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Old 02-14-2013, 09:03 AM   #1
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Cross Country Drive -- Tips

My girlfriend and I are planning on taking a month this summer to tour these great United States in my stock 2009 JKU Sahara. Apart from the requisite service for such a road trip, what other things should I be thinking about regarding my Jeep and this ride?

1. Purchasing/installing soft top -- new-to-me came with hard top. Getting the softie put on next month (OEM soft top from dealership)
2. Compile emergency tool kit
a. first aid kit
b. fire extinguisher
c. what else?
3. Other thoughts?

If anyone else has made such a venture, let me know!

Planned route:
Washington DC to Chicago to Milwaukee to Minneapolis to Mt. Rushmore to Denver to Salt Lake City to Reno to San Francisco to Los Angeles to Las Vegas to Grand Canyon to Albuquerque to Dallas to New Orleans to Atlanta to Charlotte to VA Beach to DC.

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Old 02-14-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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I drove from Dallas to S.C. and back last year, 2000 miles round trip, in my 2012 2-door with the wife and kiddo. You've got a 4-door so you have plenty of room. Just treat it like any other road trip. oh and take plenty of pictures!!!

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Old 02-14-2013, 09:15 AM   #3
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I would love to take a trip like that. No matter how much you prepare, once you are on the adventure of a lifetime you are bound to find something else that you should have taken with you. You have a large network of Jeepers all over the country that will assist you if you find yourself in a bind. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:15 AM   #4
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Just a tip, as you stop and check the air pressure in your tires, make sure you check them when they are cool, NOT hot!!

Maybe add these few items;

- Jumper Cables
- Fix A Flat
- 2 Quarts of Oil
- Coolant
- Flares
- Small tool set
- Spare bulbs and fuses
- 2 Quarts ATF
- Flashlight w/extra batteries

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Old 02-14-2013, 09:34 AM   #5
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While your at the Grand Canyon do this: Driving to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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I hope you have a safe and uneventful yet enjoyable trip. I'd recommend the following:

- list of highlights you'd like to see on the trip
- plot the highlights on a paper map with routes too if GPS fails
- plan the route and let people know where/when/duration

That said, when you come to Chicago, you'd do well to explore the city by parking your Jeep and using public transportation (METRA train, CTA light rail, cabs) and walking if in the downtown area. I'd recommend staying and parking in the western suburbs 12mi from the city center (i.e. Hinsdale, Western Springs, La Grange) and taking a METRA train into the city; you'll get off the train a block from the "Sears Tower" which has a recommended must-see observation deck (do it on a clear day).

Or, since you're going on to Milwaukee afterward, stay in the north shore (Highland Park, Glencoe, Wilmette) and take that METRA line in/out. Your Jeep has a good chance of being broken into if you have lots of stuff inside and park in the city, even at a hotel garage; it's a real problem for any out-of-town vehicle.

The Fine Arts Museum, Field Museum and Lincoln Park Zoo are good stops too. Depends on your interests. For a cheap lunch on the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave), I recommend Bandera at 535 N Michigan Ave (above the Citibank) as it's outstanding food/service and cheap -- for Chicago. Take a walk to the "Bean" sculpture south of there for a good photo op.

Safe travels, and of course if you need help while in the Chicago area, PM me as the entire NE area of IL is my working territory.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:43 AM   #7
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Yellowstone - not far off your route. I've gone there the last 3 years.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:49 AM   #8
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What a cool route you have planned. I want to do something like this so bad.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:09 AM   #9
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Spend some time on the highway before your trip with the soft top (a couple of 1-2 hour small trips). The soft top is noisier than a hard top and increased noise will increase driver fatigue. You'll probably be fine, but use it before you head out.

Otherwise, it's a road trip. All you really need is a cell phone and a credit card. Roadside assistance might be nice for peace of mind.

Will you be camping or staying in hotels? I see lots of big cities on your route so I'm guessing hotels.

Sounds like a great trip, enjoy and post pictures.

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Old 02-14-2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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On your way out of Denver stop and hike Hanging Lake. It's a short hike and parking is limited so be early or mid afternoon to get spots from those who went up and down already. Wait it out if you have to, the hike is the coolest in the entire state IMHO. The photos you will see do not do it justice. This is the closest thing in Denver next to Bishops Castle, which is way out of your traveled route.

http://www.postindependent.com/artic...NEWS/110619921

Enjoy. And don't forget to bring water like the article says and lunch so you can chill for a bit and relax.

As for the soft top- I purchased a set of headphones that have a rubber fitting much like an ear plug. It blocks the monotony of the loud noises and let's you hear music- two for one! Sony, Best Buy, $20-30, the blue colored ones!
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:38 AM   #11
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Google top 10 things to do in each state you are passing thorough and consider what looks cool and try to plan your route to incorporate those attractions along the way. This is probably something you have already thought of!
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:38 AM   #12
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On your way out of Denver stop and hike Hanging Lake. It's a short hike and parking is limited so be early or mid afternoon to get spots from those who went up and down already. Wait it out if you have to, the hike is the coolest in the entire state IMHO.
Yes!! I agree with this post 100% That hike may only be about 1.5 miles, but it is worth the uphill reward. That is the only bad part for some people, it's pretty much all uphill to reach the lake. If I remember correct, it is just before Glenwood Springs when you are heading West on I-70.

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Old 02-14-2013, 11:56 AM   #13
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. Wait it out if you have to, the hike is the coolest in the entire state IMHO. The photos you will see do not do it justice. !
HA You must not do a lot of hiking! It is a very nice hike and worthwhile for people passing through but to classify it as the best in the entire state( We are talking Colorado right?) is hilarious. Lets not get carried away here.....sorry to hijack but that statement is ridiculous.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:10 PM   #14
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I have done two round-trip cross-countries and a west-to-east one way. My only advice is this - if you are trying to make time, it is a lot easier to get it all in one of those big-mouth gatorade bottles. Never try a coke can. Never.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:21 PM   #15
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Stop at Jackson hole, WY and bring lots of beef jerky !!!!!
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:31 PM   #16
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I want to do a road trip out west so bad. Very jealous!
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:09 PM   #17
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Post lots of pix here.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #18
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Spend some time on the highway before your trip with the soft top (a couple of 1-2 hour small trips). The soft top is noisier than a hard top and increased noise will increase driver fatigue. You'll probably be fine, but use it before you head out.

Otherwise, it's a road trip. All you really need is a cell phone and a credit card. Roadside assistance might be nice for peace of mind.

Will you be camping or staying in hotels? I see lots of big cities on your route so I'm guessing hotels.

Sounds like a great trip, enjoy and post pictures.

Mike
+1. While breeze in your hair travel cross country sounds great, if it's highway miles for a month, I wouldn't put it on my list.

I would avoid the 2 quarts of oil, fire extinguisher, etc. if I was taking this trip. If your route was badlands, moab, salt flats, Mt Ranier, Rubicon trail, mojave desert, etc., I'd feel differently. Instead, bring a cell phone and charger as well as a Gramin. Stop at the visitor center entering each state and grab a free map. Bring a good cooler made of hard plastic (the soft ones leak everywhere) and plenty of snacks and a trash bag.

Have fun!
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Timberline

Yes!! I agree with this post 100% That hike may only be about 1.5 miles, but it is worth the uphill reward. That is the only bad part for some people, it's pretty much all uphill to reach the lake. If I remember correct, it is just before Glenwood Springs when you are heading West on I-70.

Word^ yeah hiking boots to protect your ankles or equivalent footwear is good practice. This isn't a paved sidewalk, its a mountain trail. Don't be afraid to use those twenty dollar hiking poles- better to be safe than busted up on your big excursion. Rock it!
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:04 PM   #20
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HA You must not do a lot of hiking! It is a very nice hike and worthwhile for people passing through but to classify it as the best in the entire state( We are talking Colorado right?) is hilarious. Lets not get carried away here.....sorry to hijack but that statement is ridiculous.
Very constructive^^

What part of IMHO didn't you read a$$clown! It's the biggest bang for the buck and is a national monument now. Read the article and stuff it! Ever been to Havasu Falls, hiked down in the moonlight with an 80 pound pack- backpacker/hiker guy? I didn't think so. Back to where you came from and STFU TROLL!
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:38 PM   #21
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Don't bury your jack and lug wrench under more stuff than your willing to set out in the rain.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:40 PM   #22
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:53 PM   #23
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My advice would be to take your time. If there is something along the way that you think you would like to see do it, you might not have this opportunity again. I drove from Atlanta to Colorado by myself in a 2 door so having the extra space and extra person should make for an awesome trip.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:22 PM   #24
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Thanks for the kind words. Assclown is a classic, always fun to see someone break that one out.

My only point was it is a very nice hike and well worth hitting on the way through but lets not go crazy here. If you're driving down 70 and looking for a quick hike with some cool waterfalls that's a very accessible one.

Hope to see you on the trails sometime strider.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:28 PM   #25
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Bring a book on cd. Best thing I ever did for my trip from nj to fl
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:38 PM   #26
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Personally I would run the hard top cause its a lot more secure then the soft top.

Totally jealous tho. I live up in canada and have been as far east and west as u can here. And would love to do something like that in the states!

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Old 02-14-2013, 10:57 PM   #27
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I would love to drive my jeep cross country, but I can't stand to drive it more than a few miles at highway speeds.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:03 PM   #28
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I must be the dissenting voice here- I would definitely go for the soft top if I were making this trip. Especially if you will get off the highway. It's one of the biggest reasons to run a Jeep in my opinion.
Security may be tougher, but I have done it traveling light, and backpacker style and kept a backpack locking mesh in the jeep.

The best is a summer night drive with the top dropped., knocking off some required miles in the
night.

Sounds like a great trip.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:46 PM   #29
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A number of years back I took a cross country trip through all of the states around the perimeter of the USA, except for North Dakota. The trip was just about a month. Started in NJ, went up to Maine, then west to Mt St Helens in Washington State. Then down along the pacific across the south to Brownsville, then over to Fort Lauderdale and back to NJ.

Getting a flat at night (it was so dark, you couldnt see your hand in front of your face, a couple glow sticks solved that) along the highway near the Minnesota/South Dakota border kept me from North Dakota as I had to find a matching tire to what I had on my SUV. That is something to consider, what modifications did you make and will any parts you made need be available along your route.

Another goof was not watching the gas gauge and running out in Texas... a 3 hour ordeal that took another hour or so as someone swiped my license plate while I was getting gas.

It was a great trip with many sites including Chicago, Mt Rushmore, The Rockies, Mt St Helen, Portland, Yellowstone, Redwoods of California, San Fran, LA, and San Diego, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Rio Grande, South Padre Island, New Orleans, and many more. I'll do it again someday I hope only take 2 months.

This was before our phones were smart and google.

Things I remember: Be sure your car insurance is up to snuff... good coverage. My first day, at my first stop sign, I was rear-ended by an uninsured driver.... and got nothing.

You'll have a good time, and if you get lost, use technology as opposed to arguing with your other half.

Happy Trails!
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:07 AM   #30
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Thanks for all the great advice! I'll be sure to keep my Jeep contacts close as we trek across country.

As to accommodations, the only way I could get my girlfriend to agree to go was to promise 95% hotel stays. So we'll be resting in warm beds and hot showers.

Keep the advice coming! I'm a AAA member, so roadside assistance should follow me where ever I go.

I also haven't performed any significant mods that would require any extra equipment, but I loved the "don't bury tools below stuff you don't want in the rain." Sounds like there's a good story behind that.

I'm also going to install the Tuffy Security Dash for the stereo. While staying in hotel, the Jeep will be mostly empty when its parked, but security is definitely a concern.

I'm rolling with the soft-top for the convertible reasons. I'd like to take the coastal road from SF to LA in one day with no roof. I think that Pacific ocean air will make all the noise worth it.

Thanks all! Planned for June or July, so lots of time to think ahead. And half of the reason for going is to take jeep pics in different locations. So those will be coming too.

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