
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phpvet

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2009, 04:13:56 PM »
THANKS(!!) for all of your replies. 

ArdraF

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2009, 04:28:04 PM »
Phpvet,

I need to add another caution.  If you continue parking in residential areas, please avoid schools at all costs.  You'll panic everyone in the neighborhood!  And undoubtedly get a visit from someone in blue.

ArdraF
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Tom

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2009, 08:08:41 PM »
A search of prior messages here would say don't do this!

Are you sure they were Hispanic, and not some other cultural group? e.g. San Jose, not too far from you, is well known for Vietnamese gangs.

From a 30-year resident of the greater Bay area.
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COMer

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2009, 08:16:15 PM »
This is one of the reasons I like Wal*Mart.  The Super stores have 24 hour security in their lots and lights that make me feel safer.
John & Darla
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Tom

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2009, 08:27:06 PM »
As I've said countless times, Wal*Mart security is there to protect WM property, NOT folks who overnight in their parking lot. I don't care how many times they drive by your rig, they would be negligent in their duty if their primary focus was not WM property.
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COMer

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2009, 06:40:09 AM »
I'm sure you are correct about the primary reason they are paid for driving around the parking lot.  But I feel better knowing they are there and I assume that they are a deterrant to people who would want to cause any sort of vandalism.  If nothing else, they would be available to call the cops to come, if needed.  I have been in parking lots where the security stopped by our trailer to chat and make sure we were OK. 
John & Darla
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Chet18013

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2009, 08:16:59 AM »
On two occasions I've stopped at the local police station and ask where was a safe place to park and spend the night. One directed me to a Walmart I'd missed and the other had me park in the lot behind the station with the off duty police cars.
Chet18013
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seilerbird

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2009, 10:36:41 AM »
As I've said countless times, Wal*Mart security is there to protect WM property, NOT folks who overnight in their parking lot. I don't care how many times they drive by your rig, they would be negligent in their duty if their primary focus was not WM property.
And you have been wrong about it countless times. You have never spent the night at a Walmart in your life, how would you know why the security guards are there?

The fact is if there were absolutely no cars parked in the parking lot there would be no need for a security guard. No one goes to a Walmart parking lot to steal one of the trees planted there. The guards most certainly do keep an eye on the vehicles and people in the lot. If someone does attempt a break in on your vehicle and if they see it they will most certainly do something about it. I have talked to dozens of security guards at Walmart and they are very serious about protecting their parking lot, and the people and vehicles parked there.

The fact is most anyone would consider overnighting in a Walmart parking lot with a security guard as being a much safer sleeping arrangement than if there were no security guard there.

Tom

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2009, 11:10:34 AM »
Tom,

We're all entitled to our opinions. Doesn't mean anyone is "wrong" just because their opinion differs from yours. We could talk about the crimes committed in WM parking lots, including one well reported episode that resulted in a shooting death. But I won't mention them   ;)

If I need to spend my life in a WM parking lot or camped on a street, I'll sell the coach.
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Dick and Pat

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2009, 03:01:30 PM »
Tom,

If I need to spend my life in a WM parking lot or camped on a street, I'll sell the coach.

I'm with Tom on this one....one time in north Georgia enroute to Florida we almost did stay at a WM as it was getting too foggy to travel, but luckily found a decent Comfort Inn for the overnight.  Regardless of how secure so many say they feel about WM & Truck Stop overnights, it just isn't within our comfort zone.

But, if we ever need to, a WM or truck stop would definitely take priority over city streets or vacant lots.

Dick
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Len and Jo

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2009, 04:25:30 PM »
Closest experience we have had is raccoons having a brawl under our van.  Main damage was to tipped over lawn chairs.
Len & Jo
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Betty Brewer

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2009, 04:41:43 PM »
I I have had someone throw a small ROCK (or other object) at my said camper, usually between the hours of 12 midnight to 3 a.m.  .  THANKS for any comments about any SIMILAR type of incidents.  [edit]Fixed subject line[/edit]

I have never had anyone throw any kind of rock at our RV.  We have boondocked  for over 10 years at  several places including Walmart parking lots,  but never on a public road. 
Betty Brewer

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phpvet

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2010, 12:06:10 PM »
Me again, the guy who began this "thread", several weeks ago, about RV vandalism.  Nothing thrown at YOUR camper in 10-years?  Very lucky, or the Gods are on YOUR side.  Not the case with me, though.  A while back, I was (in my RV) parked on the street in front of a local McDonald's here in (rather upscale) Mountain View, CA, when I heard something hit the McDonald's-facing-side of my EXPLORER van conversion.  I jumped out to see that some male youths (Arab-like broken English) had thrown a paper cup (half-full of ice/drink) at my RV.  I grabed my heavy-steel "cane" and approached them.  One of them, very "apologetic" in said broken-English, claimed that he (on a dare) had intended said cup (at 3-point range) to land in the McDonald's trashcan (sort of) near my van --- at least in the DIRECTION of my van.  He ran to my van, and at least put on a good show of cleaning-up what he had done, with more "apologetics".  Sometimes, especially you folks with much BIGGER campers/rv's, will indeed have experienced paint chips or small dents (on roof, etc.) from maliciously-tossed objects, but, by the time you NOTICE such, you simple "rationalize"-it-away as merely "incidental"  because you can't make the VANDALISM connection.  Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, punts are maliciously BURNING strangers' cars at night, for sport, firing pellet guns at passing highway vehicles, for sport, "keying" (scraping the paint) of entire new car dealer LOTS of vehicles, and all manner of other malicious mahem, not to mention the gang-related "tagging" of vehicles, buildings, etc.  THANKS again, for all of your feedback. 

Mc2guy

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2010, 07:45:03 PM »
No offense meant here, but if you are parked on a street in front of a fast food restaurant at night, then you are inviting being hassled by youth.    I have never seen a McDonald's on a street that I would remotely consider parking/camping on, including the one 1 mile from my house in a VERY, VERY safe area.  By putting yourself in a location where young, bored, and often low-income kids are congregating, you are asking for trouble IMO.

Find a campground, boondock in a national forest, or even find a Wal-mart, which will at least offer you surveillance and a deterrent.

I have only been RV'ing for two years now, but I have been camping and around RVers for 20 + years, and I have absolutely no problem believing that the vast majority of folks have never, nor will have, any problems with vandalism...most of us simply don't put ourselves in locations where that would be a prevalent activity therefore decreasing the probability of it happening.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2010, 11:55:00 AM »
We've never had a vandalism problem either. I think most of us avoid such places and there are plenty of nice spots to camp. And yes, we have stayed at Walmarts, KMarts, friend's driveways and even city streets a couple times.
Gary
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phpvet

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2010, 10:07:21 AM »
Thanks, again, for all of your input on this RV vandalism issue.  As far as my above-noted McDonald's (flying-softdrink) incident, I was NOT "camped" near said McDonalds.  Lastly, it doen't even have to be an "RV" subject, either.  Just yesterday, here in the SF Bay Area again (the "East Bay"), a women in a nice apartment complex was awakened in the middle of the night by an explosion.  She discovered that her new VW Bug had been "randomly" targeted for sport-burning, a major problem in said "East Bay". 

In the proverbial "final analysis", I STILL think there are a lot of folks out there with personal (bad) stories about RV vandalism.  But, when one has indeed encountered such, it tends to tarnish/diminish the RV'ing experience in GENERAL, thereby discouraging those people from participating in RV forums, like this one, in the FIRST PLACE.   THANKS!

Marsha/CA

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2010, 11:43:36 AM »
In the proverbial "final analysis", I STILL think there are a lot of folks out there with personal (bad) stories about RV vandalism.  But, when one has indeed encountered such, it tends to tarnish/diminish the RV'ing experience in GENERAL, thereby discouraging those people from participating in RV forums, like this one, in the FIRST PLACE.   THANKS!

I disagree and don't see the connection.  Problems happen everywhere; and I don't think people are discouraged after being vandalized.  Cars get vandalized all the time, do people stop driving cars?  Probably not.  I think being more aware of where you are and what's around you is the key.  Many of us have RVd all over this country and into Canada and not experienced a problem.  Not saying that we might at some time; but it would not discourage me from continuing to enjoy what I love to do.  And it certainly would not prevent me from reporting/discussing it here on the forum or any other forum I frequent.

Marsha~

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bigskymt

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2010, 06:40:45 PM »
  I must agree with Marsha. I would not hesitate to inform fellow RVers about security issues I've encountered and advise them. OTOH I'm also happy to report on my good experiences and give credit where credit is due.
  Reports of vandalism etc. only serve to inform educated RVers.
  To think reporting personal (bad) stories would discourage my Forum participation is as preposterous as believing RV Vandalism would force me to sell my RV.
  OMG......The air we breath is full of pollutants, lets stop breathing.

jeverden

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2010, 11:21:48 AM »
I find it funny how Hispanic comes up twice in the original post.  Just an observation, but...  If they were Caucasian would you have described them as such or just a pack of kids?   Again just an observation.  If you don't like the heat get out of the kitchen!

 
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 11:24:25 AM by jeverden »

PancakeBill

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2010, 12:08:02 PM »
I have had RV's and boats over the past almost 40 years.  No vandalism, but I don't camp on a street.  Heck, none of my cars, trucks, motorcycles have ever been vandalized. 

Maybe if you camped on Rodeo Drive they would throw different kimds of rocks, like 22 carat rocks...

If I were you I would just avoid inner city campouts.

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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ronbstewart

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2010, 04:39:23 PM »
I am the Safety Supervisor for a large trucking company (5000 trucks) and my wife is a solo 18 wheeler driver, we have a 40' Monaco my first choice for parking is truck stops "Flying J's offer free RV dump stations and lots of other specials if you pick up one of their free reward cards, Pilot's and Petro's are also good and almost all have free Wifi and I'm never worried about security.

ArdraF

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2010, 05:00:11 PM »
Quote
In the proverbial "final analysis", I STILL think there are a lot of folks out there with personal (bad) stories about RV vandalism.  But, when one has indeed encountered such, it tends to tarnish/diminish the RV'ing experience in GENERAL, thereby discouraging those people from participating in RV forums, like this one, in the FIRST PLACE.

PHPVET,

We've been RVing for 35+ years and have parked in any and all kinds of places, but these days we tend to avoid city streets (it's usually illegal anyway) and interstate rest areas.  We always look around before parking to determine if we would feel safe there.  I haven't heard of many cases of vandalism such as you mention.  But I fail to see why bringing it up on a forum would discourage people from participating.  Are you saying that because others didn't agree with you or because they wondered indirectly why you were parked where you were?  We discuss all manner of RVing subjects on this RV Forum and I don't understand why someone wouldn't mention vandalism which surely is of concern to all of us, regardless of where it takes place.  By the way I have lived in both Mt. View and San Jose and would not park on city streets in that area, especially in San Jose.  Maybe 30 years ago, but not now because there are too many active gangs from various cultures.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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chrpennings

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2010, 02:11:38 AM »
Ardra,

San Jose CA. is listed as he safest  place with a population over 500.000 , while the Las Vegas/Paradise Metropolitan area is listed as the 4 th. most dangerous one.  :)

chris

ArdraF

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2010, 12:51:51 PM »
Chris, that surprises me about SJ.  What about the ethnic gangs?  As to LV, many of the troublemakers are imports from LA.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Tom

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2010, 02:52:45 PM »
Ardra,

Chris P lives in Almaden Valley, quite different from east San Jose. I wonder if they count surrounding places like AV in the SJ numbers. Kinda like including east Palo Alto in the Redwood City numbers.

There are indeed ethnic gangs in SJ, including Vietnamese and anti-Vietnamese. A prior Vietnamese-born Admin came to work one day and said that someone had set her car on fire in the driveway.
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ArdraF

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2010, 03:29:32 PM »
That's right, Tom.  Just goes to show we shouldn't paint any community with broad brush strokes.  As Wendy has said in other threads, you can use statistics to prove just about anything.  You really have to know what any statistic includes.  And places do change.  At one time East Palo Alto was the crime capital of the country and we didn't even want to drive through it, but through the efforts of good decent residents and additional help from law enforcement in surrounding communities they really cleaned up their act.  What happens on one side of the tracks may not be the case on the other side, to use an old metaphor.

Getting back to the original poster's comments, it still all boils down to keeping our eyes and ears open so that we don't park in obviously "bad" areas or where there appear to be threats.  I don't think I would park an RV in area where a bunch of young people seem to be loitering. 

ArdraF
ArdraF
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PatrioticStabilist

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2010, 04:31:06 PM »
I've read this thread, I guess I'm not properly afraid.  I intend to be in a campground or truck stop parking lot by dark and not park on any streets.  Also likely not a Walmart unless I have to and in a better part of town.

I've lived in the country for most of my life and in a subdivision  for only a few of those years.  I can tell you we experienced more vandalism in the subdivision then in the country and I doubt we ever live in one again.

I likely will have my 12 gauge under the bed or near it where I sleep and perhaps a little something else in the front, can't say for sure yet.  I don't want to shot anyone but I don't intend to let them hurt me either.

My motorhome is older and may not be such a target as some of your beauties.  I think sometime people just are jealous and like to destroy things they won't ever have.  But that's just my opinion.

In my neighborhood, I know most of us rural folks are armed and they would be very foolish to mess with us. If one of us shot 3 or 4 times late at night, there would likely be at least 3 others over quickly with guns.  I have answered my front door at 3 in the morning with a gun.  Believe me people start backing up quickly and going oh we aren't doing anything wrong.  Good

glenntwo

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2010, 05:52:00 PM »
I don't know about street parking being illegal.  Maybe in some communities it is, but I doubt that an ordinance like that would hold up in a lawsuit.  Matter of fact I seem to remember reading years ago about someone that was ticketed and harassed by the local police and took it to court and ended up forcing the city involved into paying damages.  It was long ago and I can't really remember the particulars, but I seem to remember that the court case went all the way up to something just south of the Supreme Court.  Either way, if you and your vehicle are legal, and legally parked, I seriously doubt any ticket would stick.

Now when it comes to parking in urban areas, discretion is a must.  I've been doing it for awhile now, and I have found that parking on main thoroughfares works real well, but you have to deal with the noise.  I am not a big fan of McD's or some mall lots or places like that because that is where most vehicle theft occurs. 

I also look for places that truckers like to stash their semis for the night.  Not every inner city has a truck stop, but there is always a dead-end side street somewhere where they park and the police look the other way.  You can find them, you just need to go look around the town's trucking terminals. They are usually all congregated in one part of town anyway, and the traffic that goes through those areas are usually workers at the plants and truckers, not gangs or other kinds of trouble makers.  Also those areas usually have roving security, and the coppers patrol them regularly, and they are also well lit.

I work in South Philly and I actually park on a little side street about a mile from where I work, usually with about 3-4 semis on any given night.  It is a wide, well lit street that is patrolled regularly, and has a 24 hour restaurant on the corner that is popular with the local constabulary, as well as the truckers and myself.  The coppers patrol through there routinely and nothing ever happens.  Even the lot lizard girls don't show their faces around there.  Once or twice a local cop has stopped and asked after me when I was getting in and out of the vehicle, and I just tell him that I work here in S. Philly but live in Texas and this is where I park My RV at night.  Since they have a detail of Philly cops that moonlight where I work, some of them already know me, and they keep an eye out for me when I'm there.  I used to stay at the WM around there, but the truth is that the WM RV and semi-parking is in a desolate, trash strewn area that has a lot of undesirable activity going on around it.  I feel safer parking where I park now.

One of the reasons I bought an RV was because I wanted to save on motel and rental car costs, which in the Northeast are spiraling out of sight.  So, if I stay at a campground, it kind of defeats the purpose of me saving money on my travel expenses.  If I don't use WMs, truck stops, or street parking, I might as well go back to hotels and rental cars.

Parking on the street isn't really all that dangerous.  You need to learn to keep a low profile and be aware of your surroundings.  I have never been vandalized, and the only time anyone has ever bothered me late at night, it was one of my co-workers that saw the RV parked and started banging on the side just yelling and fooling around.  No big deal.

I do it in S. Philly, and right now I have been parked on a street in Washington DC since last Friday, albeit in front of a friends house.  But I sleep in the vehicle every night, and get up in the morning with no hassles from neighbors, police, troublemakers or anyone else.

cruzn57

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Re: Nighttime Vandalism vs. RV's
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2010, 09:12:41 AM »
Being in So calif,  where over 50% of the population is hispanic,  I'd venture a guess that the OP was
very tired of  people trying to lower the standard of living to their former country's level.
I sympathize with him, and see both sides of the coin, so to speak.
we have stayed at WM, Flying J, etc,  and have stopped in city parks, and hospital parking lots,
never had any issues with local PD, or with vandals.
my point... to each there own, because you don't agree with anothers view point, does not make it wrong,
I have collectors cars, and can see what the OP is getting at, I take care of my vehicles, and am aware of the newest rock chips, as I wax them them frequently.
It does annoy me to see others have so little appreciation for what I have struggled  to obtain, I do not have a 100k coach, to the contrary, I'm on the lower end of the $$ scale, but its "MY"  coach, and I value it as much as other values there expensive units.
 
somewhere in time, still plays with cars.

 

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