Many “boondockers” (off the beaten path RVers) like knowing that with solar panels, extended tankage, and satellite connectivity they are self-sufficient and can go anywhere. Other RVers tow a secondary vehicle and use their RV as a base from which they venture further afield. Whatever it takes to keep them happy and enjoying the RV lifestyle, it pays for RV travelers to take a moment to think about what onboard systems and gear feed that passion, and how they might protect, repair, or replace them if it comes to that.
For both vacationers and live-aboard travelers in Recreational Vehicles, backup planning falls into three main categories that include personal preparedness, equipment and vehicle preparedness, and evacuation planning. This article will deal with equipment choice and evacuation planning.
Vital Equipment for Recreational Vehicles
In addition to the standard RV and outdoor gear, here‘s a list of non-standard items that many full time RVers consider critical to their lifestyle:
- Solar Panels
- Satellite Dish
- Cell Phone
- Water Purifier
- Secondary Vehicle
- Boat, canoe, or kayak.
Emergency Equipment Planning for RV Travelers
Travelers in a Recreational Vehicle with the ability to stay “out” for a week or more have one major advantage. They don’t necessarily have to pick up and go with every warning on the weather alert radio. But it is crucial for them to be prepared to pack up and go at a moment’s notice.
Longtime RVer and author of Taking the Mystery Out of Retiring to an RV and co-author (with Jaimie Hall-Bruzenak) of RV Traveling Tales: Women’s Journeys on the Open Road Alice Zyetz cautions RVers to be aware of what county they are in because weather reports are often cited by county. Try to think regionally. Nearby big cities and resources may not appear on a state map. For this reason, an atlas may be more reliable than a map.
In addition to route planning, it’s a good habit to have a system in place for breaking camp and hitting the road. Have a place for everything, and everything in its place. Organize gear into kits and containers, keeping similar items together, or items that are parts that fit together in the same box. RVers should do their best to store kits and containers in the same place each and every time the RV gets packed. That way there’s no mystery, and no struggle to make things fit. Using this system, it only takes a glance to see that all bins and stowage cupboards are filled and packed as they always are.
First Aid Kits & What To Take When Evacuating With or Without an RV
Stories abound of people who remembered to pack clothes and food, but forgot their medication, or put the cat in their tow vehicle but forgot the cat box. So, it pays to think about not just where to go, but what to take when the time comes.
A basic first aid kit should contain bandages (band-aids and gauze/sterile pads), antibiotic ointment, scissors, latex gloves, non-prescription painkillers, cold/heat compresses, and ace bandages). Other items to include in an evacuation kit include water, a sleeping bag or blanket, and a fire safe with important documents, (including copies of vehicle insurance for the RV and secondary vehicle, passports, credit cards, prescriptions, and others), a thumb drive with important computer files and prescriptions and other life sustaining key personal documentation.
For travelers evacuating in their RV during a crisis, most everything they’ll need should be aboard. But if evacuation in the RV is not practical, they’ll need to think about how long they are going to be away. Longtime RV traveler Betty Prange encourages RVers who tow a secondary vehicle to keep a full evacuation kit in this second mode of transport. Because they are rarely at the motor home without the car, but often in the car without the motor home, this extra kit will ensure that they are never without basic survival gear if stranded away from their RV for a short period of time.
When proper attention has been paid to organizing gear and equipment beforehand, RVing offers a terrific amount of freedom and great flexibility, which may contribute to safety in an emergency situation.