What is a bug-out vehicle (BOV)? What does “bug out” mean? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, bug out is slang for “to depart especially in a hurry.” A bug out vehicle can quickly evacuate you and your family or from a natural or man-made disaster, as well as away from areas of civil unrest.
A bug out vehicle will give you a greater ability to evacuate or respond to almost any emergency; everything from hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, nuclear reactor leaks, civil unrest, and terrorist attacks. If you think the government will be there in a few hours, or even a few days after a disaster, think again; it may take as long as a month before help from state and federal agencies arrives. It’s smart to keep your RV stocked with water, fuel and non-perishable foods. It’s also essential to have a place ready to bug out to in a moment’s notice.
A good bug out RV should meet five basic requirements.
#1- It should be big enough to transport your whole family.
#2- It should get good gas mileage, with a gas tank large enough to get well out of harm’s way.
#3- It should be large enough to store enough food and water, and provide shelter for at least 72 hours.
#4- It should be a four-wheel drive with ground clearance.
#5- It should have the ability to tow, or be towed, to increase your shelter and storage capacities.
Is there such a thing as a great bug-out vehicle that can meet the five requirements? A small, well-stocked bug out RV (BORV) will take you and your family out of harm’s way; likewise, it will also provide you and your family with food, water, and shelter.
What’s the definition of a small RV? Something less than 22 feet. This could be a small Class B van or a small Class C motorhome. Even better, a 4×4 truck camper, or a 4×4 truck pulling a small trailer with good ground clearance.
In a bug-out situation, a large RV, such as a 40 foot Class A motorhome, will reduce your ability to go off-road, into more remote locations, and may also draw unwanted attention. On the other hand, a smaller more maneuverable RV, especially a 4×4, can allow you to camp anywhere. You can also pull into a single parking space, or in someone’s driveway. Of course, if you already own a larger RV, that can work too; you’ll just need to be more careful about where you can go.
Assuming you already have an RV, keep enough food and water to last at least 72 hours. Even better, at least a one week supply of food, water, and fuel (propane and gas). You’ll be off the grid, so your bug out rig should have at least two 12 volt deep cycle batteries for power. You also need the ability to recharge them with either a solar system (at least 175 watts) or a generator. You should also keep an AM/FM or shortwave (HF) radio as a source for news, and/or a TV capable of receiving either satellite or OTA signals.
Stock extra containers of fresh water, and store them anywhere you can, including inside your tow vehicle. Also stock a good water filter, like a ProPur. Also bring solar powered flashlights and lanterns that can also be recharged via USB. A well-stocked toolbox is essential; include a tow strap, duct tape, electrical tape, butane soldering iron, and solder, as well as spare fuses and light bulbs. Make sure to bring paper maps and a GPS unit, and know where you are going. Bring along a well-stocked first-aid kit. And if you take medication, make sure you have an ample supply.
Whatever type of RV you can afford, or already have to work with, it is best to be prepared!