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Old 01-26-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Alaska trip--should I buy a Wrangler?

First of all I apologize for asking what may be dumb questions, but this is my first post and I have never owned a Jeep Wrangler or any Jeep vehicle. I am thinking of buying a new '09 Wrangler X that lists for around $22k and driving it on a camping vacation this summer from Minneapolis to Alaska and back. Total of about 10,000 miles for this trip. My questions are: Do you think this is a good idea with me not knowing what kind of a long haul vehicle this is and considering the remoteness of my trip. I want to use a Wrangler because of the convertible aspect, otherwise I could use my Honda CRV which is reliable and fuel efficient but not a convertible. Consumer Reports rates the Wranglers as "very unreliable" and of course that makes me think twice about using that vehicle. But, I love the open air feeling of the top down since I also own a 6 year old Honda S2000 roadster convertible. Please let me know your thoughts, concerns, opinions of the Wrangler I am looking at. It would most likely be an automatic because when I use it in Mpls I am in a lot of stop and go driving. However, I will listen to those who believe a 6 speed is the way to go. Thank you to everyone who can give me their opinion.

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Old 01-26-2009, 03:49 PM   #2
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I've had my '08 Wrangler 9 months and over 25,000 miles. It creaks and groans, doesn't leak, smells of antifreeze sometimes, but has never refused my abuse.
Drove it on a 7300 mile boodoggle up to northern Alberta and back through all the Rockies; most comfortable road trip I ever took.

Get it, mod it, drive it, love it. Just watch your ragtop with the grizz and kodiaks; they can smell a chicken wing from 3/4 mile away...

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Old 01-26-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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well it seems money isn't a problem so i say go with it! i am sure you will be fine, its new, and you don't "wheel" it so go for it
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:28 AM   #4
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I wonder if the dependability of the vehicle has anything to do with the willingness of owners to take the vehicle off road and put it through its paces. I owned mine for 3 hours and had it up to its axles in mud. I've used it on rescues and didn't ever consider that I might break it. Some of us get a little carried away with the roughness thing and end up having to replace things on them. I ran a summer camp last summer and one of my staff had an older jeep that the body rotted out on. He and his dad put a new fiberglass one on it and away it went for another generation of use. He gave it to his son to drive. His first car. Personally, I think they are hard to kill. This is the first one that I have owned and am in my second childhood with it. I found it entertaining when my wife asked me on one of my outings if I thought I would be able to get back out of where we were. My response? If the vehicle got us in here, it should get us back out. I'm pretty confident with it. I'm not a major risk taker with it but don't take it too easy either. I guess it depends on what you are looking to do with it whether or not it fits the bill. Want rough and rugged? Get the Jeep. Punish it and it will smile. Try to keep from destroying it though.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:34 AM   #5
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I love my TJ, I bought it used with low miles. I've had it for 7 months now and every month it's one thing or another breaking down. But I love that too. It's become a new hobby for me...fixing things. I've never had a new one but there's always a possibility of having problems in any vehicle, even if it is new. Maybe you should buy it early, try it out, see how it works for you.

Having the top down is a great option, you know how good it feels. But I like to tune out on road trips so after the first day or two I'd be wanting to swap the wind and road noise for some good music that can't be heard much with the top down. The stock sound systems in the Wranglers are not that great. Be sure to check out some after market goodies before you hit the road.

BTW, are you planning to take a bunch of stuff with you? 10k is a long way with only the bare essentials. Be sure to wind proof your gear!
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:28 AM   #6
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My breakdown-free expedition videos:



Do you want to be old one day and think back, "boy, I wonder what that trip would've been like in a Jeep..."
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:53 AM   #7
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well that's nothing so special, geeze, !!!



*very nice!
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
My breakdown-free expedition videos:



Do you want to be old one day and think back, "boy, I wonder what that trip would've been like in a Jeep..."
Very impressive video and slide show. Now you have me thinking this jeep idea to Alaska is not such a bad idea. There will be as much as 1200 miles of gravel road on this trip but I won't be taking most of it. When at home I will be using the Wrangler mainly on weekends to camp in the woods of Northern Minnesota, drive the fire roads in the Chippewa Natl Forest up there near the BWCA, etc. Last year I got as far as Whitehorse, Yukon on my motorcycle riding solo and ended up stopping short of Alaska before I turned around. That was about 6000 miles RT. Of course, this year I want to do the whole trip and the wife is coming along.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:28 PM   #9
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Very inspirational Hilldweller. I checked out the slide shows that you posted and it makes me look forward to the day when I will be able to get out there and do that. My toils with boy scout summer camp are in the mid point after 5 years of staff over the summer. I am eventually going to get more time over the summer as I drift away from scouting as my son gets older. In the mean time, short trips are in the offing.

I like the trailer. Currently I do the covered utility trailer camping thing. Everything I need is in the trailer and I just roll it out. The dedicated roughing it camping trailer thing looks pretty useful for getting to a destination and possibly hiking around but so far I like the utility of being able to bring my bicycles and kayaks and SCUBA gear with me (four of each) and doing the camping thing. Maybe eventually I'll be able to do either if I some day spring for the dedicated camping trailer. That is the fun of owning the jeep though. It makes it all possible.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:47 PM   #10
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I did the trip in a Subaru Legacy last summer, I wouldn't be concerned with the Jeep breaking on the trip as long as you "break it in" before you take off. Any vehicle will make it up and down those roads, probably a little easier on the vehicles if they sit up like a Jeep (as I lost both rear mud flaps on the car). It is a beautiful trip no matter what you take, have fun and take lots of pictures.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:41 PM   #11
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If the trailer idea is appealing, now is the time to grab one. Dean want to clear out his inventory. Like, yesterday...
conqueror compact - Expedition Portal Forum
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
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The stock sound systems in the Wranglers are not that great.
I have an 08 Rubicon with the 6 disc DVD player and I think it sounds great. Sure, I could spend a pile of cash replacing it with something better but I'd rather use that money to upgrade something else. My only complaint is that it doesn't have a random/shuffle function.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OffTheGrid View Post
I have an 08 Rubicon with the 6 disc DVD player and I think it sounds great. Sure, I could spend a pile of cash replacing it with something better but I'd rather use that money to upgrade something else. My only complaint is that it doesn't have a random/shuffle function.
Yours doesn't have that? I have an 07' & it has the shuffle, so I would think yours should have it

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