Trailer for emergencies- what's your plan? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-17-2016, 12:24 PM   #1
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Bobbie Mayer's Avatar
Name: Bobbie
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
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Trailer for emergencies- what's your plan?

In our recent threat of power outage, I figured I would use the new trailer as backup fridge (on propane) and backup heater (propane). So that would be use one, power outages.

Second use- in case of tsunami threat, moving out of range. I live in a low-lying spot in Puget Sound so if the big Cascadia quake happens, I'd have warning enough to tow the trailer up the hill to safety. Assuming roads stay good we should have plenty of warning. (More local earthquakes I don't worry about- we'd have no warning of a tsunami from those quakes so the only chance would be to head upstairs.) So stalking for an emergency use would include the same things that ought to be in my earthquake kit- water, food for a couple of weeks, batteries, and so on. I'm doing okay at getting one emergency kit together upstairs and figure if the plan is evacuate instead I can gather supplies from there- I guess best bet would be to stow the stuff that isn't duplicated in the trailer in an easy-to-grab bag. The Red Cross has lists for emergencies:

Survival Kits | Emergency Preparedness Kit | Red Cross

Does your emergency plan include your trailer?

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Old 10-17-2016, 02:47 PM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Trailer for emergencies- what's your plan?

It does, but I can't say I have thought it through very well, so I'll be following this thread with interest.

In my area the major threat is wildfire. We have been evacuated twice, both pre-trailer, and in both cases there would have been enough time to pack the trailer. But it makes sense to have some basics ready to go on a few minutes' warning. I'd guess a few days' supply of non-perishable food, a 5 gallon jug of water, and some basic first aid supplies, for starters.

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Old 10-17-2016, 03:07 PM   #3
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Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Posts: 1,807
Mine are certainly setup for bugging out and there is not a lot of difference for me between normal camping and being bugged out really!

I am always stocked with food and water and emergency supplies with the idea being that I can be self-sustaining anywhere if needed.

My motivation is partly due to being involved in Emergency Communications Response and having to be ready to go if needed with little notice.

I tend to carry MRE's for food as they require no water at all except to wash down and can be kept ready for a long time with no real upkeep at all.
I rotate bottled water as I drink it and use the trailer in the driveway as a warehouse of sorts just for this.

I have had to go several times in the past and the only real downside is the real sense of guilt that I can feel for still having so much while most who have not or could not prepare are left struggling with so little.

The main directive though for doing relief work is to not under any conditions be part of the problem,so I prepare.

All of us are just that much closer to having what we need with a roof over our heads!
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:23 PM   #4
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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I leave mine at the ready to use in the event of a power outage etc.

I keep all bedding & towels etc sealed in plastic storage bags in the trailer over the winter. I do leave everything needed for camping in the trailer all the time when not in use. So its simple a matter of tossing in some clean clothing and hook it up. Although I do leave a set of foot wear, a good rain jacket and a warm vest in the trailer at all times.

During the summer months ALL the food is left in the trailer, other than fridge items. In the winter I remove any items that might freeze but I leave at least a few days worth of dry goods/foods etc in it. I keep some fresh water containers by the door leading from the house to the trailer for emergency use so I can quickly toss that in the trailer and go if needed.

A few years ago we had a power outage for several days in December. I did sleep in the trailer at night as I was able to keep it much warmer at night than the old house. Also moved perishables from the home fridge to the trailers fridge and made most of my meals in the trailer.

Worked well and saved me from having to move into a hotel as many of my neighbours did. Building codes in our area do not permit the installation of wood burning fireplaces anymore so most of the homes that have been built or renos done on them in the past ten years have no fireplaces to use as a heating source.
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:18 AM   #5
Name: Larry
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 62
I fill the propane tanks at the end of the season and keep a full spare in the shed also all my gear is stored in the Casita so all I have to do is throw in food, I have none perishables stocked in the garage with water jugs just throw in a few clothes, hook up and Bogie in about 1/2 hour. The only real danger is possible earthquake but since our town is a primary staging airport for big West Coast shake we have lots of local emergency resources.
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:44 AM   #6
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Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
Posts: 1,471
Biggest threat here is a bad storm or hurricane, and we should have plenty of notice for those. That said, when Hermine rolled over I was unprepared when I lost power in the middle of the night. I got up, gathered some bedding and my CPAP machine, and went down to the trailer. Hooked up the CPAP through the inverter just like I was camping and slept good. The trailer was a-rocking, and not in a good way during the storm but all was well. Power was out all the next night as well so I "camped" another night in the trailer. I really should have the Scamp set up to bug out but feel my threat level is pretty low. I do have a few canned/dry goods (does popcorn count?) and some basic clothes in the trailer always so with some water I could hit the trail pretty quick if I had to.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:07 AM   #7
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Casita 17 ft DLX SD
NW Wisconsin
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We live in the Midwest so we are really not concerned with earthquakes or tsunamis. We do have tornados and blizards.
If a tornado comes and takes our home then our trailer will be gone with it . If a we have a blizzard with high winds and heavy snow, travel is impossible so where are we going to go.
We don't keep our trailer stocked for emergencies.
Our home has wood heat and we have 5 cords of oak firewood.
We have a generator to run our refrigerator ,freezer and lights.
We have enough food to last us for a month and a lake full of water to drink.
We have been stuck in our cabin on several occasions and just rode it out.
Being a child of the 50's , I remember all the bug out drills in case of a nuclear attack . Then someone with a brain figured out that if everyone fled the area at the same time all you would have is a HUGE traffic jam with no where to go.
I guess I am too optimistic or stupid or old to worry about using my trailer as a fallout shelter or as an emergency shelter.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:12 AM   #8
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
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Being in socal our biggest threat is earthquake. the trailer is always full of water and the trailer is always plugged into 120 volt so the battery is always charged. The house has back up supplies and more than a couple months of propane and water available in 40 gallon drums. In case of a disaster there is no place to go when you have millions of people and all of our freeway overpasses drop. Water is a big issue. All we can do is hunker down and defend the fort. The trailer will survive better than most of the houses. But it is always ready for inhabitants and relocation if need be. After 3 days local civilization will fail and I hope to never see that happen. Millions of people without a means of escape will not be pretty.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:41 AM   #9
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Name: James
Trailer: Trillium 4500
New Jersey
Posts: 73
Check out the D.light solar charging LED lamps. They are a great thing to add to any kit. They are durable, fairly bright and hold a good charge. I came upon them staying up in Maine in the early spring. The owner gave them to us for light in a yurt we rented. What impressed me was when I found one that must have been burried in snow/ice for the winter. I chipped it out with a ski pole pressed the button and it lit right up.

d.light S20: versatile portable solar lantern & panel

We have a couple of those lamps that we keep sitting in our camper, since we don't really bother with 12v and propane accept for cooking. They will charge in indirect light too. The S20 we got were about about $20 on amazon. I haven't tried there other products but i see a couple that charge cell phones too.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:47 AM   #10
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Name: RB
Trailer: 1992 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 119
We live at the end of a quite-unreliable power line, thanks to taking profits instead of delivering service. Anyway, while it's fun to postulate the zombie apocalypse and the need to bug out, a much more likely scenario for us is a day's power outage (as we had last week from a gentle rain and wind), or a five days' outage, as we had during the 'snowpocalypse' of 2009 and the derecho of 2012.

We stock the basement for these outages and I have adequate generator fuel to keep the freezers cold and the down stairs AC going as needed for a few days at any given time.

For an extended outage, though, the Casita seems a great way to bug out to across the driveway. I could keep the house just above freezing very economically or ignore air conditioning it and just live in the trailer for a few days. Run the generator an hour or two in morning and evening to cool the freezers back down.

We're also going to be doing some remodeling and I think the Casita will become the temporary lounge/sitting room/kitchen as necessary during that process.

I suppose if we have something like a tornado come through and miss the trailer we could bug out or camp over the ruins as well...
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:05 PM   #11
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Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
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I LOVE that this thread is so active! Thanks, Bobbie, for starting it!

I'm going to take everyone's suggestions and Paul and I will make a plan. I know we can't provide for everything.

Our efforts may be like the time we wrote up a list of "must train" commands for our new puppies. We finished it after a couple hours' painstaking discussion, careful weighing of options, deliberate reasoning and winnowing. Then we went into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee.
When we came back the dogs had eaten the list.

But it's worth a shot! And some plan is better than none plan.

I think we have got to get an inverter to hook the trailer to the car for some 110 power. (Microwave and space heater.) We can do a lot of microwave cooking on a tank of gas!
Semper ubi sub ubi.
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:37 PM   #12
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post

I think we have got to get an inverter to hook the trailer to the car for some 110 power. (Microwave and space heater.) We can do a lot of microwave cooking on a tank of gas!
Kai the problem with relying on gas in the car to generate power for a heating system or cooking is that in most emergency situations gas stations historically run out of gas supply fast. As everyone heads straight to the gas station to fill their cars and portable tanks for generators etc on hearing of a potential up coming storm or other situation. We saw a number of towns here in BC earlier this year run out of gas, due to the evacuations that took place due to wild fires. Not to mention hundreds of cars left on the sides of highways as they ran out of gas and no place to refill. They counted on people passing by to pick them up and get them clear of the area.

As a result I do make sure the propane tank is kept fairly full all the time and always refill it at the end of the season and I have a spare one full in the garage as well. The issue for me is battery power - mainly due to the power the propane furnace uses up. To save battery power although I do have LED lights in the trailer, I also have a number of battery powered lanterns in the trailer that I will use if I am trying to conserve battery power for the furnance. Keeping the battery topped up is not an issue in sunny weather as I do have solar but it can be a problem in the dark days of winter. I now have a small Honda generator as well that is kept on hand for such events & it will recharge the battery on the trailer fairly fast and number of times on its small gas holding tank. I do keep a small 1 gal. can of gas full at the house that I also use for lawn mowers etc so the gas is not going bad due to sitting unused for long periods of time.

I also keep the trailer plugged into a Battery Minder year round so that the batteries are always full & ready to go on the trailer. So even without any other source for charging up the battery I am going to be good for at least a couple of nights in the trailer in cold weather.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:31 PM   #13
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
Posts: 575
My trailer sits ready to go if needed, I keep it plugged in year round so the battery is always charged, propane tanks are full, water tank is full as well as plenty of bottled water left in the trailer. A small Honda generator plus a small space heater to avoid using the furnace. It only takes a couple of minutes to load food. Just need to hope a road is open to reach high ground.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:53 PM   #14
Name: Lee
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 66
Earthquake! Country

We have bee reminiscing about the Loma Prieta quake, anniversary yesterday.
We also try to keep our Casita stocked and this is a good reminder to stock up.
We have used her when we have had power outage, but we do have atwo generators and fuel on standby.
This thread is a good reminder to restock food and water. Since we live in the country our well has a very high mineral content, therefore I keep softened water in my tank and stock gallon jugs of water for drinking. Plus five five gallon jugs in the shed. As long as the actual well isn't ruined the generator will power it, we have a smaller unit just for that purpose.
My sister lives outside Astoria Oregon and are rural and are actually a designated spot to retreat to in case of earthquake or tsunami. One thing they have that hasn't been mentioned is a water purification unit. We are close to a river so this is on my list, if worse comes to worse we can replenish water there with the proper water cleaning unit.
Great reminders here. Our little homes are a wonderful asset.
It is a good thing to know how to cook outdoors, consider it a survival skill. I have had people tell me I would be good to have around in an emergency because I can cook just about everything on a fire or in my Dutch ovens.

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