OK, I'm sure there must be a whole lot of experiences and knowledge for those of us semi newbies (rented before so not completely a virgin but this is my first in the garage) to try to avoid some of those common sense gotchas like we are having the privilege of experiencing!
Maybe each can be a thread in a Newbie / Lesson / Experience section....Sand - Mud - Rocks - Water - Snow etc kind of thing....
Things like ...
1) The wave - the returns from other JKs is abysmal - the new owners just don't know about it yet...
2) When the top is off (or in the sunrider position) - one should not park under trees for shade - the leaves and twigs weren't the issue - but the bird droppings were! Fortunately all came off the seats!
3) Just because it is a Jeep doesn't mean it can go anywhere - ok maybe almost everywhere but some of those submarine Jeep and toppling Jeep videos definitely should be seen BEFORE those of us with less common sense decide why not try anyway!
(Although probably not a jeep)
(my wife made me promise not to intentionally do this)
4) Never wheel alone
I'm sure there are lots of things that you Jeep vets can come up with in reference as to the best ways to handle sand / snow / rocks - when to use the lockers - and which ones - and when to most appropriately use the swaybar disconnect.
Sure the manual has basic stuff but clearly those of us reading the manual were still doing the sunrider folds incorrectly until photos were placed.
I'd rather learn form those with the experiences and hear some great stories in the mean time.
MIGHT HAVE TO START A NEW THREAD BUT HERE GOES...Jeeping 101 in progress
CRITICAL (some should be on a placard on the jeep kind of things...)
1) NEVER wheel alone - seems to be a recurring theme and makes a bunch of sense
2) KITS (depend on trip, length, etc):
A) Safety / First Aid / Survival kits - water, shelter/tent, sleeping bags, food, poncho, blankets, lighter/matches, signal mirror (may not want to rip off the rearview), whistle, toilet paper
B) Toolkit - Shovel, axe, torx, sockets, screwdrivers, duct tape, multipurpose knifes (Swiss Army / Leatherman/Woodmans / Hunting - containing bottle opener and corkscrew), bungee cords, gloves
C) Communications - Cell phone (and charger), CB radio, Ham radio
4) Tow Strap - Winch or come along
5) Fire extinguisher - more than just in a safety kit - there is a thread on installations!
6) Lotions - but beware of sand dunes - Wear Sunblock regardless, insect repellent, carmex
8) Flashlight - LED recommended with photolith batteries
9) Map and compass and let people know where you're going (leave a note / flight plan!)
10) Watch the videos above!
10a) New addition - compressor!!! At minimum one of those boost start / compressors for emergencies and when you want to go in the sand if you haven't already bought that big daddy Warn winch.
COMMON SENSE ITEMS (For some - for the rest of us new info!)
11) Don't wheel alone
12) Don't park under trees with the top off
13) Thieves will cut the soft top to get at what they can see (leave a window open!)
14) Don't drive around in 4-lo because you feel cool LOL
15) Don't drive into anything you don't scout out first or know.(ie common sense)
16) Don't go 40 into a mud hole (personal experience LOL)
17) Don't diss another mans/womans jeep.
18) Don't wear lip gloss at the sand dunes
19) It is a Jeep - while it might not seem like it - it can and will get stuck
And the video...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrwTPlogv3Q
20) Join a 4X4 club
DON'T FORGET (mostly for men...):
21) Don't wheel alone
22) Blonde, Redhead, or companion in passenger seat (over 18 please)
23) Jeep women are sophisticated so don't always assume beer (or PBR) hence the corkscrew above
24) Libations / adult beverages are for the destination
25) Avoid anything oral while in motion - thanks Jeep 888
26) The plastic windows WILL and DO scratch. Clean before storage. Use LOTS of water to get the majority of the dust off before using a microfiber towel with cleaners.
27) Several cleaners have been highly recommended but the 303 line seems to have the biggest thumbs up.
28) When the horn gets wet - it will sound like a duck - or worse
29) CARRY A CAMERA to show off your trip!
DRIVING IN SAND
From lots of folks and personal experience:
1. Some suggest 4Hi to keep you from hitting the throttle, over-torquing and breaking the threshold of traction and burying yourself in the sand. Some suggest 2wd until you start sinking.
2. Minimize turns and braking--steady movement is best to get you through the soft stuff. Turning creates resistance to the forward power being applied by your rear tires.
3. Handling appears to be improved by turning OFF the ESP
4. If DEEP SAND - lower tire pressure to 15 psi or lower (some suggested as low as 3 and 6 but I found some issues with loss of bead around 6). In any event - 15 worked great for us in deep sand going up hill!!!
There is a great little compressor (under $50) from Costco that we use now that runs the pressure per tire from 15 to 35 in under 3 minutes!
HILLS and ROCK CLIMBING and MUD
I'll post more here shortly....
Other honorable mentions:
Keep the wave alive!
The sunrider folds will all go behind the back seat - 2 Ws! click here