Ursa Minor Pop-Top Jeep JK

bigfish

Observer
It's been a minute since I've posted. Had my gen2 JK J30 since 2014. Many trips logged. ~50k adventure miles.

I just came here to say that I'm enjoying my J30. It is a excellent platform for general adventure travel for my 2people+1dog family. John's build quality has held up very well and, I suppose, this is my "long term update".

What I like:
+ Jeep like trail capability. Compact form factor make tight trails. Jeep platform is able to push further into backcountry.
+ Relatively economical fuel economy.
+ Relatively economical build cost.
+ Compact - Can be stored in any 10x20 storage space/unit/cargo container with 8' clearance. Fits in many urban parking structures. Classifies as a car for most drive-on ferries.
+ Comfortable. I always sleep well. I'm dry, even in the heaviest/extended rain (I performed additional waterproofing/seam sealing)
+ Fast deployment. I can pull in somewhere and be ready for bed or cooking in less than 5 mins.
+ Good enough for extended travel. I've done 30 nights straight and could have done more. In 2019, I had more than 60+ nights logged. Average trip is a 4-10 days, which is the sweet spot.

What I don't like: (As everything in life, there are trade offs. Suffering is inevitable)

- Jeep platform is too sensitive to weight - It's not a heavy truck or van, so you need to mind your loadout. Also limits the Jeep on the trail due to it's weight and balance. I've done my best to address this with heavy suspension, sway bars and cutting weight aloft, but it's always a factor.
- Limited interior living - Yes. This is a thing when it's raining extensively. Especially with 2+dog. All you can do is lay down or sit in the front seats. It's not a van.
- Cooking/Bathing/Sanitation is largely exposed and outside. Sometimes the outside isn't a secluded/private/nice place to perform these functions. It's not a van.
- Purpose built and not readily adaptable. Its no longer practical to use as a daily driver or for general utility. I've removed the rear seat, have no rear cargo space, and the towing is limited further by the vehicle weight. Despite my best attempts to get out, the Jeep sits in storage a lot.

Where have I been:
Local CO/UT Adventures
Canada (Calgary, AB -> Bella Coola, BC -> Tofino, BC - 30 days/0 hotels)
West Coast (CA/OR/WA)
Mexico Baja
Key West and greater FL
New York
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Attachments

Jbrazeal

New member
Today I finished the install of my solar panel for my Ursa Minor. I filmed as much as I could and left some links to buy the parts I used in the description on my YouTube Channel. I hope this is helpful. I run the Dometic 55im fridge 24/7. The 195 watt panel I used will easily keep up with the power needs of my fridge when I am not driving everyday.

 

pixelflip

New member
Proper purpose, and excellent execution! TY and cheers!



It's been a minute since I've posted. Had my gen2 JK J30 since 2014. Many trips logged. ~50k adventure miles.

I just came here to say that I'm enjoying my J30. It is a excellent platform for general adventure travel for my 2people+1dog family. John's build quality has held up very well and, I suppose, this is my "long term update".

What I like:
 

ewak

Member
It's been a minute since I've posted. Had my gen2 JK J30 since 2014. Many trips logged. ~50k adventure miles.

I just came here to say that I'm enjoying my J30. It is a excellent platform for general adventure travel for my 2people+1dog family. John's build quality has held up very well and, I suppose, this is my "long term update".

What I like:
+ Jeep like trail capability. Compact form factor make tight trails. Jeep platform is able to push further into backcountry.
+ Relatively economical fuel economy.
+ Relatively economical build cost.
+ Compact - Can be stored in any 10x20 storage space/unit/cargo container with 8' clearance. Fits in many urban parking structures. Classifies as a car for most drive-on ferries.
+ Comfortable. I always sleep well. I'm dry, even in the heaviest/extended rain (I performed additional waterproofing/seam sealing)
+ Fast deployment. I can pull in somewhere and be ready for bed or cooking in less than 5 mins.
+ Good enough for extended travel. I've done 30 nights straight and could have done more. In 2019, I had more than 60+ nights logged. Average trip is a 4-10 days, which is the sweet spot.

What I don't like: (As everything in life, there are trade offs. Suffering is inevitable)

- Jeep platform is too sensitive to weight - It's not a heavy truck or van, so you need to mind your loadout. Also limits the Jeep on the trail due to it's weight and balance. I've done my best to address this with heavy suspension, sway bars and cutting weight aloft, but it's always a factor.
- Limited interior living - Yes. This is a thing when it's raining extensively. Especially with 2+dog. All you can do is lay down or sit in the front seats. It's not a van.
- Cooking/Bathing/Sanitation is largely exposed and outside. Sometimes the outside isn't a secluded/private/nice place to perform these functions. It's not a van.
- Purpose built and not readily adaptable. Its no longer practical to use as a daily driver or for general utility. I've removed the rear seat, have no rear cargo space, and the towing is limited further by the vehicle weight. Despite my best attempts to get out, the Jeep sits in storage a lot.

Where have I been:
Local CO/UT Adventures
Canada (Calgary, AB -> Bella Coola, BC -> Tofino, BC - 30 days/0 hotels)
West Coast (CA/OR/WA)
Mexico Baja
Key West and greater FL
New York
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What options did you select to get the rear of your Ursa minor in all white? I know that keeping the roof all white and unpainted is an option but I've never seen one in all white like this - I love it!
 

Yuke

Adventurer
What options did you select to get the rear of your Ursa minor in all white? I know that keeping the roof all white and unpainted is an option but I've never seen one in all white like this - I love it!
Paint to match would be that option.
 

bigfish

Observer
What options did you select to get the rear of your Ursa minor in all white? I know that keeping the roof all white and unpainted is an option but I've never seen one in all white like this - I love it!
It has the body color matched paint option.
 

dmulk

New member
Just picked up a used J30. After owning multiple RTT’s and sleeping inside the Jeep with the Goose Gear setup, I can absolutely confirm this is by far the best setup! Zero regrets!
Just out of curiosity....how did you anchor your ARB to the goose gear? Did you find any of the holes lined up? I had to make a couple adapter brackets for mine, with the same ARB slide.
Nice setup btw!
 

Thrown_hammer

New member
Today I finished the install of my solar panel for my Ursa Minor. I filmed as much as I could and left some links to buy the parts I used in the description on my YouTube Channel. I hope this is helpful. I run the Dometic 55im fridge 24/7. The 195 watt panel I used will easily keep up with the power needs of my fridge when I am not driving everyday.

Hey... did we talk to each other at a gas station in South Dakota outside the Badlands last week? I was in a white Dodge mini van.
 

sabjku

Observer
Just out of curiosity....how did you anchor your ARB to the goose gear? Did you find any of the holes lined up? I had to make a couple adapter brackets for mine, with the same ARB slide.
Nice setup btw!
Thank you! We just used self drilling screws directly through the Goose Gear. More than secure.
 

dmulk

New member
So who's picking up (or has picked up) their J30's this summer? I live pretty close to the Chula Vista shop and my route takes me by there regularly. I'll keep an eye out for you. :)
 

Dotar

Member
Getting too old to climb up and down to/from the bunk. That and 3 dogs make floor space precarious.
Not giving up yet, just switching to ground tent and AWD van.
 

wandererr

Adventurer
Understood - I ordered mine and I'm still waiting ;). If you had standard entry I would probably be all over it (I'm in OC) but the way I'm setting up my back the back entry won't work for me.
 
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