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Hooniverse Asks- What’s The Best Vehicle For Living in, in a Post Apocalyptic World?

Robert Emslie November 12, 2012 Hooniverse Asks 78 Comments

After the election last week, many on the losing side made the claim that we will now see the destruction of America. Sad as that may be, it still does open up the possibility of living in a post apocalyptic world, fighting either zombies or political pollsters. And of course when society finally does break down, leaving our cities in ruin and fewer than 169 channels left on cable TV, we’ll all probably be living in our vehicles. At least if Hollywood movies are to be trusted.

Surviving and living in comfort are two different things, and while a Humvee could potentially traverse the ruin and decay of an America gone feral, would you really want to have to sleep in one? Or shower? No, I’m thinking that this hypothetical post election disaster landscape – as proposed by the doomsayers – will require something with not just the brawn to roll over mutants, but the amenities that provide comfort while doing so.

That being said, what do you think would offer you the accommodations to live in the manner to which you have become accustomed, while still being able to stay off the radar of the post government downfall warlords? What would be your choice for your own Howl’s Moving Castle should the shit go down?

Image: [johnkennethmuir]

  • AlLebo

    Volkswagen camper. The lefties would think that you are on their side and the righties would think that you were so full of dope that you don't pose a threat

  • smalleyxb122

    Can there really be a better choice than the Dobbertin Surface Orbiter?

    <img src="http://www.instablogsimages.com/1/2012/01/13/image_title_39ojm.jpg"&gt;

  • OA5599
  • JayP2112
  • I'm leaning towards something fairly simple mechanically. A 1973-1987 Chevy/GMC 1-ton 4X4 4-door with a 350 V-8. Probably a camper top on the bed. Lots of space for the family, supplies, and weapons. Of course part of this space would be dedicated to a gasification system. Gasoline will be very hard to come by, with a gasification system you can run on wood chips/zombie parts/discarded copies of the Constitution/worthless $1 bills/etc. Carbed motors appear to be fairly straightforward to adapt to gasification. Also, an old V-8 is easy to adapt/refit to a points ignition system, so EMP isn't a concern. Why a 350 instead of a 454 you ask, parts availability and speed probably won't be a concern. You can just about find Chevy small block parts on the side of the road.
    <img src="http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff155/raceradam/100_3500.jpg&quot; width="500/">

  • Kogashiwa

    This should be a pretty decent command centre.

    <img src="http://www.v-s-e.nl/uploads/pics/dakar09_truck_jump_web.jpg"&gt;

  • Tough call. I think I'd want something fairly spacious like a panel van, but with muscle car performance.

    <img src="http://images.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/RoadRunnervan_resized.jpg"&gt;

  • bhtooefr

    An old diesel school bus, preferably with mechanical indirect injection, and preferably on the GM medium duty truck chassis (so I can retrofit 4WD).

    Think about it – it's perfect for outfitting as an RV, they're designed to be cheap to run, and they're ubiquitous.

    • Hopman

      You forgot easy to fix, tough as nails, and almost indestructable.

  • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3118/2855456815_eafb1e5aa4.jpg"&gt; Dang can't find an image of an old wagon (for comfort). You'd need a trailer for the wood too. Other fuels would be hard to come by and getting a fill-up would be a great opportunity to get robbed. So basically this or sunshine, but I know which driver would be less likely to get approached and killed. There's something to be said for presence.

  • racer139

    I think id have a 80-87 suburban three quarter ton 4×4 with a cummins twelve valve swap, install a vegie oil system and itll run on near anything. Also id have some kind of custom built 25-30 foot command center/living space, somthong that bullets or hungry desperate people or brain eating zombies would have a hard time getting into or shooting up. I would also take said burban for the curent world as well.

  • Alcology

    So here's a question that might be able to be answered. Whole world goes to crap and in every movie gas is available if not plentiful for at least one group. How long would gas be viable after production stopped and no one was around to handle supply?

    • Depends on several factors. The blend of the gas, most modern gasoline sold in the US isn't "just gas". The storage conditions and the type of engine that you are running it in. Small two strokes and small engines in general seem to be rather finicky, fuel injected engines might be picky too. Just think of the problems you have when you leave the gas in your mower over the winter. I have gotten my 67 Imperial to run on gas that was at least 3 years old. that being said, I took a gas tank out of a Imperial parts car, the gas tank had been sitting for 10-15 years in a junkyard. Whatever nasty mess was in that tank was a LOONG way from gasoline and one of the foulest smelling things I've ever had to deal with.

      • Alcology

        Yeah, I've only ever gotten about 3-4 months usefulness without adding in stabilizers

    • I don't understand all the vilifying of "Big Oil" and companies like Halliburton. If society comes to a screeching halt, I want to be friends with people from Shell, BP, Halliburton, etc. that can hook me up with the good stuff.

      • Officer Farva

        Because over the years, such companies have worked to suppress high MPG vehicles (usually non-hyrid, non-electric) and other useful technologies that could help us to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

    • jeepjeff

      If you have a farm as a base, most multi-point EFI vehicles will run straight Ethanol without modification. Mileage will suffer, and cold starts can be problem (depending on how smart the system is about sequential injection). But it will work. You have to distill past 160 proof and the closer you can get to the azeotrope, the better. The equipment you need for this is surprisingly small and easy to build. While you would be range limited, you would still have a fuel source.

  • 1slowvw

    Unimog with a camper on the back would be a treat, but finding parts would be a pain.

  • PotbellyJoe

    <img src="http://static.flickr.com/92/240724267_589a27a460.jpg"&gt;

    Vixen RV. 5-cyl. diesel. and a roof that can be retrofit to mount a turret.

    • Actually it's a 2.4L six, the same one that was offered in the E28 5 Series, Fox body Lincoln Continental and Lincoln Mark VII.

      • PotbellyJoe

        You're right. Typos suck.

  • $kaycog
    • Just don't hit the dump lever!

      • gearz1

        Looks like an updated "Neverwas Haul"

    • Vairship

      Make the stairs up to the cab retractable, and you're ready to go!

  • Irishzombieman

    I call it the DOOM TRAIN, though most folks refer to it as the Midgetman Missile Hard Mobile Launcher.

    Not sure, though, if I'd take the prototype
    <img src="http://imageshack.us/scaled/thumb/17/armageddonrv.jpg&quot; width="450/">

    or what would've been the production model.
    <img src="http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/files/2012/06/hml-580×359.jpg&quot; width="450/">

  • The Road Condo, my above pictured 1964 Chevy motorhome, would actually work pretty well. It has all the comforts except AC, which is easily remedied. It has the basic small block 350, points ignition with a dependable Edelbrock carb and a granny low four speed. Easy to work on, and I know every nut and bolt on the vehicle, and have the tools to completely rebuild it. Split rims, so you don't really need a tire machine to bust down the rim, just a set of irons and a sledgehammer, and you can patch the bias ply tube tires. It has clearance, so you can negotiate the post-apocalyptic wrecked freeways. It has a gnarly hitch so you can pull a trailer full of ammo, food, and supplies, and I already have the trailer. I have three different generators, one of which actually runs and the other two can be made to run. I live in Tombstone, AZ so I'm already armed to the teeth, like everybody else who lives here. So, I guess I'm already in pretty good shape should something bad happen. However, if the worst did happen, I still want one of these:
    <img src="http://ccsurplus.com/sites/ccsurplus.com/files/willies,%20m109a3%20cargo,%20tires%20025.JPG&quot; width="600">
    I know every nut and bolt on one of these, too, and they'll run on just about anything, as well as go anywhere.

    • danleym

      Check out this build. This guy had been working on building up one of these pretty much as a permanent traveling home for him, his dog, and any girl he happens to meet between now and when he leaves that is crazy enough to go with him. So I'm pretty sure it'll just be him and his dog. He isn't done yet (getting close, I think), but it's a pretty cool build to read through.

      • Wow. This guy has the right idea. I'll go back and read the whole 35 plus pages of this thread another time, but I can see where he's going, and it's gotta be impressive. When I was in the Guard, we built what was pretty much a mobile motor pool shop truck on a Deuce, with a custom rear body that we could break down for air transport. These are about the most truck that you can buy for the money. This guy bought his Deuce for $3500.00, and look how much he got to start with. And, he's doing a lot with it. I wish him all the best.

  • And the kids have their own room.
    <img src="http://www.unimog-forever.com/Forever-404/Camping/stefanauto.jpg&quot; width="600">

    • I think you win. That's freakin' awesome.

      • gearz1

        Awesome has a new definition,that is it.

  • Vavon

    <img src="http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00726/CamperVan-682_726641a.jpg&quot; width=600>
    Everything a house needs and even a garage for my litle Peugeot… Perfect!

    • boxdin

      Err Mercedes


    M1126 Stryker 8×8 LAV. 4 or 8 wheel drive. Almost as off-road capable as a tank without the hassles of tracks. Massive puncture proof tires that will take light arms fire. Insanely durable drivetrain that will run almost forever with almost no maintenance. Will run on basically any flammable liquid you can find. Plenty of space inside. Will take light arms fire up to rpgs for dealing with all the little feral despotic warlord groups that will pop up. Hermetically sealed with atmosphere scrubbers to keep out the zombie virus. Plenty of parts available at any Army National Guard base you happen to come across. There's usually a remotely controlled Ma Deuce already attached to the top for any situation requiring some "suppression", and they are configurable with a number of versatile weapons systems to deal with any threat tha might come up, like the Mk 19 "Magic Key" automatic grenade launcher. it may not be the most comfortable ride in the world, but it might be the best all around vehicle in the world from a preparedness standpoint.

  • pj134

    … You said vehicle so this turned into a yacht:
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/af/USS_Enterprise_%28CVN-65%29.jpg/300px-USS_Enterprise_%28CVN-65%29.jpg&quot; width="500/">

    With one of these for when I need to recover some fuel…

    <img src="http://data.primeportal.net/hemtt2/rich_sahli/hemtt_ft/hemtt_ft_1_of_7.jpg&quot; width="500/">

  • Devin

    <img src="http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/astute/images/8-ssn-astute-submarine.jpg&quot; width="500">

    Under the sea, under the sea. There's no zombification, just friendly crustaceans under the seeeeeeea.

  • njhoon

    I would say a Deuce and a Half dual fuel. Heck you can run it on just about anything, even home heating oil (which is pretty darn close to, if not the same as diesel.

  • jtk2

    I have to be honest… I'm going to take my mountain bike instead of a car, and load up the trailer with bullets and guns and arrows.

  • seguin

    Something with a low-compression small block. Oughtta be able to take low-quality gas. Probably a truck.

  • <img src="http://www.panzerbaer.de/helper/pix/us_cucv_m880_ambulance-DF-ST-85-11708.jpg"&gt;
    Enough traction to go anywhere, simple enough to repair no matter where you end up. Okay, so there are other, more heavily constructed, more reliable vehicles out there. But there is a difference between reliability and survivability; you could keep one of these going nearly forever with little more than a pliers, safety wire and emery cloth. Plus, it's momma-bear size: big enough to live in but small enough to make disappear when necessary.

    • Makes sense, but I'd go with the M37 Power Wagon version.

  • DemonXanth

    How post apocolyptic are we talking here? How long do you think there's going to be fuel for a vehicle in many of these scenarios?
    <img src="http://www.horse-games-for-kids.com/images/horse-running-beach.jpg&quot; width=400>

  • XRSevin

    <img src="http://www.scarefx.com/images/coffin_project/coffin_construction_13.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Yeah, that whole post-apocalypse thing bodes ill for me.

  • Fritzo2162

    Ha! I thought I was the only one on the planet that remembered Ark2 from Saturday morning's in the 70's 🙂

  • wisc47

    Unimight want to get yourself one of these bad boys.

    <img src="http://www.unicat.net/img/MD45-UnimogU1550L37-560.jpg"&gt;

  • Spencer Gottlieb

    this, a bone stock AK47, a Ruger 10/22 and a compound bow

  • jeepjeff

    Jeep Universal or Wrangler. It's a military scout vehicle. It can be used as a hunting rig, and will go anywhere. If you don't go Spencer's route (solar), you'll need a fuel supply, which means being tied to some kind of farm or abandoned refinery. A couple jerry cans will extend your range, and if you need to overnight, you can bring a tent or bivvy sack (although, I have successfully slept in my Wrangler).

    Ok. No armor, but that didn't stop us in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I think it's proved itself. You don't have to get out to shoot and a passenger can fire parting shots.

    EDIT: Also, I've already got one. Craigslist may or may not be available in the event of apocalypse. I suspect that good Apocalypse mobiles will suddenly have Geo-Metro-during-fuel-crisis premiums if you can find a seller.

  • For when the fuel runs out:

    <img src="http://www.landships.freeservers.com/jpegs_new/number_12/Simms.jpg&quot; width="450/">

    Me, In the park, practicing, yesterday.

  • Officer Farva

    I'd get the biggest motorhome there is, find a way to run alternative fuels or even solar and cover that fucker in armor. Plenty of guns, military-grade rations and other creature comforts and it would be a home away from home.

  • <img src="http://www.benzworld.org/forums/attachments/w123-e-ce-d-cd-td/457276d1342711394-w123-add-camper-add-on_camper.jpg&quot; width="500">

    Indestructible, efficient, EMP-proof engine that can run on just about anything from Crisco to perfume in a pinch? Check.

    Solid-as-Fort Knox construction? Check.

    Charmingly Teutonic styling? Check.

    Capable of beating any surface or terrain into submission? Well…three outta four ain't bad, right?

    • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      Actually, most would be shocked at how well these machines do off-road.

      Lotsa suspension travel FTW!

  • Van_Sarockin

    'In the manner to which you have become accustomed'? Well, that should mean that a stripper Gremlin will do just fine. We had such fine hopes, up to that line.

  • vroomsocko
  • vroomsocko
  • The parking lot at my compound will look awesome if you all can manage to show up.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    I already own mine, though I'd like a couple of additions for long-term post-apocalyptic travel, besides a kick-ass 'roo bar and some armoring.

    First, it's gotta be a diesel. Unlike gasoline, diesel never goes bad, and once you find a few tankers of it, enhancing your range to a comfy 700 mile radius from said tanker(s), nunja you worry. As the machine pictured below stands, I have a highway speed range of 800 miles, leaving about a 6 gallon cushion. If I drove it at post-apocalyptic speeds of 35-40 MPH, I'd wager it can get 15 MPG. Right now, 120K miles of travel has it right at 9.9 MPG, but I'm not gentle with it.

    I know this vehicle well, as once, I put 88 gallons in the 90 gallon tank. Later, I put 87 gallons in it. I wasn't all that concerned either time, but it helps to have a second (possibly third) vehicle in-tow.

    <img src="http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp29/mckellyb/f_17436844_1-1.jpg&quot; width="400">

    Sure, it's the electronic Cummins, but in 120K miles, I've never had one engine-related problem, save for a hosed oil pressure sending unit…and after it failed very early, like in the first 100 miles, of a 5K mile trip, I didn't fix it until I found an old style one which reports actual pressure not just "yes" or "no"…and a cracked exhaust manifold, which was likely the PO's doing, I'm comfy with it.

    Mine has only a 90 gallon tank, but I'd throw a dedicated 20 gallon one on there for the diesel generator, and figure out how to mount a 120 or 150 gallon tank, which was available on this Freightliner chassis as an option.

    Now, hooked to the back of this beast should be a 1986-1991 Dodge 2500 Cummins, extended cab, long bed, 4×4 pick-'em-up with an aux 100 gallon tank and pump in the bed. In the back of this monster should be a US military spec Kawasaki KLR650 with a diesel conversion.

    Yes, they exist.

    Oil burners…FTW!!!

    …BTW, you have time to think about things like this as you travel through truly remote areas of the continent.


    Might as well drive something that'll make me a buck or two on the side….

    For all your Post Apocalyptic Wedding needs

    <img src="http://mindovermotor.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/day-3-concours-155.jpg"&gt;

  • topdeadcentre

    I'll be sitting this "apocalypse" thing out, as I head to the Secret Enclave of Multi-Billionaires, complete with all the creature comforts. Food, electricity, swimming pools, masked balls, lovely women to distract me from the end of the world, special roads reserved for tooling around on in the phaeton.

    I won't live past the end of Act 2 of the movie, but it'll be a most pleasant way to go.

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6a/Duesenberg_Convertible_SJ_LA_Grand_Dual-Cowl_Phaeton_1935.jpg/640px-Duesenberg_Convertible_SJ_LA_Grand_Dual-Cowl_Phaeton_1935.jpg&quot; width="550/">

  • Sportmobile for the win…

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/pqViJ.jpg&quot; alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" />

    <a href="http://sportsmobile.com/” target=”_blank”>http://sportsmobile.com/