quote:Originally posted by nickl
The wranglers are a nice rig...but when I looked at them there was so little room for dogs, gear etc....+ a little new for me to scratch up.
Although an unlimited would rectify that issue but again a bit new. That's how I ended up with a cherokee.
Good call. I would get a Cherokee over an Unlimited / 4 Door Wrangler any day. Heck, I'd take a Jeep Liberty over the 4 door Wrangler ;-P
The Unlimited / 4-Door Jeeps lose a lot of their trail worthiness with the extra bulk. I was 4x4ing alongside a 4 door Wrangler. It was impossible to get the 4-door over a fairly minor rockslide and as a result, it had to back down a steep/windy trail at a snails pace for about 5km. Could have walked out faster. Scared the whole time I would watch my friend slip off the edge or flip over trying to back down a trench. 1km down the mountain the fast way... scary stuff. Not only was the standard 2 door able get through the rockslide, it was able to get turned around on the same narrow trail, albeit a 15 point turn... and with that in mind the 15 point turn is relatively common on some of these trails, even with the 2-door.
As for storage, I have the 2-door. It's definitely no F-150 when it comes to hauling cargo, but here are some measures I took to get the most out of mine. I'm able to carry a lot more cargo than a Dakota or a Ranger. This might not work for everyone, but here's what I do:
- Removed the back fold-and-tumble seat right out and put it in storage.
- Installed these KargoMaster roofracks: http://www.gemini-sales.com/JEEP_KAR...ler_97_06.html
- Installed rear slide out storage rack: http://www.quadratec.com/products/12033_311_07.htm
I am able to fit two of these Roughneck Rubbermaids full of gear in the Box: http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/ru...l#.UoZiT22Vtpg
Disadvantage to the roofracks is that though they are rated for 500lbs, but anything over 150lbs I would say is too top heavy and unsafe. Disadvantage to the rear storage is that when extended, you lose trail worthiness. However, without using either, I can carry a lot of cargo for an extended camping trip:
9' inflatable boat, 30lb thrust electric motor, paddles, lifejackets, cooler, tents/mattresses/sleeping-bags/clothes/backpacks for two people, 2 flyrods, campchairs, socket set, propane stove, flat of water, beer, 2 12 volt deep cycle batteries, other misc gear + tools and 2-3 days worth of firewood. With the right tetris skills, I'm still able to see out the back and check my blindspot without obstruction.
I have even slept in the back a half dozen times. Diagonally from the passenger seat (pushes forward further than the drivers) to the drivers side rear wheel well, you have about 6.5 feet. As long as you don't try to roll over in your sleep, it's nice and comfy.
As for paint, I'm not shy about driving through branches, even big ones. I have hundreds of marks from trees, and the soft windows look like crap, but only a couple that made it through to the primer. I imagine a lot of them would buff out, but why bother? Still no rust on the body or the frame.
2003 with 120,000km, more than half dirt road and trails. So far my largest repair was taking out the multi-function switch to fix a broken circuit mechanism causing the fog lights to stay on. Also replaced a radiator hose with a slight leak near one of the seals. Only other repair was nut/washer working its way through battery hold down from all the bouncing around... replaced with beefier washer. Only needed 1 alignment so far.
Other problems I have not addressed: Very small leak in main rear seal, started at 106,000 and hasn't changed. Oozing gear oil from front diff, no noticeable change in levels even after 1 year. 1 balljoint has slight play. I'm pretty mechanical, but I have at least one professional inspection per year. I'll do the balljoints and diff seal next... but that main rear seal would be a pain, so I'm hoping it won't get much worse in the life of the vehicle.
After 10 years of relentless beatings, I suspect I still have another 5-10 years or 100,000-130,0000kms left before it is no longer worth maintaining.