Bug Out Vehicle Project

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The Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) is an essential part of every preppers inventory.  It is the means by which, should we find ourselves in a SHTF scenario, you will get you and your family to safety.  It should be able to not only provide reliable transportation for the family, but to haul all the gear you plan to take with you.  Alternatively it can also provide shelter, depending on your needs and how you see yourself bugging out.

Other considerations include fuel, water, comfort, heat, etc.  For me personally, I’ve wanted to have an RV as my bugout vehicle for a long time.  Until now my plan has included my 15 passenger van pulling a trailer as transport and someone else in my family driving my truck pulling a trailer as needed.  Our shelter plan was to sleep in one of our large tents and use our potty tent and a bucket toilet.  We have several stoves that we planned to use for food prep and several coolers for food storage.  Many know I have 8 kids – this plan would have worked but it was never optimal to me.  What I wanted was to have an RV that would provide transportation, shelter, food prep, etc all in one.

I’ve been looking for my RV solution for a long time.  As most of you probably know, they’re ridiculously expensive!  Since I refuse to go in debt for it (for anything really) I’ve been hunting for the right deal.  One of my buddies is a mechanic and I let him and several others know I was looking.   Months later, that finally came through for me when the buddy I mentioned found me an older RV that was in cherry mechanical condition that would sleep my whole family.  It’s old and the inside needs to be almost completely re-done, but it’s totally serviceable.  The great part is, I got it for $900.00!

My plan is to be able to park the RV, position the back of the box truck by the passenger door so supplies are readily available and pitch a large wall tent about 8 feet past the door to the RV with a pavilion pitched towards the rear of the RV.  That will allow us a comfortable, open air if we want it, setup where we can live pretty easily.   Now that I have the RV I’m several steps closer to having my bugout plan in place!

So, this fall I’m hoping to make several posts showing the projects we’re doing with it.  I plan to outfit it as a total BOV that we will keep stocked and ready to go.  I’m also still looking for a box truck (like a Ryder moving truck) to complete my bug out plan (to take that instead of my truck).  I already have trailers to pull behind each vehicle so we’re able to take everything with us that we need to.

I’m going to pretty much gut the inside of the RV, replace the beds, carpeting, etc.  Redo the shower, re-upholster all the cushions, install new batteries, replace all the catches on the cupboards, replace the propane fridge with one that works, install a small flatscreen tv, install a HAM and CB radio, install a computer station, figure out a satellite internet solution, fully stock it with non-perishable food, dishes, cooking gear, camping gear, clothes, guns, etc.  I basically plan to redo the entire inside and fully stock it to bug out, should be a fun project!

Here are some pictures of what it looks like right now:

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She ain’t all that pretty, but I like it that way!  It’s a 1978 Ford Econoline.

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Looking to the front from the kitchen area, sleeping area up top, couch and dining area that convert to beds, fridge barely on the right and the sink on the left.

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Looking towards the back from the kitchen – Master Bedroom, bathroom with sink, toilet and shower.  Stove and cooking area on the right.

26 Replies to “Bug Out Vehicle Project”

  1. Congrats on the buy Phil! Looks like you are one step closer to your goal of a BOV. I have been looking at Adventure trailers to pull behind my 69 Land Cruiser or truck as a BOV but haven’t been able to convince my wife that we need one. Maybe some day!

  2. Congrats on the buy Phil! Looks like you are one step closer to your goal of a BOV. I have been looking at Adventure trailers to pull behind my 69 Land Cruiser or truck as a BOV but haven’t been able to convince my wife that we need one. Maybe some day!

  3. I admire your ambition. 8 kids huh, that’s a major logistical operation just in itself. Do you have a retreat location picked out, maybe more than one?

    I have been pondering the bug-in or bug-out question ever since I first woke up to the predicament I believe we are all in. The house is stocked and I have a couple of BOBs of different capabilities for the car and truck along with a tent-trailer that I can tow with the truck. But there is no way I could pack the amount of stuff that I think will be needed for an extended bug-out period. Hopefully when we time our escape everybody else won’t be on the road at the same time.

    Maybe preparing for several different scenarios hoping to cover most of the bases might be prudent. I guess it all depends on the urgency of the bugging out. It could range from just the clothes on your back all the way to having months or years to prepare a retreat.

    I like your plan to create your BOV to suit your specific needs. You can modify that RV to your hearts content without a large expense. Looking forward to your further posts and progress.

  4. I admire your ambition. 8 kids huh, that’s a major logistical operation just in itself. Do you have a retreat location picked out, maybe more than one?

    I have been pondering the bug-in or bug-out question ever since I first woke up to the predicament I believe we are all in. The house is stocked and I have a couple of BOBs of different capabilities for the car and truck along with a tent-trailer that I can tow with the truck. But there is no way I could pack the amount of stuff that I think will be needed for an extended bug-out period. Hopefully when we time our escape everybody else won’t be on the road at the same time.

    Maybe preparing for several different scenarios hoping to cover most of the bases might be prudent. I guess it all depends on the urgency of the bugging out. It could range from just the clothes on your back all the way to having months or years to prepare a retreat.

    I like your plan to create your BOV to suit your specific needs. You can modify that RV to your hearts content without a large expense. Looking forward to your further posts and progress.

  5. Thanks Ekim! I’m really excited to get it renovated – good luck on getting your wife convinced!

    zilla: Thanks, yes 8 kids is a major logistics challenge when considering any kind of preparedness! For bugging in I’m pretty well set (never finished but good enough to feel ok about it). My preference would be bugging in for sure, much more comfortable! There are still way too many scenarios where bugging out may be prudent though.

    Getting the RV brought me one step closer to feeling at peace about possibly having to bug out one day. Trying to make sure that you’re prepped for every scenario you can think of is kind of maddening, but it keeps you sharp as well! If anything, remodeling the RV will keep me busy and out of trouble with my wife :D

  6. Thanks Ekim! I’m really excited to get it renovated – good luck on getting your wife convinced!

    zilla: Thanks, yes 8 kids is a major logistics challenge when considering any kind of preparedness! For bugging in I’m pretty well set (never finished but good enough to feel ok about it). My preference would be bugging in for sure, much more comfortable! There are still way too many scenarios where bugging out may be prudent though.

    Getting the RV brought me one step closer to feeling at peace about possibly having to bug out one day. Trying to make sure that you’re prepped for every scenario you can think of is kind of maddening, but it keeps you sharp as well! If anything, remodeling the RV will keep me busy and out of trouble with my wife :D

  7. good luck! To me it's a beauty. We used to have a '85 vanagon camper, then a econoline van, we finally traded them in for more fuel economy, but we loved keeping those vehicles stocked, for whatever with 4 small kids, and trips across country with room for eight, as our kids grew and added spouses.

  8. My plan is to be able to park the RV, position the back of the box truck by the passenger door so supplies are readily available and pitch a large wall tent about 8 feet past the door to the RV with a pavilion pitched towards the rear of the RV.

  9. As most of you probably know, they’re ridiculously expensive! Since I refuse to go in debt for it (for anything really) I’ve been hunting for the right deal which is quite to share out in blog.

  10. My plan is to be able to park the RV, position the back of the box truck by the passenger door so supplies are readily available and pitch which is well shown in the blog also there are better option to be taken care of.

  11. I’m going to pretty much gut the inside of the RV,replace the beds, carpeting, etc. Redo the shower,re-upholster all the cushions, install new batteries, replace all the catches on the cupboards,replace the propane fridge with one that works, install a small flatscreen tv which is best to share out in the blog also there limited option to share out.

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