Which car to take and which to leave behind?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by NOSROJ, Feb 24, 2013.


    Northwest Oregon
    New Member

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    Hi everyone. I'm new to posting, but not new to the forums. Been reading them as a guest for some years, but just joined a month ago, or so.

    Anyway, I've had a emergency/survival plan for awhile now and keep going back and forth on which car to take if the situation arrises. The family includes wife, baby, dog (trusty companion and protector of all things family) and myself. Due to constrained budgets, the two car options include my 1991 Toyota Corolla wagon (191k miles), or my wife's 2007 VW Rabbit (50k miles). I'm always leaning towards the Toyota because in the 13 years I've owned it, it's never broken down, it's easy to fix, parts are readily available, and there's a lot of room. Also, if the timing belt goes, it won't ruin the engine. The cons for it are that it's old, there are some small oil leaks, virtually no safety features except seat belts, and it's got a lot of miles. The pros for the Rabbit are that it's newer with fewer miles, it's sturdy, tons of safety features. The cons are that I don't know how difficult it is to fix on my own or how easy it is to get parts for it.

    In an ideal world I'd have an ideal vehicle, but since we're here posting and reading on the prep/survival forum, things are not ideal.

    Thanks for your responses.
  2. knuckle Head

    knuckle Head
    Well-Known Member

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    Well I f you have to choose between the two vehicles mentioned, I would ask myself where do I live and where I am going??

    How easy will be to get type of fuel needed??

    A couple of things to consider here if leaning towards the older gasoline car is how hard would it be to fix those oil leaks and how serious are they really, if they main seals you could be on borrowed time already. I have a realtive who had an older corolla they called the the "YODA" it was in that bad of shape cosmetically but they beat the crap out of the vehicles and drove it for many years.

    Since you have lof fuel capacity, considert putting a trailer hitch on the one choose to bug out with and then buying a cargo carrier to slide onto the hitch like this Aluminum Hitch Cargo Carrier - 500 lb. Capacity you can carry extra fuel strapped onto it without endangering the passenger compartment, just remember to properly strap it in. After you use the fuel and if you come across and abandoned vehicle you may consider refilling you fuel cans but be careful this could be a trap or cost one there life if seen by the owner.

    If can afford it, I owuld consider getting an older SUV or pickup for a bug out vehicle and put some snow and ice tires on it, sounds crazy right, but snow and ice tires have a softer rubber compound and grip better on any slippery surface, thus alloing you to go places most two wheels would not go normally, and if it a pure bugout vehicle you do not have to worry about wearing them down to nothing going back and forths to work.
    nwwoodsman and (deleted member) like this.
  3. jluck

    Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365
    Voted #1 Member

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    I'd take the Toyota no question, toss a couple.quarts of oil under the hood (fix what leaks you can), get a tune up kit and a few other known replacement parts put all in ammo can under hood and go for it.
  4. Bushman

    Auburn, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    Cars that are lower mileage are generally more reliable than higher mileage cars. I'd even take a low mileage Ford over a high mileage Toyota...
  5. Dunerunner

    You'll Never Know
    Well-Known Member

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    Given those choices, I'd opt for the Toyota also. Engines and transmissions are all over the place. Only issue is the electronic controls. EMP will take those out. My bug out vehicle is a 1959 Land Rover 109 Regular Pick-up. Not the best choice, but it will run for ever, until it doesn't? :laugh:
  6. CoastRange57

    Western Oregon
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I will give my opinion on the young mans situation, based upon what I read in his post. In a perfect world, neither of those vehicles represents perfect options. But likely he is not in a situation where he can spend money and upgrade to a perfect BO vehicle. A lot of people will have to drive what they drive every day. Picking a different vehicle when he can upgrade will help, but you have to run what your brung most times.

    I agree that the older vehicles that Salted refers too are the best. I own a couple of those.

    If I was in the young mans situation, the Toyota is my choice. it is a wagon, Toyotas are very dependable and even with the higher miles, I would tkae it over the VW any day. The VW parts are expensive, hard to access, and prone to break downs based upon 2 of my kids experience with them.

    When he does have the resources to upgrade, then I would be looking at a Jeep Wagoner, Ford Explorer, Toyota Fore Runner along those lines. Suitable family and commuter vehicle, and a good bugout vehicle. Do what you can within your resources right now, and plan for the future. Good Luck.
  7. Oathkeeper1775

    Coast Range
    VINCE AUT MORIRE Bronze Supporter

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    I started my bug-out in 1979; I carried what I had on my back and headed off to the MEP station in Fresno.

    The point is that the answer to your question is based on how much time you have. The enemy situation determines your course of action, not your logistics. If you have hoodlums banging on your door, you have 30 seconds. If you have a lot of time/years and a TRUE desire to be prepared for as much as you can foresee, follow the advice of Salted Weapon & CR57.

    To some people, an old V-8 half-ton truck with a carburetor is trash/an eyesore; to somebody trying to get into the cascades in late November, its a gold mine.

    You won't have time to discuss the issue with a spouse, if the air conditioning works, what the fuel mileage is, what you left behind, if you told the rightful owner you are taking it, let alone the aesthetics of the truck when you have to crash through a chain-link fence or run over 3 or 4 gang-members in order to bypass their illegal checkpoint.

    If you haven't watched Charlton Heston in Omega Man; you should. The goal is to see today's lifestyle as a luxury and figure on keeping as many essentials as the situation permits.

    Lastly my friend, if you wish to survive, you should never limit yourself to only two- choices....
  8. AMProducts

    Maple Valley, WA
    Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    In general, most vehicles have about a 250/300 mile range (that's how gas tanks are sized), I would go out on a ledge and assume that the toyota wagon probably has more cargo room, and assuming a better suspension for carrying said weight. However one thing you need to think about when it comes down to it, a car that's out of fuel is still a shelter (albeit a bad one, but it is a shelter).

    I also have two cars... a jeep cherokee with 250K miles on it, and an almost new 3/4 ton GMC pickup... what would I take? The jeep, every damn time, while it can't carry as much, it handles the mountains and bad roads like a mountain goat, while it won't carry as much weight, the passenger compartment is loads bigger, and in a BO situation, I would tear out any of the trim and seats I needed to to make it carry more (plus i can carry stuff on top, on the hood, strapped to the sides). I thought the GMC was great until having to spend 2 days winching it out of a creek on my last hunting trip. My actual plan is to use the tow bar to pull the jeep behind the GMC until I get where I'm going, or the GMC runs out of gas.

    Getting up to the ranch with both vehicles intact would be best, as that means loads more gear and lots more comfort. I've kinda been thinking about getting one of those toy trailers people put their crazy rock-crawler jeeps on as a way of carrying more/keeping the jeep in better shape while trailering it up in a BO situation.
  9. Rix

    Active Member

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    The Toyota. No question. 4af/4afe run practically forever.
    erudne and (deleted member) like this.
  10. blankman32k

    Peoples Republic of PDX

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    I'm just curious, where are you bugging out to? Going camping for a month, a cabin, neighboring city? Seems like that is a key part of the story.
    Blitzkrieg and (deleted member) like this.
  11. mattdomes

    Active Member

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    The toyota, see these everywhere in the middle east. If you want some "protection" against bullets just add phone books to the insides of the doors: works 80% of the time, everytime :thumbup:
  12. kickstart my heart

    kickstart my heart
    South King County, WA
    Active Member

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    I've been thinking about picking up an older carberated truck for a bug out vehicle. Something like the '73-early 80's range full sized Chevy. I had a '75 1/2 ton 4x4 chevy in high school, and it was one of the easiest vehicles to work on, and find parts for (at that time). My other consideration is getting a small diesel vehicle. Question is, what would be better for buggint out, diesel or gas? I'd think gas because you can acquire fuel easier (more gas vehicles on the road to siphon gas out of).
  13. AMProducts

    Maple Valley, WA
    Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Multi-fuel diesel... runs on gas, diesel, or just about anything else. The other thing to remember is many farms have diesel tanks on them for fueling farm equipment... might be able to trade that extra pistol and some ammo for a full tank of gas.
  14. samuelm16

    se pdx
    Well-Known Member

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  15. Blitzkrieg

    Well-Known Member

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    Before you ask this question you had best ask

    I can tell you rural landowners are not going to take kindly to squatters. Most of us have quite a bit of experience chasing off illegal aliens and other theives. Many of us are vets or other not too easy to push over types. I was raised amongst them in Northern Cali. Best have a safe bug out location and supplies stowed there in advance
  16. erudne

    The Pie Matrix
    PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing?

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    Toyota, everytime
  17. VancouverKid


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    The wife and I over-invested in out latest vehicle. She has a tiny compact because her commute is long, my commute is short so we bought an older Durango. If I need to gtfo, I want a V8 with 4wd, to be able to seat 7, and tow. But if money is tight, it's a terrible vehicle if you have to drive it far every day; mine gets barely 13 mpg. My commute is 3 miles and I don't have many other errands during the week so it's affordable.
  18. Kevinkris

    Well-Known Member

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    well i would say it depends on what type of local do you live in. if you live in a rural area you should consider having at least a small pickup for general purposes. in a city area, this may not be practical. all the same, both of your cars have the same problems as far as reliability, i would choose the new car simply because it is new. you should think about getting an old vehicle that has no electronics past the starter and lights and a standard transmission so it could be push started if your battery fails. having something that is higher off the ground than your cars is good for hauling things for the honeydo list and getting to the forested areas where you can shoot or do any of the other outdoor activites you like to do.

    if it were me i would sell the toyota and pick up an 70's model F150 with a 300 straight 6 and 4 speed on the floor, install new filters and gaskets then never worry about anything except oil changes and tune ups ever again. 4x4 is entirely necessary and would increase cost and maintenance, i wouldnt do it but it would be a nice option if the need would arise. sure many of the domestic trucks of that time are just as good but i like ford.

    your most likely bug out situation will be just leaving a disaster area or soon to be disaster area, maybe your home burned down (been there it sucks). your VW would do just fine, the old truck would be there for that 1/1,000,000,000,000 event where the car was unavailable. another way you could look at it too, having a shell on the bed could serve as a place to store bug out gear so you could simply load up and go. which you could do with your wagon barring the need to bring home groceries for everyday living.

    putting personal experience to this: i grew up in Florida and bug outs where an annual even, not for me personally but all the same it happened around me several times and i even had to do it a few times. trucks ruled the day simply because it was storm damage that we would be going away from; flooded roadways and fallen trees and branches. you simply wont do that in a economy car. even though it was a coastal area boats were only good for loading your truck and simply an unnecessary luxury in those cases. many people would have pontoon rafts tied to their homes at the beach so that they could put their most valued items on it and move it to the truck all in one fowl swoop then leave.

    now not much of this will do any good for most oregonians but im guessing a serious earthquake or windstorm that do more than the typical here could leave debris and large portions of buildings in the streets, kinda hard to deal with it in anything that cant drive over a curb. keeping things in a place or stored in a way you could quickly load your supplies you intend to take would be the best thing you could do regardless of what vehicle you plan to drive.

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