Ursa Minor Pop-Top Jeep JK

campertramper

Active member
Thanks for sharing. I binged them last night - very helpful. In particular I really liked your method of adding extra awning mounts with quick releases so that you can rotate your awning from side to side depending upon the situation. Super smart! I was at UM Portland in early December and planned to add them until I learned that the top needed to be removed to add the passenger awning bracket which would have significantly increased the cost. Instead I ended up opting for rear awning brackets which were faster to install and didn't require top removal. For anyone who is planning to implement @shays4me double sided awning solution, I suggest getting it as part of your initial build and not waiting to upgrade it later.
 
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Bruce_B

New member
So what does a kited wrangler like these weigh? Weight is always a factor to be considered in any RV. I searched this thread but did not find one post of a total weight these JK's are carrying. There is a very nicely equipped JK in the classifieds and seller dosen't know either but says probably about 6K.
View attachment 687625
Fully loaded my 2010 JK Unlimited Rubicon weighs 5700 pounds, this is right at GVWR for this Jeep. I removed most of the gear from the Jeep recently before I took it to the shop to have the transfer case replaced (62,000 miles!). I weighed everything before reloading. I calculated a total trip-ready payload weight at 700 pounds, with breakdown as follows:
Tools/Recovery 186 Lb, 26.6%, Includes action packer with hand tools 45.5 Lb, hydraulic jack kit 27.6 Lb, 2 Maxtraxx 15.4 Lb, 2 air compressors 14 Lb, 2 fire extinguishers 6.3 Lb.
Personal/Activities 154 Lb, 22.0%, Includes driver, backpack, tablet computer, (no passengers).
Sleeping/Clothes/Hygiene 141 Lb, 20.1%, includes Ursa Minor J30 camper estimated 100 Lb net add.
Kitchen/Food 80 Lb, 11.4%, includes single burner butane/LP gas stove and fuel, dehydrated meals, and some canned food.
Water 72 Lb, 10.3%, includes 4@1 gallon Rotopax, 1@1.75 gallon Rotopax, misc. water bottles, Sawyer filter.
Spare Fuel 60 Lb, 8.6%, includes 20 liter fuel can and mounting bracket.

The Jeep has the following modifications: removed rear 60% passenger seat, added wooden storage box; added wooden storage tote frame in cargo area; removed rear bumper, added AEV spare tire carrier, added spare fuel can mounting bracket; removed hard top, added Ursa Minor J30 camper top; trimmed ends off front bumper, trimmed ends off rock rails; replaced springs - mopar **60AA rear and **18AC front, added Sumo rear bump stops; replaced original Rubicon 255/75R17 tires on 17x7.5 aluminum wheels with 35x12.50 BFG KM2 tires on 17x9 steel wheels. I don't have weight data for these changes, but the tire change is significant and a likely area for improvement. The current tire/wheel setup weigh 105 pounds each, 525 pounds for a set of five is 9.2% of GVWR. I would really like to find a set of 255/85R17 tires and sturdy aluminum wheels to save some weight and take some spare tire weight off the rear axle which is just 100 pounds under the GAWR now.
 

dmulk

Member
I put a little Buyers guide together in a series of short videos for any prospective Ursa Minor shoppers on youtube. The first video doesn't have great audio but it improves significantly after that (changed equipment). I'm not looking for subs, sponsors, selling a product or trying to develop an overland channel. It's merely educational with my opinion of what I liked or didn't, some owner tips and some accessories that complement the top. Anyway, I did it to help out someone like me who can't decide what to get! I've had the top for two years now and slept in it @30 nights. I'm not associated with Ursa Minor at all, I just bought their product at full price so it's an unbiased review.

Nice work putting the videos together, John. Well done and a double thank you for showing the mattress topper sleeve idea. I'll be making the same mod to mine almost immediately.
 

campertramper

Active member
I wonder if ordering a double stock ursa minor mattress would work. Meaning, putting two of them on top of each other to achieve 4". After watching your video @shays4me I wrote to John at Ursa Minor and asked him, but I haven't heard back yet.
 

shays4me

Adventurer
Nice work putting the videos together, John. Well done and a double thank you for showing the mattress topper sleeve idea. I'll be making the same mod to mine almost immediately.
My aunt and mom made me the slip covers from sheets. I wish I had the skills but they were awesome to help me out! I hate sleeping bags in general so I use these with a top sheet and a comforter. It’s more comfortable than my bed at home!
 

dmulk

Member
I wonder if ordering a double stock ursa minor mattress would work. Meaning, putting two of them on top of each other to achieve 4". After watching your video @shays4me I wrote to John at Ursa Minor and asked him, but I haven't heard back yet.
Im not sure that will work. I don't think the foam inside the UM pads is as compressible as a memory foam topper.civmean maybe but memory foam will compress down to almost nothing. I'm definitely sticking with memory foam.

I'll hire a local seamstress to cobble something together once I get the camper.... I'm about half way through my 9 month wait. February can't come too soon. Lol.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Will soon be joining the family of Jeep owner's with a new JLU Willys. I've also ordered an Ursa Minor for it. My wife and I will be traveling and camping in it often. I don't expect to be doing any "serious" off-roading, more like soft-roading to campsites. The Jeep will also be used for daily driving when not camping. What are your opinions about suspension upgrades that would be needed, if any?
The Wrangler honestly is Trail Ready in factory trim.

Any mods need to be specific to what you are doing, where you are travelling.
"Soft Roading to Campsites" the Wrangler is 100% ready for.
Forget the suspension, focus on the camper, refrigeration, cooking, food storage, sleeping, weather appropriate clothing.
IF you find you NEED something more than the stock Jeep offers, like more floatation for sand dunes, ask the specific question.
"What should I do for more floatation in the dunes".......

An open ended question like "what are your opinions" is not going to help.
For every "upgrade" mod you do there will be a negative compromise.
Flat out Jeep got the Wrangler right from the factory.

I've been buying them since the first in 1987.
CJs since 1972.
 
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billiebob

Well-known member
I put a little Buyers guide together in a series of short videos for any prospective Ursa Minor shoppers on youtube. The first video doesn't have great audio but it improves significantly after that (changed equipment). I'm not looking for subs, sponsors, selling a product or trying to develop an overland channel. It's merely educational with my opinion of what I liked or didn't, some owner tips and some accessories that complement the top. Anyway, I did it to help out someone like me who can't decide what to get! I've had the top for two years now and slept in it @30 nights. I'm not associated with Ursa Minor at all, I just bought their product at full price so it's an unbiased review.

nicely done, I agree with the power options, even tho I'm an old school disconnected old guy, I always buy all the power points and switch options. And the Yakima bases, well done, good choice. I've had them on every Jeep I've owned for the past 25 years. Definitely the best rack option. Three Jeeps, bases on each, one set of bars and towers, they move to a new Jeep in under a minute.

DSC_0002.jpg
 
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rustypayne

Active member
Will soon be joining the family of Jeep owner's with a new JLU Willys. I've also ordered an Ursa Minor for it. My wife and I will be traveling and camping in it often. I don't expect to be doing any "serious" off-roading, more like soft-roading to campsites. The Jeep will also be used for daily driving when not camping. What are your opinions about suspension upgrades that would be needed, if any?
We use our Rubicon in much the same way you're asking and drove it basically stock across the TransAmerica trail in 2018. All our mods back then related to camping, recovery, or quality of life. The best things we added were a Dometic Fridge (game changer for camping), 2nd battery w/solar panel, and the ARB single stage air pump under the hood. Fridge because I hate the mess of using ice. The house battery is because of the fridge, I'm old and never want a dead starter battery. The air pump still gets used weekly because I have a leaky rim and need new ones, on the trail it just makes life easier. I mounted the air valve on the front bumper so i don't even need to open the hood.

I had a winch and have used it a couple times but there were other options I could have used if it wasn't there. I've since added a 2" lift which would have been nice on the trail but being a wimp I just avoided anything the Rubi wouldn't handle stock and that wasn't much.
 

Red_shift

New member
We use our Rubicon in much the same way you're asking and drove it basically stock across the TransAmerica trail in 2018. All our mods back then related to camping, recovery, or quality of life. The best things we added were a Dometic Fridge (game changer for camping), 2nd battery w/solar panel, and the ARB single stage air pump under the hood. Fridge because I hate the mess of using ice. The house battery is because of the fridge, I'm old and never want a dead starter battery. The air pump still gets used weekly because I have a leaky rim and need new ones, on the trail it just makes life easier. I mounted the air valve on the front bumper so i don't even need to open the hood.

I had a winch and have used it a couple times but there were other options I could have used if it wasn't there. I've since added a 2" lift which would have been nice on the trail but being a wimp I just avoided anything the Rubi wouldn't handle stock and that wasn't much.
Thanks...I'm thinking a lot like you - keep it as stock as possible. Already have a fridge, running off a Jackery with solar and/or 12v in our current vehicle. Still trying to decide about a winch/bumper. I want to keep weight down, but concerned about recovery.
 

that_dude

Member
Just heard from John. I ordered my top on 3/31 and the expected completion date has slipped to the second week of Jan per John. The good news is that he said they are rolling out a new version of the J30 with “a lot of small changes/improvements.” I didn’t get any specifics on what those changes are, but he said my build would include those changes. Just thought I’d share for those waiting patiently (or impatiently) on a J30.
 

Red_shift

New member
Just heard from John. I ordered my top on 3/31 and the expected completion date has slipped to the second week of Jan per John. The good news is that he said they are rolling out a new version of the J30 with “a lot of small changes/improvements.” I didn’t get any specifics on what those changes are, but he said my build would include those changes. Just thought I’d share for those waiting patiently (or impatiently) on a J30.
Glad to hear there are "improvements", but I'd rather have shorter lead times. The website still says 7 months, but yours is certainly taking longer than that.
 

dmulk

Member
Just heard from John. I ordered my top on 3/31 and the expected completion date has slipped to the second week of Jan per John. The good news is that he said they are rolling out a new version of the J30 with “a lot of small changes/improvements.” I didn’t get any specifics on what those changes are, but he said my build would include those changes. Just thought I’d share for those waiting patiently (or impatiently) on a J30.
Well, now that the cat is kinda out of the bag....I've been sitting on this info for about 5 months. Got to see a prototype of the new "Gen 3" JKU too on one of my visits to their shop. They definitely have made some nice (minor) improvements.
 

that_dude

Member
Well, now that the cat is kinda out of the bag....I've been sitting on this info for about 5 months. Got to see a prototype of the new "Gen 3" JKU too on one of my visits to their shop. They definitely have made some nice (minor) improvements.
Oops…hopefully I didn’t say anything I wasn’t supposed to. Not going to lie though, I totally thought you were going to tell us what the changes are. 😆

The only other thing I know is that the changes won’t effect the installation of the Cargo Keepers Hard Box I’m having them install. John said they pulled the box out and tested it to be sure there was no issue.

If there’s anything I can think of that I’d like to see as part of these improvements it would probably be the drip rail molded into the shell like the JL30. I don’t think I’ve seen any complaints about the stick-on ones currently used on the J30, but that’s one detail that’s always seemed a little janky to me.
 

dmulk

Member
Oops…hopefully I didn’t say anything I wasn’t supposed to. Not going to lie though, I totally thought you were going to tell us what the changes are. 😆

The only other thing I know is that the changes won’t effect the installation of the Cargo Keepers Hard Box I’m having them install. John said they pulled the box out and tested it to be sure there was no issue.

If there’s anything I can think of that I’d like to see as part of these improvements it would probably be the drip rail molded into the shell like the JL30. I don’t think I’ve seen any complaints about the stick-on ones currently used on the J30, but that’s one detail that’s always seemed a little janky to me.
😂. Yeah, I don't feel comfortable going into what I've seen. The guys there swore me to secrecy. 😎

Based on your order date and your update, mine is likely going to be sometime in March. Depending on the day you get for your install (and assuming you're coming to the Chula Vista location) ping me and I'll swing by. We can talk jeeps and adventures over a burrito. :)

-Dan
 

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