Over at Hillow Haven Outdoor, Creek has had several Bug Out Vehicles over the years. In mid 2013, he decided to start a new bug-out vehicle. Funny enough, he used this build as a secret information gathering project for his book: Build the Perfect Bug Out Vehicle
There were 3 things he wanted for his latest BOV:
- Diesel – his past bugout vehicles were gasoline, and wanted a diesel
- He wanted a dedicated BOV, not a daily driver, something that didn’t need to be modern or have creature comforts, just simply run well and be EMP proof
- Creek had always wanted an ex-military truck
In the end, he decided to go with a surplus M1028 CUCV 1985 Chevrolet pickup truck that runs on diesel. Purchased from an online auction, the price was around $5000 after a new transmission, ignition switch, a few electrical fixes and two new commercial batteries.
Here are some of the highlights of the truck (as it was purchased)
- 1985 Chevrolet Pickup
- GM (Detroit Diesel) 379 cu in. (6.2L) J-series non-emissions diesel V-8 engine, 135hp@3600rpm
- 1 1/4 Ton
- All axles full floating. Front axle is Dana 60 with Spicer Trac-lok (limited slip) and locking hubs, ratio: 4.56:1.
- Rear axle is 10.5 inch Corporate 14 Bolt with “No-spin/Detroit” differential locker.
- GM TH400 (Turbo Hydramatic 400) automatic transmission with 3 forward and 1 reverse speeds
- 5800 lbs (2633 kg)
- Payload: 3600 lbs (1634 kg)
- 12/24 volt dual voltage
- Equipped to tow M101 Series 3/4 ton trailers with maximum towed load of 3100 Ibs. Tongue load not to exceed 300 Ibs.
- Fuel Tank: 20 Gallons US (75.7 liters)
- Max Speed: 1st 25 mph (40.2 kph)
- Max Speed: 2nd 35 mph (56.3 kph)
- Max Speed: Drv 55 mph (88.5 kph)
- Max Speed: Rev 9 mph (24.5 kph)
Creek also lists some other features he’s excited about:
- I love the Black-Out Switch. Flip a switch on the dash and all the lights go out – even the brakes. That’s a pretty cool bug out feature! Sometimes you just want to go covert.
- There are no electronic or computer parts on this truck – everything is manual. Minus a few fuses – this thing is theoretically EMP proof as it stands.
- Gun racks. It has 2 vertical gun racks behind the seat – cool.
- Brush guard. The stock brush guard isn’t fancy, but it sure is functional. I like it.
- Beefy shackles. It’s got several beefy shackles throughout.
- 83,000 miles. I’m sure these 83K miles were ‘hard-use’ miles but this is nothing for the diesel engine inside
- It’s diesel. Though this has positives and negatives – I like the fact that I have a diesel truck option.
- 4×4 w/ detroit locker. This is a real 4×4 truck.
- Decent gas mileage – I’m getting over 20 mpg with this truck.
- 8 foot bed
- No rust hardly at all!
And of course, some things he isn’t too fond of:
- The paint is crap. The guy who had it before me painted it with some kind of janky house exterior paint. This is going to take some work.
- This thing starts groaning like a ticked off grizzly bear when you hit 50 mph. It’s geared for towing, not speed.
- AC – yeah right.
- Interior is shot to you know where – everything needs replaced
- It’s old. I like that it’s old for EMP sake but I hate that it’s old at the same time. Old is less reliable – period.
- It’s beat up. I guess this is to be expected with an 85 military truck but I will want to spend some time on the cosmetics. While I’m not overly obsessed with how it looks – I want it to look better than it does now
- I hate the tires
- Not much interior storage space – may need a cap on back – must think about this
Creek’s future plans for his newest get-out-of-dodge vehicle include more storage, new tires and maybe new wheels, sand down the bad paint and pop out some dents, fix the windows so they roll up easier, upgrade the interior, and lastly, do a test drive to his bug out location to determine time to get there and fuel usage for the trip.