Could a camper or travel trailer be your ideal bug out vehicle?
I’m often thinking about my perfect bug out vehicle. The majority of people in the U.S. (and probably around the globe) live in or very near an urban area, and when the SHTF that’s NOT where we’ll want to stay.
Enter the secure Bug Out Vehicle!
Yesterday there was a LOT of discussion about shipping containers as an ideal bug out shelter.
In that article, and on the forum, there were many pros and cons mentioned — price being an important factor.
Today we’re taking the opposing side of that discussion and looking at the pros and cons of another strong alternative bug out vehicle:
Travel trailer campers.
And for a GREAT guide on travel trailer campgrounds and travel guide, the 2015 Good Sam RV Guide cannot be beaten.
Although this very colorful Volkswagen bus might be some people’s dream of the ultimate camper, what we’re talking about now is something more along the lines of a travel trailer.
For those who love these trailers, the list of mods to make it more like your “home on wheels” is almost endless.
There are links at the bottom of this article that include several ingenious quick fixes and modifications to make any trailer more homey and functional.
One of my personal favorites is the fish tank fireplace. 🙂
Put several small votive candles inside an empty fish tank and you have an effect like a small fireplace, right inside your trailer! Pretty cool.
Camper Bug Out Vehicle Benefits
Now, onto a list of pros:
- Thinking of the wallet, the first pro helps save a bit. Trailers are taxed as personal property and not real estate, so taxes are much lower than something stationary on your property.
- Trailers bring your home to the outdoors, giving the best of both.
- Most trailer beds have a large storage space under neath the bed which is perfect for dry good and canned items – stuff you won’t worry about breaking/leaking.
- Likewise under kitchen benches. These spaces are usually deeper, so having plastic bins or tubs will help keep things organized. Again, dried or canned foods here are best.
- Using LED bulbs can help save battery life.
- The roof can use the sun to heat and/or power all kinds of things
One nice trick is putting a warm water “bag” on your roof for showers. Be careful, sometimes that water gets HOT!
- There’s a lot of solar powered lighting available that can be “stored” on the trailer roof during the day and utilized all night long.
- They’re portable! This one is huge in any disaster or SHTF scenario
- If necessary to abandon the trailer, you still have the truck to escape.
The folks who love these campers LOVE them, and not only as bug out vehicles! And with this list, it’s easy to see why.
Important to Consider
Now, here are a few cons, or potential issues to be aware of:
- You need a truck or SUV capable of towing the trailer
- Water is weight. In a SHTF situation, keeping enough on hand without overloading can be a challenge
- Overloading the trailer is easy to do without meaning to.
- Overloading brings with it several very serious potential problem:
- Limits your truck’s ability to tow it
- Wears out tires fast
- Can cause a tire blow out
- Will reduce your ability to stop
- Can easily cause an accident
Most camper supply stores will have useful information and products to help ensure that overloading doesn’t become an issue for you.
Things like a sway bar and weight distribution hitch are necessities to keep everyone safe and your trailer upright. 😉
Hacks To Make Life Easier On The Road
A few other things to keep in mind when selecting your ideal bug out vehicle:
It’s very important to have the trailer be level when parked. This keeps valuable stable, things from rolling or sliding off tables (like your dinner), and protects electronics like your refrigerator.
Wheel blocks and leveling squares will do the trick, and they’re inexpensive.
When you use a water hookup, be sure to clean it first!
Not only do you not know who used it last, animals like to “mark” these little (sometimes) freestanding connections.
And while I’m talking about the importance of water, did you know that an adult needs AT LEAST one liter of water per day (more if it’s hot, or they’re exerting themselves) to keep from being dehydrated?
I recently had the opportunity to interview Jim Cobb, a prepper going on 30 years now!
Jim’s book Countdown to Preparedness covers how to stock, treat, and reuse water, and a whole lot of other VERY useful things!
Jim is someone whose advice I trust (and he’s a great guy, too). Check him out.
And for your camper BOV, try to anticipate what you might need to keep your “rolling house” safe and secure. Little things can pay BIG rewards here, so planning ahead is key.
Having some extra hose for drinking water and for flushing out waste, and keep the drinking hose clean and protected from the elements, dirt, etc.
Gorilla calk and heavy plastic sheeting can work for roof leaks in a pinch. Step stools or ladders should be carried onboard for repairs up high. A basic tool kit for emergency repairs.
Common sense, but the kinds of things you don’t want to wait until needed to think about.
Here’s a resource for more great info on campers and the best bug out vehicle.
Is a camper or travel trailer the ideal bug out vehicle for you? Let’s discuss it in the comments!