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OS:Toward Sterling's Bug-Out Family Vehicle
Compiled by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News
October 2, 2013
Well, I finally drove our 1992 Acura Integra into the ground. It stalled last night while running an errand. The auto repair shop included the following in the long list of repairs needed: motor mount sheered off, hence the loud noise while driving (~$200 to fix); drive belt and other belts are all in bad shape, about to come apart ($350); transmission and steering oil dirty, systems need to be flushed (~$200); oil pan gasket has a leak, hence oil leak (~$50). That doesn't include the last list of things that needed attention: chip in windshield (~$50); outer tie rod end (~$120); two-wheel alignment ($75); replace sidemarker light ($100); new tire (~$90). Oh, and it needs an oil change and new air filter. Some of this can be postponed, but some of it needs to be done right away to be drivable. The total is probably well over $1300. Then who knows what will go out next.
So we decided that rather than throw good money after bad, we would kiss the Acura goodbye and start looking for a replacement vehicle. I'd rather be making payments on a better vehicle.
As I began brainstorming with my wife about what attributes we should look for in a replacement vehicle, it occurred to me that we might as well get a vehicle that we can eventually modify to be a survivable vehicle for times ahead when we might go into total social meltdown -- also known as a "bug-out vehicle" for our family of 6.
One difference between our situation and most other people's situation is that we already live in a relatively safe area for if/when social meltdown happens. In his book "Strategic Relocation", Joel Skousen gives this Sanpete Valley area in central Utah one of the highest rankings.
So the primary consideration for us is not getting TO a place of safety, but being able to function on an ongoing basis when the normal supply grid goes out.
Therefore, the primary thing on my mind as I made this recommendation to my wife was to get an electric vehicle, whether hybrid or all-electric, so we could eventually fit one of these pending exotic free energy devices in the vehicle to power it endlessly from the wheelwork of nature.
We're under a bit of a time-crunch to make this purchase because I need a vehicle to drive to the airport on Oct. 9 to get over to the Global BEM conference in Boulder. If there was a compelling reason to wait, I could make other arrangements for the 2-hour drive to the airport.
Unfortunately, presently there are no hybrid diesel-electric vehicles for sale in the U.S., so that option is out.  It would be nice if the vehicle was a diesel hybrid so that it could also run on biodiesel, which can be made locally.
In doing a little preliminary reading, I found that:
- According to preppers, the ideal Bug Out Vehicle would be a 4x4 sport utility vehicle or truck with room for an evacuating family, pets, their vital documents, and their supplies. Ideally, a 4x4 would be fully outfitted for off-road adventuring and have big all terrain tires, lift kits to provide ground clearance, skid plates to protect vital components, a winch to get out of trouble, trailer hitches, and a CB radio. 
For us, the all-terrain capability is not as important, since we don't have a Zombie-ridden commute to get to our bug-out location, since we're already here.
I'm thinking a truck that can seat 6 would be nice, so we could be of service in the community in hauling supplies here and there, when most other vehicles won't be working. However, I don't know of any electric trucks.
One of the primary considerations for this vehicle will be that it needs to be functional now, able to drive on the freeway, getting fairly good mileage. Maybe down the road when we have a lot more money, we can afford to create a dedicated bug-out vehicle that doesn't need to be freeway-worthy.
I really have no idea what vehicles are even options, as I've just now been launched into this quest. So I look forward to any suggestions and considerations you might bring to our attention in the comments.
All that said, we will most likely have to just postpone such a quest and settle for now for a low-budget vehicle with a low monthly payment. Being still in the donation-dependent mode isn't the time to take on another monthly expense. But it is fun to dream.
Bug-Out Vehicle Attributes
The following are some attributes that would be good for a full-decked-out bug-out vehicle. 
- large enough to fit your family, pets and your core gear
- have a trailer hitch - receiver style (a front mounted hitch receiver is also a good idea)
- have at least one winch, two would be better (front and back)
- be in good repair and running condition
- have upgraded shocks or springs (better towing and cargo capabilities)
- have a brush guard
- have at least one full size spare
- a cargo basket or roof racks on the top (increased gear storage)
- have driving and fog lights
- largest tires possible
- skid plates (front minimum - transfer case and drive line advisable)
- gas tank protection (skid plate)
- have a good CB and antenna (full size steel whip antenna with spring at base)
Way Outside the Budget
Liberty Electric Cars Range Rover
- http://www.compasscayman.com/observer/2010/07/18/Electric-Range-Rover-in-production/ ("only" £150,000)
- http://laughingsquid.com/the-ghe-o-motors-rescue-an-off-road-truck-that-can-go-almost-anywhere/ - from a Romanian company
- Bug Out Vehicle Basics (Survivalistssite.com)
- Getting Your Vehicle Ready for an Emergency Evacuation (Yahoo Voices; September 15, 2009)
- Forum: Strictly Bug Out Vehicles - (PrepperForums)
In the News
- Featured: Emergency Preparedness / Electric Vehicles >
Toward Sterling's Bug-Out Family Vehicle - Now that my car has bit the dust, I'd like an electric vehicle into which I could eventually put an exotic free energy generator to haul family around in and stuff for the community. Unfortunately, it looks like the affordable electric vehicle is not here yet, so this goal will have to be postponed. (PESWiki; October 2, 2013)