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Old 08-15-2014, 05:40 PM   #1
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Jeep: The practical choice!

2 years ago, I was in a bind. I needed a new vehicle, badly. My 13 year old S-10 was on the verge of giving up the ghost, and I had a new baby at home.

I began feverishly searching for a replacement vehicle.

Chevy quit making the S-10 a long time ago, so any model loyalty was gone.....besides, I needed something with a backseat for my kid. I hated putting him up in the front passenger seat, even with the airbag disabled....but I've always hated the "feel" of full-size truck too, so that option was out the window too.

I started looking at crossover SUVs, but never was really comfortable with the "utility" of them. Most all seemed to be cars with slightly different exteriors. My S-10 had always been a "go wherever I want" vehicle, and I didn't want to give that up.

Then I started looking at Wranglers......a brand I had previously dismissed as a "weekend toy": something more akin to a motorcycle than a dedicated family/work vehicle.

Finances weren't where I needed to be, so I had to wait a whole model year before I pulled the the meantime I joined this forum and started putting together a wish list of things I was going to do to "make it mine".

When I told people I factory ordered a new Jeep, they all thought I had purchased a tricked-out ride with leather, custom wheels, and all the bells and one could figure out why I'd order something that was basically stock (my upgrades: A/C, Auto, 3.73 gears, Hardtop). It was as practical as I could make it, IMO. My one concession to style was choosing the 2dr over the 4dr.....I much prefer the look of the JK over the JKU.

I received it this time last year.....and spent the rest of summer and fall cruising the roads with the top off. When winter hit, my Jeep took me everywhere I wanted to go, even with the widely hated stock 225s. My kid's daycare parking lot looked like a Jeep seemed like they were the only vehicles that people were driving around.

I was one of the few people that didn't have any difficulty making it to work during one of the worst winters anyone could remember. Jeep likes to call the Wrangler "the official vehicle of summer" but as far as I'm concerned, it's got a strong claim to the "official vehicle of winter" too.

I've got a ride that can cruise with convertibles, trail ride with 4x4s, and haul a couple kids and a load of groceries (although admittedly it's difficult to do both sometimes). I picked the automatic so it would be a friendlier drive for the wife, and she loves it so much I'm expecting her to roll into the driveway with one of her own any day.

Are there better offroad rigs (including modded JKs)? yeah
Are there better commuter cars? yeah
Are there more idiot proof winter drivers? yes
Are there better grocery getters? Absolutely
Are there "funner" cars to drive......maybe

Is there anything that can do all of these things as well as a bone-stock jk? I don't think so.

My JK is a swiss-army knife on wheels....and was the practical choice for me.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
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Amen brother!

'13 JKUR, Billet
'88 YJ w/ 4" lift and 33's - Gone but not forgotten
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:23 PM   #3
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:41 PM   #4
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Nicely Done. I don't usually read long posts but, nicely done.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:49 PM   #5
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Enjoy it for what it is, which is exactly what you seem to be doing! Cheers!
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:31 PM   #6
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I didn't intend for that post to be so long winded. The original post was just the last couple of paragraphs, but I felt like I needed to lay out my position better.

I've never been a "car guy" by any stretch of the imagination.....but I LOVE my JK. I like how it rides, I like how it handles, I even like the spartan interior.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:21 PM   #7
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Great writeup! If I didn't already have a JK, I'd be sold!
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:30 PM   #8
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Well said. I can't imagine driving another vehicle now.
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Mod List (in order of appearance):
Reversed cargo mat- beer stays put now
Jeep logo fuel filler door
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:53 PM   #9
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Very well said! The jeep lifestyle is a very unique one!
2012 jk 6sp, 35" Hankook MT's, 2.5" Rock Krawler max travel, Rancho 9000's, bushwacker flatties, F&R Rubi Dana 44's w RCV's, chromoly shafts, 5.13 gears, AEV snorkel, Spod, Ace sliders & rear bumper, skid plates, Fab fours diff covers, RR front bumper, Q9000s winch ***SOLD

1997 TJ LQ4/4l80, F&R 14 bolt on WOD tube chassis 112" WB, build in progress
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:11 PM   #10
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Lol - great post! I'm still not sold that Jeep is the most "practical" choice BUT it is certainly well-rounded & the best fit for me for all the reasons you so eloquently listed (2 kids & a need for carrying sports gear = 4dr for me). Kudos!
"Chance favors the prepared mind." (Hence the Jeep)
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:31 PM   #11
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Incredibly well said. So right about it being as much fun in the winter as it is in the summer.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:54 PM   #12

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Absolutely spot on! Great stuff Rack Ops!
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Frost
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:17 AM   #13
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And I can park my JK & Motorcycle in the same space that the F150 took up in my garage. Gotta love those open air vehicles.

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