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Worldwide Go Topless Day on May 3rd, 2008 was an international success. View our customer photo album, filled with topless Jeeps here.


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A Jeep Love Affair Part 2: Bargain Hunting


One Girl's Journey...
A Jeep Love Affair Part 2: Bargain Hunting

I have always driven used cars. I'm a bargain hunter, a good New England girl. The high that people get from "that new car smell" has always been lost on me. To me, a car should have history. I like trying to figure out who the previous owner was, why they loved and eventually sold my beast. My very first car, a gift for my 18th birthday, would have been completely undriveable to anyone else, but I loved it. My 13-year-old Chevy Cavalier had most definitely -- if movies are to be trusted -- been the vehicle of low level drug runner. It had a false bottom; the trunk key was fake and no amount of lock picking ever opened it. It had a NO FEAR windshield decal and crown air freshener on the dashboard -- details I left intact as evidence of my car's previous life where it took more exciting trips that carting me to my job at the mall. How did I find this gem? A guy one of my sisters was dating, who may or may not have had mob connections, "found" it for me.

Car #2 was willed to me when my grandmother passed away. It still had her CB radio in it, which she used to chat with truckers. I bought car #3 from my mother's boyfriend's sister; a free spirited woman about whom my mother told funny stories. All of these cars had three things in common: 1. I loved them 2. They had great times with their previous owners 3. (This is the important one) I didn't buy them. Not until the Subaru wagon I currently drive, did I actually go somewhere and negotiate a price with a stranger. I got a pretty good deal because the dealer, who primarily dealt in Toyota pickups, regretted taking it in as a trade as his customers had no interest. He was friendly without being pushy, and I walked away with a good feeling after working with him. I also had an insurace check from the death of #3 for the bulk of the price, so there was no need to discuss financing.

So, Jeep hunting I went. No insurance check, no mobster gifts, I'd have to get some kind of loan. For my bank to give us an auto loan, the car would need to have fewer than 70,000 miles and be newer than 2003. It's a small bank and they have to be careful -- I don't blame them. However, that pushes a rig just out of my price range. I don't want to spend too much for something I plan to put beat up on the trail. So I checked into dealer financing. After one promising test drive last weekend, the dealer told me the best she could do was 28% APR -- despite good credit and a 15% downpayment. Another rig at a different lot was nearly perfect, but I didn't like the particular guy with whom we had been working. Had I dealt with any of the other salesmen who offered their help during the 45 minutes it took him to find keys and a plate, I might have even paid something as ridiculous as 28%. I just couldn't give him my money. Nothing else I saw really spoke to me. Needless to say, I am still Jeepless.

I know that somewhere out there is a rig that runs well, being sold by a likeable salesperson who can offer me an interest rate lower than my age. There is a Wrangler with personality, a great story and an I-6 engine just waiting for me. I just have to find it...

EDITOR NOTE: If you can help Corinne, our new Customer Service Manager find her perfect Jeep, post here. She needs help!

Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

Amazing Jeep Owners-Jackie and her Hula Hoops


Remember those worksheets in grade school where you looked at a list of names or phrases and said which one did not belong, which one is not part of the group? Okay, here's one.

Off-Roading, Camping, Rock Crawling, Hula-Hooping, Mud-Bogging.

Which one does not belong? Did you say Hula Hooping. That's what I thought until I met one of our customers on our All Things Jeep Twitter page ( ).

Meet Jackie, from Hoop Du' Jour,

 hoops dujour jackie


We've seen her around the web and asked her to send us a note about her business. The note is below. One thing I didn't realize until I read this is that Jackie is only 15 years old! Already has her own business and already knows she's driving a Jeep in just a few short months. Frankly, I'm impressed. 

"I found out about hoop dancing through my mom and started hooping when I was 13. My mom goes to this big event every year called Burning Man where basically all the free spirited people who like to have fun, set up camp in the desert once a year for a week and have themed camps and parties. Burning man has tons of people doing what we call, hoop dancing or hooping. So once I picked up my hoop I fell in love with it, since it's so much fun and is an amazing source of fitness for your body.

custom made hula hoops

Once I started hooping and getting my hoops through other people I started having my own cool ideas for hoop colors and designs. So I had an amazing idea that I should start my own business making hula hoops and teaching as a Certified Hoop Dance Instructor. I went to a 3 day intensive teacher training with the amazing company HoopGirl, and became a certified hoopdance teacher.

Now I am currently a few weeks away from turning 15 years old, and I am an owner of my hoop business, Hoop Du' Jour and I am a certified hoop dance teacher. I absolutely love hooping and all the oppurtunities it gives me, with doing what I love and being able to work at such a young age.

As for Jeeps, my first Jeep obsession started young, when I saw Lorelei Gilmore's 1999 Jeep Wrangler in my favorite show 'Gilmore Girls'. Then, my dad's girlfriend had a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and we went driving everywhere together with the top down and the doors off and I fell in love! I'm so incredibly excited to start driving in about 6 months and get my very own Jeep Wrangler next year! Hooping and Jeeps are my two great loves, and of course! Maybe in the future I could start a Jeep HoopGroup and we could go off-roading and hooping on our adventures!

Thanks so much for wanting to learn more about me! I absolutely LOVE you guys and your business! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!!"

After reading Jackie's note I'm also thinking of ordering a few "hoops". Seems like a great activity to do when I need a break from my desk while at the office. So long as a video doesn't make it up onto Youtube, I'll be all set.

Thanks for sharing with us Jackie. You are inspiring!



Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

The Future of the Jeep Brand is in Michael's hands


Today on,

Chrysler Group LLC Announces Organizational Structure Focused on Chrysler, Jeep(R), Dodge and Mopar(R) Brands

- Sergio Marchionne to Serve as Chief Executive Officer

- Global Brand Structure to Bring Leadership Closer to Employees and Customers

- Commercial, Industrial and Corporate Staffs to Support Brand Organization

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- As Chrysler Group LLC prepares to begin operations, the new company formed in alliance with Fiat announced an organizational restructuring to focus on the Chrysler, Jeep(R), Dodge and Mopar(R) brands. The new leaner, flatter structure is intended to restore brand promise and dealer confidence. All appointments are effective immediately.

"I personally feel privileged to have the opportunity to lead the new Chrysler and to work with senior management to build this company and our great brands into all we know they can and should be," said Sergio Marchionne, who today was named Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Group LLC. "That effort starts with leadership."

Chrysler Group's new organization is based on a global brand-focused structure comprised of the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Mopar brands, each with full profit and loss accountability. Common Commercial, Industrial and Corporate functions have been put in place to support the development, manufacture, distribution and sale of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge products and Mopar parts by the brand organizations.

"The new company's leadership structure has been developed to rebuild and grow the four iconic Chrysler brands," said Mr. Marchionne. "With a flattened organization designed to give leaders broad spans of control, we are able to increase the speed of decision-making and improve communication flow, ultimately bringing Chrysler Group management and employees closer to our customers."

To assist the new company in the transition, Jim Press is appointed Deputy CEO and Special Advisor, reporting to Mr. Marchionne. In this position, Mr. Press will be instrumental in the restructuring of the Chrysler Group LLC. Mr. Press served most recently as Chrysler LLC Vice Chairman & President.

Brand and Commercial Organizations

Mr. Marchionne added: "The focus of the Brand organization is to rebuild and grow the company's four brands, beginning with their strong heritage. The structure is designed to focus on external competition, avoiding product overlap while maintaining the highest possible level of industrial optimization. The new company will align its networks with the brand positions, to restore brand promise and dealer confidence."

In support of the Chrysler Group's brand operations, the company announced the following appointments reporting to Mr. Marchionne:

...Michael Manley is appointed President & Chief Executive Officer, Jeep Brand, with full profit and loss responsibility for the Jeep product portfolio. Mr. Manley will also have enterprise-wide responsibility for the Product Planning organization with responsibility for coordinating the product plan and volume requirements of the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brand functions. He will work with the other brand Presidents to translate these into operating plans for the product development and manufacturing organizations. Mr. Manley served most recently as Executive Vice President, International Sales & Global Product Planning Operations. ..."

So I did a search on Michael Manley's name and found this bio:

Two things to note.

1. He had a big job ahead of him

2. He's younger than me.

Good luck to him.  

Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

A Jeep Love Affair - One Girl's Journey

One Girl's Journey From Wannabe to Jeeper
Part 1

My love affair with Jeeps began as a little girl. My sister, 10 years my senior, drove a red YJ in my childhood. I would do just about anything to earn a ride, top off and Salt n' Peppa on the stereo -- usually, it meant doing her chores or helping cover her latest lie to our parents. By the age of 9, I had become both a master bed maker and liar. Fast forward to a few weeks ago. My love of Jeeps was as strong as ever, despite the fact that I'd never bitten the bullet and bought one. For me, Jeeps had become like the cute punk boy in the bar that you don't think you're quite cool enough to approach. However, in the brief time I've been working at the Jeep gift store, All Things Jeep, I've learned that all you need to be cool enough to be a Jeeper is to love Jeeps. Guess I qualify.

Last weekend, Mike from our warehouse took me on a trail ride with his jeep club, JonFund. It was like the world's slowest but most exciting roller coaster ever; physics aren't necessarily going to keep you safe in a 4x4. The other drivers were just as much fun. There was a group dynamic of taking care of each other and genuinely wanting to see every other driver succeed which was unlike anything I've seen. Like the folks at ATJ, everyone was genuinely excited to meet me just because I liked Jeeps, too. I quickly realized that owning a daily driver Jeep just wouldn't be good enough -- I had found my new favorite thing to do and I would need a rig that could handle it.

I've done my research, talked to my coworkers at ATJ and my new friends from JonFund, and compiled the following list of requirements for my double duty off-road rig/daily driver:

Jeep TJ -- Despite Mike's undying love of his XJ, I want the openness of a Wrangler. I just can't afford a JK. I don't think I have the skills to restore and modify a CJ, but someday I will. So, the decision between TJ and YJ came down to the TJ's move away from the leaf spring suspension -- coils just provide a much smoother ride on the highway. Less importantly, I prefer the look of the round headlights.

Manual Transmission -- Definitely a personal choice thing. Lots of people on different boards swear by their automatic transmission, but there's just so much more control with a manual. NB: Automatic transmission are more expensive to replace.

Never Been Off-Road -- If you've already beaten it up off road, I don't want it. I want to be the one to beat it up! I've become extremely wary of tow hooks and lifts, even if I know they were only added for show.

V6 Engine -- Bad ass girls drive bad ass toys. Enough said.

So, over the next few (insert undetermined unit of time) I'll be keeping track of everything from the test drives, to the modifications and into hitting the trail. Be you novice or experienced, come along with me. It'll be fun.

Next time: The first test drives and dealing with the dealer.Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

Free Jeep Hat Giveaway at


Well, it's that Dads and Grads time, and if you are like me, you are wishing you didn't have to come up with something thoughtful and clever to send to your favorite Dad or Grad. It's busy enough this time of year without having to be thoughtful.

So we are making it easy for you. Pick up anything you need for yourself at and if you spend $25 or more, we'll toss in a Free Jeep Hat absolutely free (oops, guess I already said that.) And the hat is a cool one, so any Jeep Dad or Grad will be happy with it.

So yes, this Jeep blog article is nothing more than a promotional blurb about our latest promotion. Sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Here's the Free Jeep Cap for Dad's Day. (You get to choose the color.)

 Free Jeep Hats

Here's the page where you add it to your shopping cart for free (with your $25 purchase)

Here's our favorite picks for terrific Father's Day Gifts for Jeep Dads.

Supplies are limited on the hats. Promo is over when they are sold out. Thanks!


Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

Jeep Tents? Anyone?


We are getting many a request for Jeep tents. Does anyone have any experience with these? Tents aren't like t-shirts where you drop $20 on them and if they don't fit, you shove it in the back of the closet. They are expensive items that need to be extremely functional. You live in them, for godsakes. So I'm really leary of carrying this line unless I hear from existing users that they are top notch in quality, durability, longevity, etc. Hey, if you own one, tell me your thoughts! I thank you.

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We got balls.


Sorry, bad joke, I know. It's after midnight and we are waking up really early tomorrow AM to have a yard sale at our house and try and sell some of our junk (to make room for more junk.) And, as they say, "one man's trash..." And I guess I'm just over tired and making stupid jokes.

In any case, our customers with dogs have been asking for these for months and we couldn't get our hands on them but the vendor finally shipped to us and we have at least 50 sets. So if your pooch likes to play ball, and you have an affinity for camo Jeep stuff, we got balls.

Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

JP Freek Magazine - New Issue Out and we're in it!


I've blogged about this magazine before. It's JP Freek Adventure Magazine. A super read.  I don't know if I read it for the articles or the photos, they are both so good. But there's good news and bad news and better news about it.

The Good News first...  It's FREE to read it. Click the logo below to read it yourself.

The Bad News second... You have to read it online (but if you are reading this, it means you have a computer and are probably ok with that) OR print it out on your own printer (and it's a hefty magazine.) It's not yet available in a printed version.  I don't really find this to be extraordinarily bad news, but sometimes it's just great to go the mailbox, open it up and pull out the newest glossy issue of your favorite magazine. It's a perfect excuse to sit out on the deck with your favorite beverage and relax and read a bit. This magazine requires a bit more effort. (But again, WORTH IT!)

The VERY BEST NEWs - Our Go Topless Day in May MADE IT INTO THE Magazine in the current issue! Yeah us. And I must say, the photo spread is way better than anything I put together. We're on page 11 of the PDF file and 20 something in the online read. Check it out.

ALSO - and MOST IMPORTANT - subscribe to this fabulous outdoor adventure magazine. It's free and it's fun. What more could you ask?

Subscribe to JPFREEK Adventure Magazine here:

Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

One Day for the Red Cross



One Day for the Red Cross

Despite often complaining about the weather here in New England (too hot and sticky in the summer, too cold in the winter, yada yada yada) we live in heaven compared to the current situation over in the midwest. So when a member of a forum I'm a part of suggested donating some money to the Red Cross to help the victims of the floods, we jumped in. This is a forum of small e-commerce store business owners like us. Each one runs a personalize business and each one is a passionate about what they do as we are. The official announcement of our plans is below, but we wanted to roll it out early so the bottom line is this.

From today, through July 1st, we will donate 5% of any purchase you make at to the Red Cross to help the victims of the recent floods. Thank you.


On Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 All Things Jeep, along with over 15 other e-commerce sites is donating a portion of our sales for that day to American Red Cross.

The American Red cross is currently in desperate need of funds for relief efforts for the Midwest Floods. Every purchase made at All Things Jeep and at the stores listed below on July 1st, 2008 will result in a donation to the American Red Cross. The percentage at each store will vary. For our part, All Things Jeep will be donating 5% of all merchandise sales. The more you buy, the more you give.

So shop at All Things Jeep today! We are sure you will find something you need (or at least want!) And what a better time to buy. And check-out our buddies below. Each of these sites is a small business, run by people like us.

For more information on the American Red Cross visit

"If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it."

- Lucy Larcom, American poet (1826-1893)


On July 1st, please visit the following retailers participating in One Day for the Red Cross on :

All Things Jeep ( Great gifts & accessories for Jeep & Off-Road enthusiasts at All Things Jeep! ( - Breast Pumps and Breastfeeding supplies.

Bride's Village ( - An extraordinary selection of wedding accessories & attendants gifts.

Bright and Bold ( - Modern home decor and accessories.

Calypso Parrot ( - A tropical parrot-themed gift store for all parrot lovers

Fitness Organica ( - Hard-to-find fitness and yoga DVDs from around the world.

Gourmet Parrot ( - Natural and organic gourmet parrot foods and supplements.

Greek for Me ( - A Greek Store for fraternity and sorority merchandise.

Katbird ( -Katbird offers Laurel Burch cat & Alley Cat collectibles and jewelry for the cat lover.

Lolita Martini Glasses ( featuring the beautiful and whimsical martini glassware envisioned by Tracy Healy and brought to life by Santa Barbara Ceramic Design

Lolita Wine Glasses ( Featuring the beautiful and whimsical wine glasses designed by Tracy Healy and brought to life by Santa Barbara Ceramic Design.

My Gowns ( - Gowns, dresses, petticoats & wedding accessories. For everything but "I do".

Nature Chest ( - A full line exotic bird store for all parrots and their people.

Painted Kiwi ( - Here you'll find Life is Good stuff, Liv'n Out Loud! Clothing, Mismatched Socks, and other colorful products that are playful and fun.

Self Expressions ( ) - Breast Pumps and Breastfeeding supplies. ( - The highest quality and best choice of shower curtains. ( - Great scrapbooking gifts for the beginner, expert or indulge yourself.

Shop the Gift Basket Store ( - Shop The Gift Basket Store for Birthday Gifts, Get Well Gifts, Corporate Gifts, Gourmet Baskets.

Shakespeare's Den ( - Smart Gifts for Intelligent People. Celebrating great thinkers and the people who love them.

Tree Hollow Toys ( - Offering eco-friendly, green toys that are USA made, European made, and fair trade, or sweatshop-free.

Top Notch Gift ( . Top Notch Gift has a great selection of outdoor games for the whole family.

Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

PA Jeep Show - July 19-20th, York, PA


This time of year we start scouring the warehouse for clearance merchandise, returns, items with weird defects that are still functional and end of life product, and we pile it all together in about 50 bins and shove it into our trailer and take it down to the ALL BREEDS JEEP SHOW in York, PA for our closeout section. This is a weekend affair and it's the biggest show we go to. There's over 500 registered Jeeps each year along with lots of others that don't register. There are vendors galore (like us), Jeep addicts galore (like us), lots of great raffle prizes and enough fast food to keep the lines to the bathroom constant.

But seriously, this is an awesome show. Even with gas prices the way they are, you are a Jeep guy or gal or Jeep family and you want a weekend event that will dazzle your Jeep senses, make the drive. You won't be disappointed.

We load this thing up with inventory:

And set it up at the show. It is so Utterly Exhausting working all day and so Incredibly exhilarating meeting everyone and seeing our old friends. It's just great. If anyone wants to come by the warehouse and help us pack up the trailer over the next two weeks, just let me know!Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

Jeep Clothes for Guys


Over the next two months, we are introducing a new line of Jeep apparel for guys and women. The designs really ROCK! So I've decided that each time we add a new design, I am going to offer our blog readers 50% off the shirt for a week's period. I figure this will be a good way to get the new designs out into the marketplace. And since I'm the boss, I don't have to ask permission from anyone!

Here's the first. It's a men's tee. I made up the name. We call it  Jeep 41 "Grey Forest" Men's Tee-Shirt. What would you call it?

If you like it, and would buy it for $18, but would rather pay $9 (and who wouldn't?), click on it below, add it to your shopping cart, and enter the coupon code: COOL-BLOG-READER at checkout and it will turn into a $9 tee. (And here in Taxachusetts, that is like 2 whole gallons of gasoline you've just earned!)

If you don't like it, I'll try again with another design next week. Maybe you'll like that one better!Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

It's a Jeep thing, they didn't understand


I'm sitting in the Chicago airport waiting to get home to Massachusetts. I've been away for a week. First at a 2-day Users Conference from the makers of the software we use to pack and ship your orders. Next, I was at Internet Retailer Conference for 3 days. That show is amazing. Here I am sitting in workshops next to the guys that run the websites for FTD Flowers, Lands End, Oriental Trading Company, Cabelas, etc. Boy, do I feel small. But everyone I spoke with was slightly in awe of the fact that a company could survive selling nothing but Jeep items. They all eyed me suspiciously and kept asking, "don't you sell anything else?". "Nope, I would reply, "just jeep stuff." And they would shake their heads in amazement. Obviously, they don't get it! There were plenty of other little guys too - one dude that sells just Mustang stuff, one guy that only sells light bulbs, and another one selling just Defibrillators. There's some cool stuff out there.

I sure learned a lot this past week. And I hope to implement some of the stuff I picked up on our website over the next few months. So hopefully you'll see a "tune-up" soon. Meanwhile, here I set, on the floor, back up against the wall, working away on my notebook PC and patiently waiting for the plane to show up.

Happy Father's Day to the Dads out there!   Jean

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Just Say No to Windshield Channels!


Quick lesson in summer tops for your Jeep 1995-2006.  (Lesson one is for those new to the idea. It's basic. Lesson two is for all Wrangler 95-06 owners.)

Lesson 1. You need attachment points up front to hold a summertime-type top in place. Whether it's  Bestop Bikini Top or a Rampage "Summer Brief" or "Island Topper", or another vendor's top, you need anchor points up front for the top. So you need a windshield channel. With older Jeeps, you end up having to drill these metal strips into the frame of your Jeep above your windshield. (You have an old Jeep, who cares if there's a few more holes in it!) For the medium-aged Jeeps, you often can choose between a drill-in windshield channel or a "header" windshield channel. The Header version "clamps" onto your frame so you don't have to drill any holes. It's bigger and bulkier because of the hardware used to hold your top in place, and more expensive. For the newest Jeeps, manufacturers just produceheader style channels. Guess they figure you don't want to go drilling any holes in your new Jeep.

But when you want to move back to your softop or hardtop, the windshield channel needs to be removed, which takes a few minutes (and longer in the rain) and stored and it just takes more time than I ever want to give it.

Lesson 2. If you are a lucky owner of a 85-06 Wrangler, you can run with a summer top and leave the windshield channels behind with this awesome product we just came across --- the SpiderWeb ShadeTop for Jeep Wrangler YJs, TJs, LJs, 1995-2006 Check out the attachment points - bungee-style connectors. No more windshield channel needed. We think this is a Very Clever Idea.

And it looks pretty darn cool too.

But the thing I like best about the Shadetop is this. If no one's in the backseat, you can drop the back of the top down to create a windbarrier. Cuts the wind and the noise from the wind. Makes for much quieter cabin.

This baby also can sit under any other top you want to put on your Jeep. So you don't have to deal with removing it every time. I like that. A lot.  $60

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Jeep Beach Towels - We got 'em!


It's supposed to be a lovely 92 degrees this weekend here in town (luckily I'll be in an air conditioned building all weekend in lovely Chicago learning more about running an online business.) But for you poor souls who will be baking, may I suggest you hit the beach with one of these! Big enough to cover you up. Fluffy enough to dry you off. And you can't miss the Jeep logo. Who knows, you may meet some new Jeep-loving hottie just by using this towel.

Jeep Beach Towels  (I like the green best)

Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

Welcome Mike from JonFund


We have a new employee. His name is Mike. He's owned Jeeps for a real long time and he spends his weekends wheelin' and cleaning trails and working with JonFund. He owns a Cherokee and seems to know them inside and out. So I'm signing him up to answer some questions here. You have a Jeep Cherokee question that you haven't figured out, ask it here. I told him that besides picking and packing orders, I've signed him up to be the XJ expert. He rolled his eyes a bit but I know he'll make us proud!

Written & Sponsored by and its employees.

My Favorite Jeep Wrangler JK 2007-2008 Accessories


My daily driver is a 2007 4 door Jeep Wrangler JK and I've looked at a LOT of JK products over the last year. Because of the popularity of the new Jeeps, vendors are coming out with new product right and left. There's a lot of "Bling" but I prefer function. So for all the new Jeep owners who are driving their first Jeep with the JKs, I thought I'd put together my list of suggested products for the 2-door and 4-door Jeep Wranglers 07-08. It's a small list, but personally, these were the first accessories I purchased (alright, I actually swiped them out of inventory) and use regularly. When the question arises, "What accessories do I need first?", my answer is these ones.  (I've posted links to the 4-door version of these products, but there are also 2-door versions available.)

Here is my list of 3 FUNCTIONAL JEEP WRANGLER JK ACCESSORIES for daily drivers. I love them all.

1.  The Jeep Wrangler Cloverpatch Window Roll - There's one for the 2 door and one for the 4 door and one for all Wranglers that came before the JKs. This product is indispensible. I can take my windows out of the softop, roll them in this simple bag (with felt pieces sandwiching the windows) and store them compactly and well protected. This allows two things. First, when it gets cold, or starts to rain, my windows are with me and can be re-inserted. Second, the kids, dog and assorted other stuff fit alongside the WindowRoll. Everything fits! Bob at Cloverpatch invented a good product with this one. Thanks Bob. ($78.99 and worth it!)

(the windows are in that little bag on top of the softop in the photo below)

2. You may have heard - kids and dog. This means that the inside of my Jeep gets wrecked quickly. So I got a set of Jeep Wrangler JK Neoprene Seat Covers right from the get-go. They look good. They are waterproof so my cushioned seats stay dry and they can be cleaned. I try and just vacuum them and not deal with taking them on and off. But after a particular wet-dog-fur-filled weekend I tossed them in the wash and they came out like new. (I got solid black to hide as much black dog fur as possible.) These will set you back $300 for a whole set but I think they are worth it. And these ones come with a Lifetime Warranty so seriously, the company will replace them if you any problems with them.


3. Ready to Go Topless? Then you need a summer top to keep the sun from turning you beet red. It's great to ride in an open air Jeep but I prefer not getting burned along the way. So I like the Rampage Products Combo Brief/Topper with Pocket for Wrangler JK 07/08 4 Door Unlimited

($59.99 for Mesh. $99 for Solid Black) OK, here's the scoop on this product. First, the price is fantastic compared to other vendor's products. Second, it zips across the middle of it (kinda like those cargo pants that were popular with kids a few years back). Zipped up, it is a full-length top, covering the front and back seats. Unzipped, it covers the front seats only. Third, (I love this one), there's built-in mesh zippered pockets in the two front corners. They are decent size, too, fitting your camera, cell phone, water bottle, wallet, small windbreaker, maps, etc. So you and your passenger can easily grab these items when you need them and they won't be flying around the backseat. Let's face it, Jeeps aren't known for built-in storage!

I'm in the process of "evaluating" two other product lines which are, again, functional. I'm looking at netting solutions for the cargo area so Sierra (aformentioned black lab pup) can hang back there and not jump out. We carry a line of Jeep Nets from Raingler which are super rugged and great for the trail. I don't know that I need something as performance-driven as these so I am looking for alternatives and will report back. (But if you want the best out there, check these out.)

Also want to get myself a car cover so when the top is down and I'm leaving the Jeep outside overnight, I can throw a simple cloth cover on the cab area to keep out the pollen, dew (and spiders.) We have a few vendors. I'm going to see which one I like and let you know.


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The Great American Roadtrip


When I was a kid, growing up in the smooth, old mountains of southeast Tennessee, my father taught school.  This gave him fantastic latitude to take the family on some lengthy vacations.  It was nothing for us to pile everyone and everything into the vehicle de jour -- from a big old station wagon to one of a pair of International Harvester Scouts -- and hit the road.  Sometimes it was to spend a few weeks at my grandparents' house on the west coast of Florida, while other times it was to go camping for a week or two atop Suck Creek Mountain.  Those are terrific memories for me, and probably a big part of shaping the "me" I've become.

Throughout my adulthood, I've tried to keep that tradition alive.  I've loaded the family up in whatever Family Truckster was in the driveway, and taken drives from Missouri to Yosemite, the southwestern desert, the Smokies, Niagara Falls, the outer banks of North Carolina, and gazillions of places in between.  The biggest concern with that kind of trip was ensuring there was a place to lay our heads as we made those big drives.  Fuel was cheap, and the shared experience of seeing the ground at... well, ground level... instead of from 35,000 feet was well worth the slower pace of the travel.  I mean, how are you gonna stop the aircraft to see the world's largest prairie dog?  (which is located in Oakley KS, just in case you were wondering)

For almost a year, I've been trying to come up with a cunning plan to get away for an extended roadtrip.  After all that planning, I'm just shy of a week away from loading the family up, and heading out for three weeks of driving in the northwest quarter of America.  And to complete this dream trip, I've bought the vehicle I always wanted for this kind of journey - a Jeep Wrangler.  In addition to seeing a part of the country I've never experienced, I wanted to be able to turn left (or right) at an appropriate place, and enjoy the dust stirred up by traveling on a dirt road, or the thrill of climbing a rock or two along the way.  There's no better way to enjoy this country than from ground level, and what better way to make that trek than in an American classic!

So why, with escalating fuel prices, would I put a low fuel mileage Jeep Wrangler under me, and make its maiden voyage a big ol' drive of over 5000 miles?  Because it's the right thing to do.  I learned so much from my folks on journeys like this, and have wonderful memories of those travels.  I wanted my daughter to have the same experiences, and I wasn't about to let the price of fuel stand in the way of teaching those lessons.  You just can't put a price on that kind of family adventure.

Jean has graciously invited me to write about this twice-half-cross-country journey, taking the readers of the All Things Jeep Blog along for the ride.  I intend to post some words and pictures from the road - partially travelogue, and partially Jeep-a-logue - every day or two.  This is my first Jeep, and I'm sure there'll be plenty for me to learn.  I hope I can pass along a tip or two learned the hard way, and I look forward to exchanging notes through the blog as we travel westward, and then eastward.

So, if you're out west during June, and you happen to see a Jeep Green Wrangler Unlimited with Missouri plates toolin' down the road, stuffed to the gills with luggage and gear, watch for a wave, and maybe we'll get a chance to stop and share a cup of coffee.  Happy trails!

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You've never done this in your Jeep


You've never done this in your Jeep. Completely un-Jeep related but someone passed it to me today and I had to pass it on.



Written & Sponsored by and its employees.
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