Jeep Wrangler: Don’t Fear The Mud

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2018 Wrangler Rubicon Manual

Jeep Invited Us To Off Road!

We were lucky enough to go off roading with Jeep to check out their newest lineup including the updated 2018 Wrangler, Sahara and Rubicon, and 2019 Cherokee, Trailhawk and Overland.  Off roading is something that we grew up around, living in the middle of nowhere, but we never did ourselves.  We do have a 95 Grand Cherokee, but no mud tires or skid plates.  So, being able to experience the all new 2018 Wranglers at Cliffs Insane Terrain is something we could not miss. 

So, thanks to the crazy April snowstorm the trails were wet and slick with mud.  Something we don’t ever experience living in the suburbs.  The trails though were way more than we anticipated.  With the first run we rode in the Sahara to get a feel for the trails and what to expect.  Only for us to encounter mud that while deep generally lets you keep crawling along.  Those ruts will suck you in, but they won’t beat you up and keep you moving on the trail.  The problem is that when those trails intersect the ruts were soft trying to suck us into a different trail.  In the end the tires and treads on the Sahara were shorter and less aggressive than the Rubicon.   2018 Sahara Wrangler

Crab Walking Is Not Just On The Beach

Thus, we got to experience some winches in action as the mud caused us to crab walk right into a fork in the road.  When we finally got free, we see the hole is as deep as the tire stuck inside.  The upside is that when you off road with Jeeps, you’re never truly stuck.  The new Wrangler Rubicon has eTorque which allows the winch system to be separate from the main engine.  So it will not cause engine strain when you use it to tow someone out of the mud.  

When we finally got done with our first run, supposed to last 20 minutes, but is closer to 90 minutes because that mud kept picking new targets.  We had learned that listening to the Jeep guides is paramount, but that trusting the Wrangler is the key.  Those Wranglers can handle way more than we imagined.  We had the chance to ride along with one of the parks’ owners and that experience is beyond what we had all day.  The angles are steeper, he pushes the limits of the trail by climbing more obstacles and driving them at angles we think impossible.  We shot video of our first experience off roading. 

Overall, we learned that we shouldn’t be afraid of that mud.  We were inexperienced, but the ruts in those trails will keep you on track.  Something we really believed after tackling the gulch in the Trailhawk.  That run truly felt like a roller coaster as we rounded the curve which dropped blind straight down, unable to see the trail at all.  Thankfully our guide had told us to start high and let it drop down into the grooves.  2019 Cherokee Trailhawk

More Than Just The Wranglers

Knowing that you can tackle steep climbs as long as you don’t let off the gas is beyond what we expected.  After all such a steep hill seems impossible on foot.  Yet, up you go with Wranglers roving around down below.  I did have the best parking spot all day as, our Cherokee Trailhawk ended up with the back wheel off the ground.  That is part of the beauty of a Jeep, you can go places you’ve never been before. 

There is so much more that we will be sharing with you in the following weeks.  We did focus on the Wrangler, but we also had fun with the Trailhawk and the Overland.  Mostly we still can’t believe we got to off road with Jeep.  I cannot recommend it enough.  Nothing else at 5mph is anywhere near as fun except maybe Camp Jeep at the Chicago Auto Show.  Either way we definitely want to see what else a Jeep can do. 

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