Rubi Rhod - A 2020 Gladiator with flair for the overland-dramatic

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Rubi_Rhod

Rubi_Rhod

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KC Gravity Amber fogs installed.

Then hitched up the bug and headed to the dunes

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Rubi_Rhod

Rubi_Rhod

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Trip Report incoming!

Was able to pack everything including the freedom panels in the bed which was really nice. Wasn’t really needed to do, but was curious about if they fit, and how they are to live with. I can say that while it worked, the bonk on my eye from moving them, the shin bruises from kicking them in the night, and the few times of overhead sun searing my eyes does make me very happy they will he replaced by the sunrider top.

All my gear was pretty poorly packed. Thats to say I had everything, but was not organized, or brought stuff that wasn’t really compatible with Rubi vs the ‘Rado.

So re-organized all the kit yesterday. In the rear cabin storage I now have all my “day use” camping gear. Some of it is on its its way still having been only recently ordered, but will have toiletries, jetboil, food and coffee, pillow and blanket, as well as the Hammock and some straps and a fly. Plus eating utensils and accessories needed for a quick or light weight setup. Basically 1+ nights on the go. Especially wanted quick deploy gear so I can use the roadside rest stops. Grab a wink in the cab, and make a quick meal and coffee and GTFO without a fuss.

Also re-did the molle panel storage and general truck cabin storage. Muti-tools, knives, headlamps, battery packs, radios, charging cables, sundries and such (the kinds of tools and such that you use everyday) are all sorted and easy to get at without flipping seats or moving stuff. I also got a nice new headlamp that also has red light and a reading light. As they were way more handy than all the lights I had mounted on the truck.

In the bed of the truck, rearranged some stuff to make it more modular. I basically wanted to be able to remove everything from the bed, while still allowing me to have a night or two on the road with whats in the Truck cabin.

Like my RTT, that tent cot is really nice in that all my sleeping gear all packs away in place. So while its a big piece, it’s totally an instant shelter and quite comfortable. So i have the option for summer camping with a hammock and sleeping gear in the truck cab, or can bring the Cot for cooler or wetter places.

I also added back in the big percolator and the bugaboo camp cooking and eating set, as well as one of those butane stoves. And got it all to fit nicely within that same Red organizer it was in before. So that will get me to 7-10 days of camping and a lot more flexibility in what I can cook.

For the truck, this weekend really showed me that it’s pretty dang capable without me meddling with it. But air was important. So got a nice portable air compressor. This will easily and quickly do up our tires at moab. I also got a hi lift mount that I am hoping will work well to mount on the door hinge. I also sorted the tools and recovery gear and such so I can access everything without having to pull it all out.

And water was also really needed, in that a jug is fine to live off of, but needing to wash or rinse or shower needs pressure. So found a hitch mounted water tank and hand pressure pump. 9times out of ten the hitch is unused, so Mounting there should be just fine until i can mount it up to the Camper frame.

I also did get one piece of flair for the truck, a hi/low snorkel. Its a bit silly, but damnit I wanted a snorkel on my Jeep, and this kit is really slick in that there is no cutting, and the snorkel easily comes off, and then you have a neat high hood intake thats still taller than stock and looks pretty slick. And with the K&N filter and Borla exhaust, should make for fun Powertrain noises and free up a few ponies.

All this gear should be in over the next couple weeks, so last weekend in September will be a fun build day as thats the first weekend after all the stuff arrives.

All in all, i spent way less than what I did to the ‘rado for camping, but this truck and setup is really flexible and easy. I still reused most everything. And only bought a few specific things needed by Rubi to fit things in place. The bulk was spent on pleasure items like the sunrider, snorkel, and exhaust. Only the cot tent, compressor and tonneau was needed to at least match or beat the Rado across all the needs of camping, wheelin, and bringing along toys.

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Rubi_Rhod

Rubi_Rhod

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PRP seat covers are on order

And got a morale patch panel made up to break up the red and give some flair.

I also have a bunch of pins, but I think those will get pinned up on the sunshade that’s on it’s way as well.

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Rubi_Rhod

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First wash done! Quick ceramic coating today, will hit it with my favorite wax tomorrow.

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Firstly, an introduction

Names Aaron, and just picked up a 2020 Gladiator Rubicon 6MT in Sting Grey. Options are sparse and include the no cost M/T tires, Hard Top, Tow package and the proximity entry.

It’s been named Rubi Rhod by a friend and It kinda stuck. I had a few different nicknames in my notes for the Jeeps I had shortlisted to buy. In this case, I said to a friend “the Rubi” and he came back with a gif of Ruby Rhod, the sassy fictional host in the Fifth Element.

I’m also known as A-rod for I am his doppelgänger. Since 18, if I shave, I get stopped in public frequently. Really, it’s only been the wearing of masks that has stopped it. So, the goofy and charismatic Rubi Rhod just seems to stick.

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Never owned a Jeep before. But always liked em. As a gearhead and 4x4 enthusiast a Jeep was always a big toy that I wish I had a space in my garage for. But as I don’t really “wheel” or have many trail friends, I wasn’t quite incentivized to hop into a Jeep. But when they added in a pickup bed I was very interested, as what I really use often is a truck.

While I was really excited for em, having been a big fan of the Brute and even the early 2005 JK gladiator concept, my 130 mile commute didn’t allow me the luxury of 15mpg. Well, as our company and my field has basically just gone working remote and not going back, a 4x4 Jeep Truck finally made sense to replace my 85k mile 25mpg all terrain commute truck, without too many penalties.

Was originally scouting for a base sport manual with hard top, LSD and Tow package. But just an hour after I had sold my daily, a 17 Colorado Diesel CCLB, I called to place the deposit on my perfectly optioned Gator Sport 6MT, it was sold from under me!

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But not to worry, they had a backup that was exactly the same specs I wanted, just a grand cheaper as it was in a more common white paint. NOPE! That one got damaged in transit and was returned to the factory.

At that point I had only been searching for Sport trims and was going to go DIY over a few years and put in big tires, gears, lockers, as well as upgrades to the infotainment (that 5”base is a little lackluster), and other such things.

Tallying it all up, it was a good whallop. So with the two Sport’s gone, and the other three sport deals I had on the line stalled out, I thought I would look at a base Rubicon that would give me all those upgrades, and a few creature comforts.

I found a dealer in Boise that had not one, but two identical and sequentially vin’d Rubi’s with just the hard top, and tow package, and the bonus keyless unlock. So hoped in with some friends and drove 500 miles to pick one of the twins up. (Its twin I was told was taken up to Alaska by its new owner)

My Build Plan is an overland machine that works great off road, but not too big and ponderous on-road. I enjoy rowing through the gears and having a pleasant drive. I also still have to do truck stuff with it. Home Depot, light duty towing, weekend projects and the like.

Need to do what I can to keep it lean. I I live far out from town, and like to roam out of state, so don’t want too much excess weight and drag killing my performance.

Overall my build plans were really the same had I gotten the Sport. The Rubicon was just a quick way to entry for the chassis and suspension vs for DIY or shops. While I am capable and have done many things to modify my vehicles, axle work is not my forte. I also was coming from my Colorado that I had done sliders, skids, Fox 2.0 coilovers and such to. So making it easy to have like for like, and not have to do it all over again, this Rubi was a good deal for me.

While my Colorado did have ALL the luxury and premium options, I was actually excited to go to something a little more casual and simple. All the luxury in the world won’t get me unstuck, so was a happy trade to feel more confident on the trails.

I will say, proximity entry is really slick. And as it already had Push Start, just kinda completes the whole fob thing. Everything I could possibly want to equip it with (Aux switches, LEDs, leather, stereo) is all just an easy-ish accessory after the fact. And that’s all fun stuff to get as money and time become available.

So to that extent the mods will be focused to make it more practical and fit my lifestyle more than building a Jeep. At least for the near term. I think the best part of a Jeep is that they never get stale. They are a great canvas to build and have fun with, with a healthy mod community across all the generations.
Hi. Did you go to Petersons? Hope you worked with Kent Shurtleff. I got mine from him on September 4th - ordered it back in June. Sometimes that is the way to go to get exactly what you want.

What part of Washington are you in? I'm in South King County.
 

Mjolnir

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Camping

This is the fun part. I have for years wanted a Go-Fast camper, and once I decided on the Gladiator I knew it would be the right platform to finally place an order for.

This is a super light, super strong and preserves easy access to the pickup bed. A solid marriage of a heavy duty metal camper shell, and a pop-up hard shell RTT.

Its a year build queue so in the meantime, I got a folding cot tent and a Tonneau to store my gear.


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Not mine, but an example of whats to come:
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I have a GFC on order as well. Production starts in December.

Depending on your timeframe...i have another spot that is slated to start production in February if you want to move up in the que.

LMK!
 
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Rubi_Rhod

Rubi_Rhod

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I have a GFC on order as well. Production starts in December.

Depending on your timeframe...i have another spot that is slated to start production in February if you want to move up in the que.

LMK!

Dude!! That’s rad! February would be amazing as I got trips to go on this summer and I did not want to do it outta a tent. My build is scheduled for July, so that basically would put me out till the following summer.

I do believe I’m down for that! My B-day is April, so delivery would be around that time. Perfect.

We can exchange DMs and figure out logistics. Im not too sure on the leaderboard game and selling/swapping spots. :)

More GoFast Gladiators!
 
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Rubi_Rhod

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Hi. Did you go to Petersons? Hope you worked with Kent Shurtleff. I got mine from him on September 4th - ordered it back in June. Sometimes that is the way to go to get exactly what you want.

What part of Washington are you in? I'm in South King County.
I got it from Larry H Miller CJDR. I did an Autotrader search and they had the one i wanted on a truck and unclaimed.

I’m in Cle Elum. Lakes, trails and forests are my backyard here :)
 

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Rubi_Rhod

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looks gorgeous, i was trying to take a look at the webpage but is not available

Thanks!!

Oh shucks. I did at one point browse the site not too long ago, just to read their description, but I purchased it off Amazon like so many things LOL.
 

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Thanks!!

Oh shucks. I did at one point browse the site not too long ago, just to read their description, but I purchased it off Amazon like so many things LOL.
oh okey, thanks for the tips.
i cant wait to see the shade with your custom seats covers. :D keep us informed
 
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Rubi_Rhod

Rubi_Rhod

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oh okey, thanks for the tips.
i cant wait to see the shade with your custom seats covers. :D keep us informed

Definitely!!

Right after I pulled the trigger on the seats I was worried that I made a terrible mistake with the colors. I did a lot of searching for the colors on he seats, but only one or two photos. But I do believe this sunshine is the right color match, and the texture should be on point as well. Will see in a couple months once they arrive!!
 

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