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Security and protection
    Posted by Kathy Bill Gifford on February 27, 1999 at 08:45:58:
         Hi There, I would first like to thank Barb & Ron for this website. Not only is it
         very informative, and a joy to read. My wife & I are seriously considering going
         fulltime RVing, and have searched the web high & low for every scrap of
         information available. {like this is possible} We are being provided a ways and
         means of the ability to soon retire. I am fearful of living on the road to be
         honest. What with crime and such as it is today. I recently purchased two
         handguns, something I thought I'd never do. Yet in my mind, I need these for
         self-protection. I am also looking into the purchase of a GPS system as not to
         get lost out there. The country is a big place, with lots of wrong turns
         anticipated. My #1 fear is getting everything stolen from me, and being left
         roadside without. Anyone have any such experiances? Lets talk about it. I'm
         sure it's not all sun & roses! 

Posted by Barbara Hofmeister on March 08, 1999 at 01:04:11:
        In Reply to: Realistic Concerns posted by Kathy Bill Gifford on February 27, 1999
         Hi, I am glad that you like our site, but you will really get a lot more out of our
         book. One of the things you will get out of the book is that it is not, I repeat,
         NOT a jungle out here. We feel safer here in campgrounds and on the road
         than we ever did in our house. In the four years (before we started full-timing)
         when we lived in a modest complex of town houses, condos and apartments
         we were broken into twice. Never once, in ten years on the road, have we ever
         been the slightest bit afraid or worried. We never lock the doors at night. Who
         in their right mind would want to enter an RV when there is only one door.
         Crooks like two or more doors. They don't want to be trapped. Bad guys
         don't like witnesses either and when we are parked only a few feet from the
         next RV, that means an audience. Come on. Relax. And what is the big deal
         about getting lost. That is part of the adventure. There are lots and lots of
         wonderful sights and many might surprise you. A little town off the beaten path
         that no one else would find is fun to discover. We have been lost but never in
         trouble. I'd say leave the guns at home and relax. And get our book. It will
         open a lot of doors for you. Barb 

Posted by Tom Phillips on March 22, 1999 at 13:13:50:
        In Reply to: Re: Realistic Concerns posted by Barbara Hofmeister on March 08, 1999
         Hi, I may have posted some comments along these lines in the wrong spot on
         this website. I repeat again. I read your book, and also like the site. However,
         since I've traveled all over the U.S. (on business) I rarely see a RV park
         (Federal ones excepted) that looks safe. Yes, you have neighbors close to you,
         but many many RV parks seem like one big uninviting parking lot, in a section
         of town no one would want to even get gas in, it seems. Also, many of the
         GOOD looking Parks in good locations, I've been told, are booked most of
         the time. So, if you are traveling and get lost in that small town, where do you
         park your rig? Many small towns don't have RV facilities, so what to do? I
         agree, you don't need guns, but finding a place that appears good is often
         difficult. I think someone should write a whole article on how to find and judge
         a safe place to park when you are traveling on those so called, back roads, and
         need a place to stay. I'm very keen on RV'n but still have these kinds of

Posted by george on March 23, 1999 at 06:01:29:
        In Reply to: Re: Realistic Concerns posted by Tom Phillips on March 22, 1999
        Tom, My family and I have traveled rather extnesivly in this country for nearly
         30 years. We have stayed in some lousy parks years ago. We carry several
         sources of cg books, woodalls/good sams and our personal club sources. We
         belong to 4 clubs that provide us with parks. We have never stayed in a park
         that we considered unsafe. We did once stay in a park that the rules were not
         enforced and we were up most of the night listening to loud noises from the
         neighbors, we moved the next day. We are not necessarily the most open sorts
         of folks, we enjoy our own company rather than engaging in local park
         activities, altho' we are trying to change, as we beging our fulltiming years. But
         never have we stayed in those places that you describe, Im not saying that they
         aren't there, its just that we dont stay in large towns, that might be where they
         are. We prefer to follow the 'blue roads' and see the smaller towns. I hope that
         you become more comfortable with your travels. Try some of the books, yes
         they are also sometimes misleading but are in the majority, correct. george

Posted by Barb Hofmeister on March 27, 1999 at 00:35:12:
        In Reply to: Re: Realistic Concerns posted by george on March 23, 1999
         George, Thanks for your posting. So many write that they are worried about
         the safety of this lifestyle and it is good to hear what we preach from someone
         else who has been out there. And don't you agree, you don't need to make a
         reservation a year ahead of time to get into these beautiful parks? See ya down
         the road. Barb 

Posted by Dave Jenkins on March 24, 1999 at 11:32:10:
        In Reply to: Realistic Concerns posted by Kathy Bill Gifford on February 27, 1999
         Among other personality defects, I'm a certifiable "gun nut". The advise about
         joining the NRA is good, in my opinion, but not good enough. There are
         several considerations when considering what you're anticipating. When I'm
         asked, "What kind of gun should I get for ****** (whatever reason)?", my
         response is usually, "What kind of safe do you have?". And I'm not just being
         flippant about it, either. Most the crime committed using a gun is committed by
         a criminal. Most criminals cannot legally buy guns, and that leaves limited
         options for them. Like stealing yours. The manufacturer of our 5th wheel
         offered a safe as an option. The price was outrageous, and I paid it. Another
         issue is the differing state laws. Some recognize your RV as your home, some
         don't. There are several books on the subject, and it's a good idea to arm
         yourself with knowledge as well. You better know when you can and when you
         can't shoot the bad guy. And if you're not willing to shoot and kill somebody
         and live the rest of your life with the consequences, then don't lie to yourself
         and say you have your guns for "self defense". And last but surely not least.
         Play with your toys!!! Get comfortable using the guns. Take safety courses and
         then get involved with some club that sponsors some kind of action shooting
         sport. When you're under the stress of being confronted with a bad guy, you
         will not have time or the presense of mind to think about what it is you're
         supposed to do, and whether it's legal for you to do it. If you'd like to pursue
         this discussion, I'd be glad to share additional thoughts, experiences, and
         resources with you "off line". Just e-mail me. Dave 

Posted by Jim Cusick on March 26, 1999 at 12:23:03:

        In Reply to: Realistic Concerns posted by Kathy Bill Gifford on February 27, 1999
         To the Giffords: I too have traveled with my family and really never got lost
         although, there were several times that I was not sure where I was! I had my
         kids with me and also by ourselves. I am now a retired State Trooper and can
         tell you, I agree with Barbara, I felt safer traveling than at home. Being on the
         road and getting lost is part of the excitement and adventure of discovering our
         great world. We have found that by stopping at local police departments and
         Chamber of Comm. offices they will tell you the good places to stay. Some
         may even give you a local farm or non campground places. These are the best
         of all. This is an adventure you are going on ENJOY IT - DON'T WORRY

Posted by Vickie on April 04, 1999 at 23:59:58:

        In Reply to: Realistic Concerns posted by Kathy Bill Gifford on February 27, 1999
         I have a hand gun that I purchased and learned to use when I rode for the
         Sheriff's dept. as a mounted police. I am debating on whether to take it along
         on the road when we start fulltiming in the fall of 99. I don't think we will have
         any problems as far as safety as we have have camped for years and never
         encountered a problem. I'm glad to see this subject come up though because
         I'm not sure what to do. I also have read that you can get into trouble crossing
         boarders of different countries with a weapon. Do you say you don't have one
         and hope noone checks and finds it or admit you have one and have it
         confiscated? Any comments on this would be appreciated. This will help me
         make up my mind about taking it or not. Thanks for the help Vickie 

Posted by Elmer Engroff on April 25, 1999 at 14:11:31:
        In Reply to: Realistic Concerns posted by Kathy Bill Gifford on February 27, 1999
         Kathy and Bill, I'm not fulltiming yet, planning on Dec 2000. First watch the
         laws on taking hand guns across State lines, I carry a 12 gauge pump. Went
         thru a couple of semimors and they all tell you if you are not willing to use the
         gun then don't carry one. I have stayed at State Parks, Commercial
         Campgrounds, Coast-to-Coast, State rest stops, truck stops, K-Mart parking
         lots, you get the picture. We have never been bothered by anyone. We try to
         set up around others, yes even in K-Marts parking lots (always ask permission
         first) I have found that if you stay at campgrounds, it is like being near your
         family, never a bother but always there for help if you need it. Next, we travel
         with a lap top computer, while on the road we use GPS, sure makes life easier
         to find your way around. We use both STREET ATLAS USA, AAA MAP
         AND GO, and PHONE SEARCH USA, all by Delorme. Hope this helps.
         Elmer and Sharon 

Posted by Rich Emond on February 23, 1999 at 12:00:52:
         What do full-timers do to protect valuables in your coach when they have to lay
         it up for a few days for service? I hear that lots of folks stay with their RV and
         go off touring while the RV is being worked on and then stay in the RV on the
         service facility's premises until the work is done. Have you experienced any
         problems with theft of items in the coach? Do you take all valuables with you,
         which could be a bit much. I'm not necessarily talking about jewelry, but there
         are other items of value, digital camera, video camera, maybe some jewelry,
         CDs, maybe a nicknack, etc. Just curious as we get close to full-timing.
         Thanks. I guess this question could apply to part-timers who put their RV in for
         service, but I would imagine most valuable stuff is brought into the home when
         the RV is not in use. Peace, Rich 

Posted by Laura Reeves on March 02, 1999 at 11:49:11:
        In Reply to: Protecting Valuables posted by Rich Emond on February 23, 1999
        We are presently "camping" in a service center parking lot and don't feel any
         threat of items "disappearing". However, each day before turning our RV over
         to the mechanics we place our valuables out of sight in cabinets. Also, try to be
         there when they bring your RV back outside for the day. They never, never,
         never lock up the bays or front door and it will sit in the parking lot available for
         any passer-by to open. But we have camped in many service centers and have
         never had a single item disappear. 

Posted by Barb Hofmeister on March 08, 1999 at 01:09:48:
        In Reply to: Re: Protecting Valuables posted by Laura Reeves on March 02, 1999
         Ditto!!!! We have never had a problem either and believe me, we have spent a
         lot of time in service bays. We have a lot of stuff around and out and nothing
         has even been touched. Barb 

Posted by Helen on March 14, 1999 at 11:56:55:
        In Reply to: Re: Protecting Valuables posted by Barb Hofmeister on March 08, 1999
         I agree with Barb. I have worked around RVers and have never experienced
         such an honest, helpful, caring community of individuals. They cannot be judged
         on the same basis as the ones we read about in the newspapers or see on our
         neighborhood streets. RVers are a different breed than we see on a day to day
         basis. I am looking forward to getting out there with them so I will feel safer!
         As a single lady, it is pretty spooky in a city by yourself. - Helen