Dedicated offroad rig or jack of all trades

2020 SCRAMBLER

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Like many I've been I've been waiting years for the return of the Gladiator. I'll be consolidating multiple vehicles into the JT:
- '15 Lexus (daily driver)
- '79 FJ40
- '84 FJ60
- '47 TC-3 (Bantam Jeep Trailer)

The JT does everything the above vehicles do individually or in combination.

For me, I view the JT as as a JL with additional cargo capacity. IMHO people that need the JT to be a true pickup truck might be disappointed. You can certainly find lower cost truck or higher equipped trucks if that's your need.

Agree with the other post above that a trailer is a PITA. My above trailer (6' tub) makes up for the fact that the FJ40 (essentially a 2 door Jeep CJ7) doesn't have any cargo room. But I will say it's great from the perspective that I'm always packed and ready to go camping...just hook up the trailer and go.

As my family grew the FJ40 could not seat everyone and hold camping cargo, so it was relegated to weekend goofing off. The FJ60 seats everyone and has some cargo room too, but I lose the open top part of the FJ40. Both FJs get horrible gas mileage. And as both FJs are now classics, with crazy appreciating values, it's just not smart to keep using them as originally intended.

The JT will be my daily driver and a mild to medium overland build too. I'm not into hard-core rock crawling, so with the right protection (front/rear bumpers, sliders, rear skid plate), I won't be tearing up the JT.

From my perspective, I'll save on repair, storage space, insurance, registration, and fuel costs currently spread across multiple vehicles. And can focus my efforts (and limited upgrade $) on a single platform with a lot of aftermarket support.

My plan is a JT Rubicon with virtually no options. But I am trying to justify the Diesel engine upcharge. :)
 
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homerun

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I always like the fj60s. Welcome to the forum.
 
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audibahn

audibahn

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Appreciate all the different perspectives.

It'll be a tough choice to give up an already built rig that I know inside out but at least we'll have the option, right?! I'm leaning toward an overland style vehicle that can take the entire family as well. Toughest part will be to forgo the more difficult trails like Wheeler Lake or Holy Cross here in Colorado. At least for a while until the JT sits on 40s and the newness has worn off :)

I don't really need a truck as I use a 8x4 trailer for hauling stuff. I would have bought a JKU already if the JT wasn't coming out, but I am enticed by the bigger towing capacity and diesel torque. I have a 1 and 3 year old, and we'd get a hard-sided camper trailer for longer trips. I'd also get a camper shell for the bed to keep the dog and gear in.

I don't have these options with my current LJ, which is really a daytrip vehicle.

Lastly, I wonder how well the JT will do in the snow. My Audi Quattro is unbeatable going up snowy mountain passes during skiing season. I wish the JT was AWD and came with a locking center diff.

Lots to think about and look forward to.
 

Vegas_Sirk

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Lastly, I wonder how well the JT will do in the snow. My Audi Quattro is unbeatable going up snowy mountain passes during skiing season. I wish the JT was AWD and came with a locking center diff.
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If they make a Sahara based version with the Selec-Trac you might get your wish. My JKU Rubicon dose great in the snow in 4WD H and BFG KO2 tires, (its just not great on ice, but what really is) so I would expect the JT to be just as good if not better.
 

jeepncrowd

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I really wish they'd make a select track like x-fer case with the Rock track 4:1 gearing. Or at least offer selec trac with Rubicon models. I want factory front and rear lockers plus the ability to kick into AWD or 4 low situation depending
 

homerun

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I really wish they'd make a select track like x-fer case with the Rock track 4:1 gearing. Or at least offer selec trac with Rubicon models. I want factory front and rear lockers plus the ability to kick into AWD or 4 low situation depending
100% agree, I don't believe there is a reason they can't modify the NP242 to provide a 4:1 crawl ratio like the Rock-Trac. That would be ideal!

If I had to choose between Selec-Trac with the Full time 4WD witha 2.27:1 crawl ratio and the Rock-Trac I would probably go with the Select-Trac and give up the 4:1. That said I want the original NP242 where its a full time and not the MP3032 with the auto engage, that is available on the Sahara.
 

stickshifter

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How many of you consider the JT as a do-it-all vehicle that would replace more dedicated rigs?

I have an A4 as a daily driver and my LJ Wrangler for offroad and camping trips. Thought is to replace both with the JT in hopes of having a vehicle that can do it all:

- comfort
- offroad capability
- fuel economy
- towing capability
- size for a family of 4
- space and storage

The JT sounds like it could do all of it well, but not all of it great.

What pros/cons do you see owning two vehicles that are specialized in what they do vs. one that tries to do it all?

I'm considering trading the A4 for truck like a Tundra or F150 that can be used around town and for family getaways with a maybe a mild build and keep the LJ for the gnarly stuff.

Alternatively, sell both and get the JT that will not be the best at everything but good enough to get by.

Curious if anyone else is thinking about consolidating vehicles.
I’ve been in your shoes. Over the years I’ve owned an RS4 and an S4 while simultaneously owning a Jeep JK on 35s. Aside from the cost of owning two vehicles (tires, insurance, registration, etc.) there was always the drawback of being in a “too-specialized” vehicle. The Audis were so good on road, and with snow tires, were amazing on snowy or icy roads, but the second you need ground clearance, they were done. I always had 2 shovels, and we got used to digging out of trail head parking areas in snow. On the other hand, the JK was a beast off-road, but was underpowered going over big passes, and was not the most comfortable on long road trips (for a couple years I was driving to and from Colorado - Utah, 8 hours one-way). So I ditched the 2 cars and got a 3rd gen Tacoma (one of the only stick shifts available). My wife still says she misses the Audis.

I suggest a cost analysis, and a cold hard look at your driving needs. Your A4 will be so much better on road than a solid axle truck, but you don’t have a secret button to push that morphs the Audi into a Jeep at a trail.

I think the Gladiator can be a do-it-all, especially if you budget for Synergy (or competitor) tie rod, drag link, and some after market ball joints. You may not need them, but I’d plan for it.

That was really long - don’t know if it was helpful.
 

Renegade

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I’ve been in your shoes. Over the years I’ve owned an RS4 and an S4 while simultaneously owning a Jeep JK on 35s. Aside from the cost of owning two vehicles (tires, insurance, registration, etc.) there was always the drawback of being in a “too-specialized” vehicle. The Audis were so good on road, and with snow tires, were amazing on snowy or icy roads, but the second you need ground clearance, they were done. I always had 2 shovels, and we got used to digging out of trail head parking areas in snow. On the other hand, the JK was a beast off-road, but was underpowered going over big passes, and was not the most comfortable on long road trips (for a couple years I was driving to and from Colorado - Utah, 8 hours one-way). So I ditched the 2 cars and got a 3rd gen Tacoma (one of the only stick shifts available). My wife still says she misses the Audis.

I suggest a cost analysis, and a cold hard look at your driving needs. Your A4 will be so much better on road than a solid axle truck, but you don’t have a secret button to push that morphs the Audi into a Jeep at a trail.

I think the Gladiator can be a do-it-all, especially if you budget for Synergy (or competitor) tie rod, drag link, and some after market ball joints. You may not need them, but I’d plan for it.

That was really long - don’t know if it was helpful.
Well, it might have been helpful if you had said it 2 years ago. It’s always interesting to me when I read something I said a long time ago. Sometimes I’m surprised, and sometimes I still agree. On this one, I agree.
 

Bowerss2

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1OffCraz

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Trailers are a PIA. They are annoying to park with, you need a place to store it, and its not going to be able to go the same places a JT would. Also have you looked at the cost of these "Offroad Trailers"? They are $20K plus. For that kind of money I would rather have a JT and buy a RZR to tow behind.
Exactly what I did ! Why abuse the Gladiator when there are far more capable vehicles for serious off-roading
20201107_153759.jpg
 

 
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