Some use them on trails. Personally, I've had them all my trucks. I just like getting on and talking and hearing the chatter. But also drove an 18 wheeler. I just got my first Jeep and I'm trying to figure out the best mounting for it. It's all personal taste.
There are people in my area who still have base stations and monitor them regularly. When I was a teenager, we were driving home one day and as we pulled in the yard, we could just hear someone calling for help on the CB. He was in the mountains behind our house and had broke down. It was in the middle of winter, which doesn't get terribly cold here, but cold enough. My dad sent me after the guy on a 3 wheeler. I trailed him and found him several miles away, stuck on a berm with a broke axle. I hauled him back to the house and dad took him to town and then back to recover his rig. That was 30 years ago. There are still places I go where cell phones are useless. The CB might save my hide one day.
Besides the "because I can" reason. Where I like to wheel there is no cell phone signal. It's pretty cool when you have a large trail group with radios. You can't teleconference with cellphones on where to go, when to stop, and who needs help.
How difficult is it to install one and about how much $. I know you need the CB Antenna and radio. Anything else?
Easy to install. Most have an adapter that'll hook into your cig lighter/power outlet. I mounted my CB under the dash, next to the ashtray. Lot of guys use big antennas or sticks. I have a magnetic mount that works great and I just stick in the back somewhere.
It's a Jeep Thing ... I do understand!
Very helpful on the trails for letting others in our group know what's happening. Most of the time it is to warn of on coming traffic on narrow trails so we can find a good place to pass or let the others pass. On the highway my CB and the truckers are still better than any radar detector I have ever owned, although with my TJ I have trouble keeping up with the highway speeds in Arizona anyhow.
I got one mainly for trails. In a group as others have said it makes it easier to communicate. Also where cell service is non-existant. I got a cb with weather alert and it pops on the warnings if there are flood conditions, heavy thunderstorms, tornados etc. it also has a pa and i bought and mounted a speaker under my bumper to inform people the light is green i got the cb for $100, the firestick 4' for $22, mount for $15, 18' cable for $15, and pa speaker for $25. So about $200 all together.
It's better to regret something you did do, than to regret something you didn't do.
I got mine because i feel like it belongs in a jeep! But i have always wanted one, and its one more reason to get out and work on the jeep for a few hours. Plus its better to have something and not need it, than to need something and need it. I ended up making a mount for the antenna since i didnt like any of the ones forsale, and i saved a few bucks. All together my CB cost about $170 shipped to my door.
1. Communication on trails. Helps with straglers, wrong turns, and easy spoting / quick comms.
2. Highway information and entertainment. If you haven't passed time on a road trip listening to truckers, you're missing out. Hilarious stuff. And it can tell you when to go ahead and take a lunch break instead of running into the gridlock from that accident that just happened.
3. Weather alerts. NOAA equipped radios can be had for 40$. Best reason to have one, bar none.
4. Alert trucks / other jeepers when entering / leaving trails or technical / blind sections. You do not want to surprise a logging truck.
5. Emergency comms, though this better be your backup to your backup for breakdowns in a populated place only (or an orv park).
They are anywhere from 20$ to several hundred. They all transmit the same wattage, regardless of microphones, antennas, or any other accessory. 4w by federal law, most are <3.5w. Some people juice them but beyond being illegal, it only makes you transmit further - it does nothing for recieving.
Install is easy. You need the radio, a cable to connect the radio to the mount, a mount, and an antenna. Some add a spring or quick disconnect for flexibility or irregular use, and it is highly recommended to get a swr meter for cb bands and tune your system.
If you do rely on your radio as an emergency device (or just really like it), look into getting a HAM ticket. The test is not as hard as many people think, the radios are much cooler and more feature packed, it is possible to talk to space or the other side of the world, and a decent mobile rig can be bought and installed for ~ 300$, though it is highly addictive and the highend units do cost more than I paid for my Jeep. By over double.
“Coming of age in a fascist police state will not be a barrel of fun for anybody, much less for people like me, who are not inclined to suffer Nazis gladly and feel only contempt for the cowardly flag-suckers who would gladly give up their outdated freedom to live for the mess of pottage they have been conned into believing will be freedom from fear.”