Insight needed from Rubicon owners

HardRock

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I've owned 36 Jeeps since 1972 The Rubicons are by far the best for off road and the best for holding their value to sell or trade later.

Don't waste your money on the factor steel bumper options and save it for a quality after market bumper. The price isn't much different and the aftermarket ones are much stronger and in most cases more rugged looking.

As far as mods, you can fit 35's with no issues so why invest $3000 or more for a good lift kit, save it for bumpers and winches. Don't waste money on 37s or bigger tires, you''ll have to spend another few grand for gear upgrades and don't believe the ones who tell you otherwise.

Your stock Rubicon from what it sounds will serve you fine for the rare what if instances you get into, if you play by the cardinal rule of never bet the only Jeep on your trip, you'll live to come home. My rule is a minimum of 3 Jeeps and preferably 5 here in the desert. Screw up in the desert and you might die. I had an instance in Utah where it took 4 other Jeeps to pull me out of a dry lake. If I would have been by myself, I might never have been found.

Best gear you can get is a good Ham radio (not a cheap assed Chinese brand but a Kenwood or Yeasu) and either a SPOT or inReach to call for help if you do get in trouble.

Enjoy your Rubi !
True about the desert. Be prepared if you go out alone. I carry SPOT, winch and lots of extra water and never worry going out alone.





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Zandcwhite

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True about the desert. Be prepared if you go out alone. I carry SPOT, winch and lots of extra water and never worry going out alone.
Desert on 100⁰+ days and snow wheeling we absolutely never go alone. Everywhere else is fair game. Water, emergency rations, good hiking shoes, and warm clothing/ blankets and worse case scenario we are hiking out. Even if one of us were incapacitated, the other is hiking out for help. The idea that I need an entire fleet to go out into nature is lost on someone who's lived in more remote areas than most jeep trails and spent lots of time hiking around the woods solo. We jeep to get out into nature and away from society, the last thing I want is an entire traffic jam on every trail.
 

HardSell

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We jeep to get out into nature and away from society, the last thing I want is an entire traffic jam on every trail.
So true. However, I've broken down several times in my old XJ...alone. Ignition wiring caught fire in Lockhart Basin; on another, unnamed trail 30 miles SE of Moab 15 miles from pavement; broke front axle beyond park boundry well south of Elephant Hill, lockers still provided three wheel drive to get out; starter locked up 20 miles east of Echo Park in Dinosaur....Able to push start. I never buy automatics! Never saw another vehicle during any of these breakdowns. Usually was able to "fix" my way out, got very lucky, or prayed my way out....seriously. From the dozens of posts regarding sudden start run failures resulting from various electronic glitches in JLs requiring dealer support, I doubt I'd be able to fix, luck out, or pray my way out of serious trouble in a new unit. So, other than something I know I can walk out from, going with at least one other is the only sane decision. Did Hole in the Rock, east side last October with a JTR, JLUR, my TJR and built XJ without issues. That's 40 miles in nearly all low range driving, requiring three nights minimum. We all appreciated the company.
 

Zandcwhite

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So true. However, I've broken down several times in my old XJ...alone. Ignition wiring caught fire in Lockhart Basin; on another, unnamed trail 30 miles SE of Moab 15 miles from pavement; broke front axle beyond park boundry well south of Elephant Hill, lockers still provided three wheel drive to get out; starter locked up 20 miles east of Echo Park in Dinosaur....Able to push start. I never buy automatics! Never saw another vehicle during any of these breakdowns. Usually was able to "fix" my way out, got very lucky, or prayed my way out....seriously. From the dozens of posts regarding sudden start run failures resulting from various electronic glitches in JLs requiring dealer support, I doubt I'd be able to fix, luck out, or pray my way out of serious trouble in a new unit. So, other than something I know I can walk out from, going with at least one other is the only sane decision. Did Hole in the Rock, east side last October with a JTR, JLUR, my TJR and built XJ without issues. That's 40 miles in nearly all low range driving, requiring three nights minimum. We all appreciated the company.
We've broken bad a whole bunch of times. On at least 4 occasions we had to leave at least one rig and come back with parts. Broke a sector shaft on my xj, winched it off the trail and came back the next weekend with parts. We had enough room in other rigs to catch a ride that time. Broke the steering beyond repair in the wj 8 miles into the rubicon. Had enough room for the wife to catch a ride and myself, my 12 year old son, and our dog hike back to the trail head and our tow rig, at about the same pace as the people wheeling it. I've hiked 15+ miles more than once, and even hit 27 miles in one day once. Aside from weather extremes, I have trouble invisioning a trail that you couldn't walk out of. The longest/ most remote trail I can think of is the dusy erishim trail at 31 miles between 2 wilderness areas. If you had a catastrophic failure at the mid point you are looking at a 17 mile hike. Both trail heads are frequented enough that a ride to civilization wouldn't be an issue. A level head and 2 legs will get you out of any situation. Break in the afternoon, spend the night in the jeep and then walk out. Sure there are longer trails, like the mojave road at 100 miles, but it parallels 2 freeways. I doubt there's anywhere on that trail that you are more than 3 miles from help. People literally hike the pacific crest trail solo at 2,600 miles and y'all are afraid to take your wheeled vehicles out 20 miles alone?
 

steelponycowboy

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We've broken bad a whole bunch of times. On at least 4 occasions we had to leave at least one rig and come back with parts. Broke a sector shaft on my xj, winched it off the trail and came back the next weekend with parts. We had enough room in other rigs to catch a ride that time. Broke the steering beyond repair in the wj 8 miles into the rubicon. Had enough room for the wife to catch a ride and myself, my 12 year old son, and our dog hike back to the trail head and our tow rig, at about the same pace as the people wheeling it. I've hiked 15+ miles more than once, and even hit 27 miles in one day once. Aside from weather extremes, I have trouble invisioning a trail that you couldn't walk out of. The longest/ most remote trail I can think of is the dusy erishim trail at 31 miles between 2 wilderness areas. If you had a catastrophic failure at the mid point you are looking at a 17 mile hike. Both trail heads are frequented enough that a ride to civilization wouldn't be an issue. A level head and 2 legs will get you out of any situation. Break in the afternoon, spend the night in the jeep and then walk out. Sure there are longer trails, like the mojave road at 100 miles, but it parallels 2 freeways. I doubt there's anywhere on that trail that you are more than 3 miles from help. People literally hike the pacific crest trail solo at 2,600 miles and y'all are afraid to take your wheeled vehicles out 20 miles alone?
The long and short of this is that there are plenty of factual accounts of people going out alone and ending up dead either with their vehicle or trying to hike it out. It is foolish to think that no matter how prepared you are that you can ride out alone and come back 100% of the time in the case of a breakdown or worse. There are thousands of documented search and rescue missions that did not end up in a good way and it's either the inexperienced or the cocky ones who end up dead.

I remember my first Jeep in 1972, I thought I was invincible and went up the trail to a remote construction site for a new dam on Saturday. The Jeep got stuck up to the frame in the mud and had it not been for a tracked dozer from the construction site and some chains I found, I would have still been there Monday morning had I not been able to extricate myself. I have never gone out alone again.

Another trek where I was with a group of 8 in Utah when we took an optional trail and as the leader I got stuck up to my frame crossing a dry lake at the midway point. 10 of us dug and put traction boards under all tires, we sunk all 4 boards, we then tried winching with one Jeep, it pulled itself into the muck, took 2 more Jeeps with winches with two more behind them as anchors to get us out. Moral of that story, had it been me, I might not have seen another soul in weeks, the "experts" tell you your best chance of survival is to stay with your vehicle. Walk where and how far in the desert ? Never travel as the sole vehicle off road and you will likely live to a ripe old age ;-)

While some of you might have made it out in the past on foot or survived a couple of days out there alone, there are another 10, 15, 20, 100 who didn't. Don't encourage others because you got lucky. Count your blessings !
 

Zandcwhite

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The long and short of this is that there are plenty of factual accounts of people going out alone and ending up dead either with their vehicle or trying to hike it out. It is foolish to think that no matter how prepared you are that you can ride out alone and come back 100% of the time in the case of a breakdown or worse. There are thousands of documented search and rescue missions that did not end up in a good way and it's either the inexperienced or the cocky ones who end up dead.

I remember my first Jeep in 1972, I thought I was invincible and went up the trail to a remote construction site for a new dam on Saturday. The Jeep got stuck up to the frame in the mud and had it not been for a tracked dozer from the construction site and some chains I found, I would have still been there Monday morning had I not been able to extricate myself. I have never gone out alone again.

Another trek where I was with a group of 8 in Utah when we took an optional trail and as the leader I got stuck up to my frame crossing a dry lake at the midway point. 10 of us dug and put traction boards under all tires, we sunk all 4 boards, we then tried winching with one Jeep, it pulled itself into the muck, took 2 more Jeeps with winches with two more behind them as anchors to get us out. Moral of that story, had it been me, I might not have seen another soul in weeks, the "experts" tell you your best chance of survival is to stay with your vehicle. Walk where and how far in the desert ? Never travel as the sole vehicle off road and you will likely live to a ripe old age ;-)

While some of you might have made it out in the past on foot or survived a couple of days out there alone, there are another 10, 15, 20, 100 who didn't. Don't encourage others because you got lucky. Count your blessings !
The highest killer of people outside of natural causes and disease is literally accidents in the home. I'm still waiting to see the location you couldn't walk out of when properly prepared. I know people with driveways more remote than most jeep trails. Should they never leave home alone? Weather extremes obviously negate this strategy, but it's pretty easy to check weather forecasts. We usually wheel with another rig or 2, but literally drove 1,100 miles to moab and wheeled alone for a week. Top of the world would have been a bad walk back to town, but still doable in a day. Those with no outdoor/ back packing/ hiking experience should exercise much more caution, but basic survival skills and experience will get you out of every situation we put ourselves in. Again, people hike thousands of miles alone and you guys act like a vehicle failure is a death sentence. A vehicle failure on a trail is no more dangerous, and often times less dangerous than a vehicle failure on a remote stretch of road. Of course my 37's don't work on a mostly stock JL either, so what do I know?
 

word302

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The long and short of this is that there are plenty of factual accounts of people going out alone and ending up dead either with their vehicle or trying to hike it out. It is foolish to think that no matter how prepared you are that you can ride out alone and come back 100% of the time in the case of a breakdown or worse. There are thousands of documented search and rescue missions that did not end up in a good way and it's either the inexperienced or the cocky ones who end up dead.

I remember my first Jeep in 1972, I thought I was invincible and went up the trail to a remote construction site for a new dam on Saturday. The Jeep got stuck up to the frame in the mud and had it not been for a tracked dozer from the construction site and some chains I found, I would have still been there Monday morning had I not been able to extricate myself. I have never gone out alone again.

Another trek where I was with a group of 8 in Utah when we took an optional trail and as the leader I got stuck up to my frame crossing a dry lake at the midway point. 10 of us dug and put traction boards under all tires, we sunk all 4 boards, we then tried winching with one Jeep, it pulled itself into the muck, took 2 more Jeeps with winches with two more behind them as anchors to get us out. Moral of that story, had it been me, I might not have seen another soul in weeks, the "experts" tell you your best chance of survival is to stay with your vehicle. Walk where and how far in the desert ? Never travel as the sole vehicle off road and you will likely live to a ripe old age ;-)

While some of you might have made it out in the past on foot or survived a couple of days out there alone, there are another 10, 15, 20, 100 who didn't. Don't encourage others because you got lucky. Count your blessings !
Nobody is telling anyone with 0 experience to go out and wheel by themselves. There are plenty of us that wheel alone every day with the experience, equipment, and know-how to get ourselves out of trouble. It’s not luck.
 
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steelponycowboy

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Nobody is telling anyone with 0 experience to go out and wheel by themselves. There are plenty of us that wheel alone every day with the experience, equipment, and know-how to get ourselves out of trouble. It’s not luck.
I disagree it is luck. Even the most experienced drivers can get themselves in trouble that they can't get out of. I've been off roading for 47 years, I've been in search and rescue, Sheriffs dept and more, I've seen it all. I've seen experienced and inexperienced both die on the trail. I'm more experienced than most of you, I'm well prepared when I go out with a full sized trauma kit (trained EMT), AED, emergency O2, several days worth of water and emergency food, extra fuel, inReach and an ACR rescue beacon. I even carry some spare parts like a fan belt and u-joints. Prabably can say that I am very bit as prepared if not more than most. I still won't go solo. Its not just breakdowns, it can be a medical emergency, a roll over, or any type of problem that can kill you in the wilderness.
 

steelponycowboy

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The highest killer of people outside of natural causes and disease is literally accidents in the home. I'm still waiting to see the location you couldn't walk out of when properly prepared. I know people with driveways more remote than most jeep trails. Should they never leave home alone? Weather extremes obviously negate this strategy, but it's pretty easy to check weather forecasts. We usually wheel with another rig or 2, but literally drove 1,100 miles to moab and wheeled alone for a week. Top of the world would have been a bad walk back to town, but still doable in a day. Those with no outdoor/ back packing/ hiking experience should exercise much more caution, but basic survival skills and experience will get you out of every situation we put ourselves in. Again, people hike thousands of miles alone and you guys act like a vehicle failure is a death sentence. A vehicle failure on a trail is no more dangerous, and often times less dangerous than a vehicle failure on a remote stretch of road. Of course my 37's don't work on a mostly stock JL either, so what do I know?
I think you know everything and have an answer for everything. Top of the World would not be a doable walk out with a broken leg, rattlesnake bite or any other type of accident or medical emergency. I hope you never experience one but your basic skills won't mean anything if you are seriously injured. It is not just a vehicle failure that can mean a death sentence. Like I've said before, I've seen it all especially with my experience in Search and Rescue. Too many preventable deaths of both experienced and inexperienced alike. I'll let you to your own thoughts on this, I'm done replying to these ignorant comments. But what do I know?
 

wibornz

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I am one that does not wheel alone. There are far to many examples of things gone wrong. Just recently, one of my long term wheeling buds, over 20 years of wheeling, and motorcycling together was out on the trail. Freezing rain came in and within 20 minutes the trails were almost impossible to navigate. He rolled his 2020 Gladiator over on its side on an easy down hill. No big deal, there were others with him. He popped the roof panel out so that he could climb out. as he tried to push himself out of the Jeep, the Jeep slid down the hill about 5 more feet pinning his arm under the Jeep between the door and the roof area. There were others with him, but it took over an hour to free his arm, because it was so icy. They could not get another Jeep close to him to use a winch to pick the Jeep up off his arm. They tried to dig his arm free and with it being winter time, the ground was frozen. They put a high lift jack under the top of the door and fucked up the door and the hard top, but were still not able to free him. They eventually got a snatch block up in to a tree and a winch line ran to the rock slider and was able to lift the gladiator off him. If he would have been alone, he would be dead. He had to walk part way out as the ambulance could not get to him. It ripped all the tendons in his arm and scrubbed the skin off his arm from the gladiator sliding with his arm under it. Two surgeries, and a skin graft and he is healing and will be wheeling with me later today.

1611920664012.png


A link to a picture of his arm....... you are warned. This is after surgery.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/EjFNqbfHfXMACpQJ8


As far as you can hike out of any place, sure some can. I have been researching running the Pony Express trail from Salt Lake City Utah to Lake Tahoe California. It is 550 miles long and people are taking a full tank of gas and up to an additional 45 gallons of gas with them to make the trail. There are places where you are easily over 100 miles from anything. Have fun all by yourself.
 

wibornz

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I think you know everything and have an answer for everything. Top of the World would not be a doable walk out with a broken leg, rattlesnake bite or any other type of accident or medical emergency. I hope you never experience one but your basic skills won't mean anything if you are seriously injured. It is not just a vehicle failure that can mean a death sentence. Like I've said before, I've seen it all especially with my experience in Search and Rescue. Too many preventable deaths of both experienced and inexperienced alike. I'll let you to your own thoughts on this, I'm done replying to these ignorant comments. But what do I know?
you mentioned rattlesnake bites. When I did the Rubicon trail, there was a guy selling life flight insurance at the entrance of the trail. He said that if you get bit by a rattlesnake, you will have to be life flighted out of the trail or you will most likely die. The time it would take to get off the trail and to any type of medical services is just way to long. Our group gave a guy with a broken arm a ride for a while. He soaked up the air conditioning and drank some water before getting out of Phil's Jeep and hiking on. Note walking is faster than Jeeping on the Rubicon trail. The guy crashed his motorcycle.

I am not saying don't go alone, I am saying weight the risk and ensure you don't do things that multiple the risk. My wife and I will wheel out to camping spot that we like to stay at by ourselves, but it is nothing that is going to test man or machine to get to.
 

Zandcwhite

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I think you know everything and have an answer for everything. Top of the World would not be a doable walk out with a broken leg, rattlesnake bite or any other type of accident or medical emergency. I hope you never experience one but your basic skills won't mean anything if you are seriously injured. It is not just a vehicle failure that can mean a death sentence. Like I've said before, I've seen it all especially with my experience in Search and Rescue. Too many preventable deaths of both experienced and inexperienced alike. I'll let you to your own thoughts on this, I'm done replying to these ignorant comments. But what do I know?
You'd probably get more polite responses if you didn't come off like your opinion and your method was the only way? A medical emergency isn't going to go well if your home alone either. A broken leg on the back 40 of your own property could prove fatal just as easy. 40,000+ people die on American roads every year, you're literally safer in the woods. The fact is people die everyday, as an electrician I'm far likelier to die at work than I am in the woods. Everything in life is a calculated risk, be smart about it and go prepared. Some of us are independent by nature and certainly would rather take a risk than skip a trip or live in fear. You'll never be prepared for everything, and at some point something will kill you. A heart attack or a stroke will likely prove fatal hundreds of miles from a hospital regardless of how many jeeps are in your group, especially when you're on a tough trail that would take days for them to get you out and no cell service. I'd rather die on a trail than in rush hour traffic because I chose work out of fear because my buddies couldn't go wheel that day anyway.
 

JerseyMark

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Thanks everyone for the input over the months! Put my order in 01/23/21 and went into D status 1/26/21. The wait begins!!!

C60E1339-ADA7-45F0-8237-2636E38E0786.jpeg
Congrats on the order!
That will be an awesome looking Jeep. Snazzberry with the painted flares looks great. I probably would have gotten that color if it was out when I ordered mine.
Coming from a JK, you’ll love the JL
 

Zandcwhite

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I am one that does not wheel alone. There are far to many examples of things gone wrong. Just recently, one of my long term wheeling buds, over 20 years of wheeling, and motorcycling together was out on the trail. Freezing rain came in and within 20 minutes the trails were almost impossible to navigate. He rolled his 2020 Gladiator over on its side on an easy down hill. No big deal, there were others with him. He popped the roof panel out so that he could climb out. as he tried to push himself out of the Jeep, the Jeep slid down the hill about 5 more feet pinning his arm under the Jeep between the door and the roof area. There were others with him, but it took over an hour to free his arm, because it was so icy. They could not get another Jeep close to him to use a winch to pick the Jeep up off his arm. They tried to dig his arm free and with it being winter time, the ground was frozen. They put a high lift jack under the top of the door and fucked up the door and the hard top, but were still not able to free him. They eventually got a snatch block up in to a tree and a winch line ran to the rock slider and was able to lift the gladiator off him. If he would have been alone, he would be dead. He had to walk part way out as the ambulance could not get to him. It ripped all the tendons in his arm and scrubbed the skin off his arm from the gladiator sliding with his arm under it. Two surgeries, and a skin graft and he is healing and will be wheeling with me later today.

1611920664012.png


A link to a picture of his arm....... you are warned. This is after surgery.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/EjFNqbfHfXMACpQJ8


As far as you can hike out of any place, sure some can. I have been researching running the Pony Express trail from Salt Lake City Utah to Lake Tahoe California. It is 550 miles long and people are taking a full tank of gas and up to an additional 45 gallons of gas with them to make the trail. There are places where you are easily over 100 miles from anything. Have fun all by yourself.
That same type of incident alone in your own driveway or yard would likely be fatal alone. While the pony express trail is 550 miles long, I really don't envision a spot where you'd be 100's of miles from anything, I-80 basically runs the same route. Just because people choose to run the trail that entire distance doesn't mean you couldn't take a left or right and be at a freeway within minutes. Yes the worst case scenario could happen and kill you on the trail, but that could also happen at work, in the home, or on the freeway. Calculated risk. And the freezing rain would fall into weather extremes where we don't go out alone.
 

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