It was one year ago yesterday that we had the most frightening experience in our lives as fulltime RVers. Longtime readers may remember that it was on December 4, 2009 that we returned to our Winnebago, which was parked in the campground at an RV repair facility in Elkhart, Indiana, and came face to face with an armed burglar inside our motorhome.
By the time I realized what was happening, I was already out of our van and approaching the door of the RV, and he was pointing a gun at me. In the confrontation that followed, I managed to slam the RV’s door on his hand and disarmed the intruder. He got away, only to show up at a hospital three days later with seven broken bones in his wrist and hand.
As it turned out, he was a career criminal out on bail on other charges, and with outstanding warrants. He’s back in prison where he belongs, and will be for a long time, or until the next parole board believes his sob story about how he grew up poor and was victimized by life and the system.
Besides some things that were missing, the intruder and whoever had been with him trashed the inside of our RV, throwing electronic components on the floor and stomping on them, slashing furniture, and ripping down window blinds.
A frustrating battle with our insurance company followed, but we finally prevailed, and were able to put our motorhome and our lives back together. Living well really is the best revenge.
What a difference a year makes! Back then, we spent the next week freezing our butts off in Indiana while repairs were made to our RV so we could leave. Now we’re in Florida, where a cold front is coming through, and temperatures are predicted to dip as low as 29 degrees in the next few days. So yes, we’ll be freezing our butts off again, but if that’s the worst that can happen, we can deal with it.
Our lives have gone on, and while we have put the burglary behind us, we still feel violated, and disgusted with a system that had let the creep out of prison early so he could prey on us and others. We don’t fear traveling in our RV, and we still dry camp frequently. Inside our motorhome, we feel secure, but Terry and I are both a little apprehensive when we return to our coach after dark, unless we’re parked in a campground we know.
We had a motion detector light installed at our door, and while we refuse to live in fear, we are not nearly as complacent as we had become. We realize that while what happened to us can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, the odds against the average RVer ever having such an experience are very, very slim. We still feel that this is the greatest lifestyle in the world, and every new day is an adventure, whether we’re camping in the desert of Arizona and listening to the coyotes singing us to sleep, or parked under a palm tree in Florida enjoying a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Thought For The Day – If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics are all wrong.