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Old 05-10-2013, 03:33 PM   #1
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soft top use in winter?

I live in S. Dakota...winters here are cold, obviously, and summers can be amazing, but I'm tired of removing my hard top for nice days but putting it back on when the "forcast" calls for a slight chance of rain or lose the gamble by not putting it on. So I am contemplating selling the hard top for a frameless top. Does anyone run with a soft top during the winter months in a snowy climate?? If so do you wish you had a hard top? Or do you survive just fine? I would have both, but the problem with that is I am a cheap a$$ and I'm currently saving up for my lift and tires, so all my extra change currently goes to that.

...and go!

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Old 05-10-2013, 03:36 PM   #2
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I run a soft top up in the moutains in PA. Worst storm we had this winter had -17 degree windchill. It snows a lot. I wasn't driving everyday, but the jeep warms up in 5 minutes like any other vehicle and is fine.

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Old 05-10-2013, 03:47 PM   #3
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Yeah I plan on putting a remote start on it as well. Its my everyday driver and I park outside at work. We had a pretty bad snow storm last month. Dropped something like 3 ft in 24 hrs.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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I only run a soft top and 1/2 doors and after 9 years things are still fine. My heater is so hot I have to lower the temp after 10 minutes.

I did buy heated seat covers to make the wife happier.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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I used a frameless soft top this last winter in Chicago. Works good, no issues. Before that I had a factory-style, but still no problems with temperature issues.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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My '94 YJ had a HT and every since the hassle you mention of switching tops I said never again....got my '04 TJ in '04 with ST no issues...and when my wife picked her JK she went ST I thought she might want a HT for winter but she said nope ST is fine.

We are in NE IN and frequently go to MI and go wheeling.....
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:02 PM   #7
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I never had an issue here in Northern Indiana. Just don't scrape your soft top windows. My Jeeps previous owner did that and I could barely see through them till I had it replaced. Let the heater melt everything off.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:40 PM   #8
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I only run a soft top and 1/2 doors and after 9 years things are still fine. My heater is so hot I have to lower the temp after 10 minutes.

I did buy heated seat covers to make the wife happier.
same here. Even at zero out, that little heater would cook me if I didn't turn it down.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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I use both tops when the season is appropriate. Mind you winters up here are very harsh so selling my hard top for me would be foolish. Why not invest in a soft top at first and try out a winter season with it, if it doesnt work out, you can always fall back on the hard top.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:30 PM   #10
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If you get as much snow as you say and it's parked outside a lot you might have issues with a frameless top...you'll want the bows for weight support. That's just my opinion though.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:37 PM   #11
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If you get as much snow as you say and it's parked outside a lot you might have issues with a frameless top...you'll want the bows for weight support. That's just my opinion though.
I thought about that too but the snow here rarely piles up. Mainly drifts because of the ridiculous wind. Granted I've onle endured one winter.

I did build my own ht hoist with the ratchet straps and can remove/install it in about 5 or so minutes. But I would like to have the option of the top with the jeep at all time for those random storms.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:35 PM   #12
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JeepReaper,

I run a OEM soft top 24/7/365. No problems in the snow and we had one storm that dumped 3' this past winter. I do what the PO did when the weather is snotty: put a poly-tarp over the top that covers the windows, and bungy cord it down. A broom clears the snow off the top, and the windows are clean and clear after the tarp gets pulled off!

BTW, if you put gallon ziplocks on your outside mirrors, they never need scraped of ice or snow, either (thanx Dad for that lesson!).

YMMV, and invariably will...
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:56 PM   #13
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The winters in VA aren't as harsh as in other places, but we can count on snow and below freezing weather. After a dozen winters with the factory soft top, I can't complain thanks to the Jeep's mighty little heater. As someone said previously, just be careful about scraping the windows. I might have to try the tarp/gallon baggie idea...
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:03 PM   #14
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I live in northern vermont. Cold and snowy. Run softop year round no problem at all. The only reason I wish I had a hardtop is so its quieter, and so i could scrape and see out the back window in winter. I've been contemplating getting a hardtop there's one on cl here locally for 600 bucks and I'm really considering it. Personally I just like the look of hard tops on a jeep but softops are great and perfectly fine in winter.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:14 PM   #15
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adkjoe, you can see out your back window? Mine is mostly covered by spare tire.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:22 PM   #16
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Well not really mine is too but I just mean during the winter it's covered with ice from November to April and You can't scrape a plastic widow.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:19 PM   #17
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Thanks everyone. If I can sell my soft top for a good price I could buy a nice soft top and use the rest of the money to help defray the cost of my lift and tires. Hmm desicions. ..
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:06 PM   #18
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Soft tops are fine in the snow and there isn't a whole lot more insulation in a hard top from what I can see.

Snowmageddon '10.

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Old 05-11-2013, 06:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeVeReDiStOrTiOn View Post
If you get as much snow as you say and it's parked outside a lot you might have issues with a frameless top...you'll want the bows for weight support. That's just my opinion though.

Roll bars can hold up more snow than the soft top frame...
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:55 AM   #20
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Factory soft top works great here in the Upper Peninsula.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:08 AM   #21
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^^ that's good to now about the soft top holding up in snow and cold.. i just bought an 03 TJ with a soft top only, and wondered if it would be fine
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:44 AM   #22
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Held up fine when Sandy dumped 3'+ on us last winter. The heater will keep you plenty warm

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Old 05-11-2013, 09:14 AM   #23
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Soft tops are fine in the snow and there isn't a whole lot more insulation in a hard top from what I can see.

Snowmageddon '10.
Wow looks like our snowmagedon '13... which happen to be last month. Kinda odd for me being born and raised in phx, az and living my past 4 years in las vegas!
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:29 AM   #24
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My soft top goes on when the weather gets bad in the fall. I have not had my hard top on in almost 3 years. I thought about selling it, but I know I will regret it if I do.

The heater in my TJ works so good, it cracked my windshield when I left it on hot defrost while warming it up one super cold morning. A tip for those of you thinking about a remote start....don't crank the defrost on the hottest setting when you put it away at night.

If we get a substantial dump of snow, I will go out with a broom and sweep most the snow off the top every now and then. Has worked for my boat cover for decades, and the Jeep top can handle more snow load than that.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #25
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Well I sold the hard top and looking at getting a bowless soft top...any my lift with my earnings. Ill have to be topless for a week or so but its supposed to be nice the next few days.

Any suggestion on who I should purchase from? I definitely want the Rugged ridge and not the rampage.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:57 AM   #26
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:12 AM   #27
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Well I sold the hard top and looking at getting a bowless soft top...any my lift with my earnings. Ill have to be topless for a week or so but its supposed to be nice the next few days.

Any suggestion on who I should purchase from? I definitely want the Rugged ridge and not the rampage.
I would look at The Bestop Frameless NX.....mine delivered to the door was <$520.but it took a few days.......find someone who includes shipping and price matches with Bestop Factory outlet...sun rider sailcloth top no frame safari....only "drawback" no built in window storage.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:26 AM   #28
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Do you have any experience with this top?
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:28 AM   #29
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I would look at The Bestop Frameless NX.....mine delivered to the door was <$520.but it took a few days.......find someone who includes shipping and price matches with Bestop Factory outlet...sun rider sailcloth top no frame safari....only "drawback" no built in window storage.
Did you happen to need the windshield channel, door surrounds and tailgate bar too? I need all of that since I had a hard top. I'm good with paying $520, especially if its sailcloth
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:02 PM   #30
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Do you have any experience with this top?
Yes, I've got one now. What questions do you have?

Header, door surrounds and tailgate bar are all supplied with the top. All of the parts are available from Softopper if you ever need to replace anything. The top is made in the US, is sailcloth and is available in 4 colors. You can get tinted windows if you prefer.

The top goes completely on or off in about 5 minutes and you can store the windows above the front seats.

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