Long road trips with JT

rr11

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Long trips in the JT are not uncomfortable, granted you do not have the room of a full size truck. At the present my longest trip was 6 hours with no issues. In December we are planning a 12 hour trip that will be the test.



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Tapped_Out

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“Tapped Out” is spot on. 100% agree. As far as steering goes, I can drive 90 mph with one finger on the wheel. I have the stock steering (no TSB upgrade), but I did install the Synergy sector brace. So, if your JT isn’t able to drive like mine then something is wrong and you need to make that change. I would start with the TSB upgrade. It sounds like it works and it’s free.
One of the things that probably doesn't get talked about (or does it?) is having these tall vehicles and kids. How is someone going to feel if their 9-year-old son or daughter falls while trying to exit the small rear doors of a Gladiator Rubicon or Mojave and cracks their skull open on the pavement, because the vehicle is so high off the ground? Or their wife?

Three decades later, my wife is still bitching me out because she had to car seat our kid in the back off a Camaro, because I refused to be a sedan or minivan guy. She has some merits in her argument that she won't give up on. So if part of the equation is hauling kids around in these high-off-the-ground-vehicles, it realistically needs to be part of the family discussion because of the safety issues. These things are adult, off-road toys, not family vehicles.

My wife struggles to get in an out her Mojave, and if I highly mitigate that issue with steps, etc., then I ruin the ground clearance. It's another "you can't have your cake and it too," issue.

The next "hole in my paycheck" is buying her the 4" extended performance $1,000 rock bar. I've already installed the handgrips on the roll bar, and that's as far as I'm going with the vehicle height issue. I'd hate to see it happen, but if she (age 56) falls down getting out of the Mojave, it's on her. She's an adult that made choices, and I warned her about before buying her the vehicle.

P.S: The kid turned out alright. The internet raised her while I was gone on deployments. She's got a PhD.D now in texting and social media usage.
 
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Murgatroid

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It's all relative

I used to do 17.5 hours in a manual Chevy S10 without Cruise Control. My knee would swell a lot.

After that, I drove a Wrangler - night and day difference, but not nearly as nice as a sedan, or today's vehicles.

This Gladiator is leaps and bounds over the TJ Wrangler - but not as nice as a a Cadillac. It's all what you're used to and coming from.

I wouldn't think twice about driving 12hrs in this thing. I'd look forward to the trip.
When I was a kid, my sister took her son and her on a cross country move (meaning everything they had) packed into an MG midget. It was barely a car, I know that she wouldn't be able to get out of that car today if she could even get into it. It is all relative.
 

MyGeekDaddy

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I’ve put on 13k miles since I got my JT in May. Weekly work road trips of 6h drives one way to get to the job site. I don’t think it’s any more or less comfortable than my previous GMC Sierra.
 

Orange01z28

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It’s all relative.

My JT is more comfortable than other cars/trucks I’ve had yet it’s not as comfortable or efficient as my wife’s Exploder either.

I’ll echo the thoughts of others, while I wouldn’t hesitate driving it anywhere, I’d choose other vehicles unless I needed it
 

Murgatroid

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It is a more stiff, up right riding position. I drove a 22 hour stretch and it didn't kill me. My left elbow rest nicely on the door handle, my right on the arm rest, hands rest naturally at the 10 and 2. Everything is within reach and easy to see. And on long trips by myself, Alexa plays games and answers questions.
 

wanderer

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I drive with no hands and my jtr tracks just fine. Eyes closed too no seriously I drive with one hand never have any problems. My jlur was comfortable this is better. Better than my vet or viper. Maybe not as good as my Tahoe was. But then I wouldn’t have dreamed of taking my Tahoe places where I don’t even blink about taking the jtr
 

ShadowsPapa

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This is a you can't have your cake and eat it too conversation. Meaning, you can't make an off-road brute and expect it to behave in a civilized manner on the interstate. So in my opinion, the Gladiator, especially in the trim I have, the Mojave, is much more oriented/tilted to off-road use. In Wrangler language, if you want the city slicker with nicer manners, you get the Sahara, and if you want the noisy, off-road, aggressive brute that can climb rocks, you get the Rubicon.

Hmmmm, don't totally agree. Why would one be harsher than the other, really? My Overland has Rubicon springs under the front, max tow under the rear, Rubicon Fox shocks all around, and I run Rubicon tires (*take-offs) half the year. I also have a steel Rubicon bumper and winch up front - it rides and handles fine. It's a pleasure to cruise on the interstate with it. Smooth and as responsive as any truck I've ever owned - even more.
The Rubicon wouldn't drive or handle any differently unless it's lifted and has much larger tires - that's because other than width (by a WHOPPING 1.5 inches! ) they are the same drivetrain on the highway. They are the same exact steering gear.

I can't see how my Overland could ride or drive or handle any better than any other JT trim level. Especially with the switching I've done. I'd take it to any part of the country and not be working any more than if I was driving my wife's Grand Cherokee. In fact, my JT does so well, it's become my daily driver.

Maybe the Mojave sucks on the highway - but mine with Rubicon suspension does GREAT. And a wider track JT should do even BETTER - as Pontiac used to advertise, wider is better.
So maybe the Mojave isn't the best choice for highways - get something else. That's the one version I've not driven.
 

capercrew02

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I’ve now done a 14 day 4k mile trip, and an additional 4 or 5 1,200 mile round trip drives in the last year I’ve had my gladiator. Some towing my Offroad teardrop, some just the truck. I find the truck to be very comfortable. Solo, and with the wife and our now 18 month old. At 6’1” I don’t exactly have “endless space” to stretch out, but I also don’t feel overly cramped, and I’ve done strait through 10 hour drives only stopping for fuel. Considerations I will add though is, it’s a convertible....... you can’t get away from that. I first had a premium soft top only, then recently got a hardtop, and even more recently got a hardtop headliner also. 10 hours listening to the wind and road noise can be a little tiring, but it’s nothing that can’t be dealt with. It’s a square block going down the road, so you’ll have buffeting, and a bit of push around if winds get strong. All that being said, I’d happily jump in my jeep tomorrow and hit the road. But if I had a different more conventional vehicle that could meet my needs for a given road trip, is probably take it for the peace, fuel efficiency, and the fact that I’m not wearing out a specialty Offroad vehicle(not to mention expensive to replace tires). I don’t find the need to have a different car for daily driving and family needs, and would still choose the gladiator every time over a different truck for our uses, but know there are sacrificed that come with all the good of owning a jeep and gladiator.
 

LostWoods

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2,300 miles with a maxed-out Uhaul behind me stopping only for gas and food and I had no issues doing roughly 12-13 hour days. It's not going to be a full-size on the comfort side but the truck is a bit taller than other mid-size pickups because it's a more upright seating position. Much more comfortable on the long haul than anything else in the segment.
 

Tapped_Out

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Hmmmm, don't totally agree. Why would one be harsher than the other, really? My Overland has Rubicon springs under the front, max tow under the rear, Rubicon Fox shocks all around, and I run Rubicon tires (*take-offs) half the year. I also have a steel Rubicon bumper and winch up front - it rides and handles fine. It's a pleasure to cruise on the interstate with it. Smooth and as responsive as any truck I've ever owned - even more.
The Rubicon wouldn't drive or handle any differently unless it's lifted and has much larger tires - that's because other than width (by a WHOPPING 1.5 inches! ) they are the same drivetrain on the highway. They are the same exact steering gear.

I can't see how my Overland could ride or drive or handle any better than any other JT trim level. Especially with the switching I've done. I'd take it to any part of the country and not be working any more than if I was driving my wife's Grand Cherokee. In fact, my JT does so well, it's become my daily driver.

Maybe the Mojave sucks on the highway - but mine with Rubicon suspension does GREAT. And a wider track JT should do even BETTER - as Pontiac used to advertise, wider is better.
So maybe the Mojave isn't the best choice for highways - get something else. That's the one version I've not driven.
If these vehicles are so great for the highway: what's up with the 97mph speed limiter on the Gladiator?

We've owned a 2012 4-door Rubicon, a 2018 2-door Rubicon, and this 2020 Gladiator Mojave. Compared to the 2017 RAM 3500 Cummings we also owned, all of these Jeeps scare the crap out of me at 70mph on the interstate, they feel unstable. I felt safer in the 3500 with a 3.000 pound truck camper on the back than I do in any of these empty on the interstate. In fact, that first 2012 Wrangler couldn't tow a 12' Uhaul trailer at 55mph without the trailer starting to sway all over the road.

I respect your opinion, but these things are designed more for off-road than they are geared for usage on the interstate. Same goes for the RAM, it's more geared for usage on the highway. We crossed a 30-mile gravel road on the Oregon coast to get back to the interior and the RAM felt like it was gonna fall apart. On the other hand, we'd blast across Texas interstate at 80mph with the camper on the back (in the bed). Please try the equivalent of that experiment in a Gladiator and report back.

One of these videos shows a Gladiator getting 4.7 mpg towing a trailer.

I've crossed some interstate stretches out west where even if you got 10 mpg, you'd be out of fuel in this Gladiator before getting to next gas station.


And please do read the comments on this video.
 
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Gvsukids

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We love our off road truck. It replaced a Honda Pilot that was very comfy. The two are different vehicles but we are very happy with the ride of the Gladiator. We have the max tow with stiffer shocks and so is bouncier on bumpy roads, but we spend most of the trip on pavement.
 

M0untainM4n

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My other vehicle is a 2020 Ford F-350 Platinum 6.7 Powerstroke with 8ft Bed. Its drives like being in 1st class on a 747. The wife loves it. Its definitely relative because my new JT is not nearly as nice. That feels more like the B seat in economy class. :LOL: Its bumpy and drives like a truck which is to be expected. My 5.5 hour drives to Moab from Denver in the JT is exhaustive where with the F-350, I am refreshed and relaxed. When I go now, I make my son drive the JT to Moab and I take the F-350. :) The JT is fun... great for tooling around and offroading and I wouldn't have it an other way. But for those long trips, I go with the Ford :)
 

MrFahrenheit

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To me it depends on what you want for the time you’re NOT driving 10 hours. Since that trip only happens a couple times a year it probably shouldn’t be the make or break for your decision.

my buddy has a 19’ Ram 1500 Laramie. If I was regularly driving long distances I would choose that truck 10/10 times over the Gladiator. It’s MUCH quieter (even With a hardtop), drives like a Cadillac, and has all the space you could ever hope for.

If you want a gladiator for the utility and all the things you can do with that you can’t do in the Ram, like taking top/doors off, more capable off-road, etc then that might be the better choice. You just have to realize it won’t be as comfortable as a full size truck on long drives.
 

Moe_Fugga

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To me it depends on what you want for the time you’re NOT driving 10 hours. Since that trip only happens a couple times a year it probably shouldn’t be the make or break for your decision.

my buddy has a 19’ Ram 1500 Laramie. If I was regularly driving long distances I would choose that truck 10/10 times over the Gladiator. It’s MUCH quieter (even With a hardtop), drives like a Cadillac, and has all the space you could ever hope for.

If you want a gladiator for the utility and all the things you can do with that you can’t do in the Ram, like taking top/doors off, more capable off-road, etc then that might be the better choice. You just have to realize it won’t be as comfortable as a full size truck on long drives.
Agree. We have the Jeep for “fun”/utility (my daily) and a Durango for a nice comfy family ride. However, we took the Jeep on a 6 hour trip to FL and it wasn’t all that bad. It wasn’t quiet and an ideal highway driver, but when we got to FL it was nice to take the Freedom Panels off and cruise around. Something you can’t do in a Durango.:like:
 

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