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Old 05-18-2015, 03:11 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Cowtown, Y'all!
Posts: 99
First Road Trip in the Wrangler

My wife and I took our new (to us) 2014 JKU Sahara from the DFW area to Houston and back this weekend to graduate our youngest daughter from college.

The Jeep is a good road trip car. It's comfortable, tracks well, and is relatively quiet. Things get a little noisy heading into strong headwinds, and the uninsulated hard top picks up the sound of rain like no other vehicle I've owned, but even really, really hard rain never gets too loud.

I hate the 3:21 gears around town but on the freeway they make for a very long-legged ride. With the cruise control set at 80 just about all the way down I-45 (the speed limit is 75) the engine is turning 2300 RPM and I got overall gas mileage of 20.3. Which is not bad for pushing a brick at 80 mph.

My only issue: At one point when Mrs. Z was driving, I unbuckled to turn around in my seat to fish something out of the back seat, and inadvertently bumped the gear shift lever not once, but twice, with my knee and when I got turned around and buckled in I realized that funny noise was the engine turning 5000 rpm at 75 mph. No harm done, it couldn't have been more than 30 seconds worth. But still something to watch out for.

Heavy rain, no leaks and the brakes got a couple of panic stop tests and performed well.

I still can't figure out why Consumer Reports has such a bone up its ass about Wranglers. It works just fine for me!

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Old 05-18-2015, 03:37 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Delaware
Posts: 139
Took my Rubicon (4.10 gears) from DE to Erie, PA and back this weekend and it was like driving a UPS truck that needed a landing strip to stop. You can really feel the tire difference in the M/Ts when you jam on the brakes and they sponge all over the place.

I'm glad your Sahara is much more road worthy.

Black 2015 JK Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock
Full overland build.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:44 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 1,099
I've made a couple of 12+ hour drives in my lifted JKU. Will be driving to central Colorado Thursday and that will take about 12 hours. They're comfy but with my lift and tires plus 4.56 gears, I keep it to about 68 MPH. My MPG's fall off dramatically at 70 MPH. Slow and steady works for me.
2014 JKUS in the process of emptying every pocket.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:39 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Central Fl.
Posts: 830
My Jeep is a weekend vehicle for us, but I do enjoy driving it. Right now the plan is to drive it solo to Va this summer. Due to time restraints, wife and son will fly up. I've got plenty of time to use from work, so I'm planning on cruising on up in my favorite vehicle!
2014 Jeep Wrangler JKR
Copperhead Pearl
Yeah,I gotta change the Pic
Love the Rubicon, but miss the TJ.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:00 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 424
I agree with you, I've had my 2014 JKU Sahara now for about a year and done a few significant road trips with it and love it for that purpose, I also like it as my daily driver and love hitting the trails with it. I too was a bit paranoid when initially reading some bad reviews on it before the purchase but all my concerns got alleviated after my first road trip with it. Thumbs up for me.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:04 PM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,103
I drive my JKUR everywhere I can. I've taken several longish trips in it, with and without the family and think that it drives great. The 3.6 engine and 4.10 gears make for a pleasant ride. I've not had any issues with stoping it on the M/Ts. I always chose the Jeep over my wife's Subaru. Although I did have to drive the Subie the other day and was reminded how smooth and quiet it is.
'13 JKUR, Billet
'88 YJ w/ 4" lift and 33's - Gone but not forgotten
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:32 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 757
Did about a 3800 mile road trip in March in my 2 door. Kansas City to the west coast, with several stops including a day of offroading in Moab. Fuel range on the JK isn't great, but it's a passible long range vehicle with two people and the rear seat out.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:41 AM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 40
Interesting how people vary on the usability. I'm planning for a 3500 mile road trip after I pick up my new JKUR. It'll be interesting at least.
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:29 AM   #9
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 121
As soon as I brought my 14 JKUR home from the dealer i took off oem tires and replaced with load range C Durtracs. Then installed rancho rs9000 adjustable shocks.
I couldn't believe the difference.
If I set the Ranchos to 1 it floats like a Cady going down the road. I set them at 4 when traveling down highway on trips. Very comfortable.
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:14 AM   #10

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Location: Bellingham, WA
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Originally Posted by CaptainNapalm View Post
I agree with you, I've had my 2014 JKU Sahara now for about a year and done a few significant road trips with it and love it for that purpose, I also like it as my daily driver and love hitting the trails with it. I too was a bit paranoid when initially reading some bad reviews on it before the purchase but all my concerns got alleviated after my first road trip with it. Thumbs up for me.
Agree on the Sahara for long trips.

I own both, a Rubicon and a Sahara: the Sahara, with its creature comforts, LSD, room for larger tires and smooth ride is the closest there is to a well-rounded, all-weather, capable family tourer.


2018 JLU Sahara
Eight prior JKs and JKUs
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:25 AM   #11
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Summerville, SC
Posts: 2,911
I have the 2015 hard Rock on 4.10 gears & manual tranny. Since Feb I have made two trips:
430 miles back home from the dealership
800+ miles to and from Skyline Dr. & Blue Ridge Parkway.

The brakes were tested several times for deer in the road around curves and autos pulling out (one in a good rain) of side roads unexpectedly.

Gas mileage varied in the mountains for both trips but hovered around 18 MPG.

My beef if any is that I am cramped on existing from the driver side. Might be my short legs. The steering wheel seems to set too close to the dash as well on the right hand side. I hit the radio volume control often when turning, but more importantly, I have a time try to reach the trip meter button on the dash.

We use the old fashion method of calculating the MPG and it works out less than the new fangled EVIC output. I do try to keep the "ECONO" display in view by not tromping the shinny pedal.

Have not had much time off road to see how the ride is but I am liking the electric Swaybar disconnect he, he.

Learned too that when the (filling) fuel pump stops to be careful of trying to top-off! With the tank location across the opposite side of the fill tube, one it fills, STOP! Your only dealing with the pipe at that point.

Am looking for some rock crawling soon!

2015 Firecracker Red JK Hard Rock with Bushwacker Flat Fenders, AEV 2.5" lift
Trans American Trail (TAT) Completed Jul/Aug 17,
Smoky Mtn. 500 2018
Smoky Mtn 1000 & Georgia Traverse 2019
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:12 PM   #12
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NW WA
Posts: 1,228
Realizing the first car you've seen in over and hour is a snow plow at 4,000 ft it's comforting to know your in a Jeep heading back home.

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