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2000 Ford Excursion – But Wait, There’s More

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Why Minimize When You Can Maximize? Meet Survivor Truck 2.

Photos by Iain Harrison

Back in RECOIL Issue 8 we featured Jim DeLozier’s Survivor Truck — a 1980 Chevy C70 kitted up with just about everything a doomsday prepper could want on a vehicle…and then some. We figured it wouldn’t be the last time we heard from someone so serious about stayin’ alive. Well, guess what? He’s at it again; this time with a 2000 Ford Excursion that leaves little, if anything, off the survival gear checklist. Many of you may wonder why he’s created another version. A glutton for gear, you might ask? That may be so. But like owning a gun, there’s not one that works perfectly for every situation. While you might think having two vehicles this extreme is overkill, Jim considers it practicality.

The first truck is more of an evacuation/gauntlet breaker, but the second iteration could be used as a daily driver. The Excursion is the largest SUV made — packing up gear and five adults that may be wearing body armor, you need all the room available. The stock V-10 gas engine was ditched in favor of a diesel 5.9L ’97 Cummins 6BT to get better mileage and, if necessary, run on biodiesel, Jet A, Jet B, or kerosene. Jim selected this engine since it was the last year of non-computerized Cummins engines and it will, theoretically, run after an EMP strike. It’s all tied to an ATS diesel transmission with a Five Star Viscous Clutch Drive torque converter and extra deep pan.


With all the equipment and modification on this truck, it’s tipping the scales at around 11,500 pounds, so the suspension had to be robust. The front was given a Pro Comp BMX 8.5-inch lift with dual-reservoir shocks and an AGR Performance RockRam hydraulic-assist steering module. The rear consists of a Firestone Ride-Rite system, custom tuned leaf springs, and single-reservoir shocks. It’s all rolling on RBP Fury wheels rated at 3,500 pounds and Pro Comp 37-inch MT2 rubber that are brought to a stop by SSBC eight-piston calipers and slotted rotors all around.

Although not armored, the exterior was coated with Rhino Linings and given a custom 1.75x.120-wall DOM tubing exoskeleton, courtesy of Nichols AutoFab in Prescott, Arizona. Smittybilt accessories abound, including two 12,000-pound winches, as well as their Defender roof rack, canopy, trail jacks, shovel and axe mount, and traction ramps. 928 Solutions treated the windows with their low-glare vinyl wrap. And there’s certainly no shortage of lighting with ProComp Explorer LED light bars, Whelen emergency, Lightforce xenon, and Golight 360-degree pan units.

Of course security is part of survival, so optical surveillance comes from eight VDO force protection cameras, an Avigilon 5 megapixel minidome in a Dotworkz bulletproof housing, and Samsung HD day/night cameras — all working in conjunction with motion detectors, microphones, an Optex perimeter laser scanner system, and a Helios thermal imaging system to provide a virtual fence out to 1,500 meters while stationary. The platform is kept stable using a Cequent Products Bulldog Jacks external load stabilizing system. Three VDO and two Tote Vision monitors let you keep an eye on things from inside the cab, while a Viper alarm keeps occupants from being snuck up on.


The interior (or command center, rather) is a cross between what originally came from the factory and something that resembles a police cruiser. Communications consist of Harris communications handheld radios and radiohead, a Cobra CB, Yaesu handheld HAM radio, Panasonic Toughbook / Toughpad in Havis docking stations, Havis center console with Blue Sea switches, Cradlepoint router, Mobile Mark and Firestik antennas, and Wamar Technologies network and signal extenders. The seats have Wet Okole seat covers with Molle webbing and Tuff Products Molle nylon gear, with Husky Liners protecting the floor. An Engel-USA refrigerator/freezer and coolers keep food cold, while a Shurflo pump and Everpure water purification system keep all inhabitants hydrated.

So how do you power all this shit? Juice comes via eight Odyssey batteries with an American Power Systems high-output alternator, Blue Sea ACR smart charge relays and circuit breakers, Renogy solar panels, and Smittybilt generator. The rest of the gear on the truck includes just about everything you can imagine: firearms, rappelling hardware, tools, rations, first-aid, Cascadia rooftop tent, Miller mig/tig/stick welder, personal lighting, and search-and-rescue and decontamination gear with fixed and removable storage to handle it all. The onboard Viair air compressor, Roto-Pax and EZ-Pack spare fuel containers, Tank Depot water tank, and Hexagon Ragasco propane cylinders will ensure this thing stays self-sufficient for quite a while. Is your head spinning yet?

As before, DeLozier plans to make Survivor Trucks available to the public, be it the Ford Excursion platform or any vehicle that satisfies the requirements of his clientele. Like us, you're probably wondering if he plans on doing yet another version in the future; the answer is yes. Keep your eye out for a covert Survivor Truck on a smaller vehicle to appear sometime in the future. In the meantime, we'll be looking through our medicine cabinet for something to treat the carpal tunnel we're suffering from after typing out everything that's on this truck.

2000 Ford Excursion
5.9L Cummins 6BT Diesel
ATS Automatic

1 Tires
Make: Pro Comp
Model: MT2, 37-inch

2 Wheels
Make: RBP
Model: Fury, 20-inch

3 Jack
Make: Cequent Performance Products
Model: Bulldog SWL 190 DL-BTSMQ

4 Light
Make: Light Force
Model: XGT Xenon 100-watt w/clear, Red, Green, IR Filters


5 Light
Make: Go Light
Model: Stryker LED

6 Light Bar
Make: Pro Comp
Model: 50-inch Dual Row LED Combo Beam

7 Footlockers, Coolers
Make: Pelican, Engel USA

8 Supplies
Make: Watershed Drybag with United Tactical Speeds Kit, CBRN Gear, and Scott Safety SCBA

9 Fluid Storage
Make: Rotopax

10 Awning
Make: Smittybilt
Model: Overlander

11 Cameras
Make: VDO

12 Antennas
Make: Firestik CB Antenna, Mobile Mark 3G/4G/LTE


1 Tent
Make: Cascadia Vehicle Tents
Model: Mt. Hood

2 Laptop
Make: Panasonic
Model: CF-31 Toughbook

3 Map Light
Make: Havis

4 Seat Covers
Make: Wet Okole
Model: Custom with Molle Webbing


1 Refrigerator/Freezer
Make: Engel
Model: in Tembo Tusk LoadSpotter Slide

2 Rear Winch
Make: Smittybilt
Model: “Black Box” with Smittybilt X20 12,000-pound Winch

3 Safe
Make: Truck Vault

4 White Board
Make: WriteyBoard


5 Rifle
Make: Remington
Model: 700P w/Boyd's Laminate Stock

6 Shotgun
Make: Remington
Model: Vang Comp 870 w/Choate Folding Stock

7 Shotgun
Make: Remington
Model: Vang Comp 870 Magnum w/Ace Folding Stock

8 Rifle
Make: Colt Carbine Upper w/J&J Armory Lower
Model: M4 w/Ace stock

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