??? Campground Theft, How Often ???


A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
IMHO most camping gear isn't worth enough to bother stealing it. I see bag chairs out on sites with the occupants away all the time. We tend to tuck ours under the bunks... less for security and more in case a surprise rain shower comes. We store most our stuff (lanterns, Coleman stove, etc) under the back bunk where it's pretty much out of site unless you're actually walking around our site. When I set up our solar I do chain it to a nearby tree or the camper itself, but that's just to prevent a crime of opportunity, as it's a suitcase and could be carried off in seconds otherwise. I don't normally bring our generator, but that stays locked in the van if I do (again, it's relatively valuable and extremely portable)

Electronics and such (phones, iPads, etc) we do protect.

At most campsites you're not going to need to worry about anything. If you camp at certain types of sites (public beaches, extremely dispersed where nobody else is around, etc) you might need to be a bit more careful.


Active Member
May 8, 2018
Central Florida
In Florida, most all the state parks have an electronic Gate at the front entry that locks, and you need the "code" written on back of your hangtag pass, to get in after like 8PM. This is just one more way to avoid some of the "crimes of opportunity" that happen, plus unauthorized use of showers, facilities etc. I realize that up north this isn't done so much, but I am sure it cuts down on the ranger after-hours calls when done. Plus unpaid use of a campsite, etc.
Good idea on the solar panels but what a pain to have to lock -em up.


Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Nov 30, 2012
This summer I added up the tables, chairs, Blackstone, grill, propane tank, portable solar panel, etc and I have about $500 sitting out there. I never worried.


Active Member
Jun 1, 2010
For me when I camp near NYC shiny things tend to grow legs at night. I hear about camp stoves, coolers bikes etc being stolen (easily snatched). I tend to lock\cover high value items that seem like something someone would want and think it was cool to have. I leave out things like chairs decorations, even fishing poles. low value or not "shiny". When I go up to VT I am laxer with my security. In both locations food\coolers get put up because they frow fury legs.


Sep 21, 2021
In over 30 years, the only thing I ever had stolen was the hood ornament from my Chevy Spectrum, while a buddy and I were in town. FTR, a spectrum was a small hatchback that looked like a front-wheel drive chevette. Why they would want the hood ornament is still a mystery to me... If the idiots had been smarter, they would have waited until we returned in my buddy's corvette and taken the hood ornament off of that instead :)


Active Member
Aug 11, 2021
I really wish we lived in a perfect world where none of this was needed... it's the worst feeling in the world to come around the corner and realize someone has taken or even gone through your stuff. We'll just plan to proceed with caution and act accordingly.

Thank goodness we're in a PUP, we look the most poor out of all the people I see[:D]


Super Active Member
Mar 2, 2021
Hog Waller, GA
I really wish we lived in a perfect world where none of this was needed... it's the worst feeling in the world to come around the corner and realize someone has taken or even gone through your stuff. We'll just plan to proceed with caution and act accordingly.

Thank goodness we're in a PUP, we look the most poor out of all the people I see[:D]
That's the best security, camping next to the site with the new Class A and a Mercedes G class for their toad.


Jul 28, 2022
I'm always nervous that something will walk away. I lived in the city (Baltimore) for a bit and if you didn't chain it down it was gone, so maybe it's leftover from that. So far nothing has "walked" away, but I'm always a little nervous. Having a PUP doesn't make it any easier either as it's just velcro to undue and you're in.

How often is theft a thing? Have you experienced it? I tell the kids not to leave wallets or anything of value just laying out inside the camper, but I haven't locked the door yet. On our trip last weekend I did turn the music on inside down low just to make someone think someone might be in there while we were out.

Maybe I'm being paranoid. For the record, I've never met campers that are a--holes, so my feelings are not at all based on experiences I've had. I was just curious to see what others have gone through. I mean, a stolen hitch or part from a WDH or whatever could make for a very unpleasant dilemma.
I have never had an issue with anything being stolen or disappearing during camping. In my experience so far, I have come to the conclusion that most campers realize the expense of items and respect other peoples things. Hopefully that will remain in the future and I will have no issues. And I hope no one else does as well. Happy camping.😊


Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
I've thought and read about theft posibillities. We mostly boondock. I have cord locks each connecting a battery and propane tank together. I do put an Amazon lock (different from pictured one) on the tongue. We also have an extremely heavy duty chain and lock that goes thru a tire. I don't leave solar out when not around, otherwise I'd lock. I bring an extra locking chord for that or Yeti, or whatever needing locking. I do lock our aframe door if leaving. Most things get locked inside it or our truck tho. Use same cautions at home where our aframe stores up (not closed, like when traveling).


Active Member
Aug 11, 2021
I think it depends a lot on where you're camping too... I mean, I don't even feel like I belong in some of those "ritzy" CG's...way too fancy for me, but in the same sense I don't think any of my crap will go missing either.

I've camped next to some rather unsettling people also.... I was definitely more cautious, lol.


Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
Albuquerque, NM
I don't leave solar out when not around, otherwise I'd lock.
We leave our solar panels out all the time we're camped. Otherwise, we'd lose charging time, and have to move them in and out of the vehicle or camper. Much less work to just lock what we want and be done with it. We lock the Zamp, but don't bother to lock the smaller, older Goal Zero set.
In many places, the batteries are topped off by noon or early afternoon, but on rainy days, shady spots, or early/late season trips, it's nice to be able to use the entire day.


Active Member
Apr 10, 2020
Northern BC
I have never had a problem.

I know 2 or 3 people who have had Yeti coolers stolen in recent years. Honestly, I could have predicted that because they said Yeti on the side. I doubt if a Coleman would have gotten taken.
I have known a few people, who had cheaper coolers stolen ~ we assumed they were after the food, more than the cooler.


A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
Good idea on the solar panels but what a pain to have to lock -em up.
Not really... I just have a couple of cables that live in the camper. Takes about 2 minutes to lock them up, if I'm going slow.

I don't leave solar out when not around, otherwise I'd lock.
We are often out biking, hiking, sightseeing, or otherwise not at the campsite during the prime solar hours of the day. I actually originally bought the solar suitcase for our 7-night Yellowstone trip, which at the time was our longest trip without any hookups. During that trip we were sometimes gone from the site 15 hours as we explored the park. Came back to a full battery every day.


Super Active Member
Jun 26, 2020
Lancaster PA
We really don't worry too much about theft but we're not stupid/careless enough to leave valuables laying around outside the camper. I take my wdh and store it on the back bumper in a bolt on reciever for a bike hitch. I put my locking hitch pin in it, but all someone would need is an adjustable wrench to undo the receiver bolts. It's stored there more for convenience than security anyway.
We don't lock the door, we have canvas bunks. I'd rather have them go through the door. All 3 bunks have emergency exits in the screens anyway lol...unzip and go in.
I don't leave expensive stuff that's easy to walk off with outside. Stuff like my metal detector, ice maker, and electronics. Bikes, boogie boards, surf boards all go under the camper or camper bunks. Blackstone griddle has a cover, but I don't lock it in any way. Same with my camper surge protector. I don't lock it up.

I do lock up my pass through storage and outside fridge compartment sometimes if we're going to be gone all day, but not normally, and really only when I have neighbors that give me an odd vibe. But that's a rarity.


New Member
Jul 20, 2017
I've never had anyone with enough nerve to actually go into my trailer. The consequences getting caught doing that in my area would be... substantial. Just kids stealing beer a couple times.


Active Member
Jun 21, 2010
We have camped at several campgrounds over the past 12 years, from national parks to state parks to commercial... we have never properly boondocked so I can't speak to that, but we've never had anyone steal anything off of our campsite (I have seen stuff get stolen out of the common areas at Ft. Wilderness at Disney World before, a couple of unlocked bikes that another camper had left unlocked on a bike rack). We have taken precautions with the toys (kayaks, bikes, scooters) as those would be easy to snag, but other than that we haven't done much to secure any other gear. We have a portable 120W suitcase solar panel array that I left out when camping at a National Park campground on the last outing and it was unscathed.


Living the Darkside...
Silver Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2007
Centerville, OH
I haven't had anything stolen that wasn't because some animal walked in and took it. I do lock the door only to make sure the wind or a storm doesn't pop it open.

I have used a trailer lock on my trailers, in storage, never out camping. It is primarily to encourage would be thieves to move on to an easier target or at least slow them down for the security camera. I could cut one off with a battery powered grinder in a minute or two if necessary.

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
We were camping at a private campground, first and only time, someone stole our water jug, 6 gallon. They tripped on a guy line while running away, I hope they broke a body part.


Active Member
Aug 31, 2020
Keizer, OR
Does anyone use the hitch locks that they sell on Amazon??
View attachment 85538
I use that and a long shank lock when it is parked at our house(with the travel door locked of course). Never in all of my time camping with or without a trailer, have we ever had anything taken other than camp robbers(birds/squirrels) stealing food. When we're in camp and we know we will leave the CG, maybe I'll throw the long shank lock through the hitch to keep people honest or to keep the DW from worrying. We more or less stow things out of sight when we leave the camp spot: lock the bikes to the PUP, toss the Blackstone/Stove inside. The biggest problem are the COVID campers that have no respect for others by being loud/obnoxious/rude to those around them.

Tonya Harding

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2018
Talked to a pal Labor Day weekend that's been a camp host for 21 years at a local state park, he told me some yahoos staying in a yurt went on a crime spree & stole 2 mountain bikes, assorted camping gear from several sites, even stole his prescription sunglasses off a table under his awning, first thefts he ever remembers; somebody saw them the next day riding the bikes thru the campground & reported 'em, Rangers found the stuff they had put in the yurt, but never recovered the glasses. He said in this summer was his worst, from a general uptick in ass hattery by campers, even had one family refuse to leave their site & had to be tossed from the park, said it was quite the scene lol...wonder what next spring will bring...