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Total Views: 2143 - Total Replies: 10
Feb 14 2013, 10:06 pm - By geekynomads

Hi all, my girlfriend and child are currently downsizing our possessions, selling our home and hoping to full time in the coming months.  We are both tech workers and really aren't location bound so we figure why not do something fun with that freedom until our kid reaches school age.


So my question is about something I've never really given much thought to before I had a kid.  What safety troubles have you run into both in terms of problems with a motorhome/trailer that resulted in an accident or near accident or involving violent or potentially violent crime in an rv park or walmart.  What areas did you have to avoid unexpectedly, or end up having issues in.


I am familiar only with the east coast of the United States.  None of those states scare me and no place amongst them scares me.  That said, I wouldn't want to attempt to park in Philadelphia, Baltimore or DC and have realized that basically avoidance of big cities is standard procedure.  That said I discovered a smaller place I really didn't like very much, Lumberton, NC which felt very unsafe to me.  What unexpected safety issues have you had that I should think about as I travel around the midwest and western states.  My basic plan is defensive weapons, keeping the keys handy and having outdoor motion alarms should make us actually safer than in a sticks and bricks home (simply because we can immediately pull away). Any clever ideas for fireproofing a small amount of cash without a giant heavy fire safe?


Along the vehicle vein I discovered that if you attach a trailer (and thus tongue weight) to an F53 chassis motorhome (or pickup) and move the load such that there is a bit too much tongue weight, the front end suspension unloads enough that if you hit a bump with one side (particularly the right side) of the front suspension at around 45mph the front suspension will begin to violently oscillate until you slow down the coach.  This is affectionately known as the "wobble of death".  The reason this happens is basically due to the way the front suspension is put together, everything is kind of loose on the leaf springs.  This terrified my girlfriend, broke several things in the rv, and I wasn't too pleased about the situation myself.  More careful loading has helped me avoid another occurrence of this but this is a nice warning to others to be wary.  What kind of things like this have happened to you?

Geeky Nomads! roaming in our 1999 Foretravel U320 4200
Feb 14 2013, 11:34 pm - Replied by: Technomadia

In our 7 years on the road, I can only say there were 2 incidents that would be considered 'scary'. 


- We hydroplaned while pulling our little trailer and went into an immediate severe jack-knife when we landed. We were going about 55-60 mpg on an interstate, did a 360+ degree spin into the median. Thankfully, no damage, no injuries. But a real wake-up call!  Lesson learned: Ain't much important enough to drive through driving rain!  Slow down, take precautions.


- In first months on the road we were camped on national forest land in the middle of nowhwere northern CA. In the middle of the night, we had some one pull up to us playing vile music who verbally threatened our lives. He went away, did his thing... and we snuck out the door and into the forest. He came back, made another verbal threat then left. It was a scary night.   Have never felt threatened doing urban camping or anywhere else in our travels.


 - Cherie 

Cherie and Chris / Technomads / www.technomadia.com
1961 GM 4106 - Vintage Bus
On the road since 2006 

Feb 21 2013, 7:13 pm - Replied by: geekynomads

I just saw the article.  Nice :)  Personally I agree with most of it.  I think the main point I take home from my experiences is that MOST people are completely trusting and do not think of security in any way.  As long as those people are around, hopefully I'll be fine ;)

But seriously though, I don't know what I would do if my entire home, contents and vehicle disappeared all at once.  How do you recover from that? 

Geeky Nomads! roaming in our 1999 Foretravel U320 4200
Feb 21 2013, 7:17 pm - Replied by: Technomadia

Insurance for the financial part to replace contents. And trust that the rest of you will adapt.  About all you can really do. 
Cherie and Chris / Technomads / www.technomadia.com
1961 GM 4106 - Vintage Bus
On the road since 2006 

Feb 24 2013, 3:04 pm - Replied by: LiveWorkDream

Congrats on making the leap to full-timing!

The rule we follow is, if we feel unsafe we keep going. By using your gut instinct, common sense and not putting yourself in bad situations, you can keep your risk to a minimum.


We don't carry weapons or have any alarms because honestly we just aren't that attached to our stuff anymore. I'm not saying we don't lock our stuff up, or that I wouldn't be pissed off and upset if we got robbed, but the longer we are on the road, the more we've been exposed to weather disasters and evaucations (we've had to ditch our rig 2x in five years because of weather) the less the material things matter. I know it sounds hippy dippy but for us it's true. We trust that people are inherently good and we do our best not to spread bad mistrusting vibes around.  Basically we believe that you get what you give in this life. There's too much hostility in the world, we don't want to contribute to it.


Since we've been on the road I've only heard of a few instances where people have been robbed but I haven't heard of anyone being in violent altercations that justified the use of weapons.

Working and Living Our Dream Life
Feb 25 2013, 4:36 am - Replied by: geekynomads

I think I've just lived in the city for too many years.  Someone was always up to something.  My biggest issue isn't that I'm attached to the stuff, it's the inconvenience of it all.  The fact that my insurance probably will be inadequate.  The fact that private customer data will be in the hands of thieves.  The fact that for days or even weeks I will not be able to support any of my clients and my business may fall apart from that.


My main drive here is to just put a modicum of thought into this stuff to attempt to at the very least minimize my losses as well as to ensure life can still go on without too much trouble if it happens.  It's not that I think everyone is out to get me.  It's that I know someone somewhere is ;)  I prefer to attempt to plan for unlikely events (weather related and other things as well)

Geeky Nomads! roaming in our 1999 Foretravel U320 4200
Feb 26 2013, 7:16 pm - Replied by: Technomadia

Our computers and data is something we take very seriously in our disaster plans... as they are essential to keeping our business running.  We always make sure we have multiple back-ups scattered across the place.  We keep copies of critical in-progress projects in the cloud (CrashPlan an DropBox are both awesome for this), and have multiple off site back-ups on hard drives stashed at trusted friends and family's place.


The idea being that if we suffered a catostrphic incident in which our computers were stolen/lost/destroyed, we could still keep on working by going to our nearest Apple store and picking up (or having overnighted) a new laptop, have our most recent offsite back-up sent to us and keep on going.  Or worst case, even borrowing some time on a friend's computer to keep up with the work load by grabbing it off the cloud. 


The rest of the stuff.. yes, would be an annoyance.  But in the grand scheme of things, just a minor bump in the road of life.  


 - Cherie 

Cherie and Chris / Technomads / www.technomadia.com
1961 GM 4106 - Vintage Bus
On the road since 2006 

Feb 27 2013, 1:04 pm - Replied by: anatomist1

Installing a small hidden safe in a trailer/rv isn't expensive or hard.  As far as crime goes, it seems pretty unlikely, and it probably isn't irrational to go without a gun.  However, I do a lot of dispersed camping out in the middle of nowhere on public lands.  Staying in a flimsy box far away from any sort of help - possibly hours away if I couldn't use my truck - where a cell phone doesn't even work, without being able to defend myself is not for me.  Cold Steel makes an awesome little sharpened "special forces shovel" that is an excellent weapon and tool to keep around and folding lock blade knives are a serious and easy to carry weapon that I carry nearly everywhere.


By far my biggest security issue is irresponsible dog owners.  I take my dog for a walk at least twice per day and he has often been attacked by loose dogs - it's usually owned but unrestrained dogs, not strays.  It doesn't necessarily have to do with being in an rv, but travel does mean walking in unknown areas.  I sometimes carry a telescopic police baton - I felt I needed to in a suburban neighborhood where I lived for over a year, because the attacks were frequent, and even came close to using it on a couple of belligerent dog owners.  The two most serious attacks I had to fend off without a club, because I wasn't carrying one, including a 90lb pit bull.  Both times I charged and attacked the dog all-out, and it ran away. Unfortunately, I often resort to walking him in mall and shopping area parking lots to avoid the gauntlet of hostile dogs in residential areas. 

Jul 23 2014, 2:08 am - Replied by: LoneStarr

* S E C U R I T Y, S A F E T Y,  D E F E N S E *

(from the guy who just used his cellphone for a beer coaster for aoubt ten minutes wit'out ReALizing it) - Id wonda wuts happnin' : ] , - luvz.

robots? I get fired 'cus of robots? what ¿
Jul 23 2014, 2:54 am - Replied by: geekynomads

I haven't run into any aggressive dogs yet.  Unrestrained sure, but they were all harmless.  My 5 pound papillon would have eaten any aggressive dog (I kid I kid).

We've been at it for a year and a half and haven't had any serious issues yet.  We've encountered some weirdness at Walmart's.  Our new rig has quite a bit more security than our old one.  Big heavy door, dead bolts, several alarms, pager remote, safe, cameras, etc  All came with it.  We actually stayed in Bradenton, FL and shortly before we left this year we heard a couple's motorhome got robbed when they went into the cracker barrel.  The thieves knew details of their type of RV, had some type of master keys, and very quicly got into all the good hiding spots.  If you know the bus/rv lot there, it's rather secluded.  We don't leave the motorhome unattended in areas quite like that, only in a campground.  Well we have left it, but we prefer not to. It's so rare that it's majorly luck of the draw, even in big bad cities the probability is pretty low that YOU will be messed with.

One of my worries was a lack of knowledge about all things west of the eastern coast.  Turns out I felt a whole heck of a lot safer out there than I do here so kind of a nonissue. We didn't make it to California though.  I expect that is a whole other world.
Geeky Nomads! roaming in our 1999 Foretravel U320 4200
Oct 01 2014, 11:59 pm - Replied by: geekynomads

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/american-shakedown-police-won-t-charge-you-but-they-ll-grab-y our-money-1.2760736


This is real. And being innocent will not protect you from the joy of having your vehicle torn apart in a search for cash.  Even if you refuse search the drug dogs give false positive alerts very often (as in more often than simple 50/50 probability.  There are no standards).  Drive safe. Obey ALL laws!  Dont carry any cash you aren't willing to part with.


Full time RVers are at especially humongous risk as you are carrying everything you own, your whole rig could be seized and insurance likely wouldn't pay for it. Things could go very bad for you if you have cash, a gun and even small amounts of drugs.



Geeky Nomads! roaming in our 1999 Foretravel U320 4200
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