Confessions of a Mall Crawler

twisty

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I understand the post. I was cruising Youtube and found a video about 3 years ago called The JK Experience Alaska. I watched it and then had the wife watch with with me. So we were dreaming of off roading in Alaska. Started an investment account for a downpayment.

Now we watch Jeep videos about off roading and travel, take notes and add to the bucket list.

This is the video that started are Jeeping adventure.,,,,,,

Been there before and going again next year as a retirement gift to myself. In a jeep this time and having my son there with me will be pretty cool.

Have fun with your adventure!
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HealthRebel

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I understand the post. I was cruising Youtube and found a video about 3 years ago called The JK Experience Alaska. I watched it and then had the wife watch with with me. So we were dreaming of off roading in Alaska. Started an investment account for a downpayment.

Now we watch Jeep videos about off roading and travel, take notes and add to the bucket list.

This is the video that started are Jeeping adventure.,,,,,,

Love this video!!!
 

trouphaz

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This story applies to many of us. I bought my 2019 JLU not for its off-road capabilities, but because it was a convertible that could fit my whole family in a pinch and occasionally would be easier for going camping in a campground. The minivan would sometimes have issue with the rutted dirt roads or rocks in the campsite. Maybe one day I’ll take it off-road, but for now I’m totally fine on pavement.
 

Tjbrlecic1

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Attached are some pictures of our naughty three year old. My wife refers to her Jeep as a naught three year old. She says it reminds her of our sons at that age. They would go outside clean in the morning, come in for lunch needing a scrubbing and change of clothes just to have to repeat the process at supper time.
For those of you who keep your Jeeps clean and shiny I have attached a few pictures of our all dirty. Our Jeep was three weeks old when we took it for its mud bath. When we got home that night I spent four hours under the Jeep with the presser washer and hose flushing the dirt out. It took us an additional eight hours to shine the Jeep up. Recently I had the front fenders and liners off to install some lighting. I rolled the Jeep out of the garage and spent two more hours getting dirt out of the hidden places. I am sure when I take the rear fenders and liners off I will have to do the same.
There are pictures of us in the snow, us in Dayton Beach and my favorite me washing the dog on a creek when he decided to lay in a mud puddle at end of the trail. He was hot and wanted to cool off.
Needless to say taking the Jeep off road has its draw backs. Our biggest so far is the endless cleaning. I am certain we will break something very expensive on one of the off road excursions.
To all the mall crawlers be safe and enjoy your jeep.

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MrSahara19

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Awesome post!! Sounds like myself, shopping for endless cookie cutter bland o matic CUVs dreaming of either a muscle car or some kind of off road machine, and than the wife with her input where will we put the car seat in a challenger?!? Than came the light bulb moment, and with alittle help from our sales manager of a jeep dealership neighbor, the magic happened! And you hit the nail on the head (after owning countless vehicles since I was 18) and never finding that "one" walking out from a long days work and jumping in to a true one of a kind vehicle brings a smile ear to ear!! Maybe one day ill see you out on the winery trails! And although I would like to keep it stock, classy and realistic mods just brings me back to the days I grew up in and every time I can install something even minor I feel like a kid in a candy store -
 

Sand Flea

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I can relate.
I wouldn't say that I'm a 'mall crawler', but I don't mud or rock either.
My JL Sahara hits the beach regularly.
Once home, she gets washed and detailed until our next beach outing. I like to protect my investment.
It's all about enjoying what you have and where you live.

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Wanted33

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You sir are not alone. You'll find folks here that range from the way you use your Jeep, to the hard core off- roaders. I've not seen any disrespect for those that use their Jeeps differently than you on this forum. It's all about the Jeep, and not how it's used. It is truly a community. My bride, and I just bought our first Jeep in May. We are at the bottom of the off road adventurers as when we do hit the trail it is always marked "easy". Dirt roads, fire lines are our friends along with that nice evening drive to the ice cream shop in town. Use your Jeep the way it makes you happy, and pay no attention to those think you doing it wrong. That's what I do.

And, thanks for a very well written thread.

The road less taken. Thankfully the Uhwarrie National Forrest has trails from "that was easy' to "Oh nooooo, we're gonna die". No matter what trail you take, there is always another Jeeper that will help you if needed. Now, that's a community.

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Unix_Gawd

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I can relate.
I wouldn't say that I'm a 'mall crawler', but I don't mud or rock either.
My JL Sahara hits the beach regularly.
Once home, she gets washed and detailed until our next beach outing. I like to protect my investment.
It's all about enjoying what you have and where you live.

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Ditto!!!

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mtbjeep

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Great post! I have over 25,000 miles on my JL and I still make excuses to run errands just to be at the helm. Best vehicle decision I have ever made and much like you, I wish I did it 25 years ago!
 

Renegade Wrangler

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I am a middle-aged office professional from a middle-sized city in the middle of America. Last fall I was due to trade in my Bland Crossover SUV-wagon Thing (tm) and was looking at replacements. You know, Volkswagen Atlas, Ford Edge, that kind of thing. I was bored. For months I postponed test drives of New Bland Crossovers, and was paging through the auto section of the Saturday paper when I saw it: A Black Wrangler. The music swelled, my heart raced, I grabbed the Mrs. and we went for a test drive of an 18 JLU Sport.

The salesman was pointing out the different trim levels and the off-road-iness of each. The missus pointed out that I am a middle-aged office professional and a dedicated indoorsman, and I really had no business with Gigantor All-Terrain Rock Eater 9000 tires and a preposterous recovery jack across the hood. We might, now and then, travel a gravel road to visit a winery to attend a wedding but that was as gnarly as I would predictably get. This was a persuasive argument. We would not be looking at Sahara or Rubicon.

I made a deal for the Sport and drove it home. I put it, bone stock, on instagram and was immediately jeered for my midlife crisis. I found this forum, found some vendors you found reputable, and put some side steps on the thing that made it look a little more finished. I loved driving it - it's even by Sport standards, fairly light on options, but it was less expensive than the Blands I had been looking at, and it said "utility" in a way that the Blands could only whisper.

As it was the fall, I got the freedom panels off a couple of times and thought that was just nifty. A brutal middle of America winter came and my JLU was a stouthearted ally in the piles of snow. I remembered, from my dad's old Grand Wagoneers (wish I had one of those now!) the difference between 4WD and AWD, particularly when I made a tight turn on cleared pavement.

I found myself longing for spring, wondering what it would be like to get the whole lid off. I admit the eight bolts and two ready disconnects were a bit daunting, and the Missus and I do not communicate well when we are carrying something heavy like a $3000 hard top. Daughter, a budding engineer, found YouTube videos of a ratchet strap system from which to suspend the top, and my life changed.

We go for ice cream on balmy summer nights when the warm air turns the sunset sky to cotton candy.
I found myself making little mods. Door sill protectors, upgrading the stock speakers. My son, who works in a Tire Emporium, offered me the friends-and-family on a set of Gigantors, but I demurred long enough that he bought me a set of LED halo headlights for Father's Day and we installed them together.

The wife suggested a soft top so we could vacation and range without worry of the weather. I, a long way from being cowed by eight bolts and two disconnects, assembled it with a minimum of cussing.

I'm a dedicated Jeep Wave guy. Two off the wheel when the Jeep is dressed, down and away when the doors are off. Bone stock, rad Mud Eater build, you are me and I am you and something about you resonates in me. Some of you must think I'm exactly what I am - an aging Dad trying to wring the last little bit of testosterone out of middle age. Nearly all of you smile and return the salute if you didn't wave first. You're a welcoming sort.

I scared myself half to death on a rutted county road an hour outside of town, but got to the end and laughed my ass off.

I get to the end of my air-conditioned office day and find my new friend waiting for me and I'm legitimately thrilled I get to drive this thing home in the summer sun. Even as I suspect the more adventurous of you are giving me a patient, slightly patronizing smile from behind your mud-spattered windshields, the other Office Dads driving their Blands seem to envy me. I am stuck in traffic same as them, the summer sun fighting an epic battle with the jet-engine powered A/C, and I'm grinning like a kid.

You will not see me on the rocky trails of Utah, or the volcanic slopes of Kuai, in my Jeep. You'll see me messing up my beautiful wife's hair in the summer sun in town, or on a sunset cruise with an ice cream cone. And maybe we'll wind up at the same gravel road winery wedding. I know that I am at the mild end of this fraternity, but my only regret is that I did not join it sooner.

Thanks for having me, and thanks for reading.
Definitely enjoyed the read
 

xtnqx

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Attached are some pictures of our naughty three year old. My wife refers to her Jeep as a naught three year old. She says it reminds her of our sons at that age. They would go outside clean in the morning, come in for lunch needing a scrubbing and change of clothes just to have to repeat the process at supper time.
For those of you who keep your Jeeps clean and shiny I have attached a few pictures of our all dirty. Our Jeep was three weeks old when we took it for its mud bath. When we got home that night I spent four hours under the Jeep with the presser washer and hose flushing the dirt out. It took us an additional eight hours to shine the Jeep up. Recently I had the front fenders and liners off to install some lighting. I rolled the Jeep out of the garage and spent two more hours getting dirt out of the hidden places. I am sure when I take the rear fenders and liners off I will have to do the same.
There are pictures of us in the snow, us in Dayton Beach and my favorite me washing the dog on a creek when he decided to lay in a mud puddle at end of the trail. He was hot and wanted to cool off.
Needless to say taking the Jeep off road has its draw backs. Our biggest so far is the endless cleaning. I am certain we will break something very expensive on one of the off road excursions.
To all the mall crawlers be safe and enjoy your jeep.
Hi Tj..was wondering if you could tell me the tire size on the blue girl and if you've added a lift? If so what? Many thanks.
 

DrDee

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Welcome to the club, and the forum. You get it. You 100% get it, and it doesn't matter if you never get off road, because you get what being a part of this whole thing is all about. We all start somewhere, and I'm pretty sure most of our reasoning was pretty similar. This was an excellent post.

I also have to say, I get it, albeit from a bit of a different angle. I got my first Wrangler in 2003 when I was 19. a few years later, i starting building. And going on trail rides with a local Jeep group. And building. and breaking. And building. and building some more. Getting more seat time on the trail. Choosing better lines. Following guys with way more built rigs to places that I had no buisness being, with a little TJ on 33's. Doing some Intro to off roading stuff with my Jeep club. I loved all of it.

I worked office jobs. Wrenching was a hobby for me. I ended up buying another vehicle (2, actually) to drive daily. But I would always come back to driving my Jeep. Friday? I should drive the Jeep to work. Snowing? Take the Jeep. Nice day? Take the Jeep. I don't want to get out of bed because I hate this job and it's going to be hell today? I could drive the Jeep- that might make it a little better. I'd peel out of my cubicle containment hell for the day, throw my backpack in my Jeep, pull the top down, and hammer out of the parking lot. Sometimes co-workers and neighbors would ask questions. Some assumed I had money and paid for all the work (I didn't). I'm sure some thought worse of me because I was in the driveway clanking and cursing every 10 minutes for at least 4 hours while trying to fix/ install something. Or I show up to work on Monday and the Jeep is still dirty from the trail I had just been on Sunday. I'd get looks. Some were envious. Some were curious. Some were scoffing. But I didn't care. Those people didn't get it.

Now, approaching middle age, with a wife and a son, and a totally different career in a technical field (fixing machines), I find myself here again- starting over, but this time with a strange new brightly colored Jeep (with 4 doors? what is this?). It may be a Rubicon, but won't see as much trail time as my TJ's did; Not due to lack of wanting, but lack of time thanks to career and family obligations that come first. I've spent money on parts to make it trail ready and I still haven't been on the trail. My wife argued I didn't need this one. I wouldn't be able to go out as often. I'm going to "ruin this Jeep like the last 2"- the last two were old Jeeps, and I was young and... not as wise. I drove them that way for a reason: because I liked pushing the envelope. This is easily the nicest vehicle I have ever owned. Still, I guess She doesn't get it, either.

But your story, the reasons you got a Jeep? Those are the reasons I pulled the trigger on this one, knowing that Even if I can't spend as much time on the rocks in the mountains as I really want to, I'll at least be able to drop the top, and drive home at the end of a long shift. I'll be able to explore a little more. And maybe I'll be able to get back out there more often... with my son. Even though he's only 2, he loves dad's Jeep. He shouts and points out all the Jeeps whenever we are driving. He knows what a winch is and the sound it makes. He "Helped" me install mine last Thursday. He gets it too, I think. And that's reason enough for me.

Sorry for the long post.
Love your post too
 
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