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#189488 - 11/30/09 06:05 AM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: Art_in_FL]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
I'm really not suggesting anyone get a Willys Jeep. Rather I'm suggesting that the concept of the original Jeep, a small and strong all-terrain vehicle, something Jeep forgot as their design got bloated and complex, is the right idea.

Of all the vehicles I own or have recently owned, my 2000 Jeep XJ (Cherokee, original boxy shape) is my favorite. We're the 3rd owner and it's got over 150,000 miles, but it still is a wonderfully reliable vehicle. It is, for me, the perfect balance of capability and capacity. I can easily fit four adults plus enough gear and supplies to be self-sufficient in the wilderness for two weeks. I have taken it over muddy, mountainous logging roads and fire breaks, through deep mud and snow, and over loose sand and slickrock. It is all factory original, including its original 4.0L I6 engine, AW4 transmission and stock axles, rims and suspension. It is also reasonably fuel efficient, as far as 6-cylinder SUV's go, averaging around 18MPG. Though by no means luxurious, it is comfortable even on long trips. I got it for my son and neither of us have any regrets.

In fact, when the lease is up on my Nissan Pathfinder, I hope to find another XJ in good condition so I can have one of my own.

Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
Also, while American auto companies, seemingly always behind the curve, insist that diesels only show up in large vehicles

I don't know if I blame Detroit for that problem. American consumers are not big fans of diesel vehicles. They don't like the smell or the smoke or the noise (even though these issues are practically non-existent with current generation engines, the memories persist). They associate diesel with big, dirty and scary trucks and construction equipment, and can't perceive smaller, fuel- and emissions-efficient diesel vehicles. They don't like the cold-weather maintenance issues. They don't like the price and availability (although these would probably improve if there was a bigger market).

The US government also tends to be anti-diesel. US laws forced most auto makers to stop importing most diesel cars and trucks. Only recently, with the introduction of small, high-efficiency designs, are some foreign car makers re-entering the US market. But if you travel outside of the US, you will see huge percentage of cars and small trucks use diesel.

In a disaster situation I think a diesel-powered vehicle would be an advantage. Most people will be looking for gasoline, so diesel might be available at gas stations and truck stops after gasoline stocks are depleted. Large trucks would be land-locked due to obstacles and traffic sooner than family autos, and can be scavenged for fuel. Construction sites and farms are potential sources of fuel. Heating oil is the same as diesel. You can use vegetable oils, even waste cooking oil (with lots of filtering), in warmer weather.
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

#189489 - 11/30/09 08:53 AM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: Susan]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Susan
I think trying to take a trailered boat through the debris after a major quake would be a joke, and not a very funny one. I would bet that getting a 4WD fifty miles south would be a real trick.

This was suggested for someone who lives on a peninsula. Lots of possible access routes to water. Only ONE direction out on land (and that one will probably be clogged due to the collapse of numerous overpasses). And as his main plan is to stay put for 30 days, he can make use of that time to explore possible routes.

Originally Posted By: Susan

And having a boat on water soon after a quake... uh... no, thanks. Even if it didn't cause a tsunami, the probable multiple aftershocks would make rough going. Not to mention all the debris in the water.

Again, this was suggested as a separate "bail-out" option for someone intended to wait out for 30 days. Debris may or may not be a problem, but after shocks shouldn't.

The boat I had in mind was a small day cruiser. A sailboat will be self-sustainable for longer periods, but the trade-off for a day cruiser is that you cover longer distances in a short time. The range is limited to how much fuel you carry. The main trade-off is their load capacity: You can't load the boat more than its rated capacity, or you won't get to economical cruising speeds. You can have 5-6 persons and the most critical gear + fuel, or 2-4 persons and lots of gear & fuel.

This will only be an option if
a) You have access to weather forecast. You need good conditions, not only for safety but also for speed. Weather radio solves this.

b) You have - or can make - arrangements at your destination. Either you go to an unharmed port, or you make arrangements for someone to pick you up somewhere. If you're willing to write off the boat any beach will do. Anyway, you need communications to make those arrangements. Or at the very least, you need updated information of how far you need to go to reach help.

c) You're willing to take the burden of maintaining the boat and using it enough to be familiar with its operation.

#189490 - 11/30/09 11:41 AM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: philip]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
The Schwimmwagen was definitely a joke. I can't imagine taking one into the Pacific, even a few hundred feet, at a time & in sea conditions not of my choosing ... we're talking about a plan for when an earthquake happens, not necessarily on a bright & sunny day.

Originally Posted By: philip
> Katrina and New Orleans are a different kind of problem and can't really be
> compared to any other situation in the US.

Why is that?

You're going to get me in trouble with Martin. Read up on the local response efforts after Katerina there, and then the response by local officials after *any* other civil disaster in US history.

San Francisco Civil Defense has been thinking about this for a long time, and has a recent example to work with in Loma Prieta.

#189509 - 11/30/09 04:37 PM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: Mark_M]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2997
Originally Posted By: Mark_M
Originally Posted By: Eugene
I think they are right that no one would buy it. The cost between a smaller truck and full size truck isn't that much anymore,if you ad the cost of a diesel to a smaller truck then its cost will be more than a full size.

Take a look at the newer, high-efficiency diesel engines from Volkswagen and others. Even coupled with low-ratio gears and less slipstreamed form factor of a small 4WD pickup or SUV and you could probably still get much better MPG's than any gasoline powered models. They are not big on HP, but then again, 4-cylinder SUV's like the Jeep Wrangler and Suzuki Samari still make capable off-road vehicles in most conditions you would want to deal with in a survival situation.

I'd love to own a Sportsmobile. But for the same $120k I could get a pretty nice diesel-pusher RV. Not as flexible in an emergency escape situation, but great range and long-term capabilities.

Probably the ultimate survival vehicle is a dual-purpose motorcycle with full luggage options. Good range, decent carrying capability, on/off-road capable, can easily weave around most obstacles. Only room for two, you would have to sleep in tents, and be subjected to cold/rain. But if I had to escape a sudden disaster in my area, probably my only chance at rapid evacuation will be on a bike, as the roads will be hopelessly clogged with other escapees.

Plus they are just fun to ride. grin

I'm in the USA though so those small high efficient diesels are not available from Volkswagen and others as they just can;t sell enough to make it worth their while to import them. Sure its nice to have an idea of what would be ideal but I needed somehting availbale now for while I dreamed about ideal so I chose what was the best available then wait to see what happens.

Dual purpose motorcycle won;t work yet with a family of 4 which is one of the reasons I went with the extended cab truck, has enough seat space for 4, the unfortunate issue with the small trucks to be able to put child seats in the rear you need the ful quad/4 door cab which means the short 4.5' bed (Nissan attemped a quad cab with 6' bed but forgot to make the frame strong enough for the extra length). Some of the newer smaller extended cab trucks do have forward facing rear seats but those didn't fit car seats well (larger safer ones like Britax) and can't fit a person in between them (we load up 6 people in my truck when we go out with the grandparents).

Cost is another thing, the few Diesels that companies like VW do import into the us are priced way above the cost of a comparable vehicle and are coupled to a "luxury" SUV where you can buy a pickup truck, diesel or gas, for much less price, and without a bunch of leather, cupholders and dvd players.

#189514 - 11/30/09 05:33 PM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: Eugene]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2964
Loc: Nacogdoches, Texas
The best bug out a vehicle is the one you currently own or have access to. Sure we can dream about the ideal vehicle (such as a compact to mid-size sedan with a low horse power, high low-end torque engine, a stick shift and big tires) but it won't do us any good, we don't have it.

Jeanette Isabelle
I'm not sure whose twisted idea it was to put hundreds of adolescents in underfunded schools run by people whose dreams were crushed years ago, but I admire the sadism. -- Wednesday Adams, Wednesday

#189517 - 11/30/09 06:01 PM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2997
Thats what I was trying to get at. My ideal of a small 4cyl diesel truck is probably the same thing Mark is thinking but not currently available for sale so I picjed what was available.
I had some plans drawn up and some parts in the garage and a small truck that was going to be the start. I sold it slightly upside down on the loan after realizing that I still had at while to go to pay it off before I could really start on it, then strip it down to get the frame work done, etc. Was a long way off from a finished project.

#189534 - 11/30/09 07:29 PM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: Eugene]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I have done some of the research on this online so I know its out there, but a simple web search will show several forums that discuss converting vehicle engines from gas to diesel. I mean that you are replacing the engine.

Obviously there needs to be some compatibility involved and these guys do talk about that.

Don't just survive. Thrive.

#189537 - 11/30/09 07:53 PM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: comms]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2997
Thats something I looked into, apparently the cummins 4b engines will bolt right up to GM transmissions.

#189554 - 11/30/09 08:49 PM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: MostlyHarmless]
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
> c) You're willing to take the burden of maintaining the boat and using it enough
> to be familiar with its operation.

That's one among many problems. We have no place to keep a boat - we live in a condo in a planned community which prohibits leaving boats, trailers, even vehicles in the common parking area (the half dozen spaces are reserved for visitors since each unit has two parking spaces). We live on the other side of 101 from the Bay, and there's no guarantee that we could get to a launching point on the Bay, although we're within walking distance if the overpasses are up. Slips at marinas anywhere on the Bay cost an arm and a leg. Having a boat is having a hole in the water into which one pours money. We can justify the van for emergencies since we use it for camping and for volunteer ham radio events around the Bay Area, along with just plain transportation. Justifying owning a boat year-round is tougher, since we never use a boat. Maintenance and slip rentals are a definite burden; using it enough to maintain competence is a problem. Arrangements at the destination are a problem: what do we do after we walk away from our boat? At least at home we've got a month's worth of supplies (assuming we survive without having everything burn up). On the other side of the Bay we're just another couple out of thousands of stranded refugees vying for food and lodging.

The problems of survival in a catastrophe are manifold, and they're particular to each person's situation. Three people died of hypothermia this past weekend in two separate boating accidents where the boats overturned. Water temperatures were in the 50s, and you die fairly quickly. Of four people in the water, only one lived.

#189560 - 11/30/09 09:19 PM Re: Survival in vehicles [Re: philip]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Something like this:

With a diesel engine in it.

Get one with a raised top and it adds more storage.

Huge fuel tanks, decent gas mileage, can live in it essentially too.

I wouldn't want to tow anything through the debris of a wrecked city. A 4x4 will help, and you can add larger tires likethat one to help ab it too.

Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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