A 2016 JKU Hard Rock named “Moose” - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:38 PM
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jb_
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A 2016 JKU Hard Rock named “Moose”

It’s been four months since she joined the family. About time I got around to sending out the birth announcement.

Born 4,521 lbs. [Although far more portly now.]
2016 JKU Hard Rock
Automatic

Growing up:
Ursa Minor top
AEV 2.5” lift with geo brackets
AEV Saltas in matte black
BFG KO2’s in 34-10.5-17
Alpine ILX-107 Wireless CarPlay
Rhino Rack BatWing Compact awning
Morryde Jeep Kitchen
Dometic CFX35W Fridge
Primus Kinjia Stove
JL Hood latches
And a bunch of other crap I can’t remember at time of writing


When I picked her up she had just over 8k miles on the clock. And by the looks of it, she spent those miles stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in Los Angeles. Like many of her siblings around here, I’m pretty sure she was never taken to the country to run wild.

My original plan was a 2 door. But during the obsessive image gathering stage pre purchase, stories of Dan Grec and Chris from Venture4wd started to swing me towards the 4 door. More specifically a 4 door with an Ursa Minor top.

Here she was day one:



Fifteen days later - after a topless drive down in the rain - she was at Ursa Minor Vehicles in San Diego getting the house installed:



Somewhere in between I managed to swear my way through the installation of the Alpine ILX-107. Wireless CarPlay is freakin awesome. Such a little detail, but being able to jump in the Jeep and have everything pick up where you left off is brilliant. had a temp solution for wireless charging as well until it cacked out. Have a fairly slick [if I say so myself] solution designed. More on this later..



After months and months of planning, and two weeks of ownership, Moose was finally coming into shape. As the sun set, I left Ursa Minor and booked it to Joshua Tree to have the first night’s sleep:



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Old 03-06-2019, 12:44 PM
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That first sleep was amazing. Anyone’s who’s on the fence, just go for it... being able to setup camp in 30 seconds is worth every penny.

Met up with a buddy who know’s JT well, and we spent the weekend exploring some trails, and having a bit of fun in dirt. Who says a camper can’t let loose?



From there a trip to Alabama Hills - about 3.5 hours north of LA, at the base of the Sierras. Cold as F. But stunning. Perhaps my favorite part of California I’ve found so far.



At this point Jeep fever had fully caught on. Ever since there has always been a dozen tabs open on the browser, taunting me to spend more money. With a bigger trip planned a couple months down the road, I started to narrow down my choices.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:55 PM
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Forever on my shopping list - as far back as my days owning a Defender once upon a time in Australia - was a 270’ awning. Was torn over the options available, until a post from Sema put things in focus. Enter the Rhino Rack “Compact” BatWing:



This was a PAIN in the arse to install. Mostly because I’m an idiot and didn’t plan in advance. First off I never bothered getting Ursa Minor to install the proper brackets ahead of time because I was still undecided. So this meant installing those myself once the top was already mounted. PITA. I also realized once everything was mounted that the bolts were too long - stopping the top from opening. And since that bastard is way too heavy to remove easily by one person, I spend a Saturday hanging off the Jeep with a hacksaw and a lot less skin on the knuckles.

However... it was all worth it. The ease of setup matches the top perfectly. Setting up camp is a breeze.
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:01 PM
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As a bunch of gear started to arrive and give the UPS driver back problems, a trip with one of my oldest buddies fast approached.

First up was new suspension and shoes.

I have lots of respect for all you maniacs who climb the climbiest rocks, but I was honest with where I was headed. For me it’s all about exploring the great outdoors. Without the constant threat of ripping apart my undercarriage.

Eventually settled on the AEV 2.5” lift, with matching AEV saltas, wrapped in BFG K02s (34-10.5-17). The picture really doesn’t do it justice. Looks much nicer in person. At least to this person. Handling / noise were improved greatly. So long knobby mud tires.

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Old 03-06-2019, 01:04 PM   #5
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This is awesome, welcome! Looking forward to seeing more


-Steven
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~2016 Hard Rock~Auto~4:88~JWSpeaker~Recon~Banks Ram-Air~~Mopar Performance BBK~MetalCloak 3.5" GC/Falcon 3.3~Method M106BL~37" Nitto R.G.~TeraFlex HD Carrier~VPR 126-S-S~Warn M8000-S ~KMS Lo-Pro Mod~
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:06 PM
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The rest came together in a flurry. And no real pics of installs as the deadline came and went. So here’s a couple pics from a trip that went from LA - Lone Pine - Death Valley - Antelope Canyon - Grand Canyon - Mojave - and back.

First stop was back at Alabama Hills. Woke up to a pretty sight. Assured my buddy this was bound to be the coldest part of the trip - considering this was up in the mountains. I couldn’t have been more full of sh...

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Old 03-06-2019, 01:08 PM   #7
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Looking good! Love the Ursa Minor tops.
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:13 PM
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A major part of the setup that somehow missed pics during installation, was the kitchen designed by @jscherb . It - partnered with the Dometic CFX35W - were the final piece that made camping so easy with Moose.

Here a couple Canadians seen in their natural habitat - somewhere near Kanab Utah. Hard to see, but there’s a hockey game playing on the iPad, while 3 inches of snow would dump on the awning as we cooked. Awesome.

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Old 03-06-2019, 01:14 PM
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Another shot of the awning and kitchen deployed. Here, somewhere in Mojave:

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Old 03-06-2019, 07:33 PM   #10
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Super cool. Nice to see another overland oriented build.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jb_ View Post
A major part of the setup that somehow missed pics during installation, was the kitchen designed by @jscherb . It - partnered with the Dometic CFX35W - were the final piece that made camping so easy with Moose.
You setup looks great with The Trail Kitchen!

BTW here's something I just made for a friend's Jeep, he doesn't have a Trail Kitchen but he's got an Ursa Minor so I thought he needed a barn door to replace the factory glass liftgate - the one-piece, single operation opening of the back of the Jeep is much more convenient than the 2-action liftgate. Also check out the Cutlery Keeper that's behind his Trailgater tailgate table - it's a product from a new startup, it'll be in the hands of the first retailer in about 10 days, the one in the photo is a preproduction sample he's been testing for the startup company. The Cutlery Keeper (and cutlery) stays in place when the Trailgater is closed so it's really convenient when using the table for food prep. The Cutlery Keeper can also mount on the side Molle panel option for the Trail Kitchen.

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Old 03-08-2019, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
You setup looks great with The Trail Kitchen!

BTW here's something I just made for a friend's Jeep, he doesn't have a Trail Kitchen but he's got an Ursa Minor so I thought he needed a barn door to replace the factory glass liftgate - the one-piece, single operation opening of the back of the Jeep is much more convenient than the 2-action liftgate. Also check out the Cutlery Keeper that's behind his Trailgater tailgate table - it's a product from a new startup, it'll be in the hands of the first retailer in about 10 days, the one in the photo is a preproduction sample he's been testing for the startup company. The Cutlery Keeper (and cutlery) stays in place when the Trailgater is closed so it's really convenient when using the table for food prep. The Cutlery Keeper can also mount on the side Molle panel option for the Trail Kitchen.
Thanks @jscherb , and thanks for a great product! Have been following the development of the barn door. Love it! Although for my purposes I actually get use of out the existing tailgate / back window. The flip up window has a light mounted once camp is all setup. Digging the cutlery keeper though!

Love that a fellow jeeper is making cool stuff that makes it to market. Still keeping an eye out for the sink!

JB
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:15 PM   #13
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Thanks @jscherb , and thanks for a great product! Have been following the development of the barn door. Love it! Although for my purposes I actually get use of out the existing tailgate / back window. The flip up window has a light mounted once camp is all setup. Digging the cutlery keeper though!
I got a chance to check out the production Cutlery/Tool Keepers, here's a photo of a few that are being shipped to one of the first retailers (I've blurred the company name in this photo):



Quote:
Originally Posted by jb_ View Post
Love that a fellow jeeper is making cool stuff that makes it to market. Still keeping an eye out for the sink!

JB
I just do this stuff because almost always there isn't a product on the market that suits my needs or wants, so I have to design things myself. Sometimes companies like what I design and license the designs from me so they can bring them to market, but mostly I do this to improve my Jeeps for my own use .

BTW the Cutlery/Tool Keeper wasn't even my idea... the idea came from my friend with the Ursa Minor and the Trailgater table - he said he wished he had something that could hold his cutlery in the empty space between the table and the tailgate so I designed something to meet his needs, sewed a prototype and sent it to him to test. Once he approved it, I sent the design off to the startup company and suggested they put it in production. They agreed and quickly sold a retailer on the idea and now the first production is on the way to the market.

About the Trail Kitchen sink option, the MORryde engineers are working on the production engineering process for it now. They've got all the design and component info from my prototype and it shouldn't be long before they get it to market.
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