Just got my first Jeep - lots of things to consider for my needs.

Joverland

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I am new here, having been just browsing for a while - now I have ordered my Jeep I thought I would make a post and ask a couple of general questions.

I have just purchased a 21 plate (UK) Wrangler Overland 4 door and will take delivery at the start of March.
This will be my first Jeep and it was a really tough decision for me to move away from the more common SUV options, like Audi's, BMW's, Volvo's that I have owned before, but decided that ultimately I needed and wanted more offroad capability (even though I live in the UK).

Whilst this will be my daily driver, my main reason for buying was to support my astrophotography/astronomy hobby. I have a home observatory, however, I live in a Bortle 5 area (which means light pollution is high). So, my new Jeep is going to be my astro rig at the weekends(and longer trips or sometimes during the week) as I head off to dark sky sites around the country (and beyond), park up, set up, observe and then take astro pics through the night whilst I sleep.

I also intend to do some offroad driving - but nothing like the hardcore stuff I see some do in the US! We don't have anything like those trails in the UK (at least not that I know of)...that's one of the reasons I figured that an Overland spec would be plenty good enough as opposed to a Rubicon. Who knows, perhaps I will upgrade elements of the Overland overtime to beef up its off-road capability but probably is good enough as is.

Now I am thinking about the kit I need - it's overwhelming for a newbie to Jeeps as I am.

The first thing I need to think about is overnight sleeping - i.e. a tent.
For roof tents, whilst I have watched quite a few reviews of various tents, I am never quite sure these days whether those reviews are biased (marketed). I'd like to ask whether people REALLY see the value in something like an iKamper for 3500 pounds vs a 900 pound Front Runner non-hard top? They both seem easy to set up and pack up and both offer the same space.

Anyway, that is just the start of what I will need... I am really looking forward to picking up the vehicle.
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drivingfool

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Congrats on the new rig. I'm new to this forum but I've been wheeling jeeps for a couple of decades. I'll give you my thoughts.
Don't modify anything, yet. Stock jeeps are better than you think. Wait til you're near the end of the warranty before you do any cutting or swapping. The worst feeling is doing a mod that goes wrong, and the dealer says 'sorry, you just voided your warranty'. You'll know when you're ready for mods to enable what you want to do. If you're not sure, don't do it.

Some items I think are 'must have'
-straps, get a long one and a short one.
-Have a way to put air in your tires, and do airdown when you're offroad. A jeep in 4lo with aired down tires is a different animal, and you'll love it. How far down to go is up to you, as a flat tire can lose bead and 'slip' or 'unseat'. 15lbs is rather safe.
-Have a way to fix your tires (plug kit).
-Do get 5 tire rotations done (most dealerships only pay the tech for 4, so throw some cash to the tech)
-Stay up on your fluids, meaning you know their levels and their levels are good.
-Invest in decent seat covers before you realize you should have.
-Comms. Here in the states CB is useful, channel 4 on the trail and channel 19 when driving around big trucks.
-Sliders/rock rails. I dunno if the overland has them, but if there's one bolt on item that's worth every penny, this is it.
-Powered impact driver. The damage you'll probably handle the most on trail is work on tires. There are cordless and 12v corded options.
-Tires. Ever change a big tire on the trail? It's hell. Think about what you're getting into there.

Also, rooftop tents and tight trails can lead to heartache. Rooftop tents really like flat ground.
When doing recovery, NEVER mix strap/chain.
 
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Levin_tom

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I ended up going with a soft shell RTT because I couldn’t justify spending $4,000 on a tent, plus I got a good discount on my ARB. I think it ultimately depends on what type of camping you’re doing and how often you are on the move and what your budget is. If you’re talking 10+ day trips and are having to move often then the quick setup of a hard shell makes things easier. Even though the difference is only a few minutes. But reading from your post it sounds like these will be relatively short weekend trips. Pros of the soft shell, in addition to the significant price difference which is the most important benefit, is that usually have more sleeping space and they weigh less. Pros of the hard shell are waterproofing, and quicker and easier setup. But in my experience if you take good care of your soft shell it will last 10+ years. These have been industry standard for decades. Also take into consideration you will need a roof rack which may add another $1,000+ depending on which model you get so things can get very expensive when you add everything up. You may also want to look at pop up ground tents like Gazelle tents. They set up in less than 1 minute and are pretty solid and well priced. I have a few friends who run those. I always carry my Big Agnes ultra light ground tent in the car depending on what kind of camping I will be doing.
 

MauiSteve

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When it comes to radios in the US lots of folks are switching from CB to GMRS which had a lot more range. GMRS is about 462 MHZ, not sure if there is an equivalent system in the UK. It works very well.
Drive it for a bit before doing anything big. They really are great off road machines.
 
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Joverland

Joverland

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@drivingfool - yes, for sure, I am staying away from mods like lifts or adding any lockers etc for now and the foreseeable future. Nothing that would call into question my warranty. The only thing I might do is replace the tyres for better traction in mud - but on the stock 18 inch wheels. I have read a lot about all the mods and they are appealing, but I really have no idea about them, beyond youtube - too much of a risk for me at the moment.
Thanks for the detailed point - most I understood.
A few I did not (and my points of clarification might seem comical to some :) )

- don't know what you mean by straps. tied down straps?
- what is the 5th tyre rotation for? Or the first 4 tbh, I don't know.
- what is 'mixing strap/chain'?

Thanks again!
John
 
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Joverland

Joverland

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@Levin_tom Yes, I am leaning towards a softshell RTT - or maybe just using my current tent which is a really rather good VE25 4 season North face that has worked in some pretty harsh conditions. Even if I end up getting a RTT, will probably take the North Face tent anyway in case of very high winds.
 

Levin_tom

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@drivingfool - yes, for sure, I am staying away from mods like lifts or adding any lockers etc for now and the foreseeable future. Nothing that would call into question my warranty. The only thing I might do is replace the tyres for better traction in mud - but on the stock 18 inch wheels. I have read a lot about all the mods and they are appealing, but I really have no idea about the, beyond youtube - too much of a risk for me at the moment.
Thanks for the detailed point - most I understood.
A few I did not (and my points of clarification might seem comical to some :) )

- don't know what you mean by straps. tied down straps?
- what is the 5th tyre rotation for? Or the first 4 tbh, I don't know.
- what is 'mixing strap/chain'?

Thanks again!
John
Tire rotations help keep all tire wear balanced and extends the life of the tires. 4 tires + spare tire. Make sure to include spare in the rotation.
 

Jeepmarkjl

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Respectfuly disagree on the "wait until you warranty is up to mod opinion" in previous post. Do what you need, then spend your life savings on stuff you want. LOL. Do not log on to a computer and throw away your phone if you don't want to see all the great mods you can do. I've had Roof top tent(s) on a Jeep before. Hard top was WAY better. Soft top on tent is fine but its actually more of a PITA than videos show. RTT means a roof rack. I've had a Rhinorack and a friend had Frontrunner rack. I much prefer the Frontrunner due to the orientation the rack slats. You will have to drill thru your hard top. Scary at first but if you follow the directions and use right seals - you're fine. I never had a leak once. If you really wanna go mac daddy then consider the UrsaMinor top. Checkout Venture4wd on youtube to see what I mean. This is my preferred next option. IKamper makes a great tent. As for level ground. This is not hard at all. You can use flat rocks, MAXTRAX, even small logs. Just keep a level in your tool kit.

Simple mods to consider especially since you're going to camp/overland in your jeep.
Outback Adventure Trailgater. Makes camping/cooking easier. Dead simple install.
67 Designs Rail Mount for JL. Hold phones, iPads, etc..
Maxtrax. You will love these if you get stuck.
Consider grabbier tires if you dont already have them. You can put BFG KO2s on stock rims if you like.
Consider GooseGear platform for inside the Jeep to make the cargo area and potentially taking out the all or part of the second row seats to make the inside of the Jeep more conducive to Overalanding. You could do this as an alternative to a tent/rack (cheaper) if you can stack all your stuff to one side and sleep in the Jeep instead of a tent.
Portable fridge like Dometic 35 or 45.
The list could go on and on.

Good luck. Part of the fun for many folks is modding. An obsession really.
 
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Joverland

Joverland

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@MauiSteve, this is something I need to look into... CB or HAM radio I think here in the UK.

Here's the car at the dealer being prepared - I agree, It will be stock like this for some time, except maybe tyres (same size, just swapped to AT). Stock tyres are Bridgestone Dueler's 255/70/18R.

jeep.JPG
 
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drivingfool

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@drivingfool - yes, for sure, I am staying away from mods like lifts or adding any lockers etc for now and the foreseeable future. Nothing that would call into question my warranty. The only thing I might do is replace the tyres for better traction in mud - but on the stock 18 inch wheels. I have read a lot about all the mods and they are appealing, but I really have no idea about the, beyond youtube - too much of a risk for me at the moment.
Thanks for the detailed point - most I understood.
A few I did not (and my points of clarification might seem comical to some :) )

- don't know what you mean by straps. tied down straps?
- what is the 5th tyre rotation for? Or the first 4 tbh, I don't know.
- what is 'mixing strap/chain'?

Thanks again!
John
Recovery straps. I suggest a 10' and a 25'.
Rotating all 5 tires keeps the tread depth the same. With deep lug tires, the difference in size can make your computer think there's something wrong because the wheel revolution data from the ABS system will be off.
When tugging out another vehicle, if you've got strap on one end that's connected to a chain on the other, it's a bad combo that can end very tragically.
 
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Joverland

Joverland

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Recovery straps. I suggest a 10' and a 25'.
Rotating all 5 tires keeps the tread depth the same. With deep lug tires, the difference in size can make your computer think there's something wrong because the wheel revolution data from the ABS system will be off.
When tugging out another vehicle, if you've got strap on one end that's connected to a chain on the other, it's a bad combo that can end very tragically.
Got it, thanks.
 

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I am new here, having been just browsing for a while - now I have ordered my Jeep I thought I would make a post and ask a couple of general questions.

I have just purchased a 21 plate (UK) Wrangler Overland 4 door and will take delivery at the start of March.
This will be my first Jeep and it was a really tough decision for me to move away from the more common SUV options, like Audi's, BMW's, Volvo's that I have owned before, but decided that ultimately I needed and wanted more offroad capability (even though I live in the UK).

Whilst this will be my daily driver, my main reason for buying was to support my astrophotography/astronomy hobby. I have a home observatory, however, I live in a Bortle 5 area (which means light pollution is high). So, my new Jeep is going to be my astro rig at the weekends(and longer trips or sometimes during the week) as I head off to dark sky sites around the country (and beyond), park up, set up, observe and then take astro pics through the night whilst I sleep.

I also intend to do some offroad driving - but nothing like the hardcore stuff I see some do in the US! We don't have anything like those trails in the UK (at least not that I know of)...that's one of the reasons I figured that an Overland spec would be plenty good enough as opposed to a Rubicon. Who knows, perhaps I will upgrade elements of the Overland overtime to beef up its off-road capability but probably is good enough as is.

Now I am thinking about the kit I need - it's overwhelming for a newbie to Jeeps as I am.

The first thing I need to think about is overnight sleeping - i.e. a tent.
For roof tents, whilst I have watched quite a few reviews of various tents, I am never quite sure these days whether those reviews are biased (marketed). I'd like to ask whether people REALLY see the value in something like an iKamper for 3500 pounds vs a 900 pound Front Runner non-hard top? They both seem easy to set up and pack up and both offer the same space.

Anyway, that is just the start of what I will need... I am really looking forward to picking up the vehicle.
If it's just you on these trips,you can fold the rear seats, stow your gear on the driver's side, fold the passenger seat all the way forward and sleep behind that.
 
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Joverland

Joverland

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If it's just you on these trips,you can fold the rear seats, stow your gear on the driver's side, fold the passenger seat all the way forward and sleep behind that.
My wife comes along on the trips too.
 

Bren

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I am new here, having been just browsing for a while - now I have ordered my Jeep I thought I would make a post and ask a couple of general questions.

I have just purchased a 21 plate (UK) Wrangler Overland 4 door and will take delivery at the start of March.
This will be my first Jeep and it was a really tough decision for me to move away from the more common SUV options, like Audi's, BMW's, Volvo's that I have owned before, but decided that ultimately I needed and wanted more offroad capability (even though I live in the UK).

Whilst this will be my daily driver, my main reason for buying was to support my astrophotography/astronomy hobby. I have a home observatory, however, I live in a Bortle 5 area (which means light pollution is high). So, my new Jeep is going to be my astro rig at the weekends(and longer trips or sometimes during the week) as I head off to dark sky sites around the country (and beyond), park up, set up, observe and then take astro pics through the night whilst I sleep.

I also intend to do some offroad driving - but nothing like the hardcore stuff I see some do in the US! We don't have anything like those trails in the UK (at least not that I know of)...that's one of the reasons I figured that an Overland spec would be plenty good enough as opposed to a Rubicon. Who knows, perhaps I will upgrade elements of the Overland overtime to beef up its off-road capability but probably is good enough as is.

Now I am thinking about the kit I need - it's overwhelming for a newbie to Jeeps as I am.

The first thing I need to think about is overnight sleeping - i.e. a tent.
For roof tents, whilst I have watched quite a few reviews of various tents, I am never quite sure these days whether those reviews are biased (marketed). I'd like to ask whether people REALLY see the value in something like an iKamper for 3500 pounds vs a 900 pound Front Runner non-hard top? They both seem easy to set up and pack up and both offer the same space.

Anyway, that is just the start of what I will need... I am really looking forward to picking up the vehicle.
Just stopping by to say congrats and I'm super interested in hearing more about your astro photography setup in your Jeep. Keep us posted!

There is also the option of sleeping IN the Jeep. Check this guy's setup, maybe something like this would work for you?

Edit: Just saw that the wife comes along. I'll let others comment about tents since I don't have direct experience with rooftop options.

 
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Joverland

Joverland

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Just stopping by to say congrats and I'm super interested in hearing more about your astro photography setup in your Jeep. Keep us posted!
Hey, thanks.
I'm really looking forward to picking up the Jeep... already coming to realise its a lot more than just a normal car. The whole community around the Wrangler seems great.

My first trip is being planned for the Scottish Highlands - I'll post about it in this forum and probably take some video of the astrophotography set up.
 
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