Is An RV a Good Idea For a Bug-Out Vehicle?

First of all, I’d like to thank the folks that left so many good ideas on my Fishing For Ideas article.  Over the next month or so I’ll write on the various topics suggested by you all.  Today’s post is a direct answer to one of our readers, jennie, who wrote in with several topic ideas.

One of her questions had to do with using an RV as a bug-out vehicle and whether or not I thought it was a good idea.  Thanks jennie – this is a great question I’ve thought about before, and since I’ve already done a little thinking around this topic it I’ll try and flesh it out here.

Quick answer:  No.  I don’t think an RV would be good to use for a bug-out.

Allow me to elaborate.

Not long ago I wrote a post about Camping As Practice For a Bug-out.  I have a twenty-six foot camper for taking the family to local campgrounds and wondered about the idea of using it for an evacuation and posited that it might indeed be useful under the right circumstances.  If I had time to hook it up to my truck and conditions weren’t too bad it would indeed work out well.  Having said that, if road conditions were bad or I needed to run quick I can always ditch the camper and boogie out in my truck.  The thing is a beast and at the first sign of trouble I’d ditch it because, frankly, I can easily live without it.  It’s merely a way to keep the family comfortable during a hard time.  If it came down to survival, I’d ditch it in a second and use my wilderness skills (if needed) to keep us alive.  Survival is very different from camping comfortably.

jennie didn’t say how big her RV was, but in general they aren’t small vehicles.  They get poor gas mileage and aren’t all that maneuverable under the best of conditions.  Newer RV’s are wonders of innovation and technology and truly can be roving apartments, but the price for that is size and weight.  I met a guy at the campground with a beautiful RV and after sizing it up I looked at him and said, “What do you get for gas mileage?  Six miles to the gallon?”  He pointed at me and said, “You nailed it right on the head.”

I can think of many bad situations where being in one of these big beasts would cause problems.  You’d be stuck to main roads, so if your bug-out plan called for a short trip across country you could probably forget it in the RV.  You’d be limited by the amount of gas in your tank and I wouldn’t be too sure about gas stations open during some kind of full scale emergency.


What About a Smaller RV?

A smaller motor home like what’s shown below would be better, but it’s still a road vehicle.  It might be ok going down dirt roads, but as soon as you have to do some serious

off-road you’re going to be in trouble.  Plus the small motor home would only be good for a single person or a very intimate couple.  I can tell you from personal experience that as soon as you get a couple of kids on board you want to have a little more room for them to play.

If I had a choice of a rugged vehicle to pull my camper it would definitely be the hummer in the picture.  It’s rugged and

I’ve driven them many miles in all kinds of terrain and never had a problem with them getting stuck or not doing what I wanted them to do.   And if I could get one with the ring mount machine gun like this one I’d be all set for the zombie apocalypse!
What do you want for a perfect bug-out vehicle?

-Jarhead Survivor