In the first edition of “Roadtripping a lifted Jeep,” I discussed the lack of legroom. Now I want to go over some of the other shortcomings. To spoil the ending I still love my Jeep and will still drive it on long road trips across the country.
The average noise in my JL as equipped is 89DB. That is at 60 MPH cruising down the highway. At that level, you should not be exposed to it for more than 2 hours without hearing protection. Between mud terrain tires, average Jeep wind noise, and minimal interior insulation it’s easy to break the safe noise level of 85 DB.
Fighting the Wind
As time has passed with each new iteration of the Wrangler they have become more aerodynamic. As long as Jeep stays with the current configuration, and we hope they never change it, the Wrangler will never be efficient when it comes to aero. A stiff side wind does cause the Jeep to list a bit like a ship at sea. Add to that equation a lift, some larger tires, and any accessories that are blocky and bulky and you have made the situation even less efficient.
Driving with Larger Tires
When you go from the stock 32 or 33-inch tires to a larger 37 you give up a few things and you gain a few things. Not all of which are positive.
You gain stopping distance. There is not a hard and fast rule for how much longer it takes to stop when swapping between tire sizes. Too many unknowns to accurately calculate it. Tires are not the same weight, diameter, and rubber compounds are different. What I will say is larger heavier tires take longer to stop. So leave extra following space when traveling on the highway.
Steering accuracy is reduced. Those large contact patches, massive sidewalls, and blocky tread that are so helpful off-road are less than ideal on road. They add vagueness to the steering, giving you a wandering feel and reducing the accuracy of your inputs.
Like mentioned in the first paragraph larger tires are noisy. Some more than others but even the quietest mud-terrain tire is louder than the average passenger car tire.
The Unlimited Wrangler was a leaps and bounds upgrade to the standard 2 door in terms of storage, towing, and overall space.
The cargo area is a basic simple box. Once you stack past the height of the tailgate it’s a delicate balance of tying things down so they don’t fly around, being able to see behind you and packing everything in the vehicle. There’s just enough room to not be enough sometimes.
A Lot of Negatives
So I have spent two separate articles now talking about all of the bad things about roadtripping a lifted Jeep. In the next article, I plan to refute everything and explain why despite all of the things I have said a lifted Jeep is still my favorite vehicle to take somewhere. It all down to some very specific reasons.