Leaving The Top but Take the Straps - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-21-2017, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Cool Leaving The Top but Take the Straps

Hey fellow Jeepers,
So I have a bit of a delima and looking for a few suggestions. Maybe a few others have a similar setup that works well. So I have a 2015 JKU w/factory hardtop; I'm adding safari straps so during the nicer mos. I take the dogs with me and not worry about them trying to jump out.

We are planning a family vacation down to FL in a few weeks and want to be able to leave the hardtop at home, but as everyone thats ever been to florida knows afternoon rain showers and pop-up storms happen almost daily. I've looked through the soft top options and read reviews on trail cab covers, emergency tops, etc.

While the cab cover would probably keep everything inside drier, it doesn't allow for driving since you can't see out and it would be a 'pull-over and wait it out' scenario. The emergency top does allow for driving at low speeds and seems to have some mixed reviews with how well it works. Personally, I don't mind if a bit of rain gets in, that why jeeps have drain plugs in the floor plus I have slush mats which would catch some of it.

My main concern is on the drive down getting drenched in a down pour and all our stuff getting soaked before we check in at the hotel. So I started thinking, is there another option that I'm just not thinking about. Maybe getting a bikini top with duster for the ride down and just store it. Not sure that the duster would actually work with the straps though.

I don't really want a full soft-top that requires me to install a lot of additional hardware that I would need to remove when I switch tops. The tailgate channel I have to have for the safari straps, which I plan to leave the straps on 24/7/365, so a minimal install is cool.

Anyway, if anyone has a similar situation (hardtop at home and ride w/straps), I'd love to hear your setup and any pros/cons you have with it.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-22-2017, 09:50 AM
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If you're going to go opern air and expect the rain not to win the battle, you're sorely mistaken. Open air driving means carpet comes out, drain plugs removed, garbage bags as emergency waterproof seat covers, etc. The carpet never dries and smells like mildew about six seconds after the water hits it.

Go full soft top and be happy you did; there's very little hardware that gets installed and it works very nicely. Great protection from rain and shine.

Get a Spiderwebshade also. Good sun protection but lets the wind flow.

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OKAY FUCKMOUTH.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-22-2017, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nlgrav182 View Post
If you're going to go opern air and expect the rain not to win the battle, you're sorely mistaken. Open air driving means carpet comes out, drain plugs removed, garbage bags as emergency waterproof seat covers, etc. The carpet never dries and smells like mildew about six seconds after the water hits it.
Thanks for the feedback.

Well, I wouldn't really say I expect to win in a battle of me vs. the rain. The way I see it is if you have a jeep and expect to take the top off you will get wet eventually. Just looking for options to keep the wife happy..and stay mostly dry..when I want to that is


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Originally Posted by nlgrav182 View Post
Go full soft top and be happy you did; there's very little hardware that gets installed and it works very nicely. Great protection from rain and shine.
Any recommendations on one that works well without the need to install 100 additional pieces and 1000 bolts? I do like the look of the NX tops. I watched a few install vids on some tops and while I understand it all provides for a better experience when the top is on; keeping up with all those pieces when you switch from hard top to soft top would be a nightmare.

The market seems to be flooded with about 100 different options in soft tops, which is great, but can confuse the heck out of someone too. Thats where the forums are great to hear some real feedback and not marketing hype.

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Originally Posted by nlgrav182 View Post
Get a Spiderwebshade also. Good sun protection but lets the wind flow.
Yeah, thats why I was looking at the bikini top and duster, still get the open feeling but can get away from the sun for a few. Although the wind jammer doesn't fully enclose the back.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-22-2017, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bmccurdy View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

Well, I wouldn't really say I expect to win in a battle of me vs. the rain. The way I see it is if you have a jeep and expect to take the top off you will get wet eventually. Just looking for options to keep the wife happy..and stay mostly dry..when I want to that is
You want to make the wife happy? Buy her an ACE Lava Jacket.

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Originally Posted by bmccurdy View Post
Any recommendations on one that works well without the need to install 100 additional pieces and 1000 bolts? I do like the look of the NX tops. I watched a few install vids on some tops and while I understand it all provides for a better experience when the top is on; keeping up with all those pieces when you switch from hard top to soft top would be a nightmare.
Stock top is my preference. Off Road Heroes top gets great reviews but rarely come along in the secondary market. You can get a like new factory soft top for under $500, and the parts list includes:
Soft top and frame (already assembled)
3 windows
2 C-pillar mounting brackets
4 screws
2 front door surrounds
2 rear door surrounds
6 screw knobs
1 tailgate bar

and that's it. Very simple.

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Originally Posted by bmccurdy View Post
Yeah, thats why I was looking at the bikini top and duster, still get the open feeling but can get away from the sun for a few. Although the wind jammer doesn't fully enclose the back.
I don't like bikini tops anymore because they don't protect the cargo area from the elements. Even the limited coverage a factory top gives you in a rain storm is more than a NX or bikini.

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OKAY FUCKMOUTH.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-22-2017, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmccurdy View Post
Hey fellow Jeepers,
So I have a bit of a delima and looking for a few suggestions. Maybe a few others have a similar setup that works well. So I have a 2015 JKU w/factory hardtop; I'm adding safari straps so during the nicer mos. I take the dogs with me and not worry about them trying to jump out.

We are planning a family vacation down to FL in a few weeks and want to be able to leave the hardtop at home, but as everyone thats ever been to florida knows afternoon rain showers and pop-up storms happen almost daily. I've looked through the soft top options and read reviews on trail cab covers, emergency tops, etc.

While the cab cover would probably keep everything inside drier, it doesn't allow for driving since you can't see out and it would be a 'pull-over and wait it out' scenario. The emergency top does allow for driving at low speeds and seems to have some mixed reviews with how well it works. Personally, I don't mind if a bit of rain gets in, that why jeeps have drain plugs in the floor plus I have slush mats which would catch some of it.

My main concern is on the drive down getting drenched in a down pour and all our stuff getting soaked before we check in at the hotel. So I started thinking, is there another option that I'm just not thinking about. Maybe getting a bikini top with duster for the ride down and just store it. Not sure that the duster would actually work with the straps though.

I don't really want a full soft-top that requires me to install a lot of additional hardware that I would need to remove when I switch tops. The tailgate channel I have to have for the safari straps, which I plan to leave the straps on 24/7/365, so a minimal install is cool.

Anyway, if anyone has a similar situation (hardtop at home and ride w/straps), I'd love to hear your setup and any pros/cons you have with it.

Thanks.

So , I went thru this for 3-4 years while working in a corp office across Nashville as well as when we only had a one Jeep garage. I ran a bikini/cargo duster for a loooong time on my '11 JKU and carried a tarp with enough bungee cords to lash it down fairly fast when the rain came but it sucked after a flash rain because then it was soaked and I was in a humid parking lot rolling or folding up a tarp and getting soaked it seemed every other week ( middle Tennessee weather , not too unlike Florida for being sporadic as all get out)& I grew extremely tired of it.
The final year of running the bikini/duster/window thingy was done with one of these ; I think mine was either Besttop or, nope; it was Rugged Ridge and while better and more easily contained ,
you cannot drive with them on( tho' I sure as heck have). But, if you need emergency coverage these are good for around $150 :

I have since said to heck with that and been running a Trektop NX for two years and my hardtop has not left the back yard where it is wrapped in
all the tarps I mentioned and just sitting there.

You will read about Rampage and or Smittybilt or other emergency tops or trail tops but this is an area of aftermarket parts ( tops) that you , literally get what you pay for. Ya cant really skimp out so do you are your family and mostly your Jeep a favor and shell out the ( seemingly , until you realize how well it works) ridiculous amount for a good softtop or else monster-line or rhino-line the whole interior, get vinyl seats with pop top drain tabs in the floor and remove the need to worry about it getting wet.

As @nlgrav182 said, the carpet gets one good soaking and you're in mildew , pee-pants smellin interior for the long haul is correct.
It also takes serious weather following diligence to go the "tarp or cover route"; it's more of a PITA than it is fun to run like that unless you're fortunate enough to live in New Mexico or Arizona.


<edit: the Jeep in that foto is not mine. Just a pict to show what I was talking about>


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post #6 of 7 Old 05-22-2017, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback j3ff3ry_j33p.

Yeah, thats kind of what I was thinking, the only real full solution would be to just get a full top that covers everything well and isn't a nightmare to install/deinstall. I don't mind spending the $$ as long as its on the right solution, would rather spend a little more and get it right the first time then spend $100 here, $200 there, only to find out none of it worked.

I just wanted to be sure there isn't a better, simpler solution that I'm overlooking and the Marketing guys trying to sell me something aren't telling me.

Trust me the Jeep as already been soaked. During the hurricane remnants that blew through here in NC last year I took my sons NJROTC group out to volunteer at a NCSU game..with the hardtop on mind you. Took all of about 5 sec piling in and out of it to drench the interior and get about an inch of standing water and mud in it. They had us park about a mile from the stadium in some field. But thats ok, I put it in 4wd and had a little fun gettin out of there
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-23-2017, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmccurdy View Post
Thanks for the feedback j3ff3ry_j33p.

Yeah, thats kind of what I was thinking, the only real full solution would be to just get a full top that covers everything well and isn't a nightmare to install/deinstall. I don't mind spending the $$ as long as its on the right solution, would rather spend a little more and get it right the first time then spend $100 here, $200 there, only to find out none of it worked.

I just wanted to be sure there isn't a better, simpler solution that I'm overlooking and the Marketing guys trying to sell me something aren't telling me.

Trust me the Jeep as already been soaked. During the hurricane remnants that blew through here in NC last year I took my sons NJROTC group out to volunteer at a NCSU game..with the hardtop on mind you. Took all of about 5 sec piling in and out of it to drench the interior and get about an inch of standing water and mud in it. They had us park about a mile from the stadium in some field. But thats ok, I put it in 4wd and had a little fun gettin out of there
hey, you're speaking to the king of ,"...then spend $100 here, $200 there, only to find out none of it worked..." heh.
On the subject of takin your boy and his fellow ROTC -cadets out in the rig and gettin it soaked, that is what Jeeps are good fer and what memories are all about...worth the soaking !


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