Simple Tips for RV Security When You Are Away
We don’t stay in one spot for long with our motorhome. As of today, we’re at about 7,500 miles for the year, and we’re not quite done yet. In addition, once or twice each year we hop on an airplane and leave our motorhome behind.
Back in our ‘sticks and bricks’ days, leaving the house for a week or two was relatively easy. We made sure everything was locked up tight, turned the heat down low or the AC up high, and asked the neighbors to collect our mail and keep an eye on things. But with a house on wheels, there’s more to take into consideration. It requires finding an RV park that doesn’t have rules against leaving your rig unattended, as well as extra RV security precautions, because … it’s a house on wheels.
RV Security for the Traveling Full-Time RVer
Since our home IS our motorhome, a lot of thought goes into where we’ll park it when we travel without it. Because we typically fly out early and return late, it’s inconvenient to leave it in a secure storage yard. We did that one year and had to park it a day before our flight and retrieve it a day after. That meant two extra nights in a hotel. It worked, but it’s not our first choice.
For our last two flights, we asked and received permission from RV parks ahead of time to leave our motorhome parked and plugged in while we were gone. This option was far less expensive because both gave us a substantial discount for ‘in-park storage.’ One was a secure, gated community we had already stayed in. The other was not gated, but was a smaller park with neighbors who looked out for one another.
Beyond where to park, there are some other RV security considerations. We put lights on timers so that our motorhome would look lived in. Jerry bolted our basement storage doors and chained our tow dolly to our rear axle. He also added some new hasps and locks to our underbed storage. We left nothing out in plain view. Some of this may be overkill, but we’d rather be safe than sorry.
Will Your Food be Safe to Eat When You Return?
On the food safety front, we used up most of what was in our refrigerator before leaving. We left a dozen eggs behind, as well as my almond milk and all the typical longterm refrigerator items. These would make for an easy, quick meal after our return.
Our freezer was pretty well stocked and although there was no way we could have emptied it before leaving, there is an easy trick that provides some peace of mind that its contents stayed frozen in our absence. Simply freeze ice in an ice cube tray or any container. Once it’s frozen solid, take a coin and set it on top of the ice. If the coin is still on top of the ice upon your return, your food stayed frozen solid the entire time. If the coin has melted into the surface, you’ve had a temperature fluctuation or a power outage, and your food may not be safe to eat. Easy, right?
A little common-sense planning goes a long way toward making the process easier and less stressful. Give some thought to what needs to be done for you to leave your RV and keep your peace of mind. We start out with a list, and make sure everything is checked off the day before we leave.
If you’re a full-timer, have you traveled away from your rig for any length of time? Can you add any other precautions that I haven’t covered? What advice do you have for someone who’s never done this before? We’re looking forward to your comments!