Keep going man! The build is coming along nice. Lots of similarities with mine. I have the Metalcloak 2.5 GC with 35s KO2. I went with with the Rhino Rack. Really satisfied with the quality and looks of it. I will mount the ARB RTT this week. I can see what you’re saying about the mounts remaining. I don’t plan on taking the roof out so for me it wasn’t a problem. Good luck with the rest! Will be waiting for updates.So thats where we are today.
In the spirit of bringing things full-circle, this Jeep has awoken my more primitive camping instincts. I intend to take a few shorter jaunts and would love to do some dispersed camping.
My gear-acquisition syndrome of course is drawn to the roof top tents. My hangup with that right now is the roof rack. I lean towards the rhino rack b/c it's more removable, but I dont like how the mounts remain. The Maximus looks better with it's mounts, but looks like a PITA to take off when I want to. Im curious to see the ARB mounting solution to their newer rack (I havent seen that yet). I might eventually get over the desire to want the rack to be removable.
In the meantime I may snag a gazelle tent as a cheaper, but not cheap, solution as I see how much I do the camping thing. Im really drawn to the winter camping idea though. I havent found a hot tent option I really like yet (a gazelle tent with a stove jack would be perfect).
Here are my future mod thoughts, in no particular order:
Rear bumper - probably LOD
AAL fender lights - this may be the next mod. I love the look.
I'd like a soft-top. removal and storage is an issue. the TLP solves it, but I cant justify that one quite yet.
At least dif skids.
Tailgate table. Probably outback adventures.
tent story above
some sort of portable water/shower solution
What size impact and socket needed for that install?At last. The Mods.
My wife is short. really short. So I thought I'd help her with a better step into the Jeep. Seriously. It was for her, not me.
I kept coming back to LOD. I looked at a lot of bars/steps. LOD just does it for me. So the first real mod to the Jeep was a set of signature sliders. Had no trouble getting around the body mounts, install took 30 minutes.
Getting the damn things out of the box took an hour! Serious credit to LOD on their packaging.
I love safari mode. I agree it’s less noise.The lure of the soft top…
Earlier this spring, when decent weather would grace us, I found myself noticing soft tops more. Not sure why, it didn’t affect me as much last year during my first summer with the Jeep. Popping the freedom panels off on nice days seemed sufficient. But man those soft tops looked nice. Just flip it back, or flip it down…just so easy.
But I was afraid that if I got one, I wouldn’t like it as much. Something about the "security" of the hard top when parked outside, especially with any kind of gear in it. Something about maybe not opening it up as much as I thought it would. Even a bit of still being smitten with wanting a rack and RTT system for camping Im not sure I'd do much of yet. I also was hung up on a hard top removal option. I later got even more hung up on that when I had my wife and daughter "help" me remove the hard top on a nice stretch of days….had to call in the buddy brigade to rescue that fiasco…
So I decided I'd sort of passively keep on eye on the classifieds here, along with other cesspools….I mean resale sites.
I was sort of indifferent on style. Initially I was all about the fastback trek tops. Missed out on a couple that maybe were good buys. Passed on a few. Got hung up on the ultra vs. the 'normal' trek top. Saw a few that required long drives to retrieve that I debated seriously. Even missed out on a couple of great deals on some TLP's that would have helped solve my hard top removal problem.
Then one night, actually it was the night we had just got home from a great 10 day vacation, I just happened to browse my usual haunts not long after a local-ish guy had posted a 1 year old SuperTop Ultra. Price was higher (though fair), but it spent most of it's year in a garage b/c he preferred the hard top, or so he said. I consider myself fortunate as the seller turned out to be a standup guy who even followed up with me post-purchase to make sure everything was good. Got some cleaner and protectant on it and darn if it doesn’t like brand new.
So far I love it. Last week I took the scenic route to our getaway. Doing a stretch in sun-rider mode, stopped part way to pop the windows out and do the rest of the drive fully collapsed. I think my favorite mode is safari. I feel like the wind noise is less and I still get the open air feeling, without the sun beating on me.
I'm very surprised by how quiet it is when running all buttoned up. I honestly don’t notice much difference in ambient noise as compared to the hard top. It hasn’t rained on me yet, the only water testing I've done is washing it. So far so good on that front. The performance of the chemical guys protectant I used (I know other brands probably work as just as well) is kind of amazing to see water just roll off the fabric like it does now.
Now to tackle the hard top lifting and storage issue….stay tuned…