Some may feel a bit anxious about camping in bear populated areas. This can be especially so for those unaccustomed to being bear aware. If you aren’t familiar with camping in bear areas, you might be wondering if they can break into your RV and how to keep them away. Take a look at some tips for camping in bear country.
Will a Bear Break Into an RV?
Bears are smart. You’ve likely watched videos of bears across the country getting into cars, surprising the owner as they look on from a window.
If you have visited bear populated areas, you may have come across bear-proof trash cans as bears have figured out how to open standard ones. Additionally, many bears have discovered that a cooler means food and will learn to get into latched containers searching for dinner.
While it isn’t an everyday occurrence, if a bear wants to break into an RV, it will. They have learned how to break in. But what for?
What Attracts Bears to Campsites?
Why would a bear be interested in a campsite anyway? Because we want to know how to keep bears away from our RV, you need to know what might bring them in the first place. Let’s take a look at what might entice a bear to invite themselves to your campsite.
Food and Trash
When camping in bear country, don’t leave any food or trash outside. As a general rule, you shouldn’t leave these things outside while camping anyway. However, it is even more critical when bears frequent the area. Bears go where the food is. It has no reason to go to a campground unless it thinks there is something there for it.
It isn’t just food that bears desire. While it may seem strange, scented items will also bring in a curious bear. They will sniff out shampoo, lotion, and perfumes. You should make sure to store all these items in sealed containers in a safe place.
Coolers (or Anything That Looks Like a Food Container)
As we said, bears have learned that coolers equate to dinner. Because of bears’ high intelligence, they will try to get inside when they see a cooler. You may think you are safe to leave your food in coolers outside, but it won’t take long for a bear to spot it.
Can a Bear Smell the Food in My RV Fridge?
Yes, a bear’s fantastic sense of smell allows them to smell your food through your fridge. This doesn’t mean they will, just that they can. While many people successfully keep food in their RV fridge while camping in bear country, bears can smell it. This is something you should keep in mind while camping.
It is worth noting that bears can’t smell unopened canned food. So you shouldn’t need to worry about these items.
How to Keep Bears Away from Your RV: 5 Pro Tips
There is nothing quite like spotting a bear in the wild. However, one place you don’t want to see a bear is at your campsite rummaging through your things, or worse yet, in your RV. Keep these tips in mind to keep the bears at a safe distance.
1. Clean Your Campsite
A clean campsite can keep the bears at bay. If a bear can’t see anything it wants, it will move along. A messy camp invites them to tear through your belongings, searching for a reward. Leaving out bins of supplies and other items can invite unwanted guests.
2. Bring Everything Inside at Night
Leaving food, trash, and scented items outside makes your campsite an easy target for bears and other critters. Even an uncleaned grill can invite them. Don’t leave out anything with a hint of smell.
You may want to leave the gross smelling trash outside, but, instead, place it in a bear box if one is available. If you don’t have one, bring it inside.
3. Store Food Inside Sturdy Hard-Sided RVs Only
Even though a bear can smell food and other scented items through a hard-sided RV, they would have to work to get to it. While some may work to get to their food source, most prefer an easy meal.
Food locked in an RV may deter them from going through the work to get in. Keeping your food in a hard-sided RV helps ensure your food will remain yours.
4. Never Store Food in a Pop-Up Camper
Canvas isn’t exactly bear-proof. Getting into a soft-sided RV would take considerably less effort than a hard-sided one. A bear can easily claw its way through a pop-up camper or tent. If you camp in a soft-sided camper, make sure to use any provided food lockers or bear boxes.
5. Close RV Doors, Windows, and Vents
You may not want to close up your doors, windows, and vents on your RV when a nice breeze is coming in at night or while you step out for a few minutes.
Sadly, you should keep them closed in bear country. Open windows, doors, and vents fall in line with leaving food out in the open. A flimsy screen won’t matter to a bear and can increase the scent of whatever is inside.
Keep in Mind: Now that you know how to deter bears from your RV, take a look at our list of practical RV safety products to have even more peace of mind on your next trip.
What Happens if Bears Stop By?
Hopefully, by now, you’ve developed a healthy fear and respect for bears and their home. It can be scary to encounter a bear in your camp, but it can also be devastating to the bear.
Once a bear visits a campground repeatedly, it will likely get relocated. In a worst-case scenario, rangers may have to euthanize a mischievous or aggressive one. Following these tips on how to keep bears away from your RV can protect ourselves and them.
What tips do you have for someone camping in a populated bear area?