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In order to define the best vehicle these inputs have to be taken into account:

  • The zombies are the classical ones, "the walking dead" ones are a perfect example (definitely killed only by headshot, attracted by noise, etc...).
  • We are in year 2018. Population: 2% alive, 18% definitely dead, 80% zombie.
  • The vehicle-proposing person must convince a party of 8-10 people.
  • The party is heterogeneous, one or two people are capable to perform some minor mechanical/electrical intervention on a vehicle, for instance they can add metal spikes, fuel tanks, firing loopholes, etc. They can't change the engine with a more powerful one or replace wheels with tracks.
  • Other specific, yet not really special skills, could be taken into account, for instance: one person could be really good at cutting and sewing, whether to use it to create nice curtains or a vehicle ghillie suit is up to your answer.
  • The party could also use other vehicles for scouting or scavenging, like a motorbike and/or a pick-up, but the main vehicle must be able to carry safely the whole party (but maybe not comfortably, it's not necessary to have one seat per person).
  • The party should travel to at least 5-6 different cities, 400 km far from each other on average, then they should find a final generic safe place. (400 km considering detours and menace escapes, see below)
  • In the party there's a very intelligent person (which should also be the one proposing the vehicle strategy and path), therefore feel free to suggest nice tricks, but he's a regular guy without specific high level skills. For example: he could find a clever way to enter a building, but he can't pilot a bomber or hack a bank's safety vault.
  • The party has some limited supply, and a relatively safe place for 7 days, therefore they have some time to organize the travel. They also have an initial mobility range of 20 km to find the final vehicle, and the 7 days can/should be spent also to modify the vehicle.
  • They live near a center-Europe big town, 30-50K people, even if most part of the city supplies have already been scavenged by other groups, it is possible to find fuel, food and tools with some research. The research is time expensive, therefore if the vehicle is easy to find and it doesn't need modifications they can use the 7 days supplies to start the travel immediately with some stock. Even though I prefer to have a customized vehicle.
  • I'd rather choose an European city instead of a North American one, because I don't like to have a lot of fire weapons involved in this travel. Of course hunting rifles and some pistols could be considered common weapons, but heavy machineguns are incredibly rare and RPGs/grenades are out of the discussion.
  • The vehicle should therefore withstand some low caliber shots, but it doesn't need to be a military armored vehicle.
  • Is also difficult to obtain any military grade gear because military bases are some of the most infested zone (emergency sirens attracted the zombies - they were the first choice shelter, but they eventually collapsed) or they have been reclaimed by huge groups of raiders.
  • The party should expect (obviously) zombies, blocked roads (mostly because of abandoned cars), and raider scouts attacks (3-4 people, armed but without big guns). Because of the surrounding zombies and the raiders' reinforcements, having to repair the vehicle for more than 1h have to be considered as game over.
  • The vehicle's speed is not really important except for the fact that a slower vehicle must carry more essential goods, and the faster ones are preferable because of flee chances. It is also valid the concept that a slower vehicle, yet capable to overcome most road obstacles, is actually a "faster" one with respect to a supercar that needs to take several dozens kilometers detours.
  • Flying could be theoretically considered, but it seems to be really difficult to find the right fuel, the noise will attract a lot of unwanted attentions from both live people and undead, once departed there are no chances to go back (noise->zombie), the destination airfield could be impracticable, and especially there are no trained pilots in the party (this limit could be bypassed, but the other cons must remain and therefore it's hard to justify a flying vehicle).
  • Railways could be an answer, but proper trains can't: every train except for few really old ones have electrical engines, and the diesel ones are not easy to be used by a common untrained person. Moreover, since at least any station is likely to have some trains on the nearby railway, the vehicle must be at least capable of both road/railway or to remove the blocking trains (also derailing the wagons and make them overturn could be an acceptable choice, but it's a long and noisy process).

EDIT, info from the comments: - The food is rarer than the fuel. The party, considering some distractions (zombies and raiders), can gather 30-40 litres per day using 4-5 people. The food is rarer, the most canned food is already consumed and the people now need to hunt, gather edible vegetables or fish. There's no overall lack of food, the wildlife somehow grew in large numbers when humans stopped their activities, the issue is to collect that food. Hunting is time expensive and food preservation is limited. Moreover the "food" is usually outside the cities, while fuel and gears are way more common in the cities.

Please describe a vehicle that fulfill the inputs, its most useful modifications, what to carry as essential goods and emergency supply and especially detail the reasons. If you think you have the perfect vehicle, even in case some conditions are bypassed, please still answer. Obviously the more conditions are removed, the less the answer will be interesting.

Bonus: Travelling on water can't be an answer to reach the safe place (it's far from the sea), but detours on water are appreciated to reduce risks and let the party rest a little. Let's say that a couple of cities are near the sea, therefore if the vehicle could be easily carried by a small vessel it would be better. For instance, a small van has way more chance to be carried than a "Mad Max style" war wagon.

Malus: I'm NOT ASKING for a zombie killer vehicle: even if it could kill several zombies, its main purpose is to carry 10 people for a long range trip. If you think that is safer and faster just to kill everyone in the path (zombies and raiders) by driving a huge beast on the vehicle then you have to justify it.


Edit: my question is related to this one What kind of land transportation can be used for plowing through hordes of zombies? because we are talking about zombie apocalypse, but it's a totally different approach: i highlighted as malus a zombie-smasher veichle. Even though is admitted to propose a zombie-killer vehicle, the main goal is to move the party safely through EU, not to destroy a Z horde.

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    $\begingroup$ 98% of the people are dead and 80% undead, needs clarifying. Are 80% of 2% undead or are the undead counted among the dead? $\endgroup$ – Ludi Jul 24 '18 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Ludi: 2% alive, 18% definitely dead, 80% zombie. $\endgroup$ – theGarz Jul 24 '18 at 15:46
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    $\begingroup$ Obviously one specifically designed for post-apocalyptic travel. $\endgroup$ – TMN Jul 24 '18 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ I love the implication that a North American setting would naturally involve heavy machine guns and rocket launchers. :D $\endgroup$ – Epicedion Jul 24 '18 at 18:16
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    $\begingroup$ The answer is ..... A toyota. $\endgroup$ – Fattie Jul 26 '18 at 16:44

33 Answers 33

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Electric RV, equipped with solar panels. Range is not good, but you can hang out while the batteries charge. And if you find gas, you can charge it with a generator. At least you won't get stuck somewhere out of gas.

https://electrek.co/2018/05/02/winnebago-all-electric-rv-platform-electric-motorhome/

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  • $\begingroup$ If i'm out of gas to fuel the vehicle, what i'm supposed to use to fuel the generator? Good intentions? :) And in a world where food is more precious than fuel, why should i stop the party for literally days, maybe in dangerous places, just to charge the batteries? $\endgroup$ – theGarz Jul 26 '18 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ It would be hard for a large vehicle to have enough fuel (not impossible) to go 1000 miles. But if a detour makes the trip longer, ouch. Not clear that food is more precious than fuel, at least in all situations. $\endgroup$ – Jiminion Jul 26 '18 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry, the food/fuel shortage was specified in one of the first comments, unluckily they were moved to the chat. I'll edit the question. $\endgroup$ – theGarz Jul 27 '18 at 6:54
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I know the OP excluded a military vehicle, nevertheless the Australian Bushmaster would be my choice. Rugged, can take 10 people including driver, long range and can run on deflated tyres:

https://www.army.gov.au/our-work/equipment-and-clothing/vehicles/bushmaster

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I would say a C208 - Cessna Grand Caravan, with the cargo pod.

Pros

  • It's very easy to fly, anyone with any flight experience should be able to fly it.
  • Its range is pretty good, Fully loaded it's just shy of 2,000km
  • It takes a small runway and can land in basically any flat spot.
  • It seats 12 including the pilot, and it's easy enough to fly that you could teach all the others to do so in less than a week. (the hard part of flying is not breaking the rules, if there are no rules then it becomes very easy in this airplane)
  • It can fly very low, and pretty high, the max altitude is about 25,000 feet.
  • Planes have a lot of redundant systems for safety, if you're not trying to keep them all online, this plane should fly for years without much maintenance. Proper maintenance is not a goal so "engine starts let's fly"
  • Providing there is no structural failure this plane glides very well. So you could actually have the engine crap out on you and still glide for 20 nm or more depending on your height.
  • The fuel for the plane is very common. Almost any airport with a hard runway should have some lying around.
  • These planes are very common.
  • Once you learn to fly this plane, even a little, smaller lighter aircraft become an option. The group gets to an airport and the C208 won't start, well then they can split and take 3 or 4 smaller planes until they can find a replacement.

Cons

  • someone still needs to know how to fly, at least a little.
  • You would never want to fly it the full range, maybe only half the range, that way you could adjust if the airport you see is covered in zombies.
  • While not the quietest thing around, it's not loud. You could still end up with a trail of zombies as you land, you could cut the engines and glide in though.
  • 12 people would probably not be very comfortable.
  • it's not going to be armored or strong, so zombies might become a non-issue but people could still be a problem.
  • It would be hard to repair. You shouldn't have to, given how far you want to go, but if your trying to get further, then repairs could be an issue. I say could because it's not like the police are going to fine you for being out of regs. So if the altimeter is busted, oh well, eyeball it or use the radar altimeter.
  • Fuel may be common, but it's not everywhere. You could run into a fuel problem.
  • If you crash, well that's it.
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protected by Monty Wild Jul 23 '18 at 23:47

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