Earlier this week we published, “Truck Camper Hurricane Preparedness” for truck camper owners in the path of Hurricane Irma or future storms. We also asked readers to send in their hurricane preparedness ideas for truck campers. Thank you to everyone who shared their knowledge and advice on this important topic.
1. Don’t Fill Your Fresh Water Tank Until You Evacuate
“Great advice, Gordon. I’m in the water supply business. One should not keep fresh water tanks full between trips. Potable water is often disinfected (usually with chlorine or chloramines), which has residual disinfection capability of a week. After that, bacteria will begin to regrow, which is not good.
For the purposes of an emergency evacuation vehicle, and assuming we have a couple of days warning, one should keep fresh water tanks empty until the general alert is published/broadcasted. Then full the tank at that time.
This advice also holds true during normal camping expeditions when you fill the tank and then plug into city water at campgrounds day after day. Don’t allow the water in your tank to mature past a week.
If a hurricane is on the way, button up the house as good as possible and then get out of harm’s way earlier rather than later – before winds and rain arrive. This advice is good for any predictable natural disaster. It is less effective for unpredictable tornados and earthquakes.” – Jim Goodrich, Chevy 3500, Lance 1191
2. Follow the Advice on Ready.gov
“This is not a specific storm story, but a comment on ready.gov. That website is full of good info regarding being prepared. We aren’t really preppers, but we do have supplies ready to grab and go, all in one spot in easy to carry boxes and bags.
We have water, meds, first aid supplies, a change of clothes, toilet paper, easy to prepare food, flashlights, batteries, money in small denominations, and more. Ready.gov also has ways to talk to kids about being prepared too. I encourage everybody to take a minute to look at ready.gov.” – Pat and Bob Mitchell, 2004 Ford F150, 2016 Capri Camper
3. Critical Truck Camper Insurance Advice
“Once a camper leaves the insured’s premises, the Personal Property limit on Homeowner, Condo, and Renter/Tenant policies drops to 10-percent of the limit of Coverage C. This coverage C – Personal Property limit – is often a fixed percentage of the Coverage A – Structure limit – and that percentage varies greatly by carrier and state.
Many renter policies provide very little Personal Property coverage. Often it’s just $25,000 to satisfy landlord requirements to provide $100,000 in Personal Liability coverage. Realize that 10% of $25,000 Personal Property coverage is only $2,500.
I want to warn truck campers to be aware of the total value of all camper and truck personal property. Check with your insurance company or agent to be certain you have adequate coverage. Full-timers might not even have a residential property to rely on even for 10-percent.
Your suggestion to photograph everything is excellent, but that has to include opening each cabinet, drawer, closet, storage compartment, basement and rear cabin of the truck, individually. There can be special limits on coverage of jewelry, firearms, computers that limit coverage to only $1,000 within the 10-precent off premises coverage.
Once that is completed create an inventory list describing the item and cost with date of purchase. Store the list and photos elsewhere and a copy of each in the cloud where it can be accessed from anywhere.” – Joe Sesto, Sesto Insurance Services
4. Preparedness For Pets
“We keep a bug out bag for our dog. In it one finds several days worth of dog food, bottled water, and bowls. We also have copies of vet papers (rabies, immunization, etc), extra leashes, toys, and treats. One of Rugby’s collar tags is etched with both of our cell phone numbers and he is microchipped.” – Chuck and Jodie Ramsey
5. Duct Tape Camper Vents, Seals, Slides, Doors, etc.
“If the truck camper is going to be outside and exposed to hurricane force wind driven rain you might want to consider taping all vent openings, seal points such as slide-outs and access doors/hatches, air conditioner units and sliding window seals.
I use low residue duct tape on my boat and truck camper. I remove it immediately after the storm before the sun bakes it on forever! Be safe.” – Harry Woodworth
6. Shut Your House Down Right Before Evacuating
“We are living in the possible track of Irma. Our home is just south of Charlotte, North Carolina. We shut the water off, emptied the ice maker, moved the temperature down in the water heater, and turned up on the air conditioner. The doors are locked and we ran for it.
Right now we are camped in Augusta, Georgia on the shore of Lake Strom Thurmond. If Irma tries to get us here, we will run west to Alabama or Tennessee. Being afraid of storms and running makes the best preparation and the most sense. – Tom Scholtens
Editor’s Note: The article, “30 Ways to Prep Your Hope For a Long Term Trip” features additional recommendations for properly shutting your house down.
7. Tornado Shelter Ideas for Truck Campers
“I live in tornado alley. If I’m away from home and there’s a tornado warning, I drive to a sturdy protected area and hunker down. I have sheltered in the garbage enclosure of a car wash and an underground loading space for eighteen wheelers at a shopping center. Try a Jiffy Lube garage or underground parking lot if your rig is not too tall.
Ideally, I keep my truck camper always packed and ready for escape if they start those terrifying tornado sirens. All I have to do is grab my cats!” – Janet Carter