Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Transportation

Goatdog's Project 505

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Goatdog62:
  A dilemma I face is the distinct reality that a major SHTF situation could occur when I'm not home in TN. About 80% of my time is at least 505 miles away in Williamsburg or Yorktown VA, many times I am even further than that. If I'm overseas, I don't really have a chance to get home, but I'll die trying of course. If I'm stateside, I'm going for broke. My family and I have a BOL about 350 miles west of me and 150 or so east of them, but they are to stay put until I come get them. This rule, of course, is dependent on the situation. A radioactive cloud would certainly be reason to move out and wait for me at our eastern BOL. We also have BOL's prerarranged west, south, and north of our TN home.

The title of this thread is based on a suggestion given to me on another thread within TSP. I can't remember who you are but thank you.

  Should I need to get home, and things are really bad as far as overland travel goes, I'll need a reliable multi-purpose vehicle that will give me the best shot at getting there. Additionally, I'll have my Plan B. This would take effect if I had to bail from my BOV and hoof it. My BOB will be part of this thread and it is packed for long-term walking. I spent years humping a ruck through the world's terrain and try to keep myself in shape to do it again if I have to. If this happens I imagine it will be epic, similar to Cold Mountain. Not trying to romanticize it, I realize my chances drop significantly should I need to go to ground.

  In 2004, during one of my hitches in Iraq, I had a brand new 2004 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4WD V8 with third-row seating delivered to my wife after a personal tragedy (miscarriage). I didn't intend for it to replace our sorrow, just felt like bringing her out of a major slump. She was tickled pink with the gift and I felt it was the best $35k I'd ever spent (100% down, no payments ever plan). At the time a new, safe family vehicle was the right thing for us. We still had 3 out of 5 kids still at home and they fit just fine in there.

  In five years she put 34,800 miles on the truck. Now, after having yet another little girl (my son is the oldest and the five girls came out in a row after that), the four remaining kids are much bigger. Ages 16, 14, 7, and 2. Space was at a premium and I bought her a Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD. Then I stole her 4Runner. This truck is the basis for my BOV build. It is in outstanding condition and I've done all the maintenance on it myself.

I have some rules that I must abide by;

1. I don't want to ruin the BOV. While I only buy Toyota and keep them until they die of natural causes, I don't want to drive something that will be of no value and too weird. No permanent mods that only hold value for me. I have some experience with this. I previously BOV'd a 1996 Toyota Tacoma and did a pretty fair job. Later I stripped it back to it just being our mulch mover, dog transporter, kid stick-shift trainer, truck that will always be in the family.
2. In addition to the emergency BOV duty, it must serve as a daily driver, a kickass camping vehicle, maintain its 7000 lb towing capacity, look decent, and (with 30 minutes or less of work) revert back to carrying seven passengers.
3. It must have above-average off road capability but in no way do i intend it to become Bigfoot or Grave Digger. Those type vehicles are fun, but not all around great transportation. I will lift it a few inches, eventually I will go bigger on wheels and tires, I might go so far as adding the snorkel kit, I don't know for sure yet. I do know that I will carry plenty of recovery equipment and tools, compressors, etc that will help me be my own tow truck.
4. Can't be too high profile or dressed with bling for blings sake.
5. I will have fun.

The first thing I did was a top to bottom maintenance check. I found nothing worth noting. It is still on its original set of Michelins and I fear that I will have to replace them for just being old (and therefore UV damaged) long before the tread gets bad. They literally have 75%+ of their tread left and are perfectly balanced. Michelins cost more, but they have always been my tire of choice. The synthetic oil (Mobil1 5W-30) that I exclusively use has been a form of cheap insurance in all my vehicles. I won't be convinced to use dino oil ever again in anything. It is on the second set of brake pads and they looked great, so no issues stopping. All the other fluids were looking good and none were due for replacement yet, so I let that go for now. The timing belt won't be scheduled until I have 90k. I drive a lot more than my wife, so I figure 2 years or so.

Anyway, I have no set order in how I will do this, but I have already started. I immediately pulled out the middle row bench and put it in my TN home storage shed. It is wrapped in plastic and will be fine there. The rear two seats are quick release and mount in or dismount out in less than 30 seconds. So I took those with me to VA.



Size comparison to Sequoia





4.7 V8



When I removed the middle bench, I decided that the large void and uneven floor would be used to my advantage.

Klapton:

--- Quote ---Should I need to get home, and things are really bad as far as overland travel goes, I'll need a reliable multi-purpose vehicle that will give me the best shot at getting there. Additionally, I'll have my Plan B. This would take effect if I had to bail from my BOV and hoof it. My BOB will be part of this thread and it is packed for long-term walking. I spent years humping a ruck through the world's terrain and try to keep myself in shape to do it again if I have to. If this happens I imagine it will be epic, similar to Cold Mountain. Not trying to romanticize it, I realize my chances drop significantly should I need to go to ground.

--- End quote ---

Nothing romantic about it.  If it goes down like that, it's gonna SUUUUUUUCK!

Sounds like a neat project!  It should keep you busy for a while.  Will a winch be among your tools?  I'm not an off-roader or anything, but I've seen enough pictures of 4x4s being dragged out of something with a winch to know I'd want one if I was going off road in any serious manner.  Is there any stealthy way of putting a mount on the car for a winch?  (Just throwing out ideas here.)

Goatdog62:
I also decided I wanted dual battery capability. I previously had an Optima Bluetop as my second battery in the Tacoma (TacoBago was its nickname). I loved this battery and was happy to get to use it again. The Bluetop can be mounted sideways or upside down and needs no venting like a conventional battery does. I planned to install it behind the air cleaner with a Perko Battery Switch and isolator. This is as it was in the Tacobago. But then decided I wanted even more capability. So I decided that soon I would buy another Bluetop and keep this one as a portable. I'll get the dual battery setup going later. For now I took the current Bluetop and placed it inside a battery box that I had laying around.



They make boxes just for this purpose, but they cost around $45 and don't do any more than mine does.



I ran 6 ga wire to the terminals that I can use as recharging points, mounted a 12 volt outlet to it, and best of all mounted a 750 watt inverter with two 110 and one USB charger to the top.



Here it is inside one of my tents, the excess black wire on the tent floor is part of a LCD TV/DVD 12 volt power cord. The battery box is light enough to carry around the campsite and I use it for many power needs. I plan to buy a solar panel to recharge it for longer term camping trips, but it never seems to run down anyway. Additionally, a small Honda generator is in the cards.

I used styrofoam to make the battery fit tight and strapped the box shut. I plan to eventually build a storage bin within the 505 to keep it secure.


DeltaEchoVictor:
I'm looking forward to more....

Goatdog62:

--- Quote from: Klapton on July 28, 2009, 07:05:41 PM ---Nothing romantic about it.  If it goes down like that, it's gonna SUUUUUUUCK!

Sounds like a neat project!  It should keep you busy for a while.  Will a winch be among your tools?  I'm not an off-roader or anything, but I've seen enough pictures of 4x4s being dragged out of something with a winch to know I'd want one if I was going off road in any serious manner.  Is there any stealthy way of putting a mount on the car for a winch?  (Just throwing out ideas here.)


--- End quote ---

Way ahead of you Klapton. I plan on a winch (likely a Warn) that will be mountable in the rear tow hitch and the eventual front tow hitch. They do make hidden mounts but they seem to affect ground clearance or limit the winch's capability. A hitch that will be stored inside will reduce my signature, be out of the elements, and be versatile for front or rear situations. Currently I have an 8000 lb come-along, a tow chain, a snatch block, a tow rope, an e-tool, a jack (but getting a Hi-Lift soon), shackles and clevis', a compressor, and other things I'm probably forgetting. I also learned how to make your drive wheels (all 4 in my case) into a sort of winch mechanism (Army stuff).

Some recovery and safety stuff I have now;



Come-Along 4000 lb vertical lift, 8000 horizontal. The way we did things before winches (as broke redneck kids anyway).



Snatch block. A snatch block doubles the pulling power of a winch and/or allows you to change what direction you are being pulled from.



A real crowbar. Because shit happens.



A Fyr Fyter extinguisher. Actually have a couple from Northern Tool. You never know when one might save the day.



My 2 inch hitch and ball, booster cables, large tie down strap, 300 watt inverter, circuit tester, and WD-40. This all hides inside the right rear inside fenderwall panel.



Inside left fenderwall panel. Jack, and the collapsible 4-way lug wrench, road flares, ice scraper, and one of my survival kits. I'll cover the survival kits later, but I will say it is one of the best for my purposes.



Boltcutters. Because shit happens.



A 1 and 7/8ths hitch, Prodigy brake controller, soft tiedowns, spare fuses, and plug adapters. This box fits into the subfloor I built.



Additionally, in the subfloor, I've added a tow strap, bungee cords, 4 shackles, and 2 ratcheting tiedowns.



The e-tool, the siphon, the tire repair stuff ,and my air compressor.



The e-tool. It folds up and fits inside one of the ammo cans.



The siphon. I have one for fuel and one for water.



The slime tire repair sealant and the tire plug kit. A must have item for self-recovery. I'd use the Hi=Lift and vehicle weight to break the bead on the rim and the starter fluid method to remount it.



Starter fluid. Won't work on a fuel injected engine, but a three second burst into a unbeaded tire with a quick flick of the Bic and WHOOSH!...the tire is filled and ready to roll. Works really well and looks cool to watch too.



Prodigy Brake Controller. I have a 26' 2006 Travel Trailer at my western BOL.



Part of my vehicle access kit. The hotwire setup is for older vehicles. I also have but won't show my other tools that will allow me to have "options" and all kinds of other tricks. I never violate the law with this stuff, I break no law by owning it either. If SHTF I guess I might reassess my policy.



The 1 7/8ths hitch and ball.


The 7 into 4 plug adapter. I have a utility trailer that fits this and the 1 7/8ths.



The Slime 12 volt air compressor. Inflates a tire from flat to 40 lbs in three minutes.



Nice bag, accurate air gauge, accessory kit, and plugs into either a 12 volt (stock) or with the battery clamp adapter it attaches directly to the vehicle battery.



Has a nice light to help you with your poor vis tire problems. It only cost $52 at Wally World and I have used it to reinflate after beach driving in the Outer Banks recently. Plenty of air hose length and power cord length too. I like it.





The Res Q Me. Glass breaking and seatbelt cutting. Mine is 550'd to the drivers visor so it doesn't fall under the seat when I need it most. It can also be used as a keychain, but i avoid bulky keychains.

Most of this stuff will go in the subfloor, but a few things will be mounted elsewhere as I develop and experiment.











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