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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a topic that we haven't had discussed here in a while, and filling up my truck yesterday made me think about it.

Personally I have just about a zero chance of needing to bug out. We’re extremely rural, with a crazy low population density for miles around our home, no roads greater than two lanes within fifteen miles of us, and no railroad tracks that I’m aware of for more than 30 miles. It would have to be a very specific, localized thing for us to need to leave – an out-of-control forest fire, a planeload of toxic chemicals crashing near us, or something equally rare and unlikely. Frankly, even a forest fire is something we could ride out in place if need be.

That said, when I filled up my truck yesterday (a 2019 F150) it struck me that it could actually be considered a very good bugout vehicle; especially for one surprising (to me) reason. The typical BOV things are as you’d expect; 4WD capability, very good cargo capacity, ~7500-8,000 lb towing capacity, room for more people in the cab than live in our house, etc. But the thing that really struck me about it was the range that can be had on a tank of gas. It has the small V6 engine with their ‘eco-boost’ turbo, and with the 36-gallon tank on it, it has a range of more than 900 miles between fillups. (In normal conditions – if going cross country, running constant 4WD, etc, that would obviously suffer; but it’s still a crazy high number to start out with.)

I knew when I bought it that it ‘should’ get better mileage than my old truck, but had no idea what current ones are apparently capable of. Only had it for four months now, but very happy with it and have come to trust it enough to serve “bugout” duty if need be, probably even preferable to my wife’s jeep wrangler.
 

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I don't intend to "Bug Out" either. My Wife and I discussed this and the scenario's big question is where to? In case of a disaster our problem would be relatives bugging out to us for food and shelter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...the scenario's big question is where to?
That was a big factor in us working for years to acquire and build on the specific land that we eventually did. It's close enough to a town to let us make a living; but it's still a small town of less than 10k people, and the property is far enough from town to be way out of the way of any (unlikely, imo) hordes of refugees flocking from a major city to that small town.

I was genuinely stunned the first time I filled up my truck and saw a 'distance to empty' of more than 900 miles; without even having a second tank. I was test-driving used trucks and so wasn't up on all the small details on each of the various ones I looked at, and it definitely caught me off guard. If I were really trying to maximize travel distance between fillups, three or four gas cans in the toolbox would boost it even further, to more like 1,400 miles or so. Again in normal times; wouldn't get that in an emergency-driving situation. But even half that distance would be enough to reach Mexico or almost Canada without additional fuel. Never had a vehicle that would do anywhere near that, and certainly never thought I'd have a full-size truck that would.
 

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That's real darn good for a pick up.
My Dodge Ram 1500 has a small flex fuel V-8 and it doesn't do that great. Around 22mpg if I'm not on all the hills and stop and go traffic around here.
And it's not 4 wheel drive either.

Speaking of 4x4's. This fall-winter I'm going to start getting my old Jeep resurrected. I'm going to give it a vintage Tonka Toy jeep make over Just to be honery. Or maybe just repaint it Flat Brown with black hard top and trim.
Don't know if the motor part of the rebuild will have the same performance with the hippie juice and lower octane. Mine needed 93 at least and 91 won't cut it.
Did have 300hp but more importantly 400ft lbs torque right off of idle.

Not much carry capacity or mileage around 27-18 unless I got froggy on the gas peddle but it'd just idle up some steep and rough roads.

Carrying ability could be enhanced with a small matching trailer like some military jeeps pulled behind them. With the motor and getting resprung the towing ability shouldn't be a problem.
 

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I could grab a plane at the local airport pretty easily if it was a serious enough situation.
otherwise I can drop a small fence and be on Indian land pretty easily and could get a long ways without using any roads, using my truck. Or I can use the roads and highways.

I never let my tank get below half, so I know I can travel a long ways before needing to get gas. The further away from a city, the more likely you will be able to find it without a jam up of people in the same situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to current gas prices, I discovered another reason for the standard prepper concept of 'never get below half a tank'; and that reason is to avoid trauma at the pump, or at least spread it out into smaller bites. I rarely let my tank get low, but this tank I did simply because of so many things going on. Due to being closer to empty than I normally let it get, the fact that I use non-ethanol gas in it, and its abnormally big tank, it took $127.59 to fill this morning. Oy.

Much higher, and people will be checking used cars' tank levels the way they check the tire tread condition.
 

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It dropped here overnight to $3.69, a 30 cent drop in price. I keep the tanks full and some spare 5 gallon tanks full also and the boat of course.
 

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I'm trying to find a shooting buddy for a match in Great Falls Montana next month, need to gas up on your cheap gas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The highest 'distance to empty' I've yet seen on it. This was quite a while back, filled up and for the previous almost 1200 miles had averaged 27.8 mpg; giving a distance-to-empty of 990 miles. And this is mostly country-road stuff and in-town stuff; there's no 'highway driving' to speak of in our area. (The timer shows 38 hours of driving to hit that 1191 miles, so an average speed of just 31 miles per hour.) Next time we take a trip, I may see what my wife thinks of taking the truck instead of her car. I'm really curious how it would do on highway driving.
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It's almost become a game now - I really want to see that distance-to-empty hit 1,000 miles one of these days, but haven't yet.
 

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My MPG fluctuates depending how it is loaded, I throw 8,000 rds of ammo and 18 guns plus clothes, gun cart, etc in the back and I see my rear shocks move closer to the axle!
 
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