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Old 10-02-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
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JKUR and Long Road Trips

I'm finally ready to get a new car next month and have been considering an Unlimited Rubicon for some time now. My biggest concern is how manageable it will be for long road trips (400-1,500 miles) that I have to make 7-8 a year (maybe more) up I5 & 395. I'll be at 75-80mph sustained for long periods of time. Gas mileage isn't a big concern (I know it will be "bad"), but driver fatigue (noise, vibration, etc.) is. I could handle just about anything in my 20's but now in my mid 50's I'm more worn out if I've been battling the road all day

A test drive, even a sustained one, doesn't really tell the story. I know it's a very subjective thing, but I'd like to get your comments and experience.

Thanks!

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Old 10-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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long road trips with rear passengers are suited for pets/kids. Adults on the other hand complained about the upright rear seats.

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Old 10-02-2013, 04:15 PM   #3
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Thanks. These trips will be mostly solo, so no kids or other passengers to worry about. My wife isn't thrilled at the idea, but we can always take her car when we travel together
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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No Problems

I have driven mine from Arizona to Montana and back with no problems. I have a 2013 JKU. I had kids in the back and they never complained. Of course, they had their iPads and portable DVD players. My Jeep has a Teraflex Stage III lift with Fox Shocks. It actually rides better than when it was stock. I also have some big KM2's as tires (mud tires) and they are a bit louder than stock but not bad at all. They are one of the quieter mud tires. I also replaced the entire speaker system so I now can wipe out any outside noise there is.
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:42 PM   #5
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I'm 67 and took my stock 2 door Sport on a 12 hour road trip - no problem at all. I run at about 30 psi in the tires.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:00 PM   #6
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I am 69, 09 2dr, 2.5 lift, 33" tires. live in Florida, have driven to Indiana once and to the mountains of North Carolina five times. give me a credit card and I will drive anywhere with this Jeep
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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I left Silverton, Co Monday afternoon and drove to central Ohio - arriving yesterday afternoon - 1680 miles. 2014 with leather seats. Just wears on the eyes a bit, orange barrels, construction zones, etc. Better seats than my 2012 (that was fine, I did the same trip in August).

I enjoy driving.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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At the speeds you are planning on, the very short gearing of the Rubicon will have the engine spinning significantly higher than your stock Sport or Sahara. But the 3.6l is pretty civilized at higher RPMs and does not seem to mind them.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:33 PM   #9
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75-80 in a Rubicon Unlimited is pushing it......they are a bit "floaty" in their handling and at those speeds they not only handle poorly but they are very bad on fuel. In my 2013 Rubicon Unlimited at 65 I'm already down to 17-18 mpg and it drops quickly from there if you go faster. The wind noise isn't bad and even with 4.10 gears it's not very loud even with the mud tires....a hard top would be a must at those speeds for me...my soft top gets loud on the highway but the hard top isn't bad at all. A good whoop in the road will make you hang on for dear life though, you'll dart pretty bad.

No way I'd buy one with intentions of using it for an Interstate commuter myself. It excels offroad and driving slower with the top off but for trips like that I'd equate it to driving a 80's Subaru and even they likely would handle better.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
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Stock rubicon comes with 3.73, optional 4.10. Base JK or Sahara come with 3.21 or optional 3.73 - so the 3.73 is "shared" across platforms.

The 4.10 gears will drink more gas. (and probably noisier with the higher rpms.)
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #11
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I bought mine last December, just rolled over 23k miles, I do lots of highway travel all over TX for my gig, no problems at all. I keep it at 75-80 on the interstate. 3.73 gears. 18 mpg. I did put the Mopar headliner kit and it seems to quiet it down a bit, and looks much nicer. I am sure the heat/ac savings will be significant too. It finally cooled down the same weekend I installed it. 4.10's might be a little worse on gas but I'd doubt it would be too much.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:41 PM   #12
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Louisville to our place in St. Augustine Beach in my JKUM. Tolerable at best. Great on the beach.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:49 PM   #13
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I use my JKUR auto w/3.73 for business... from east Tennessee to wherever. It does great at 75-80. I drive as much as 600 miles in a day and find it very comfortable. I drove to Cincinnati OH this afternoon 75-80 mph and the computer showed 19.6 mpg when I reached the hotel. I know that may not be the most accurate way to measure mileage, but it is easy to reference and I really don't care enough to try harder. Ran the A/C some and had the windows down most of the way. The Jeep is much more comfortable than my Miata which I drove from Sevierville, TN to Roswell, NM in one day.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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What kind of vehicle are you coming from? The new JKs are pretty nice stock, especially in comparison to any other jeep you have ever driven. However, likely any other new vehicle priced at 40+ is going to be a hell of alot quiter, smoother, and more comfortable. I drive a new suburban as my other vehicle and it is significantly "easier" to drive. That being said, my wife and I still fight over who drives the jeep on any given day...
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mikel01 View Post
Louisville to our place in St. Augustine Beach in my JKUM. Tolerable at best. Great on the beach.
Please do tell, what are you calling a "JKUM"?
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:54 PM   #16
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I drive a new suburban as my other vehicle and it is significantly "easier" to drive.
I agree on the Suburban. Our Suburban 4x4 was the ultimate long distance cruiser.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:59 PM   #17
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The JKUR is comfortable for the wife and I, however if we will have rear passengers, we take the Grand Cherokee.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:12 PM   #18
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I go to Colorado or Moab 4-5 times each year and it is between 850-1200 miles each way. The Jeep is PERFECTLY comfortable,,,,,
,
,
,
,
,
,
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On the trailer where it belongs while I pull it with my leather loaded Silverado crew cab.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:14 PM   #19
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I have a 2012 JKUR with an auto and 4:10 and I can get 18-19 easy at 75/80. Did it today. Gassed up in Carson City drove to Winnemucca, NV. I 80 all the way. Drives great. Love my Jeep.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:16 PM   #20
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Oh, and I drive Hwy 395 from Bishop, CA to Carson City, NV frequently. Great vehicle to drive, and I'm no spring chicken any more.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:33 PM   #21
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if you want something that can take you off the normal path so to speak on part of your road trips the JKU will be great. IMO it rides great at 70-80 mph. I typically drive at 70-75 but have done upto 80 without noticing it... the rpm's are fine at those speeds..
we traded up from a JK in June and have taken three road trips since, of course all had some off roading involved. 5200 miles in 3 1/2 months
Specs, 2013 JKU Rubi 4.10, 34's (285/75/17's Toyo MT) 3" teraflex full flex arm with Rancho 7000 shocks. some added weight from the front bumper and winch and skid plates.
trips taken 1200 miles into Colorado, about 150 miles of off road trails. 14-17.5mpg.
1700 to Salt Lake city, about ~100 miles of dirt/off road. same 14-18mpg, on this trip I had my road bike in the back and some golf clubs... plenty of room for our luggage and some tools, food, and a cooler..
600 another trip to Colorado, again ~100 miles of off road.. 14-17.5mpg
highway is ~16-17.5mpg... off road drops to 14 area... it's been mostly mild trails... hard trails would drop to 12mpg-and below

the ride to us, on the highway, isn't much worse then a nice car... albeit it is a little noisier mostly due to the tires..
adding... I'm 6' and 52yrs old.. if that matters or helps
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:33 PM   #22
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Be sure and get the hard top and upgrade the stereo.. good to go
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:40 PM   #23
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Oh, and I drive Hwy 395 from Bishop, CA to Carson City, NV frequently. Great vehicle to drive, and I'm no spring chicken any more.
I lived in Bishop for 24 years. Beautiful place.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:07 PM   #24
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My wife and I just completed about 1500 miles in 4 days driving from Dallas to, and thru, Big Bend NP. Not only was our JKUS very comfortable on the highway at 80+ (God bless west TX highways!) but also carried all our gear and chewed up the rain-soaked, rocky, muddy desert trails that the weatherman did not tell us about.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:24 PM   #25
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Took ours on its first vacation last month!! Me, wife and 8 yr old daughter

St. Louis to Yellowstone

And with the soft top


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Old 10-03-2013, 12:12 AM   #26
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Back in June after our wedding, the wife and I took about two weeks for our honeymoon in my Jeep. It's a 2012 JKU Sport with a 4" lift, Bilstein 5100 shocks, and 35" Toyo MTs. Total mileage for the trip was 3895 and the Jeep did great the whole time! We left from our house in Las Vegas and from there drove up to Salt Lake City, Park City, all thru Idaho, Flathead Lake in Montana, Seattle, all thru Oregon including Crater Lake, then down to Sacramento, and finished it off with three days of camping and fishing on the McKinney-Rubicon Trail right outside of South Lake Tahoe before heading back to Vegas. The jeep was packed to the ceiling for the most part and we were still averaging 16.5-18.5 MPG for most of the trip, even through the huge mountains in Montana! Lots of offroad time in all of that too, I'd say at least 200 miles or so. Best road trip vehicle ever as far as I'm concerned!
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:51 AM   #27
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Buying my little 2013 two door Sport S I had set a benchmark of the most uncomfortable vehicles for long distance travel. The worst vehicle was the Army M151A1 Jeep we had to drive for endless miles. Still beat walking! The second worst long distance vehicle I ever drove, from NM to NJ was a Suzuki Samurai. My two door Jeeps have gotten better over the years and I have to say my 2013 Sport S is great for distance. Buying a Jeep I knew there would be a few compromises in ride, handling and noise. Not so with the 2013 although it is not a luxury barge, it is a Jeep. I think you will be fine with the extra wheelbase and room.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:12 AM   #28
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Just curious but with all the rave reviews of how well the JKUR handles and rides at speeds of 75+ mph what types of vehicles did these things replace? I've owned a lot of trucks from GM, Toyota, and Ford and everyone of them handled better and rode better including my two Super Duty trucks. I like the Jeep but it's certainly not for it's highway manners, did I get the only "bad egg" or are other just desensitized from only driving Jeeps over the years?
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:16 AM   #29
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I'm finally ready to get a new car next month and have been considering an Unlimited Rubicon for some time now. My biggest concern is how manageable it will be for long road trips (400-1,500 miles) that I have to make 7-8 a year (maybe more) up I5 & 395. I'll be at 75-80mph sustained for long periods of time. Gas mileage isn't a big concern (I know it will be "bad"), but driver fatigue (noise, vibration, etc.) is. I could handle just about anything in my 20's but now in my mid 50's I'm more worn out if I've been battling the road all day

A test drive, even a sustained one, doesn't really tell the story. I know it's a very subjective thing, but I'd like to get your comments and experience.

Thanks!
I will tell you one thing which is not biased. Given your age and the fact that you yourself little concirned over long trip in jeep. i would highly recommend something like VW touareg.
these road cars are much better at handling and really a driver's car compared to rough and tough 4x4 like wrangler. By no means, Jeep can compare to comfort and aerodynamics of VW touareg or any other road cars for that matter. Jeep=brick pushing through
and finally, it's your call to drive what you want, we are giving you mere suggestion and does not mean we are right all the time.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:49 AM   #30
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Please do tell, what are you calling a "JKUM"?
JKUM- Moab edition

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