Bug out Vehicle FAQ (BOV)

Discussion in 'Survival Articles' started by survivalmonkey, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. survivalmonkey

    survivalmonkey Monkey+++

    Most of us have some sort of bugout by vehicle plan in place (BOV). The first questions to answer are what to I need to carry, and where am I going? Leaving one rural area for another is a far different scenario than an urban area escape, and a large family is a far different than a single guy.

    Carefully recon and evaluate your BO route. If there are pipeline or power line rights of way, or abandoned railroad lines, consider using them as a route during an emergency. If passable, they may save a lot of miles and will avoid traffic. Tertiary routes like farm roads, logging trails, and local roads will be the least crowded and the most likely route for a successful trip.

    Most of us have 4 wheel drive vehicles for bugout for obvious reasons. Selecting such a vehicle is a major investment, so a few criteria to keep in mind:
    Bigger is sometimes better. A full sized truck or SUV will have enough power in low range to drag wrecked cars, trees, etc out of the path with a chain or cable. Extra cargo space is valuable, and a heavy vehicle can be used to crash thru a lot of obstacles. Smaller vehicles will fit in places that the full sized ones won't, and usually get better fuel mileage. Consider your route, and what and who you will be hauling.

    Good off-road capable tires are an absolute necessity and the most cost effective modification you can make. Several of us have had excellent results from BFG All-Terrain tires, and unique among tire brands in a heavy three ply sidewall which is much more resistant to damage. Vehicle mounted counter-insurgency operators go thru tires in a big hurry, so buy good ones and carry several repair kits as well as an onboard air compressor. Believe me, you don't want to inflate a big SUV tire with a hand pump.

    Radiators are fragile and highly subject to damage, and a punctured radiator will leave you stranded in a hurry. A grille or brush guard is a worthwhile accessory. Duct tape, body filler and stop leak will often be enough to get a busted radiator serviceable enough to keep going, even if you need to stop every 10 miles to add water. Also carry a spare drive belt, most newer vehicles use a single serpentine belt which will leave everything un powered if it fails.

    Modifications beyond a brush guard for the front end and good tires are subjective, and must be balanced with needed off-road capability. While a lift kit and locker type differentials will indeed render the vehicle more capable off-road, if the BO route does not encompass any rough terrain it maybe advantageous to spend the money elsewhere. Keep in mind that a 4x4 with good tires and a limited slip or locker type rear differential will go just about anyplace a reasonable person will want to go.

    Feel free to add to this, and I will post some photos later. Ops

    I will address the diesel vs. gas in another post. Here I will detail some of what was discussed in the first post.

    This is a detail photo of the brushguard installed on the Opsvagen. It is far sturdier than it looks, it has destroyed a mid 80s GM compact and driven away.
    BOV FA1.

    This is a detail of the grille guard on the Princess's Bug Home Vehicle. It's a Jeep Cherokee, 4x4 of course, with a good set of tires and heavy duty steel wheels. Note that both vehicles are equipped with BFG A/Ts.
    BOV FA2.

    BOV 3 will also be useful as a scout or recon vehicle. It is a Yamaha 350 cc 4x4. Two of us can escape to the hills for two weeks with what we can fit on the ATV. It also gets 35 mpg off-road, an important consideration if fuel is scarce.
    BOV FA3.

    Plan C is off road bicycles for all members of the household.
    BOV FA4.

    Many light trucks and SUVs are available with diesel engines. This option should not be overlooked. While gasoline is more widely available in residential areas, the rest of the world runs on diesel fuel. Farm and construction equipment, railroad locomotives, and even deepwater ships run on diesel. Those of us who heat with 'fuel oil' are heating with diesel fuel. Any farm of any size will have a tank of diesel fuel with pump for the farm equipment. Highway trucks usually have tanks for 250 gallons or more, and railroad locomotives carry anywhere from 100 to 5000 gallons of diesel.

    Diesel is far more plentiful than gasoline if you know where to look. Another advantage of diesels is that diesel engines will run on 'biodiesel' - usually soybean or canola oil, kerosene, jet fuel, turpentine, and maybe a few other flammable liquids. Every fast food restaurant has a tank of used cooking oil that will run a diesel just fine once the impurities are filtered out.

    Diesels are more fuel efficient than gas engines, particularly at low speeds and off-road. They arealso far simpler as diesels use the heat of compression for ignition, instead of using a separate electrical ignition system.

    The drawbacks of diesels are initial cost, and some diesels can be an SOB to start in cold weather if the glow plug system fails. For a big SUV or off road truck, the high torque, fuel economy, and multifuel capability of the diesel should be considered.

    Please correct:

    "Every fast food restaurant has a tank of used cooking oil that will run a diesel just fine once the impurities are filtered out. "

    Incorrect. Pouring WVO (waste vegetable oil) 100% in a diesel will normally render it inoperable. In order to run WVO, you need to pre-heat the oil in the line, preferably as close to the injector pump as possible.

    Many newer Diesel motors will not be as "understanding" when running WVO. Multiple issues.

    I'd recommend doing a "blend" of WVO (filtered of course) and Diesel for the un-prepared emergency utilization of WVO. For more long term use, retro-fit to a heater system with a dual fuel starting system. (read the link to understand all my lingo

    This is the basic stage of my .xls for back county travel.
    Vehicle specific items. Medkits/food/water/armory supplies are a separate topic

    5 Gal Fuel cans steel with a filler neck! (2)
    5 Gal Water Cans (2)
    5 Gal drinking water
    Brake fluid (1 quart)
    Gear oil (1 gal)
    Motor oil (4 gal) (Diesel application. Gas could get by with 2 Gal)
    Transmission fluid (Hopefully BOV is manual. MT Scout = 1 gal 50wt, AT would be 3 GAL)
    Hand cleaner!
    Hoses (1 ea)
    belts (2 ea)
    Roll of paper shop towels
    Water pump
    Alternator (in a water proof bag)
    Wheel bearings
    Extra locking hub
    5 extra lug nuts

    Toolkit containing:
    Lug nut wrench
    2 sets of open-end/boxend wrenches in sizes for all bolts on vehicle.
    1 set of 3/8 drive deep sockets (All bolt sizes on vehicle)
    1 set of 3/8 drive sockets (ditto)
    1 3/8 breaker bar
    2 3/8 ratchets
    1 set of 3/8 drive extensions (1", 3", 6" 12")
    1 3/8 drive torque wrench in protective carrying case
    4 pair of Vise-Grip
    Needle nose pliers
    Set of screwdrivers
    Channel-loc pliers
    MAPP Gas + torch (much hotter than propane)
    Hacksaw with 10 extra blades
    Drift, centerpunch and chisel set
    10 lbs of common assorted bolts, washers, locknuts, nuts.
    hand drill (electric drill optional, but must be able to be powered/recharged without vehicle power)
    set of drill bits in protective case
    Duct tape
    "QuickSteel(tm)"(2 part non-flowing epoxy) _AND_ JBWeld (2 part flowing epoxy)
    Self-vulcanizing rubber electrical tape (4 rolls)
    Normal, vinyl electrical tape (1 roll) (go 3M or deal with fraying!)
    50 foot spool of lamp cord (thick gauge, easy polarity identification, heavy insulation, doubles as bailing wire)
    Wire stripper (or strong teeth!)
    Hi-Lift jack (many, many uses)
    Spindle socket in the size for your vehicle (scout = 2 1/16")
    Circlip removal tool (inner and outer kit)
    Tire puncture repair kits "SafetySeal" brand (5, yes, 5...getting stuck sucks)
    Tow Strap
    Silicone RTV sealant "Right-Stuff" in tubes, NOT pressurized cans(3 tubes)
    Air compressor
    Shovel (a good one with a handle end..NO FOLDERS!)
    Sweede saw
    Leather gloves (hot stuff is not fun to grab)
    Sledge hammer
    Ball-peen hammer
    Protective goggles (not trivial.. Getting something in the eye 100 miles from medical help is bad news)
    Hydraulic bottle jack
    Jack stands (2) (I prefer 10 ton semi sized, because of the height of a 4x4 and the wide base of the stands)
    8ft thick canvas tarp (extraction in sand/snow and working on under the vehicle)
    Some type of jaw puller tool
    2 ft of 3/8" all-thread rod, nuts, and heavy washers for various "field press" uses

    additions welcome. Remember, only items for the vehicle.

    The waterpump comes with a gasket. But if it gets hoarked, I can always just use "The Right Stuff". That gunk works awesome.

    Yes, add antifreeze to the list. 1 Gal. Brain-fade on my part. Not a lot more is needed, even for my high capacity cooling system. If things go seriously south, and I need to consume the whole 10 gal of water, then keeping a good mix ratio is the least of my concerns. Under a failure scenario, I'd be draining the existing AF mix and straining it through a t-shirt to re-use.

    Thanks for pointing it out!

    Personally, I like manual hubs on a 4x4. I converted the ones on my explorer and like it a lot. It may be a pain to get out in the cold/rain/mud to engage 4 wheel drive, but it gives me better MPG on highway, and if anything happens to the front diff I can unlock them and still travel in 2wd.

    I'm looking to fab up a custom front and rear bumper HD style. Need new tires soon.

    Carry spare fluids for everything. Tire plug kits. Make sure you have a full size spare (most trucks/SUV's do).

    And if you ever find yourself needing to cross water/deep mud. Please make sure you check it first. I almost drove into a 3 foot deep water/mud hole. I'm pretty sure I would have gotten stuck if I attempted.

    Next is the topic of route finding. Those of us in hurricane country know the frustration of 5 mph on the interstate, and this is a 'well-planned evacuation.' Rapid bugout due to terr attacks or hazmat incidents will be worse.

    The point is that the contingency planner should plan for Interstates to be impassable. Little known is the fact that the military has priority on the interstates, and can pre-empt civilian traffic. I have personally seen the interstates closed due to a bad snowstorm, which should be sufficient to convince anyone that interstates are a bad idea. Most interstates parallel the older Federal highways, so jumping onto the 'old road' may not be any better. What is needed is a route over tertiary roads, local roads, or even power and pipeline rights of way. Even abandoned rail lines will be passable to a decent 4x4 SUV.

    Topozone.com has a full set of topo maps for all of the US, and should be used to plan an alternate route. Look for alternate routes via the map, and then physically go and inspect the route and drive it. Time your travel carefully, and double or triple it for shtf. Also triple your fuel use to allow for stop & go driving, detours, etc.

    Get some off-road experience so that you know the vehicle's and your own capabilities. Periodically review your route in the event of road changes, etc.


    I've got my own bias towards the DeLorme maps. (TopoUSA5 on DVD).

    In any case, you should plan for multiple bug-out locations. Consider my own situation;
    I live 50 miles from work. Should a SHTF situation hit while I'm at work, I have no choice but to bug out. To head home would be going back into high chokepoint, high population density areas.
    With that, I've laid out 3 directions with 6 paths. North, East and West (ghasp, west would be a volcano event...). South would be a bug-in scenario, where I feel I can safely traverse urban areas to get home. Given that I have lived most of my life in the area, I've got more surface street knowledge stuffed in my head than most pizza deliverers, so I don't need to route plan for that.
    Each BO direction has two modes:

    1: Slow and steady.
    This is where I use rail, trail, tertiary roads, boats, motorcycles, unicycles, stilts, clown cars, whatever, to get to the rally point. I've made sure to pre-run the routes and have some interesting obstacles to overcome, but it's doable. Primary travel is in my BOV, but if I have to, it's a relatively safe foot route.

    2: 3 Minutes to the road.
    chokepoint interchanges and keep ahead of the rush of folks. Granted, if I do get stuck in traffic, I've thought out the choke-points and anticipated off-ramps to go back to mode #1.

    Above all else, avoid major roads that run parallel to freeways. Not a decent route if the roads are clogged. Think 3 degrees out from what most people will take on a certain path.

    Or, I could always bug in at work
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2015
    chelloveck, Kingfish, laurin and 3 others like this.
  2. 44044

    44044 Monkey+++

    Flashlights and spotlights could come in handy, also include a couple of chains with good hooks
    chelloveck and Kingfish like this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Buy a Trailer for that 4X4 ATV and you can haul a lot more gear, into the mountains, for just a small bit more fuel...... .....
    Kingfish and DUKE WAYNE like this.
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    All good points. This is a 10 year old article from the original SM so updates via comments are greatly appreciated.
    chelloveck and Kingfish like this.
  5. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Just be sure that the trailer has as much ground clearance as the BOV towing it. May sound obvious but you'd be amazed how many trailers I've had to "lift" for customers so they would have enough clearance.
    Kingfish likes this.
  6. Troy brownrigg

    Troy brownrigg How my next home will be constructed!

    Bug out vehicle, better to have a couple of horses, and a pair of wire cutters when SHTF. I believe most roads will become parking lots. all those within 50 miles of a major city near a major hwy or road will be screwed. I've read that when Germany was overran by the Russians everything next to these major routes were totally stripped. The vast numbers of people over whelmed. the country folk. Horses and packs for them, they carry the weight and you walk with them. The wire cutters are for any fence in your way.
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    [​IMG]ready for anything, are you,?;)
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  8. 44044

    44044 Monkey+++

    Files and bolt cutters...

    JB weld...

    Kingfish likes this.
  9. wastelander

    wastelander Bad English, bare with me

    Great article, thanks!
    Kingfish likes this.

    DUKE WAYNE Monkey

    How about a syphoning hose also in case you get the opportunity to secure more fuel .
    Kingfish, Tully Mars, laurin and 2 others like this.
  11. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Now this guy has a BOV :cool:

    Kingfish likes this.
  12. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Bloody Hell! That thing better have a big block of some sort just to get it up to speed!;)
    Kingfish and Yard Dart like this.
  13. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    While I agree that a siphoning hose should be mandatory in any BOV, what I've done is to mount an external 12v electric fuel pump to the frame of the truck(s). The discharge side is plumbed directly into the filler neck of the truck. The intake(suction side) has about 15' of 1/2" fuel line attached. When needed I can insert the hose into another vehicle's filler neck and flip a switch mounted under the dash of mine to start the pump. I've tested it here and works fine. My thought is that if needed PSHTF it would allow me to top off and still watch my back a little easier if alone. Just my[2c]
  14. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Tully, that is a real good Idea. Pull alongside insert hose and pump. Very cool. KF
    Tully Mars likes this.
  15. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    This thing is insanity . But it does expose the myth that you can take all your toys with you when you bug out. Just the fuel cans are more than most can hope to haul with them. My own dumb Idea was to pull my 14 foot boat loaded down with supplies as a trailor keeping essentials in the truck so I could ditch it if I had to. But bugging out is a bad Idea for me and my wife no matter If I have a bus or a bike. I cant take enough stuff with me to survive. I have a Bug out jeep. It has a range of about 300 miles on the fuel I can carry. It runs on Propane so I can scavenge grill tanks. My plan is to use it here for local wood hauling and defense patrolling.
  16. Monty

    Monty Monkey+++

    The other thing to consider is a brass punch or chisel and a hammer. Find the low spot on the fuel tank and punch a hole in it, drain into a catch pan. And dump through a filtered funnel.
    The pump idea is less messy, but you may not get all the fuel from the tank.

    Also with older diesel engines instead of filtering waste veggie oil, you can also run black diesel. This is nothing more than used motor oil, that's filtered to 1 micron or less. There are filter socks that can gravity filter down to 1 micron ish. The best way is using a centrifuge which will spin the contamination out, but that takes electricity to spin.

    The black diesel should be thinned with gasoline to keep it flowing in cooler temps and to also to help it ignite.

    By older I mean mechanical injection pump style pre 2000`s. As modern diesels run injection pressures considerably higher than the older ones.
    I.E. Old 6.2 or mechanical injected 6.5, 7.3 or 5.9 Cummins....

    So then most cars have 5 quarts of oil, with trucks having a few quarts more. And semi`s up to 5 gallons... if you had a way to drain and filter the oil and store it. This could be a viable option for people who need emergency fuel on there way to a BOL.
    You could also drain automatic transmisssion fluids, transfer case and diff fluids. I think the diff fluids and older transfer cases running gear oil you would need more fuel (gasoline or diesel/heating oil,kerosene) to thin it out to get it to run properly.

    I'm looking at this as a way to power a stationary diesel gen set also... just food for thought.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2019
  17. Monty (post 16) mentioned spinning the oil to clean it. Would an old hand crank cream separator spin the oil fast enough to separate out impurities? Probably would require frequent cleaning of the cones.
  18. BenP

    BenP Monkey++ Site Supporter+

    I ran waste vegetable oil in my diesel for a long time with no trouble but I never could get waste motor oil filtered well enough and it would make an injector stick open eventually.
  19. BenP

    BenP Monkey++ Site Supporter+

    I doubt it, they used to make them for big trucks and I think they were powered by air.
  20. Monty

    Monty Monkey+++

    I'm not sure, most centrifuges spin at 3450 -5000 rpm. You would have to spin it really fast or install a set of pulleys to get it to the correct rpm to get good throughput. I was looking at a pa bio diesel centrifuge on ebay. They aren't cheap but would filter oil the best, I'm currently saving up for one.
    I've used filter bags and have gravity feed down to 1 micron. McMaster Carr has them for sale for 16.25 per bag from 200 micron down to 1 micron.
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