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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Prudent Prepping: The Ultimate Prepping Vehicle

Follow along as I give my reasons for choosing The Ultimate Prepping Vehicle!

As you have read so far on Blue Collar Prepping, Erin has given us a topic and a few guidelines for selecting our personal choice of Prepping Vehicles.

This is an interesting subject, since we can choose any vehicle with price being no object, but maintenance should be factored into what is our pick. This means I could pick a Range Rover, a Mercedes Benz G550, or other exotic rides. The thought of having one of those as a prepping vehicle is appealing, but not practical for me and how I live. Where I drive for work, something like a G-Wagon might as well have a neon flashing sign saying "Rob Me!" mounted on the roof rack, which is not what I need to happen. This means I need to be a little more practical and plan on the possibility of needing to be stealthy to Get Out of Dodge without drawing too much attention to myself.

My requirements are:
  • Room to seat 4 adults comfortably (or several more uncomfortably)
  • Able to haul gear/equipment/supplies for 4+ adults securely
  • Can blend into traffic in the city or the country
This narrows down what I'm looking at a bit, but there are still a really large number of choices left. The Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer and Expedition, and Toyota/ Chevy/ Dodge SUV's all fit what I might choose... but none are exactly what I need. All those SUV's will seat the required number of adults, but not haul all the things that might be needed. What's left?

A pickup truck. I recently had my truck die and replaced it with a four-door sedan, but for a Prepping Vehicle, it leaves much to be desired.

2002 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab XE Short Bed  photo
 2002 Nissan Crew Cab Long Bed
I was planning to replace my old truck with a similar model (left), but the mileage with the V6 is very poor. On the upside, the same engine and running gear was used in models from 1986 to 2004, so parts are very easy to find new or recycled. A cab-high, windowless shell would then protect any gear carried from the weather or prying eyes. Unfortunately, as old as these are getting, wear-and-tear and possible breakdowns makes this a less than wise pick. Sentimentality is not a factor.

 2010 Ford F150 Super Crew Cab
After a little more looking, I found what I think is my perfect Prepping Vehicle: a 4 wheel drive, 4 door F150 Super Crew cab pickup with a cab-high shell.

I was given a 2WD Standard Cab F150 with a camper shell for a previous job, and when I made my sales calls, there was no way to tell who was a sales rep, who was a tradesman and who was an inspector with how popular white F150's with shells are on jobsites! Ford seems to have cornered the Fleet Truck market (at least here in California) with how many are seen in every Big Box store and industrial supply house parking lot, so this is a perfect stealth vehicle.

What made me pick this as my Prepping Vehicle?
  • The ability to carry 4+adults much easier than my Nissan.
  • A bigger payload.
  • A larger motor with more horsepower and better mileage than the Nissan!
  • As a slightly older truck, there is the possibility it will blend in even better in traffic.
  • The 4-wheel drive gives more choices and options in selecting where to drive.  
Parts and maintenance are going to be readily available everywhere, and prices on replacement parts from dismantlers will be reasonable due to the minor changes made to the F150 model line over the years. I wouldn't do much to the standard model shown except mount Mud and Snow tires on a spare set of rims and add a roof rack to a bed cover after internally bracing it for a rack system. Other than that, I think this truck will do everything I want and be a very good choice as a Prepper Vehicle for me -- or for you!


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NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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