Concepts abound for how to provide shelter in the wilds after a bug out escape has been executed. The sheltering ideas are as diverse as there are preppers and the personalities of people wanting get out of Dodge when things go south. The options vary from the totally austere use of a mere tarp thrown over a clothes line between a couple trees, to investing in an outbound parcel of land with a house, barn, or other conventional fixed prep shelter.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author
In between the ends of this spectrum are all kinds of options. Some prefer simple camping Boy Scout type tents, others opting for sturdier outfitter walled tents. Beyond tents are fixed campers on wheels of all designs. Some are lightweight pop-up types with a tent type fold out top, but a solid floor with living conveniences built in. Others are just tiny, enclosed, walled, towable trailers.
Naturally, there are full bore travel trailers of every description on the market from basic units on one axle to huge outfits on dual axles with an extra slide out room or more, and nearly all the amenities of a regular house, only it’s portable. These are self-contained living quarters than can be towed to any outlying camping area, to secured and hidden locations.
Then, there is another category of camping trailers that are just a bit more out of the normal mainstream of camping units. One such outfit named the Timberline Range Camps is located in Mount Pleasant, Utah. A fitting location to headquarter a specialty camping trailer company.
The Timberline Outfit
This team of outdoors minded people have created a line of camping trailers including 11 different models currently available with all kinds of differences in sizes, options, amenities, and equipped to provide about any kind of an outdoor escape shelter. When making an investment like this, there is certainly a lot to consider. While this report is suggesting their use as a potential SHTF Bug Out shelter, naturally they have suitable applications to any outdoors recreational activity from camping in the great outdoors, fishing, hunting, cycle or ATV riding to just relaxing in the woods or by the stream or lake. Such would make great dry runs for a real SHTF event.
Just by appearance one gets the impression of the quality of these units; they definitely have an air of ruggedness about them. They certainly are not cheaply made simple camping trailers with weak frames or construction. These units are intended for extended outdoor living if necessary.
The Timberline Escape Model
For this report, we selected one of the eleven models to concentrate on, so readers would have an idea of the features of one unit. The Escape being appropriately named for prepping and survival, is a unit that is 21-feet long, nearly 8 foot wide inside with an interior length of 16 feet. The height of the unit is 11 feet. Ground clearance on these trailers is of particular interest being 24-inches which is a very high clearance for a unit of this type.
Contained within is a long list of standard features with other options that can be custom ordered. First, at the rear of the unit is a full main bed, a pull out table, twin trundle bed with under bed storage. The Escape is set up to sleep four. Forward is a kitchen, living area with seating benches, a wood stove, a 3-burner cooktop, a 2.7 cu. ft. refrigerator, and a sink. There is a shower and a toilet. You have to realize these campers are designed to maximize minimal space if that makes sense. They are compact for sure, but laid out to be comfortable and utilitarian. Amazingly, there are plenty of cabinets and storage space, too.
These campers have a stronger frame than most and more insulation to withstand colder or hotter weather. These units include a solar panel, 2 30-pound propane tanks, a 20,000 BTU forced air furnace and a water package including a 42-gallon fresh water tank. The units have gray and black water holding capabilities as well.
The electric package includes outlets, lighting and other features to enhance the use of the units. There is a full complement of inside and outside lights, running lights and tail lights. There are two 6-vdc deep cycle batteries for the camper. Full camper hook ups are included in the event you have access to external utilities, water hookups, and gray/black water release hook ups. Options are many including built in entertainment packages, satellite ready, a toy hauler deck for an ATV or motorcycle(s) that then becomes an exterior porch for relaxing.
Read Also: Prepper Basics – Shelter in Place
You just have to review their web site to get a full appreciation of the design and function of these camper units. These would be ideal for a Bug Out escape, and or a ready set up alternative shelter in place, ready to use. Add an outside supply and equipment shed, and any prepper would be comfortable for an extended stay.
How much? Have you shopped the cost of a new car or pickup truck lately? I have. The new Toyota Tundra I would love to have tops $50,000. I will probably settle for a Chevrolet Silverado like I have had since 2008 for around $40,000. The base model Timberline Escape camper goes for around $42,000.
If you think that is expensive then price other camping trailers, a few acres of isolated farmland, or woodland property, and add the cost of building a small camp house. The Timberline’s are well within the reasonable costs for a SHTF Bug Out shelter. And you can move it around as necessary for additional recreational options.
Its there payment plan for the trailer or do have something basic.
You’d have to check with the company, but I feel certain these trailers could be financed.
We can suggest banks to go through for financing. Your regular bank is your best bet. It would be considered an RV loan. The interest is low and in many States you can deduct the interest you pay as a second house. Check with your accountant to find out for sure if you qualify. We do have a Legend that is very basic. It is based on sheep camps that have been used for more than 100 years. It starts at $24,500.
Personally, I prefer a squad (4-man) tent for a mobile SHTF shelter. It’s much easier to hide/camouflage, has a smaller footprint (doesn’t need a road or trail), is man packable (no vehicle needed), and can usually be used with a wood stove. But over all this IMHO, is that a fancy trailer tells potential predators (especially two-legged ones) that you are probably well-stocked, and thus may be a lucrative target! Yeah, it may carry (2) 30-pound propane tanks, but those won’t last long running a heater in winter! How many showers will you take with a 42-gallon water tank? How will you recharge those batteries when the sky is cloudy or worse, will you have to run your pull vehicle or will you need a generator, both of which give out a distinctive audio signal for some distance around and of course, need fuel! These are doubtlessly great camping trailers, but not I think long-term/SHTF shelters. GLAHP!
I’m thinking a bug out trailer is like a rifle. You spend a lot more time carrying it than you do actually shooting it. Consequently a purchase like this is primarily a recreational investment. You have to live your life. If I was using one of these nice units for bug out because my primary was no longer viable, Id want it already staged on a known piece of ground. I’d also like to temporarily remove the tongue for security. The idea of leaving an urban area with the crowd will probably get you looted.
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This article was great and a pleasure to read. My first concern was expense. For the rank and file average Joe six pack of today who works in the lower, dead end, 90% margin of our job base, would a 40K$ price tag for a trailer, and thousands more hand over fist for land,etc, make it a valid choice? For upper level management types, surgeons , top level medical professionals, and the self employed from that same economic strata in the upper 10% of our job market, maybe, I say.
Then we have the paramilitary authoritarian air patrol and its accompanying revenuer foot solders to deal with. These permits, codes, regulations forcing us to make expensive accommodations, only add to that already real money hole being described. In regard to the entire concept of travel trailer type hideaways and bug outs, ideas for alternative approaches would be highly appreciated and very interesting to read.