Over the last few years, the world has become a more F-ed up place. Everyone is concerned about their safety. Understandably so. HOWEVER, I firmly believe that you CAN NOT – and SHOULD NOT let fear stop you from getting out into the world and experiencing all the beauty there is. Here are some of my top van life safety tips to help get you out and on the road with more confidence.
Top 12 Van life Safety Tips
- Always lock your doors when you are in the van whenever you can. Sometimes, you need the door open for fresh air, but lock them up if you are chillin’.
- Whenever possible, enter your van from 1 entry point only. We often will ALL enter the van from the same door – this allows me to have my eyes on my kids at all times. It also stops someone from “snatching and running” or entering the van when we go through another door.
- When food shopping, put your children in the van first and then your groceries. We can cool down the van remotely before getting to the car, so it is not hot.
- Close/cover your windows when out and about – this will make it harder for someone to see what is inside or clue someone in that people live in the van. These are the covers we use for the front windows.
- Invest in an alarm system. These vans are expensive! An alarm system can prevent theft, track a stolen van with GPS tracking, scare off an intruder, or alarm you when you are sleeping that someone is trying to break in – and give you that time to prepare to get out or protect yourself.
- Add additional interior locks. You can fabricate these yourself or purchase something for installation. Having internal locks will make it harder for someone who could jimmy open a door. It will also give you time to get out or drive away as they fumble with this additional hurdle. These are the best ones we have found.
- Use common sense. If you notice someone following you – LEAVE. If you feel unsafe, LEAVE! Park where it feels safe, is well lit, where you see others also camped (if possible). I like to use RVparky APP or iOverlander APP.
- Take pets out for the last time in a populated area BEFORE settling in for the night. I suggest this so when you park stealth for the night, you have ZERO reasons to exit your van and clue anyone in on your situation (solo, kids, etc…)
- If your front cab has a separate door – make sure you don’t give anyone the idea you are a female driver. “Fool” them with gender-neutral or man’s items, like boots or a hat.
- Travel with a dog. It doesn’t matter how big or small. A dog is a deterrent.
- Always leave your front seat facing forward and clear – an easy way to get in and on the road if needed.
- Put your car keys and self-defense items in the same place EVERY TIME. This will ensure you will be able to grab your keys and go quickly, and in the event you need to use the defense items, you have them ready to go at all times.