Options for topless season

linuxos77

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We got our first Wrangler this winter (hard top Sahara). As we slowly make our way towards spring here in New England, I'm looking for options/ideas on how to maximize having the Jeep topless without going crazy on the cost front. We also have a Renegade with MySky (removable roof panels) and know how quickly and difficult it is to trust the New England weather to not have passing showers/storms based on trying to keep that topless the last 4 summers. We have a garage so it would be parked covered overnight. Poking around I see all sorts of bikini tops, would those keep things dry enough for times you get caught in rain? Most of the time the doors would be left on, I'm guessing there's no way to bring them along with you stored in the back of the JLU? What does everyone else do in a climate similar to New England (ie going more than 3-4 rain free days is fairly rare).





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ralphgb

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We got our first Wrangler this winter (hard top Sahara). As we slowly make our way towards spring here in New England, I'm looking for options/ideas on how to maximize having the Jeep topless without going crazy on the cost front. We also have a Renegade with MySky (removable roof panels) and know how quickly and difficult it is to trust the New England weather to not have passing showers/storms based on trying to keep that topless the last 4 summers. We have a garage so it would be parked covered overnight. Poking around I see all sorts of bikini tops, would those keep things dry enough for times you get caught in rain? Most of the time the doors would be left on, I'm guessing there's no way to bring them along with you stored in the back of the JLU? What does everyone else do in a climate similar to New England (ie going more than 3-4 rain free days is fairly rare).
Greetings from Milford, MA! The @Bestop Sunrider is an excellent compromise. It replaces the freedom panels with a roof that opens or closes in less than 10 seconds. I have one on my JLU Sahara and never even take it off in the winter. Yes, it's not a true "topless" experience but it's a real game changer - easily my favorite add-on to my Jeep.
 

jludave

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The @Bestop Sunrider is an excellent compromise.
I second the Sunrider for Hardtop. Had one on my '15 JKU and now have one on my '20 JLU. Best thing I've purchased for both Jeeps.
 

631_Islander

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We got our first Wrangler this winter (hard top Sahara). As we slowly make our way towards spring here in New England, I'm looking for options/ideas on how to maximize having the Jeep topless without going crazy on the cost front. We also have a Renegade with MySky (removable roof panels) and know how quickly and difficult it is to trust the New England weather to not have passing showers/storms based on trying to keep that topless the last 4 summers. We have a garage so it would be parked covered overnight. Poking around I see all sorts of bikini tops, would those keep things dry enough for times you get caught in rain? Most of the time the doors would be left on, I'm guessing there's no way to bring them along with you stored in the back of the JLU? What does everyone else do in a climate similar to New England (ie going more than 3-4 rain free days is fairly rare).
I have the Dual Top Group. Long Island Summers tend to run hotter than New England Summer but equally as Rainy. During the summer, I do not run completely naked. Rather, I fold my soft top backwards. Then when it rains, I just quickly unfold it. I would recommend getting a complete soft top as it will do a better job protecting against the Rain versus a Bikini top. You can just run it in safari mode and keep the rear vinyl windows at home. The soft top construction does a good job with keeping the rain water away from your interior. But for added measure, you can always just quickly stick your vinyl windows in there. That is what I do every summer. It takes no more than five minutes in removing or reinstalling the Vinyl Windows.
 

TA1ton

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We got our first Wrangler this winter (hard top Sahara). As we slowly make our way towards spring here in New England, I'm looking for options/ideas on how to maximize having the Jeep topless without going crazy on the cost front. We also have a Renegade with MySky (removable roof panels) and know how quickly and difficult it is to trust the New England weather to not have passing showers/storms based on trying to keep that topless the last 4 summers. We have a garage so it would be parked covered overnight. Poking around I see all sorts of bikini tops, would those keep things dry enough for times you get caught in rain? Most of the time the doors would be left on, I'm guessing there's no way to bring them along with you stored in the back of the JLU? What does everyone else do in a climate similar to New England (ie going more than 3-4 rain free days is fairly rare).
If you want a full open air experience that is also weather proof...your best bet is to buy a soft top. To my knowledge, there is no bikini top for the JL that closes the gaps between the doors and the roll bars. That may not be an issue for you. I don’t have one, but as mentioned previously, the Sunrider is a great compromise. Everyone who owns one seems to love it.
 

00 Trans Ram

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Can't really answer your question (what to use while you're out). But, I can give you an idea for the garage. Most "hard top removal/storage" things you can buy are $100+. But, you can do it yourself for $33 or so.

It is simply 4 screw eyes (something like 3/8" x 5") and a couple of ratchet straps from Home Depot (3333lb, 27' x 2"). $15 for the screw eyes and the straps are $8.88 apiece.
Jeep top hanger.png


Just raise it up a few inches and drive out from under it. When you get home, back in and under.
 

karynm8621

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We are in S NH, we run a softop from April to Oct and a Sunrider from Oct to April (for those rare warm days we sometimes get)
 

jimim

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I’m waiting for my soft top to come in from my dealer. I figured having all options available was the best way to go. I just finished installing the garage smart lift in my garage for the hard top storage. I was also thinking adding a sun shade for those strong sunny days. I wasn’t sure if you can have one below the soft top. I didn’t get that far yet.
I can’t wait to get my soft top.
 

Jocko

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Yeah definitely second the suggestion to focus on making it easy to take the top off and put it back on. I ended up building a hand crank pulley in my garage area so I can do it alone in under 10 minutes. For typical local daily driving that would probably give you enough flexibility to deal with the weather forecast.

My suggestion would be to NOT proactively buy any sort of top and just see how things go. I was obsessing over the bikini top early on but there just weren't any good options at the time. And here I am with summer #3 coming up and I don't even really want one anymore anyhow.

I do have the Mopar emergency rain cover just in case. Especially if I'm feeling extra brave and heading up to the white mountains for the weekend with the top left at home. Heh. I keep the drain plugs out all summer (mopar all season mats) and a couple of towels in the back to wipe down the leather seats.

Regardless whether the top is on or off, my doors are off almost all summer (unless a really serious rainstorm is coming or the kids are coming along). Doors off is actually the main reason I have the drain plugs out and the towels. It's funny, when I first got the Jeep I wasn't even sure if I was going to try taking the doors off. LOL
 
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linuxos77

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All great ideas, the Sunrider looks cool, was hoping to get away with somerthing a bit cheaper, but honestly had no ideas what to expect. That option would work year round too. I also like the emergency rain cover idea too, while not doable for a long drive if caught, would be a good thing for a quick passing shower or storm (just pull off somewhere and wait it out). My example would be making a day trip say 1-2 hours away on those days with a 30% chance of afternoon shower (like summers tend to be).
 

Cuyose

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I agree with what the previous poster said about getting a lift and seeing how that goes. You are going to have to store your hardtop somewhere anyhow, so why not see how it goes with just using the lift? I literally have it down to 5 minutes or less to take it off or on. Get a cordless socket wrench and it goes super fast.
 

Kreepin1

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Yeah definitely second the suggestion to focus on making it easy to take the top off and put it back on. I ended up building a hand crank pulley in my garage area so I can do it alone in under 10 minutes. For typical local daily driving that would probably give you enough flexibility to deal with the weather forecast.

My suggestion would be to NOT proactively buy any sort of top and just see how things go. I was obsessing over the bikini top early on but there just weren't any good options at the time. And here I am with summer #3 coming up and I don't even really want one anymore anyhow.

I do have the Mopar emergency rain cover just in case. Especially if I'm feeling extra brave and heading up to the white mountains for the weekend with the top left at home. Heh. I keep the drain plugs out all summer (mopar all season mats) and a couple of towels in the back to wipe down the leather seats.

Regardless whether the top is on or off, my doors are off almost all summer (unless a really serious rainstorm is coming or the kids are coming along). Doors off is actually the main reason I have the drain plugs out and the towels. It's funny, when I first got the Jeep I wasn't even sure if I was going to try taking the doors off. LOL
^^^ This.

Being able to easily and safely remove the top turns this from a chore to a 20 minute job. The doors are by far the worst part of the job. It takes 5 minutes to put the emergency top on or take it off - great for quick trips on sketchy days.
 

Jocko

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If I were going a couple of hours away and thought there was a reasonable chance it might rain, I'd probably go top on/doors off. Another trick is just the freedom panels. I usually do that when driving up to NH/VT/ME without the top. Aside from sun shelter on those long drives, it also provides decent rain protection on the highway. At those speeds the wind passing over also helps divert some of it. It all comes down to how risky you want to be. The interior is fully capable of withstanding a downpour if things don't go as planned. Personally I find it fun to take a little bit of risk sometimes.
 

Cuyose

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If I were going a couple of hours away and thought there was a reasonable chance it might rain, I'd probably go top on/doors off. Another trick is just the freedom panels. I usually do that when driving up to NH/VT/ME without the top. Aside from sun shelter on those long drives, it also provides decent rain protection on the highway. At those speeds the wind passing over also helps divert some of it. It all comes down to how risky you want to be. The interior is fully capable of withstanding a downpour if things don't go as planned. Personally I find it fun to take a little bit of risk sometimes.
And it dries VERY quick with the dark interior and the top and doors off anyhow!
 

SirMagnus89

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All great ideas, the Sunrider looks cool, was hoping to get away with somerthing a bit cheaper, but honestly had no ideas what to expect. That option would work year round too. I also like the emergency rain cover idea too, while not doable for a long drive if caught, would be a good thing for a quick passing shower or storm (just pull off somewhere and wait it out). My example would be making a day trip say 1-2 hours away on those days with a 30% chance of afternoon shower (like summers tend to be).
What price are you willing to spend? There are a few options in the after market for soft tops under a thousand dollars. That is pretty good considering it is only for the summer and a factory soft top is touching 3 thousand.

Greetings for Plymouth, MA! (I run soft top year round)
 

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