When you're DIYing it away from home, motel bills can add up fast, and you might still be stuck commuting an hour or more every morning to your hunting spot. Tent camping isn't always a great option depending on your quarry and conditions. But using an RV as your base camp eliminates many of these problems and offers some unique benefits for the traveling hunter.
3 Reasons Why RVs Make Good Hunting Camps
1. Prime Location in the Wild
When hunting takes you off the grid to remote areas, you could be looking at a long haul to get from your lodging to public land every morning. And once you've checked in and paid, you're pretty much stuck in that spot for the duration of your trip.
With an RV, you can typically find a place to set up near just about any hunting area, which means more shut-eye when you need it most. And if one area isn't producing, you can switch gears and move camp across the area—or entire state—at a moment's notice.
2. RVs Bring The Comforts of Home
Even if we pride ourselves as good outdoorsmen and women, it can still be tough to get a good night's sleep while camping on the cold, hard ground. And checking into a sketchy motel is like playing Russian roulette — you could end up with quiet, comfy accommodations or a bed bug-infested room with noisy neighbors.
But when an RV is your home for the week—or month—you can crank up the heat, sleep in a cozy bed, take a long, hot shower, and cook up your favorite comfort meals.
You don't have to trudge through a scent-filled lobby to get to your truck or stay stinky after sleeping in your sweat. You can control the scent in your RV and maintain all-important stealth on your hunting trips. Plus, most RVs offer storage compartments, so you don't have to skimp on the comforts you bring from home or any essential gear.
3. RVs Are a Long-Term Investment
RVs may not be cheap, but they can be significant long-term investments that pay off for hunting adventures and family vacations, tailgating trips, and more throughout the year. No hotel tabs, no dining out — you can be pretty self-sufficient in your RV. If you're getting your feet wet with RVs and aren't ready to invest yet, consider renting an RV and testing out a couple of different models first to see what fits your needs best.
Tips for Using an RV as Hunting Basecamp
Nate Day, an adventure writer and ambassador for THOR Industries, is an avid hunter with plenty of experience using his Highland Ridge Highlander 31RGR as basecamp when chasing elk, deer, and bear.
"Having an RV makes setting up camp much more simple," he said. "With less stress to deal with, it's much easier to just enjoy the moment wherever you find yourself. And with less distractions, the wind in the trees and the smell of the pines are a lot more vivid and enjoyable (this is especially true when you don't have to deal with setting stakes and tying ropes)."
When selecting an RV specifically for hunting, Day recommends looking for a few things:
- Toy Hauler Option: If you have an ATV, UTV, or e-bike and the areas you plan to hunt allow them, you may want to choose a toy hauler.
- Shower: An RV with a shower inside will be critical on long trips, anytime you need to worry about scent elimination.
- Outdoor Kitchen: An indoor kitchen is excellent, but the option to cook outside might be even better for keeping solid smells out of your sleeping quarters.
As you prepare and pack for your RV hunting trip, he suggests you remember several items to keep yourself safe, comfortable, and happy:
- Large Cooler: The last thing you want is to have to throw a deer directly on the floor of your RV. Bring a big cooler to secure any quarry.
- Satellite Phone/GPS Tracker: If you're hunting off-grid, it won't be like any other camping trip. Make sure you're prepared in case of an emergency.
- Target: Get some practice shots during downtime so you can stay sharp.
- Fire Extinguisher: If you're gun hunting, take a fire extinguisher with you, just in case.
- Essential Supplies: Take extra batteries for your headlamp, a saw to cut firewood and a first aid kit for any accidents in the field.
If you're well-equipped and well-prepared, an RV hunting trip can be unlike any other.
"To me, hunting is more than just the meat you bring home. It's about the experience of the real outdoors — the animals, the smells, the weather, the people you bring with you," Day said. "And regardless of the method you prefer, whether it be a duck blind, tree stand or on a mountain bike, having an RV as your base camp makes for some great hunting."