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Currently I drive a Mini Clubman, w/roof top basket, great on gas at 30+mpg, but small and with another little one one the way need more room. Got a few choices here, so feel free to leave input.

new 4dr Jeep, had one, traded it for mini(don't know what I was thinking), very capable more room than mini, and an excuse to build and off road trailer

new Honda Ridgeline comfy ride, all wheel drive, longevity, truck bed, not many aftermarket parts

new FJ Cruiser, mostly same as jeep just a toyota

early 2000s 4runner, cheapest, longevity, several mods available, excuse for offroad trailer,buying used and high milage might have to start replacing things to get it to be a realible rig,


all are about the same mpg +/- a couple, all blend in, jeep/4runner more offroad worthy, honda can still go alot of places just not as much. I figure I can equip all with 1 to 2 weeks of supplies(family of 4,(self,wife,3yr,newborn)) onboard minus gas(uless staying localish)


long term(as in the world has gone to hard core crap) BOL is smokey mountains E.TN/NC area.
BOL for less serious (week or two), will be staying somewhat local(currently in W. TX so lots of places to get lost)


Hope this info is enough to give you a general idea of the direction I'd like to go
 

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If those are your only choices (Coming from a mechanic/Off road enthusiast that wheels all year long)! I would go with the Jeep! Stay away from the honda in my opinion and although I LOVE the 4 runners, unless you do a solid axle swap they 4 runner and FJ have Independent front suspension not as reliable as a solid axle and WAY to many parts to break! If you snap a CV axle your dead in the water and they are not quick changes.

With the Jeep you get Solid axle from the factory and WAY more upgrades that are easy!! For instance bushwacker makes fender flares for the new jeeps that you dont even have to have a lift and are capable of running a 37 inch tire (benefits are obvious there).

Also just spend the extra money and get the Rubicon because it comes with Dana 44 axles front and rear (The most common jeep axle upgrade for the 4 wheel community!) they Also come with air lockers from the factory, and ask anyone that truly wheels a lot and knows off roading Lockers is a MUST! They also have a sway bar electronic disconnect that allows you to disconnect the front sway bar so when off road your front axle can flex better. Giving you the ability to keep a better stance on off camber situations allowing your axle to flex and jeep stay more stable!!


Really with a Rubicon the fender flares and 37s (I would only go 35s personally) and a winch up front you can conquer all sorts of obstacles and make sure you get the one with the penestar engine lots of power and great gas mileage from what my buddies that work at a Jeep dealership tell me those engines are where it at!!

Thats just a part of my 2 cents I could go on for hours about this! Hope that helps a little!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Irish, thanks for the info I used to ahve a 08 4dr so I'm familiar with the jeep and the options that are out there, mine was a sport and if I do get another one it will be the Rubicon for sure, I'm also sure my daughter will love this option, she still askes "where's your jeep daddy?" and I traded it abut 8 months ago. but it was the sport so I would be upgrading anyway. I agree 35s are plenty. I figure 35s, winch, front/rear bumper, and some extra storage on the rear bumper I should be good to go.
 

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I went with the FJ Cruiser and have to say it's been the most reliable and rugged vehicle I ever owned. Lots of room and a great engine but it does have some visibility issues through the back. As far as off the road, it climbs like a billy goat and stays stable as hell. It may have independent front suspension but I would think just keeping that in mind you won't break one. Personally I liked the FJ more for the 5 adult seats and the wheelbase. A 4 runner is also an awesome option, land cruisers too except land cruisers will be a bit on the heavy / thirsty side. Then again before I got the FJ I was really looking hard at one of those 4 door jeep unlimited with the hard top. I and my family have had some bad experiences with Chrysler motors and cars, and I heard they don't use that bulletproof inline 6 anymore. I was thinking the new engines are just minivan engines bored out or something, could be wrong. The truth is a Jeep will probably go a little more extreme than the bigger FJ will, but they will hop around on you and most are manual transmission plus they ride like a wooden roller-coaster. Jeeps are NOT for beginners off road. Working the clutch, selecting the right 4wd setting and steering while goosing the brakes can be a bit nerve-racking. I have no real information on the Cherokee, I wanted one but every one I looked at was beaten to hell so I never drove one. I have driven my best buddie's jeep wrangler and it's a cool little vehicle but like right now how my legs are, I probably couldn't work the clutch very well.
 

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I'm thinking Irish in on the money.
Go with a jeep unless u got the money, time and know how to do the axil swop on a 4runner. Then poll the gasser out n go with a diesel EMP proof. It's just what I would do.
 

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Interesting points you guys bring up about what makes the ideal BOV. Solid front axle is asolutely a plus. Having an EMP/CME-proof diesel is a good way to go and having a military Multifuel sweetens the pot, but it seems to me being able to go off-road is basic stuff when you're talking an effective BOV. The thing that jumps out at me is the fact that if you need to bug out, you have to take stuff with you. A WHOLE LOT OF STUFF! Now I can see 1 person bugging out with a 4-Runner, Ridgeline, or FJ Cruiser, but what about a family-size BOV? IMHO, the ultimate family-size BOV would be an M109A3. All the power needed to move any obstacle that might be blocking the road, haul anything you need to take with you, and the ability to scavenge fuel from the engines, transmissions, and rear ends of just about any vehicle you can find. Also in most cases, weather it's an M109A3, an M35A2 or one of the many variants, there's not to many anti-social situations you may find yourself in, there's not much one of these beasts can't get you out of. I say find yourself an M109, stash it full of everything you need to survive and live off the land for however long you wanna spend there and if the SHTF, just head to that truck.
 

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Redbeard,
Don't forget to get a trailer tank of fuel for your bug out trip.
They are not known fortheir fuel economy and the existing tanks will only get you so far.
If I have to bug out to the secondary location I need to have a minimum range of about 800 miles.
 

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So I thinking about my AWD astro van and my Dana 44 strait axil. Would make a good build. It seat 8 with room to spar. Roof rack, bumpers, and my trailer. Then rap a 5 cyl diesel in it...
 

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Two or three off road vehicles with winches is the best way to travel off road. Usually one very capable vehicle can get stock jeeps and other vehicles through the worst places. I also prefer automatic transmissions. I once had my vehicle die going up a place called carburetor hill. Trying to restart the engine and control the clutch and break is a real scary pain and you useally find your parking brake won't hold on a steep hill.
 

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Two or three off road vehicles with winches is the best way to travel off road. Usually one very capable vehicle can get stock jeeps and other vehicles through the worst places. I also prefer automatic transmissions. I once had my vehicle die going up a place called carburetor hill. Trying to restart the engine and control the clutch and break is a real scary pain and you useally find your parking brake won't hold on a steep hill.
Parking brake
My truck hase 2 parking brakes the 2 for the back axil and 1 off the transfer case. The one off the transfer case brakes all 4 wheels and is nice when winching. FYI I found u can git this tipe of parking brake for most 4wheel drives throw pacific pride. Cool stuff
I have a auto as well and it work fine, but wish I had a stick...
 

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Redbeard,
Don't forget to get a trailer tank of fuel for your bug out trip.
They are not known fortheir fuel economy and the existing tanks will only get you so far.
If I have to bug out to the secondary location I need to have a minimum range of about 800 miles.
PaulS,
Good suggestion! I actually have that covered though. When I bobbed my deuce I left a little extra frame length with the intent of a custom tool box and gun locker between the cab and the bed. Since I got the truck back up and drivable though, I found the opportunity to horse-trade some labor for 3 plastic 55-gallon veg oil drums. I ended up building a carrier for 2 of the drums in the gap between the cab and bed, with the third in the bed of the truck. Between the 50-gallon fuel tank on the truck, the 3 55-gallon barrels, and the 2 5-gallon jerry cans I also carry, I can bug out with 220 gallons of fuel on board. Since I put my deuce on her "crash diet" as it were, I've taken my fuel efficiency to around 15 to 18 MPG, taking my effective range to about 3300 miles on the low side. Transfering fuel is not a problem as I recently purchased a 12GPM air-powered barrel pump from Harbor Freight Tools. Having the air system on the deuce means I can power the pump off an air line from the truck. In a worst case scenario, any abandoned vehicle of any size can be a cache' of emergency fuel as the deuce is equipped with the 465LDT Multifuel diesel. I can (and have) burned waste motor oil, automatic transmission fluid (the truck loves it), 2-stroke oil, pump diesel, red diesel, new or waste vegetable oil, hydraulic oil, lamp oil, kerosene, Marvel Mystery Oil, WD40, brake fluid, gasoline or alcohol/methanol. I can scavenge fuel from almost anything on the road (or off the road) and not have any trouble if I should mix them. I have a 10,000-pound PTO-driven winch on my front bumper and with the truck weighing in around 9500 pounds, I should be able to pull out just about any member of my group that happens to get stuck. I also plan to have the truck basically laid out as a welding and fabrication shop on wheels. If someone (including me) breaks something, I'll be able to fix it and get moving without too much daylight lost.
 
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It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into this truck and you have all the basics covered. I imagine it has been fitted with an alternator to replace the standard generator - will you carry spare parts for the alternator (bearings, diodes and voltage regulator)?
 

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Currently I drive a Mini Clubman, w/roof top basket, great on gas at 30+mpg, but small and with another little one one the way need more room. Got a few choices here, so feel free to leave input.

new 4dr Jeep, had one, traded it for mini(don't know what I was thinking), very capable more room than mini, and an excuse to build and off road trailer

new Honda Ridgeline comfy ride, all wheel drive, longevity, truck bed, not many aftermarket parts

new FJ Cruiser, mostly same as jeep just a toyota

early 2000s 4runner, cheapest, longevity, several mods available, excuse for offroad trailer,buying used and high milage might have to start replacing things to get it to be a realible rig,

all are about the same mpg +/- a couple, all blend in, jeep/4runner more offroad worthy, honda can still go alot of places just not as much. I figure I can equip all with 1 to 2 weeks of supplies(family of 4,(self,wife,3yr,newborn)) onboard minus gas(uless staying localish)

long term(as in the world has gone to hard core crap) BOL is smokey mountains E.TN/NC area.
BOL for less serious (week or two), will be staying somewhat local(currently in W. TX so lots of places to get lost)

Hope this info is enough to give you a general idea of the direction I'd like to go
You were going the same route I did when my CRV got demolished with me in it. Let me just say I looked at dozens upon dozens of different 4 wheel drives, many models, drove them tried them and here's my take on it (I'm a practical guy to a fault. I won't buy new towels till the old ones fray)

The Jeeps were cool, I originally wanted a Cherokee. Every Cherokee listed was utter junk with people (near every one of them) turning out to be shady 'car brokers' who were just looking to make a buck off something they got for a song and a dance. I like Cherokees and I think they are good BOV's, but could not find one that was not in terrible shape. Atlanta trash can't take care of their stuff. The Wranglers I liked too, but they had several problems for me in particular- they are small, they get bad mileage most times and they tend to hop when climbing steep grades. That, combined with a lack of storage space and passenger room held me off on a Wrangler although I did find a cute one for only 15,000 (jesus christ) for a ten year old wrangler. It's not even close to realistic the prices they ask for Wranglers of **any** kind.

Honda Ridgeline - I used to be a huge fan of hondas until I was nearly killed in one. Honda has great engines and drivelines, NOTHING else. Their bodies are almost all unibody including the ridgeline. Fiero coupes were notorious for being beer cans on wheels and hondas are the same. Safety frame my ass, that crv collapsed like a friggin empty soup can under my foot. Not to mention ridgelines are not really trucks but jacked up cars where you can make the all wheel drive kick in. All wheel drive is ok I guess, better than nothing but still not true four wheel drive. They don't have an impressive amount of power for the mileage they get, and they don't get good mileage. The tire size is odd and hard to find good knobbies for, and as you said there's no aftermarket for it. I passed bigtime.

4runners are great, major underrated trucks. I drove one and got real close to making an offer on it. I kind of didn't like looks but the thing was solid and capable.

What I ended up with was my FJ Cruiser, and I bought it because I feel it was everything the Cherokee should have been. Great room, great looks, great performance off road and it has several factory reinforcements for off road like the metal bushings and the engine timing chain that never has to be replaced. I seen Irish down there talking smack about the IFS ^_~ but my take is that solid front axle trucks bounce a lot and don't have as much articulation. If you are driving a truck hard enough to snap a front CV shaft you need to go easier on your truck. The FJ is wide and has great ground clearance, climbs very well and is very stable on the trails. I also love the fact it has no carpet and water resistant seats. It does have big blind spots though.
 

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It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into this truck and you have all the basics covered. I imagine it has been fitted with an alternator to replace the standard generator - will you carry spare parts for the alternator (bearings, diodes and voltage regulator)?
Now that you mention it, my truck has the original generator in it and that's not working. As soon as I get the $$ together, I'm planning to install a 75-amp 24V alternator. As for spare parts, I might just later on, pick up a spare alternator and carry it under the truck.
 

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Now that you mention it, my truck has the original generator in it and that's not working. As soon as I get the $$ together, I'm planning to install a 75-amp 24V alternator. As for spare parts, I might just later on, pick up a spare alternator and carry it under the truck.
Build an aluminum box with heavy plastic inside to protect it from EMP too! A steel box is no where near as good in protecting diodes and such from the E1 EMP effects. Steel is ok for coils and motors but to protect diodes and transisters you need an aluminum box.
 

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Build an aluminum box with heavy plastic inside to protect it from EMP too! A steel box is no where near as good in protecting diodes and such from the E1 EMP effects. Steel is ok for coils and motors but to protect diodes and transisters you need an aluminum box.
Sorry but an EMP of any sort of scale that could blow a car's ignition coil will definitely blow your life up too. I will never understand where this EMP bunk came from but there's no supporting science behind it. It's that boogeyman lurking in closet, it's hogwash. Just my two.
 

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Sorry but an EMP of any sort of scale that could blow a car's ignition coil will definitely blow your life up too. I will never understand where this EMP bunk came from but there's no supporting science behind it. It's that boogeyman lurking in closet, it's hogwash. Just my two.
It's not the coils you gotta worry about. A nominal EMP from either a man-made source, or X-class Coronal Mass Ejection would do the most damage to microchips. The most fragile yet most important parts of any electronic device. It doesn't take a very big pulse to booger a control chip like the one that controls the fuel injection on your ride from the new motorcycles all the way up to everything the military uses is electronically controlled. Should a pulse hit the earth or the U.S. whole or part, a whole lotta planned bugout vehicles are gonna become lawn ornaments. (they'll look great next to the flamingos!) lol On the other hand, the Multifuel diesel in my bobbed M35A2 with it's mechanical injection pump, needs nothing electronic or even electric to run, and as a matter of fact, the air powered barrel pump I carry would make scavengeing fuel from all those lawn ornaments (not the flamingos) much quicker, cleaner, and easier. That is of course IF the country were to be attacked by a terrorist network, or the sun happened to squirt out a large X-class CME right in the direction of earth, and we have 2 to 3 days notice in that instance. An aluminum tool box under my truck somewhere is a future plan, when the cosmic forces allign to drop the apropriate aluminum tool box in my lap, (cheap, free, or trade).
 

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It's not the coils you gotta worry about. A nominal EMP from either a man-made source, or X-class Coronal Mass Ejection would do the most damage to microchips. The most fragile yet most important parts of any electronic device. It doesn't take a very big pulse to booger a control chip like the one that controls the fuel injection on your ride from the new motorcycles all the way up to everything the military uses is electronically controlled. Should a pulse hit the earth or the U.S. whole or part, a whole lotta planned bugout vehicles are gonna become lawn ornaments. (they'll look great next to the flamingos!) lol On the other hand, the Multifuel diesel in my bobbed M35A2 with it's mechanical injection pump, needs nothing electronic or even electric to run, and as a matter of fact, the air powered barrel pump I carry would make scavengeing fuel from all those lawn ornaments (not the flamingos) much quicker, cleaner, and easier. That is of course IF the country were to be attacked by a terrorist network, or the sun happened to squirt out a large X-class CME right in the direction of earth, and we have 2 to 3 days notice in that instance. An aluminum tool box under my truck somewhere is a future plan, when the cosmic forces allign to drop the apropriate aluminum tool box in my lap, (cheap, free, or trade).
I don't buy it at all having a working understanding of EMP, load, electronics ect. It's a moot point- if some EMP like that does ever happen we're all dead, we won't even know it. Unless you're like living in Zion from the matrix, which doesn't really exist either. As far as manmade ones, I have seen movies of nukes like Czar Bomba that very undeniably caused an EMP and yet the cameras, sensors, radios ect were just fine or they would have shut off shortly before the footage was captured. It looked like a god dang sun sitting over the surface of the earth. Even that didn't knock anything electronic out BUT it did break windows all the way in sweden. The EMP testing devices they currently have will only affect maybe a ten square foot area and require their own powerplants to function. Not to mention nearly all of the devices have to be rebuilt each time they are run. I don't see that as any kind of threat. Like I was saying in the last post, please believe me- the science and physics just aren't there. Never did exist. I see a lot of shows on cable selling the idea, like it could happen, I personally would like to talk to these quacks and ask them to see their datasets and if they actually hold any education at all in the subject. I think a lot of the EMP idea came from TV and movies, and that's where it'll stay. People and scientists and armies 'looking into' EMP is absolutely no cause for alarm.

Oh and just for your own knowledge, microchips and IC's these days ARE NOT the static-sensitive beasts of yesteryear. I spilled a zima in my asus server one time and it didn't even shut off. And that was like ten years ago. Plus the older a car is, the less reliable it is is usually the rule of thumb. There are exceptions, not many though.
 

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Anytime you are going to do a rack on any roof, know what the weight limit is. That includes any vehicle that is even built with a roof rack.
 
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