RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

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RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#1

Post by Interblog » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:05 pm

I’m a forum newbie who would like to open a discussion so that people can offer any logistical tips and anecdotes that they may have regarding less-common firearm self-defense scenarios, specifically in the context of both personal and employment-related travel and temporary living accommodations. I searched this forum looking for existing threads with that kind of focus, and I didn’t find any, but if I missed anything, please link to this thread.

Many other user forums, including RV forums, don’t allow this kind of discussion because any such threads quickly become overrun with non-value-added opinions, political flaming, and objections to self-defense generally, to the point where the moderators quickly shut them down.

Unfortunately the need for self-defense in travel and work scenarios is all too real. I had a “friend of a friend” who traveled among a number of his employer’s remote sites to do data logging – that was his job function. A thief spotted the expensive electronic equipment installed in his work truck for this purpose, and murdered the worker on the spot in order to steal that equipment.

In Texas in particular, it’s common for workers to live in temporary accommodations such as site trailers and RVs that are staged in remote areas for the purposes of monitoring field equipment. Some of them are located quite some distance from any law enforcement and basically must defend themselves if it ever comes to it.

One of the most common thread shut-down questions on other forums is, “If I make the personal decision that I am going to carry in my trailer, van, or RV, what is the best choice of firearm given the challenges of the cramped maneuvering space?”

Personally I went round and round, back and forth on this, and what I ultimately chose didn’t bear much resemblance to what I initially imagined that I should have. I actually had to stand in the store with various pieces in my hands, and visualize a vehicle-based scenario, asking myself, “How would I use this one in a real life situation?”

I ended up choosing a S&W M&P M2.0 with the integrated Crimson Trace laser, for two reasons. Number one, I realized that I’m probably never going to be able to acquire proper stance or aim in a van break-in scenario and therefore the laser is essential. Lasers can be put on other pistols, but the design of this one is just so clean and minimalist that it simply made sense to me. Number two, this model has the roughest grip I’ve ever experienced. S&W describes it as an “aggressive grip texture”. I’d call it a “sandpaper” grip. That matters in a vehicle scenario because we typically don’t have the benefit of residential-style climate control. Hands are often damp or downright sweaty – we live in the humid subtropics, after all. In an emergency situation, I could picture my grip slipping with numerous other pistols. This M&P M2.0 is not going anywhere, slimy hands or not.

Anyone have any words of wisdom to add on this topic? Other discussions? Considerations? Lessons learned? Thanks!

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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#2

Post by Vol Texan » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:15 pm

Welcome to the forum. I think you'll find most folks on here are very willing to help, and won't cast too many judgements on you for asking about guns or self-defense situations.

Now, ask about Open Carry, and we do have some nay-sayers who will start a minor flame war. Or start a "which is better, .45 or 9mm", and you'll see plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

:lol::

My only thought is this: lasers are great for quick target acquisition, but there are two things you will want to consider:
  • Make sure the laser is zeroed to the gun at the distances you'd want to shoot. I have had a few that are 'pretty close' at 5-8 meters, but any closer, and they were off-target a bit.
  • Lasers don't help with target identification in the middle of the night. I'd prefer a light attached to the gun's bottom rail to a laser anytime. This helps me know what (and who) I'm aiming at before I make the decision to shoot.
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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#3

Post by flechero » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:36 pm

The reality is that a worn gun works in any of your scenarios... so your choice of the M&P is good. If the M&P grip is too aggressive (and I think you meant that you like it as is) you can lightly break the extreme sharpness with fine sandpaper and very light pressure. That would still allow good traction for sweaty hands but not eat your side up or eat up your clothing.

A well reasoned approach to what you carry and why, leaves on this advice... get some formal training and practice/shoot/train when you can. :tiphat:

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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#4

Post by RPBrown » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:06 pm

flechero wrote:The reality is that a worn gun works in any of your scenarios... so your choice of the M&P is good. If the M&P grip is too aggressive (and I think you meant that you like it as is) you can lightly break the extreme sharpness with fine sandpaper and very light pressure. That would still allow good traction for sweaty hands but not eat your side up or eat up your clothing.

A well reasoned approach to what you carry and why, leaves on this advice... get some formal training and practice/shoot/train when you can. :tiphat:
:iagree:

Get some close quarters combat type training. No sure I wouldn't have the handgun for when out of the living quarters but also a shotgun with slugs or at least buck shot for inside just to minimize wall penetration if there are others around you
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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#5

Post by BBYC » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:08 pm

It sounds like one of the few situations where the shockwave non-shotgun would shine. In my case, my EDC is also nearby at night. If I was in a remote location, I would consider adding something with more reach if I could, like an AR pistol or carbine.
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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#6

Post by WTR » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:31 pm

BBYC wrote:It sounds like one of the few situations where the shockwave non-shotgun would shine. In my case, my EDC is also nearby at night. If I was in a remote location, I would consider adding something with more reach if I could, like an AR pistol or carbine.
Why would you need something with more " reach " in a SD situation? Capacity maybe, but more reach?


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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#7

Post by Soccerdad1995 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:37 pm

BBYC wrote:It sounds like one of the few situations where the shockwave non-shotgun would shine. In my case, my EDC is also nearby at night. If I was in a remote location, I would consider adding something with more reach if I could, like an AR pistol or carbine.
:iagree:

Well except for the "few cases" comment. If I was worried about extreme close quarters combat, a Shockwave would be a great choice, IMHO. Just mount a picatinny rail on top, then a light / laser combo on that, and you are good to go for targets anywhere from a few feet up to 25 yards.
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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#8

Post by Interblog » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:55 pm

Vol Texan wrote:...Lasers don't help with target identification in the middle of the night. I'd prefer a light attached to the gun's bottom rail to a laser anytime. This helps me know what (and who) I'm aiming at before I make the decision to shoot.
This is a good suggestion, and it's something I had not thought of. Perhaps not in place of laser, but a potential augmentation of some sort, maybe in the form of motion detecting lights. But in almost all scenarios, anyone I find in my van in the middle of the night does not require identification -- they just require being stopped. There was only one situational exception to this, and that was the time that I overnighted in an airport pay lot because my husband was taking a red-eye to my location. So there was a legitimate van entry at 2:00 a.m. He simply walked off the airplane, traversed the parking lot, got inside, and went to sleep. Our dog was with us on that trip, and the dog has an uncanny ability to identify from quite some distance who should and should not be approaching the van. No canine alarm went off that night.

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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#9

Post by karder » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:50 pm

The M&P is a great choice, but acquiring a weapon is only the first step.
I would recommend you take a tactical training course. They have a number of good courses that teach tactics in close quarters and vehicles which would give you a lot of knowledge and a better understanding of some of the dynamics you might encounter. It will also help you develop an understanding of your personal assets and liabilities and may well change your opinion on what kind of a weapon you want. These can be kind of expensive, especially if you have to travel, but the information you will get from a good course will be invaluable in the event you need it.
Good luck!
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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#10

Post by C-dub » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:54 pm

Nothing wrong with your choice of firearm.

Nothing wrong with having a laser on it either. A light would be helpful. I like a light. I have one mounted on my nightstand gun that is also my EDC. The light stays mounted to it all the time. However, IHMO, if you're in real close quarters like a van or small trailer and someone breaks in you're in touch distance and you won't need a laser or light for aiming or to determine who you should shoot at. I had a laser on mine once. It really taught me how much I cannot keep my hands steady. :shock:

I'm also on a couple motorcycle forums and they prohibit any kind of discussion about firearms. No biggie. I have this forum for all those needs. :coolgleamA:
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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#11

Post by The Annoyed Man » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:06 pm

WTR wrote:
BBYC wrote:It sounds like one of the few situations where the shockwave non-shotgun would shine. In my case, my EDC is also nearby at night. If I was in a remote location, I would consider adding something with more reach if I could, like an AR pistol or carbine.
Why would you need something with more " reach " in a SD situation? Capacity maybe, but more reach?
The thought that occurs to me is, if those shooting at you are doing so from some distance, I’d like the ability to shoot back at that same distance. Obviously, that’s never really going to be an issue inside a house, where “reach” is defined in feet. But if you’re sitting in a parked RV, in the middle of a bean field out past Whoknowswhere, and you begin taking harassing fire from 100 yards away from people who see your lone RV in the middle of nowhere as easy pickens, I’d like to be able to effectively return that fire. But within the confines of an RV, it’s not the first weapon I’d reach for. For that, I’d want either a pistol, or as some have pointed out, something like a Shockwave. Once outside though, I’d rather have the AR, even if the distances aren’t that long.

Edited to add.... Springfield pistols are a good choice.
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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#12

Post by WTR » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:55 pm

Why give them a muzzle flash to aim at?

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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#13

Post by The Annoyed Man » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:21 pm

WTR wrote:Why give them a muzzle flash to aim at?
Flashhiders. Some of them work extraordinarily well. Suppressors not only work better, they make it harder to determine exactly your position.
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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#14

Post by Interblog » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:08 am

karder wrote:The M&P is a great choice, but acquiring a weapon is only the first step.
I would recommend you take a tactical training course. They have a number of good courses that teach tactics in close quarters and vehicles which would give you a lot of knowledge and a better understanding of some of the dynamics you might encounter. It will also help you develop an understanding of your personal assets and liabilities and may well change your opinion on what kind of a weapon you want. These can be kind of expensive, especially if you have to travel, but the information you will get from a good course will be invaluable in the event you need it.
Good luck!
I plan to take some courses, yes. I haven't yet had a chance to comb through this forum to see which ones tend to be more highly recommended.


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Re: RV, camper van, site trailer, and work truck carry considerations

#15

Post by Interblog » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:44 am

Here is a related question on general strategy.

With almost all vehicles, drivers pull up to a destination, exit the vehicle, and walk away. With an off-grid van, RV, or a work truck, the opposite tends to occur. We arrive, remain inside, and begin our work (or take a nap!).

The distinction is important because criminals generally assume that parked vehicles are empty, and so they break in with that expectation in mind. They break in specifically because they don't expect any resistance.

The number one priority is to avoid confrontations in which self defense may become a necessity, so I try to do everything reasonable to raise a doubt in peoples' minds about the prevailing state of vehicle occupancy. I never, ever, ever leave any window uncovered such that it can be peered through in order to verify whether people are present (and if so, how many). When parked, I use opaque coverings on all windows. I also leave the roof ventilation fan running so that the van makes noise and sounds like it is actively doing something, which means that people might be still in it, which means that thieves might want to stay away.

Those two are common-sense protective measures, but this third one is subject to debate: sometimes I use a sign such as what is shown in the following image that I will attempt to link to from Imgur (new forum for me). Incidentally, I posted this sign in the wrong van window for the purposes of taking this photo, which juxtaposes it against a municipal warning sign that I personally found to be patronizing and somewhat dissociated from reality, but that's a separate discussion. Experience in communicating with other van owners has taught us that break-ins almost always occur through the driver's door, and this shows the sign posted in the curbside window where it might not be seen by an aspiring van invader.

My subjective impression is that, in Texas, posted variants on the theme of "you loot, we shoot" are generally respected more than they are disrespected. Warning signs tend to be heeded here. But I've received feedback on this strategy from people in other states who believe that such attempts are actually more antagonistic than potentially protective, such that, if criminals see a sign such as this, they'll consider it to be a gauntlet that has been thrown down, and maybe they'll attempt a break-in on general principle.

Does anyone have any opinions or insights to add in this context? Thanks.

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