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PostHeaderIcon Weekend in the Survival Truck Camper

Some friends and I just spent a weekend in the survival truck camper. It is early December in Upstate NY so it is very cold at night, down into the 20s sometimes. During the day it varies between 30 to 40 degrees. But sleeping in a survival shelter at night can be quite an experience.

A weekend in the survival truck camper

The survival shelter is a slide in truck camper that rides on top of a 4×4 GMC truck. The truck handles the camper quite well in most situations. The camper has all the basic needs for survival and then some. It came with no fridge or heater, so there is more storage space for survival gear.

Survival Shelter and 4x4 Truck

We used oil lamps for light and some heat during the day and early evenings. It was mostly cloudy out so we used the lanterns almost the whole weekend. It helps keep it about 50 degrees inside with two oil lamps going. In the photo above you can see two of my friends sitting at the table and the two oil lamps we used for light and heat.

During the night we left an oil lamp on low as a night light and we tried out my second hand propane heater. This is a Mr Heater Buddy I got for $10 at a garage sale. You can screw in a one pound can or attach a hose to a 20 lb cylinder. I wanted to see how long it lasted on a can, so we screwed in a one pounder and went to bed. The heater was left on low at about 11pm.

Some time in the middle of the night it cold cold. The heat had gone out and it was about 29 outside. The heater only lasts a few hours on a one pounder on low. That is not good.

When we got up in the morning, it was in the high 40s inside. Not too bad considering that only our body heat and the little oil lamp kept it warm.

The moral of the story is that a smaller survival shelter is easier to keep warm in the winter. The smaller space and the amount of gear we have stashed in the camper help maintain the warmth even through the night.

In a real survival situation there would be no propane for heat. We would use homemade oil for our lamps and DIY alcohol for our heating stoves. See how to make the DIY Alcohol Heater we used last time in a blizzard.

PostHeaderIcon Inside The 1979 Coachmen Survival Truck Camper

Here is a look inside the 79 Coachmen slide in truck camper that has become The Do It Yourself World survival camper. This was an old truck camper that was picked up for free from the classifieds online. After only $100 in repairs, it is now a bug out shelter for SHTF situations.

The old camper was partially gutted before, making it the perfect survival camper. The fridge and heater had previously been removed. This actually a good thing. Who needs a propane heater and fridge in a bug out situation anyway? You will eventually run out of propane and there is little or no electricity in the mountains after a major collapse so these items will only take up space later. For now, having the fridge and propane heater removed gives us a lot more space for storage of important survival gear and food.

The propane stove has been left in for now. It is nice on outings and training or camping weekends with the survival camper to cook on the gas stove. There is a huge supply of full 20 lb propane bottles waiting to go with us when we bug out. When used sparingly, these bottles can be used for quite a few years of heating water or cooking. There will be rainy days when a camp fire outside is just not nice at all and having the ability to cook indoors will be good. Again, a 20 lb bottle can last a very long time is only used on rainy days. One bottle can last many months. When using a propane fridge and heater though forget it. The propane would last a week at best. Save your propane for cooking only, and that only on bad weather days.

The original electrical control and inverter box was removed to allow for even more storage space. This camper will never again be hooked up on a campsite power cable so that was just more space freed up. A fuse box was added for 12 volt wiring and LED light bulbs were installed to preserve power. A single homemade solar panel and a deep cycle battery provides the electricity needed for lights.

A look inside the 79 Coachmen survival truck camper

A look inside the 79 Coachmen survival truck camper

Above is a peek inside the door of the old slide in truck camper. (Click on any image for a larger view). You can see that is has quite a bit of room inside, considering that the whole thing sits on the bed of a full sized pickup truck. The door on the left is a bathroom with storage and the door on the right is a closet full of clothing. Yes, this survival camper is fully loaded with clothing. When the SHTF you will have no time to run back inside the house to get more clothes and pack your bags. Be prepared.

Coachmen Truck Camper Closet And Storage Space

Coachmen Truck Camper Closet And Storage Space

Above you can see where the original fridge and heater were. The heater was below the fridge. Now it is storage space. Eventually a wood stove will be installed where the fridge was. When you line the walls with masonry such as bricks, it will absorb the heat and protect the walls from getting hot. After the fire goes out at night, the masonry will still radiate the heat into your camper. The space where the original propane camper heater was is now the battery compartment. This area has room for 4 deep cycle golf cart batteries. That would be enough reserve energy for weeks of power for your LED lighting and a laptop.

Dining area inside the old Coachmen truck camper

Dining area inside the old Coachmen truck camper

When you enter, on your left is the dining area. The table folds down and becomes a double bed. Two adults could sleep there in a pinch. Under the seat cushions is a huge amount of storage. Board games, spare equipment and tools and other various items are stored down there. Dont forget to take board games, cards and entertainment with you on your survival trip.

Alternate View Of Truck Camper Dining Area

Alternate View Of Truck Camper Dining Area

Above you can see the storage area that is just above the dining room. This is a huge amount of storage where our fishing gear, spare survival gear and extra bedding are kept. This whole wall also drops down and becomes yet another bed if you want. Inside the cabinets is a window. Sort of a strange place for a bed considering that you need to remove all of your stored gear, but they certainly thought of packing a lot of options into this little camper. With this bed, the dining table bed and the queen sized bed, they claim that this camper sleeps six adults. It would be very cozy if you know what I mean.

Truck Camper Storage Above Dining Area

Truck Camper Storage Above Dining Area

Above is a better view of the storage above the dining area. An old aluminum ladder was placed on the bed frame up there to provide space to hang jacket or other items.

1979 Coachmen Slide In Truck Camper Kitchen

1979 Coachmen Slide In Truck Camper Kitchen

Here is the kitchen area of the slide in truck camper. This is fully equipped with a three burner propane stove and a sink which converts in to a work space when you put the board on top. There was only cold running water provided in this model of camper which is fine for a survival camper. The tank is a 25 or 30 gallon fresh water tank with a 12 volt RV water pump. This can still be used when hooked up to batteries.

There is plenty of storage above and below the kitchen area. Above are all the pots, pans and dishes. Below are the silverware and utensils in the drawers. Under the sink and stove are all the camp stoves, oil lamps and tons of spare fuel for all. There is enough camp gas and lamp oil for a few years of use.

79 Coachmen Truck Camper Cab Over Bed

79 Coachmen Truck Camper Cab Over Bed

Above you can see the cab over bed in the slide in truck camper. This is a huge queen or king sized bedroom area. The original mattress is long gone, so I put a couple sailboat pads down there. They are rugged and should provide many years of use. And they allow for a lot of storage space up there. You could sleep 3 people up there if needed. On the back wall, above the bed is a long shelf that keeps all the fishing poles and some extra curtains and bedding.

Space for storage in the camp over bedroom area

Space for storage in the camp over bedroom area

The cab over bedroom is so huge that there is plenty of storage space at the foot of the bed. There were originally two storage compartments up here, one at the foot and one at the head of the bed. These were removed during repairs due to mold. A large sized plastic container keeps bedding and extra clothing fresh and safe from pests.

There is even more space in this camper, such as the propane bottle storage area, the black water tank area and even storage around the fresh water tank.

Later the toilet will be removed in order to provide more storage space. A composting toilet will be used instead of the 12 volt recirculating RV toilet that is currently in there. By removing the toilet and black water tank there will be more room for food and supplies.

Here is a video of me getting the old survival truck camper ready for a survival training weekend.

Preparing The Survival Camper for A Training Weekend

Keep watching our Youtube channel for a fully detailed video of all the contents of our Survival Truck Camper.

PostHeaderIcon Preparing for hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is well on its way and we are getting things ready for the biggest storm in years, as they are claiming. We just got finished with a survival training weekend here at the property, just in time for such an event. After stocking up heavily on food and provisions, we are as ready as anyone can be.

We bought bulk food that can be cooked with a camp fire if needed. We have all of our vehicle gas tanks topped off and have about 45 gallons of gas extra in cans. We also have about 30 gallons of drinking water in containers just in case.

I got the old Survival Truck Camper out of the forest and parked up in a large parking lot near the cottage. The slide in truck camper is sitting on top of the 4×4 GMC truck. To stabilize the camper and truck, I put the camper jacks down, leaving the camper on the bed of the truck. This should, hopefully, stabilize them in case of the high winds that are expected to hit this area starting tonight.

I will be video recording the whole event and posting updates as long as there is internet or cell phone connections in our area. We may loose power as early as tonight.

For safety I have left The Off Grid Project camper and moved into a cottage that is half below ground. This is about the safest place one can be during a bad storm.

After the worst of the damaging winds are past, if we loose power, I will move into the survival camper to stay until things get back in shape again. After living through hurricane Irene last year and loosing my business and home, I am not taking chances with this one.

The Survival Camper is fully equipped with solar power, LED lighting, propane cooking and heating, oil lamps, camp stoves, clothing, bedding and more. You could literally live in the survival camper for an extended duration if needed.

Watch this blog and The Do It Yourself Youtube channel for updates. I will keep uploading videos and photos if possible.

Preparing the Survival Camper video:
Survival Camper Preparations

Survival Food Shopping video:
Emergency Stocking Up

Preparing for hurricane Sandy video:
Preparing For The Hurricane

Some notes if you are in the path of a hurricane:

Get everything off the floor. Get anything that can be damaged up high. Trust me, even on a hill the intense rains from hurricane Irene flooded many homes, basements and garages. I lost everything last year. In my antique shop I had things about 3 feet off the floor and lost everything because the flood waters were 4 to 5 feet deep.

To prepare for the hurricane, stock up on flashlights, batteries, water, food that needs little preparation, camp fuel and a stove, portable heaters, candles. Get your blankets ready in case you live in a colder area. You will probably loose power for a long time.

Fill the freezer up with food and ice. Ice will help keep it frozen longer if you loose power. If you do loose power, leave the freezer closed as much as possible. It can stay frozen for about three days. Eat everything out of the fridge first, then work on the frozen food.