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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon all,

I wanted to say hello as I am considering buying my first Jeep as my full time vehicle and wondering if any of you had some advice. For starters, I drive a lot, in the range of 30K miles/year and live in Western NY at the moment. I drive back to Vermont where I am from almost every other weekend (700ish mile round trip) and on the weekends I'm usually out camping in the woods or finding remote places. I will be moving back to VT in 6-12 months and want to get rid of the ford escape I have now in exchange for a low mileage wrangler. Here are some of my concerns that maybe some of you could help me with... Winters in Vermont are colder than a witches tit, and if I wind up getting a soft top am I wrong in thinking this is nothing a nice pair of gloves and a snowmobile jacket cant fix? Secondly, I would love to hear some opinions on longer distance driving and if it's really that big of a deal, I fish and hunt and am out in extreme areas so I don't get uncomfortable too easily whether sitting or standing but I've heard long rides can take a toll. Lastly, I have a small 14 ft fishing boat that I'd like to tow and wondered if I'll have any problems there. Any thoughts, help, advice, comments would be much appreciated as I mull over this decision... here is the Jeep that has caught my eye... any thoughts on whether this is decent would be also appreciated as well! Thanks in advance: Jeep I'm Considering
 

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Welcome! As far as a soft top, I've never used one in winter. My hard top keeps me plenty warm in zero degree weather once the heater turns on. A jeep doesn't have any insulation on the roof, but instead of a normal car that would have a metal roof, the plastic of a hard top will not conduct heat(or cold) nearly as efficiently. I'm sure someone will chime in soon with their experience of a soft top in the winter.

For your commute, the only thing I would worry about is the gas milage. Stock you are probably looking at 18mpg max with around 16 being more average. Lift it up and throw bigger tires on it and you can look at getting 11-14mpg. All terrain tires will be much quieter on the road than any mud tire, so that's something to consider if you will be looking at modifying it.

The max towing capacity of a regular tj is 2,000lbs because of the short wheelbase.


That jeep looks really good. Very low milage, looks clean, has the 4.0 engine (preferred for long drives or the highway at all for that matter), and looks to be unmodified by the previous owner. I would just look for frame rust and rust around control arm mounts, spring perches, and shock mounts. If all checks out, it looks like a good jeep.

My jeep is my daily driver on a 4" lift and 33" tires and I have zero complaints. I've helped countless people fix something with tools in my jeep, jump start cars, tow people that are stuck, and can look great doing it :thumb: jeeps are awesome haha
 

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Soft top will be no problem in the winter. The heater in my 01 kicks butt when its cold out. I live in Cleveland OH, and go to School in Erie PA, so we get a decent amount of snow. I have never had a problem. As far as long drives it is really up to you. A soft top can get kind of noisy on the freeway but I just crank up the tunes and cruise!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! Towing doesn't sound like much of an issue as my boat and trailer are pretty small and light. I figured it's like any car getting warmed up in the middle of winter they're all cold before you start them.
I'm not too concerned with gas mileage, only how comfortable/easy it will be to take regular 700 mile round trips back and forth from WNY to Vermont. Thanks again.
 

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You sound like a guy who will not be bothered by the soft top in Winter. Mine heats up so well that I have to lower the temp to be comfortable. I admit that I do switch to a hard top after I've seen a couple snow/ice days though, so I can't honestly say how the whole season with a soft top would be tolerated. The lousy mileage issue is real, but the Jeep is such a blast to own and drive, it doesn't hurt as much. If you do lift it and run bigger tires, climbing those green mountains will be more challenging! The Jeep looks good! 55k miles? Wow. Check for rust underneath!
 

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I don't want to come off as a party pooper but with your driving schedule i'd skip a Wrangler and get a Grand Cherokee. Not only can they be less expensive to buy than a Wrangler (in similar condition) but they would be perfect for your long distance driving, and they get better fuel economy out on the highway.

You can pick up a used WK 4X4 (2005-2010) with a Hemi that will tow 7,200 pounds, get 20-22 mpg on the highway, and have no issue with deep snow, rain, or even moderate off-roading. Your weather issues will be over too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That is sound advice Mark, I appreciate it. I'll look into the Grand Cherokee's, but I have a feeling I'll be pulled back to the lure of the wrangler with all the outdoor activities I do.
 
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