Space-Age Polymers and Advanced Technology Makes for Instant Fun – Just Add Water!!!

I believe that it is written, somewhere deep within the yellowed pages of an old Jeep owner’s manual, that you have not officially achieved full-fledged Jeep ownership status until you have been baptized into the Jeep church. Don’t get me wrong…despite the name this isn’t a religious ceremony of any sort. It doesn’t require a priest and is not likely to be followed by a reception, complete with little finger sandwiches, fruit punch or a cake. This ‘baptism’ is one of deep water, of pouring rain and probably of mud. Sure, it tends to be a messy ordeal but it always washes off and things dry out long before the memory ever fades.

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I can’t even recall the first time it happened to me, or begin to count the number of times that followed. What I can easily recall is that some of the best times I’ve had in my Jeep have been when things are NOT going the way they should. I could go as far as to say, with reasonable certainty that I’ve been set up. Jeep made plenty of allowances in their design to allow for the unexpected and undesirable to happen. The roof is configured to come off the vehicle entirely, as well as the doors, which both seem pretty suspect to me. There are even plugs in the floor that, when removed, allow for water to drain out of the cab, although the diameter of the drain holes are much too small to keep up with the water flow demand so your ankles will usually remain completely submerged in a heavy downpour. It’s like Jeep knew what kind of trouble Jeep owners were likely to get into and they wanted to make sure we were equipped to handle it and make a full recovery.

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My first ‘baptism’ was innocent enough. It was a sunny spring morning in Georgia and I opted to give my daily driver wheels the day off, choosing to enjoy a sun-soaked trek in to the office in the Jeep. The fresh aroma of budding trees triggered by winters end, accompanied by soft, cool breezes was just the right way in which to start your day and an even better way to end it. Mother nature, however, was hard at work in the background, enacting plans to make sure those blossoming trees had ample water- a plan she would put into full action about the time I began my homeward jaunt. As a steady stream of water trickled from my interior rearview mirror, as though a water faucet had been left on, it occurred to me that a bikini top was probably a well-chosen name for a product that basically guarantees that you are going to get wet. My thoughts then shifted to relative gravity of the situation that unfolded around me as my vehicles entire interior electrical system was being exposed to the one element of nature that it has the least in common with. All these years I spent avoiding the urge to use the hair dryer while lying in the bathtub were all for naught, as I was most certainly about to perish in a freak electrical fire.

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The most redeeming part of the Jeep baptism is probably the impression it makes on those around you that get to witness the event. The look of complete and total pity expressed on the faces of onlookers as they watch you brave the torrential floods must be seen to be believed. A look that could only be outdone by the shock and dismay that their faces would reveal, if they only knew that you were having a blast! I recall on one occasion a fellow in a black luxury sport sedan who pulled up next to me in one such monsoon, partially rolled down his window and made a verbal gesture of his compassion for my plight. “Bad day to own a Jeep! Ain’t it?” he said, to which I replied “No… Thursdays are as good as any day.”

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Of course, there is a flip-side to that coin. Every rose has its thorns; or at least that is the rumor I’ve heard relayed in a song. When it comes to having fun while in a Jeep, water is clearly the magical multiplier. Whether it’s a wide water crossing that runs up to your rocker panels, skirting a majestic waterfall on an isolated backwoods trail or adding equal sums of dirt and water together to make mud- the end result is always the same. Everything you do in a Jeep is “funner” when you add water, but be careful. When you are out wheeling and you add water, things can get really slick really fast! While I don’t mind an occasional struggle for traction, if your adventure has you on any sort of an incline, you will soon be unwillingly finding the shortest route down the mountain; bouncing off anything and everything that is in your path. While this still makes for vast amounts of fun, for those who value pretty painted sheet metal, this can be a real downer. For those Jeepers who are still sending the bank a monthly payment, it’s a downright unacceptable activity to use your Jeep to clear-cut forest land. For that reason, splashing through puddles is the recommended watersport until you have title in hand (with the top off, of course).

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So if you’re out in your topless Jeep and the dark clouds seem to conspire to rain on your parade, don’t despair. It’s just part of your baptism. Sit back, breathe in the air and enjoy it. Most importantly, try not to look too crazy. It’s a Jeep Thing! OlllllllO

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Weighing the Pros & Cons of Insanity

Over the years, I have come to realize that I do my best thinking at night. In that short period of time between lying down and actually falling asleep, I solve some of life’s largest quandaries. To be honest, what I consider to be “my best thinking” is probably substandard to most other people but, at least to me, it’s pure genius-level stuff.

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In stark comparison, I seldom if ever have a lucid thought when I first wake up. At the earliest hint of the first shrill tone from the alarm, my mind is prone to produce such mindless gibberish that I’m left wondering on what occasion I received a head injury. “Where’s the dog!?!!”…”Lefty Loosey” or even “Hello!”, as if answering a phone in my slumber, are some of the first things that come across my mind and therefore cross my lips in mornings earliest seconds. I’ve even been known to grasp desperately at a non-existent handrail, while still comatose, because my mind convinced me I was falling. Trust me…at night time, I am freaking brilliant!

I am currently deeply engaged in the planning of a cross country trek to Toledo, OH for the annual Toledo Jeep Fest in August. And this is not just any trek, but one taken in my 25 year old Jeep. As I laid in bed last night planning what mechanical tasks I needed to address this weekend in preparations for my voyage, it occurred to me that, amongst all the other pertinent planning, I needed to address how my Jeep was going to dress for the trip.

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If you have or have ever had a Jeep, you probably know what I mean. Anytime you take your Jeep out, you have to assess your itinerary and determine the best and most practical set-up for the occasion. If you have a hardtop, most of that decision making is pre-determined for you. Since my YJ is a soft top, I need to ask myself “Do I run the fastback soft top so I have my windows ready in waiting in case the weather goes south or do I roll the dice and don the more-risqué bikini top?” I decide that the fastback top would be the wisest choice and offer the most versatility. See! Nighttime-Me is ridiculously sharp. Isn’t he?

Then my mind progresses to the subject of doors. Do I mount up my half doors to the Jeep with a plan to then store the uppers in the rear cargo area when the weather permits or do I just leave home without any doors at all? I can even store the doors in the hotel room for short jaunts without doors. Or, do I drive half a dozen states away from my home with no means of protecting myself and my vehicles occupants from the elements during what might be one of the hottest Augusts in recent memory? Why, of course I do. Wait…what??

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I think if my wife was accompanying me on this trip, I would have to give the topic of going door-less for 1,300 miles some more intense thought. Bottom line is that I’m taking my teenage son and I love the open-air Jeep lifestyle as much or maybe more than anyone. Face it! I’m never gonna be able to tell my son about walking to school, ten miles each way, uphill in the snow. I need him to remember that time we drove across the country in a Jeep for no reason other than we could. And, worse yet, we wanted to! My exhausted and heavy-eyed self could not pose a single counterpoint as to why I would complete this trip in anything other than true Jeep fashion. Limited top and no doors!

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I hope, beg and pray that you will follow me along my journey beginning on August 8th, 2018 as we make our way to Toledo, the birthplace of Jeep. We’ll be posting pictures from the road and sharing the experience on our Rugged Ridge Facebook page and at YourJeepYourAdventure.com . We hope to see you then! OlllllllO

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How Old Is Your Jeep In Dog Years?

It’s pretty common knowledge that a dog ages quicker than people do. What is also commonly perceived is that one year for a dog is the equivalent to seven human years, which is a bit of a misconception. The very first year a canine is alive, it undergoes significant development and actually matures at a rate equivalent to 15 human years. The following second year of life, the dog ages around 12 years and declines a little each year thereafter. I guess the seven years is a bit of a mean average across a dogs suspected lifespan.

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I think that Jeeps, in general, have a somewhat similar aging pattern to that of a dog, but in reverse. The first year on the road for a new Jeep is equivalent to an actual year, taking for granted that the proper maintenance program is upheld and the mileage is kept to a civil rate. The new Jeep maintains its year-for-year rate of aging for the first few years of its life; until the day the Jeep owner’s curiosity for the unknown has them wandering away from the pavement and searching to discover a little more about their vehicles capabilities. On that day, the clock is quickened to double its original pace. Whether in the first year or the fifth, the Jeep begins to age at a rate of two years per year, once it has adopted the tendency for off-road driving habits.

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As the vehicle ages and compiles mileage, the wear and tear on the frame, chassis and mechanical components begins to compound. By the time the vehicle has reached 100,000 miles, or seven calendar years old, its rate of aging is around 3 years per year. That’s six years per if you’re busy climbing rock ledges or straddling crevasses on a regular basis. At this point, you’ll find yourself performing repairs at almost every turn. This aggressive schedule of addressing issues as they appear is the only thing that stabilizes your Jeeps rapid pattern of mechanical decline. Short of a complete overhaul and major rebuild, your Jeep will continue to age at a rate of 3 to 6 years for every New Year that passes, until that day when its fate is finally sealed.

My personal Jeep is a 1993 model which I bought in 2007. The first 14 years of its life, it was kept almost entirely stock and was fitted with highway tires that would turn utterly useless in the mud. It had compiled some 120,000 miles on the clock in its first dozen or so years. The 11 years that I have owned it, the old YJ has been plagued with massive tires, lift kits, heavy bumpers and tons of less-than-ideal driving conditions while enrolled in an extensive program of perpetual upgrade. By my calculations, my Jeep would be roughly 60 years old in dog years, and that’s if I grade on the curve. 60…That’s a pretty startling number when you stop and think about it; bottom line and best case scenario, it’s truly 25 years old on a regular Gregorian calendar making it an antique in the states opinion. Maybe sixty is not that outlandish…

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So for my YJ’s true 25th birthday, I am going to defy the odds, throw the proverbial caution to the wind and embark on a trek to the place it was born, Toledo, Ohio, and attend the Toledo Jeep Fest in August. In careful consideration for its propsed 60 years of age and the 1,400 grueling miles that lie ahead of it, I am undertaking massive amounts of maintenance on the old Wrangler in preparation for hours of driving at highway speeds. This includes touching virtually every suspension component to validate its integrity, replacing aging seals and bearings, renewing fluids and lubricants; maybe even a few cosmetic upgrades will be in order so my baby doesn’t necessarily look like an over-the-hill has-been. I’ve been around cars long enough to know that, even with the best of preparations in place, the likelihood of some level of catastrophe occurring is pretty favorable. With such impending doom, it’s understandable that I simply can’t wait…

To help document my voyage, we’ll be posting pictures from the road featuring sights and scenery from our travels and blogging a bit about the experience as we go. I am very hopeful that none of the coverage will feature dripping fluids, shredded tire carcasses or billowing plumes of smoke or steam. That seems about as likely as taking a trip to the zoo and hoping to not smell any unpleasantries…or you could say, pretty darn unlikely.

Our trip will begin on Wednesday, August 8th and we’ll share all the fun from the Toledo Jeep Fest when we arrive on Friday, August 10th and through the entire weekend. Make sure to follow the adventure on the Rugged Ridge Facebook page as well as at yourjeepyouradventure.com . We hope you can follow along! OlllllllO

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Exo-Top for 2-Door

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Rugged Ridge today announced the availability of its Exo-Top™ in new expanded applications for two-door 2007-2015 Jeep Wrangler JK. Previously only available for four-door Unlimited models, the two-door Exo-Top™ features the same innovative, industry-first design that combines open air functionality of a soft top with the utility of an integrated roof rack.

The Exo-Top™ enables owners to experience their Jeep to its full potential for camping, off-roading, or as part of any outdoor lifestyle by allowing users to conveniently open or remove the Jeep’s soft top with ease without having to unload any gear or cargo from the roof rack. Integrated into the 300-lb. capacity roof rack is an advanced externally suspended soft top design that fastens using a series of Velcro straps along the perimeter bars of the roof rack. The pulling force applied by the Velcro helps to tighten and shape the soft top as well as allow for simple soft top removal and installation.

The Exo-Top™ also features a Sun Slider, which allows the top to slide back with the release of just two clips, providing an open-top experience without having to leave the driver’s seat.

As with the four-door model, Rugged Ridge’s two-door Exo-Top™ features a patent-pending design that is a direct bolt-on installation with no drilling required. It is also compatible with most standard rack attachments and accessories in the industry, enabling Jeep owners to utilize the Exo-Top™ with their existing equipment to safely haul any type of gear for outdoor adventures, including bicycles, skis, snowboards and kayaks.

“We couldn’t be more proud to offer the Exo-Top™ to an entire new segment of Jeep owners,” said Patrick Bennett, Product Development Manager at Omix-ADA. “As the first product to combine a soft top and roof rack into one convenient, easy to use system, we created the Exo-Top™ as an affordable way for JK Wrangler owners to make their Jeep the most usable and enjoyable in any setting.”

The Rugged Ridge Exo-Top™ is now available purchase from authorized retailers online and worldwide at an MSRP of $1,600.99 for two door JK Wrangler applications, and at a $1,733.99 MSRP for four-door Unlimited applications.

The Exo-Top™ can be seen in action on a JK Wrangler on the Rugged Ridge YouTube Channel.

For more information on the Rugged Ridge Exo-Top™, Rugged Ridge’s complete line of high-quality Jeep and off-road products, or to find an approved retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge at 770-614-6101, or visit www.RuggedRidge.com.

 

Part Number Description MSRP
13516.01 Exo-Top™, 2-door 2007-2015 Jeep Wrangler JK $1600.99
13516.02 Exo-Top™, 4-door, 2007-2015 Jeep Wrangler JK $1733.99

 

Monthly Offroad Accessory Give-Away

giveaway

Enter for a chance to win our Rugged Ridge Folding Shovel, Tire Deflator Keychain Kit and a set of our popular All Terrain Front Floor Liners
Open to citizens from US and Canada only, give-away closes at midnight EST on 8/31/2013. Winner will be randomly selected on September 2, 2013.

Void where prohibited.

Click HERE to Enter

Jeep® Jamboree 2013 Schedule

Jeep® Jamboree 2013 Schedule Announced

The official Jeep Jamboree schedule for 2013 has been released, including several new locations. Registration begins December 1st, make sure to visit their website for more information: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com

Trip Name Date City State
9th Texas Spur March 21-23 Llano Texas
20th Pine Barrens March 21-23 Hammonton New Jersey
1st Parker Arizona – New! April 18-20 Parker Arizona
20th Cajun April 25-27 St. Francisville Louisiana
9th Tennessee Mountains – 3 DAY EVENT! April 24-27 Oak Ridge Tennessee
23rd Arch Canyon April 25-27 San Juan County Utah
6th Top of the Ozarks May 9-11 Seymour Missouri
21st Big Bear May 9-11 Big Bear Lake California
16th Land Between The Lakes May 16-18 Marshall County Kentucky
25th Palo Duro May 30-June 1 Amarillo Texas
22nd Canyon de Chelly May 30-June 1 Chinle Arizona
4th Badlands May 30-June 2 Attica Indiana
21st Drummond Island June 20-22 Drummond Island Michigan
16th Penn’s Woods June 20-22 Bradford Pennsylvania
7th Killington July 18-20 Killington Vermont
18th Northwoods – Mole Lake July 18-20 Crandon Wisconsin
1st Roof of the Rockies – New! August 1-3 Snowmass – Aspen Colorado
2nd Coal Mountain Aug. 1-3 Shimoken Pennsylvania
16th Rubicon Trail Aug. 8-11 The Rubicon Trail California
5th Big Horn Mountains Aug. 29-31 Dayton Wyoming
21st Black Hills Sept. 5-7 Deadwood South Dakota
3rd Laurel Highlands Sept. 12-14 Farmington Pennsylvania
26th Ouray Sept. 12-14 Ouray Colorado
16th Catskill Mountains Sept. 19-21 Monticello New York
24th Maine Mountains Oct. 3-5 Bethel Maine
24th French Lick Oct. 3-5 French Lick Indiana
15th Moab Oct. 17-19 Moab Utah
20th Gateway to the Cumberlands Oct. 24-26 Williamsburg Kentucky
24th Ouachita Oct. 24-26 Hot Springs Arkansas
4th Cullman Alabama Oct. 31-Nov. 2 Cullman Alabama

Crush Recovery Build: SEMA Ready

Well, just it’s just about complete! At the time of this shoot the paint matched seats and hood mentioned on the previous post hadn’t been installed yet. Everything else is good to go, and everything has come together very well! You’ll notice some the great details in the paint matched accents in the gallery below. The build features more than 60 of the latest products from the Omix-ADA family of brands; some of the newest products from Rugged Ridge such as the new Aluminum Hood Latches and Aluminum XHD bumpers, and Alloy USA’s high-strength axle shafts.

The final outcome of this Rubicon has definitely met the original goal of the build. Crush Recovery is designed to be the ultimate off road vehicles to recover 4x4s stuck in the toughest terrain. Inspiration stems from both Jeep’s trusted reputation and and unmatched versatility. Additionally, the new for 2012 Jeep color, Orange Crush, provides added utility and safety to Crush Recovery. The vibrant color stands out amongst the green and brown hues of the outdoors, making rescuers easily visible to those in need. Make sure to follow the coverage of the SEMA Show 2012 from Rugged Ridge to Crush Recover completely finished, as well as all of the other vehicles featured this year!

Crush Recovery Build: Custom Painted Seats and Hood

We’re less than a week away from the 2012 SEMA Show, and the Crush Recovery build is coming to completion. The custom painted ProCar Evolution seats and Truck Master Designs hood are a couple of the last finishing touches. Drew Brothers Customs did an awesome job on these! Check out the photos below:

Crush Recovery Build: October Update

A lot of work has been put into Crush Recovery recently, and since the last update I’ve also started working on a second JK dubbed Crimson Sol! Within the past few weeks I’ve finished installed the following:

Rugged Ridge XHD Aluminum Rear Bumper, Tire Carrier, and spare tire
– Rugged Ridge JK Flat Flares
– Rugged Ridge Cowl Armor
Procar by SCAT seats with custom rear bucket seat mounts
Daystar™ Can Cam System
Recon fog lights and marker lights
– Custom gauge cluster and custom paint matched Rugged Ridge HID lights
– Doetsch Offroad Headrest Covers
– Rugged Ridge Half Doors

We’ll continue to keep you all updated as the build progresses to The SEMA Show 2012 – along with Crimson Sol!

Come See Rugged Ridge at The 2012 Off-Road Expo

Visit Omix-ADA/Rugged Ridge at this year’s Lucas Oil Off-Road Expo powered by General Tire! Check out some of our newest products and promotions! The show is held in Pomona, CA from October 6th through the 7th. Find us at Booth# 4719 in Building# 4.

The expo offers you the greatest collection of off-road companies, parts, equipment, gear, and experts ever assembled in America. From off-road racing to rock crawling, trail riding to sand sports, to motorcycles and ATV’s, to camping and adventure travel, you have the unique opportunity to meet and talk with the most knowledgeable people in the off-road industry. With a full weekend of excitement and 10 acres of off-road vendors in one location, you will see everything that is going on in the dynamic world of off-road.