Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BOV Considerations

I am pondering the purchase of a new bug-out vehicle, something that I do not have to wrench on all the time. I also do not want any payments so I am price wise going to be in the area of where some wrenching is inevitable.

My current considerations are:
Ford Bronco (78 - 96)
Jeep Grand Cherokee (93 - 2004)
Jeep Cherokee (88 - 2001)
S-10 Blazer (83- 96)
Isuzu Rodeo (83 - 2000)
Honda Passport (same as Isuzu)
Nissan Pathfinder (87 - 2000)

Years are picked for affordability, availability and self wrenching.

I am not interested in the larger Chevy Blazer (K5) as I hate crawling over the top of the truck to do distributor work.

I am leaning toward the Bronco as I suspect it has the largest cargo area of all the candidates.

What would you pick, and why?

93 Bronco
86 Bronco
Another 93 Bronco
I might go with a S-10 Blazer/Rodeo/Pathfinder as a Scout/Point vehicle and the Bronco as a Command/Tow vehicle. I know a truck would be a better hauler but that is not the direction I am going.

This guy thinks he's got a wheeler.
My budget is limited to $3200.00.


  1. The early Bronco. Simple, easy to work on, widely available CHEAP parts, heavy aftermarket support... And damn they look cool : )

  2. The 78/79 Bronco had a truck frame and were built to last. Back in the mid 90's the marina I worked at had a Bronco and it caught fire. I can't rember why but as I recall is was a common problem.

    I have owned a Isuzu product and had no issues, but parts are hard to find and expensive.

    The S10's have poor front ends (4whl dr)
    I have always liked the K5 blazers with the soild front end. With the HEI distributor you won't have to lean over to often!!

  3. I also agree with Craig for the reason of fewer if any computer parts to get fried if we are hit with an EMP.

  4. Nothing newer than '87, IMO- too many electronics that aren't 'user serviceable' rather than EMP is my concern on that aspect.
    Otherwise, the Pathfinder or the Rodeo- and carrying capacity isn't much of an issue when a small trailer will haul more than you can fit in any of them. Hook and run won't take any longer if the trailer is already loaded. (Which isn't a bad idea, IMO, and one I should work on.)
    I've had both Blazer and Bronco, either is good, though as noted, Chev front ends leave a lot to be desired. (Ironically, the toughest front end found is on a Dodge- this according to the mining companies around here who drive Dodge 4WDs day and night over some terrain that was featured in 4WD magazine as an obstacle course.)
    However, if you can find a Samurai or Land Cruiser, you've got a bomb proof little critter for off-road.

  5. None of the above. Drop the Grand Cherokee from the list and substitute a 2000-2001 4.0 liter Cherokee Sport. It's not as fancy, but it's MUCH more durable, and is a TRUE SUV with real off-road capabilities.

  6. Daniels, why only 2000-2001? I had a '92 4.0 Cherokee Sport, and it was a damn good vehicle. Had 190,000 miles on it and still running strong when we traded it in. Drove it from Corpus Christi to Daytona and back when it had 170,000 or so miles and it never missed a lick.

  7. I'd be looking for a diesel Toyota Landcruiser, myself (80 series preferred).

  8. Whatever you choose I would go with a diesel. If things fall apart in a big way you can grow and press your own oil (sunflower ect) to run them.
    I have a 94 chev silverado 2500 diesel club cab and have found it to be my favorite vehicle so far. It needed some work after I got it but then it was an ex construction truck and it was not treated well. I have matching dents in both doors where it looked like they tried to pick it up with a grapple or something. So who knows what other abuse my poor baby had to take.

  9. Can't beat a Jeep sport for reliability and ease of repair parts are cheap. I have a 96 F250 Diesel 4x4 and Jeep wrangler for point and our 3rd is a Cherokee sport. You can't go wrong with a Jeep. fix em with a 13MM wrench and a set of torqx wrenches. Been rebuilding Jeeps for 5 years as a sideline and always easy to find new and used parts.

  10. I'd go with an Army surplus CUCV 1983 - 1985. A 5/4 ton Chevy pickup. Mechanical fuel injected diesel engine, had regular maintenance, 4x4, locking rear diff, most have very low milage, available on e-bay. Convert the 12/24 volt system to 12 volts, have A/C from a junkyard installed, convert the glow plug relay system to a manual toggle switch and use glowplugs that won't overheat. Get an m-1028 instead of an m-1008 and you have a locking front diff, and it is a 1.75 ton too. I have one and I love it!