Of the two of us, Trail is the one with a talent for worrying. She is good at imagining what could go wrong in life and taking steps to ensure that it doesn’t. I tend to be risk tolerant and optimistic but I see the wisdom in preparing for potential disasters. As a result, we have a good deal of safety and security equipment we take on the road. I wanted to list a full array of equipment and options here so you can decide what makes you feel secure.
Theft is not especially common when living in an RV. None the less, people do get robbed in RVs and RVs can be stolen so you want to take some measures to avoid becoming a victim.
Many companies make alarms for trailers. Ideally, you want one that will make some noise on a break in and which will alert you by cell phone when it goes off. The alarm I’ve linked is one you install yourself. You will need a sim card to use the alert feature. There are also many companies that install alarms and provide security services much like a home alarm.
Your first line of defense is good habits. When you leave your trailer, be sure to lock all the locks, close the windows, close the blinds, and take in any valuables. If you will be gone after dark and have shore power, leave a light or the tv on in the trailer to give the appearance someone is home.
Hitch Receiver Locks
A hitch receiver lock is a small pin and lock you can use to lock down the ball receiver. So long as it is there you can’t lock a ball into the receiver and thus can’t tow the trailer. They can be defeated by cutting them off with a power tool or other types of brute force but they are a cheap and effective first line of defense.
The challenge with a safe in an Airstream is that any safe small enough fit somewhere out of the way is also small enough to pick up and take. Most are designed to be bolted to the floor which will make it more secure. Even if you don’t bolt it down, it does add at least one more barrier to thieves getting your most valuable possessions.
These are devices that cover your truck bed keeping it clean and secure. I’ve only ever had the brand linked above and I like it. We had it installed by a local truck outfitter. You want to order them from the manufacturer to get a full warranty, thus no amazon link. The one we have doesn’t have its own lock, but with the tailgate locked, there is no way to open it so it secures the bed nicely.
If worst comes to worse and someone does steal your trailer or tow vehicle, a tracking device can help you get it back. They hook into your electrical system and use cell service to report their location to your cell phone or a third party security service. The one I’ve recommended is rather do-it-yourself but has a good reputation and is very affordable.
These are devices you attach to your wheel making it impossible to drive while they are on. They cost a bit more than a receiver lock but are considerably more work to defeat.
There is allot to be said about keeping safe on your adventures but I will stick to safety in and around your trailer.
Emergency locators use satellite networks to send an SOS should you find yourself in trouble. They can also send pre-determined messages to loved ones to let them know you are OK. If you plan on doing backcountry camping outside of cell range and miles from help, these devices can save your life. The downside is they are fairly expensive and have ongoing service charges. The one I recommend is top rated and has a global satellite network.
I am not an expert on firearms and it is a serious subject so I don’t have a specific recommendation. If you think it’s a good fit for you I recommend seeking out an expert on the subject. Generally, you would want one that is good both for defending against assault by a person or wildlife in the backcountry. You need to be aware of the firearm laws for each state you travel and be especially aware if you take firearms across national borders. Finally, I recommend you keep your arms locked in a safe if you have children or family members prone to clinical depression. You don’t want something intended for safety to become a danger to you and your loved ones.
If you have a new Airstream you should have one included. If you have an older one you need to make sure you have a fire extinguisher and that it has not expired.
First Aid Kit
I think smaller kits are generally better as you can take them with you when hiking or camping where you are most likely to need it. We keep one in the trailer and one in our truck so we always have one on hand. If you have special medical concerns you should also keep your essentials in an easy to carry package and have backups stored in your first aid kit.
As an alternative to firearms, you can use a chemical pepper spray for personal safety. You want different products for wildlife and against human predators. Bear spray is very effective at deterring bears but is too weak to use in case of assault and regular pepper spray is needlessly harmful to wildlife.
Roadside Safety Gear
You can buy kits but we find they include a lot of redundant junk you don’t need. Our home made kit includes battery powered road flares, reflective road flags, safety vests, signal flashlights, and a pair of two-way radios. This gear is useful for roadside emergencies as well as situations where you need to temporarily stop traffic to get your trailer situated somewhere challenging. Drivers generally obey people wearing safety vests and signal lights. The radios are incredibly handy for backing up and other activities where a spotter is useful.
I’ve made the mistake of going out without it a few times and paid the price, getting temporarily sick and red as a lobster. It’s cheap and will save you a lot of grief.