Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Safe, solo and self-protected

When I began RVing alone, I felt unsafe in a canvas-covered pop-up so I traded for a hard-sided travel trailer. I felt completely safe in the trailer; however, I usually camped in a campground (private or public). I did not stay overnight in retail establishment lots because, to move on, I would have had to leave my trailer to get to my truck. I think some form of motorhome would be ideal because one never has to leave one's rig to move on. If you don't feel comfortable, all you have to do is drive away.

I never felt unsafe traveling alone. I had roadside assistance, a cell phone, a CB radio, a lockable trailer, and I remained vigilant of my surroundings. I also had a tire iron close at hand! Kathy Frazier

Kat is a member of RVing Women and we concur on safety issues while traveling alone. I don't carry a tire iron but since I have years of aikido training, I have other means of protection. No, I don't have a black belt. Aikido practioners work for years to attain the next belt level so I have a brown belt. The first six months, you learn to fall properly so you're not hurt. I fall better than anyone I know. If you want to see an aikido sensei in action, watch any Steven Seagal movie. A little trivia: When Sean Connery was filming "Never Say Never Again," Seagal was hired to train him and broke Connery's wrist.

There is quite a bit of philosophy attached to the moves and the best part of this discipline is that little strength is involved. It is suitable for all ages and levels of expertise. I've taught classes to everyone from an eight year-old boy to a 66 year-old woman with much success. Do a little reading about aikido and see if it might work for you.

Basically, be aware, be alert, be prepared and then--be having a good time on the road.


  1. On safety: we are infrequent rv travelers (health issues) but have had one really unsettling incident. My husband was outside the rig and I was putting things away inside. We were preparing for a trip. The door was on the screen. I heard a thump, turned around and there was a strange man, seating himself on a sofa with his legs stretched across the aisle (blocking my only exit) I froze and then my husband came back in and invited the stranger to leave. We were in the storage lot where we keep the rv. We learned later that this man (a true lost soul) was a little odd. That was the only incident that frightened me but now we have a "guard frog" (sensor) pointed at the entrance and we know when somebody approaches our steps. I have never felt uneasy in a camp ground and have never heard of anyone being bothered in a campground.

  2. One of the reasons I bought a motorhome is that I liked the idea of parking for the night and not having to get out of the vehicle. That only works in theory for me. I tow a car, so I have to get out of the MH to take the keys out of the car engine. Unhooking isn't complicated and I have no doubt someone could do that overnight while I'm sound asleep! So, I avoid parking in places where I think I'd need to make a speedy getaway, but I do stop at malls, rest areas, and pull-outs.

  3. I have traveled cross country with my five pets and me. I am very careful and appraised of the surroundings I stay in. I will usually get a campsite very third night for water, dumping, cleaning, etc. but usually find a WalMart somewhere. I will not come out of the motorhome for any one knocking. Period. I am very cautious in rest areas and park near the front. I always lock the door even if I am going to be gone for a brief time.

  4. I am a low income single woman traveling alone in a motor home. When I was organizing to go on the road I knew I could not afford an RV park every night so was concerned with personal safety. I installed a security system with a screamer on my rig. I also aquired a german shepard mix from a shelter. He is a wimp but barks like mad when anyone approaches the rig. People do back up when he starts. He is also excellant company and a conversation starter when I am at an RV park. I think a big dog is the best security system ever.

  5. When ever we pull into a parking lot for the evening, I write down the two closest cross streets and keep on the kitchen counter. That way if I have trouble in the middle of the night I can use my cell phone to call the police and tell them exactly where we are. Would work well if traveling companion had a health issue in the middle of the night as well, the ambulance could find you quickly.

  6. I just returned from a 2 year trip on the road discovering our beautiful country.

    I travel by myself, yet have 2 dogs who make noise. I park where ever when I am tired, be it Wal-mart, Truckstop or cozy campground.

    You should only park outside a campground, where there are security cameras and in company of other Rv'ers.

    Should anyone knock call 911 if in dought, talk through the window, never open the door.

    I had no problems except for a one time incident. Actually it was @ the city park in Winslow /AZ. People jumped up and down to see whether they can look through the windows. I called 911 and my neighbor Rv'er kept an eye on the thugs. Consequently we mad the news that day, as the guys had open containers in their car and were intoxicated.

    Their car was impounded for an entire month.