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Take a Trail Cam on your RV trips

| Updated Jan 4, 2016
Take a Trail Cam on your RV trips 1
This doe showed up not long after dark on the first night I put out the trail cam

I love shooting animals.

With my camera.

As a native Michigander, I grew up hunting. But something happened a few years ago. I just didn't want to shoot them with a gun anymore. So I started using a camera. I have nothing against those who do. I still head out to the marshes with my friend Jay and sit for hours on end in a duck blind. I just don't want to kill them.

Anyway,  as part of our RV traveling, I've sometimes used a trail cam to see what wildlife happens to be around when we're not, or sleeping inside our Roadtrek.

You can see some of the photos I've snapped over the years and how I set it up below.

Trail Cams are pretty sophisticated these days and very popular with deer hunters. Set one up on in the woods near a game trail and hunters can pretty much find a guaranteed ambush spot and time during hunting season.

Why not take one RVing, I wondered? If you're like me, you know there are critters out there near the RV. Usually, they keep their distance when you're out and about.  But disappear for a while and they show themselves.

So, not far from my favorite spot near the Paint Creek in Oakland County, Michigan, I set up a Cuddeback scouting camera to see what was nearby. Here's what it looks like.

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This panoramic shot shows my set up. I mounted the trail cam on a board and leaned it against a tree pointed at a spot where tracks indicated deer were crossing Paint Creek, on the right

Trail and scouting cams vary in price from under $100 to over $1,000. The more expensive ones are wireless. The Trail Camera Reviews website does a nice job of covering the basics and telling you want to look for in each model.

The unit I have records photos to a flash card and runs on four D batteries. I can get several hundred pictures before having to replace the batteries. It is motion activated and takes 3 MP color photos during the day time infra red black and white shots at night. It's about five years old. I am very seriously thinking about upgrading to a better one. If you think that's a good idea and want to see what higher quality images and trail cam video looks like, let me know under comments and I'll get one and do a future post. I've got my eye on one and I just need your encouragement to convince Jennifer we need it because our readers are clamoring for it.

Meantime, here's some images captured with my old trail cam. It's amazing what's out there.

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Most trail cams shoot color in the day and infra red black and white at night. This is a nice little four-point buck that came by.


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A herd of does and their yearlings visited. This was shot about 2 AM


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It's like a Walt Disney movie out there. Check out the beaver and the deer. Everyone seemed to get along just fine.


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This red fox came by. I think a better, newer trail cam would do away with the blur.


Take a Trail Cam on your RV trips 7
Can't be sure but we think this s a coyote.



Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-01-04

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

8 Responses to “Take a Trail Cam on your RV trips”

January 04, 2016at1:36 pm, FiendishThingy said:

I recently bought a Stealth G42NG to use as hidden surveillance for my front door area. Blackout flash, video with sound, still shots, AA batteries, SD card. Never thought to take a trail cam camping – I’ll certainly be taking it with me in the future!

October 14, 2012at8:59 am, Chris G said:

What a great idea! I’m not a fan of hunting animals so I had never heard of trail cams. An excellent way to put one to use. Sounds like a cool Christmas gift for RV and spouse, and won’t take up much room in our class B van either.

October 13, 2012at4:09 pm, Jim Diepenbruck said:

My trail cam fits perfectly in the door pocket of my RT 190P. I took it to Yellowstone a few weeks ago in hopes of catching pics of critters wandering around at night. No luck though. BUMMER.

Tell Jennifer a new trail cam with all the whistles and bells will enhance HER camping experience and she won’t regret the SMALL INVESTMENT.

October 13, 2012at10:22 am, Kristi said:

Wireless?? Does that mean you can watch video remotely?

October 13, 2012at8:42 am, Riley Waters said:

I’ve used trail cams for some time on my property at home but never took it camping. Thanks for the idea and tell you wife to get the new camera. I would like to see what the wireless ones are like. I just found your blog and really like it. I’ll be upgrading my RV – a 98 24-foot Shasta TT- when I retire next year and you have me thinking of a small motorhome.

October 12, 2012at6:54 pm, Kathy Shanteau said:

Mike, This is awesome – I want one too! It’s was great meeting you at the RV show. Stay warm in Mackinaw and eat lots of fudge lol !

October 12, 2012at11:22 am, Donna said:

Wow! This is a neat idea. I hope you keep posting some of the pictures you get!

October 12, 2012at10:04 am, Pam Hicks said:

Get the new cam!!! And then tell me what it is – I trust your advice & I have been thinking about getting one of these 🙂

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