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 (sliver 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.

 

Jim Brown

Jim Brown

Jim is a long time motorhome enthusiast travelling extensively in the UK and Europe. Averaging 12000 motorhome miles a year. He has owned many motorhomes both British and Continental. His present motorhome is a 27ft C class RV.
Jim Brown

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  1. Pingback: A Beginners Guide to Wild Camping in your Motorhome | Talk Motorhomes

  2. Good artical with some good advice,the dog bowl is a good one, we also leave a dog lead tied to the chassis out.

  3. Paul Ashcroft on

    Thanks 4 the great advice, picking up an old s700 merc hymer this summer, taking the wife/2 little’s (3 & 6) + my 2 bassetts round France & Spain, it does worry me about pissed idiots throwing the stones, can u recommend any great wild camping areas in France Spain or maybe I might get as far as Italy?

    Many thanks
    Paul

    Ps more like a 9 point turn!!

  4. John and Sheila on

    We are hoping to travel s far as John O’Groats this Easter in our motorhome and have heard there are stand pipes set up in Scotland to refil water, does anyone know if this correct and if so where are they situated please.

    Many Thanks

    John

  5. Thank you for the tips

    I love my camper but I haven’t tried it “wild” yet.

    Can’t wait.

  6. Very interesting article, I thought the advice was helpful, and, sometimes the most logical ideas are missed by new new people to wild camping. I will be buying a campervan this year and need all the advice I can get. Thank you very much for being bothered to post your experiences. I have read it with great interest.

  7. All good advice, especially the dog bowl and lead (attach the lead with a chain and padlock to let `em know youre aware they`ll steal anything!)that being said, l,ve been camping around Europe and the UK for a long time now and it,s mostly about location and common sense,be friendly with the locals,dont litter,use the local shop/pub. enjoy!

  8. chrissy & john on

    We have a 32 ft Hurricane American RV, which have not used as yet and was thinking of wild camping in the UK first to get used to it, then venturing out across to Europe, so need as much info as possible.It would be great to meetup/chat with other Rv people.

  9. Good advice Steve, i would also suggest leaving an old pair of mens shoes outside, size 11 or over.it´s all psychology as you know. good luck, regards. Brian

  10. Great advice. Looking for ideas for my parents. Last year they camped overnight in France. Some people pumped gas into the van while they were sleeping, so that both of my parents and our dog were completely unconscious for hours and then went in and helped themselves to literally everything. Phones, laptop, deck chairs, clothes, and the van and house keys! Apparently it’s quite a common thing in France, and although the authorities/Police are aware of it they don’t want to bring attention to it and put off tourists so it is not mentioned. Unfortunately if you are gassed, there is not much you can do to prevent this, however I like the idea of a chain on the inside so will make sure I get one for them, at least might make a little harder for these terrible people to get in!

  11. Brill advice , You can move on in less than 2 mins , and your wife can stay in bed keeping her happy to , I,m off to buy a big dog bowl today I use a wireless driveway alarm ,Alarm inside the Motorhome and the PIR sensor outside,so if a person try,s to come to close to the Van alarm sounds , I tape the PIR up to so it only picks up when your 2/3 ft from the door , Ebay only £12.99, Its never sounded yet , Have a good summer folks . Gary .

  12. lesley argent on

    I have just bought a swift bolero and taking it to the lakes next month. this is my first taste of motorhoming and your article was just what i needed for great tips and reassurance. many thanks.

  13. Hi thanks for all that info will be wild camping shortly on my own will be doing all you suggest thanks mate Harry

  14. Not camped wild with the Motorhome yet but will give it a go in the coming weeks. Excellent article with lots of sound advise. I’ll try the dog bowl and lead.

  15. thanks mate for all the imformashion really helpful got my motor home about ten months been to camping parks wife likes them but l dont just like car parks trying to get her indoors to try wildcaming your info will help no end thanks again .ps.we are retired and have a littal dog we call nutmeg will get her a giant bowl 😉

  16. Captain Puke on

    I’m new to wild camping (only 2 nights so far) but am keen to do more – security was a bit of an issue so I’m glad to find an article like this – many thanks!

    I have an otherwise plain panel van which I sleep inside (it’s not really a camper, but I’m low maintenance) but I did have the internal silver blinds up – on refelection (no pun intended) I will save those for if I’m ever on a proper campsite, for wild camping I think a cab curtain behind the front seats will be better as it’s less obvious to anyone passing by that someone is sleeping in there.

    Cheers

  17. Michael Williams on

    Hi all. I have been caravaning for 46 years, with the last 15 years with a motorhome. Almost all have been on Caravan rallies and caravan sites. Last year in France we did stop at some ares that went very well. I do tow a car behind my motorhome. This is a spinoff from rallying. As mobility is a must. Some of my friends just take their motorhome and use public transport.
    Do any other members do the same?

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