Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs. Off-Road Pickups

Humvee4us

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Hey,
I'm thinking about buying a 2 door Wrangler Rubicon for off-roading. However, as I was doing my research I learned that there is now a rather large segment of off road pickup trucks with the leading ones being the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison and Toyota Tacoma TDR Pro for midsized, the Ford Raptor for half ton, and the Ram Power Wagon; Ford Tremor; and GMC AT4 for HD pickups. I'm thinking about doing some rock crawling, going through deep mud holes, river crossings, going up steep slippery inclines, snowy roads, and perhaps some sand but not high speed.
So this brings me to my 2 questions: 1) if high speed and towing/payload are not important to me do any of these pickups match the Wrangler Rubicon for this type of off-roading or is the Wrangler Rubicon in a class of its own? And 2) which of these trucks would be the most capable for my applications and which would probably be the least capable and how would the others fall in between?
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Roky

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Hey,
I'm thinking about buying a 2 door Wrangler Rubicon for off-roading. However, as I was doing my research I learned that there is now a rather large segment of off road pickup trucks with the leading ones being the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison and Toyota Tacoma TDR Pro for midsized, the Ford Raptor for half ton, and the Ram Power Wagon; Ford Tremor; and GMC AT4 for HD pickups. I'm thinking about doing some rock crawling, going through deep mud holes, river crossings, going up steep slippery inclines, snowy roads, and perhaps some sand but not high speed.
So this brings me to my 2 questions: 1) if high speed and towing/payload are not important to me do any of these pickups match the Wrangler Rubicon for this type of off-roading or is the Wrangler Rubicon in a class of its own? And 2) which of these trucks would be the most capable for my applications and which would probably be the least capable and how would the others fall in between?
IMHO, in a pound for pound, apples to apples, right off the shelf comparison, the Rubicon is the most capable off road vehicle on the planet, so for me, there is no comparison. This is how I feel about it. ...............but just remember your asking this question on a Jeep jl wrangler forum, so I couldn’t give a different opinion even if I wanted to, they’d come for me with pitch forks and flame throwers............just sayin......:rock:
 
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Humvee4us

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And out of the pickups which would you say is the most capable and the least capable?
 

scrape

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Those are all good vehicles and will get you through most of the trails we have in so cal with a few mods here and there. So just go test drive all of them and get the one you like the most.

And out of the pickups which would you say is the most capable and the least capable?
ZR2 is the most capable out of that bunch and the ones that will struggle the most are the 3/4 tons just because of their size. This is just based on our local terrain and trails, go somewhere else in the country and maybe the power wagon would be the most capable. It depends.
 
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Humvee4us

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Trails where I go are not narrow at all, so that would not be an issue. But would you say that weight would be an issue going up steep inclines, or not necessarily?
 

Roky

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And out of the pickups which would you say is the most capable and the least capable?
I don’t have any, ass in the seat , experience in the smaller trucks. But there seems to be quite a bit chatter about the Bison. Toyota has always been a front runner imo. But it really depends on how you see yourself wheeling, weather or not you want to be limited on certain trails or obstacles. If those trucks don’t have true locking diffs, 4.10 gears, and a 4:1 transfer case, then there are places you just won’t be able to go....
 
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Humvee4us

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The Power Wagon has all of these but I saw a video where it wasn't able to go up a 20° incline because it had loose dirt and rocks and the driver said it was just too heavy to go up, but I'm not sure if he just didn't know how to drive off-road and kept digging himslelf in by spinning the tires.
 

Roky

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The Power Wagon has all of these but I saw a video where it wasn't able to go up a 20° incline because it had loose dirt and rocks and the driver said it was just too heavy to go up, but I'm not sure if he just didn't know how to drive off-road and kept digging himslelf in by spinning the tires.
Yeah.....it’s hard to say.... it’s really a preference thing. I mean, that’s a full size truck, which is a whole different kinda wheeling.
 

KrisEdward

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Width, weight, length.
Owned 2014 F150 FX4 33" tires, 2.5" lift, Fox suspension, rear lockers. 360hp 420lbs torque. Absolutely killed it out on trails 75% of the time. 12mpg daily with that set up.
Width. Pinstripes were a common occurrence. Almost every time. Just too wide for the woods and desert shrub trails where I live. Also sharing lanes and giving room for opposing traffic on the trail being so wide has led to many tricky and dangerous situations.
Weight. Traversing extended mountain trails, that hp and torque would just dominate. In muddy situations, that fatty would get stuck all the time. I had the steel body which was 700lbs ish heavier than the newer aluminum body so maybe not an issue now. Learned much about recovery and gear firsthand.
Length. Break over angle even with that lift still was a issue for me. Hearing armor and sliders against rock for an extended amount of time always felt like a$$ lol. Got my belly stuck numerous times before the lift but still rarely occurred after.
Taking my Jeep on the same trails takes more finesse for sure but feels undeniably more capable and purposeful on the trails.
Just my two cents. Hope it helps.
 

Headbarcode

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A pickups main functional design is aimed towards towing heavier trailers, hauling full sheets of plywood, and costing its owner an occasional day off to go pick up a good deal found on Craigslist. If none of that is important enough to limit your off-roading, save yourself the time and get the Rubicon. It was purposely designed for climbing rocks, not carrying them.
 

quietpeen

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The power wagon is very capable but it takes a lot of mods for it to do harder obstacles. I have a buddy who wheels his power wagon and I was impressed However due to sheer size, some trails are impassible for the power wagon. Other trucks also. The long wheel base is a huge disadvantage.

jeeps will make something look easy that a truck struggles with.
 

Equitasforall

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I could tell you, but then....
I have both. Rubicon and Raptor. So far the only thing that would limit the Raptor is its width and turning radius. Most amazing truck I’ve ever driven and this is my second. To describe it would be as follows:

- accelerates like a motorcycle
- handles like a sports car
- rides like a Lincoln
- climbs like a mountain goat
- pulls like a draft horse
- busts snow drifts like a sled dog
- quiet as a library inside
- seats feel like my tempurpedic mattress

My 2014 had the 6.2 L V-8 in it and the ‘18 has the twin turbo v-6. New one runs circles around the old one (as good as it was) and gets better mileage. New one has been all over the place, from every “seasonal limited use highway” in the upper Adirondacks in January (at -23 I might add) to towing a 4000# boat and all my gear from
Oklahoma to TN last week to playing on the beaches in the Outer Banks before my last deployment. Again, only concern is the size.
The Rubicon has been phenomenal as well. Can’t go wrong with either in my opinion. Just comes down to what you want to do with them. No (intentional) rock crawling for me so that wasn’t a consideration.

Let me know if you have other questions.
 

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TFL on YouTube has an off-road truck rating system. I think the Gladiator is 1 and the PW is 2. It’s a good resource for your question.

IMHO you need a truck and a Jeep.

Edit. I’ve driven several PWs and I hated the experience. Cool features but not fun to drive.
 

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I think the pickup trucks are very capable, in certain conditions, but as others have mentioned, weight and size becomes an issue. A rather huge problem, as well, is turning radius. if you are going rock crawling, the best places I know of will drive you crazy as you have to continually back up to make turns. There are also many places where a full size truck simply won't fit. I've been on a number of trails in Moab where the 4 door Wrangler barely fit. A Gladiator, Tacoma, or Colorado would fit, but again the turning would be a nightmare. Breakover angle would be a problem, too, in the places I've been. My JK with 2" lift and 33's was on the skid plates all the time in Moab. My JL with the Mopar lift and 35's bumped the cross-members a couple times on obstacles none of those trucks would have conqured. Not a chance.

So it depends on what you want to do, and based on what you described, unless you are going to places without tight spots, you are better off with the Wrangler.

Btw, the turning radius on the 2 door is second to none. Even the JK 2 door can't match it. My 4 door JL's turning radius has a huge advantage over my 4 door JK. On the same trails in Moab, it was night and day. The JK was good, but the JL was so much better. I can't imagine how good the 2 door JL must be.

There is simply no better rock crawler out of the box than a Wrangler Rubicon, and the 2 door is king of the Wranglers in that arena, for sure.

Do what I did and get a utility trailer for 600 bucks from Tractor Supply. Then your Jeep would turn into a nice pickup truck and you won't worry about scratching the bed and you can haul much bigger things than a pickup, such as a UTV or something like that.
 
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