KayakMike's Granite Crystal Metallic LE Build

kayakmike

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This is a summary of my Granite Crystal Metallic Launch Edition build & adventures. Thinking of calling it Grubi (Granite Rubicon) which also has other meanings which are equally fitting for me.

Kind of late to the build game, though no fault of mine. 3 days shy of 6 months from the time I ordered until I could actually pick it up. I'm just glad the wait is finally over.

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Consider this post an overview with table of contents with links to various posts below, and will update with latest build photo as the build progresses.



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kayakmike

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Well, since I ordered mine on pre-order day 4/3/19, and did not pick it up until 9/30/19 (3 days shy of 6 months from date I ordered), I think a fitting part of discussing my build is Jeeps problems in actually building mine.

Our homes on the forum for the last 6 months was either this thread (First Granite Crystal VIN# Post Here) or the show and tell thread (GRANITE CRYSTAL JT Gladiator Club) @pilotpat and @Jeepznthingz started each of those threads, respectively months ago. Like so many others who originally ordered the Granite Crystal Metallic Launch Edition, they both bailed for other color LEs as this painfully drug on longer and longer.

Design Engineers & Resulting Product: A-

The JT is a great truck that checked all the boxes I needed in a new vehicle. The design engineers really nailed it bringing a Jeep truck back after 26 years. They could have rushed something years ago based on some of the early concept vehicles, but think they got it right. No vehicle is perfect, but they got pretty darn close with the Gladiator.

Jeep Marketing: F

This has been mentioned time and time again, but Jeep completely and totally missed the mark with the launch of the Gladiator.

The Marketing folks created a "concierge line" for Launch Edition orders. The definition of a concierge is someone who assists hotel guests with arranging tours, reservations, etc. I think the marketing folks thought by using the word concierge would make the process special, but it was anything but (both for initial ordering and status updates as time passed). Initial reservations were done on-line. On 4x4 launch day, the concierge would call each reservation and then try and connect to the dealer entered during the reservation process. All they did is transfer the phone call to the dealer's phone number, that rang unanswered for many minutes until I hung up (since the concierge was on the east coast and calling at 6-7 AM Pacific time when the dealers wouldn't even be open).

The “Launch Edition” should have been the first vehicles delivered. The single build options (with color as the only options/choice available) should have made this an easy launch (even though there were LEs without the Bluetooth speaker, or with sill guards added, or later even a Canadian version of the LE). Then the marketing folks started putting out press releases that they “sold out” of Launch Editions in one day, only to find out you could still order them nearly 2 months after launch, and then seeing LEs being delivered to dealers as pre-spec stock units while folks who ordered LEs were still waiting for their builds.

The Granite Crystal Metallic option for the LE was the biggest CF of the entire launch. This is not a unique color…it has been available on JK & JL in the same factory for years, as well as other Jeep and RAM vehicles. When the JT was first announced, Granite Crystal Metallic was listed as late availability. When the LE was announced a few days before 4x4 day, GCM was no longer a late availability color. My dealer said it probably would still be a late color and likely wouldn’t arrive until late summer (where other colors were anticipated May/June). Sure enough, several weeks after the LE launch, all LEs started to move to D status except for Granite Crystal Metallic. GCM was changed back to late availability, with no anticipated delivery date, and all of us were stuck in C status (for what ended up being over 4 months). This is when the first round of folks started to bail on Granite for other LE colors.

Customer Service: F---

Jeep Customer Service ties closely into the Marketing grade. While the marketing folks completely botched the initial vehicle announcement and initial ordering concept through a "concierge line" for Launch Edition orders, once orders were placed it was the lack of customer service that further made the process beyond frustrating.

Trying to get any information on these orders was painful. The “concierge line” became the ONLY conduit for information until vehicles were in transit. Most other sold orders had access to Jeep Chat (phone or online chat) most of the day 6 days a week. With the “concierge” line, Launch Edition customers who purchased the mostly fully loaded vehicles were limited to phone calls only 9-5 EST M-F, and only 50% of the time they would even answer the phones. This was a pretty crappy way to treat LE customers. Paige and Barb kept feeding worthless updates about progress of Granite LEs. We were constantly told “in a few weeks” or “in a month”, but after 4 months we basically didn’t believe anything they said. “They are having problems with the paint,” but at the same time we are seeing them show up on dealer lots. Even after a GCM LE photo showed up around Memorial Day, or then a pre-spec GCM LE showed up on a dealer lot in TN, those of us who had been waiting for months were still being told they couldn't build or paint them.

I'm glad that this launch fiasco is finally over for me, but feel the pain for other GCM LE folks. As I'm writing this in early October 2019, there are STILL GCM LE folks who have not received their 6+ month old orders!
 
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kayakmike

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Dealer Feedback

I ordered mine from Kent Shurtleft at Peterson Jeep in Nampa, ID. On the JL forum, he was one of the larger discount dealers, with many, many positive reviews. I started talking with him months before it was available, and every few weeks we’d tag up and compare notes on when the launch may happen. Before a launch date was announced or pricing was available, I started this thread to discuss his discounted pricing.

When Jeep finally announced pricing and launch dates for the JT, Kent called and we discussed the launch edition ordering. Details weren’t provided to the dealers until pre-launch day, but we started the paperwork as soon as he had the information. On this forum, there were only 3-4 dealers offering discounts on launch day. This thread discusses how we were comparing pricing on that day. @spenchy and Kent were the only ones that made sense for me on the west coast. @spenchy was about twice the drive to San Diego and I had e-mailed him but never got a reply. Since I had been taking with Kent for months, I decided to firm up my order with him.

Kent warned that the Granite Crystal Metallic LEs may show up as late as August. That was fine with me since I was waiting for the EcoDiesel settlement that was happening in June on my 2014 Grand Cherokee.

Communication with Kent was hit or miss. Granted, without Jeep providing any updates on anticipated build & delivery dates, I wouldn’t expect much in the way of updates. Also, being a high volume discount dealer, I also wasn’t expecting award winning responsiveness. He’s hired multiple assistants to help handle the increase in orders, but sometimes I would still get conflicting information. Fortunately @jncomatrix also had a Granite LE ordered through Kent, and we’d frequently compare notes or information from him.

My only real complaint with Kent came in late July. It was becoming very clear that we wouldn’t be seeing Granite LEs delivered in August like I was originally told. I completed my EcoDiesel settlement, was seeing lots of folks getting their JTs, and we were no closer to seeing ours from the day we ordered. I e-mailed Kent with my frustration and asked about options. He called and offered a Silver or Black pre-spec LE that was coming due at the dealer in a few weeks. I said I’d swap for the Silver one, but over the next several weeks I kept asking for updates and Kent went silent again. In the meantime, I mentioned what I was doing to @jnocmatrix, and he also contacted Kent and swapped for the Black LE. He was getting regular updates from Kent on the Black one but I was getting nothing on the Silver. One day I noticed the Silver one was sitting on the dealer lot and listed for sale on their web page. That same day the Granite LEs FINALLY moved to D status after 4 months, he called me. I asked about the status of the Silver and he said he’d have to check with his GSM if he could do the swap. I was pissed, since he offered the swap weeks before (and I started buying accessories to build out my Gladiator). In the end he couldn’t swap for that one, but offered the next Silver LE he had coming in. By then it looked like it would only beat my original Granite LE order by a few weeks, and I said I’d stick with my original order.

Once mine was built and in transit, communication with Kent improved. I could tell from some calls, texts, or e-mails that he was overwhelmed since he’d ask the same question over a few days later.

He let me know when it finally arrived and I told him when I planned to be up there to pick it up. Took care of most of the paperwork before I ever arrived. Never really heard from him about getting from airport to dealer. Others have said he picked them up at the airport. When I got off the airplane I still hadn’t heard anything from him and was assuming I’d Uber there. I sent him a quick text that I had landed, and he replied that he was waiting at arrivals. Nice chat on the drive to the dealership. He offered to walk through the vehicle and take it for a test drive, but after 6 months of waiting I’ve driven enough of them at dealers and read up enough on different features. So after I looked it over (and walked through the delivery checklist), we went inside to finish the paperwork. Didn’t take long and I was out the door with my new ride!

Derik (parts manager), Kent, and me when I picked it up.
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What an ordeal!

I should say this here in your thread but, 9 days ago we went to three dealers to look at what they had in stock. At Autonation in North Phoenix they had 2 Granite Crystal Metallic Launch Edition Rubicons and we liked them. I was concerned with the LE as I thought they were all early builds (HA!) and I didn't want one of those. These LE's were later builds and while we liked them we planned on waiting to buy later as I expected I'd have to negotiate a great deal on a build-to-order. Before we left Autonation the salesman came back with a $7,100 off sticker price. We bought it and drove it home that night. I'm very happy with the Gladiator with the color, options, and price. Sorry your experience was so painful. Enjoy your Gladiator!
 

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Dealer Feedback

I ordered mine from Kent Shurtleft at Peterson Jeep in Nampa, ID. On the JL forum, he was one of the larger discount dealers, with many, many positive reviews. I started talking with him months before it was available, and every few weeks we’d tag up and compare notes on when the launch may happen. Before a launch date was announced or pricing was available, I started this thread to discuss his discounted pricing.

When Jeep finally announced pricing and launch dates for the JT, Kent called and we discussed the launch edition ordering. Details weren’t provided to the dealers until pre-launch day, but we started the paperwork as soon as he had the information. On this forum, there were only 3-4 dealers offering discounts on launch day. This thread discusses how we were comparing pricing on that day. @spenchy and Kent were the only ones that made sense for me on the west coast. @spenchy was about twice the drive to San Diego and I had e-mailed him but never got a reply. Since I had been taking with Kent for months, I decided to firm up my order with him.

Kent warned that the Granite Crystal Metallic LEs may show up as late as August. That was fine with me since I was waiting for the EcoDiesel settlement that was happening in June on my 2014 Grand Cherokee.

Communication with Kent was hit or miss. Granted, without Jeep providing any updates on anticipated build & delivery dates, I wouldn’t expect much in the way of updates. Also, being a high volume discount dealer, I also wasn’t expecting award winning responsiveness. He’s hired multiple assistants to help handle the increase in orders, but sometimes I would still get conflicting information. Fortunately @jncomatrix also had a Granite LE ordered through Kent, and we’d frequently compare notes or information from him.

My only real complaint with Kent came in late July. It was becoming very clear that we wouldn’t be seeing Granite LEs delivered in August like I was originally told. I completed my EcoDiesel settlement, was seeing lots of folks getting their JTs, and we were no closer to seeing ours from the day we ordered. I e-mailed Kent with my frustration and asked about options. He called and offered a Silver or Black pre-spec LE that was coming due at the dealer in a few weeks. I said I’d swap for the Silver one, but over the next several weeks I kept asking for updates and Kent went silent again. In the meantime, I mentioned what I was doing to @jnocmatrix, and he also contacted Kent and swapped for the Black LE. He was getting regular updates from Kent on the Black one but I was getting nothing on the Silver. One day I noticed the Silver one was sitting on the dealer lot and listed for sale on their web page. That same day the Granite LEs FINALLY moved to D status after 4 months, he called me. I asked about the status of the Silver and he said he’d have to check with his GSM if he could do the swap. I was pissed, since he offered the swap weeks before (and I started buying accessories to build out my Gladiator). In the end he couldn’t swap for that one, but offered the next Silver LE he had coming in. By then it looked like it would only beat my original Granite LE order by a few weeks, and I said I’d stick with my original order.

Once mine was built and in transit, communication with Kent improved. I could tell from some calls, texts, or e-mails that he was overwhelmed since he’d ask the same question over a few days later.

He let me know when it finally arrived and I told him when I planned to be up there to pick it up. Took care of most of the paperwork before I ever arrived. Never really heard from him about getting from airport to dealer. Others have said he picked them up at the airport. When I got off the airplane I still hadn’t heard anything from him and was assuming I’d Uber there. I sent him a quick text that I had landed, and he replied that he was waiting at arrivals. Nice chat on the drive to the dealership. He offered to walk through the vehicle and take it for a test drive, but after 6 months of waiting I’ve driven enough of them at dealers and read up enough on different features. So after I looked it over (and walked through the delivery checklist), we went inside to finish the paperwork. Didn’t take long and I was out the door with my new ride!

Derik (parts manager), Kent, and me when I picked it up.
8462BEDB-1225-4A25-B31E-1FDB612E4D77.jpeg
Glad you finally have yours. It's a beautiful Gladiator. For me, ordered 7/8, picked up 9/28, but it arrived 9/16. That was more than long enough, but 6 months is trying for anyone. I applaud your extreme patience. It's a beautiful color, and I'm finding it attracts dust, but eh, gives me a reason to wash it frequently. Communication from Jeep was definitely a miss, they really had no idea where it truly was, I even had them saying it finally shipped on a train, 3 days before my dealer notified me it was delivered. Looking forward to your additional adventures you'll post. Hoping the remaining LE GCM orders arrive soon, so everyone can enjoy the awesomeness that is this vehicle. Cheers!
 
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kayakmike

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First Impressions and Drive Home

Man, I love this truck! There are things I really love, and things that can be improved.

Love it!
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): Man, I’ll never use normal cruise control again. Whether its desert roads with only the occasional other vehicle on the road or heavy traffic of the LA area inland empire, I love how it can slow (or even stop) the JT depending on what the car in front of me is doing.
  • Navigation map speed limit: Little detail, but if you have the nav map open, the speed limit turns red if you are over the speed limit.
  • Heated seats & steering wheel: Spent the first few days in the mountains of Idaho, where temperatures were right around freezing. Both seat and steering wheel heat up way faster than my other vehicles and are toasty. I usually have to turn them down pretty soon after starting a trip.
  • Manual shift: I had paddle shifters on my Grand Cherokee, but the manual shift of the auto transmission is almost as convenient. I guess since even if I have an auto I still like to manually shift most of the time.
  • Bluetooth speaker: That thing really cranks. A little tricky to get back in the charging slot until you figure out how to align it (drop it in almost vertical).
Dislike it! (not hate, more of an annoyance)
  • Antenna: I had a stubby in the box of parts at home, but for 1300 miles that thing was bounding all over the place. Couldn’t wait to tear that off when I got home.
  • No USB-C inside the center console: Every other place in the vehicle there is both a USB-A and USB-C port, but in the console it’s only USB-A. Really pinching some pennies on the design…
  • Tonneau lock: I know there was a lot of back and forth about locking the tonneau cover in this thread. As I've played with the tonneau cover more I think I’m pulling the tonneau off anyway (see future post below)
  • CMG storage box under rear seats: Really limited storage space. Was hoping to be able to fit at least a bike helmet in there, but the height is limited.
  • Door electrical cable bundle: Occasionally the driver door cable bundle would rub on my leg. Mild annoyance, but will look into a way to keep it out of the way more often.
  • Window controls: I don't know how many times I went to lower the window, reached for the door forgetting the window controls are on the center console. I understand the reasoning (with removable doors) and it’s more of a re-learning thing.
  • No auto-up on windows: Really? I’m guessing its because they don’t have any sort of safety sensor in these doors since they are removable, but still would be nice to have.
Other observations
  • Off road pages: So when I first picked it up, I had pressed on the off road page and quickly explored them. While driving off road on the way home, I decided to play with some of the off road capabilities. When I pressed on the off road pages, it would start to open then close. Tried multiple times, and it kept happening. I was in an area with no cell phone coverage so couldn’t try to search for a fix (and didn’t really need them anyway…just wanted to try it out). When I was back home this morning tried it in the driveway and it worked fine.
  • Console buttons: Seemed I occasionally would bump various knobs & buttons while steering or shifting. Again more of a getting use to the vehicle.
  • Audio controls/Apple Car Play: I though when I started the trip I would listen to SXM, and when Google maps had directions it would interrupt the music, give the directions, then go back to SXM. Toward the end of the trip when it would give directions, music would stop following the directions (was switching to phone audio). Haven’t tried it out again after I got back in cell range to see if it’s fixed like the off road pages. 10/8 Update: Tried it again tonight. While giving directions, SXM volume would lower, then return to SXM after it's done giving directions. Must have been a temporary glitch like the off road pages.
  • Spare tire: I removed the spare tire to get the vehicle weighed (see future post below). Took a while to figure out how to remove the jack and lower the tire. Not hard, just stumbled through it the first time getting everything aligned. Recommend trying it in your garage/driveway before you really need to use it.
  • Engine Start/Stop (ESS): I know lots of folks on the forum complained about it. I don't find it annoying at all. Engine restarts before I even have my foot all the way off the brake pedal.

My Road Trip Home

I flew up late in the day on a Monday to pick up my JT from Kent in Nampa, ID (Boise area). I planned to stay at a friends house a few hours north in McCall, ID, but by the time I was heading north sun had set. The drive was interesting getting use to a new vehicle, in the dark, on a windy mountain road while it was raining & lightly snowing. No major issues, just getting familiar with it.

Tuesday I stayed in the McCall area. We decided to go mountain biking in the afternoon once it got above freezing. Rented a bike at a local bike shop and it sure was nice to just throw it in the bed of the truck. Lots of Jeeps in the area, and got lots of thumbs ups or questions when we stopped around town.

Wednesday I started the drive back home. Woke up in the morning with light ice on the Gladiator.
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Based on several recommendations, I headed south to Cascade, ID then took a fire road over the Sawtooth Mountains to Stanley, ID. First stop was Warm Lake.
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Climb up from Warm Lake.
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Spent more than an hour on a dirt or snow covered dirt road. This handled the road with ease and when dirt only I could hold 50 MPH easy.
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Thursday took me from Ely, NV back home to the San Diego area. Temperatures varied from 15F west of Ely to 85F in Death Valley/Trona.
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Goldfield, NV was an interesting town for photos. Looks like they are working on a bypass around the town so this could be a town that is completely missed if you are driving along 95 in the future.
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I peeled off 95 at Beatty, NV to cut through Death Valley.
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I spent a bit of time playing around off road at the Trona Pinnacles, then stayed off road through the Spangler Hills OHV area. Even did a quick drone video while at Trona.
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It looked less Granite and more Gobi by the time I finally got home. Fortunately the desert dust washes off. I should point out that some may say the roll-up tonneau cover is water proof, but it definitely isn't dust proof. This is what it looked like when I got home. I had the freedom panel bag in the bed. The bed was covered in dust, as can be seen when I pulled the bag out.
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kayakmike

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What an ordeal!

I should say this here in your thread but, 9 days ago we went to three dealers to look at what they had in stock. At Autonation in North Phoenix they had 2 Granite Crystal Metallic Launch Edition Rubicons and we liked them. I was concerned with the LE as I thought they were all early builds (HA!) and I didn't want one of those. These LE's were later builds and while we liked them we planned on waiting to buy later as I expected I'd have to negotiate a great deal on a build-to-order. Before we left Autonation the salesman came back with a $7,100 off sticker price. We bought it and drove it home that night. I'm very happy with the Gladiator with the color, options, and price. Sorry your experience was so painful. Enjoy your Gladiator!
So that's about the same pricing we got ordering through Kent (5% under invoice, or ~11% under MSRP). I was glad he didn't play any funny games after 6 months and the pricing was the same as what he quoted day one (though we had signed agreement, anything can happen). Read several stories of folks here on the forum that got jerked around once it arrived at the dealer. And you didn't have to deal with the wait to actually get it built!
 
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@BuiltRight Bedside Rack Install

The side rack panels arrived several weeks ago (while still waiting for my JT to arrive). I also have some clamps & rotopax attachements to add once I figure out how I want to arrange things. When I came back from my road trip picking up my Gladiator, there was another @BuiltRight box with the front rack ready to be installed on my new JT!

The rack install went on pretty simple. I remember Matt sent out install instructions when the side racks were shipped, but didn't bother trying to find them and could put these on without the instructions.

The front panels are shipped in 3 pieces. Short piece in the middle goes behind the two side sections since it's tapped for the fasteners. One issue I had was figuring out how the factory tie downs work with the side sections. At first I removed the tie down and tightened it over the side section bracket, which seemed to twist the bracket. I found that moving the lock washer a bit and sliding it into the slot on the bracket fit into the side of the bed much easier without twisting the bracket.
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The side panels went on super easy. Tried to install the lower rear nuts solo, but ended up getting my son to come and help tighten the bolts while I held the nut plates in place. Right now I have the short side panels removed while I played with the cross bars, and moved the rear panels back a touch so that the tie downs/115V outlet are centered in the panel cutouts.
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kayakmike

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Mopar Cross Bars with Kayaks and Bikes

One of my biggest concerns with the JT is mounting kayaks. With my old Grand Cherokee, I had to climb on the seats, tires, or use a door jam step. With the original JT marketing photo, it looked like we might be able to mount short kayaks in the bed of the JT. I had bought the Mopar cross bars several months before I got my JT, so was eager to try it out with some of my kayaks.

The limitations I see with these Mopar cross bars are the following.
  • The front cross bar needs to mount several inches from the front of the bed. The trail rail system has about a 2" cutout on the front end of the rails to allow for sliding in the racks. Unfortunately that mean you can't clamp down an accessory there. Not really a limitation since I don't see a need to have a cross bar right behind the rear window.
  • Bigger issue is placement of the rear cross bar. Because mine came with the roll-up tonneau cover, there is the latching bracket at the rear of the bed. This limits how far back the rear cross bar can be mounted. If I remove those brackets, the rear cross bar can mount aft another 3" or so. I also have the @BuiltRight bedside panels installed, but I don't think these will limit moving crossbar back much because of the bed sides get wider in the far aft position, which would also limit how far back the the rear cross can go.
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In the photos below, there are 3 different kayaks:
  • Lime green one is a Jackson Fun (Gen 2) playboat. It's 6' 6" long.
  • Yellow/orange one is a Jackson Antix M downriver kayak. It's 7' 9" long.
  • Yellow one is a Dagger VampireBat kayak polo boat. It's 9' 9" long.
The photos below show mounting options for the kayaks. Both of the shorter Jackson kayaks work OK on the Mopar cross bars, and I would be able to fit both of them side by side on the rack (didn't since I had put a Yakima bike rack on the right side for now). In these photos the nose of the kayak is less than an inch from the rear window, so may not be desired driving longer distances. I use these kayaks mostly for whitewater, which means only a handful of trips a year. I think both of these would still work with a receiver mount bike rack.
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We usually play kayak polo in Mission Bay in the summer. Last session is tonight, so I was eager to see how I can mount it. After I sold my Grand Cherokee about a month ago, I had a rental Nissan Frontier. It also has a 5' bed, but had no internal tie down points. I only used it one week, and hauling a nearly 10' boat in a 5' bed was awkward.

With the Mopar cross bars, the kayak polo boat doesn't really work with the top on. Of course, this is the setup I'd probably want to use most often. I had to tie down the nose just to keep the kayak from pivoting off the rear cross bar. Maybe removing the tonneau cover latches would help a bit.
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By then I could remove the rear cross bar (and probably the front cross bar) and just use the tailgate like I did with the Frontier. I tried that too by putting the tailgate in the middle (plywood) position, and this would probably work OK. This is probably how I'd haul with the top on.
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Sunday I pulled the top off. For polo tonight, I decided to try the polo boat on the cross bars again. Sticking the nose into the rear seat area, the kayak rests better on the cross bars. It did sit on the rolled-up tonneau cover rather than the front cross bar.
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I then proceeded to remove the tonneau cover, which is done really easy with just removing 2 #50 Torx bolts. I did fold down the drivers side rear seatback. This is how it's attached today, and was solid on the drive to work today. The nose is sticking about 12" into the rear seat area. The @BuiltRight bed side racks provide a lot more tie down options for gear in the bed. It's also nice to be able to strap down the kayak without climbing up to a roof rack.
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I also looked at putting one of my Yakima bike racks on the cross bars to see how they would work. Cross bars would be great for this application. Only issue I had was my Yakima rack rear tire strap isn't long enough for my newest mountain bike, but this isn't a JT/rack issue.
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I'm not completely sold on the Mopar cross bars. I'll try them out over the next few weeks and see if I want to keep with this setup. Long term I may look at the Yakima OverHaul HD rack system to mount kayaks over the cab.
 
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kayakmike

kayakmike

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California Registration when Purchasing Out Of State (Lessons Learned)

When I first ordered the LE, I told Kent I’d register it at our 2nd home/short term rental we have in Oregon. Since OR has no sales tax (but a 0.5% new vehicle “privilege” tax) and cheaper DMV fees, I figured I’d save even more registering it there. One of my neighbors has a house in Bend, OR (that he spends significant time at) and first suggested doing that.

Over the summer, another neighbor (who had his truck registered at his son’s house in TX) got busted for out of state plates. After hearing his story (and figuring he'd turn me in), I decided I’d just register it in CA when it arrived.

I need to thank @2020 SCRAMBLER for sharing his challenges with registering his JT when he brought it into CA (he also ordered his from Kent at Peterson, and his arrived around the same time the Silver swap was supposed to arrive). I had heard that there are additional hoops that you have to go through to register a new vehicle purchased out of state, but a web search didn't show anything. It took him multiple trips to the DMV to get his registered, so I wanted to take advantage of what he learned. Here are the main issues:
  • Date entered state: He mentioned that when Peterson filed the paperwork electronically with CA, they had put the date the vehicle entered the state as the purchase date. CA starts charging substantial late fees if you don’t register within 10 days of entering the state, and he had taken a vacation on the drive back to CA. When I went to fill out my paperwork, I asked about that, and when we looked closer on REG 343 (Application for Title), Section 5, the date can be entered there, and I put in the date I planned to enter CA.
  • Weight certification: He mentioned that during his first trip to the DMV, they told him he needed to get the vehicle weighed (since pickups are considered commercial vehicles). He went to a weighmaster and his came in at 5140 lb (including winch and 35s). If it’s over 5000 lb, there are additional fees. When he went back to the DMV, the new person who helped him said he didn’t need it weighed since they have the MCO and it showed the weight at 4814 lb. Since I had a DMV appointment (and didn’t want to risk another DMV trip) I decided to pay $15 and get the weight certificate. We had joked about stripping the vehicle down to the bare minimum (remove doors, roof, spare, etc.). In the end, I did remove the spare before getting it weighed. Mine came in at 4960 lb. I weighed the stock steel spare/33” when I got home and it came in at 93 lb, so that would have thrown me over 5000 lb.
  • Smog: Even though the vehicle is new, and has 50 state emission, DMV requires a smog certification. Another $50
  • VIN verification: He went to get his VIN verified at the CHP. My DMV did the VIN verification at the office.
I had scheduled a DMV appointment on 10/7, one week after picking mine up. When I showed up to the DMV, they had not received the paperwork from Peterson yet, so they couldn't complete the title & registration. At first she told me I'd have to come back once the paperwork arrives, but didn't provide me with any way of knowing when the paperwork arrives (typical DMV!). I argued with her about how am I supposed to register it within 10 days if they wouldn't let me register it. Eventually she allowed me to get the VIN verification and then sent me to a window to pay fees. Other than the paperwork from Peterson, I had everything I needed.

Next available appointment was 3 weeks out (10/25), so hopefully they have the paperwork by then.
 

bangolia

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California Registration when Purchasing Out Of State (Lessons Learned)

When I first ordered the LE, I told Kent I’d register it at our 2nd home/short term rental we have in Oregon. Since OR has no sales tax (but a 0.5% new vehicle “privilege” tax) and cheaper DMV fees, I figured I’d save even more registering it there. One of my neighbors has a house in Bend, OR (that he spends significant time at) and first suggested doing that.

Over the summer, another neighbor (who had his truck registered at his son’s house in TX) got busted for out of state plates. After hearing his story (and figuring he'd turn me in), I decided I’d just register it in CA when it arrived.

I need to thank @2020 SCRAMBLER for sharing his challenges with registering his JT when he brought it into CA (he also ordered his from Kent at Peterson, and his arrived around the same time the Silver swap was supposed to arrive). I had heard that there are additional hoops that you have to go through to register a new vehicle purchased out of state, but a web search didn't show anything. It took him multiple trips to the DMV to get his registered, so I wanted to take advantage of what he learned. Here are the main issues:
  • Date entered state: He mentioned that when Peterson filed the paperwork electronically with CA, they had put the date the vehicle entered the state as the purchase date. CA starts charging substantial late fees if you don’t register within 10 days of entering the state, and he had taken a vacation on the drive back to CA. When I went to fill out my paperwork, I asked about that, and when we looked closer on REG 343 (Application for Title), Section 5, the date can be entered there, and I put in the date I planned to enter CA.
  • Weight certification: He mentioned that during his first trip to the DMV, they told him he needed to get the vehicle weighed (since pickups are considered commercial vehicles). He went to a weighmaster and his came in at 5140 lb (including winch and 35s). If it’s over 5000 lb, there are additional fees. When he went back to the DMV, the new person who helped him said he didn’t need it weighed since they have the MCO and it showed the weight at 4814 lb. Since I had a DMV appointment (and didn’t want to risk another DMV trip) I decided to pay $15 and get the weight certificate. We had joked about stripping the vehicle down to the bare minimum (remove doors, roof, spare, etc.). In the end, I did remove the spare before getting it weighed. Mine came in at 4960 lb. I weighed the stock steel spare/33” when I got home and it came in at 93 lb, so that would have thrown me over 5000 lb.
  • Smog: Even though the vehicle is new, and has 50 state emission, DMV requires a smog certification. Another $50
  • VIN verification: He went to get his VIN verified at the CHP. My DMV did the VIN verification at the office.
I had scheduled a DMV appointment on 10/7, one week after picking mine up. When I showed up to the DMV, they had not received the paperwork from Peterson yet, so they couldn't complete the title & registration. At first she told me I'd have to come back once the paperwork arrives, but didn't provide me with any way of knowing when the paperwork arrives (typical DMV!). I argued with her about how am I supposed to register it within 10 days if they wouldn't let me register it. Eventually she allowed me to get the VIN verification and then sent me to a window to pay fees. Other than the paperwork from Peterson, I had everything I needed.

Next available appointment was 3 weeks out (10/25), so hopefully they have the paperwork by then.
Solution... don’t live in California. They like to restrict rights and impose unnecessary taxes :-D
 

SleepyJeep

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Solution... don’t live in California. They like to restrict rights and impose unnecessary taxes :-D
LOL I know this is funny but tbh it has a lot of truth to it. I used to live in LA for 22 years and left and I am much more happier now.... I do miss the different kinds of food, restaurants and the weather, but living in California is not worth it unless you are making $10m+ every year... Even a lot of movie folks live elsewhere and visit LA for work LOL. The taxation has gotten out of control and you really have nothing to show for it, still dirty and underdeveloped, I wonder where all the tax dollars go?
 
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kayakmike

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Solution... don’t live in California. They like to restrict rights and impose unnecessary taxes :-D
LOL I know this is funny but tbh it has a lot of truth to it. I used to live in LA for 22 years and left and I am much more happier now.... I do miss the different kinds of food, restaurants and the weather, but living in California is not worth it unless you are making $10m+ every year... Even a lot of movie folks live elsewhere and visit LA for work LOL. The taxation has gotten out of control and you really have nothing to show for it, still dirty and underdeveloped, I wonder where all the tax dollars go?
We have an exit strategy, but until our youngest is out of high school in another 2.5 years, it will be tough to move and uproot them. We do have a second home on the Oregon coast we are using as a short term rental for now and may end up there (originally planned to register the JT there). I didn't grow up here so don't have any roots holding me here.
 

2020 SCRAMBLER

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Great writeup, nice photos, good lessons learned shared, but most of all glad you finally got Grubi!

Oh yes California DMV is a royal PITA. Stupid laws and regulations and not very competent front counter workers about those laws and regs. Most inefficient processes of any DMV system I’ve ever used.

And on my Rubicon’s weight of 5,140 there were 35s but no winch. These are heavy trucks and then if you start adding parts you are quickly pushing 6K. I’d suspect this is why AEV went carbon composite on the Brute bed to get weight down.
 

                           
























































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