To the owners of Soft Top DDs that also have young kids - Is the tailgate bar a PITA? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:50 AM   #1
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To the owners of Soft Top DDs that also have young kids - Is the tailgate bar a PITA?

Our JKU came with dual tops, but I've yet to run it with the soft top (yes - the soft top was properly removed and stored when I brought it home).

My main curiosity - for those that are using their JK/JKU as a DD - how much of a pain in the rear does the tailgate bar pose for general cargo loading/unloading?

Specifically, we've of course grown used to the filp-up rear glass with the hard top - making getting our way-too-large stroller (and soon to be dual stroller) in and out a breeze (it's a BOB stroller- I refused anything without real tires). I also think the wheels on our stroller are too tall to just slide in underneath the tailgate bar. This is my main major PITA I'm worried about - unzipping the rear window to lift up the tailgate bar EVERY time me (or, more importantly, my wife) needs to get the stroller out.

I know there are two obvious solutions. E.g.
1. Run without rear window and tailgate bar
2. Get a new stroller

But I'm still looking for opinions.

Thanks

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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Yep. We've got three circus midgets, err, excuse me, "children." A three-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 1-year-old.

And . . . the tailgate bar is a pain. Is it a "major PITA"? No. But it is indeed more hassle than just opening up the glass. You get used to it and adapt--for example, we get the strollers out and set before we even undo the kids' car seat restraints--but it will take more time, it can get your hands dirty, and it can be a little finicky if it's really cold.

For what it's worth though, this problem isn't limited to kids. Full grocery bags, large packages (especially during the holiday season), luggage, etc. are all a little trickier with the soft top versus the hard top.

Just the way it is. I still prefer the soft top.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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Does anyone have any pics of this bar? I'd like to see this bar. Don't have a softtop, but thinking about it...
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Str8edg View Post
Does anyone have any pics of this bar? I'd like to see this bar. Don't have a softtop, but thinking about it...
Here's a random JK pic I pulled off of Google:



You see the fabric that makes up the bottom of the window? Beneath that fabric there is a solid bar that goes the length of the tailgate and clips into hooks on either side.

Although it keeps the plastic window flat and tight, when you open your tailgate the bar stays where it is. The effect is it that unless you unzip either side of the window so you can flip the bar out of the clips and up, it limits the height of what you can slide into your cargo area. Make sense?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTH View Post
... and it can be a little finicky if it's really cold.

For what it's worth though, this problem isn't limited to kids. Full grocery bags, large packages (especially during the holiday season), luggage, etc. are all a little trickier with the soft top versus the hard top.

Just the way it is. I still prefer the soft top.
Thankfully - summer only!

I've actually tried to 'practice' by putting stuff in the back with the glass down -it is something to get used to, but I believe a reasonable trade (hopefully) for getting the whole top down this summer.

Str8edg - I think it's not just the bar being the PITA - but since you have to unzip the whole window to get the process rolling just adds to the 'hassle'.

Almost tempted to go with the Trektop NX (despite losing some ft3 of cargo space) - since it looks a bit easier to deal with the dual zippers on each side (maybe).
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:52 PM   #6
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On my old TJ, prior to kids, I used to just leave it unzipped on the sides, but stick the bar in to hold it place while driving around on trips where I'd be getting things out of the back. You still had to undo it, and flip it up out of the way, but it was no slower than opening the glass hatch. I'd also just go thru the side window too, just as much as the back. But I also had a tuffy security box/trunk, so I was reaching over no matter which way I went in.

Now that we have 2 kids (and a brand new JK) I haven't had to go thru the scenario you are describing with the kids, but can foresee a similar deal, and am not too worried about it. I think over time you'll get used to it and it will be second nature. Your proficiency at wrangling the soft top does improve over time.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drshaws
Almost tempted to go with the Trektop NX (despite losing some ft3 of cargo space) - since it looks a bit easier to deal with the dual zippers on each side (maybe).
If you go with the Trektop NX, you will loose space in the back due to the slope and the Bestop bar is even more of a pain. You would need to use the OEM bar.

I have the Super top Nx and that has a zip from both ends, you can unzip and roll up if you want. It hangs from a couple of clips.

Here you can see the "window" hinged open which works for me.

Click image for larger version

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Way nicer with the soft top down when you can, always puts a grin on my face ;-)
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
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I have the Super top Nx and that has a zip from both ends, you can unzip and roll up if you want. It hangs from a couple of clips.

Here you can see the "window" hinged open which works for me.

Attachment 99553

Way nicer with the soft top down when you can, always puts a grin on my face ;-)
Hmm...we've got the OEM top. Ntgas - that configuration looks great. I have to double check the OEM rear window zipper.

Also - so the tailgate bar is attached to the rear window, but then untucked from the non-hinge side of the rear cargo entry area? (hence allowing it to swing?) Or is it just taken off in this pic?
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:44 PM   #9
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You guys are all a bit confused. The soft top rear window will flip up just like a hard top. I showed this in person to a 2012'er the other day and he was amazed. He also didn't realize the his rear seat flipped up after it was folded down. You rear window has a zipper on each side. Unzip them both to the top. Pull out the corner clips and flip the whole window up, bar and all.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drshaws

Hmm...we've got the OEM top. Ntgas - that configuration looks great. I have to double check the OEM rear window zipper.

Also - so the tailgate bar is attached to the rear window, but then untucked from the non-hinge side of the rear cargo entry area? (hence allowing it to swing?) Or is it just taken off in this pic?
It's un clipped from the non-hinge retaining bracket and semi pivoting in the hinge side bracket. But the bar is still in place on the bottom of the window. Keeps some tension on the window, which helps.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:46 PM   #11
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daggo - that's on OEM soft tops? If so - woot to that. I will be pleasantly surprised in a few weeks I hope.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #12
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Yes.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66
You guys are all a bit confused. The soft top rear window will flip up just like a hard top. I showed this in person to a 2012'er the other day and he was amazed. He also didn't realize the his rear seat flipped up after it was folded down. You rear window has a zipper on each side. Unzip them both to the top. Pull out the corner clips and flip the whole window up, bar and all.
I wonder who hmmm
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:50 PM   #14
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66
You guys are all a bit confused. The soft top rear window will flip up just like a hard top. I showed this in person to a 2012'er the other day and he was amazed. He also didn't realize the his rear seat flipped up after it was folded down. You rear window has a zipper on each side. Unzip them both to the top. Pull out the corner clips and flip the whole window up, bar and all.
Yes you can do it that way, but with my Supertop NX it crumples in the corners a lot. Not sure if the top wraps round more on mine than on an OEM top. You can also roll it up and clip it in place.

Anyway each to his own, you find the way that works for you, or at least what works for the wife and does not damage my JK :-)

As to flip up seats after flooding down, not found that on my 07, will try it tomorrow, not sure it will though. :-)
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:55 PM   #16
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As to flip up seats after flooding down, not found that on my 07, will try it tomorrow, not sure it will though. :-)

They do, unless you lay your seat back like a gangsta.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:00 PM   #17
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They do, unless you lay your seat back like a gangsta.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:02 PM   #18
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