Camping safety when boondocking is assured using good judgment and precaution measures. As a general rule, be aware of your surroundings and be ready to leave if ever you feel unsafe.
Keep in mind that there is less chance of being robbed or subject to aggression in the countryside.
It is more common near big centers, in truck stops and rest areas. Few criminals choose to drive 20 miles/kms into a forest park to rob you unless it is a fellow RVer boondocking near your site.
Attracting attention by leaving things of value outside or going out in the middle of the night to the washroom building of a rest area are not good ideas.
For your security, carry a big flashlight (and a small spray bottle of pepper spray or wasp spray) if you have to go out at night. Never leave the RV door unlocked at night, and do not leave a window open near a door giving access to the lock.
Park your recreational vehicle in a highly visible and well lit area close to other vehicles if possible, with the key near the ignition ready to go in case of trouble.
If someone knocks at your door, be suspicious; do not open it. Turn an outside light on and ask for identification. If you feel unsafe, leave the place.
Note that as camping safety is concerned, a motor home is safer because you do not need to go out.
When you park at night, it is also a good rv safety precaution not to have anything ahead that would block your direct way out.
You don't want to have to back up or maneuver to leave in a hurry. It is obvious that you have to keep an eye on the fuel tank level so you don't find yourself in an emergency situation with an empty tank.
The RV, in a way, is safer than a house. It has only one door that opens out. For intruders, it is harder to get in unless they break the windows while you are not around.
For example, having a sign on your RV or tow vehicle that says your name is not a very good idea. Someone may call you by your name and you think you know the person and open the door.
Instead, you can have a distinctive sign that only friends will be aware of. Even if you can not hide your license plate, you don't necessarily want to advertise yourself as a full time RVer. (stickers for example)
This would be an indication to any passer by that everything you own is probably in your RV at this time, ready to be stolen.On the other hand, other signage can help. A sticker like "Guard dog aboard" or "Protected by such alarm system" can act as deterrents.
To significantly add to camping safety, there are a few things suggested to have in your RV in case of act of self-defense.
Pepper spray is a good legal defense against bears, even if illegal as self-defense against persons.
It works up to 20 feet. One brand has dye which will mark the attacker for a long time. I always wonder: why would you mark a bear? I guess it makes sense.
Wasp spray may be a better alternative. It typically shoots 20 to 30 feet, is a lot more accurate and does not attract attention (like the pepper spray). It temporary blinds the attacker. An antidote is available at hospitals.
Always check the expiring date on the bottle since these products have a shelf life.
Straight chlorine simply put in a spray bottle is another solution. This can be done in pure legality. It would cause burning to the skin and eyes of the attacker.
Carrying a firearm or stun gun:
In my opinion, for camping safety, this is not a good idea.
The laws change from one State to another in the USA and carrying firearms are totally illegal in Canada and Mexico. Also, it can be returned by the attacker against you.
Flares on the other hand, if you decide to carry some in your RV, can serve more purposes than camping safety. You may need them in case you get lost boondocking, have an accident or serve as a weapon when your life is at risk. (wildlife, people)
It is a good practice to keep your cellular phone with sufficient charge in the event of having to call 911. The fact that an intruder see you calling may just be enough a deterrent to scare him/her.
It is clear that by the time the police arrives, the intruder will be gone. Parked in the boonies, it would be even more probable but you can always fake the call. The GPS with a Mayday system can also be of use.
Continuing with other camping safety devices and tricks, a very loud alarm system that you activate manually from a button is an excellent deterrent.
Also, for those of you RVers having the company of a trained and large intimidating dog, you will certainly feel more secure.
For the others, a good idea is simulate one in having an audiotape of such barking dog that you turn on when needed. Another good trick is to leave a big dog bowl outside.
For single women travelers, leave two old pair of shoes outside with one being a man's large size. Two chairs left outside may also indicate that there are two people in the RV.