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#250829 - 09/11/12 01:05 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: greenghost]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 860
Loc: Colorado
So much depends on how far you need to go, how much stuff you need to carry and what kind of terrain and opposition to expect.

In some cases a bicycle would be sufficient. In others a fully stocked Army-surplus 2.5 ton truck and a fuel trailer wouldn't be enough.

Start with these considerations- (please don't post answers this is just food for thought)

Where are you bugging TO? How much of your stuff is there?

How much do you have to bring with you?

What will the roads be like? What will the alternate roads be like?

What weather conditions?

What are the road shoulders like? (When everyone runs out of fuel while sitting in a traffic jam ahead of you)

Will you have to drive off-trail to get around the jams?

Will you have to ford rivers and creeks to get around jammed bridges?


My personal answer is - a bicycle so I can get home from work to where my stuff is. I plan on bugging IN.

#250830 - 09/11/12 01:16 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
spuds Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 822
Loc: SoCal Mtns
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

Can you guys elaborate on a good crossover or suv AWD vs 4x4 that gets good MPG or help out with any advice?

Can you get a Fiat Panda Cross 4x4 in the USA?

Economy mpg is around 67 mpg and combined around 55 mpg.

Never seen a Panda here,dang seems like a great little car.

Is that an Imperial gallon?
One imperial gallon is approximately equal to 1.201 U.S. gallons. One imperial gallon is exactly 4.54609 litres, whereas one U.S. gallon is exactly 3.7854118

Hey Bert....you have a Unimog? Now THATS a BOV! I agree,weve been talking about tossing a couple bikes in back of truck.

I think tho,for what the OP wants,a driver that is a family type vehicle... is that we (me?) are going beyond in our replies,seems he wants just what he said,a street vehicle with decent MPG,not too big,and can go SOME offroad.....a small SUV type is just what he needs.

But to offer him other options as he asked for "or help out with any advice?",its appropriate and maybe helpful to consider what might not have been readily apparent in his ideas.

#250832 - 09/11/12 01:56 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

Can you get a Fiat Panda Cross 4x4 in the USA?

Nope, only Fiat model we get here right now is the little 500.

Supposedly we'll get a version of the Panda 4x4 in the future, likely as a Jeep model though.

#250835 - 09/11/12 02:43 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: greenghost]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC

Honda Element. AWD.

You could get a nice used Element in your price range.

Gas mileage in the 20s.

From 2003-2011, it was built in Ohio on the same chassis as the CRV. The emphasis with the Element was on sports utility (minus the off-road, log-hopping ability of a serious 4x4).

I've had my 2004 Element (AWD) for eight years and still love it. It has been 100% dependable. A typical camping trip will have my Element towing a teardrop trailer, hauling two mountain bikes on the back of the trailer, a couple of inflatable canoes atop the Element in the Yakima Loadwarrior roof basket and gobs of gear inside.

A motorcycle will fit inside the Element. It has a remarkable volume of storage space.

The Element is comfortable to sleep in (for one or two up to six feet tall - depending on girth).

No matter the BOV, I'd be prepared for it to run out of fuel. So I'd put a bike rack on it.

What is the best BOV is an endless discussion for reasons already mentioned, and more. If there ever were a mass evacuation scenario in my area, the roads would be so jam-packed I could walk faster than the cars will be moving (which already is the case during the worst of rush hours here).

Still, I enjoy the BOV discussions. Fuel-miser Prius vs. gas-hog high capacity fuel tanks 4x4? Pre-electronic, wrenchable vintage vehicle (EMP scenario) vs. modern extremely complex vehicle? Four wheels vs. two (motorcycle)? RV?

In a TEOTWAWKI situation (is that your concern?), eventually it likely would come down to a backpack and boots.

TEOTWAWKI in our nation of 300,000,000 is going to empty the gas stations and store shelves in a couple days, maybe a matter of hours.

P.S. in the photos below, that is a scooter on the back of the teardrop, obviously not a mountain bike. My dog pulls the scooter (and bikes).

Teardrop SNP.jpg (1182 downloads)
Teardrop-2.jpg (2865 downloads)

#250836 - 09/11/12 03:43 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: quick_joey_small]
widget Offline

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
Originally Posted By: quick_joey_small
Has the humvee replaced the jeep as the outdoorsmans vehicle in the US? Like it has in the military.
They are non existent in the UK whereas the jeep is selling well. God knows why; since it's bottom of the reliability tables, costs a fortune, costs a fortune to run....

I am hoping that the 2012 Wrangler with a new engine design and a new transmission will not have the problems that some previous years have had. So far I have no complaints with my new Jeep. In the USA it is inexpensive to repair a Jeep and parts are everywhere with the Jeeps being so popular. On that note, I also owned a 2004 Land Rover Disco and while I liked it, it also had constant little leaks and service issues that ate me alive once the warranty had expired. I had my Trailblazer at the same time and had no problems and the Trailblazer cost #10,000 less when new. The Disco was better off road but as a daily driver it was expensive, Insurance was also very high for the Disco.

I think it is a general rule that foreign cars always are more expensive to own and operate. In the UK a Jeep is a foreign product and it probably is costly to own, just like my Rover was for me.
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

#250837 - 09/11/12 03:56 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: spuds]
widget Offline

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
Originally Posted By: spuds
Originally Posted By: widget
A pickup will have more space but is it secure space? One issue I have always had with pickups is the lack of rear wheel traction when really needed. They work well when loaded but on any slippery surface the rear is very squirrely when the bed is empty.
You make a lot of good points in your post.

True on the rears can be light,cant count the numbers I see in snow banks every season.2 wheel drive pickup going uphill in ice/snow,you gotta be kidding,stay home!

Now MY Jeep (YMMV),unlike my truck,is light and will sit there spinning tires bacause it cant hook up to ice then plow thru snow,not my truck. Though chains can make a difference to a point.....

Also good point on secure space.

My answer was a heavy 4x4 truck with a very heavy engine in front,the Cummins. Wont see my truck stuck in a snow bank,or unable to climb the ice chute they call the road to my house. Heavy (TRACTION) 4x4,Secure and great snow/ice tires and a pick up is a fine vehicle.

Plus your dogs can drive it in an emergency

I think it all boils down to what fits a persons needs best and a pickup has always been something I had no use for. I have owned several and always went back to some form of SUV.

What you say about a Jeep being light on the wheels may be true, I have yet to own one before now and I know the concept since I owned a first generation Ford Bronco and a first gen International Scout. They both had problems in certain traction conditions.

A driver and a driver's overall experience has much to do with how effective a particular vehicle will perform. I have seen all sorts of vehicles on their roof or side, or off the side of the road in conditions that I just motored through, with more caution. I am hoping that the lessons that I have learned over the decades will keep me from suffering the embarassment of being a victim of the road conditions. I am sure you know that many a 4-wheel drive owners think their vehicle will go places that it really won't and we've pulled them out once in a while. I have had my share of oops over the years and I hope I learned from it too smile Nice truck BTW!
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

#250838 - 09/11/12 04:46 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: greenghost]
gonewiththewind Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
Indeed, the driver is the most critical aspect. Rally racers usually use front wheel or all wheel drive cars, there are some special races for trucks, but most are cars, small ones. while they are not crossing huge obstacles, they do negotiate some very rough and slick surfaces. Driver skill makes all the difference. I, like widget, have seen so many large 4x4s in the ditch, upside down or impossibly stuck, and it is all because the driver thought that the truck would do everything for them. Overconfidence in your abilities, or the abilities of your vehicle, is what gets most in trouble.

You need the right vehicle for your circumstances and the objective you need to accomplish. If you bug out route is paved roads and you are not carrying much, a small front wheel drive can do it for cheap and using less fuel. If you have to cross sand dunes, you might need something else. that is where planning comes in. In other posts there have been discussions about planning your routes, distances to travel and obstacle to overcome. If you are not going to do the analysis and planning, then go for the 4x4 with a lift kit, just learn how to drive it and make sure you are carrying plenty of fuel.

#250840 - 09/11/12 05:16 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: spuds]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Is that an Imperial gallon?

Yes, that would be Imperial gallon.

Fuel efficiency for the Panda is pretty reasonable. During a recent long weekend fishing trip to the West highlands of Scotland around Oban (Loch Etive, Loch Awe etc), we loaded up the little Panda with 3 people, all our fishing tackle (sea fishing and freshwater loch fishing) and a couple of 70 litre Bergen's. One of the Bergen's sat beside the passenger in the back. The Panda was probably at its maximum useful weight limit load capacity. The Panda was still getting 50+ mpg or around 43 mpg (US). Acceleration wasn't the greatest on the Narrow, tight and windy roads but it did get up Glen Ogle climb perfectly OK.

There are cars that are a lot faster of course, such as the MINI John Cooper Works GP getting a top speed of around 150 mph and very good acceleration 0-60 in under 6 seconds but still achieve around 40 mpg (imp) (normal everyday use) especially if only carrying your 40-60lb BOB.

Would it be an advantage to have this kind of performance as in some circumstances a 'wacky races' might ensue during a emergency Bug Out?


The trade off is getting from A to B very rapidly ahead of the rest of the crowd instead of carrying everything including the kitchen sink in a Jeep Grand Cherokee which might get you 12 mpg or considerably less whilst stuck in a traffic Jam.

One of my Buddies brothers had a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which we gave it a nickname - 'Bulge Tiger 2' i.e. it would run over anything in its path but would run out of petrol half way before its objective... whistle

Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (09/11/12 05:20 PM)

#250845 - 09/11/12 07:24 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: greenghost]
Greg_Sackett Offline

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 225
Loc: KC, MO
If you are looking to keep costs down, it is hard to go wrong with a Jeep XJ (Cherokee) 4x4. I'm not sure which Jeep engines you guys are talking about, because the 4.0L HO I6 in the Cherokees ('91-'01) has one of the best reps out there. They are well known for lasting over 300k. They made millions of Cherokees and a simple Craigslist search will turn up dozens in just about every local, most for less than $5k. I got a very nice low mile '98 for $4k.

The only downside to the Cherokees was the unibody, so rust is an important concern when buying. Other than that they are very easy to work on, parts are everywhere. You can buy a spare engine for $300-$400 or less, and a spare transmission for $200 if that. The AW4 tranny is also well known for durability. Parts Jeeps are plentiful.

Tons of aftermarket lifts and anything else you want are available to trick them out. Mileage is generally in the low/mid 20s, which is much better than my truck. Throw in a bigger gas tank and some tire chains and there are few places you can't go. Plus you can take the kids with you!


Edited by Greg_Sackett (09/12/12 01:49 PM)

#250848 - 09/11/12 08:01 PM Re: Bug Out Vehicle [Re: Greg_Sackett]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 860
Loc: Colorado
I second the XJ vote for a versatile, available choice.
I own 2 2001 units (the last year they were made).
Very common, good enough reliability*, enough space, enough power, pretty darn good offroad.
Meets my needs.

But it's still too hard to say what any given person needs for a BOV. Only they can decide.

*Definitely not perfect.

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