When it rains, it pours, so the saying goes, and I recently got a taste of what that really means. A couple of weeks ago, just as we are gearing up to the holiday season, our Chevrolet Venture blew a head gasket. Around the same time, my stepson had a car accident that completely finished the front end of his car...2 out of 3 vehicles down at the same time, and neither one of them was worth repairing. So another saying came to mond...when life gives you lemons, buy a pair of four wheel drives!
My step son now drives my reliable, albeit somewhat rusty Ford Taurus. Knowing that he is no longer driving around in an underpowered, lightweight sporty deathtrap is a big load of our minds. So now to focus on what we would be buying next. It had been decided a while ago that we would replace our vehicles with something more bugout friendly as they needed to be, well...now they need to be.
We went over our wish list of features and categorized them into "must have" and "nice to have"
vehicle 1: SUV for Mrs Denob
4 x 4
reliable and long lasting
Decent cargo room
Within budget to pay cash
vehicle 2: Pickup Truck for Denob
Strong, tough, and big enough to get respect on the roads
8' box with cap
Within budget to pay cash
As for the SUV nice to have features, really, all we put on that list was "Jeep Wrnagler" just because DW likes the look.
Nice to have features for the truck were 4 full doors...that's it!
Well, in the end, we got everything we needed and wanted with the exception of the Wrangler. I'll bet we would have got that too, if we had more time to look and wait for one to come up.
We ended up with a Jeep Grand Cherokee for the SUV. It has good cargo space, fits all 5 of us, AWD, and at only 151 000 KM, has plenty of life left in her. One thing we did learn about Jeeps is that you really want one that has a trailer hitch...and not just for towing. Seems that the designers over at Jeep made a booboo with the fuel tank placement, placing them about 6" too far back and can explode in rear collisions...the trailer hitch gives protection against that, and Jeep did a recall a few years ago and installed hitches for free on ALL models.
Now for the truck, we found a Ram 1500 quad cab with 8' box and a HUGE contractor box on the back. The box had been customized and raised almost a foot higher. I can do jumping jacks in the back of that thing! This is going to be further customized inside to make it a camper on wheels...great for bugging out. Again, the Ram had about 151 000 Km on the odometer, so plenty of life left in her as well.
I can't help but feel thankful that we have made the right decisions over the past couple of years that gave us the financial ability to get through this. We have minimized expenses, saved our pennies, and put cash away instead of eating out and taking luxurious vacations. Getting (and staying) out of debt is one of the most important parts of preparing. As a bonus, we took the opportunity to be even more prepared by upgrading the features in our vehicles.
I have been asked to post a casting call by Proper Television, a production company based in Toronto.
They are looking to film a show in the spring where 2 survival enthusiasts are placed in environmentally challenging locations, with supplies and survival gear in tow. They will be expected to work together to find their own food, shelter and ultimately prove their survival skills.
Here is their casting call blurb as it was sent to me...