Starting the RV Prepper Lifestyle

I know many people were expecting a post sooner so let me begin by apologizing. Two factors really went into the delay.

One was an illness that hit the entirety of my family. We have all been fighting it. The other was weather, we had snow and extreme cold temperatures that affected how we did things. Now, this article is going to be more about setting up for full-time RV living than it is prepping, that comes with the aspect of being an RV Prepper, the two worlds are entwined and most at times shift to make room for the other.

Why should a person consider RV prepping?

First let me go into cost analysis. $1200 for rent, $200 for electric, $250 for cable internet and tv, $90 for water/sewer/garbage. While where we were at was higher than some you can look at that list of 1740 and know there is a lot more that goes into an apartment. If you are in a house you also have upkeep and maintenance. These costs are actually averaged for the area I lived.

Now let’s do the same for RV living full-time. Lot Rent $350 a month, Electric $100, $100 for propane. $65 for satellite. All told a little over one thousand dollars of savings a month. The other bills are just gone. Most parks have some form of free internet. We switched providers for our cellphones and got more data with no overage charges (just a throttle back so we don’t get LTE) and actually pay less than we were before. Our monthly bills were reduced by about $1400 a month making the switch.

That’s $1400 that can go towards prepping, training, ammo, or anything else. Plus, you own your home. If you are worried about costs of financing an RV you can get a decent note on a $21000 RV for around $210 a month. You are still saving.

The other factor is we wanted to be mobile. Mobility is key, especially if you have to live in or near a big city. Cities are not the best place to be. Plus, all three of our bug out locations were some distance away. The other advantage is now when we bug out we can fit up to ten people inside our RV instead of the three living in it. We can actually use this in an unimproved area as shelter for our whole group.

Now full disclosure, costs for RV living change based on where you are, and what you are in. We ended up with a 2015 Wildwood bunkhouse travel trailer made by forest river. We love it because of the size and versatility. Fifth wheels are easier to pull, and of course full blown RV’s have the advantage of having their own engine. That is also a disadvantage if you have engine trouble or need your RV worked on mechanically. All told my research still suggests its cheaper.

There are also a few other maintenance issues with this lifestyle you don’t have with a house, like dumping your tanks, checking your anode rod, etc. It isn’t for everyone. It also limits your prepping storage space and weight. This is something we figured out how to overcome based on what we are storing in our RV. Also, since we went with a rather large travel trailer we have some additional storage space in the bunk house where we can store extra food, supplies, etc. Fifth wheels have pass through areas that are perfect for can and jar racks as well as larger pantry space. Another solution since our rig has 3 pop outs was a large stand up bread box and a shelving unit that added to our storage space and are easily moveable when it’s time to move the trailer.

One thing you do have to consider is larger propane tanks. Our rig came with two 30 pounds’ tanks. We intend to upgrade to two 40 pound tanks and keeping one 30-pound tank as a backup. The catch to that is laws regarding how much propane you can have on hand, do some research about how much you can have when going down the road. Now there are a few more things I want to add.

First piece of advice. Get yourself an adjustable wrench. Preferably two. You will need them for some of the simplest tasks when setting up your RV at its site. I believe what I used was called 10-inch groove pliers but they fit the job nicely.

Second piece of advice. Do not buy anything that’s plastic to put your RV on, there are numerous leveling blocks, chocks, etc. Get something better than plastic. I am in Texas and the cold killed some of the plastic leveling blocks (which were brand new) under the weight of my RV.

Third piece of advice. Command hooks and wire baskets are going to be your friend. In our case, we don’t have the baskets yet but we are going to use them in our master bedroom due to lack of storage for clothing. Skivvy rolls will fill the baskets with rolled up T-Shirts. I can already hear some groaning from my fellow veterans.

The best thing that we did was go and look at a lot of RV trailers long before we settled. Is the one we selected perfect? No. However, to get the perfect one I would need a new truck and about a quarter million dollars. Find what is close, what is used, and go from there.

Now, prepping wise, we had medicine in our go kits and this came in handy with us all getting sick the first day out. This plays right back into a situation a few weeks ago when we lost power in the brick and mortar home before the move during a severe cold snap. We used on hand sterno cans from our prep to stay warm. Out here we just kick in the propane furnace.

I will tell you that in cold weather use electric heaters to offset your propane. Propane goes quick in cold weather. We will be looking at more ways to set our trailer up to be warmer as well as more energy efficient. We are currently researching solar options as our trailer is solar ready. I will be reaching out to a couple of companies for information and will share what I find in a future post.

Remember, prepping isn’t always about the big happenings, it is also about the little things that go easier when you are better prepared.

I do want to touch on one more thing. Mindset.

RV Prepping is not going to be for everyone. This is for people who need to be mobile for one reason or another. It will affect your preps, what you have on hand, and what you may store offsite. If you do not need to be mobile please consider an alternate form, or use this as a back up if your primary method gets compromised. This takes effort from everyone in the household, more so than regular prepping. Luckily my daughter is on board (she is excited at the prospect of an indoor garden, a project we want to attempt this spring). Approaching RV prepping with the idea that you can do prepping just like any other day is about the same as walking out the door open carrying your .45 and doing things the same way you do them every day. There are fundamental differences. That said, some of what I will learn and test out will apply to home prepping, apartment prepping, and bug out.

I look forward to the next article and please leave comments on what you want to see written about in the future.

One Response to “Starting the RV Prepper Lifestyle

  • Interesting read. I don’t know anything about RV’s or trailers, but I have spent a lot of time sleeping rough. Look forward to seeing where you go with this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.