MPG vs Ruggedization

Discussion in 'Vehicle & Transportation' started by jalapenoM, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. jalapenoM

    jalapenoM Guest

    In a bug-out scenario is it more important to go rugged or more gas efficient? How could you make a regular car be able to stand up to driving on gravel better?
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I don't know if you could go better than a Subaru all-wheel-drive for fuel-efficient and rugged travel - and space to haul it all in. A small lift (custom) would allow you to clear larger tires and a snorkel would keep deep waters out of the intake.

    A Subaru (older 1980's) that is in good mechanical condition will be a great bug-out vehicle. I didn't really go for the fuel-efficient vehicle - I went for size and function over distance. Sometimes, when I am filling up at the pumps - I wish that I went the other way. :eek:

  3. Big B

    Big B Well-Known Member


    ANy decent off road tire has much better sidewall and thread protection,
    I prefer BF Goodrich all terrain radial tires, they are very good for the gravel and some light mud.
    Always a good spare or two and a can of flat fix (or two), go slow and watch where your going.
    Big B
  4. vintageredneck

    vintageredneck Guest

    If it were a bug out situation, I would say go rugged. Eventually you will run out of gas, and need to go to foot power, but rugged would get you out there in the woods before you do. I have an old chevy 4X4, rusty but very mechanically sound. Trust her to get me where I ned to go, and I am not concerned if we scrape a tree or get her dirty.
  5. Rob55

    Rob55 Member

    I would say decide first if your initial trip is one way or if you need something that is going to be used on going. If it is one way, and you have a selected destination then you can answer the question easily. If it is ongoing I would suggest fuel be the first order of magnitude in your decision...and for on going I'd have to look at biodiesel, which would make a few of the front wheel drive small diesels attractive...or a diesel conversion into a CJ....
  6. D Baize

    D Baize Guest

    The vehicle of choice, with all the police, fire, and EMS, in my community seems to be a Jeep. They prefer YJ or TJ types. They buy them used and fix/customize to fit their tastes. One very important item seems to be a stout winch for the front. Also tire choice seems to be of great debate. I have a 2006 Wrangler TJ. It has total of 6 matching tires and wheels. I use GoodYear Wrangler series tires which ride quiet on road and are useful off road to an extent. I carry an air pump which is vehicle powered. I would suggest to anyone that an extra portable fuel cell be utilized if you have to evacuate. Also consider a small crate of canned goods with at least 2 openers be considered. A simple small tool kit and first aid kit would also be essential. Simple clothes for 1 week would complete the essentials to me.
  7. BobS

    BobS Member

    It depends on what your load is. An M35 duece at 300 mile range on 50 gal of fuel carrying 2.5tons of "stuff" and ain't going to fail is better in some instances than a sub compact with 350 mile range and maybe, MAYBE 300 lbs of "stuff" in it.

    You have to define the parameters a bit better to get a reasonable answer to your question.

    Best regards,

  8. mongo79

    mongo79 mongo79

    All excellent ideas. Allow me to add something i learned the hard way. Install a auxrillary transmission cooler. Available from your auto parts store, install it, then have your trans flushed. this helps ruggidize your transmission, and saves THOUSANDS in repairs.
  9. Big B

    Big B Well-Known Member

    D Baise
    Man I had those Goodyear Wranglers on a 1989 Jeep Comanchee PU truck and they were noisy tires, hated them, good traction but loud....
    I have been running BFG All terrain since and they are very quiet..
    Also the BFG has an extra thick sidewall built for off road, they even extend out beyond the bead, so rocks and sticks will not be able to get in between the bead and wheel causing leaks.
    I'm happy....
  10. Fn/Form

    Fn/Form Function over Form

    Subaru owners tell me the AWD system is sensitive to tire diameter mismatch. A new tire on one wheel with significantly used tires on the other wheels has led to damage. Double-check with Subaru... it may simply mean you need to rotate your spare(s) regularly.
  11. alig33

    alig33 Member

    I belive it would be best to have a rugged vehicle and sacrifice mpg because you can always carry more fuel but you cant get anywere that has rugged terain in say a honda civic
  12. fun4wheelerguy

    fun4wheelerguy 4x4 Expert

    I have a system setup with a few guys. I figure that I will tow my Jeep with my 01 Diesel Chevy P/up and have my military trailer tagging along with extra fuel and supplies. When the diesel is not available I take the Jeep with the trailer and finish the distance ditching whatever whenever........ trade for things needed.
  13. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    I would try to optimize both fuel efficiency and ruggedness with the understanding that one is going to impact the other.
  14. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    It depends on your situation. If you live in the country I'd say rugged. If you're a city person I'd say go for fuel economy. If you take a look at evacuations in recent history in the U.S. you'll see that roads become clogged with cars barely moving at a walking pace. Congestion is worsened by vehicles that break down and run out of fuel blocking lanes of the roads.

    I'd say go for a fuel efficient vehicle that won't overheat when driving at very low speeds. Make sure it's comfy since you'll be in traffic all day and will probably have to sleep in it.

    It things are really bad I wouldn't recommend taking a car that you're not willing to abandon. There's every chance you could hit a road block, stalled cars, barricade, riot, etc. that makes it impossible to continue driving your car.

    I'd keep the bug out bags light and simple so you can pull them from your damaged, destroyed, or blocked in car and transfer them to another car within about a minute.
  15. alig33

    alig33 Member

    in a rugged vehicle the roads would not be the only option
  16. modestmoose

    modestmoose Guest

    I think both are important factors to look at. Depending on where you live, how much money you are willing to spend on gas, etc. Although, gas isn't a problem when you are unable to get where you need to.
  17. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    Sometimes other factors play some role. For me at least I would choose fuel effieciency . Why ? Because I have tested myself in some rough terratin and couldn't pass. Not courageous enough to do any 4x4 driving stunts. And the higher the truck the more reluctant ( soft word for terrified LOL :D) I was to take it up or down a slope for example. Whenever the truck tilted about 20 degrees sideways, I stopped and was too scared to proceed!! In such a case, ruggedness would not help.

    So, test yourself and skills OFF-ROAD. It is not the same as driving on 4-lane highway. That test may help you answer your question.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  18. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    I agree with that, I have never really understood the fascination with raised trucks. Raised to accommodate taller tires is ok but to raise so high that it becomes a liability when off roading is puzzling.
  19. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    When the modifications are done right, there is no greater chance of rolling over in a highly modified vehicle than in a stock vehicle. My YJ is lifted about 13" - purely suspension - running 38" tires (that is 10" taller tire than stock). I have an inclinometer on the dash of my Jeep that has shown me at 35° over sideways - and I still felt comfortable driving it. I have not rolled my Jeep - even after 10 years of off-roading it.

    I have friends that I was wheelin' with and they rolled their Jeeps, we got them back on their wheels and I was able to pass-through that area without any fan-fare. It isn't always the vehicle, it isn't always the driver - it is a good combination of both with the right modifications to match. :beercheer:
  20. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    OK boss, administrator , there are two things here to consider.

    1 -
    Have you tested your truck when it is fully loaded bug out style ?
    The center of gravity changes as you add more stuff in the truck bed which is now 13 inches higher than stock.

    2 -
    In my case, I am SURE the car will not roll because I see crazy teens drive similar vehicles in crazy ways and get away with it in one piece. So, it is not the actual possibility of rolling that is to be taken in consideration, it is the psychological characteristic of the driver that may affect the outcome.

    For example, being the experienced off-road driver that you are, you may be bugging out, face a mud hole and blaze through it with your truck and get thru. Me ? I will defineitly stop, and even if I drive it will be slow and reluctant driving that I will sink in the mud.

    Psychology makes a difference.

    But then again, I have not been driving in a real survival situation . Maybe I will forget my fears and phobias if something is really threatening my family.


    I am from the Middle East and there is one interesting case of bugging out that has not been studied enough. In 1991 when Saddam invaded Kuwait, hundreds or thousands of Kuwaitis fled to Saudi Arabia and since Iraqi army controlled the highways, those bugging out went thru desert roads. Many got lost or stuck and died. I remember in those days dozens of volunteers swept through the desert to look for these unfortunate souls to rescue them in time. .... So given this sad event, ruggedness definitely counts. But then again, even with 4x4 , if I don't know enough about surviving harsh envrionments (i.e. personal ruggedness vs. vehicle ruggedness ) people may not be able to get use of the vehicle ruggedness.