The wait and ambiguity is over! The new steed in the DirtRoadTrip garage is a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon! I took delivery late last week after handing the keys to the Land Cruiser over to a new local owner.
Letting go of the Land Cruiser was a pretty difficult decision for me, it was my first true “Overlanding” truck and I spent over 60,000 miles behind her wheel and a ton of time and money building it into a better version of itself. She’d taken me from the rainy hill tops of Vermont all the way to the white sand beaches of the Florida Keys.
So why the change? The 200 series Land Cruiser has definite strengths in luxury, space, power, and reliability, and definite weaknesses in terms of dimensions, parts availability/cost, weight, and clearance.
As my off road driving skills have continued to improve, I’ve found myself searching for more and more challenging terrain and the size/weight of the Land Cruiser became a limiting factor. And I was swayed by seeing firsthand the capability of the Jeep JK Rubicon in tackling terrain that bested the Cruiser…
I’m definitely making some tradeoffs. The Jeep is a serious downgrade in comfort and power, but it makes up for it with it’s smaller footprint, lighter weight, aftermarket options, and excellent capability off road – even when stock. The last point has already made itself evident in the first weekend of ownership – The new stock Rubicon is already more capable off road on than the dearly departed and highly built 200.
Over the next few months we’ll be doing a serious no-holds-barred build on this JK. I hope you guys are not too disappointed about the switch to a Jeep – I promise it’ll be an exciting build to follow.