Updated: Nov 21, 2019
It's a question lots of RVers have been asking themselves lately.
As full time traveling RVers who almost always boondock, recently we have been asked things like “Will we keep boondocking? Is it safe to RV boondock? Aren't you afraid to be out there by yourself?” With the recent tragic news of the deaths of RVers James and Michelle Butler in Texas, it makes sense that those of us who boondock and RV would be a little frightened.
This horrific incident hit close to home for us because we camped last winter on the beach in Texas right in the area this happened. We even used Padre Balli Park to dump our tanks and fill the water several times while we boondocked in that same area.
However, when we were there, never did we feel unsafe. We did take some measures to be safe and we spent almost a month camping in December 2018 and January 2019 up and down the coastline from Padre Island National Seashore to Port Aransas, Texas.
The Butlers were close in age to us. They were gate guards which is something we have seriously considered AND they were headed to manage a Christmas tree lot something we have spent lots of time thinking about. So like many of you, this really got to me and for a few days, I too was scared.
Scared something would happen. Scared that someone was going to harm us. Scared that danger was surely lurking around the every corner. I even lost a couple of nights sleep worrying.
Then it occurred to me. It was the fear of death (cancer) that got me started on this RV Journey two years ago and I am not going to let the fear of death stop me!
So I took to the internet for some facts. It’s a sad reality but people are murdered regularly here in the US. In fact according to the FBI in 2017, the estimated number of murders in the United States was 17,284. But that rate is expected to be lower for 2019.
Okay, so things are looking up for us all.
So just how many RVers are there in America? There are lots! A 2018 Washington Post story stated that over 1 million Americans live in RVs.
But just to make myself feel better I googled RVers killed. And guess what? I could only find a few cases over the last 9-10 years. A couple missing, a person killed by a drunk driver and another couple killed. This is horrible and of course the RV community should be concerned.
But the truth is, bad things can happen anywhere, even at home, whether you are living in a sticks and bricks house or living in your RV. There are mass shootings at movie theaters, concerts, and sadly even children are shot at school these days. Danger can be anywhere.
Statistics show that you are WAY more likely to be killed by your spouse (as I look over my shoulder) in your own home than you are RVing. Comparatively speaking, we might be safer in our RV. So the odds are in our favor!
With the data in hand, I decided that the odds of something bad happening to us are so slim that the best thing we can do is go live life! See as much of this magical planet as possible before our time is up. No one is guaranteed tomorrow so get out there and do what you want to do and see what you want to see.
Just be aware. Know your surroundings. Let loved ones know where you are and be smart. Here are some tips on how to stay safe when you boondock in your RV or van.
It's a horrible thing that happened to the Butlers. But don’t live in fear. You just can't.
Life is too short and there is lots of free boondocking out there waiting for you!
Penny Pinching Globetrotter