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Discussion Starter #1
I am not sure where to put this question.

I am trying to determine the single best SHTF vehicle to purchase. I have seen the small four-wheel vehicles in various videos, and of course the larger vehicles (Jeep, Hummer, Land Cruiser, etc.)

I don't need blazing speed, but I do want power, and reliability, and the ability to go anywhere. Everyone has an opinion about which "zombie apocalypse vehicle" I should buy. A friend swears that I should get the 6-wheel "Gator" by John Deere, while another raves about the small sand buggy type vehicles like the offerings by Kawasaki, Polaris and others.

A larger vehicle like a Jeep can carry more, but a smaller vehicle can work its way through a thick grove of trees.

So I am at a loss for which vehicle to seriously consider.

My budget is in the $10-15K range, but I am not just looking to buy something expensive. I really want to pick a vehicle that will work well and serve both as a recreational vehicle during normal times, as well as become my trusty steed during an economic disaster.

Gas or diesel? 4WD, sure, but do I need something to ride ON, or IN? I even looked at the surplus M35 six-wheel drive military surplus trucks. Those beasts can go anywhere, but at 4 MPG, they may not have any practical use when things get ugly.

I have never ridden in or on any vehicle in an off-road scenario, so I am completely clueless about where to focus my search. :confused:
 

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which ever you do choose, think about a small strong trailer to haul behind it, something you can put or already has a top on it that locks....even if you just get a small flat trailer and build strong sides onto it and put thick plywood over the top of it
 

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American Legion Rider
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I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to get anything big or exotic. When the SHTF, one question that always comes to mind is will we have electricity. Without it, how will you get the fuel needed anyway. So if you can use an ATV or UTV now, that's route I'd go.

I would not go out of my way personally. I think we'll have enough other worries anyway. The zombies,think Ferguson(SP?) Missouri, only much more wide spread and for survival. Your very life will be much more important than running around unless it is to escape. If that the case, you might want to do that now rather than wait. It will be very ugly when SHTF.

I have a very simple used mini truck from Japan. It's my UTV for ranch work. Some even have air conditioning. Actually mine does but doesn't work and I have no plans of every making it work. It still has a working heater which is much more important to me. But the things are still relatively cheap. Would still be real cheap since Japan taxes vehicles by age. The older the more taxes. So they force people to want new vehicles. So importers get them very very cheap.

The cost really is export/import fees and greed. The one I have now is already $800 to $1,000 more than I paid for it 5 years ago. That is if you can even find an importer. They come in both 2 and 4 wheel drive. I get snow and mud so got a 4x. You do have to do your own work on them but parts are common with imported cars or can be adapted. Mine is a Suzuki with a Mitsubishi engine.

Oh, you would have to get used to right hand drive though. That had a benefit for my wife when she had to go to England for her job. She had no trouble at all driving there.
 

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I have a brand new 2014 Polaris 800 RANGER, 4x4, six passenger utility vehicle, that has a full roll bar and roof, side safety curtains, 3 point seatbelts for all passengers, selectable 4x4, 4x2 and locked transmission options. It is amazing, comfortable and safe. It has a lot more cool features like a computer readout basically on all running parameters. It was about $13,000.

I also have an older 2001 John Deere Gator, 2 wheel drive with the manual dump bed, that has been a real fun toy. It is for sale since I really don't use it since buying the RANGER.

If you need the ability to go anywhere but with an enclosed environment, I'd look for a used Suzuki Samurai 4x4. I had one and it did a fantastic job, on and off road and was very economical.

Sam:):coffeescreen:
 

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Ghost in the machine
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I agree with Porky, check out an old Suzuki Samurai. I have an Arctic Cat Prowler and many of my friends have Polaris Rangers and Kawasaki Mules. If (when) SHTF even things like tires may be hard to come by. Many UTVs use smaller 12" wheels. You should be able to find parts (you can maybe barter) for a Samurai at a local junkyard. If the crisis is an EMP it won't matter anyway.
 

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$10-15k? Spend a couple thousand on an old beater that's reliable, then take the rest and use it to stock up on food, guns, and ammo. That's what I'd do, personally.
 

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Troublemaker
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If you think it will only be needed in the summer, it doesn't matter. Zombies come out in the winter too, I'll stick with my Chevy pickup, can haul whatever I need, it's reliable, heat works, and gets fair mileage. Of course, nothing is worth a buck if there is nothing to propel it with.
 

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I would be a fan of an old Samurai and here is why. With your budget,you could seriously go through an old machine and get it reliable. You do not want a flashy ute for the Zombies event. that could get you killed if they sense that you have money and means out in the boonies If that situation develops, it would be far better to have a place to go that is well stocked and very secure --and close to your home. Even your clothes need to make you fit in. Dress like the guys you see in the area and your clothes should be worn in with grease stains and such. In short.keep a low profile

Some people have this fantasy of just going out to the country and living off the land. Not very easy to do when you consider that all your fuel must be stored and even your water sits in the well without electricity. The Amish seem to have things well prepared just by their lifestyle. There is a famous hardware store in east Central Ohio that has propane refrigeration,gasoline powered clothes washers, hand pumps for water and things for off-grid comfort. I saw an Amish neighbor of mine pump his water for the house one day. He had two huge pressure tanks that totaled 160 gallons. He pull started a gas motor and the gasoline powered water pump had it done in a couple of minutes
 

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And then there is this http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/11/radical-ferguson-protest-group-stockpiles-ammo-posts-photos-online/

And this http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/11/st-louis-schools-townships-warn-residents-to-stock-up-on-water-food-medicine-before-mikebrown-decision/

Maybe the preppers will start to look not so much like the mouth breathing rednecks that the media tends to portray. When you realize that it is government giving the advise to basically be a prepper, it also tells you that the government will not protect you. Draw your own conclusions and plan accordingly
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Everybody thinks in terms of standing and fighting the Zombies. Well of course, they're gonna corner you, outnumber you, run you out of bullets, whatever. Haven't you watched ANY Zombie movies at all???

The better course is often to get in, rescue the uninfected girl, then extend (flee) to where they aren't. And for fleeing, there's NOTHING better than a Crown Vic Interceptor....

Here's what our local Zombie response team uses:



...Our lady of blessed acceleration don't fail us now...
i
 

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Ghost in the machine
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Why would you use a gas guzzling, high speed interceptor to flee from slow walking, mindless zombies? (They're the "walking" dead not the Olympic sprinting dead.) Not to mention that a Crown Vic will move slower than a zombie in many off-road situations.
 

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Why would you use a gas guzzling, high speed interceptor to flee from slow walking, mindless zombies?
The front bumper guards on the old Interceptors knock 'em over like orange cones.

And if the Crown Vic didn't get stuck due to it's lack of 4WD, and eventually fishtail its way out, how exciting would the movie be?
 

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Very Famous Person
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--

What the frack are we talking about here, anyway? Are we fantasizing about the end of the world volcanoes, or nuclear destruction from enemies, or a great famine, or just a simple social breakdown of society where all the "poor" people attack all the "wealthy" people and steal their stuff and the "wealthy" people all fight back by shooting all the "poor" people they can?

If we're talking about zombies taking over, then there is no intelligent answer.

I guess I'm saying what kind of SHTF event are we considering. Do we have to go into forests and live off the land? Do we have to burrow underground and stay in caves? Do we have to live like the guys in the Mel Gibson movies in Australia where the survivors dress grungy and drive down highways shooting cannons at the others to get their gas trucks? Would we want to live in grass huts by the seashore and catch fish? Maybe living in a big tanker like in Waterworld. Are we traveling cross country? Or what?

We need an exact scenario in order to have the right vehicle. There is no vehicle that does everything. Probably a 4WD pickup is the most versatile vehicle made, but if you have to fill the back up with gas cans, you can't carry supplies. A small pickup gets better mileage, but you can't carry as much gas. A big pickup can haul a bigger trailer. You need room for your guns and lots of ammo and food and water, etc. Blah, blah, blah.

--
 

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Gone.
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^^^ Ron brings up some good points. :)

And I've sometimes wondered why it is that some people feel in the event of a SHTF scenario they absolutely MUST bug out and go live in the woods. Sure, if you're wealthy and already have a prepared compound that would be great, but most of us don't own fortified acreage in the hills.
 

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I've sometimes wondered why it is that some people feel in the event of a SHTF scenario they absolutely MUST bug out and go live in the woods.
Because if SHTF in populated areas people will be killing each other for a single can of food. Grocery stores will be empty in 4 days without Internet-guided trucks and the violence will begin even before that with line cutters, people who DON'T have cash, and cash registers that don't work without power or Internet connections.

The further away from civilization you can get, prepared OR unprepared, the better chances are for your survival.

Out where I live if a stranger shows up, I've got plenty I can share, and there's endless deer, fish, firewood, and fresh water.

That isn't going to be so in the suburbs.

Look at the Depression, 1930's. Fully 30% of Americans lived on farms back then, could feed themselves AND a few strangers. Today less than 2% of Americans farm and could even be CLOSE to food self-sufficiency in a shutdown. Mormons? Well, they'll be the first ones robbed of their "year's food supply."

All the Chinese or anyone else has to do is shut down our power grid or the Internet and Americans will be killing each other over food and drinking water within 10 days. Go read what happened in San Diego a few years back when the power went off for a week, or Huntsville Alabama, off for 5 days after a tornado......no gas pumps, no groceries, all you could do was flee ...assuming you had a full tank of gas.

It's when the municipal pumps stop and drinking WATER becomes scarce things get ugly fast. Witness Katrina. "They" weren't looting liquor stores of beer and soda just to get drunk. People were thirsty!

Does this, at least in part, answer WHY (intelligent) people would bug out and head for "the woods?"
 

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Because if SHTF in populated areas people will be killing each other for a single can of food. Grocery stores will be empty in 4 days without Internet-guided trucks and the violence will begin even before that with line cutters, people who DON'T have cash, and cash registers that don't work without power or Internet connections.

The further away from civilization you can get, prepared OR unprepared, the better chances are for your survival.

Out where I live if a stranger shows up, I've got plenty I can share, and there's endless deer, fish, firewood, and fresh water.

That isn't going to be so in the suburbs.

Look at the Depression, 1930's. Fully 30% of Americans lived on farms back then, could feed themselves AND a few strangers. Today less than 2% of Americans farm and could even be CLOSE to food self-sufficiency in a shutdown. Mormons? Well, they'll be the first ones robbed of their "year's food supply."

All the Chinese or anyone else has to do is shut down our power grid or the Internet and Americans will be killing each other over food and drinking water within 10 days. Go read what happened in San Diego a few years back when the power went off for a week, or Huntsville Alabama, off for 5 days after a tornado......no gas pumps, no groceries, all you could do was flee ...assuming you had a full tank of gas.

It's when the municipal pumps stop and drinking WATER becomes scarce things get ugly fast. Witness Katrina. "They" weren't looting liquor stores of beer and soda just to get drunk. People were thirsty!

Does this, at least in part, answer WHY (intelligent) people would bug out and head for "the woods?"
http://www.nrapublications.org/index.php/18671/is-chaos-at-our-door/

^^^^^^
This kind of stuff is what I am talking about. That ,and the fact that we are always 'fighting the last war" in terms of preparation. The article does not even mention how easy it would be to take out the telephone utilities. A phone maintenance tech told me of this,and no way would I ever state how it could be done, but it is so easy that almost anyone could do it.

What also concerns me is how the govt. would respond to a crisis. Katrina and especially the Boston Marathon incident scare the bejesus out of me if that is how they are gonna treat the average citizen.
 

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Nightfly
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I see a couple posters on here with common sense but most watch too much television and see too many movies. I don't buy into any of that crap. Should something happen, I'll stick it out in my vault like piece of the planet and defend myself with.... well, don't want that to be on a public forum..

Relying on our government officials would be the biggest mistake we could make.
 

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Gone.
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I guess it depends on where you live, but I'm with TR on this.

My house was built to survive hurricanes, so it has concrete block walls with a poured concrete core. It's in a sub-division with one road in that has a clear line of observation for about 250 meters. I know my neighbors and almost all of the houses here that face away from the entrance road have fences, which would slow down anyone who wants to move through the yards. I have a hand operated fresh water well, and am only about 2 miles from a location where I can catch fresh fish and other seafood, and forageable plants grow all around me. I have a decent generator and some fuel storage, and my food stores and other emergency supplies are already here and don't need to be moved or transported anywhere.

Yeap, I'm staying right here if something were to happen.
 
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