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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

I'm going to be moving back to NY in mid March after living in San Francisco for a few years and instead of shipping my beloved TJ back, me and a buddy decided we're going to do a long road trip and make some memories. Here is a quick rundown of our plan.

We want to camp and off-road as much as possible on the trip so since the weather up north will be pretty cold we're going to take the southern route. The general route will be SF -> LA -> Arizona -> Big Bend National Park in TX-> Nashville -> NY.

My 2003 TJ is on 33 inch tires with a 4.25 zone combo lift, stock 3.73 gears (I may get it re-geared before the trip), and has a soft top installed. it does pretty well off road but like most jeeps I already know the highway experience is going to be brutal for this long of a trip.

Now where you all come in. I'm looking for anyone with road trip experience in their jeep to share any knowledge or tips that will make this trip more enjoyable. Also if anyone has some trail suggestions along our general route please share. We're fine with detours and long cuts if it's going to make the trip more memorable.

thanks in advance for the advice.
 

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I drove 6 hrs and it was rough.
 

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I drive 100 mile round trip a day and can't complain. I find my jeep fairly comfortable but not as comfy as my old 2000 WJ.
 

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Way back in the dawn of time (1989) I drove my soft-topped CJ-5 from Pensacola, FL to San Diego, CA over a 4-day period. It was a lot of fun and aside from blowing the passenger side door handle clean off the door during a thunderstorm, things went really well. Driving for hours at a time at freeway speeds with the factory soft top was like having your head inside a drum with Ringo Starr (yeah, I'm that old) whaling away at it, but it was still fun. My LJ's OEM soft top is much quieter and makes long trips a lot easier to enjoy. Have fun with your trip.
 

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3,000 miles in my 2003

After prepping my Jeeps frontend for the roughly 3,000 mile drive, I took my Jeep along I-10 to Houston, Houston to Dallas into Oklahoma, east to Lake Eufala, and west along I-40 to the I-15 and back home again.

My wife and I had a great time. I spent roughly $2,200.00 @$3.00/gallon on average for those 3,000 miles. I wouldn't trade that trip with my wife for anything. That said, here are the highlights and cool areas I would be sure to check out along the way.

California

1. Joshua Tree National Park - There is camping available on a first-come, first-served basis. Great rock climbing and sightseeing - not far from I-10 fwy.

2. Salton Sea/Truckhaven Hills - Great 4 wheeling, camping, and California's largest 'fresh-water'-lake.

3. Glamis-area sand dunes - Just off of I-8.

Arizona

1. Casa Grande ruins - The weather should be nice by March, and these ruins are interesting to stop and look at - just off of I-8 and I-10.

2. Tombstone and Bisbee - South of Benson along I-10.

Texas

1. Big Bend - I haven't been there, but I want to visit one day.

2. Padre Island - I didn't make it this far south, but I really wanted to camp on the sand.

Have a great time. This sounds like a great adventure with lots of sunny weather in the Southwest!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After prepping my Jeeps frontend for the roughly 3,000 mile drive, I took my Jeep along I-10 to Houston, Houston to Dallas into Oklahoma, east to Lake Eufala, and west along I-40 to the I-15 and back home again.

My wife and I had a great time. I spent roughly $2,200.00 @$3.00/gallon on average for those 3,000 miles. I wouldn't trade that trip with my wife for anything. That said, here are the highlights and cool areas I would be sure to check out along the way.

California

1. Joshua Tree National Park - There is camping available on a first-come, first-served basis. Great rock climbing and sightseeing - not far from I-10 fwy.

2. Salton Sea/Truckhaven Hills - Great 4 wheeling, camping, and California's largest 'fresh-water'-lake.

3. Glamis-area sand dunes - Just off of I-8.

Arizona

1. Casa Grande ruins - The weather should be nice by March, and these ruins are interesting to stop and look at - just off of I-8 and I-10.

2. Tombstone and Bisbee - South of Benson along I-10.

Texas

1. Big Bend - I haven't been there, but I want to visit one day.

2. Padre Island - I didn't make it this far south, but I really wanted to camp on the sand.

Have a great time. This sounds like a great adventure with lots of sunny weather in the Southwest!:)


Thanks for the ideas, we were planning on camping in Joshua tree the first night so thats awesome. I'll do some research on the other spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've got the best AAA plus membership so that definitely eases some worries. Also a full set of tools that should allow me to fix anything I know how to.

Not sure what I should bring spare parts wise, any body have some suggestions? My list so far includes

1. Fluids (oil, coolant, brake, what else?)
2. Fuses
3. hoses & clamps
 

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I've got the best AAA plus membership so that definitely eases some worries. Also a full set of tools that should allow me to fix anything I know how to. Not sure what I should bring spare parts wise, any body have some suggestions? My list so far includes 1. Fluids (oil, coolant, brake, what else?) 2. Fuses 3. hoses & clamps
cash! Just in case. But be prepared to stop for gas... A lot... But hey it gives you a chance to stretch your legs
 

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Since you're solo, can you think of anything to add to your recovery gear/kit? Maybe a winch extension line, a poly tarp to sit/lay on if you have to work in the mud or snow, et c.

Have a great trip!
 

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If your seats are starting to show their age, now would be the time to upgrade.

Have fun-travel safe.
 

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Earplugs might come in handy.

I'd definitely recommend swinging through the Smokies if it makes sense along your route. Cades Cove is a nice place to camp, see some black bears, take a forest road through a valley and stream crossings, or another forest road along hilltops. Beautiful country.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If your seats are starting to show their age, now would be the time to upgrade.

Have fun-travel safe.
I was actually thinking of swapping out the seats. it's a 2003 with 190k miles so they've done their job. Any suggestions. The corbeau moab seem like a popular choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Earplugs might come in handy.

I'd definitely recommend swinging through the Smokies if it makes sense along your route. Cades Cove is a nice place to camp, see some black bears, take a forest road through a valley and stream crossings, or another forest road along hilltops. Beautiful country.
Thanks, I'll take a look. I'm finding that we could use 2 or 3 more days to do this how we really want to but due to work constraints we have to fit it in 7 days. It's tough choosing which spots to hit or skip.
 

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I was actually thinking of swapping out the seats. it's a 2003 with 190k miles so they've done their job. Any suggestions. The corbeau moab seem like a popular choice.
I'm leaning towards those myself. Hopefully, someone will chime in with some review of them.
 
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