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Old 01-02-2017, 01:25 PM
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Alaskajohn Alaskajohn is offline
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I live at my BOL and I have a 21 ft class C RV for recreational purposes. I have it set up a a BOV when we aren't recreating. In the unusual event I need to bug out from my BOL (wildfires, zombies, etc), it will get me out of dodge. I have other means to bug out as well, including snow machines, ATVs, etc. But if I am bugging out using these methods, the S has truly HTF.
Old 01-02-2017, 01:35 PM
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Another problem my wife and I are having with the travel trailer concept is the "camp sites" where you stay. The ones we've seen seem pretty crowded, and the sites didn't seem to have much privacy. If you're a social type of person that would be great, but my wife and I aren't. We go on vacation to get away, experience peace and quiet, along with the best views we can afford. That doesn't seem to jive well with trailer parks and trailer park crowds. I'm not trying to harpoon this thread, I'm actually curious about the topic. I'd love to hear experienced RVers/ survivalists weigh in on the topic and address some of my concerns.
Old 01-02-2017, 02:01 PM
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Another problem my wife and I are having with the travel trailer concept is the "camp sites" where you stay. The ones we've seen seem pretty crowded, and the sites didn't seem to have much privacy. If you're a social type of person that would be great, but my wife and I aren't. We go on vacation to get away, experience peace and quiet, along with the best views we can afford. That doesn't seem to jive well with trailer parks and trailer park crowds. I'm not trying to harpoon this thread, I'm actually curious about the topic. I'd love to hear experienced RVers/ survivalists weigh in on the topic and address some of my concerns.
It's called bookdocking. Get some solar installed on the roof, an inverter and charge controller and upgrade the battery system, and park on public land. I have no intention of staying in RV parks unless the temperatures drop to the point of needing to use my furnace to keep my water lines warm (the furnace blower uses too much electricity for a smaller battery bank). You just have to learn to be conservative with your water and power consumption.

There are an awful lot of nomads and van dwellers and other RVers who never stay in a park, ever. BLM and National Forests are always available to stay on for short periods of time in an area which is ideal for those who want to travel. I will have to be more stationary for periods of time due to still having a need to work but hoping to find a rural property to do some caretaking for in exchange for a free or cheap place to park my fifth wheel.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:55 PM
bighanded bighanded is offline
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older 26ft travel trailer behind a duramax 4x4 (fairly aggressive tread), and a small dual sport motorbike is our regular recreational rig. and we use it a lot each year...much of the time we are gem mining and other activities that find us off grid..not at a camp ground....

point of the OP though...yes... while we have it because we simply enjoy camping , we recognize it is a tremendous resource for shtf.

if it's a regional/localized event..ie hurricane..then I am packing and getting out far ahead of the mad rush and gridlock. (and we have actually done this before)

area forest fires, industrial accident...things that make you have to leave your BOL..but knowing that you can travel to other family, friends, or even in the case of a hurricane..just called ahead to a nice campgroun inland and made an unexpected vacation out of it all while the hurricane messed up things back home.

but we do also recognize that even in "civil " times..you can have folks banging on your truck door begging to let them use your camper bathroom..it can get a bit awkward and hazardous to be a perceived resource.

we actually have a multi-stage bug out plan...recognizing first off that I own property and have tremendous resources here...it has to be something that forces us to evac, with the knowledge that there is someplace safe to go to.

anyway

Level 1 - seconds count - you awake in the dead of night, power is out, smoke has filled the house..you grab your wife in one hand, your bugout bag in the other and you scramble to the truck.

Level 2 - 5-10 mins and you know you may be going cross coutry, to escape, not able to pull a camper...we have prepacked tubs of supplies fuel, water, food, medical, weapons...in minutes I can toss much of it in the truck bed and be gone.

Level 3 - 20 or more mins and we have some info on where we're going and what we're dealing with...then yeah..we hitch to the camper and life gets a lot more self reliant.
I keep the camper mostly prepped...spare food, clothes, batteries, communications, alternate heat, and cooking supplies..propane tankes stay near full..the water gets drained this time of year but I do have a half dozen of those blue 7gal water jugs..prefiltered, stabilized and ready to roll....

my rig is paid for...if we have a house fire, a major financial calamity, an area disaster.. I have a better chance of not being homeless...it's really that simple.
Old 01-02-2017, 03:04 PM
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Another problem my wife and I are having with the travel trailer concept is the "camp sites" where you stay. The ones we've seen seem pretty crowded, and the sites didn't seem to have much privacy. If you're a social type of person that would be great, but my wife and I aren't. We go on vacation to get away, experience peace and quiet, along with the best views we can afford. That doesn't seem to jive well with trailer parks and trailer park crowds. I'm not trying to harpoon this thread, I'm actually curious about the topic. I'd love to hear experienced RVers/ survivalists weigh in on the topic and address some of my concerns.
with you on this one Will. we do occassionally stay at a regular camp ground...and inevitably we find ourselves parked next to the folks that like to stay up all night talking, smoking up the place with a poorly tended campfire and some nasty smokes...that's on a good night..i've got stories of some crazy stuff as well.
my wife loves to gem mine, gold mine, fossil dig, etc...she is a member of several clubs that have had me hauling over 11 different states...many of those trips find us basically out in field on a mine site...off grid.....some property owners are glad to have us stick around for a few nights...helps keep an eye on things..especially on the weekends...we also have made pitstops at Pilot truck stop gas stations along our road trips...free overnight for a safe rest...can be a bit noisey but surprisingly you get used to the in/out traffic and honestly it's less of a bother than some formal camp grounds we stayed at.

we've definitely had luck over the years finding quieter camp grounds.....just have to shop locations, avoid major tourist areas during high seasons, etc

I've just turned 60 and I think I'll plan to work a couple more years in my current capacity of IT management which requires I be in an actual office...but I'm brushing up on my old programming skills..so i can just sang some contract work that can be done remote...and then I think the wife and i will buy a newer camper..bit bigger...and just enjoy some road trip time before the bodies give out..
Old 01-02-2017, 03:12 PM
willthrill81 willthrill81 is online now
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I'm thinking about buying a travel trailer in a few years when I retire.

The only way I can see buying a second home or RV is:

1) All my debt is paid and I can afford it (and all future costs of ownership).
2) I'll actually use and enjoy it....alot, getting my moneys worth. I wouldn't buy one just have as a prep.
3) I can physically keep up with the time and effort demands of ownership.

Other than that I'd rent, stay with family, friends, in a hotel, cabin or worst case scenario, a tent while I rebuilt. It's a tough decision for my wife and I, mostly because of the cost to buy & own a travel trailer. You also need RV insurance and a large, gas hungry truck to pull a travel trailer. The costs don't end there. You have to pay for camping fees at RV sites, propane, storage if you can't keep it at your place, maintenance such as tires, brakes, ect.

We have a limited budget, and when you add those costs together you're talking anywhere from $20,000- $100,000 or more for the initial purchase + maintenance and operating costs. Think about how many vacations where you just rent a hotel room or cabin your family could take for that much money. My wife and I figured we would have to use the RV at least twice a year, two weeks at a time or more, for it to make financial sense for us. I just don't know if we would be that into it.
After owning a travel trailer for two years, we came to the same conclusion. It was difficult for us to use it enough to justify the depreciation of owning it, the maintenance costs involved, cost of storing it (we couldn't keep it at our house), and insurance, never mind the cost of the vehicle needed to tow it. If you're using it for no more than a month every year, I think it makes better financial sense to just rent one when you want one.

The other aspect of using an RV is that it's a bit of work. In order to save money by preparing your own food, you actually have to cook while on vacation! That was a big downside for my wife. You usually can't move as quickly from place to place either, and fuel costs and campground fees are not to be underestimated.

I certainly would never recommend that anyone purchase an RV strictly as a prep. If you are able to take long vacations every year and really like RV living, go for it. But don't buy one unless you've tried it first.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:19 PM
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From experience of living in caravan

Proper backup up power source mixture generator, solar/wind-water

Either on or built in..

Some form of shade device..

Also consider a second roof damage control and to reduce heat..

Personally I leave cargo transporters in the form factor they were designed for.


Here's a point make your mind up do you want a toy or something that can sustain you. Comfort level in an emergency.

Plan using back roads and have maps

Communication will be a need also..

Also have a means to dump your waste water on the move

There will be times that there will a waste station to collect waste..

These days I would consider a prime mover as a validation in tow vehicle because in haul capacity setup with 3-5 40 foot trailers carrying living space food, water, fuel and vehicle storage...

To convert into living space can be done though the headache in reregistering them can be a bitch and they have various safety codes..

If you are going invest in a caravan or 5th wheel. Bespoke to what you. Require not the crap they market them for....
Old 01-03-2017, 01:59 AM
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Big RV's & vacation type travel trailers are built "light" to conserve weight. They are also prone to leaking/water damage because their seams "flex" a little when moving, hence they eventually get loose & leak in foul rainy weather.

Parking one under a lean-to roof or any roof for that matter greatly increases their life expectancy.

As they don't do well under continuous wind, drenching rain or heavy snow & ice loads as many have FLAT roofs. Its really simple to construct a lean-to roof against an existing building, or a stand alone post & bean type roof large enough to park one under. For winter parking, we park ours under a roof.

Parked under a roof keeps them in shade also, so they don't get as hot inside also.

When traveling and its going to be parked somewhere for a considerable time. We use a large piece of EDMP pond liner with DIY tie down grommets installed on the corners & edges as a tarp over ours.

Grommet kits are cheap & easy/simple to install.

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Old 01-03-2017, 02:38 AM
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It's not for me. But don't let my opinion hold you all back.

Have at it!
Old 01-03-2017, 03:24 AM
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My wife and I have used various types of RV's from 27' travel trailers, to 11' truck campers, to a 26' Class C rv for traveling to and from Alaska several times with military moves, and I also lived in my full time for jobs I worked up to 9 months in down in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Jose California.

We're looking at selling our house and going full time but, in a kind of unique way.

First we'll take out 26' RV and my pickup truck with an 8's slide in camper to Alaska, also towing at least one of our Jeeps up there as an alternative form of transportation.

In Anchorage, they allow RV'ers to park on school properties and everything is free except for propane. The reason is it deters vandalism at the schools when someone is living there full time.

Once the weather starts getting cold, we'll leave our Class C with my son who lives in Anchorage or my other son who lives in Fairbanks, then the wife and I will hop in the pickup truck and head for Florida where we plan to buy a mobile home to live in along the east coast. We'll both be able to pick up temporary work, I'll be drawing floorplans for people modifying their houses or building new ones as well as any other type of drafting. I have my own legal copy of Autocad and have been using Autocad for about 25 years now. My wife does HR work and is looking at temporary jobs doing that.

I think what a lot of people are missing is the idea of parking your RV at a storage facility away from the big cities. Then when you gotta make a run for it, drive your BOV out of the traffic jams, pick up your RV and head to a safe location.

Someone mentioned national parks and boondocking and those are definitely 2 excellent options.

If you're in the market for getting an RV type of vehicle but, want to be stealth about it, look into the vans like UPS uses for package delivery. Put ladders on the roof and mount your solar panels between the ladders so no one see's them. Paint something like Bob's Plumbing on the side or get creative and put Joes Septic Service to deter people from being nosey.

Take a look on youtube at Building rv's or converting step vans to RV's and you'll definitely see some really great conversions as well as a lot more ideas for making your life comfortable until things calm down.

Someone mentioned generators but, most of the guys that are designing their own rigs opts for solar panels. Only run an AC if you can plug in somewhere. The solar panels will run your fridge, laptop, and tv with ease if you put enough on your roof.

If you can make your way to Canada and run North on the ALCAN, you'll find a LOT of campgrounds both with facilities and some that are primitive. Look at a book called the Milepost and it'll give you plenty of details on places you can camp. Just be careful about what guns you're allowed to take across the border. Canada can be pretty picky about handguns, snakecharmers, black rifles.. If you do happen to carry legal guns through the border, be prepared to pay for a permit to take them across. If you look like a rough type of person, count on them searching your vehicle. I've done the trip 7 times and never been searched.

One last thing to consider is the age of the camper/rv you're going to buy. There are campgrounds in the US that won't allow you in if your rig is over 10 years old. I've run into three parks and they might let you stay a night but, plan on the camp ground manager visiting you and telling you that you have to leave the next morning.

Jobs for full timers include a big beet harvest operation in North Central US, usually about 5 weeks long and pays well, then you can go to the Amazon warehouses and work from September until Christmas making more than minimum wage. Then you have time to enjoy the rest of the year if your thrifty on your spending.

A very popular place for boondocking is Quartzite. Miles and miles of area to park and stay at no cost.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:38 AM
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Aahhh.. the perennial subject of RV bugout. It always comes around. The RV is just so cool that it SEEMS like it just HAS to be a good idea. It seems that way, I'll grant you that.

Then close analysis is performed and unending weak points and vulnerabilities are found. Too many to list, here. One that hasn't been covered? They know where you're sleeping! At least with a 4x4 truck, you can try to hide the truck and then hide yourself yards away.

Then comes the "data" on boondocking and fulltime RV experiences. Trouble is, these data have almost no correlation. There's few places so remote you can't get a tow-truck to. At least if you can get an RV to it, you can generally get a tow-truck to it. There's a full functioning system of society all around the fulltimers. Grocery stores at least. Police when needed. People conduct themselves accordingly. Absolutely NONE of this will be available in a bugout.

What I'm having trouble is coming up with a scenario where an RV will be advantageous over a 4X4 pickup or Suburban. For the price of a modest RV, an equally modest 4X4 can be bought.

In fact, unless or until you have the resources and chops to design, harden, and construct an RV that's purpose-built for bugging out and possible SHTF living, there are no appropriate options. For that matter, for SHTF living, even a 4x4 will need mods.

Have fun with your pursuit and enjoy the good times in an RV. They really are a lot of fun. If it comes time to evac for a hurricane or chemical spill? Then get going early in your RV and live comfortably for a short while. If it's a real meltdown event? Might be a really poor choice. But until then, it'll be fun.


DS
Old 01-03-2017, 09:21 AM
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Aahhh.. the perennial subject of RV bugout. It always comes around. The RV is just so cool that it SEEMS like it just HAS to be a good idea. It seems that way, I'll grant you that.

Then close analysis is performed and unending weak points and vulnerabilities are found. Too many to list, here. One that hasn't been covered? They know where you're sleeping! At least with a 4x4 truck, you can try to hide the truck and then hide yourself yards away.

Then comes the "data" on boondocking and fulltime RV experiences. Trouble is, these data have almost no correlation. There's few places so remote you can't get a tow-truck to. At least if you can get an RV to it, you can generally get a tow-truck to it. There's a full functioning system of society all around the fulltimers. Grocery stores at least. Police when needed. People conduct themselves accordingly. Absolutely NONE of this will be available in a bugout.

What I'm having trouble is coming up with a scenario where an RV will be advantageous over a 4X4 pickup or Suburban. For the price of a modest RV, an equally modest 4X4 can be bought.

In fact, unless or until you have the resources and chops to design, harden, and construct an RV that's purpose-built for bugging out and possible SHTF living, there are no appropriate options. For that matter, for SHTF living, even a 4x4 will need mods.

Have fun with your pursuit and enjoy the good times in an RV. They really are a lot of fun. If it comes time to evac for a hurricane or chemical spill? Then get going early in your RV and live comfortably for a short while. If it's a real meltdown event? Might be a really poor choice. But until then, it'll be fun.


DS
So for 99% of bug out events they are a good idea!!!
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:35 AM
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An RV is something I wouldn't likely buy new and it's not something I'd be likely to spend a huge amount of money on. (I've bought three of them, all used, and all for way less than some people pay.) Quality levels are NOT the same for all of them. There are some that are actually pretty well built. As mentioned above, there are things that can be done to take care of them to avoid sun and water damage, and those are two of the biggest things that can ruin an RV.

An RV isn't something I'd likely buy specifically as a tool for SHTF. I do like having one, though, for several reasons, as mentioned in numerous posts above.

Posts on these forums tend to be looking for the Black Swan, the mother of all wars, the SHTF moment that changes the world as we know it immediately and forever. And people have been looking for this big event for decades, and preparing as best they know how. I'm not saying that it's wrong to prepare for big stuff. But I am suggesting that it's way more likely not to happen that way.

As an individual person, you're much more likely to have your own SHTF events in relative isolation. Most of the world will not be affected when you have your personal crisis as a stroke or heart attack happen to you. Most of the world won't notice when a loved one close to you has failing health and isn't able to thrive anymore, probably won't last more than a year or so, but here they are, and there you are. Most of the world won't notice when you lose your job and your spouse loses theirs at the same time and yet the bills keep coming, maybe even beyond what you've saved for. Most of the world won't notice if a tornado comes through and wipes out a small swath that just happens to include your property, your house, even your crops. Most of the world won't notice when some yahoo sets fire to the woods behind your house and it happens to burn your home to the ground. Most of the world won't notice if someone very close to you dies and your heart if broken to the point where you really just can't function like you need to. Most of the world won't notice when you fall off the roof of your house or barn and need a million $ of hospital care and a year in rehab just to be able to feed yourself again.

Go ahead and prepare for the things you think you need to. I'm not saying big things or wide area things can't happen or aren't worth preparing for. I'm just saying that something much closer to home and way less global is much more likely and thus, even more worthy of considering. There is something that sneaks up on almost all of us at some point that becomes our own personal SHTF time of life. Could happen multiple times. But eventually, many of us will likely come to our end before anything all that significant really happens globally to give us that true TEOTWAWKI type thing that we all talk chat about here. I could be wrong. But there's a very good chance that I'm not, especially for the older of our group... (I didn't previously think of myself in that group but as the years have passed by, I'm now seeing more of life behind than the prospect of life ahead...)

No offense intended, just a bit of rambling from an oldster.
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:13 AM
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So for 99% of bug out events they are a good idea!!!
I would agree!

In that most people will never bugout, ever. And consider that most - I'll accept your 99% number - are localized events requiring no more than 50 miles or 2 days of bugout. So sure.

Between no need for a bugout and not bugging out at all, they're a GREAT idea.

DS
Old 01-03-2017, 02:22 PM
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Aahhh.. the perennial subject of RV bugout. It always comes around.

In fact, unless or until you have the resources and chops to design, harden, and construct an RV that's purpose-built for bugging out and possible SHTF living, there are no appropriate options. For that matter, for SHTF living, even a 4x4 will need mods.

DS


Not an RV, but a small durable cargo trailer has advantages.

Since purchased like new, but used @ a bargain price. We beefed up the fenders & suspension, added bigger better 8 ply tires. Removed the hasp door locks & installed keyed security locks on the doors.

Added a roof vent, a bracket to mount a solar panel (we carry inside), deep cycle 12V marine battery & box, wired in better 12V lighting, a small interior fan & comm's, + very small sturdy marine port hole windows (with black out curtains). Beefed up the interior sidewalls, attached 2 offset in height fold up/down removable bunk frames & a rifle rack.

Inside we carry a sturdy folding table that we remove & use outside, duel fuel Coleman stove, + duel fuel Coleman lantern for exterior lighting, cooking gear, sleeping bags, Thermorest sleeping mats (for mattress like cushion on the spring bunk frames), compact folding toilet, 5G bucket, compact collapsible extension ladder, food supplies, rain gear-extra clothing-boots, 1st aid kit, a 6 man tent, large tarp, axe, shovel, chain saw, 5G can of water & fuel, + tool box & misc camping gear. Also, usually load in my old (rebuilt) Honda 110 trail bike & Honda EU2000i generator.

That's a considerable amount of gear. All of which can be quickly removed to use the trailer for hauling conventional cargo.

This is the compact folding toilet we carry. $15 thrift store purchase.





This is the compact extension ladder.

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Old 01-03-2017, 02:47 PM
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Whenever people think of bugging out and shtf a lot of times they go right to the Mad Max scenario, but the probability is it will be an evacuation or something similar to what you said.
The idea is to not be a homeless refugee who ran out of their house with the clothes on your back and little else.
I think it's an excellent idea to have an RV, I'm partial to the truck camper RV because you're not limited to paved roads.
When people think of a 4x4 bugout vehicle they think of severe conditions, but the probability is you'll need to be able to drive through a roadside ditch and along some grassy areas to get off a stalled congested highway. Would be good to have bolt cutters to cut the cables that they use for guard rails in a lot of areas. Me, I have a small oxy acetylene outfit and will cut off a guardrail section if need be.
As for the downsides, if society is so bad that people will be shooting into random campers, if you aren't with a group of likeminded individuals you're probably going to die anyway. Unless your bugout vehicle is an mrap with a 150 gallon fuel tank.
At a time like that EVERYTHING will be a target to marauder type people and you'll be accosted whether you're on foot, in an RV, or in an suv.

I think it's better to prepare for 95% of what could happen, and then go beast mode if the situation gets worse than that. If you're prepared for 95% of what can happen, you'll be good to go.
Agree. Adaptability is what an RV gives you. The old joke, "can't get there from here" is funny because of how true it is. Most limitations are based in mindset not reality.
I've thought about the earlier nuclear disaster scenario many times. In fact your scenario fits my reality (home in Cedar Rapids and Palo nuclear plant 20 miles away).
I've plotted multiple pathes North, East, and West that don't rely on the freeway. A packed RV, hookup and go the few miles needed to be out of the downwind current and forecast conditions.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:49 PM
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Sparkle is the Patient Advocate for our Family. We have to "Bug out" at a text or phone call a couple of times a year. Extended stays in/around Hospitals SUCK. It did not take us long to figure out we needed a way to "set up shop" anywhere...



We keep it stocked and ready to go at all times. Now I realize "The Boat" is not a End of the World type of survival vehicle, but for those everyday emergencies it has served us well MANY times.

From Parking Lots to Hilltops to Creek beds I have put the boat in places it SHOULD NOT GO. You would be surprised how far down and back the trail one can get with a couple of 10ft 2x12s (keep em on the roof) and a set of tire chains. Yep, the boat has some scratches in paint but, it is nice to be able to put an ice maker, convection oven, hot shower, Comm Center, and dry bed just about ANYWHERE you want to.

It has also worked as a "Guest House" when someone comes out to Tyler Island and forgets the sober chauffeur. We dont get Uber on the Island.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:12 PM
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Goodwrench708 Goodwrench708 is offline
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I be never owned a RV so....I have zero experience with them
I do have a 6x12 Pace American trailer that has been upfitted and converted to a bug out trailer/ mobile man cave.
Insulated....wired for 12v and 120v....AC.....heat.....refrigerator....microwave. ..twin size bed...cabinets.... all well stocked and ready to roll....kept parked at my Ga property

Here is my thread

http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=335966
Old 01-03-2017, 03:44 PM
willthrill81 willthrill81 is online now
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I agree with others that for those 'personal' or even regional disasters, an RV can be a good resource. Just remember that if you're boondocking (no hookups), it won't be long before your shower will run out of water. And with no water, your toilet and sink don't work either.

After having done it both ways, I personally prefer tent camping, 'vehicle camping', and hotels to RVs when all the chips are on the table. I can tent camp in many more places than an RV can and for FAR less cost. With a large SUV or minivan, you can sleep right in your vehicle. Throw up a collapsible tent for cooking and such, and you're in pretty good shape. And an SUV or minivan can go where an RV can't as well.

On a regular basis, my family prefers hotels, and I can't say that I blame them. People might say that it's expensive, but after having experienced all the costs of RVs, I think that a lot of people gross underestimate the costs of that mode of travel.

For a relatively 'minor' bug out situation, I've got the phone numbers for two or three hotels in almost every town programmed into my phone. It's not very 'survivaly', but it can be doggone effective.

If you've already got an RV, use it. Otherwise, think twice.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:50 PM
Stinky Stinky is offline
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The poor quality control of all major RV manufacturers is a hot topic of RV forums.
The main theme, RV quality control has gone from bad to terrible.
Due to a divorce I was considering a RV for day to day living, saving money,
mobility etc. after 6 months of shopping I found several with the features I wanted, btw all toy haulers. The major obstacle was finding a place to park and hook-up. After months of looking, Zero, Zip, Nada. Ok I did find 2. One was over an hour drive from work, a bare spot of ground and $800.00 per month. The 2nd was closer to work, 20 min. but $1300.00 per month. Now when you add that cost to the price of utilities and cost of even a cheap RV
the cost is prohibitive.
Also you must realize that even in the largest RV's you will not be able to carry even a fraction of most normal prep supplies.
Now if you want to consider a smaller covered box trailer the entire question changes.
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