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Question Of The Week

Bug Out Vehicle Survival Tips For Truck Campers

This week we asked our readers how they prepared their truck camper rigs for a surprise natural or man man emergency situation that required their immediate evacuation.

This is common sense for the prepper community, but we believe it’s also a good idea for anyone who might face a flood, hurricane, tornado, wildfire, or ice storm.  We don’t need to get into to the potential of man made emergencies.  They’re on the news, all too often.

This week’s question of the week was, “Do you keep your truck camper ready to go in case of an emergency situation?”  Here are the bug out vehicle survival tips from fellow TCM readers:

“We keep the camper on the truck at all times, keep water in a spare tank, which is sanitized and changed regularly.  We have gas on the bumper for the generator that stays on the back tray.   All we needed to add is food, water in the main tank, some clothes, the dogs, and us.

The fuel tank on the dually always full and we run it every couple weeks.  The camper stays plugged in so the battery is always charged.  Depending on the circumstances, guns or extra guns are real handy.  I hope we never need to bug out, but we can if need be.” – Cheryl Nelson, 2004 Chevy 3500, 1990 Shadow Cruiser 9.5

“Yes, it’s fully loaded and with full fuel tanks.  We need to get some food and add water.  The camper is plugged in and the batteries are fully charged.” – Joseph, 2001 Dodge 3500, 1998 Bigfoot 9′ 6″ 2500 series

“Spring through fall, it’s ready to go.  In the winter, it’s stored inside a facility I don’t own. I hate not having the option to bug out if needed.” – Scott Ridgway, 2003 Dodge 2500, 2012 Lance 1050S

“Yes!  We live in south Texas and use our truck camper monthly.  This year the wife surprised me with a Jeep for my run-around vehicle and the truck is now mostly dedicated to truck camper use.

Because we are out so regularly during the year we are able to stay on top of things that go wrong.  Also, having owned it for seven years we have made many mods and replaced various components that have failed with improved or better quality parts.  That said, the quality of Arctic Fox is very high and, in spite of how much use it, is in excellent condition.  We are prepared!” – Pryor Donald, 2015 Ford F350, 2008 Arctic Fox 1150

“We try to keep the camper prepped and ready to load and go.  In the late spring/summer we try to keep it on the truck all the time.  I live in a dreaded HOA managed subdivision and receive nasty grams sometimes because I have had my truck camper/topper (their words) in the neighborhood for an extended period of time.  So, the best I can do is keep the camper ready to go and just load it up.  The upside to not being able to keep it on the truck all the time is that I get more practice unloading and loading.” – Pam Conner, 2015 Ford F350, 2015 Arctic Fox 1150

“We use our truck for other purposes so the camper does not stay on it.  However, if needed, we can have it loaded on the truck and ready to go as fast as provisions and clothes can be put in.  I charge the battery approximately once a month while it’s not in use.” – Allen Brummel, 2008 Dodge Ram, 2008 Northstar TC650

“We live on a farm and, because of that, we look at things a little differently than many.  We are prepared with a generator, have wood heat, and a self-contained water and sewer system.

That preparedness does shift over to other parts of our life.  Our trucks are always full (or nearly full) of fuel.  We always have some cash on hand and extra food in the pantry.  It’s only natural for us to have the camper ready to be used as living quarters if needed to flee this area if needed.

So, not to sound like doom and gloomers, we think it should be called being prepared.  In Canada they say we need to look after ourselves for the first 72 hours in the event of a disaster.  Shoot for more like a week.  It’s a great way to be responsible and to look after your family.  It’s just another reason for having the mobility and flexibility of a truck camper and four wheel drive truck combination.  Watch out for zombies!” – Wes Hargreaves, 2016 Ford F-450, 2006 Snowbird 108DS

“We do not always keep the camper on the truck, but the camper is always stocked and it takes about ten minutes to set it on and be gone.  Prepped means ready, not paranoid, and not scared.  We have the propane full, generator full, spare gas, and the truck full of fuel.  We keep any and all repairs done, and we have a plan.  We do not look to someone else when the need arises be ready.” – Tom Elliott, 2007 Ram 2500, 1999 Lance 835 Lite

“Not really.  I have a safe room in my house that seems to be a better idea for an emergency.  Most likely in our area, it will be tornadoes.” – Robert Mayton, 2014 Ford F450, 2015 Lance 1172

“Yes, to a point.  I do take the camper off the truck in late November and store it until late March.  During this period of the year it would take me a few hours to be able to leave.  Otherwise, I could go in about an hour.  Since I am a celiac, a major emergency preparation for me is to have homemade gluten free flour mixtures ready and in single containers.

My camper has two can cupboards in the kitchen area and shallow shelves.  One can cupboard is deep, which is a perfect place for plastic jars.  I put a colored sticker on every jar and I have a plasticized sheet with recipes for each colored sticker.  These are always in the camper.  I have two boxes of staples that I keep in the basement for the camper that has baking powder, gluten free pasta, rice cakes, rice, canned beans, spices, etc.  Those can be easily popped into the camper and left under the table to be unpacked into the cupboards when time isn’t so pressing.  There is also another box with bedding, tea towels, etc.

Cutlery, dishes, matches, and flashlights are always in the camper.  I found plastic containers that allow me to fit twelve of them into my camper’s freezer.  Whenever I cook a casserole, sauce, soup, and stew I freeze a portion in one of these containers.  So whenever I decide to leave I have two weeks of suppers or more ready to carry out.  Grabbing my clothes would be quick.

All of the above are really in order me to go camping whenever the whim strikes, but I do like knowing that being ready allows me to use the camper in an emergency.

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