Skip to content

Best Bug Out Vehicle Models For Survival

White Sprinter Van Inside View Of The Cabin
White Sprinter Van Inside View Of The Cabin
©Ed Aldridge/123RF.COM

We may earn compensation from the products mentioned in this post. See our Affiliate Disclaimer.

Getting into the vehicle preparedness lifestyle can be an intimidating experience, especially when looking at bug out vehicle models for the first time. This is mainly because conducting a BOV search on the internet will show many examples of extravagant and test-testosterone packed automobiles that are not realistic options for most people. The average person wants to protect their families’ quality of living during a disaster, and don’t want to go full Rambo to find a functional option.

When it comes to car prepping, your goal should be to have a space that will allow you to live comfortably in remote areas for weeks, months, or possibly years. If you are looking for a base model vehicle that can give you a solid foundation to build out your bug-out vehicle, then you are in luck. In this article, we have put together a list of the best base models that allow you to easily construct a bug out vehicle that can meet all your needs.

Here are the best bug out vehicle models on the market:

  • Mercedes Sprinter Van
  • Ford Transit
  • Non-manufacturer specific box trucks
  • Non-manufacturer specific cargo vans
  • Non-manufacturer specific food trucks

Mercedes Sprinter Van

Gray Sprinter Van


The Mercedes Sprinter Van tops this list because of its versatile and spacious cabin design that gives you plenty of leeway to build out your bug out setup. Also, what we love about the Sprinter model is that the verticle height of the cabin allows you to maximize space and provides endless customization options. This can include everything from installing custom cabinetry, full kitchen hardware, and even interior showers. In addition, finding spare parts for this model should be easy because of its widespread adoption amongst businesses.

Many models of the Sprinter come in 4×4 AWD, which allows you to take it offroad in case you need to get lost. We love that there are a ton of livable space Sprinter van conversion guides on the internet, and models can have limited windows around the back of the cabin, which is a valuable security enhancement for Preppers.

Ford Transit

Ford Transit sitting in a showroom

Similar to the Mercedes Sprinter, the Ford Transit is another versatile van that is ideal for Car Preppers looking for a base model to customize to their preferences. In addition to sharing similar characteristics to the Sprinter, such as models providing high roof clearance and spacious cabin options, this model is also great because finding parts should be relatively easy.

Just like the name suggests, the Transit was designed for urban driving, which means it’s maneuverable, a big plus in survival. You should have no problem finding customization tutorials on YouTube for it and remember to try to find a model that does not have windows in the back cabin.

Non-manufacturer specific box trucks

Box truck survival vehicle


Traditional box trucks are a great foundational base option to build out your BOV. Going with a 15ft rig gives you enough surface area to get creative and build out a customized liveable space while maintaining a small degree of maneuverability. Also, the large and square roof provides a lot of surface area to install solar panels for your renewable energy needs.

Box trucks can also support a heavy load making it easier for you to store heavier high-value equipment. Larger rigs that are 24′ and more will give you more living space, but the compromise will be that you will lose vehicle agility and have higher gas consumption.

Non-manufacturer specific cargo vans

survival vehicle parked on private property

Similar to box trucks, cargo vans are a jack of all trades when it comes to bug out vehicle base models. Most cargo models have a good amount of cabin space, allowing you a lot of customization floor space to work with. Also, many cargo van models allow back row seating to be collapsed down or removed entirely.

We would recommend finding a model that does not have any seating in the back cabin, allowing you to take advantage of the additional storage space and adding comfortable living quarters like a bed. Also, with the trend of van life becoming very popular among millennials, there are a ton of examples of how to convert basic vans into luxury spaces on wheels.

Non-manufacturer specific food trucks

Food truck based survival vehicle


Most Preppers completely overlook leveraging a used food truck as their bug out vehicle base model of choice, but here are the reasons why you should strongly reconsider. First, most food trucks are inherently designed to be modular, so much of the work in the overall design has been done for you. Much of your critical integrations, such as water and gas, have already been implemented into the design.

Our favorite part about using food trucks is that one side of the vehicle is exposed to the outside, effectively helping to extend the liveable space, much like living room sliding glass doors.

The name Rugged Man was born out of a bet gone horribly wrong, however, the name stuck. Technology nerd by day, and survival enthusiast by night, he is committed to helping thousands of everyday people become more educated about topics such as Prepping, Survival, and Bug Out Strategies.

Back To Top