Motor homes : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Having never owned a motor home, I have a few questions. How do they generate electricity? Do they rely on gas for all their functions? Are they a viable living alternative? Do they require connections to things outside themselves? Thanks.

-- Amy Leone (, July 13, 1998


Hi Amy,

First, obviously they require gas for the engine. They also generally use propane for refrigeration and cooking. RVs use 12 volt dc lighting, so they are able to run the lights right off the a car battery, charged by the generator while you're on the road or, most RV dealers will install a photovoltaic solar panel/battery pack combination without using the dc/ac inverter that's needed in a house. Any appliances need to be 12 vdc.

You also need water, food and toilet facillities. RVs have holding tanks for wastewater. Next time you're traveling on an interstate note the rest stops. Some have holding tank dumping. The RV has some water storage, but not a lot.

Some of the people considering heading for the hills have noted that a person could buy (or lease) a lot, have a hugh (1000 gallon) propane tank installed, and then simply drive in with an RV and hook up. These people would also include a propane fired generator in the package in order to keep the batteries charged if it's cloudy for a few days.

-- Rocky Knolls (, July 13, 1998.

Amy: They are viable living quarters depending on how many people will be living in one, and how big it is. There are people who travel all over the United States in RV's and trailers, it is their home on wheels. If you are planning to park it somewhere as a bug out, you will probably want to get that taken care of right away. Rocky is right about the 1000 gallon propane tank. We have a trailer that has a propane refrigerator, oven, stove, water heater. I'm considering taking it to a safer location as a backup alternative. Good Luck! P.S. I would buy a good used one! Up in my neck of the woods, they have then for sale everywhere! As with anything, BUYER BEWARE!

-- Barb-Douglas (, July 13, 1998.

Ok, thanks for the info, but you didn't mention heat. Do they have propane heat also?

-- Amy Leone (, July 14, 1998.

Yes, they usually have propane heaters in them. You want to make sure they have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors too!

-- Barb-Douglas (, July 14, 1998.

Amy, we not only have an old motorhome ('73 model), we lived in it fulltime for almost 7 years. We also spent 7 months "dry camping" just to test our survival skills. We found that we still had to haul water, propane, and "black water" (sewer stuff) from and to the sight, as well as at least a monthly trip to the grocers for supplies. We also haunted flea markets for used parts and equipment that fit our unit as back-up in case of replacement/repair needs. We ran the generator once a day for 3 hours, usually 7pm to 9pm to bring the freezer we carried on a utility trailer, behind the MH, up to speed. At the same time if we had any machine things to do, like sewing machine, sawing, etc., we'd do that, too. If only one of us was occupied doing that, we'd watch a movie on the VCR/TV. Food storage, clothing and meds we're stored in the upper bed area (it's a class "C" cabover) and overflow was on the trailer.

I suggest if you want to use a MH as your Y2k survival unit, and have specific questions, perhaps I can help you. I'd certainly be willing to help. Just E-mail me.


-- Sandra Jory (, July 19, 1998.

I have lived in an rv for about 6 months, and most of what you said is fine, but what about water? Are you going to drill a well? If you live next to a river, how are you going to purify the water? How are you going to store enough food, where are you going to put it?

RVs are dependent on Services.

Gil Chandler

-- JG CHANDLER (, July 30, 1998.

So is every other type of home.

-- Rocky Knolls (, July 31, 1998.

I am reactivating this thread- want to know if any of the folks who posted orinally (last post here was in July '98) are still active here. Our family is thinking seriously of purchasing a used RV and use it a a temp dwelling while we are busy building and/or fixing a place we intend to live in. Besides, the RV may also be used as a spare bedroom for guests we think will finally decide to be with our family. Need all the help and advice from folks with RV experience...been there, done that types that could help us decide.

-- Joseph (, December 30, 1998.

All of the usual considerations are found here:

Water (units carry little) and purification

Greyn water disposal (ffrom dish washing etc)

Black water disposal (sewage!!)

Fuel (deisel or gas)

Heat, cooking, light (Propane, deisel/kero 1, colemanm/white gas)

food storage (it don't have a basement or an attic

PERSONAL SANITATION!!!! This is a CLOSE quarters living arrangem,ent, so if you don't smoke, and someone else does, the rules will end up favoring the non-smoker. You will also want to schedule DAILY bathing, as the MH can get VERY close.


-- Chuck , etc (, December 30, 1998.

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