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5 Big Dangers of Camping in an RV Campground

| Updated Mar 23, 2024

Sure, you’ve thought about bears and theft, but there are other dangers of camping in an RV campground you probably haven’t considered. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe…

We all know we need to be mindful of dangerous wildlife and should lock our doors and windows. But what about more subtle but very real dangers of camping in an RV campground?

I’m talking about fire-starting, stomach-upsetting, water-logged dangers that too many campers often overlook.

So, I’m going to tell you about 5 major dangers you need to be aware of. Then, you’ll know what to look for and what questions to ask when booking your next campground.

PLUS, at the end, we link to another article that lists safety gadgets for EVERY DANGER RVers face.

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

5 Dangers of Camping in an RV Campground

Of course, some of these dangers are more prevalent in different parts of the country. You’re not as likely to encounter dangerous weather in Southern California, for instance. 

However, I’m sure you can apply the wisdom of each danger to whatever location you’re traveling to.

Just know that the point of this article is not to scare you but to prepare you for less-obvious dangers you may not have considered. We LOVE camping and think everyone can and should enjoy it.

So, whether you're a solo female traveler, a senior citizen, a young newbie, or a family with a gaggle of kids, don't let these dangers deter you from camping. Just consider them and how best to prepare for them as necessary.

1. Bad Electrical

surge protector

Unfortunately, it’s far too common for electrical hookups not to be properly maintained. Campgrounds that are struggling financially or are under bad management often delay electrical maintenance and repair because it can be expensive.

That leaves RVers at risk of using a faulty outlet and two big dangers. The first big (& costly) danger is a power surge that fries your electrical system. 

The second big danger of bad electrical is FIRE! It’s no surprise that sparks or surges of electricity can catch your RV on fire. It’s important to know your RV fire safety.

That’s why I recommend you always inspect your electrical connection before you plug in. Does it look badly unmaintained? Do you see any exposed wires? If it’s scary-looking… you probably should be scared.

I also recommend you always use a surge protector, like the Southwire Surge Guard, model 34930, and keep RV fire extinguishers on hand.

2. Unclean Water

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Living in America, we often take safe drinking water for granted. In many of our homes, we can drink straight from the tap. But that doesn’t mean we can do the same while camping!

Flint, Michigan, has certainly served as a warning to all Americans that we should think twice before blindly trusting any water spout.

Unclean water is one of the top unseen dangers of camping and should be taken seriously. Granted, if you’re only camping for a short while, it may not do any long-term damage, but it can make you sick regardless. 

Do you really want to chance ruining your trip with a sick stomach at the very least (or possibly far worse)? 

You can check water quality by zip code to best prepare for your stay at any campground. Plus, I suggest always using water filters for your RV.

3. Bad Site Location for Flooding

This camping danger applies to campground locations as well as individual campsite locations. You can unwittingly park in a flood zone and not be properly prepared if a storm hits. 

Granted, this isn’t usually a year-round risk. However, at the very least, you want to be aware of the possible necessity to pack up and move if a big storm is headed your way.

It’s important to learn flood basics and note where your campsite is in relation to:

  • Rivers and streams
  • Mountains and steep hills
  • Rocky and shallow clay soils

Note that notably dry locations (like Arizona) are not immune to flooding! In fact, they can be more at risk of flash floods. So, take heavy rains seriously wherever you’re camping. 

4. Unsafe Neighborhood

5 Big Dangers of Camping in an RV Campground 1

Pictures of campgrounds can paint a picturesque setting… that may be located in an unsafe neighborhood. Theft and violent crimes may prevail in the area, and you’d have no idea until you drive through and get that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.

While campgrounds are generally very safe, you should always be aware of your surroundings. And you do need to take extra precautions whenever parking overnight at truck stops, rest stops, or other lot-docking locations.

You can easily research local crime in the area online. is one such helpful resource you can use to search by address or state. For more peace of mind wherever you travel, you can install an RV security system.

But please be assured that theft isn't as common at campgrounds as one might think, and violent crimes are even rarer. So, be aware, but don't be scared!

5. Unstaffed Campground Office

You might think of an unstaffed campground office as an inconvenience, but it also poses a risk. An unstaffed campground is also more at risk of crime, since it’s not being monitored 24/7.

Having someone familiar with the campground and nearby area can be vitally helpful in an emergency. This is especially true if you’re a solo RVer

Regardless of whether campground staff is available at all times, I do have a life-saving recommendation for you! 

Always keep the campground address and your campsite number within reach, like on a post-it on your fridge. Plus, the address of the nearest hospital.

Having this info at your fingertips can save precious time when trying to get emergency services to your location.

We have an entire RV emergency resource guide that links to valuable information and life-saving advice. Be sure to check that out (it's free and doesn't require a download or subscription).

Additional Safety Concerns While RVing

5 Big Dangers of Camping in an RV Campground 2

The above are common dangers of camping wherever you travel, but there are a couple more safety things I want to leave you with. The first is a danger when driving to your campground, and the second is a danger when traveling in tornado country.

Driving an RV in Strong Winds

Generally speaking, you should avoid driving an RV in strong winds of 45 mph or more. Once winds hit around 60 mph, the wind can topple large vehicles. 

RVs have a large surface area, and winds like that can tip over your vehicle. At the very least, winds at that speed can push you like waves crashing into a toddler.

I encourage you to read these Tips for Driving an RV in Strong Winds.

Camping in Tornado Country

You can’t always drive away from bad weather. That’s why you need to know tornado safety for RVers if you’re driving through or camping in tornado country.

You can click on that above link for safety information as well as read additional safety tips in How Do You Know if a Tornado is Coming?

Safety Gadgets for EVERY DANGER RVers Face

Want to feel safer on the road? We compiled a list of safety gadgets for the most common dangers RVers & solo travelers face.

So, whether you’re a solo RVer, traveling couple, or family on the road, the following safety gadgets will help keep you safe. 

It is our sincerest hope that you will carefully consider these safety gadgets (or similar). One may very well save your life or the life of another.


The ResQme keychain is a 2-1 seatbelt cutter and window breaker. This tool could save your life if you’re ever in an accident. 

We’ve heard one too many stories of people being trapped in their vehicles and have seen too many RVs that have caught on fire in accidents. This tool can save you from starring in one such story.

Also, be sure to keep a roadside emergency kit in your RV!


Be Prepared! Safety Gadgets for EVERY DANGER RVers Face 1

A satellite communicator keeps you connected whenever RVing takes you off the beaten path. This ZOLEO Satellite communicator connects you in several ways at the push of a button:

  • 2-way SMS text messaging & email
  • Emergency SOS altering
  • Check-in & Share your GPS location 

It does require a monthly subscription; however, it’s money well-spent, especially if you often camp and hike in remote locations. It could save your life if you get into an accident, get lost or stranded, or get injured by getting help to you wherever you are.


Mike and Jennifer wrote these for you —

TWO Helpful EBOOKS in this RV Lifestyle Bundle!

5 Big Dangers of Camping in an RV Campground 3

Beginners Guide to Boondocking (one of our most popular ebooks) and one of our newest ebooks, The Ultimate Guide to Free and Cheap RV Camping!

ebook #1: Beginners Guide to Boondocking

We created a 65+-page downloadable digital guide to help you understand the nuances that come with boondocking, the most common boondocking problems, and what you need to do to get your rig “boondocking-ready.”

ebook #2: The Ultimate Guide to Free and Cheap RV Camping

Buckle up because here is everything you need to know on how to find cheap or free RV camping sites in the 33-page EBOOK.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-03-23

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

21 Responses to “5 Big Dangers of Camping in an RV Campground”

March 25, 2024at11:45 am, luke macken said:

went cross country last year, 90% at rv resorts, not one problem on our trip.


March 24, 2024at11:38 am, Michele Hoyt said:

Regarding #5, good advice but I would like to add to it. We travel in a toyhauler with a motorcycle. When exploring an area, we use the motorcycle. We have made it a habit on check in to get 2 copies of the campground’s business cards. We write our Site #, the fact we have dogs in the camper and an family emergency contact on these cards and we each carry one in our wallet, in front of our DL so it is easily found in an accident. This allows campground to be notified if we end up hospitalized or worse and someone knows to tend the dogs. It also provides easy access to a family member to notify, on the spot. If you have grade school age children who might get lost it can be done for them too, especially site number so if kid gets lost someone can help him get back to the site. Often RV parks are confusing for little ones, they to the playground and play and then forget where there camper is.


March 24, 2024at3:15 pm, Todd Tayler said:

Thank you! That is an excellent suggestion for anyone driving away from the rv in any toad!


March 25, 2024at1:56 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

What a great tip! Thank you for adding this to the discussion, Michele! Team RV Lifestyle


October 04, 2023at6:04 pm, Edna Puckett said:

While I’m new to RVing, I have heard of people getting stranded by snow in the mountains surrounding Los Angeles, but I’m sure this is fodder for another blog.😀


October 06, 2023at11:17 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Yes, that has happened! And definitely, something to consider…. Thanks for sharing – Team RV Lifestyle


November 08, 2022at11:13 am, Loea DeSandre said:

These are not scare tactics. These are real life situations that can happen to anyone. Been there and done most. Depending on where you live, and where you’re traveling traveling, you may leave home already prepared. If you’re going to unknown places that you’ve never been before of course you’re going to read up on it online in magazines. Why else would you travel to that particular place? Come on people, give these RVers a little credit. Just go out there like boy scouts! Be prepared, and have fun!!;


November 08, 2022at10:31 am, Patricia Brightwell said: Is anyplace safe for a female to go camping alone?


November 08, 2022at11:47 am, David Gerard said:

New Zealand


November 09, 2022at4:36 am, K Anderson said:

I’ve traveled solo around the US for 2 years. The safest places are campgrounds. I use Thousand trails- most are gated. I’ve only seen 1 out of 200, that made me feel slight Uneasy – but nothing negative happened there. I’ve made progress overcoming multiple fears by RVing. And it’s fun as all get out.


November 09, 2022at3:28 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

There are so many solo female campers – it is absolutely, safe, Patricia! But like anywhere- be aware of your surroundings, be smart, be prepared. But yes, many, many, many women camp alone and are all safe and having amazing adventures– Happy Trails! Team RV Lifestyle


November 07, 2022at12:30 pm, Howard Smith said:

I have been across United States, from Maryland to Montana and stayed in quite a few of rv camp grounds, never had an issue ever. You meet a lot of friendly people, but their are a few not friendly people you know who to avoid. My wife and myself just went to Maine last year, it was beautiful, no regrets camping in any rv camp site. Yes you need to watch out for bears but foe the most part you need to use common sense, keep your food indoors when finished eating. Thanks for reading this !


November 07, 2022at3:18 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for your input, Howard, and for adding to this conversation – it is appreciated! Team RV Lifestyle


November 08, 2022at11:18 am, Lenora Caulton said:

We have also been RVing for over 45 years and are on total agreement. Thank you for your calm common sense message.


November 04, 2022at10:56 am, Gloria King said:

Why all the scare tactics? We lived in and traveled in all the lower 48 plus Alaska for 22 years. Just came off the road last year.NEVER had any problems if any kind except flat tires. We boon docked in some of the most beautiful areas in the country and stayed in many many rv parks. Made many new friends and met lots of wonderful people. Come on people tell it like it really is instead of trying to sell a book with scare tactics.


November 04, 2022at3:45 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for commenting, Gloria. We certainly weren’t intending the article to be scare tactics – we were hoping rather to help people be prepared. We love camping and want everyone to have the most amazing experience possible. Happy trails! Team RV Lifestyle


November 08, 2022at6:33 am, Eric Johnson said:

Amen and yes eagle raises his ugly little head when you least expect it so be on your toes.😏


November 09, 2022at3:24 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks, Eric! Team RV Lifestyle


November 08, 2022at11:06 am, Allen Day said:

I agree. Nearly every one of the items could apply to a bricks and sticks house or apartment too. I have to wonder how many of these “newer campers are rude, things are scary, overcrowded, poorly run, no employees paranoia tactics really pact people’s perceptions before they even get to their recreation destination. I go into every new place with an open mind and make the best of it.


November 09, 2022at4:44 am, K Anderson said:

If they just stated the simple truth about campgrounds it wouldn’t be as catchy a title. But I agree. We live in a fear-based society.The biggest threat I’ve encountered in campgrounds is a danger of having a small accident while backing in. A couple times I’ve pushed into trees. The first time I destroyed the ladder on the back of my RV. I travel alone. Many times neighbors I’ve never met will come out and help me back in. I agree to be careful w water One campground had a boil water advisory- I used the water to just shower in- and got an eye infection- had to use rx drops for ten days.


November 03, 2022at11:05 am, Darren Smith said:



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