Best Jeeps for Overland Travel

Steve321

New member
What's everyones thoughts on which Jeep is the best for Overland Travel? There are so many different models.

I've read a few articles saying good things about the Gladiator - but I don't see the upside of having a pickup bed in a vehicle you intend to live out of.

I currently have an LX470 - are there any Jeeps comparable in internal size and comfort to those?

I'm not into rock-crawling, but I want a vehicle that has a decent level of off-roading capability just so I can get to campsites I might want to explore.

Note: I am not wedded to the idea of a Jeep - I'm just trying to determine if there are any worth considering. I will want a new rig at some point, and the Grenadier is not available yet!

Edit - decent payload is important to me too!
 

Shovel

Dreaming Ape
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but "Best" is going to be much too subjective a quality for any useful answer to be derived.

To use myself as an example it would not have been a stretch for me to buy any ~5-10 year old Jeep on the market when I was shopping this spring and certainly there are dramatically more capable ones than what I bought, there are dramatically faster ones than what I bought, there are dramatically more luxurious ones than what I bought. But my travel plans for the next ~5 years are focused on crossing the North American continent several times and in several different directions and I only really need all weather capability and the option of running rutted or rough dirt roads. So simplicity and fuel efficiency made a Patriot the "Best"... for me.

I doubt you would consider it the best for you.

From what you've described a WK2 Grand Cherokee is the only way to fly. The Hemi and 8 speed is a very nice powertrain, my only personal complaints on the WK2 are the infotainment system is frustrating rubbish and FCA (the manufacturer) is the worst company I have ever dealt with in my life, period. Mechanically the WK2's are robust and very well balanced all-arounders.
 

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Steve321

New member
What’s wrong with your 470? It’s a good option. But the Gladiator sport With Max tow will get you the most payload form a Jeep.
I like my LX470 - it's just incredibly sluggish (almost dangerously so). To be fair, it came with some massive tires on it that I think are adversely impacting it's performance.

It's fun to think about getting a new more modern rig if I start using it for extended travel. I may not buy anytime soon, just exploring what might make for good options.
 

W0lfpack91

New member
The benifits of the jeep are the solid axles offroad but without a long arm kit they ride like ass on pavement. If you are just doing basic overlanding and dirt roads usually having a wrangler is overkill and wasted money. The Gladiator is useless for serious offroad their wheelbase is way too long and the departure angle will get hung on even mild ledges, its main advantage is the ability to be used as a very capable base camp rig. My opinion is 98% of jeep owners have no need for a jeep, their needs are usually better met with other comparable SUVs.

My advice would be if the sluggish performance is your biggest concern contact a company like Yukon talk with a sales rep about re-gearing. Give them the tire size and your overall maximum weight with all the gear, if you need to find out your weight (this is for USA) go to any truck stop with a CAT scale put one axle on each pad tell them you need weight for pad 1 and pad 2 costs $12.00 and will show weight for each axle and combined gross.

But with the tire size and weight Yukon or any gear company can recomend a new gearset that will get your performance back to stock or even slightly better.
 

Shovel

Dreaming Ape
^ gears will wake up most sluggish vehicles as long as they're a relatively modern one (an engine whose torque curve doesn't fall off a cliff above some arbitrary RPM) .. I even ended up getting better MPG on my old Montero after switching to 4.90 diff gears probably because the transmission didn't have to spend as much effort bouncing between gears any time the terrain changed. Modern engines with modern lubricants don't mind long term running at "high" RPM one bit, and really you'd only be changing the RPM by a few hundred at highway speed even with a significant change in diff ratio.
 
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W0lfpack91

New member
Also something to keep in mind if you are still interested in a newer vehicle is keep an eye on ford with the new Bronco 4 door. That is shaping up to be a good tradeoff for people who enjoy the wrangler experience but still want a decent driver that is also quite capable.
 

kga1978

Member
Since you're not into rock crawling, the WK2 for sure (if you want a Jeep) - it's a great platform and very compliant on-road while being capable enough off-road. Get the hemi and it's far from "sluggish". I'd suggest looking at the Trailhawk with all options + hemi - given how things are going, you can probably get 8k - 9k off MSRP. Then look to build it up a little using Chief Products and you'll have a great overlander!

For me, this has been the best platform by far - taking it to the desert and the Sierra here in California often and never run into any issues or stuff that outmatched its capabilities.

If you spend most of your time on dirt, sure, the Wrangler will be a much better choice - but you're going to regret that choice as you hit tarmac...
 

shays4me

Adventurer
I’m pretty biased toward a jk four door as well. I’ve got an Ursa Minor top on it and I’m loving it! I’m sleeping in it tonight as I type this. The only real downside to the jk or jl platform is the load rating. You have to select your components carefully. As for the gladiator, I would be really tempted to buy one if I were in the market. I’d get a diesel and a pop top camper for the bed.
 

Chorky

Observer
I’m pretty biased toward a jk four door as well. I’ve got an Ursa Minor top on it and I’m loving it! I’m sleeping in it tonight as I type this. The only real downside to the jk or jl platform is the load rating. You have to select your components carefully. As for the gladiator, I would be really tempted to buy one if I were in the market. I’d get a diesel and a pop top camper for the bed.
After trying a couple different configurations myself I also think the diesel gladiator is the best 'all around' option. jack of all, master of none. but like others say, depends on what you want. in some cases, maybe a motorhome is best, just for sake of discussion.
 

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AggieOE

Trying to escape the city
What are your thoughts on 4Runners? A Grand Cherokee? Or another Lexus? Wranglers are great and all but quite different. As such... we usually take our 4Runner on longer trips where rock crawling isn't the destination.
 

Kingfish

Member
I recently made the move from JKU to a WK2 Trailhawk. I loved my JKU but wanted something new, something with more power, more luxury, better all around handling & more modern tech. Sure I am sacrificing some off-road prowess but the amount of time I do spend off-road compared to on, means the WK2 is a better fit for me. Plus I have a little one now and her seat fits far better in the back compared to the JKU. I'll be adding rock sliders, front bumper and a Gobi rack which will give me everything I need. I couldn't be happier with the switch. Now if I sell the wife's Outback next year, I may pick up a new JLU just to have that Wrangler Rubicon option. But we will see what next year brings. Given your checklist, if the 470 isn't doing it for you, I think a Trailhawk would be worth looking at.

I looked at the 4Runner but it is seriously lacking in the technology department and refinement that I wanted. Very capable off-road with decent towing but outdated transmission and overall package. For the money, the Trailhawk was a clear choice for me.
 
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