I have heard many people talk about using the family RV, or recreation vehicle, to bug out. Many people are set that it is the ultimate bug out vehicle (BOV). When I am asked about it, my first answer is typically, “Yes and No.” It really depends on the situation.
RVs have some inherent advantages and disadvantages when considered as a BOV. I wanted to just write some thoughts down about them.
If we get a bad storm and a tree falls on our house, and we have an RV, which is untouched, we have a place to stay. We have a secondary shelter. If we are doing the correct thing, and placing our food stores in multiple places, we will probably have food in the RV as well. We will also do this with lots of other things. So it is a partially self-sufficient mobile home.
If you live in Florida, and you know a week from now, you will be hit by a hurricane, you will have plenty of time to bug out, using the roads. This becomes the perfect vehicle to use… until traffic has backed up. So, you don’t want to get caught in traffic. This is why you should have a nice atlas, a couple of methods of GPS, and maybe even a truck drivers’ logging roads map. You want to get around any traffic, because the last thing you want to be doing is traveling down the interstate in the same direction a EVERYONE, and now traffic isn’t moving.
For this reason, the RV is not a good BOV for regional disasters. It is hard to get away from the dangers coming, if you are stuck between vehicles on the highway. This is another reason why I recommend so many mapping devices and maps. It is best to go the less-traveled routes that take slightly longer than expose yourself to getting stuck, and also in a high-profile area for an attack, if this is the whole reason for the bug out in the first place.
Another reason the RV stinks as a BOV is that it cannot go where most SUVs can go. A good wrangler, 4×4 expedition, or another large 4 wheel drive vehicle will do much better if you are planning on going into logging roads. The amount of money it would take someone to place 4×4 on an RV would be insane, and you still wouldn’t have good tires, because just simply due to the nature of an RV, you need better, long-life, touring tires.
There is something that we can do to reduce our chances of getting stuck on a logging road though. I think the RV should definitely have provisions stored in it that will allow for getting it unstuck. 2x6s or 2x8s, expanded metal, or pry bars would be additions. A must have, which may look funny, would be a high-powered winch on both front and back. The winches should be mounted to the FRAME. It may not hurt to have side mounted winches for some angular force when needed.
Back to the good stuff. The RV is designed to accommodate people for short periods of time, a few days to a week. It is meant to provide all of the required survival items. It will, assuming you keep it maintained, provide with water, food, shelter, medicine, sanitation, and even security when compared with other shelters. For this reason, an RV is a perfect BOV of the roads are clear.
There is some insulation in an RV, but not very much. They are very inefficient because they are not designed for human occupancy for a primary residence. This being said, many people actually DO live in them. Some stay in parks, and others bounce back and forth from north to south and back when the seasons change.
I actually know someone who is living, not in an RV, but in a camper which is the same thing without its own motor. He has for several years now, and he loves it. He isn’t even staying in a large one, it is actually extremely small. I don’t think that life would be for me, but in a really nice one, who knows.
Many RVs have basic utilities that are provided by the engine’s power and have a means to plug them into a power receptacle to provide electricity. So you are living in a home that is designed to steal electricity when it comes down to it, with a built-in generator!
I don’t own an RV, but would like to have one for camping. If I have it for camping, I will most certainly stock it up like a bug out vehicle just because it is there and I would be an idiot if I didn’t take advantage of something that I already had.
You are going to be in a stressful situation if you need to Bug Out. If your RV is tiny and uncomfortable, you are going to be further stressed. Don’t add undo stress if you can help it. Another thing, don’t break your bank trying to get the perfect RV either. It is important to be financially stable, and not make hasty purchases on something like an RV.
There is some sort of give and take. It is perfect in some aspects and poor in others. It is really up to each and every individual to decide. We have to weigh the options and realize the fact that we may have to leave it behind if something horrific truly happens and we get it stuck in traffic, or on a muddy road somewhere.
As I write tips for your adventures and hear about cool gear, I will let you know all about it!