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Old 07-18-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
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Portable PLace to Stay

RV? Travel Trailer? Pick up Camper? Converted Van? Fifth Wheel?

Where would one stay as a bug out den if the place chosen place was in the danger zone?
I'm thinking that a 4WD pick up with a camper in the bed would be the most mobile or a 4WD van. Good for a single person. RV seems too big for tight hiding places. Travel trailers or fifth wheels one could back it into a tight place easy to defend.

Any ideas? Which one would you chose?
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:42 PM   #2
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Re: Portable PLace to Stay

Were I younger and less susceptible to changes in the weather, I'd have a brown-tarp-covered lean-to in the midst of some big boulders (in a glacial moraine, maybe) near the military crest of a hill, chosen for having several different exit pathways.
Nowadays, I think I'll stay right here, on this tight little island. The ferry service will be the first thing to go.
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:23 PM   #3
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Re: Portable PLace to Stay

And where are you going to park this rig? Most land in most of the country is owned by someone. And they frown on squaters.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:16 PM   #4
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Re: Portable PLace to Stay

Well that is why I'm asking.
Public land? Most of the West is Uncle Sam's and if the good uncle is tied up with other concerns...?
I'm just brain storming. Trying to find a nice place to spend my last days.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:58 PM   #5
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Re: Portable PLace to Stay

Your sig says your in Tampa. How many miles from your home to your hideout. How many tankfuls will it take? Remember what the highways and gas shortages were like when hurricane Charley came thru? Now think more about trying to get away at the same time as fifteen or fifty million others.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: Portable PLace to Stay

I do certainly remember Charlie and I'm in Pinellas. Four bridges and one major road out of town. getting off the peninsula would be near impossible if attempted too late. I was staying put and sweating it out in the house for that one. I'm not looking to do that again.
I don't have a hideout. And I don't want to be stuck in place just 'cause it's mine.

I'm asking in a general sense about using one of the various types of RVs as a place to stay in a mobile way. Are there any full time RVers on this board? Just brain storming. Any opinions?
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:17 AM   #7
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Re: Portable PLace to Stay

Well I read an article on RV.net's E-magazine on this subject.
Looks as if some survivors of earth quakes were happy to have a portable place to stay and keep their RVs stocked.
But I'm guessing there is little interest here for this subject.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:22 AM   #8
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Re: Portable PLace to Stay

Its not that we are not interested in the concept, its just that for your suggested use, its been discussed and from some of my previous posts some of the hang ups have been shown.

I have had three RV's over the years, currently I do not, but that will be replaced when the boy is done with college. I had an early square front Winnebago I bought while I was in college for $300 bucks with a blown engine. swapped in a very good 351 cleveland and I used that for several summers of trouncing about. After that came a Dodge van chassis with the Wini body on it and that was ok for a few years, and I ended up with a Top Kick with a custom body on it that had been a race car hauler, for my fishing trips, I dont think anything else could come close. its Diesel motor would get 12 -14 miles to gallon, and it was a very comfy ride.

A bug out vehicle on the other hand, needs range, stealth and load, and unless you find one of the top kick or Kodiak based diesels with the extended range tanks (mine had 50 gallon per side, options of 70 and 100 are out there. With the twin fifties, mine had a minimum safe range of 1K miles. Get the 100 twins and you are good for 2K or more, depending on air usage and idle times etc. If your pulling a boat or a small trailer, (my topkick got the same mileage bare as it did towing either a small 6 x 12 box trailer or a 18 foot lund, they just seemed to ride in the shadow of the main body.) but a small trailer fitted with say two hundred gallon tanks would give you an awful lot of flexibliity.

A pick up with a big camper on the top is going to fight to get 8-10 miles to the gallon. Its going to need gas then about every three hundred miles, and remember, at that point, you need to start looking for gas every time you reach half a tank.

On the subject of livability, The top kick had a lot of great features, The custom body was set up for sleeping 3 and only 3, which was fine for us. it did not have a bump out, which greatly increases the ability of the people inside to put up with each other for extended periods. It did have a roll out awning with a zip in screen set which gave a 16 by 12 room off the side of the body with freedom from bugs. Many Mnany nights were spent out there with friends and family after nights of fishing. Nothing better than being able to enjoy the north woods and not being sucked dry of blood.

IF you do follow this course, then look at either some form of mountain bikes or scooters as camp transportation. Nothing sucks worse than mom finding out she's short of eggs and the only way to get into town is to fold and load up EVERYTHING and drive 6 miles and back and find some schmuck has taken your campsite, hopping on a scooter or a little honda 90 and running into to town is a much better method.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:50 PM   #9
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Re: Portable PLace to Stay

I've a 9' slide-in truck camper, old one, I just bought for $600 and had to do a bunch of rebuilding to make things right. Didn't cost a lot to do, but did take some expertise with the wood work.

It is mounted in my F-250 4x4 standard body pickup.

As for bugging out, doubt I'd go anywhere unless I had to leave the retreat. I live in my bugout location.

I've owned 1 tag along, 3 fifth-wheels, a 11' slide-in which was too big for my 3/4 ton truck, and a 8' slide-in. Of all those I used the 8' slide-in the most and saw the most country in it. Easy to travel in and easy to park, just about anywhere. Slide-ins have their disadvantages, like having to pack up if you just want to make a day trip while camping and returning to the same spot. Someone else might think you've left for good and decide to take your spot. We used to carry a rope and tie it off across the spot with an occupied sign on it. You could unload, not easy with manual jacks, and leave it set there while you go play, but they aren't the best to stay in if not loaded in the truck. With a slide you can pull a boat or small trailer to pack in extra stuff.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:44 PM   #10
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I can't add much to the points about RVs except that after the Northridge E-quake, when most of the houses were tagged 'uninhabitable' until they could be inspected; many residents owned RVs and used them as in place "lifeboats". The City even(to my amazement!) suspended building codes to allow RVs to be parked on or in front of property and be lived in by the owner of the property.

I tell people that RVs are great fun and make great "lifeboats". In the instance of an evacuation order, at least you will be sleeping in your own vehicle and not in a 'shelter' with cots nearly touching. If the incident is localized, you have the ability to drive out of the affected area and find a RV park/camp ground to set up. Again, you have a lot of your own stuff inside the RV and out-of-sight rather than a car with everything overflowing and in view.

Since you are in Florida and apparently near the water, would a boat be practicable? I have no experience with boats but one set up for "cruising" would be like an RV and you could sail across the Gulf to Texas.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:06 PM   #11
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Bugging out is not really an option for me, for a multitude of reasons.

While a static defense is not my preferred strategery, I'm lucky to have good neighbors, a defensible domicile amply provisioned and terrain on my side.

If the situation has deteriorated to the point that I have to leave this place, then there probably is no place, at least accessible to me, that's any more viable.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:13 AM   #12
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It seems that some survivors of the earthquake was happy to have a place to live and keep their mobile stock car.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:11 AM   #13
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Here in the great northwest you'll find that if you get up in the woods, on public land that most of the roads are so narrow and rough that a large camper on a pickup is unwieldy. As most of the roads in the woods here are old logging roads most of them deadend. If you are lucky it will end at an old log landing with a lot of room to turn around. I have seen many though that just kind of peter out and I've had to back out of some. My hunting buddy has a camper but we never take it hunting. It cuts down on our mobility too much. We prefer a tent.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:27 AM   #14
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to all,

fwiw, a "surplus" school bus with the 6.9 or 7.3 NON-turbo INDIRECT INJECTION engine by International Harvestor & 4/5 speed MANUAL transmission makes a GOOD & CHEAP "camper", as they will:
1. run on most anything (except gasoline) that will burn,
(i've used diesel fuel, used motor oil, furnace oil, veggie oil, waste ATF & various mixtures of the above in ours W/O problems for years.)
2. operate on UNimproved roads/trails, if driven competently

and they are EASY to repair with simple/common hand tools.

just a thought.

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 08-25-2011 at 08:27 PM. Reason: missing word
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:00 PM   #15
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Got an old Airstream trailer about 18 months back. got it roadworthy and when not on the road it sits under a shed out back out of the sun doing double duty as a spare room if nothing else.
It could be heated with a charcoal stove. plenty of on board water storage.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:14 AM   #16
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If shtf, I 'm not staying above ground any longer than it takes to dig a hole and make a camouflaged lid to cover it and me. Once below ground level and out of sight, it won't take long to expend the "spider hole" enough to have a bit of comfort. Staying visible will be an invitation to be shot. Not for me, thanks.
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