Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ripped off RVer

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
Maybe I’m naive and too trusting, but when I spent $250 for a surge protector I didn’t buy the extra plastic lock box. In hindsight the $20 investment would have saved me a bundle. I had the surge protector for less than a month when it came up missing at a state park where we stayed a week. I never noticed it gone until we were packing up to leave. It could have been lifted by anyone. Do you think this is a common occurrence? Should I be suspect of every camper around me? I don’t want to be paranoid, but now I lock up everything I own. I won’t even go to the trash without locking the trailer door. Has this low life thief ruined me for my entire RV life? --Ripped Off in Richmond

Dear RIP:
Let this experience be a lesson, not an anchor. Forget it and move on. Taking precautions and using common sense is your best bet, but don’t let one bad egg ruin your whole barrel of fun. There is a lot of crime in the places you feel most secure. Yellowstone and some of the other large National Parks have their own jails. The bad guys know people let their guard down in camping areas and often find easy pickings. There is a reason surge guard manufacturers sell those little lock boxes. They help keep the honest people honest. A better idea if you are buying a new one is to try the model that you wire in directly. They are a bit cheaper and a simple install. With that model your investment isn’t hung out on your electric post screaming, “Steal me.” It’s a pain to lock everything up in anticipation of the small percentage of dishonest people you will run into in park settings. I tend to lock storage areas with expensive tools and toys. Everything else I leave unlocked until I park in non-park settings. You have to find your comfort level. Good luck.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink



Anonymous said...

Don't get to camp often but I find that 99% of campers are friendly and honest. So sorry you got the 1% jerk! Stay positive and Happy Camping.

PapPappy said...

As mentioned, locks keep the honest people out. If a thief really wants that surge protector, they would probably be coming by with bolt-cutters!
Yes, maybe 1% of the folks at the CG are bad, but that number use seems high, when you are the victim, right?

I agree...go with an internal surge protector, and I would also recommend replacement locks on the storage compartments that you value, because EVERYONE has keys for the standard locks. Better yet, keep your valuable tools inside the RV (maybe under the bed, where you seldom need them).

With all this, keep in mind, it's still a lot more fun to go camping, than not go camping because you are afraid of losing something.

DNPC said...

What's the point? Surge protector stolen without lock - 1 minute. Surge protector stolen with lock - two minutes and a destroyed power cord. I stopped using mine, it's pointless. If someone wants a surge protector, it's just as easy to cut the power cord and take it. I don't worry about it, and I've been full timing for 8 years.

Anonymous said...

I too have one of those surge protectors and the lock box. I think anything with lights and looks cool just attracts attention and some people will take it just because of that alone... Anything attractive that catches peoples eye is something that needs hiding. The lock box is not fool proof. I try hiding the whole assembly by hanging a towel or something else over it so out of site and out of temptation.

annette.shepherd said...

We have expierenced several thefts of various things over the course of oue 10 years of rving. Therefore, in the last 2 years, we DO lock our rv door whenever we leave the camp site, even just for a moment. Has become such a habit, it is no inconvience now. We also put anything of value away, ie generator, tools, electronics; not leaving it out as we used to 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the advise. My surge protector is wired in line in my RV. I also do the same with a "guaged" water regulator. It's mounted inside my locked bin with sewer, electric, water, cable, etc. My whole house water filter is mounted inside also. I've never had a problem with a thief and trust the majority of campers I've met, but why take a chance. I also lock bins and the door when I leave. I take a chance with chairs and things decorating the table, but "if" something happens, they are easily replaced.