Prepping – The Right Vehicle

expsSo many people are focused on their vehicle.  For many it is a status symbol.  Most people have some form of car payment. (side note, did you know the average car payment in America is $475/mo) So few however think about their vehicle when it comes to survival in a  disaster, especially us women.

For me, I have three means of transportation.  A basic car, which is paid for.  A sport utility vehicle (SUV) also paid for, and a bicycle, which, you guess it, is paid for.  The car gets me from point “A” to point “B” each day.  It is a comfortable ride, sad to admit it is a foreign vehicle (yes I am pro-American when it comes to cars..everything actually) but at the time I was looking for a reliable mid-size car and Honda was the manufacturer that came through for me on everything I was looking for (I felt better knowing it was designed, engineered and assembled in USA).

This brings me to the type of vehicle I am writing this post about.  A utility vehicle. For me it is my Ford Explorer Sport.  4WD, Firestone AT tires, it can pretty much do anything and go anywhere in a urban environment I may need it to go.  This is by far the best vehicle I have ever purchased.  I have loaded it up full with sod, hauled lumber, driven over downed trees from a storm.  For me, it is an ideal vehicle for urban survival, although one day I would like to upgrade.

To be honest, I have considered retiring my car…you never know when you will need the services of a utility vehicle and it is really best to drive one on a daily basis.  An SUV can get you out of a driving situation that a car may not.  For example, if you are stuck on the interstate, traffic is backed up for miles it is much easier to do a U-turn through the median in a SUV or truck than it is for a car (yes, I know it is illegal, that isn’t the point here) that will at least get you going, although be it the wrong way, but you can back track to an exit and then find an alternate way back home.

Also, in case you had to evacuate a SUV will hold family, pets and emergency supplies where a car will just fit the family at best.

So consider your vehicle when it comes to self-reliance.  First it needs to be reliable and safe.  Next I like the SUV over a pick-up truck because of the enclosed area in the back where as a pick-up has an open bed (for the most part).   Four wheel drive is essential.  You don’t need a brand new vehicle either.  Upon purchase the Ford was seven years old with 89k miles on it.  I had been watching it on the website of a local Christian dealer for over five months so I knew going in how long it was on their lot and was pretty sure they were ready to let it go.  I did my research through and new the true market value of the car.  I walked in with cash and walked out with a great deal for both me and the dealer.

Remember, prepping is far more than food and water, it is also about vehicles, taking the time to purchase the right one for you and your family as well as for the circumstances in which you intend to use it.

Author: Prudence ~

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  1. I would, if in your situation, hold on to the small car. If you have both, and both are paid for, you incure no additional debt to replace one or the other. You have a fall back plan if one fails to start, you have a fall back if the weather forces you to drive a 4X4. If you live close enough to work where the added cost for driving a SUV vice a compact isn’t significant, then you now have an option that most don’t have – if something were to happen while you were on the way home or to work, you can ditch your smal car, grab your EDC, car bug out, which ever you like to call it, and walk back home, where you have not only a spare car to retireve the one you left on the side of the road, but a 4X4 that will get you out of town if things were to get worse.
    I say you are right where most people want to be when it comes to vehicle preparedness (add a bike rack to the SUV!)… But, if you have to get rid of the small car, loan it to your church for those who need something to get by in…

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    • Hi Blue, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are right on the mark! There have actually been times when I have had one vehicle in the shop and was very happy I had a second vehicle. As the saying goes, two is one and one is none. Instead of a bike rack, I do now have a folding bike that is keep in which ever vehicle I am using. Thank you again!

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    • The Explorer is a competent, dependable product. It’s definitely more rugged than the car-based Explorer that replaced it. As long as it is in good shape, I’d say hold on to it. I’m very pro-American when it comes to buying cars, but my Ford Fusion was made in Hermosillo Mexico, so it is just the nature of the auto industry today.

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  2. I enjoyed this reading. However I wanted to touch on one thing that always irks me. And it really has nothing to do with the whole point of the article but….
    Buying a foreign car weather it is assembled in the US or not still stimulates the foreign economy rather than our own (or more than our own). Honda did not put factories here for charity. They did it because it makes them more money.

    That being said. I agree with everything else in your article, it is important to be aware of all aspects of prepping and you are spot on with the 4×4 SUV.

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    • Hi Kyle, thanks so much for stopping by and the comment. Not to digress too far off topic of the article just to add, yes, foreign car purchase does stimulate foreign economy, as you hinted to it also stimulates US economy, Americans work in the US factories of Honda, providing jobs here and that money stays here for the most part. Plus, my Honda is a 2001 model, I have stimulated my local economy by taking the car to my local auto mechanic for repairs, few they may be. Don’t get me wrong, I am not debating what you said, actually agree, as much as I love the car I have always been bothered that it wasn’t a US product. Sadly, even my SUV which is a 2001 Ford has many Canadian parts in it. Getting a US product anymore is very difficult, it just shouldn’t be that way.

      Kyle, I hope you keep coming back, I like how you think! 🙂

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    • Kyle,

      I guess you’d call me a traitor as all of my cars and motorcycles are foreign (German, Japanese, Italian). The gasoline I pump into them probably came from Saudi Arabia. Choice is a beautiful thing isn’t it? Even my favorite handgun originates from Austria. The computer I’m typing on probably came from Japan, so did the TV I’m watching and phone that is in my pocket. I’m not sure where the clothes I’m wearing were manufactured but I’m quite sure it wasn’t within our borders. All of my dogs have heritage from overseas (German, English) and as a matter of fact…my ancestors came from overseas as well. The company I work for has their HQ based somewhere other than the USA, and I’m quite sure there are shareholders overseas who benefit from my hard work.

      All that to say: I’m still an AMERICAN. Now…I’m off to open a bottled beverage that came from Mexico.


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  3. Prudence,

    Good article, and I too am a high mileage driver. All of our 4 wheel vehicles have over 100k miles on them and we plan on driving them until the repairs become too frequent/expensive.

    Regular maintenance is key, spend the money when necessary to keep the vehicle in top shape. If you only drive it and put gas in it (as many do) you are asking for trouble…

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    • Hi Murrica, thanks for stopping by, great point, regular maintenance is key for keeping a vehicle in top shape. A vehicle will last you longer and cost you less in the long run if you maintain it.

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  4. I have a small economy car, a minivan and a full size pickup (all paid for). I’m not really comfortable with any of them as a bugout vehicle right now. I’m hoping swap the van out for a compact SUV to use as a vehicle to throw the family in and get outta here quick. An Escape or Explorer get better mileage but have the room and 4WD. For adisaster use vehicle to use in the long run I’m looking to get an old 2.5 ton military vehicle to modify and use.

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    • Hi Red, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really like my Explorer Sport. I do wish I would have gotten the 4 door though as the sport is a bit small, but it does get the job done nicely. Good luck on your search for a 2.5 ton, that would be an awesome vehicle.

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