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Front Towards Enemy
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507 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In a fit of brilliance (That I have yet to discuss with the missus), I came up with an idea, and wanted some advice from you guys. That means in effect that I'm just curious as to whether I'm gonna get a bunch of "**** yeah's" or "You're an idiot's"

Turning a vehicle into a better SHTF vehicle, while keeping it as an everyday driver means something different to everyone. Some are happy with an F150 or a Jeep Wrangler in stock config. Others want a camo 2 1/2 ton. My time as a babysitter, spent riding around in door-less Land Rovers, and seeing HMMWVs with the doors off makes me kind of believe that if the SHTF, I'd be better served with a vehicle I could enter/exit quickly and shoot from in a pinch.

My wife would murder me in my sleep if I turned our 2000 Nissan xterra into something resembling a technical, and I'd feel like an idiot for doing it myself, but what about taking off the stock doors, and installing tube doors? Nice, clean off-road look and not visually offensive, but it would give the driver/passengers the above stated benefits.

Any opinions? As with anything, there's money involved, and if you guys think mine is better spent elsewhere, please say so. there's pics of Xterra's with tube doors on the net, if you've never seen that setup. They're popular with the rock-crawling crowd.

Hope the answer is yes so I can justify it with "expert opinion", much unlike the SCAR H discussion at the last gun show. :D:
 

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Semper Fi
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8,962 Posts
Tube doors make it hard to keep things in and the weather out. They also make it impossible to conceal the fact you have a weapon at the ready.

How much time do you actually anticipate having to worry about coming under ambush in your SHTF plans?
 

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Front Towards Enemy
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507 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Tube doors make it hard to keep things in and the weather out. They also make it impossible to conceal the fact you have a weapon at the ready.

How much time do you actually anticipate having to worry about coming under ambush in your SHTF plans?
I've thought about that...alot. Where I live, people have guns. Alot of guns. And some of these gun owners aren't the responsible, sober people we are. There's alot of drugs and thievery here already. If the grid went down, or something utterly catastrophic happened that caused the ROL to go down the toilet here, I have no doubts there would be a great many unsavory ***holes with guns out to rob and plunder. If we weren't able to evac before the SHTF, there is a decent chance that if we tried to move during or after, that we'd be in a situation where we may have to engage on the move. That's what I'm worried about.

It's not easy to shoot from the confines of a vehicle, especially with a long gun. That, and I would rather be hit with a fresh round than a deformed, keyholing slug that's just passed through a car door. :xeye:
 

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Remove Kebab
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3,589 Posts
I have a Wrangler and I often have the doors off. Even in winter I only run a bikini top and doors. Since I live in Seattle I worry about SHTF and driving around in that thing. A closed vehicle offers much more protection from mobs and being able to get in and out of it quickly is of little relevance in a location where people are unlikely to have RPGs.
 

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Front Towards Enemy
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507 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have a Wrangler and I often have the doors off. Even in winter I only run a bikini top and doors. Since I live in Seattle I worry about SHTF and driving around in that thing. A closed vehicle offers much more protection from mobs and being able to get in and out of it quickly is of little relevance in a location where people are unlikely to have RPGs.
Good point on the mob thing. And no, this place may be bad, but I don't think the BG's have RPG's yet. :thumb:

Two votes for "leave the **** doors on" so far. That's why it's always good to ask, so you don't end up being a fool, right?
 

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I'll leave the SHTF scenarios for you to decide.

I regularly run a Jeep and Bronco with doors off, it's a blast !! Alot of fun and significantly improved ground/rock/terrain visability. For local drives, beaches or off-road it's great. The downside is you and passengers will get buffeted at highway speeds to the point of tiredness and fatigue on a 1+hour highway journey.

For most trucks, you can fabricate pin hinges for quick release and quick reinstall of the heavy stock doors (rebolting the heavy stock door back in its place and aligning it is a pain so invest in pins). You'll also need to purchase or make brackets to attach side mirrors, to stay legal.

Tube doors are purely cosmetic with a B.S cool factor. I avoid these and stay doorless -- tube doors will likely rattle, they offer no protection, security or safety other than kidding the wife that the truck does have "doors". Yeah right.

If you go doorless/tubes doors then look at "Tuffy" products -- steel lockable centers consoles, and security products that work.
 

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Remove Kebab
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3,589 Posts
Good point on the mob thing. And no, this place may be bad, but I don't think the BG's have RPG's yet. :thumb:

Two votes for "leave the **** doors on" so far. That's why it's always good to ask, so you don't end up being a fool, right?
I only gave it consideration due to where I live. I'm close enough to Portland to make every protest a potential riot. We have a moderate size but openly violent Blacklivesmatter crowd here and they have attacked motorists and thrown burning debris onto freeways in the past and will likely do it again during the presidential rallies.

Any additional protection from bats, bricks, incendiaries, OC spray or gas is a huge plus. Probably not as big a deal unless you have to commute through a leftist utopia though.

That being said, my doors come off any time the sun's out.
 

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Non-Conformant
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Although this is not my area nor my cup of tea I would prefer that one leaves their doors (full metal) on their vehicles.. but there's no clause that says these doors can have some sort of protection within them.. remove the inner door panel and stuff a bullet proof vest "etc" within the door's confines and close it back up. But again not sure your theory on want tube doors unless there is some sort of cool factor you're planing on emulating.
 

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Front Towards Enemy
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507 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Although this is not my area nor my cup of tea I would prefer that one leaves their doors (full metal) on their vehicles.. but there's no clause that says these doors can have some sort of protection within them.. remove the inner door panel and stuff a bullet proof vest "etc" within the door's confines and close it back up. But again not sure your theory on want tube doors unless there is some sort of cool factor you're planing on emulating.
No cool factor wanted, just utilitarian. Sort of like taking the doors off of a HMMWV or other vehicle for quick mounting and dismounting. Since everyone seems fairly unanimous on leaving the doors on, I'll probably go that route though.

I do like the idea of "hillbilly armor" inside the door though. Definitely something I'd consider when SHTF. Maybe with ballistic panels from a vest. :thumb:
 

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Since you seem to live in a place with no real cold, right there near Hades, my answer may not make sense to you, but no, taking the doors off is silly, unless you can swap them out as needed. Which assumes bad things only happen when it's nice out.:rolleyes:

Of course, I live where there is stuff like snow, wind with negative degrees in temperature, and other things that are nice to keep outside your cabin.

Also...who is driving your vehicle while you're doing the drive-by blasting?
And how fast is fast enough for dismounting?

The ONLY reason to dismount, IMHO, is because you are unable to drive away, in any direction. At that point, I'm not sure the 1.5 seconds it takes to open the door is in any way still critical.:confused:

Take your doors off so you can get in and out faster...get pelted with rocks and other bad stuff.

Leave the doors on to keep stuff out...it takes a moment longer to get out or in.

In my world, the door stays on.
 

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Semper Vigilans
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5,058 Posts
If you look at the Excursions and Suburbans the PMC's were running over in Iraq and Afghanistan they removed all the door and interior panels and stuffed armor plate in there to give the occupants some level of protection from small arms fire.
I've been considering doing this myself.

At a minimum they would take plate carriers with IIIA plates in them and hang them inside the doors.

Not sure I can see any value to having LESS mass between you and rioters.
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Time to melt snowflakes!
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30,160 Posts
If you look at the Excursions and Suburbans the PMC's were running over in Iraq and Afghanistan they removed all the door and interior panels and stuffed armor plate in there to give the occupants some level of protection from small arms fire.
I've been considering doing this myself.
I would hazard a guess that one could probably find or buy panels custom cut for around the same price. The 'soft' armor type. It might not stop as much, but it wouldn't add too much weight.

Our PMC's had sandbags inside too, but these were the big 3500 trucks.
 

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Front Towards Enemy
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Discussion Starter #14
Armored suburbans? You guys suck. You got the good stuff. :(

We just had some old soft-skinned Land Rovers and a '95 Mercedes with ballistic door panels and windows...

I guess I'm going to leave the doors on then. Thanks for the advice, and for talking me out of a bad idea. :thumb:
 

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Time to melt snowflakes!
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I guess I'm going to leave the doors on then. Thanks for the advice, and for talking me out of a bad idea. :thumb:
Something you could do.

Most doors are not hard to remove, only a few bolts or pins the issue might be the electrical connections. You could fabricate your 'tube doors' for 'off-road' use. If you need to swap, unbolt/unpin the 'stock' doors and just let them drop (it'll damage the doors, but so what?) and put on the tube doors.

I though about doing something like that on my truck, no tube doors but have a means of removing the doors quickly. This was not for SHTF, but for off-roading. :D:
 

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Semper Fi
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This is my Early Bronco on the start of Doran Cyn but the doors-off has nothing to do with SHTF and is to allow easier self-spotting on the trail. It would NOT be my first choice of vehicle to drive through a riot torn area.

 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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66,677 Posts
Tube doors take just as long to get in and out of as regular doors. They allow a little more freedom of movement in shooting from the vehicle but are not worth the compromise. I've had them on a few vehicles over the years and decided against them for a serious SHTF vehicle.
 

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I know this is an older thread but I thought I would chime in. I have a '78 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40. I pulled the top last Spring to see how I liked it. Some guys run doors with bikini top, some guys run tube doors and some go door-less. I started out just removing the doors. After a year and a half topless, I would not go back to considering tube doors or half doors.
I will say that I would definitely not want to be in my FJ40 during a riot or even in bad weather for that matter, without the hard top AND full doors.

So, as mentioned, my vote is for no tube doors and either pull the entire door or leave it on.
 

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Semper Vigilans
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5,058 Posts
After watching some of the latest rioters (aka MSM Protestors) blocking traffic, encircling vehicles and in many cases attacking the vehicles and threatening the vehicle occupants it got me thinking of ways to mitigate my own safety if I found myself in one of the hell holes we refer to as Portland or Seattle.

I got to thinking that it might be wise for me to carry some Sonic grenades, CS canisters and possibly even some Flash Bangs to carry in the consoles of my trucks in the event I got myself into a scenario like this.

Heck even some OC or a canister of Bear Spray might get the rioters convinced to move along "this is not the truck you are looking for".

Once they are attacking your truck and throwing bricks at your windows, would seem to justify at the least, non-lethal means of self defense at that point.

In which case if I am releasing any caustic compounds I am going to want the ability to seal up the truck after releasing it.
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