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Old 05-11-2012, 03:47 PM   #1
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Soft Top in the Winter

I just bought a '02 Wrangler X about a month ago with a soft top. I'm just wondering if the soft top is OK to leave on through the winter, or do I need to buy a hard top?

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Old 05-11-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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I use mine year round, but NORCAL winters are pretty mild... Wife and I do go up into the sierra's in the winter camping, no problem.. Let the snow build up on it, then when somebody follows to close, smack it with your hand and cover their windshield

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Old 05-11-2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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I live in Mattoon , IL and have a soft top. The heater in my '04 is good so I don't have any trouble in winter. I'd save the money for other upgrades.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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I would not wast the money.
You will be good to go.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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I run a soft top year round here in NJ. Just clean all the snow off the vehicle. In fact it's the law here for all vehicles even 18 wheelers. If you do what mwashburn suggest you will most likely get sued. We have many many lawyers here looking for work.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #6
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I've kept my soft top on year round in Boulder, CO with no problems. Heater is more than adequate to keep it hot inside.

Just make sure you don't let too much snow build up on top of it or else it might tear. 6-8" of wet stuff made mine bow down several inches...
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
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I run a soft top year round in Rhode Island. No issues, just don't let the snow (especially wet snow) build up too much or else the top will stretch.

Over night is fine, but a week at a time is no good. IMO
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:32 PM   #8
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Run a soft top in CT, just got the jeep in December. Very very surprised about how well heat is held in the jeep with the soft top. I see no issues, with year round soft top. Save money, get other upgrades.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:34 PM   #9
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No problems with mine last winter. Heater is good, top keeps the cold air out. I was surprised at how well it worked.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:02 PM   #10
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Forgot to add the bit about the heater. It could melt plastic... It's that good!
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:24 PM   #11
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Well it's been beaten to death already but I run soft top all year round too. I live in missouri, Gotta love that heater, it'll make u sweat!
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:21 PM   #12
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Here in the northern most part of Michigan (near the Canadian border) we get very cold winters. Both of my Jeeps seem to have great heaters and soft tops. On days when the temps are in single digit (farenheit), you notice it a little, but I have managed to get by without a hard top. I should mention that both of my tops are air tight and minimize any breezes making it into the cab.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:55 PM   #13
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I've had both and, I actually prefer a soft top, the hard tops seem to hold the cold like a fridge, the cold fiberglass never realy seems to warm up.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:59 PM   #14
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Have soft top and love it you will be fine.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:51 PM   #15
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I had a 95 YJ with a soft top through 4 ugly minnesota winters. No issues. Toasty warm. Something I had to teach my now ex wife though. Keep the blower fan on and adjust temp with the temp control. You want to keep a positive pressure in the cab. Keeps cold air out.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:55 AM   #16
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Hi all, thanks for sharing your experiences. Based on this thread I picked up my Unlimited with Premiuim Soft Top over the weekend and took the wife and kids skiing in it. Top performed great. Very little wind buffetting at high speed (unlike my old 95 Wrangler) and even 20 degrees F outside the cabin was warm enough to not need a jacket and we had to turn the heat down.

Love my Wrangler and looking forward to Spring!
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:05 PM   #17
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Hello all. Just picked up a used 06 Rubicon. I am heading up to Canada in a few weeks, will be 600 miles north of the border for several years. Based on this thread, I will not buy a hard top just yet. Thanks.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:27 AM   #18
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Just don't whack the soft top windows to knock off snow in the extreme cold, they shatter.

I finally picked up a hard top for mine after 9 years with a soft top and it was more for visibility and security in the winter than anything else.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverTJMike View Post
Just don't whack the soft top windows to knock off snow in the extreme cold, they shatter.

I finally picked up a hard top for mine after 9 years with a soft top and it was more for visibility and security in the winter than anything else.
Also, if your plastic windows are in good shape, don't use the brush to remove any built-up snow/ice....they scratch easy enough as it is!!!
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:21 PM   #20
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I have never owned a hard top!
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:30 PM   #21
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My Jeep came with a hard top. I rarely use it. I put in on last winter for the first time in 3 years. But, my Jeep is parked in the garage every night.
The soft top and heater will do fine in the winter. Like mentioned, keep the snow from piling up on it.

Obviously, a soft top will need replacing sooner if it is left out in the elements 24/7.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:04 AM   #22
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Also, if your plastic windows are in good shape, don't use the brush to remove any built-up snow/ice....they scratch easy enough as it is!!!
X2 Had a soft top the first year and I was always warm, the only reason I went to a hard top was to plow snow I was always trying to clean the slush off the back window. You'll screw it up in a hurry with a snow brush.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:10 AM   #23
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I had no issues with factory top during the winter. Almost want to say it was too warm inside. Softtopper going on this year and I am expecting similar results.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:00 AM   #24
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I had no issues with factory top during the winter. Almost want to say it was too warm inside. Softtopper going on this year and I am expecting similar results.
My Softopper served me well this last winter, and last winter was the coldest on record for Chicago. Avg Temp of 20* last winter. Always kept me warm.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:56 AM   #25
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What is this thing you call a "hard top"?
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:56 PM   #26
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What is this thing you call a "hard top"?
Well, it's some sort of reinforced fiberglass material, molded into a shell, that attaches to the tub and windshield frame to provide weather tight protection.

Not necessary, but really nice to have in the winter.

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