JKU / JLU as a family travel vehicle

zb39

Adventurer
When you have kids bigger is always better in the long run. All the stuff that they require is mind boggling. Go big or stay home.
 

Rocinante

New member
I’ve had three Ram 2500 Cummins 4x4 pickups over the last 20 years which I have used for travel / family travel. We had kids starting about 7 years ago and I traded in my regular cab for crew cab. My current Ram is comfortable, quiet, and incredibly versatile because of its towing and hauling capabilities. With the Diesel engine fuel economy is not far off real world mileage of a lot of the ladder frame gas SUVs. I live in New Mexico and for travel in rural parts of the Western US the big truck is pretty ideal. It’s main limitation being size and height on some of the narrower trails.

All that being said - I’m spending a lot of time down in Mexico (actually living here right now) and trying to park the Ram or even navigate it through the small towns and villages here is a nightmare. For that reason I’ve actually been thinking about getting a JLU. The diesel version which includes Dana 44 axles in the basic trim level looks very interesting to me.
 

Bobzdar

Observer
I've had both a JLUR and JL Gladiator Rubi. Traded the JLUR in on the Gladiator. I have a wife, 2 kids and a dog - and for me it depended on the size of the dog. We had a larger dog, around 70lbs, and so she rode in the back of the JLUR. Sadly, she passed away in early spring and we adopted another dog that was about half the size. This actually opened up options as he curls up in a ball and easily fits on a single seat or sometimes in the passenger footwell with my wife, meaning we no longer need a large area in the back for the dog.

On the JLUR, we ran a roof rack and thule bubble as the dog took up most of the room in the back, but with the gladiator I either run a tonneau cover, or if we want to bring bikes and a lot of camping equipment, a roof rack with the same thule bubble leaving the bed open for whatever (though obviously exposed to the elements). The Gladiator is much better suited to our needs. I'm also thinking about grabbing a soft topper, which would allow larger items, but still enclosed storage.

Unfortunately, my gladiator is in the shop for a transmission replacement and I have a ram rebel as a replacement. I vastly prefer the gladiator. It's easier to park, more fuel efficient, rides smoother and the interior is nicer - though part of that is because I have a loaded rubi. The rebel bed has a little more room but not a whole lot and the rear seats have less room in the rebel. I also got put in a ram 1500 crew cab (non rebel) and it rode nicely, had more rear seat room, but wouldn't have the off-road chops to do much of anything. It also has a low spec interior so is honestly kind of crap. Both of the rams had the hemi. More power, worse mileage, not worth it for me as the pentastar doesn't struggle much, even when towing in the gladiator.

In terms of storage, I fit all that you see in this pic (except the plastic chair) in the gladiator - under the tonneau cover - plus a bunch of stuff you can't see that's inside the tent, like two mattresses, sleeping bags, folding table, 2 camp chairs etc. There were only two of us in the gladiator on the trip and the back seat was full of stuff, but we brought a ton of stuff that wouldn't be needed in nicer weather for family camping (like a wood stove, extra cooler full of beer, a few cases of loose beer, winter clothing etc). My buddy also packs like an idiot - he brought a full sized suitcase full of stuff he didn't use and we didn't come close to drinking all the beer.

 

Justincredible

Adventurer
My son, dog, and I have camped all over the country in my 2 door JK.
As long as you only bring what you need and don't get caught up in the "but what if X happens? We should bring Y, just in case." game a JKU/JLU will be a great camping vehicle for the 3 of you.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
When you have kids bigger is always better in the long run. All the stuff that they require is mind boggling. Go big or stay home.
I've actually found babies in rear facing seats take up the most room. Rear passenger space gets better as they start to grow--front facing, booster, no car seat. After that, of course, depends on the size of your kid.

The rebel bed has a little more room but not a whole lot and the rear seats have less room in the rebel. I also got put in a ram 1500 crew cab (non rebel) and it rode nicely, had more rear seat room, but wouldn't have the off-road chops to do much of anything.
I'm guessing the Rebel you had was a Quad cab, not Crew cab. Crew has enormous rear seat.
 

Bobzdar

Observer
I've actually found babies in rear facing seats take up the most room. Rear passenger space gets better as they start to grow--front facing, booster, no car seat. After that, of course, depends on the size of your kid.



I'm guessing the Rebel you had was a Quad cab, not Crew cab. Crew has enormous rear seat.
Yes, quad cab Rebel, crew cab regular ram. The crew cab is enormous, but then so is the truck. It's a pain to turn around and to park, at least compared to the gladiator. Given the Glad barely fits some places off road, there's no way I'd even try with the quad rebel, let alone a crew cab. I'm not sure if the rebel is available in crew, but not something I'd be in the market for anyway. The Rebel looks to be a decent off-road machine but I didn't really test it out. It was an overall worse DD by quite a bit, and while the regular ram is a decent DD (except for parking), it lacks any kind of serious off-road chops and, like the rebel, is too big.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
Yes, quad cab Rebel, crew cab regular ram. The crew cab is enormous, but then so is the truck. It's a pain to turn around and to park, at least compared to the gladiator. Given the Glad barely fits some places off road, there's no way I'd even try with the quad rebel, let alone a crew cab. I'm not sure if the rebel is available in crew, but not something I'd be in the market for anyway. The Rebel looks to be a decent off-road machine but I didn't really test it out. It was an overall worse DD by quite a bit, and while the regular ram is a decent DD (except for parking), it lacks any kind of serious off-road chops and, like the rebel, is too big.
Rebel is available in Crew. The Quad comes with a 6' bed and Crew has a choice of 5' and 6' beds. 5' should be same size as the 6' Quad cab. But both are big compared to the Jeep.
 

Bobzdar

Observer
Rebel is available in Crew. The Quad comes with a 6' bed and Crew has a choice of 5' and 6' beds. 5' should be same size as the 6' Quad cab. But both are big compared to the Jeep.
The Gladiator has more back seat room than the quad, but the crew has a huge back seat. I think both rams had 6' beds.
 

Thinman

Well-known member
For me personally, in order to do jeep things, wife and child would need to get out. That can get old fast with a newborn.

The RAM is only too big if you care about the paint. :rolleyes:

Disclosure: I have a 2019 Rebel but would love a JLU. It would never get past the crew though (wife and MIL)
 

jonathon

Active member
Drove a JT today - loved it but I knew I would. The question on my mind is if I can live with the reduced size.
 

Thinman

Well-known member
For me personally, in order to do jeep things, wife and child would need to get out. That can get old fast with a newborn.

The RAM is only too big if you care about the paint. :rolleyes:

Disclosure: I have a 2019 Rebel but would love a JLU. It would never get past the crew though (wife and MIL)
oh i may have spoken too soon. wife saw me looking at a jeep video and said "oh, that's cute".

translated loosely from the native tongue, i was able to determine that this meant "get one"

(y)
 

jonathon

Active member
Yes - yes you can

Make sure you get the Max Tow at the very least!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I am certain for 95% of what we do the Gladiator is perfect, especially the max tow package. My main hold up is doing truck stuff. Household stuff and firewood mainly. My Chevy does it well, but it’s also old and having a backup would be nice. I have looked at some of 3k GVWR utility trailers and one of those might work since I only haul a half cord of wood at a time with the Chevy anyways.

I was very surprised how good the 3.6/8 speed combo drove. The JLU I rented had the 2.0T and it came on hard and fast. The 3.6 was definitely well matched to the transmission.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
I am certain for 95% of what we do the Gladiator is perfect, especially the max tow package. My main hold up is doing truck stuff. Household stuff and firewood mainly. My Chevy does it well, but it’s also old and having a backup would be nice. I have looked at some of 3k GVWR utility trailers and one of those might work since I only haul a half cord of wood at a time with the Chevy anyways.

I was very surprised how good the 3.6/8 speed combo drove. The JLU I rented had the 2.0T and it came on hard and fast. The 3.6 was definitely well matched to the transmission.
the 3.6 with 8speed really does well. I have test drove 3 JT's a rubicon, sport s and overland and was impressed how nice they felt with the automatic. I love my jkur with auto but the 8 speed really is a better match and better mpg to boot.
 

Thinman

Well-known member
Jeep people (jeeple's?),

Does anyone know if FCA runs a 0% financing offer on Jeeps? The gave me 0% for 72 last year (at this time) on the '19 Rebel I bought and they are running the same promo on that side right now, but not sure if they do that for the Jeep line. Hope some smart people with historical knowledge will know.

..

...

....ummm....asking for a friend! :censored:
 
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