Into Texas

June 14, 2014

From: Gary

Morning,

Just north of Brownsville, Texas. Made it here yesterday morning fairly late, after starting out at about 2:00 AM… from Del Rio Texas..

The truck is running fine, seems to like the warmer temperatures..

We are driving at night, for the dogs; cooler for them stuck back in the trailer..

Planning to do the border cross tomorrow morning, Sunday. Should be less busy…

So far its been a good trip, over half way mileage wise to Panama from Oregon…

Its been interesting traveling so far in a Deuce and a half… rather pleasant and fun!
I filled up with water at the last RV park, close to 50 gallons, probably enough for cooking and drinking the whole way across Mexico…

Really I’ve been surprised, after hearing people online talk about the Deuces being unpleasant…

It has been fairly pleasant, the only down side has been the slow speed… and I’ve been getting used to that, and actually liking it…

I find a 45 mph average is good enough, it just keeps rolling…. For the M-35 bug out types, my advice is make sure your truck is in tip top shape, and then you have not much to worry about… They are capable of long distances, and get about 10 mpg average, and we are loaded to the gills, and pulling a heavy Milspec trailer…

Generally speaking in the flatter terrain like across Texas and southern New Mexico, that I seldom get down to third gear… usually its shifting down to fourth out of fifth which is an overdrive…

The first thousand miles was hardest because I was breaking in the new motor. Had to soft pedal to keep the RPM’s down, and also trying to not lug the motor…

After that I brought it up, and began using the motor more, and have been getting a decent 45 mph average..

Whistler has 1100 tires, so she cruises a bit faster than the speedometer, making it easier to get a good average…

I’ve been running off the top half of the tank, and have had no problem finding fuel. The biggest problem in fueling is enough room to wheel the truck and trailer around… But usually I can intimidate cars out of the way etc…

For bug out purposes, I suggest added fuel tankage…. even if its just barrels in the truck bed and a pump…

Nicer would be to build in some tanks underneath, like I mentioned before; aft under the frame…

I think 100 gallons would be possible there…

Giving a roughly 1500 mile cruising range…

Another modification I’d suggest is to get another Milspec tire carrier and mount a second spare… either under the back or on the front… I’ve used the stock carrier and it works really well, easy to lift or lower the tires, and they end up bolted solid for off road travel…

I think in a pinch, I could lift two tires on that carrier, to get me to help loading, but it would reduce ground clearance for off road use…

I can load a tire and wheel into the back of the truck by myself, by using a ladder for a ramp, tied at the top to the tail gate, and then running a long pry bar through the wheel center hole, and using the ladder rungs like cogs, and levering up the tire one rung at a time, with the wheel dish placed upwards so the tire sidewall frictions against the ladder to keep from back sliding…

You need about ten feet of ladder, to get a decent angle… you could do the same with some kind of plank ramp if it had structure and regular holes bored through it for the long pry bar…

I just bought an extension ladder, 16 ft, and the pry bar is about 5 ft long…

Anyway, the M-35 not being worthy of long trips is a myth… To me its like stepping back in time to a more sane era… And I will gladly go slower on the highway in
trade for the M-35’s awesome off road and heavy hauling abilities… they are most definitely the vehicle of choice for the guy with guts and brains to run them, the experience to fix them, and the responsibility to get friends and family to safety…

Again; better fix them up guys, they are sold surplus because they need more repair than the government deems worth the time…

But for a prepper having or learning mechanical skills, theres nothing better… just don’t do anything half-assed or get bit aft, and plan on spending time and treasure to get them back up in shape…

But they are worth fixing, and worth not trashing via Yahoo treatment…

Save the capability for when you really need it… I think when the Shinola hits, the yahoos will all be sitting on broken trucks waiting for parts and money….

G

 

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