Campground Harassment: Gun Laws, Safety & Security for RV Lifestyle



what do you do when you're afraid for your life and you can't call 911 welcome back to the RV Odd Couple my name is John and I'm Mercedes long story short we sold most of our possessions in pursuit of freedom independence and adventure because life's too short guys and in today's video we're gonna bring up a serious topic we actually debated whether or not to share it we promised to share with you guys all of our experiences as we are vide the good the bad and the ugly unfortunately this is kind of an ugly experience that happened to us a few days ago but we think it's an incredibly important subject and we're gonna go over it today we were in a dangerous situation and we could not call 9-1-1 as uncomfortable as this is to share we feel it's really important so that you two have a plan because we thought we had an adequate safety plan for things like fire and bad weather and an intruder but what this experience brought to light was that the plan can always be improved I remember all through school that we'd have fire drills or in Colorado you have tornado drills I'm sure some of you even remember when there was nuclear drills yeah I was a little kid actually sometimes in adulthood we don't continue to practice those safety plans and unfortunately the one that we had to put into effect a couple nights ago has to do with an intruder and we want to let you know that it was minor property damage and harassment we're not intending to scare you but these things are really important whether you're are Veen or whether you're in a sticks and bricks what things are you doing to keep your family safe and we also want to invite ex law enforcement we love to hear what you have to say because you guys are better equipped give us any tips that you might have and a special shout out to Darrel and skip and Kevin and Mike we got a lot of retired law enforcement in the RV odd squad so Mercedes and I headed off to bed at about 11:30 a few nights ago and soon after we laid down a truck comes by and stops just outside of our bedroom on the RV which is right next to the road it sits there and it idles for about 30 seconds it was longer it felt more like a minute he was there for a little while just stopped and we could hear his truck idling you might think the truck is not a big deal but remember we recently released our location and we had a video go viral where we mentioned God where we've got an onslaught of negativity and we had we had to block a lot of people and remove comments so it kind of freaked us out a little bit but not too bad and he moved on we thought nothing of it Mercedes fell asleep and I was just about to fall asleep when we heard something hit the roof it was like a boom boom and again it freaked us out a little bit so I got very quiet I listen hyper alert and after about five or ten minutes I assumed that it was a branch that had broken loose from the tree above our RV or maybe a big pine cone right so again I'm thinking man you're just freaking yourself out relax go to sleep so now it's after midnight Mercedes is in a deep sleep and I'm just about sleeping when somebody hits right over the top of our bedroom the roof three times boom boom boom and just freed us both out we both immediately sat up in the dog when crazy Skippy went nuts we got very very quiet I leaned over to Mercedes and said someone's on the roof of the RV and they better not have stepped on my bird's nest going up that back ladder never mind that someone's on the roof of RV obviously you have ill motives if you're on the roof not on the knocking on the door but don't mess with my birds money it just went to my mind the only way to get up in the RV that quietly would be to go up the ladder in the ladder that on the back of our RV is where our bird's nest is so I reach over to grab my phone to call 9-1-1 I hit 9-1-1 and it's dead nothing I cannot call 911 in this park now for all seven eight weeks and we haven't had phone service it's been dead so at this point we know that we're number one we're terrified that somebody's in the roof and number two we're in this alone we've got to protect ourselves now luckily Mercedes and I have a plan to protect ourselves in the event that someone was outside harassing or trying to you to our RV we do carry weapons we carried them legally I'm licensed to conceal in my state and Mercedes has been trained with weapons even though she did not ever want to get trained yeah I you know how we're on opposite ends of the political spectrum I don't like guns but I'm glad that I know how to use them and especially having a kid for safety purposes we both have the training that's necessary to protect our RV so we kicked our plan into place we're gonna talk a little bit about guns and because we've gotten some questions from some RV odd squad members we just got this question yesterday so Sandi f wrote in the comments you touch on one of my biggest concerns I don't go anywhere without my weapon I have a concealed permit for it once I begin traveling will there be an issue going state to state then the answer is yes every state has its own laws as it pertains to guns and weapons now I'm legally licensed to conceal a weapon from my home state of Florida Florida has reciprocity with a whole lot of other states in the country I believe 38 other states but what's interesting about this is it kind of stinks because and this is not political but if you're in a red state you pretty much know you're okay to defend yourselves and have arms or weapons in your RV if you're in a blue state it's not that simple it's not that easy to understand so it's your responsibility to find out the laws in the state in which you are RVing for instance we're now in California now Mercedes has mentioned a few Lauren Faust forcement officers that we bumped into and they've really helped us to understand how California weapons laws were the nuances yeah but I really did a lot of research and it's really interesting in California an RV is not considered your home it's considered just like a vehicle like a car truck it's considered the same way and when you are transporting weapons in your car truck or RV your weapon cannot be loaded so nothing in the chamber in the clip not be in it they also consider both your clip your ammunition and your gun the weapon as two weapons each of those has to be locked in its own container they cannot be locked in the same container and they don't recognize your glovebox lock glovebox as one of those approved containers but we also found out in the state of California that when you camp when your RV is on a campsite that you're paying for you are considered a temporary resident of California then you're allowed to have weapons loaded weapons in your RV as your home that you otherwise could not have if you were transporting or going from site to site so just study the laws look at them you're responsible to do your own research but don't just assume that because of the political leaning of the state that you're Feiner you're not fine because even specific counties have different laws think about New York City versus upstate New York that's just one example and also you you when you're looking at the law you want to look at a couple of things if you're in our beer you want to check if your RV is treated as a vehicle or if your RV is treated as your home because that's gonna change things you also want to find out the state's requirement for safe transport of the weapon now not only is it your right to protect your family in possession possessions in this country I believe it's it's my responsibility to be able to protect my family if I can't call 9-1-1 or the professionals to help me and one of the things that I think is really important whether you choose your weapon to be a gun or nunchucks it doesn't matter you need to know how to safely use it because if you don't know how to safely use your weapon of choice in this kind of life-or-death situation you're actually putting yourself in more danger the other thing that's really important is not just practicing your safety plan but having that familiarity with using the weapon the two of those combined will make you more calm in this stressful situation if you haven't already I highly suggest you take a gun safety course or a weapon safety course and get properly licensed in the state in which you live and we're actually going to link to a resource that will help you find out about individual states but again this is not all-inclusive you still have more research to do as soon as we try to call 9-1-1 and that failed we knew we were on our own we immediately kicked in our plan our personal family's plan protect each other from someone that's outside the RV and might try to get in so we immediately went for our weapons I have two weapons and Mercedes has a weapon so when I got my weapons the first thing I did was I cocked them extremely loud and on purpose so that the person that is outside knows I have a website weapons I also learned that it is a really good idea to say as loud as you possibly can we called the police and I have weapons I think the reasoning behind this is by saying I'm armed and the police are on their way that then if you do have to use the weapon you've already given them full opportunity to know to get out you know and they chose not to knowing that you were armed I was going to go down the stairs which is what I did very quickly and quietly not turn out any lights I went to the window that is closest to the door I cracked that window a little bit in the shade and I've started watching the stairs because if they start coming at that door I'll have a shot at them before they get a shot at coming in the door so my role in the plan is that I stay with our daughter and I know where the emergency exits are so I can exit the RV if it if someone comes in and it's more safe to be outside of the RV than inside of the RV so some people would tell you that we should stay together that's not our plan my job is to go down and to watch the window where they might be trying to get into the door but one thing that we learned that we could do better on that is barricading one thing that they talked about in the research that we did after this situation was the importance of barricading yourself so that you're making it as difficult as possible for the intruder to get in and to get you which is a great tip right so when I left the bedroom and went down to take my position to watch the door Mercedes could have barricaded that door okay now she has escaped it's already pre-planned on how to get out of there now if the guy ever does come through the door okay I know to let her know he's inside I'm gonna fight with him she's gonna go out the emergency exit and get as far away from here is she can while I fight with the guy that's gotten into the RV one of the things that criminals and intruders do not like is they don't like loud noises okay so any loud noise is gonna scare away 99% of people that are trying to get into your home one of the other things that I learned is that I have a fob to my truck so I could have actually started my truck by starting my truck him being on the outside of whoever was being on the outside it disorientate s– them by sound so they can't hear what's going on in the RV they don't know where I am or where I'm positioned the other option I have is to hit my emergency alarm on my father in the truck which basically is really loud and it's gonna grab attention this way and obviously an intruder doesn't want attention we also read about a foghorn but we don't need any extra stuff in the RV so you might want to just use your car alarm yeah but it's a great idea right if you don't have a car alarm or you don't have a fog to start your truck you get get a fog airhorn alot of people use those on boats those are very very loud so you may want to get one of those but one of the cool things about that I did not know by starting the truck my truck immediately lights everything up around and it was pointing towards the road which you know could light that up I just never used that option so but I thought it was really interesting to find out yeah and we're sharing it with you so you can add that to your plate exactly add that to your plan it's a great option so I know you're probably saying okay so what happened you mentioned that there was damage done to your property and you mentioned it was harassment so here's how the story continues to unfold so I sat down stairs in my position watching the door for about 30 minutes didn't move was very quiet didn't turn any any lights on left all the shades down except for the one shade that I popped open in the window so I could hear and see near the door if the person came for the it was very quiet didn't see any movement at which point I grabbed the dog the dog and I went out together very quietly and then I let the dog go down first the dogs are fantastic at sniffing out anything any movement around the RV under the RV and that brings to light the importance of having a dog now we've always known that our dog was part of our security system so to say yeah he said he's a good boy good boy but especially because he has a great view of under the RV it just John actually said he's like man I'm so grateful for our dog you know obviously I thought the person may have been on the roof so for me to run out the door would have just been dumb because he's got the upper hand if he is above me unfortunately I did not sleep the rest of the night know what's really funny is Mercedes trusted me enough that she just went to sleep after about a half hour I knew that having both of us not having any sleep that it'd be better than at least one of us get some sleep that night and I knew he was fine if the situation escalated further he makes sure I knew what was going on and as soon as white did come out I was able to get up on the roof and we found two rocks which is right here so somebody basically is ridiculous I'm compared to the size in my hand so somebody just tossed these up and took off which was pretty terrifying and there is no holes in the roof you can see with the rocks landed on the rubber roof but it was just ridiculous I don't know what would make someone think that that's permissible in any situation that is extremely threatening and extremely stupid we hope that this video really cemented the importance of a proper safety plan for different scenarios and we invite you to watch the next video where we talk about campground etiquette because throwing rocks at our v's is not good campground we didn't even think we had a mention that yeah it shouldn't even be on the list right we'll see in the next video

30 thoughts on “Campground Harassment: Gun Laws, Safety & Security for RV Lifestyle

  1. Glad you are ok and it was nothing more than a true scare, I can't imagine what you felt. Thank You for sharing this valuable info. Great video.

  2. ….and no Stellar Blue Jays were harmed in the making of this video. I’m glad you all are okay. Another great resource is the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). I have both my wife and I covered under USCCA. I’m prior Law Enforcement, as well as a Retired US Army Infantryman. You guys handled the situation very well. The big thing was you had a plan, you executed that plan, you did your due diligence about the gun laws and you have the guts to tell your story. I read some of the comments. Some are valid and some are nit-picky..like, “it’s not a clip, it’s a magazine” very true, and I would tell my Soldiers that a clip is something your sister puts in her hair, and you’re not shooting an M1 Garand (which actually did use a clip), but really, what does calling it a clip have to do with the outcome of the story? Nothing. Another thing, for the armchair quarterbacks who have never dealt with a home invasion, or the possibility of staring down the barrel of a gun…no one knows how they will act with 100% certainty until they are placed in that situation. I spent almost 25 years as an Infantry Soldier, and almost 3 years in Iraq, plus an additional 7 years in law enforcement, and none of that compares to someone trying to get in your house and do bad things to your family. It’s like Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”. Did John and Mercedes execute their plan flawlessly….no. Did they learn from it…yes. Will they be better prepared next time…abso-friggen-lutely!!! Glad you guys are safe!!

  3. Wow!!! That would have freaked anyone out! Talk about jerks!!! Glad it was nothing more. Great advice on planning and research. Thanks so much!!!

  4. Great video guys. I’m an active police officer in Florida, and these were great tips. I thought the plan was great and it worked. Keep time on your side. Let the bad guy expose him or herself first. Stay locked inside until you know it’s safe to exit. If you do exit be prepared for anything. A good flashlight and gun in hand is important. Be prepared to stop the threat. I would be more careful to not communicate your location because of stuff like this. If you do a meet and greet make it in a public place with plenty of witnesses. All in all you did great. These days you can never be to safe. We are living in some crazy times. Love you guys and stay safe. Don’t let this incident change you or the evil in the world wins. I will be praying protection over you in Jesus name. Stay vigilant always, but enjoy life.
    The Millers from Florida.

  5. I really appreciate you guys for being so vocal and "out with it" as to your personal defense capability.  I would venture to say you are much better off with people out there knowing you are "packing heat".  Unfortunately, we are becoming more and more aware of how insane the left is these days, and so we are between a rock and a hard place.  We need to be careful how to respond.  Keep your head about you at all times.  Thanks again.

  6. first thing iam glade everyone is ok, praise god im not going to get into the gun discussion each to there own but self defense is very important i use to teach kick boxing and self defense classes, and one simple move could save your life.have a great day and i hope the rest of your week is good.

  7. I used to have a CC permit. The state we are in now I cannot get one. I enjoy target shooting but hate hate hate the idea that I might have to take someone's life. So far God is Good and has watched over us. In the meantime here is a wealth of ideas
    https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/podcast-513-be-your-own-bodyguard/

  8. We have two strobe lights and syrens on our roof we can activate from inside. In an emergency I want to notifiy as many people around me as possible, so maybe they can call the police. Sorry if I wake the campground up, but our safety is preferential.

  9. Wow I’m so happy the both of you and the baby are okay! This has been a thought in my mind about RVing, it’s not going to change my mind but to make sure my first thing is the make my RV a smart RV with security cameras at every corner! I even would put a security gate around the latter. This type of situation always comes to my mind.

  10. Glad you guys are ok and glad you both carry and have a beautiful dog!!! Stay safe out there and thanks for this video 😁

  11. glad to hear y’all right. Curious were ya in a RV Park? If so We’ve made it a point to not get a site by the roads, thieves, young kids behaving badly, drug addicts ect use the opportunity to slip in especially at night. Retired ST-LE we use a locked black box to store firearms. letting an intruder know ya have a weapon can backfire by them fearing for their lives start shooting into ya RV will penetrate walls. There’s no coverage behind much in an RV. As a child of God No one has power over us. We are in His hands with a fire henge of protection covered by His blood. In my career I’ve faced many situations where God protected me every single time provided absolutely every need yet at times tested my faith in Him. Happy Safe Trekking 🚎🙏✌️God Bless Shalom.

  12. Stay out of the socialist states like New York or Kalifornication where sometimes/most of the time you are not allowed to defend yourself. Only go to states that allow you to defend yourself with a firearm. Nothing like the sound of jacking a round into a pump 12 gauge to get the perp's attention and help them remember they have another urgent appointment

  13. The 2nd ammendment is under attack for sure. The right to defend ourselves and our lives ones against those who want to do harm is being taken away. We need to fight against that.
    BYW, dogs are not tools and should not be considered a security system. They are family.

  14. There is a device called the Spot X, a 2 way satellite messenger, that can be used to send messages to cell phones and emails from virtually anywhere in the world. Also send S.O.S, does tracking, check in, post to social and is a compass. Has different types of plans. So if you don’t have a cell signal this would be great to have in case of an emergency when you can’t call 911.
    Glad you were safe. So sad that some people are so crazy and do stupid things these days. Safe travels. Also glad the birds are ok.

  15. You talked a lot about the gun scenario. Agree. I have set up on my rv are motion/ solar powered spot lights . I made nice little stands that are 100% portable. I place them where I want, on the roof and sides. Put them away when we travel. The cool thing is you place them were you want and making sure to not have them point at your neighbors.

  16. I totally agree with Frank M, you're absolutely well within your rights to protect your family and home!!
    I cannot even imagine why someone would want to bother or hurt you guys, you haven't hurt anyone and you are so precious, y'all are so loving and caring, I'm sorry for ranting, but the more I think about it the more upset I get, how dare they invade your space, privacy and security of your family!!
    Much love to you guys, and always praying for you!

  17. Years ago back in the 90's, while I was on travel, my wife and kids went camping with my brother's family just north of Phoenix near Bartlett Lake. We had a tent trailer back then and they were dry camping in the desert. That first morning, my brother drove all the kids down to the lake to go fishing. My wife and sister-in-law remained behind to finish setting up camp and get breakfast prepared for their return. My wife was cleaning up in the trailer and thru the window, she noticed that there were several youths in an adjacent camp, about 100 yards away. They were wandering about their camp, but slowly began moving towards her camp's direction. She alerted my sister in law, then went to the van, strapped on a Ruger .357 to her hip and walked back into the trailer. At that point, these inner-city youths surely must have taken notice because they re-directed their wandering back towards their own camp, where they kept to themselves before departing. AZ has both open carry and concealed carry laws. Know your laws, know your rights. Dogs are like RADAR. These people were testing to see if your trailer was occupied. Campgrounds, good and bad, are subject to crimes such as burglary. It pays to have a Plan.

  18. God & guns are dirty words in California. Good people should never go there or spend money there, it's a crap hole!

  19. Thank you for sharing that!! The one woman who camps alone in her RV boondocking CAROLYN who does utube had a SERIOUS death threat I don't know if you watched it she notified the FBI who investigated and found the death threats were serious enough they arrested the guy and put him in prison. SO BE CAREFUL GUYS! Your so lucky to have a man around that would make me feel so much safer unfortunately that is not my case. One word of warning when you told of your escape plan with your daughter put the back on utube be careful two weirdos together one could distract your husband making you go out the back where the other guy could be. This world is so full of weirdos. And your faith in God is wonderful because He will protect you. You guys are AMAZING and I'm so glad your so honest and share things like that. That has been my rear of camping down south in winter's because I'm alone. But then again you can't spend your whole life living in fear either. That's what I tell myself. At least on your video weirdos now know your well armed. That's good. God bless you guys and stay safe. Love you guys❤️❤️❤️

  20. I cant believe you post stuff about God and you get hate comments. Ridiculous! sounding the car alarm with headlites is a good idea. likely it was teen males with nothing to do…bear mace is useful…you situation is the #1 reason I dont think I wd boondock…how about getting motion lites attached to your rv…that wd curtail morons….

  21. I've said it before and I will say it again… Everyone should have a night vision product. It's hard to defend yourself if you can't see them.

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