so i have acquired a used Yaesu VX-5 for now. i have adapted the antenna mount for rubber duck or dual band mag mount on the rig via SMA to BNC to coax. I'm sure i'll end up with a dedicated mobile in the cruiser someday, but i want to try this setup out and see what i think... plus it's super portable.
John, your 5W of CB will not out match 5W at 2M.
As Evan said, I was able to communicate with BFE base at just over 20 miles away over terrain. Mobile to mobile was a little weak, but considering how strong CheeseMan was coming in I suspect they had a base setup. Regardless, communication occurred and we were able to coordinate a parts delivery. Also, while we did have intermittent cell phone coverage during the run, at the time Tor sheared his studs we did not have communication with the phones.
Ham rocks, and that is that.
CB will be with the hobby and in our club for a long time because we try to accommodate the lowest common denominator and there are some that just won't do what it takes to get up to speed with amateur radio. A truck equipped with a HAM radio is the future of our hobby though, you can be sure of that.
I think a good 50w 2M radio & long range antenna should be required early in the build process for anyone that considers their rig an 'expedition' truck.
CB is not going anywhere. It is still an inexpensive tool for communication on the trail where vehicles are close together.
A comment on antennas. You can't beat a long range antenna like the SBB-7, SBB-5, or CA2X4. Problem is, I've broken antennas four times hitting them on things like trees. Mike has too. Also having a small flexible antenna is a good idea. The SBB-1 "rubber duck" is a great example. Mike and Evan saw my new SS-680 in Moab. It is longer with more gain than the SBB-1, but is made out of spring steel and has a spring-loaded base. It survived. I would recommend it over the SBB-1.