JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
"Not all those who wander are lost"
Today was beautiful. Blue skies sprinkled with full white clouds, the smells of springtime in the air, and nothing but nature for as far as the eye could see.
A friend and I took to the back trails of Big Bear and although I've been on these same trails many times before, today they were something special. Today they represent freedom. The freedom to say what I want to say. The freedom to do what I want to do, and of course the freedom to go where I want to go.
All that freedom wasn't actually free though. There was a cost, a big cost and this weekend we have the honor of remembering the great men and women who served and ultimately paid that cost with their lives.
I can't think of a more honorable death than the one given for the lives of others. This Memorial Day I am thankful for my God, my Country and my Countrymen that gave their lives to secure the freedom that we all share day in and day out here in America.
This year spend time remembering with celebration. Spend it with friends and family. Spend it outside, soaking in the beauty of nature. Spend it by taking full advantage of every minute, so the men and women that gave their lives didn't do it for nothing.
Happy Memorial Day and God bless America.
No, really, I had every intention on putting the new TeraFlex JK Front Epic Bumper on Scott's new Rubicon when we bought it. Then I unwrapped it and fell in love all over again!
So, the crew over here at CoolGuyStuff.tv have put together a few options for our Jeeps. They are all used as daily drivers too. It's all about the Jeep life after all, right?
Scott was the lucky one that bought the 2015 JKU Rubicon and it is beautiful. The idea is to walk through the build with everyone to show exactly what a "normal" Jeep owner can actually do to customize their Jeep almost all own their own. Now, because it's a Rubicon we want to use high end stuff to do to the build. It's already so nice to use anything less the the best would be a downgrade. That brings us to TeraFlex.
TeraFlex is a brand that's known for much more than just their quality. The brand has carved out a place in the industry that through great products, great customer service, and fun manages to invite Jeep folk into their ecosystem, much like Apple does in consumer electronics. I know we love them here!
Ok, back to it. A lift, the HD tire carrier replacement kit and a good plan later...it was bumper time!
When the bumper was delivered I happened to be the only one around, and man did that ever work out perfectly for me!
I unwrapped the bumper and instantly new there was NO WAY this wasn't going on my Jeep! It was way better in person than any pics I've seen. I think I just stood back admiring it for quite some time after the unboxing. Then it hit me...I better hustle if I want to get this bumper installed before anyone else showed up!
The install was an easy one! A one man job for sure. Not the kind of one man job that has you sprawled out under your Jeep holding one end of the bumper with your foot, the other with your hands and trying to bolt things down with your teeth either, it's a real one man job!
It took me about 15 minutes to remove the old bumper, and another 15 to install the TeraFlex Epic Bumper, it's an easy 8 bolt install. Once it was on...I had to contain myself from my excitement long enough to drop the winch in. (Make sure you know if you if your winch requires the offset or center mount bumper). The winch is installed and now it's time to soak in the sexiness of this bumper!
There's such a difference in design and manufacturing from anything I've ever had before. Everything about the TeraFlex bumper seems to be a step up from the norm. Even the powder coating was nicer than my last bumper.
One of the things I missed most about ditching my factory bumper for my previous one...no fog lights! Sure, I put some nice LED's on the front, but I actually liked the factory fog lights for night time driving. TeraFlex must like them too because the Epic comes with the holes for the factory lights. Just pop them in and screw them down, Easy peasey. (You may have to extend your factory wiring harness a bit before you install them, but it was easy.
Wondering if Scott wanted to kill me? Well, it was a bit...sad, but he got over it. We installed some nice bumpers on the Rubicon, installed my old bumpers on Dave's Jeep, and I am one happy Jeeper with my new front and rear TeraFlex JK Epic bumpers on the 2011 expedition Jeep!
Check out TeraFlex's full product line at:
It all started when I bought the AEV performance hood, that I absolutely love might I add. Anyway, it came from the factory primed and ready to paint. Of course I decided to wait about a year before I even thought about doing it. So, I called around and got some estimates and had total sticker shock! I could not believe how much people were quoting me to paint just the hood. It was nuts!
Looking into other options, wrapping it with vinyl seemed like a really cool option. I reached out and for a fraction of the price of paint and with more protection Sunset Designs based out of Riverside California got my business!
While I was researching the pros and cons of the process, I developed a list of the top 4 reasons someone may want to wrap their Jeep versus painting it.
1. Protection- Wrapping your factory paint job not only gives you a fresh new look, but it also gives great protection. All those light branch and bush scratches down the sides of your Jeep will be on a removable wrap instead of in the paint, how does that sound??
2. Personalization- Part of the fun of owning a Jeep is making it yours by customizing the look. Wrapping your Jeep gives you some many options. You can mix and match color, you can add logos and you can turn your Jeep into a one of a kind by picking a custom color, all for a lot less than a custom paint job.
3. Easy Maintenance- The vinyl used for wrapping vehicles is super durable and easy to clean. That's always a good thing when your spending every free moment in the dirt exploring the world.
Last, but certainly not least...
4. Removal is a breeze- Look, if your at all like me...change is part of Jeep ownership. With Vinyl you can always just peal it off and go back to the factory paint. Easy-Peasey!! Great for resale too.
I love my new wrap and if you're looking for something safe, protective and original, you may want to look into a vinyl wrap. WAIT! I almost forgot...another wonderful benefit to using vinyl, it all happened right there in my own driveway!
If you're thinking about trying it, contact Eric Schmidt at:
3847 Pierce Street Suite Q
Riverside, CA 92503
I love what I do! I mean, I seriously love it. I never would of imagined that I could be successful in the blogger world!
Like everything else however, sometimes I find myself tired and burnt out. The long days of trying to stay creative and pushing to be better than the day before does get frustrating at times. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I'm just saying the grind is in everything we want to be successful at.
When I find myself at the end of my rope the best cure has always been to hop in the Jeep and hit the road. It doesn't matter where or what the weather is like, I can always find that moment when it all makes sense again.
Nature is so much bigger than anything in my humble little life. The world has so many landscapes, so many nature wonders and so many moments of captivating beauty that when I take a moment to breathe it in...perspective is once again found.
It's in those few seconds when nothing else exists. No distractions, no chaos, no conflict. Yup, It's in those few seconds when I remember exactly why I love what I do.
One of the best things about being a "Jeep guy" is definitely meeting all the wonderful people that love the same lifestyle you do (we like to call it the jeeplife). It's so interesting to see all of the reason people by Jeeps. I love hearing story after story of freedom found on the trails. So, I reached out and asked one of new friends to share a piece of who she is and what owning a Jeep represents to her.
Canadian Jeep Girl gone Jeepkrazy
My name is Natasha, a Canadian Jeep Girl gone JeepKrazy.
Why a Jeep? My passion for Jeeps started at 16, something about riding topless, wind in my hair with the freedom to go anywhere intrigued me. It wasn’t till later in life when I was established that and I could afford this wonderful gift.
I bought “Lucy” (2012 crush orange Sahara wrangler) for my 41st birthday in 2015. I named her after the talented Lucille Ball. She has been by far my greatest adventure and best investment I’ve given myself. Lucy is complete freedom with no judgement. She doesn’t care that I don’t have make-up on or that my hair is messy, she’s happy I jumped in and turned the key as that’s when the magic and adventure begins.
Life takes us in all directions and Lucy introduced me to a lifestyle, a brother/sisterhood, an entire community of Jeep enthusiasts worldwide. I have had the privilege and honor in the past few months of becoming a part of the “Canadian Jeep Girls” team founded by Terri Amey and made Canadian Rep for “JeepKrazy” founded by Gerrad “Jeepkrazy” Godley.
I love being a Canadian Jeep Girl gone JeepKrazy but most of all I love Lucy! I dedicate this to all the fabulous jeepers and jeep clubs I have met over this past year. A special shout out to my jeep sister Carol Thompson and to my mentor John Cutcher founder of Bluewater Jeep Club Owners.
I love it! If you have a story you want to share, please contact me and let's see if we can't get it out there to show each other we are not alone in this, and inspire each other to find a healthier, happier jeeplife.
Factor 55 Prolink is a quick installing, inexpensive upgrade that not only makes working with your winch safer and easier, it also gives your rig a tough custom look that's way better than that nasty hook from the original winch set up. The Factor 55 Prolink comes in your choice of black, silver, red, grey or blue and costs just under $145 bucks, so you can rest assured that you will be getting a lot of bang for the buck.
For me, the way my winch hook attached to the d-ring and kept scratching off the powder coat from my bumper was driving me nuts. Luckily there's an easy answer that will fix my problem AND be a nice modification to my set up. A Prolink is simply a replacement to the winch hook and the benefits are actually plentiful.
Factor 55 Prolink facts:
-D-ring shackles are up to 5X stronger than conventional winch hooks
-Conventional hooks are too small to safely fit both ends of a recovery strap
-Recovery straps cannot slip out of a shackle like they can with hooks
-Hook safety latches are not rated for loads and can tear recovery straps
-Conventional hook surfaces add higher stresses to recovery strap fibers, resulting in decreased strap ratings
-Shackles can be quickly removed and stowed away until needed for winching.
-Hooks do not cinch neatly against fairleads and are prone to rattling and loosening
-Conventional winch hooks are designed for chains – not commonly used recovery straps
-Engineered, Tested, and Made in USA
-Stress analyzed using COSMOS FEA and destructively tested for confirmation
-Billet construction — precision machined from 6061-T6 Kaiser Aluminum round bar
-16,000 pound max load rating
-Fits all steel cables and synthetic ropes up to 3/8" in diameter
-Fits eyes equipped with standard or tube thimbles to 3/8 inch diameters
-1.2 inch shackle tab thickness virtually eliminates "shackle rattle"
-Massive 5/8 inch diameter carbon steel double shear pin
-Optional EPDM "Rubber Guard" protects alloy Hawse fairleads — rubber barb attachment
-Can be installed and removed in minutes — simple snap ring removal
-Cinches neatly against all types of fairleads — Hawse or Roller
-Red and Black colors are powder coated to resist fading while all other colors are beautifully anodized and zinc plated in the USA
To check out Quadratec's full line of Factor 55 products check out: www.quadratec.com/factor55
When I did the install I cut half of the hook off with power and half without just to see how tough it really is. So, obviously if you have and are comfortable with using power tools, it's seconds versus minutes, but a good hack saw and some elbow grease will do the job as well. This may not be the most popular plan here, BUT I would say, if you have any reservations...take your time, do it manually. The last thing you want to do is somehow end up cutting the line by mistake.
Anyone can handle this project, just take your time and have fun with it.
At the heart of every Jeep owner lies the cry for adventure. Like children playing in a fantasy world hunting for treasure, fighting dragons, defending the world from the evil that wants to destroy it, or simply going where none have gone before, we all want it. We need adventure. It's how we are made. The desire to go and see often drives us. To see what we can find, to see what we can accomplished, or...simply see what we can see. It's a commonality within all of us all. It is why we own Jeeps.
I like to break down Jeep owners into two types. First we have the rock crawler. This is the gear head Jeep owner type that loves to inch their way through the places that the rest of the world identifies as impossible to get through. The rock crawler, finds adventure in gathering friends and family, then spending the day together fighting the challenges nature throws at them via terrain. The rock crawler loves the mechanical problem solving that is required to navigate through the obstacles of unfathomable trenches, valleys, cracks and crevices on and off the beaten path. Rock crawlers take pride in their builds, they spend unlimited amounts of time and money creating the perfect machine to take on the world. Rock crawlers love grinding it out to success, that's their adventure.
The second type of jeep owner is where I place myself. It's the expedition the calls my heart into action. The overlander can't get enough of seeing the beauty of the world. We love to take long rides down small, unused paths that lead to nowhere. The overlander finds adventure through discovery. Discovery of places we've never seen, discovery of things we find within ourselves that only escaping into nature can gives us. The overlander loves watching a sunrise over the plain, or set dropping perfectly behind a mountain top while flooding the sky in beautiful shades of yellow and orange. Our adventurous hearts crave abandoned mines, and cities that once thrived in generations before, but now empty. Overlanders are excited to break out a compass to point us in the right direction, and we love maping out the perfect expedition to get us there.
Regardless of which type of jeeper you are the important thing is to make sure that we never put out that adventurous fire that burns within our soul. It's important that we gather our friends and families and spend time in relationship. It's important that the creation of our Jeeps become an expression of who we are. The cool factor is great, but it's the creative process that will help us find and show the world who we are.
The Jeep community is the best I've ever belonged to. We look out for each other, and help when we can. We believe in leaving the things we touch better than before we touched them. The "Jeep Life" means being kind and selfless. It's being friendly and helpful. It feels good to extend our hands up for a Jeep wave, right?
For the rest of my life I'll belong to this culture. I'll find new friends and new adventures, and where ever life leads me...my Jeep will take me there.