KEYWORDS: water, camper, city, trailer, gas, source

Have Trailer--Will Travel--Part 4: Campers & Survival

David Berg

DFO812-413 July 1979

1. THE SMALL VAN-TYPE CAMPER IS FINE FOR TRAVEL & VACATION OR WEEKEND CAMPING, & you might manage to survive in it for a whole Summer! But they would be pretty difficult to live in for a Winter or full-time, & with one or two kids it would certainly be pretty cramped if there were no place outside for the children to play under cover. You would have some madhouse stacked on top of each other like that inside that small a space in bad weather!

2. SO, I WOULDN'T ADVICE THE SMALL VAN-TYPE CAMPER FOR ANYBODY WHO IS PLANNING TO LIVE IN IT YEAR 'ROUND, unless there are just a couple of you, maybe with only one child. Because you would certainly get in each other's hair! However, if you are living in a perfect climate, of course, an ideal climate where you can live outdoors all the time, & you only have to go into your camper to sleep or cook or eat, then perhaps you could endure it quite awhile.

3. THE MAIN ADVANTAGE OF THE VAN-CAMPER or the motorised truck or bus type motor-caravan, house-car or motorhome, is the ease & safety of handling, parking & the economy. The van is not much bigger than a car, & the larger types of motor–homes are like driving a truck or bus which is equipped to handle that much weight & load, & are much easier & safer than pulling a trailer with your car!

4. THE MOTOR-CARAVAN ALSO HAS ONE OTHER VERY DISTINCT ADVANTAGE OVER TRAILERS: YOU CAN RIDE IN THE CAMPER & USE IT WHILE YOU DRIVE! So therefore, if you are going to take long trips‚ extended travel‚ & you are going to be on the road a great deal, & travelling a lot‚ maybe the thing for you is a motorised camper or van. You'll want to use it while you ride‚ & you'll want something that's easy to handle, does not take much space to park, & you can use it for both transportation & housing. Then of course‚ the ideal thing is the motorised camper.

5. BUT THEY ARE VERY EXPENSIVE‚ the bigger ones usually costing four & six times what the same size trailer would cost! But of course you are buying a truck along with your camper, a van with living space, & of course that costs extra.—And the big ones are real gas guzzlers! With the Ark we got an average of only about five miles to the gallon (above one mile to the litre!), which really eats up the petrol!

6. IT MAY SOUND STRANGE TO BE TALKING ABOUT CAMPERS & TRAVELLING & CAMPING OUT IN THE FACE OF THE COMING OIL SHORTAGE & OIL WAR when there won't be any gasoline! But I want to tell you something that may surprise you!: I have already advocated campers or trailers to be prepared for just such disaster or catastrophes! Because once you have learned how to camp out or live in a camper or trailer‚ even if you can't move it, when the disaster happens, you will probably not be on the road any way—you will probably be camped out some place, away from the cities, in some rural areas where at least you have a safer more certain source of water!

7. OUT CAMPING, SOURCES OF WATER ARE USUALLY MUCH MORE DEPENDABLE THAN THEY WOULD BE IN THE CITY, & you are not as apt to be as affected by bombs or even fallout as in the city or big towns. Because while camping you are usually out in the country or the forest, by lake or sea or river or spring or somewhere away from the target areas. You are more independent, & your water supply is usually more independent. Even your electrical supply may be more independent, run by an independent generator of the camp itself or the small town nearby, & not as affected by any loss of water or electricity or gas as in the big city.

8. IN A DISASTER OR WAR, YOU'RE ACTUALLY FAR SAFER LIVING IN A CAMPER OR TRAILER CAMPED OUT IN THE COUNTRY THAN YOU WOULD BE IN THE CITY! So even if you run out of gas, at least you've got some place to live, probably a source of water, & possibly a source of electrical power still operating from your local camp, nearby small town or whatever. Even if you can't get any more bottled gas‚ you can build a fire outside with wood or something.

9. YOU HAVE A MUCH BETTER CHANCE OF SURVIVAL CAMPED OUT IN THE WOODS by a fresh water lake, stream, pond or spring, than in the city. You've got a more sure source of water & firewood‚ & if you can't build a fire inside any more & you don't have any more gas or electricity, at least you can build a fire outside & do your cooking there.—And when you close up a camper or trailer in the Wintertime, if there are several people living in it‚ you will find that even the body heat is almost enough to heat it!

10. YOU WILL STILL BE ABLE TO COOK & KEEP WARM!—Even if you have no fire inside, no gas nor electricity, you have a much smaller space in which to live that's much easier to keep warm & heat than a house!—And if you can find some kind of little wood stove or still get even a little coal, oil or kerosene or anything at all to burn‚ it will be much, much easier to heat your camper or trailer & use much, much less fuel than these big extravagant houses & apartments which are so hard to heat & eat up the fuel!

11. YOU WILL HAVE A LOT LESS PROBLEMS OF SURVIVAL CAMPED OUT, living in campers or trailer caravans‚ than you would in a nice luxury home or apartment in the city! So, don't be worried about running out of gas & not being able to travel—there won't be anybody else travelling either! Everybody'll be in the same boat, & you'll all have the same problems, except that your problems will not be as big as theirs!

12. YOU WILL PROBABLY BE CAMPED NEAR SOME SOURCE OF WATER THAT'S STILL RUNNING & TOILETS THAT STILL WORK‚ even if they are nothing but a hole in the ground! But when the city water stops, the city toilets stop flushing, & can you imagine what a mess those people are going to be in?!—With no electricity‚ no gas, no wood, no fire, no water?! They are not going to be able to cook, drink, eat or flush their toilets!

13. BUT YOU'RE OUT‚ FREE & AWAY IN THE WOODS where you can get water, firewood, cook & still go to the toilet! You're camping out! Your little vehicle doesn't take much heat—you can even heat it with body heat, even if you have to wear your clothes & overcoat inside to keep warm! You'll still have some source of water that's not affected, & you'll be much better off than the people in the city, even if your gas, lights & electricity are all cut off!

14. YOU'VE GOT LESS TO WORRY ABOUT, less housing space to heat, & you're closer to some source of available water. Try to always make sure you are camped near a reliable source of water that's not going to fail in the event of an electrical failure, war, shortage, disaster or catastrophe! Campgrounds that are dependent on city electrical supply or city water, their supply would probably fail.

15. BUT CAMPS BY SMALL TOWNS WOULD PROBABLY STILL BE OPERATING, as small towns would probably not be hit, & therefore still able to furnish water for electricity, especially if they generate their own with coal or something that is not going to be cut off by the Oil War. They still may even have gas!—And they will most likely still have some source of water that's dependable, not just a well that has to be electrically pumped, but preferably a river, lake, pond, stream or spring would be the most reliable.

16. SO I ADVISE YOU TO TRY TO STAY NEAR THE FRESH WATER LAKES & RIVERS. The sea won't do you much good—it's too salty!—Camp where you can get your drinking water & cooking water & bathing water at least, & also where there are outhouses or some means of sewage disposal. Most camps & campers are going to be far better off in the coming disaster & Oil War than the people living in houses & apartments in the city!

17. SO CHEER-UP! DON'T WORRY ABOUT RUNNING OUT OF GAS!—You will still be better off than the rest of the people, even if you can't move it! Yes, you can at least stay warm in your little trailer or camper better than people can in their big houses & apartments in the city without any heat!

18. THE OTHER NIGHT I DREAMT that we were fastening two long pieces or wood to a trailer tongue for a horse to get between them, attaching these to the underside of the trailer, & we were harnessing a horse to the trailer! Most of these small light camp trailers you could easily pull with a horse! I don't know how well he would do going uphill, but most horses are pretty strong & powerful.

19. YOU COULD ACTUALLY PULL A SMALL CAMP-TRAILER WITH A HORSE, MULE OR A "HAY-BURNER". Horses are really going to be in short supply, let me tell you—even mules & donkeys—when that happens! So, you'd better get your horse now, if that's what you're planning on!

20. EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY MORE GASOLINE, THE BOATS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE BACK TO SAILS, SAILBOATS, & they could carry your camper anywhere in the world! There are already companies in England manufacturing carriages & wagons in preparation for the oil shortage & also large sailing vessels like the fast Clipper ships! In the good old days when they used wind power, they didn't have to worry about oil & gasoline & diesel, & dirty up the oceans!

21. SO IF YOU STILL HAD TO MOVE YOUR CARAVAN‚ HAVE A HORSE PULL IT ONTO A BOAT, & SAIL AWAY!—You'd still have your house with you, & all your stuff as well! Camper or trailer travel is one of the easiest ways in the world to move, because you are always packed & loaded‚ you don't have to move a bunch of trunks & luggage or household goods!

22. AND YOU'VE ALWAYS GOT SOMEPLACE TO LIVE! It's all in one nice cute little portable box!—Gas or no gas, horse or no horse!—And you'll have the horselaugh on all the rest! Get that camping equipment &/or camper NOW!—Tomorrow may be too late!—And enjoy it now while you wait!