Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it's "new car" time. My engine went out in the old 2002 Cavalier yesterday. I view it as a prepping opportunity too:

I need a daily driver that can double as a BOV.

The Cavy worked ok with my current preps. I could get my BOB, my limited gun inventory, and a few boxes of food and water into it. The biggest flaw with the car though is the lack of 4wd and the scarcity of oil in a long term SHTF situation.

Does anyone else have a BOV that they use as their daily driver? I'd love to hear the strengths and weaknesses of your vehicle.

The big thing that matters to me is utility. I'm not opposed to the idea of a truck, but I feel it would leave your preps vulnerable unless you had a locking cover or cap. I also like the idea of a smaller SUV like a Ford Escape or something comparable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
My daily driver is a Chevy Avalanche. It is a cross between a pickup truck and an SUV.

It is a great vehicle for preppers, in my experience. It can seat five or six adults (you can get bench seat or bucket seats up front). It has a unique feature - a "midgate" design. It allows you to fold the rear seats down flat, and by turning one handle, you can lower the partition separating the pickup bed from the cab of the vehicle. This allows you to have the ability to haul 4' x 8' sheets of plywood or drywall completely out of the weather. You can also sleep inside the vehicle, and have room for two adults and kids, or a large dog, out of the weather, and sleep comfortably (use air mattresses).

The rear window of the midgate is also removable, so you can remove the back panels that cover the pickup bed, and haul a full size ATV in the back, or two motorcycles, or one big motorcycle, shielded by the truck cab.

You can haul tall appliances (refrigerator, washer, dryer) as a result.

The rear panels can support 250 pounds each, so you can walk on them. Handy if you want to store items on the roof rack so you can load them and tie them down.

With the tailgate down I have hauled 14' ladders, and lumber up to 16 feet long (check local laws).

The bedsides have lockable storage compartments that are foam insulated, and drain to the outside. So you can put cold drinks in there, ice them down, and tailgate anywhere.

The storage compartments can also store rifles and handguns locked up and completely out of sight (recommended only for stainless steel or nickel plated weapons to avoid rust).

The tailgate area has handholds for climbing into the bed built-in, and the tailgate even has cup holders.

You can get the Z66 or Z71 4x4 packages for going off-road.

327 small block gas motor, 315 HP. Rides like a car, tows like a truck, go off road and through snow like a Jeep.

It also allows you to fold the seats down, lower the midgate, and haul your dog with you where no mud or slobber gets on your seats or interior, your dog rides in the A/C, and you can wash everything out with a garden hose just by opening the back doors and tailgate - wash everything out in under a minute.

But my favorite feature - you can open the sun roof, roll down the windows, stow the rear glass so the back window is wide open, and have a convertible pickup/SUV you can ride on the beach in, or drive through the mountains the same way.

I have 80,000 miles on mine, and it has never had a problem. Plus, if you order the sunroof, the entire truck body is galvanized dipped. And you get four wheel disk brakes - many pickups now are drum brakes in the rear to save money/cut costs.

I have heard Chevy may discontinue Avalanches in 2014, so you may be able to get some good deals on them.

I plan to keep mine till the wheels fall off it.

My recommendation, anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
Yeah, I bought mine when GM was offering Employee Pricing back before the financial crisis hit. Lowest prices in GM's history....

You really ought to look at Jeeps, IMO. Great for dual purpose use. Affordable. Tough. Fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
921 Posts
Find a well cared for Jeep Cherokee. They aren't expensive. Last year made was 2001. Much cheaper to buy than a Wrangler.

I've had both. Now I drive a diesel pickup, mostly for towing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Leon

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,683 Posts
My suggestions will be lengthy because I am a big BOV fan and own a few. Here goes.

MY Honda CRV was a hell of a little car. Turned out it was hit and rebuilt before (I did punch the asshole in his face who sold it to me, it was disguised as used by a scammer) Even so, that damn little car got to places you couldn't even hope to walk. I don't recommend them anymore because of Honda's philosophy of using uniframe bodies (look up Fiero and the reason it died) that will get you killed in a collision. But a stock one undamaged will last you for an exaggerated amount of time, even beating the shit out of it. Just make sure it's all wheel drive and has nice all terrain tires. They are like a civic-jeep. They WILL soft-road.

Suzuki Samurai / Sidekick - low cost, big bang. True 4x4, fuel efficient and reliable to a fault. Again- make sure you have good, aggressive tires. A stock Samurai will top most chevy trucks in the long run. They are small, but get a tin top. You can always rig a roof rack.

ANY good condition Toyota 4x4 truck. Those sons of bitches are like bedbugs- you just can't kill them.

ANY good condition 4-Runner. Good room, and again- just can't kill them.

Old toyota FJ of most kinds. Again- just can't kill them.

Lexus 4x4 suv's- Toyota but needs tires. Same stuff, fancier options.

Older KIA Sorrentos- Korean version of their flagship 4x4, rock solid and ready to go with tires, my department of natural resources uses them to climb the power lines.

1994-1999 Chevy pickups- I have beat these things to piss since I was old enough the drive. Never seen one fail under any conditions.

1960-2007 Dodge pickups- these old bastards are a little uppity but they are the most sturdy truck on the market. Avoid auto transmissions. If you have to get the diesels, they have very few problems. They are like the big, testy brother of a Chevy HD.

Ford trucks of the past are always interesting. They are a gamble though, as some were made on Fridays, and we all know what Fridays bring with pot-smoking union lads.

DO NOT...

Buy a Jeep without a written waiver of authenticity- Jeeps are a common scam and the most expensive 4x4's. People abuse them and expect near what they bought the thing for. There's one reason you buy a CBR or a tricked out wrangler: you want to trail with it or rag it out. Cherokees are rock solid but again, the unibody you can't rely on. The drivelines are bulletproof, however.

Buy a 1980-anything Chevy S-10, Colorado, Ford Explorer, Bronco, Ranger, Hummer, Excursion, sportage or blazer. They are ALL LIES and I dare one person on the Earth to challenge me on that. They are utter crap with NO off road capability other than novelties.

I ended up with a 2009 Toyota FJ Cruiser, it has been the best car I have ever owned and climbs like a billy goat with an almost nonexistent maintenance schedule but requires a lot of fuel and it is huge. It's a tank though, with the right tires it can do things you would never buy if I told you. To me, this is the best BOV when modified but the layman can't afford one at a 35,000$ price tag. I paid the cost of a nice ranch style home for mine. Land Rover is also an amazing brand but the damn things get 10-15 miles per gallon AT BEST in any model including the Range Rover. But the Land Cruiser vehicles ARE indeed the tip-top of the 4x4 class. I worked for them, drove hundreds of them and could attest that a land rover will kick the **** out of any jeep 24/7/360. On the other hand, I have never seen but one broken-down Wrangler on the side of the road ever in my life. Have you? I'm asking because I never have. If I had to pick my fleet it would be like this:

FJ or any Toyota 4x4
Land rover in decent condition
Suzuki Samurai
Dodge Ram 1500-3500
Chevy 1500 silverado and 2500-3500 4x4 pickups
1960-1975 Volkswagen bugs, things, busses and ghias
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,817 Posts
Right now my daily driver/bov is a 1989 1500 Chevy P/U. Its a extended cab and will seat 6. This one is unusual in that its a 5 speed manual transmission which has been sweet! The original 5.0 was replaced with a 5.7 liter TBI engine. Unfortunately its not 4 wheel drive and its a short bed instead of the 2 ft longer long bed I wish it had. I average about 17 mph combination city/highway driving which is about 4 mph more than the automatic version of the same truck. It has a 35 gallon fuel tank from the factory which gives me about 590 miles of range. I paid 3k for it in immaculate condition 6 years ago. Its been one of the most reliable and maintenance free vehicles I have ever owned! Parts are available and reasonably priced just about any place you go when it does need repairs. With minimal clutter in the engine bay working on it is almost as much of a pleasure as a 1970 Chevy Pick Up as far as room to work and accessability despite being TBI. It still has the original transmission, rear end and is on its second engine at 280K on the odometer. A lot of those miles involved towing a 5th wheel and various other bumper hitch trailers. I just smoged that baby for the last time this year when I renewed the registration on it this March and it blew well under the allowed limits. Despite that here in June I am about to take a 2600 mile round trip, road trip in it and have complete faith in it making the trip and not leaving me stuck on the side of the road. Insurance has been cheap too which is an operational cost many dont figure into vehicle ownership.

Problems I have found unique to this vehicle are that this body style over the years it was produced used 3 different brake proportioning valves...only two are still made! Luckily the one on my truck is still very common. Being a 5 speed manual transmission the Hydraulic Clutch Assist valve needs to be replaced about once every 2 years it seems but is a easy and fairly cheap repair. The 5 speed transmission uses a specific fluid which is kind of on the expensive side and was only used for a few years.

The up side to that is that the transmission if you dont hot rod the engine significantly above stock is that its about as bullet proof as a manual transmission can be with a gas small block Chevy engine. There are tons of after market performance parts available for this truck as well still being made allowing for a good boost in power without comprimising the drive train combination. Despite being a short bed, if you put a camper cap over the bed you can haul a ton of gear quiet literally!

If this one is ever totaled, I will be looking for another one to replace it with!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,289 Posts
Look for a early 2000 Ford Expedition or Excursion. They don't get the best mileage. We average 14.5 with our 01 5.4l Expedition. You can tow most anything. 4x4, can go most anyplace. Haul tons of gear, secured and locked inside. Plus you have enough room in back that you could comfortably sleep inside on a mattress. Still drive everyday to work.
In my area Expeditions are $5000 or less average around $3500 depending on mileage/condition. Excursions aren't much higher, nice one can be had for around $8000 or less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,373 Posts
My daily driver is a 99 Jeep wrangler 2.5, it's stock except for the aftermarket rims and tires which give it a wider stance...It gets way better gas mileage than my wifes wrangler with the 4.0. The 2.5 gets around 22 miles to the gallon city/highway driving, the 4.0 about 18...

It's been a good little commuter, it's also great for getting around in the hills on forest service roads and exploring ways (two ruts) on the desert and such.

I wouldn't recommend getting a Wrangler thats already been modded out and lifted. My best advice is to start stock and then modify it with the features you want (or not).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
1993 or older dodge 3/4 ton with the cummins diesel

1. 20+ MPG if you use inexpensive fuel treatments.
2. No computer, will run after an EMP
3. Crew cab available to seat 5
4. 5 speed manual transmission best mileage and trouble free.
5. Full pickup bed, put a canopy on it and you can haul 14,000 pounds and still get over 12 mpg.
6. Can carry the weight if you want to up armor it.
7. Great ground clearance without getting top heavy
8. Engine lasts half a million miles
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Look for a early 2000 Ford Expedition or Excursion. They don't get the best mileage. We average 14.5 with our 01 5.4l Expedition. You can tow most anything. 4x4, can go most anyplace. Haul tons of gear, secured and locked inside. Plus you have enough room in back that you could comfortably sleep inside on a mattress. Still drive everyday to work.
In my area Expeditions are $5000 or less average around $3500 depending on mileage/condition. Excursions aren't much higher, nice one can be had for around $8000 or less.
I borrowed a 2000 Eddie Bauer Expedition from my uncle following this incident. He's looking to sell it in the next month or two after he recently upgraded. Who knows?

The biggest reservation I have about it is going from a car with 130k to 120k. It doesn't make much sense to me...

But he did say that the V8 triton's are pretty much the cockroaches of engines. He said there are documents of them going well over a million miles... I haven't decided if I'm going to buy it or not. I think I need a little more reliability than 14 years old and 120k on it as I finish up school.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,086 Posts
Those modular engines also have a reputation for destroying heads when you try to remove the sparkplugs.... just sayin'....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,068 Posts
I have a 2008 Ford F-150 4x4. Mrs Inor has a 2011 Jeep Patriot. Obviously neither one is well suited for an EMP, but they both suit our lifestyle now perfectly. The Jeep for day-to-day buzzing around town and the Ford for hauling or pulling anything. The Jeep surprised me with how well it does in the snow for such a small light vehicle; but it really does a pretty nice job. The Ford has 20 inch wheels and the tall skinny tires specifically for dealing with deep snow, so nothing slows it down - except gas prices. - It gets about 12-15 MPG (going downhill with a tailwind).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,373 Posts
The subaru outbacks are good little vehicles...I tried to talk my wife into getting one the last time around...nothing doing...If I were bugging out and wanted something that can carry more than the faimily sedan and still blend in that would be the one to get it done...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,655 Posts
Get something that fits your needs. It's smart to simply make sure it's tough, will go where you want to go, carry what you want to carry and is pretty common with easy to find parts when you need to fix it. I like older Ford pickups. There that for me and there are lots of them out there and parts to boot. When shtf, who knows what will happen and whether you'll be using your vehicle. People look at EMP attack and vehicles that would theoretically survive it leaning towards your older non-EFI, non-PCM vehicles, but EMP attack aside there are lots of good strong vehicle choices out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,289 Posts
We tried the great and almighty Subaru. Wife liked it but we got sick and tired of the repair bills. Head gaskets, pistons, axle shafts, timing belt, water pump etc. Ours had 70000 one owner miles when we bought it and 120000 when we "FINALLY" got rid of it. Only got low 20's per gallon.
Everyone rants and raves how great the Subaru is but my experience is on the other end of the scale. I won't buy another Jap piece of crap again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
My daily drive is a 4 door 2005 Nissan Titan, and besides the Avalanche...I consider it the Cadillac of the truck world. I love it! It is STOUT! It'll seat 6 large people comfortably, and has plenty of leg room, plus the back seat will fold up and you could sleep in the floor is you choose to, but has storage room under the seat and can be used that way. The only complaint I have is it has running boards on it, and you don't have any clearance. And on a tank full of gas, your not going to get but about 400 miles or so away from home on it and your done. Gas hog it is....but I love my Titan.

Soooo...

If your not looking for room and style, honestly my pick would be the other ride we have, a 2001 Chevy Tracker w/5 speed, that I highly recommend. They have a Suzuki motor in them and let me tell you...that puppy is quiet and conservative on gas, and will just about go anywhere you want it to go and it's not the 4wd version. There is room in the back for a small amount of items, and it does have a roof rack. I also have an uncle that has a Suzuki that he use for hunting and he had a large aluminum box bolted to the back of his to haul his dogs in. You could do the same thing to a Tracker for storage, or put one of them racks for hauling boxes on the back of it. If you can find one of them, I'd go for it. Were looking for another one....my husband uses it to drive back and forth to work and to hunt out of. He works 35 miles away and can go back and forth during the week on about $20-$25 in gas per week. If I'm not mistaken, they just don't make them anymore...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
I drive a 97 nissan pathfinder.We don't plan to bug out unless we have to,but it's been my trouble free daily driver for four years now.4x4 with good ground clearance with skidplates, a v6 with the tow package that has no trouble pulling our small camper or two quads with plenty of room in the back for the bags and gear as well as room for the family.It also has the strap down type of luggage rack on top which makes additional rooftop storage a breeze..Drives smooth like a car and it loves the snow and mud too (i've had it in some pretty deep mud pits,goes like a champ).Gets decent mileage and has proven (to me) to be a trustworthy vehicle for the 3k I paid for it with 120k miles on it.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top