Security When Wild Camping in your Motorhome. | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

Security When Wild Camping in your Motorhome.

My top ten tips for safe wild camping

For those people lucky enough to live in the countryside; crime is not as high on the agenda as it is for those that live in our towns and cities. Yes, there is crime in the countryside but it is statistically a much safer place to live. Wild camping in the countryside is as safe as living in a country cottage. In fact, it is probably safer as you can easily move on, but of course, there is always some risk. If you are parking on the fringes of large cities or in other parking places we should always do our very best to negate any risk that might exist so to this end here are some security tips when choosing to spend the night in a wild camping or off site parking spot.
  1. Look carefully at the area, does it feel right? Is the place littered with rubbish, used condoms, skid marks, this might indicate that idiots use the place at night.
  2. Think carefully before camping anywhere that there is no mobile telephone signal. Emergencies do happen!
  3. Don’t be a Nosy Parker! Always park in such a way that you can drive away, nose out, without having to do a 7 point turn!
  4. Don't put screens (silver screens insulation) on the outside of windows; these will impede your ability to drive away. Driving away is the very best defence for many security situations.
  5. Try to be as inconspicuous as possible, I know this can be difficult in a 25 foot long bright white motorhome. However, you can lower your profile; do not put awnings and deckchairs out or light that barbeque unless you are pretty sure your actions are not going to attract attention from undesirables.
  6. Make sure when you turn in that everything is stowed, doors are locked so that you are able to drive immediately away if an incident occurs.
  7. Secure your entry doors. Too often people awake to find someone in their motorhome because they have forgotten to lock doors or windows. Use deadlocks that cannot be opened too easily. Some people place chains between cab doors. These can be effective but can trap you inside in the event of a fire, if you are going to use a chain, practice undoing it so that it is so easy you can do it quickly in the dark. You might have to!
  8. Be prepared to move on. I heard about a couple on a remote French aire that didn’t like the look of a bunch of youngsters that arrived at the Aire and proceeded to light a fire and drink spirits. In the early hours of the morning when the youths had run out of things to burn they amused themselves by throwing stones at the two motorhomes. They were asked to stop and things got worse. The story ended with both motorhomes leaving the Aire under a barrage of stones. Don’t let this happen to you. Go with your gut feeling, if you feel at all unhappy; move on, there are literally millions of places that you can find to park. The best way to avoid risks is to drive away from them. Don’t hesitate, get out of there, in a motorhome moving on is easy.
  9. Do not ignore other risks, such as medical emergencies. Parking up 3 days away from civilisation can pose problems. Have a plan already worked out.
  10. Use an alarm, if you have an alarm fitted then make sure you can set it to guard the exterior whilst you are inside. So if anyone touches your lockers or bikes etc the resulting alarm should wake you and frighten off the thief. Dogs work the same way and I know of some people who do not have a dog, but place a large dog bowl just outside to give the impression that a monster of a dog is asleep inside.
Normally; talking about security leaves people feeling a little nervous. They ponder the things that might happen and feel uncomfortable. You should remember that literally thousands of people park up for the night all over Europe; they give absolutely no thought to their security at all and nothing happens to them, this is because the chances of being a victim of crime are in reality very small. Just by giving it a little thought, you reduce those chances to the point of being almost non-existent.
About author
Jim is a long time motorhome enthusiast travelling extensively in the UK and Europe. He has owned many motorhomes both British and Continental. His present motorhome is a 27ft C class RV. Jim is married to Siân, has three kids and a dog and lives at the seaside in sunny Sutton On Sea.


As a total newbie, ( which i am ) these tips are very useful.
cheers Rob.
we have slept in all kinds and types of location without any problem - ever. You just need to get the confidence.
I think it is a matter of confidence and common sense. When you realise that the whole world isn't out to rob or murder you, that most people are honest and friendly, you can begin to relax. But use common sense. If you park up and don't feel happy, follow your instincts and move on. There's always another place to stop. Park so you can get away quickly if necessary.
Although we can hardly be called experienced, in 3 years of travelling to France, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Spain Portugal and Ireland, we've only once stopped and decided to move on. This was in Scarborough where there were a gang of lads getting pissed and acting badly nearby. So we drove about a mile away and had a restful night.
I travel alone but do tend to park near other campers even if I don't see fellow travellers until breakfast time it helps to know they are around if in a town or city. I have heard of a doorbell that barks like a large dog instead of a ding dong. Portable and easy to keep near the bed if you have concerns bout external activities just press the button You can even tell Rover to be quiet and settle down he may not listen the first time and bark again...….
We have been using our Motorhome for 14 years, mostly Europe. On 2 occasions we had robbers. Both in France on our way south. First, silly me, in a motorway services in our first year, when they got some trousers off the front seat with loose change but we disturbed them and fortunately they scarpered. They gained access by the front cab doors on our Peugeot base Coachbuilt. Next was at the new Aire at Sete, this time we had a chain and a towing belt strapped between the cab doors and wrapped round the horn. We heard a horn going off during the night and thought it was the neighbours but in the morning discovered it was our horn. The robbers had again used the front locks to gain access but were foiled by our diy deterrent. Moral of the story, get a good deterrent and sleep safe.
EmnM-horrible experiences. Not being pedantic but robbery involves theft with use of force or the threat of force. What you described sounds more like burglary. Very distressing just the same and I'm not trying to minimise the awfulness of it for you. It would be even worse if the miscreant threatened you with, say a knife or a gun.
I like the idea of wrapping the straps around the horn.
Glad it didn't put you off from travelling.
Btw, we have travelled over 100,000 miles, mostly in Europe, in same motorhome and not been troubled since.
Do you think new motorhomes have better locks fitted than older models. We are new to motorhomes and realise that the vehicle is vulnerable not just night time but when parked for sightseeing or shopping. Ours is a 2018 model so I am wondering if I need extra locks on doors or are manufacturers are making the doors more secure?
I’m leaving Sunday for Portugal and spain for 3 weeks normally tow a smart on an a frame but because I’m on my own decided to take a dirt bike on a trailer so a little bit of a target (they are desirable)will come of ferry and drive across northern Spain until I reach Portugal then will use the toll roads I always feel ultra safe stopping in the service areas on toll roads
Then when I relax into the trip and realise that not every foreign person is trying to rob me I tend to just stop where and when it feels right
So far in all my travels have not had a problem (touch wood) image.jpg


Friendly professional service from qualified technicians
Rhino Installs
West Country Motorhomes

Article information

Last update

More in Motorhome Guides and Advice

More from Jim

Share this article