Ep. 140: Camping Safety & Security | RV monitoring remote cameras

Hey, welcome back Grand Adventurers! I’m
your host Marc Guido. Now, today we’re going to talk a bit more about camping
security and your personal safety while camping, because our perspective might
have just changed just a tiny bit after an incident while we were down in Texas
last fall hit just a little bit too close to home. So stay tuned! So last year in our Episode 105, we
shared our perspective on camping security in what turned out to be a very
popular and somewhat controversial episode of Grand Adventure.
Now I say “controversial” because the comments to that episode were rather
polarized, either really supporting our position, or really disagreeing with it.
And that’s terrific! We’re thrilled that that episode
fostered such a spirited and thoughtful debate about camping security. Now to sum
it up, our position at the time was that we really had very little concern for
our personal safety while out boondocking in the in the wild. We
couldn’t imagine somebody wandering around the wilderness trying to find
somebody to do harm to, and we really had very little concern about our personal
belongings, either, feeling that they were much more at risk in a populated area
like a campground. We showed that we used cable locks to secure a few key
expensive and easily portable items while we’re away from camp, like our generator
and our solar panels. We also showed you how we replaced our universally-keyed
basement door locks with combination cam locks, but other than that we take few
precautions with our belongings, either. However, while we were camped down on
Padre Island in South Texas last October, there was an incident that caused us to
step back for a moment and reexamine our position. It was no small irony, we
had no idea that as we were first introducing you to a security camera
that we planned on using on our RV and that we installed for while we were
traveling through Texas, there would be an incident that would take place just a
mile or two down the beach behind us just two days later. Now after we had
moved on the other parts of Texas, word got to us that there was a full time RV
couple missing who along with their trailer from a boondocking spot on Padre
Island: James and Michelle Butler. We also found out
when looking back through our video footage from when we stayed at a
campground on Padre Island prior to moving to boondocking on the beach, that
the Butlers had been camped immediately adjacent to our spot in the campground.
Thus we were already in touch with the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Department when
the bodies of the Butlers were unearthed from a shallow grave in the
sand dunes behind where they were camped. The very next day, authorities released a
photo of a suspect driving the Butlers’ travel trailer and truck across the U.S.
border into Mexico, a man who we instantly recognized as a guy from Utah
who had been camping just a couple hundred yards down from us on the beach.
The reason we recognized him as we had actually stopped to talk to the guy!
Authorities identified the suspect as Adam Curtis Williams, an ex-con who had
just gotten out of serving a sentence in Utah State Prison, and who was on the run
from a couple of no-bail warrants in his home state. Only 24 hours later, Williams
was arrested along with his companion, Amanda Noverr, in Mexico and extradited
back to the U.S. to face charges. At the moment the two face multiple charges
including felony theft, and tampering with evidence, related to the burial of
the Butlers’ bodies on the beach. And they’re facing trial on those charges
coming up this May. Murder charges have yet to be filed in the case. Now, we don’t
need to tell you that this incident hit a little too close to home, realizing
that it could have just as easily been us. So that caused us to sit back and
think about our position about camping security. However, when you think about it
rationally rather than emotionally, a few things immediately come to mind. For one
thing, this was an aberration. This was an outlier. This was an extremely rare and
random event. It could have just as easily happened in a home, in a motel, in
a vacation cabin … I mean, our odds of getting hit by lightning, or even getting
mowed down by a semi on the freeway as we’re traveling from camp to camp are
far greater. That said, there are reasonable precautions that we can take
to improve our odds even further. When we’re setting up camp we take a good
look around to make sure that we’re aware of
any vulnerabilities. We’re also much more conscious about using security cameras.
Now, one theme that was prevalent throughout the comments in our
Episode 105 was about arming oneself to protect themselves. Now we do our best
here at Grand Adventure to avoid any topic that can be construed as political
in any way, and beyond that we really don’t think that a public forum, or a
public venue like a YouTube channel, is really the place for us to discuss
whether or not we choose to arm ourselves. Now, that being said we believe
that a person’s decision whether or not to arm themselves is a matter of
personal choice, and we fully support any person’s right to exercise their Second
Amendment rights. Now naysayers who argued that a camera is not going to
prevent any kind of security incident overlook the fact that motion detection
in a security camera eliminates the culprit’s element of surprise. It also
provides notification and video evidence of anything that may be taking place
around the RV when the campers are away exploring the area. Now as far as we’re
concerned, key features necessary in a security camera to be used in an RV
environment are waterproofness, self-contained battery power, wireless
network connectivity to provide notifications, and motion detection. Iur
camera from Hiseeu that we’ve been using, and first introduced to you in
episode 123 linked right up here on the screen, checks all of those boxes. So does
this new camera that we just received today from Litmor. Litmor
supplied this camera for our review. We’ve received no financial compensation
whatsoever, and made no promises to Litmor. There are some features on this Litmor
camera that we really like. One is the sphere-shaped mount that allows you
to rotate and tilt the camera in just about any direction. You can use screws that attach this
lightweight mount, or for non-invasive mounting you can use the all-weather 3M
adhesive tape that’s supplied with the unit. Either way, you simply pop the
camera out of its mount for traveling. We also like the built-in motion activated
LED that illuminates the night scene for a colored night view, and also serves as
a floodlight. There’s also a siren you can activate in case of an emergency.
Now, both cameras run on rechargeable batteries that’ll last for weeks, or even
months at a time between charges, depending on the number of times that
motion events are triggered. Now both record events to a microSD card
in the camera and send clips via cell phone notifications to your smartphone. Both cameras have two-way audio that
allows communication through the camera. But nothing is perfect. We wish that Litmor added a power switch, as the only way to fully turn it off is to
remove the batteries. We also wish that they had programmed the unit’s color
LED to indicate state of charge, but these are minor quibbles. The camera
works well. Because we have the Hiseeu camera already mounted above our
trailer’s exterior door, we’re going to mount the Litmor inside the RV to
monitor activity within the RV while we’re away from camp out exploring. Now,
we can heartily recommend either of these battery-powered cameras for your
RV use, and we’re going to link to each of them in the Grand Adventure Shop on
Amazon, which is both down below in the video description, and on your screen
right now. Also, Litmor has agreed to give away
one of their battery cams to one of our lucky viewers! You’ll find another one of
our contests down below in the video description, where you can click on the
link and enter for your own chance to win. Here’s wishing all of our Grand
Adventurers good luck! So in sum, in our opinion, your personal safety while
boondocking or camping in an RV is not cause for concern, but there are some
simple steps that you can take to improve your own peace of mind. We hope
that the information we’ve presented in this video has been helpful to you. If
you like this video, please … it’s very important, give us a big “thumbs up” down
below! Also down below, you’ll find the comments section where we always love to
hear from you after each and every Grand Adventure episode. Now we would be
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notification bell! Until next week please remember, life is nothing but a Grand
Adventure! We’ll see you then.

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