BORVs serve well as homes away from home. Their primary use as shelter when on a trip obviously extends into bug out situations. This small leap of imagination from fun and utility to survival isn’t hard to make. But there are some other uses that may add to their flexibility.
Whatever their strengths and vulnerabilities, trailers and motor homes of sufficient volume are able to serve as base camps. The storage of clothing, food, water, personal camping gear, medical equipment, computers, maps and other items suited for further exploration into an environment make an RV a capable, if unexpected, base. An RV is a much better place to store and cook food than an open air setup. Animals are less likely to attempt a raid on a camp with vehicles and an RV, and are doomed to fail at getting to your leftovers.
They serve as a rally point for those returning after an outing, a place to rest after outings and to discuss discoveries, to plan “next moves”, and to select and configure gear for special situations.
Their storage and work areas ease the tasks of maintaining equipment that is worn, damaged or broken, or even modifying it for greater utility and ease of use. Some of the items that may need attention:
- clothing, sleeping gear, tents and tarps
- boots, shoes and waders
- hiking packs
- camp equipment such as cook stoves, canteens, mess kits
- inflatable rafts and small hard-shell canoes and kayaks
- motor cycles and ATVs
- radio gear, flashlights and other small gear
- weapon cleaning, servicing and repair
Communications from the camp are made possible by room for powerful gear and the use of ample battery and generator power for radios of all types, base and portable. The roof provides a large surface for mounting solar panels for charging, and whatever antennas might be suited for certain purposes. Recharging portable radios can even be done through the 120 volt system, if an inverter is installed to convert 12 volts to 120. With a large enough unit, there may even be a dedicated radio room. Some of the fifth wheel trailers have ample bunk area in slide-outs that can be converted to specific purposes.
Security from the elements, a place to rest and recuperate, water and sanitation – all of these are needed for recovery during and after medical emergencies. An RV of good size should be able to handle both daily living and medical recovery. Once again, storage is king. Emergency medical supplies take room. Supplies used in recuperation take even more. When dealing with moderate to severe wounds, the patient will consume bandages and tape, which are changed daily. Irrigation fluids such as saline or hydrogen peroxide, gloves, hot or cold packs, ointments, splints, wraps and field kit restocking supplies all take up room. Clean wounds and proper wound care require the use of supplies that are difficult to replace in the field. Stocking in quantity is a good idea.
Some RVs are well suited for quarantine. The toy haulers built with a dividing wall between the garage and living quarters are perfect for this. Close and seal the door, and block the air returns, and the garage will securely accommodate 2 to 4 persons in need of isolation. The care provider can access them via the back door, or the side door if equipped. (These compartments also make good radio and conference rooms.)
In a worse case scenario wherein group security is a constant issue, it is possible that a large RV can serve as a barracks. I say “possible” because a better arrangement is likely to be a security force distributed around the camp, at some distance from the vehicles. But where the camp itself is secure, but the surrounding area is not, or where the group has arranged with local people to aid in area security, the RV may work as a barracks. Receiving word over a radio that help is needed, it is quick and easy to make a plan, distribute instructions and mobilize people when they are right there in front of you.
Certain models lend themselves to creative space utilization. You can read that to mean there are voids that can be accessed. These are sometimes suited for firearms storage, if stocking them in an obvious gun rack or cabinet isn’t desirable. Quick access to defensive firearms is a good idea, though, and if the floor plan allows for it, include a locking cabinet rated for firearms. It may also serve as storage for items that need protection, such as cash, papers and high value barter items.