What is a BOV? What does it mean to "Bug Out?" According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Bug Out is a slang term that means "to depart especially in a hurry." Thus a BOV is a vehicle that will allow you to quickly evacuate or escape from a natural or man-made disaster. If you think you're not at risk from a disaster, think again. A review of recent American history will reveal everything from forest fires, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, nuclear reactor leaks, civil unrest, and terrorist attacks. The Bug Out Vehicle gives you greater ability and peace of mind to evacuate or respond to almost any emergency, including lesser one's like a power outage or family illness.
|The 4x4 Provan Tiger Class C.|
|The 4x4 Sportsmobile Class B.|
On the other hand, Class B+ and Class C motorhomes provide more living space then a van conversion, but are heavier, and as result get worse gas mileage, especially for those models offering a slide-out (slide-outs are heavy). The 4x4 feature, however, is difficult to find in Class B+ and Class C motorhomes, but not impossible (the Provan Tiger pictured above is one example of a Class C sporting the 4x4 capability). Another feature that motorhomes offer is the convenience and security of being able to walk from front to back without having to step outside. You can't do that with a Truck Camper.
In my opinion, a 4x4 pickup truck mated with a truck camper makes the best BORV. Assuming you already own a pickup truck large enough and stout enough to support a truck camper, the initial price to purchase a truck camper is much less than what you would pay for a motorhome, especially if you buy used. Not only that, maintenance for a truck camper is less than other RVs and in most states you don't have to pay annual taxes and vehicle registration fees. The truck camper is also versatile. It can be unloaded to set up a base camp, thus allowing you to use the truck for hauling cargo. You can't do that with a motorhome. Truck campers also come in various styles: hard side or pop up, slide-out or non-slide-out, heavy or light. And if you think that a truck camper isn't large enough for a family and doesn't offer adequate holding tanks, think again. The Lance 1191 long-bed truck camper can sleep up to seven persons, while the Arctic Fox 1150, provides an impressive holding tank capacity of 55 gallons of fresh water, 44 gallons of gray water, and 43 gallons of black water.
|TJ Brute w/Sparrow Popup Camper|
When stocking up your BORV, start with the basics. Bring extra jugs and containers filled with fresh water and store them anywhere you can including in your vehicle. These containers may come in handy when it comes time to obtain additional water. Also bring auxiliary sources of lighting. I prefer solar powered flashlights and lanterns that can also be charged from a 12v power outlet. A well stocked tool box is vital. Stock it with a tow strap and all of the basic tools you may need. Include a roll of duct tape, electrical tape, butane soldering iron and solder, as well as spare fuses and light bulbs. Bring along maps and a GPS to help you reach your destination or any other place you may need to go. Also make sure you bring along a well-stocked first-aid kit. And if you take medication, ensure you have an ample supply. It may be a while before you are able to have your prescription refilled.
|A light truck with camper shell.|