Skip to Content

Is It Safe to RV in America in 2023?

The RV Boom resonated through America over the last two years. Newbies were taking to the road, exploring this beautiful country, and learning about the best way to travel, by RV.

But, how safe is it to RV across the USA? No longer in terms of escaping lockdowns, rather personal security and safety. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what RV security means to us and the different tools we use to obtain “peace of mind” on the road.

Security & Safety is a State of Mind

We’re big believers in the idea that RV security & safety is a state of mind.

No matter where we may be, unexpected situations are always possible. From sketchy RV parks to the worst boondocking sites imaginable, we’ve seen our share of trouble!

Rather than focusing our energy on the unexpected, we like to follow our instincts and use a little common sense when traveling & setting up camp. Having a home on wheels gives us control of where we visit and spend the night.

If we feel uncomfortable, we leave. It’s as simple as that.

Keep in mind, your RV-type can give you different levels of security. A drivable RV with direct access to the driving compartment is the most secure on the road. You’re always ready to drive off if needed.

However, a towable RV can leave you feeling like a sitting duck in a sticky situation.

RV Park and Campground Research

Before arriving at a new site, be it Walmart, a campground, or a boondocking site, we always do research. By the way, don’t count out Walmart camping, it’s great for overnight stays!

Reading reviews on Campendium and Free Campsites gives us a good understanding of a camping location. Many times we’ll go a step further and research the local community online.

There have been specific times this research has paid off. We’ve had friends, unfortunately, have their bikes stolen at a boondocking site we passed-up due to reports of theft in the reviews.

Considerations When Setting Up Your RV Campsite

Before unhitching the camper we like to scout out the area and see what type of vibes we get from the location. We take note of the amount of traffic and whether the traffic seems to be locals or fellow campers.

If we feel good enough to unhitch and set up camp, and depending on the site, we’ll park within eyesight of other campers or under a light in a parking lot.

If the location is out in the boonies with no one else around, we’ll set up where the view is beautiful and position the RV to be able to exit efficiently if need be.

We feel most safe & secure when boondocking deep in nature.

PRO TIP: Here are our 20 favorite free campsites (also know as RV boondocking).

In these situations, the only people we’ve encountered have been like-minded travelers looking for peace and solitude. Cell signal is important to us in case of an emergency – if we don’t have any at the campsite, we like to be aware of the area where it becomes available again.

Having Cell Connectivity In Your RV

Whether you’re on a long stretch of rural road or camping way off-grid in your RV, having cell connectivity is essential for maintaining safety.

We use a cell booster in our RV and truck to make sure we always have service. This allows us to make phone calls and have internet access, even out in the boonies.

Precautions When Leaving Camp

If we feel safe enough to sleep somewhere, we also feel safe enough to leave our camper there and venture into town. We do lock everything up; the trailer hitch, the camper door, the truck bed, and the generator.

We understand that locks don’t guarantee security, but they do add an additional layer of protection.

Is Traveling by the Border Safe?

In our personal experience, camping near the border of Mexico has felt extremely safe. This is because the huge presence of border patrol.

Even when we were boondocking near the border, we’d see a border patrol car at least twice an hour.

I’m sure there are some places you’d still want to avoid. But, if you read reviews, you’ll probably find the quick answer you’re looking for.

Don’t count out souther Arizona by default. You’ll be truly missing out.

Is It Safe to Camp at Walmart?

If you decide to camp at Walmart, you’re (almost) no less safe than camping elsewhere. Because Walmart has security lights and cameras, you could make a case that you’re potentially safer than in many other camping spots.

However, safety is something that you should take seriously and will vary based on the location. The “safety wildcard” at Walmart is that you’re literally a sitting duck for all the public to see during the wee hours of the night.

Using the apps we previously recommended can be a great way to research the safety of an area. Users on these apps are typically great about leaving detailed reviews, especially when it comes to safety.

You’ll Have to Decide What RV Safety Means to You.

Everyone has a different idea of safety and security. The routines that work for us won’t work for everyone. Living in the present and not fearing the things we can’t change is the best tool we have for feeling safe & secure.

Full-time RV living is an amazing lifestyle that has introduced us to so many kind people; our faith in human-goodness has only been increased because of it!

Access the Best Free Camping in America

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy). You should give it a try! As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours.

Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.

  1. Vince Vogt says:

    Your security and safety precautions are on the money! I’ve been camping for 30 years (boondocking and campgrounds) and have never had anything stolen although, like you, I take common sense precautions. But thefts at campgrounds do occur. If I were traveling with a trailer, I would get a Denver boot for one wheel in addition to your trailer hitch lock. They’re expensive and rather heavy but very intimidating and difficult to defeat if it’s a quality boot that covers most of the rim. Happy Travels…you’re doing it right!

  2. Julia White says:

    I n addition to your great, common sense precautions, a big dog works well as a deterrent. I tend to travel and camp alone, I never worried about a single thing when I had my 100# Shepard. Planning on getting another one when I retire to full time RVing

  3. Nan says:

    We’ve campground hosted and my personal observation is people tend to get sloppy with security when they’re at popular public parks. There’s something about being out in what can seem like an idyllic setting that makes people forget to lock up bikes or stow their fishing gear. There might also be some sort of perverse safety in numbers effect: if the campground is full, people are less paranoid than they would be if they were the only people there. It doesn’t occcur to them that the really friendly guy a couple sites over is capable of quietly stealing their fly fishing rods or their cordless leaf blower.

  4. Vince Vogt says:

    Nan…you make an interesting and worthwhile point. But a leaf blower? Seriously? LOL…have never seen that one! Takes all types I guess!

  5. Our big dog has warned us many times of new arrivals pulling into camp late at night. She is a great deterrent!

  6. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. […] from the recurring cost, another issue that can be attributed to RV living is its safety. After all, your RV doesn’t have walls. Once you park it, it is already a hot target for […]

  8. Tom Kilcullen says:

    Hope you enjoyed the Alabama humidity 😉 truly enjoyed the top twenty free camping sights. Ya did a good job. I turned my class A into a mobile leather shop,so I hit alot of ranches. Keep up the good work and it’s a pleasure to get your information on camping. Three dogs and an old cowboy poet,don’t take much to make me happy. Blessings on you guys,pet the dog for me and stay healthy. Thanx again

  9. danofdot says:

    “I can’t say, over the miles, that I had learned what I had wanted to know because I hadn’t known what I wanted to know. But I did learn what I didn’t know I wanted to know.”
    William Least Heat-Moon

    Thanks for sharing what I hadn’t known!

  10. carolyn says:

    Blue Highways and The Water Horse – excellent WLHeat-Moon books of travel in a bread truck and small motor boat (NYC to Pacific Ocean)

Comments are closed.