OK, now I’m back on the computer instead of my phone, able to catch up. When you’re used to typing 70 words per minute on a keyboard, using the phone to respond is painfully slow and clumsy. So here goes.
Freedom: Do you have an family member that would lend you an area in there yard to add a storage container of some type? Maybe you can find somewhere out of the city that would lease a small area to put a container to store can foods and other items.
My nearest family (parents) are an 8-hour drive away, and think my prepper proclivities are bordering on insanity. As well, they definitely do NOT get along with my wife, so there’s no help there. The nearest friends I have that understand what I’m about are 1200 miles away. And while I’d prefer to be back up in the mountains of Idaho where I grew up (Sandpoint, to be precise), I’m in the technology industry, which means I’d starve there. So, I’m kind of stuck, unless or until I find a small out-of-the-way town to settle down in (keeping fingers crossed!). For a SHTF scenario that affects the region, I have enough fuel to travel 1000 miles without stopping, so I can vacate any particular area, provided I am smart enough to get out before things get too bad. To this end, I watch the news very carefully, and we can be on the road in six hours with pretty much everything. It’s is most certainly NOT the ideal situation, but it’s the best I’ve got, at this point.
Chester: “All the best in your next steps. Personal SHTF situations can be very challenging. Sounds like you are working the best plan you can under such fluid circumstances. You will be stronger for it.”
I think I mentioned in my bio when the site came online, I spent two years as a homeless guy on the streets. The situation isn’t particularly pleasant for me, but I’m dealing with it ok. My biggest regret is that in one way you could say that my foolish mistake has put my entire family on the street, but at least we’ve shelter, food, protection and sufficient money to keep us, if not in the lap of luxury, at least properly fed, healthy and safe. The toughest toll has been on my wife, who as a city girl never imagined such a life and such circumstances. But with her home city being an hours’ drive from the fighting in Ukraine, the perceived safety of her city is now called into question, as well as financial decisions with the western attack on the ruble. Being accustomed to either a large flat or even the house we just sold, she constantly complains about how “small” this is, even though it’s about the biggest motorhome you can buy, short of 40′ bus chassis. ALL of the other livability problems of the motorhome that I’ll mention, have weighed most heavily on her. The kids- 5 and 7 years of age- are quite resilient, and find some way to make things fun and entertaining (even though their idea of entertainment sometimes drives me crazy!).
Going back to the supply situation, the only reasonable solution for refueling (or taking on more water) is to have reserves at a site somewhere around 600-700 miles away (halfway to Idaho, if that’s where we end up going for a final SHTF destination). The best would be to have it in a rented storage facility- a small unit that can be accessed from the outside, with a couple of 55-gallon drums of diesel, food and whatever else we might need. OR, a small utility trailer with additional say four 55-gallon drums of diesel, SHTF food and water stores, etc. I can see no other options for a long-distance trip, running under the assumption that all hell has broken loose. IF an economic collapse occurs and assuming that fuel sales occur in either silver or cash, I’ll have enough to buy what I need, even if prices are outrageous. But if there simply is NO fuel available at any price, then a storage site seems my only remaining option.
Freedom: “Breathial, What about crossing from one state to another state with the weapons laws? You need to be careful.”
Absolutely. Right after we vacated the house, we were boondocking in a local Walmart. Another guy there started trying to pick a fight with the wife and I, got to the point where we were about to come to blows. His behavior is erratic, his face twitches, and he’s one of those guys who looks like he’s lived a HARD life of drugs and booze. I’ve no interest in a fight, and won’t take the chance of getting busted up for some stupid situation I’m simply trying to get out of. As the guy starts to move in, I back way off and pull a knife. Bullies will only attack when victory is assured, so he suddenly was not so hip on the idea of pressing forward with an attack. We pile into the motorhome, and leave. The knucklehead then decides to follow us in HIS RV, and it’s turned into a low-speed “chase,” if you can call it that. Now I have to make a choice; stop and confront this guy with whatever force is necessary to make him go away, or call the cops. I choose the latter. As I’m talking to the cops on the phone, I pull into a huge mall parking lot, and I’m creeping around the parking lots at 5 mph with this idiot still following…. If he stops to get out, we’ll leave. But he just keep following along, until the cops show up. I park, step out of the motorhome, lock the door. My wife stays inside with the now-sleeping kids. The cops search me, take my knife, we tell them our stories. Scum-bag tells them I pulled a knife on him, my wife (through the window) confirms my story. After a while, the cops tell me “we would have done the same thing.”
Now it gets even more weird: as those two cops leave and two new cops (whose jurisdiction the original confrontation occurred in) arrive, we go through the same thing. The cops are military vets like me, we discuss the whole story again, and then they tell me they’d have done the same thing. They then ask me if I have any firearms in the motorhome…………….? IF I say yes, then they’ll have probable cause to search my vehicle. If I say no, and they find some excuse to later search it, I’d be in trouble for lying to the police, and things suddenly get VERY complicated (including having my kids taken by CPS, where a lot of kids happen to die under questionable circumstances). My answer what, “what does that have to do with anything?” They say it’s for their own safety if they have to search my motorhome… then “we just need to know.” Finally, the one cop who’s determined to keep snooping says “you know, it IS your 2nd Amendment right to have guns…” To all of these answers I don’t even respond; I just keep my mouth shut. After 15 minutes of attempting to get SOME sort of answer from me where they can have an excuse to bust into my motorhome, they finally give up. They tell me they think the guy is not believable (and apparently he described my 3″ folding pocket knife as a Rambo blade or something). While brandishing a knife is considered a crime, they let it slide because I was defending myself. No citations issued. We went somewhere else, and finally went to bed, at 2 AM.
WHY do I tell this story? California law states that a moving vehicle, whether a car or an RV, requires specific storage measures for weapons. But when your RV is stationary, whether just sitting in it or sleeping, it falls under “Castle Doctrine” law. Because it’s very difficult to properly store weapons in an RV due to the inability to install a gun safe, you’re pretty much certain that you’re breaking the laws, at least in California. So the only defense against LEOs is to not give them ANY REASON to enter your vehicle. Driving an RV that has to scratch and claw its way to 65 MPH, you don’t have to worry about speeding tickets. Make sure your lights are all working properly, don’t do anything to raise attention to yourself, and the cops won’t even notice you… In other words, the only defense is to NOT look like someone interesting to them.
This dovetails into another aspect about the RV lifestyle that has really come home for me: new vs. old. Think of people that drive around in RVs that are 40 years old but look 80 years old (remember the one in the “Vacation” movies, driven by Randy Quaid? pic attached). If I were a cop, I’d find some reason to pull that sh!t-heap over… for a bad tail-light, or any excuse possible. WHY? But nobody but a complete dirt-bag would be caught DEAD in that. And dirt-bags who tend to ignore societal norms (like shame and embarrassment) will also tend to ignore laws. So having a heap like the one in the picture, would attract a lot of unwanted attention. On the other hand, a lot of people buy super-shiny new RVs, basically a “McMansion” on wheels. Fancy metallic paint-jobs, multiple slides, leather seating and gold plumbing fixtures. Now, while cops won’t generally mess with these rigs any more than they mess with a lawyer-type in a new Mercedes, such an RV would be a very enticing target for desperate people in search of money or food. So my RV- while not “sexy” like the new units costing $200-300k- looks presentable but does not say “I am a juicy target.” It basically says “this is an older RV owned by a nobody.” And nobodies generally don’t have a lot to steal.
“Nondescript” in as many ways as possible, is the goal here. Nothing that looks too flashy, or says “prepper,” such as we are….