Quick Tips for Staying Safe while Boondocking

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Updated February 13, 2019
Wickenburg Drone2

We get asked all the time about how to stay safe when camping off-grid. While we’ve never had a problem - and while you’re much less likely to encounter one in the middle of nowhere - we know it’s something many of you are concerned about.

So here are a few quick tips for staying safe while boondocking!

Wickenburg Overhead Drone

Unpaved Roads are Tricky

First things first - always drop your trailer and scout a boondocking location before you try to tow anything down a rocky dirt or sand road you’re not familiar with. You’ll keep yourself from getting into sticky situations and you’ll probably find an even better spot than you would have towing.

We recommend having a vehicle with 4 Wheel Drive just in case there’s mud or deep sand. We should know - our first boondocking experience with our 2wd dually ended in disaster!

Consider adding a lift to your trailer. Roads to off-grid spots are often rocky and uneven. Raising up a few inches really helps to keep from bottoming out.

Raised directional antenna on TV antenna.

Reliable Internet

If something dangerous does happen, it’s important that you can make an emergency call or get directions to the closest hospital. Having a reliable internet connection while camping off-grid is essential.

By combining a cell phone plan, booster and antenna you’ll be well on your way. Learn more here.

Friendsgiving at lake mead

Send a Message

Once you’ve found your perfect boondocking spot, you can take a few simple precautions to send a message if someone comes up to your RV.

Adding an alarm sticker is the oldest trick in the book - people even do it for their houses. But it feels a little more authentic for a trailer in the middle of nowhere. I’d just guess it came as an add-on when purchasing. Keep in mind that gun stickers might be counter-productive if law enforcement or border patrol pulls you over.

In the same vein, you can add a small LED light near the door or step to look like an alarm is set. And if you’re alone, put out multiple chairs or pairs of shoes to make it look like you’ve got backup.

Las Cruces, NM

Lock Your Junk Up

Besides locking your doors and windows, try adding a deadbolt for extra security. Those little standard latches are pretty easy to break.

Did you know that most RV storage compartments use the same keys? If a thief has a set of them they can easily get in. Take a few minutes, replace the locks and get your own keys.

Finally, consider locking your wheel chocks or adding a wheel boot so that someone can’t run off with your tiny home.

And that's it! Want to learn even more about staying safe? Check out the Boondocking Collective.


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Jonathan Longnecker

About the Author

Jonathan Longnecker is the strongly opinionated tattooed and bearded half of Tiny Shiny Home. He loves making music, figuring out nerdy solutions, exploring the outdoors, and living off-grid.

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Posted February 13, 2019

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