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4x4tographer

4x4tographer's 2018 Jeep JLUR

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Added a few more storage options from Molle Panel Solutions. These panels use the factory hard top mount points and then heavy Velcro at the sport bar. Everything is both soft top and hardtop compatible.
 

I’ve got a tear away molle medical pouch I’ll be rigging up to it and will be adding some other smaller items such as a mag lite, and some other storage pouches.

 

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So I got a few questions about this on the last run and figured I’d share some information about this pretty nice little gadget I picked up a few months back. I’ve had a set of super cheap X-Bull traction boards since I owned my Cherokee KL and used to mount them on the Frontrunner roof rack I had installed on the KL. As for my JL, I didn’t have a good way to carry them, and when I’m loaded down with kids and gear, there’s no good place inside for them as well.

 

Someday I’m hoping to get a decent rear bumper with tire carrier, 5gal jerry can mounts, hi-lift mount, and a place to attach these traction boards - BUT - I’m not there yet, and this Rockslide Engineering EZ Rack is a great alternative with some staying power for the future as things evolve.

 

So the EZ Rack comes with 2 plates that are powder-coated and pre-drilled for popular Rotopax mounts. It attaches around the spare tire with a heavy duty ratchet strap. You can supposedly use this on a tire up to 40”!

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The pre-drilled holes give you a lot of flexibility to carry more than just Rotopax containers though. I’m thinking about grabbing a few “quick fists” for a shovel and my axe.

 

For the traction boards, I found a $2 metal plate in the building materials section at Lowes and a pair of ubolts with nuts and a plate. Probably $10 in total parts. Drilled some holes in the plate to match up with the EZ Rack and installed some bolts/nylock nuts.

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I had to modify the boards themselves by drilling a few 1/2 holes in them to fit the u-bolts and the plates. Everything is tightened down with a ratchet. I’m on the lookout for some quick-release “hand knobs” to make it easier to pull the boards off if I need to use them in a pinch. I’m not overly concerned about security seeing as how someone could steal the whole contraption by releasing the ratchet strap.

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great job Ryan!

 

could you flip your u-bolts (so the threaded end faces the tire), and then be able to fit on standard "wing nuts"? might have to shorten the u-bolts though.

 

FYI, i have those same X-Bull boards but never actually had a chance to test them - have you?

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1 hour ago, theksmith said:

great job Ryan!

 

could you flip your u-bolts (so the threaded end faces the tire), and then be able to fit on standard "wing nuts"? might have to shorten the u-bolts though.

 

FYI, i have those same X-Bull boards but never actually had a chance to test them - have you?


That’s a good idea with the wing nuts. I’d def need to shorten them. I’ve got an extra pair, I’ll have to give it a shot!

 

Fortunately, no. I’ve never had to use them. From reviews, I’ve heard they aren’t as durable as MaxTrax, but they were also 1/4 of the cost, so...... I’m hoping that if they get me out of a sticky situation a time or two, it’s money well spent!

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Reason #503 I like the JL. In-dash on demand owners manual for when you need to look something up! They built in some great shortcuts for fluids and capacities, maintenance intervals, and a nifty search function to search the entire owners manual by keyword.

 

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Posted (edited)

I felt extremely small next to this JK on 35’s and what looked like a 4” Rough Country lift.

 

In other news, she’s OFFICIALLY PAID OFF! Got my title in the mail this week. 😃
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Edited by 4x4tographer
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@4x4tographer, woo-hoo! Congrats on paying her off! That's like getting a raise, so now you can buy all the Jeep mods you want! 🥳

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congrats!!

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8 hours ago, dzJeepChic said:

@4x4tographer, woo-hoo! Congrats on paying her off! That's like getting a raise, so now you can buy all the Jeep mods you want! 🥳


Thanks!!


Right?! Now I just need to convince the boss/wife 😅

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Fresh back from a 5 day RV trip to the Flagstaff area. We lucked out and found a spot at the Luke AFB Fort Tuthill rec area that was pretty decent and really cheap. With the explosion in camping interest lately, we decided to go up on a Thursday to avoid the Covid Kids jamming the i17 on a Friday afternoon.

 

While it was a record 118 in PHX, we topped out at about 88 on Friday and had great sleeping weather in the high 50’s low 60’s every night. It. Was. Awesome!

 

Managed to convince the kids to go on a little trip down Hart Prairie Road for a picnic and some nice views of the peaks, the prairies, and some pretty awesome log cabins hidden up in the trees.

 

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We rented an RV rig for week via RVShare from a nice couple in Mesa. The model is a 2020 Winnebago Micro Minnie 1700BH (bunkhouse), perfect for a family of 4. 

 

While the RV was lovely, I will say that this thing was HEAVY. Too heavy. Dry the unit was 3100lbs, loaded with water and gear, I’m confident we ended up over the 3,500 max limit on the JLUR. Guessing 3,700-3,800lbs. We’re never going that heavy again.

 

Our saving grace was our weight distribution hitch which greatly helped to even out the load on both axles, eliminated any squat, and allowed the Jeep to confidently haul the trailer around town without any issues. We were rock solid on the highway with no sway or stability issues. The Tekonsha brake controller worked well again as well and helped to apply plenty of stopping power.

 

Where we ran into issues were the 3 notable big climbs up the i17. On all 3 our temperatures began to spike and the Jeep’s computer limited our ability to shift in order to preserve those temps. Of course, it didn’t help that the ambient temps out were 110 at the time. We ended up doing several climbs at 30-40mph in 5th gear (the JL has an 8speed) at about 3,000RPM. Coolant temps would slowly build, but as soon as we found level ground they quickly fell to a more normal range.

 

We’ll be going a lot lighter for our next trip. The RPOD we used last time, while smaller, was 1,000lbs lighter than this rig and didn’t provide any white-knuckle moments on the climb up to the high country.

 

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For the trip we picked up a new piece a gear I saw recommended by one of the overland groups I follow from time to time. The Outland 19” Propane Fire Pit that is about the same shape/size as a 19” wheel. A nice, lightweight bit of kit (majority aluminum and weighs maybe 20lbs), it stowed perfectly in the back of the Jeep and came with a nice aluminum cover and carry strap. It uses lightweight “lava rocks” and comes with several bags worth for you to “customize your pit” with as many as you like. It uses a standard propane hose (10ft) and connects to any large propane tank. PERFECT for when we’re in fire season as you can turn it on and off on demand, with the ability to adjust the intensity/size of your burn.

 

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Here’s some more photos from the trip. We did a few light hikes and came across a lot of burn piles from the crews up there thinning out the fuel. These “teepees” were stacked up everywhere and the kids loved imagining what they were for. 

 

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