Wednesday, September 30, 2015

50 Before 50: #27 Check




For years I have been coming to this parking lot.  Most of the time I never had any change to use in the parking meter. Sometimes maybe a dime or nickel. I figured there were other hurried moms or dads coming to this lot as well since it is right across the street from the pediatricians office. 





I tape 50 cents with a short little note to two parking meters. Hopefully my small random act of kindness will make someone smile. Better yet maybe they will even pay it forward giving someone else a smile as well.







          - Simple Living! - 
           -Enjoying Life! -
  - The Jeep Momma Way -

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monthly Guided Trail Ride

This past Saturday I loaded up my Jeep Wrangler with all my off-roading essentials, and hit the road. I was headed to the Rausch Creek Off Road Park in Pennsylvania. Even though it is a three hour drive to the park, it is totally worth it. There are 3,000 acres of trails for every level of off road enthusiast. 

The other great thing about the park is their options for every type of off-roader. You can wheel with a group of friends or your Jeep Club. They also offer off road driving classes. And if you are not familiar with the trails you can request a trail guide for your group. But the best is their monthly guided trail rides, perfect for the lone Jeeper like me. 



This was my first guided monthly trail ride. Myself and 14 other Jeepers met in the parking lot after we all readied our Jeeps for the trail. I popped down the soft top, and aired down my tires to 15 psi. In our group we actually had a Bronco, Landrover and Cherokee join us as well.





Now it is time to hit the trails. There was a wide variety of terrain for us to wheel. Everything from muddy water holes, rocky roads, rutted paths, and steep inclines. For me it is a total adrenaline rush over each obstacle I tackle. 


Then... the feeling of pure joy once I make it over the obstacle successfully. On past wheeling trips I felt if I scraped my undercarriage or rock sliders it was a failure, but not anymore. That's what they are there for. 

On this trip I stepped up my game attempting trails and obstacles I had by-passed in the past. Like this trail on this video I posted on You Tube. CLICK HERE for video. 

There was also the big rock obstacle at the end of the trail ride I finally attempted. But since I have a four door and my wheel base is longer, I didn't go over the rock because I would have high centered my Jeep. 
But it was still an intense short little climb as you can tell in this video. CLICK HERE 

As always on these trail rides I always wonder who is noisier... My Jeep or Me? Check out this video of all the sounds on the trail. Which do you think is noisier? CLICK HERE for video. 


I really don't like wheelin' through the water holes on the trails. But even though I am tense once I am through the water again it is a pure sense of accomplishment and excitement. 

CLICK HERE for Muddy Waters Ride 


Wheelin' at Rausch Creek for me is thrilling and exciting. It is my version of a theme park. Each time I go there is something new and different. The trails are ever changing and my level of confidence grows. I am looking forward to the next off-road adventure, just less than a month away when the women get together for Women's Wheelin' Day at Rausch Creek. I can't wait!!!

                    - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Off Road Must Have's

It has been quite a while since I have been out on the trails.
 My plan was to get to Rausch Creek Off Road Park a couple of times this summer. Unfortunately the Jeep events and monthly guided trail rides did not work with my schedule. That is the way it goes when you have summer vactions, family visits and other events happening in your life.

Now that fall has arrived and the kids are back in school my weekends are freeing up somewhat. So this Saturday I will get to hit the trails in my Jeep Wrangler. 

Since it has been a while, I need to refresh my memory on the essential items I should take with me out on the trails. So here is my Top Essentials needed when Off-roading out on the trails.




Fire Extinguisher


Recover Kit 
gloves, tree saver, tow strap, shackles, snatch block


CB Radio




Tools
You need to make sure your tool box is strapped down. 






Tire Deflators
pre-set them to your desired PSI.





Air Compressor
make sure it is one you can run off your battery.


Flat Tire Repair Kit


Tire Gauge









Shovel



Jumper Cables








HiJack Lift
make sure you know how to use it. These can be dangerous. 







Emergency supplies - First Aid Kit, Flashlight, hand warmers, emergency blanket, matches, 

Extra Clothes & shoes -- Food & Water




Oh yeah... if you have locking lug nuts make sure you bring your key.

And charge up your camera and video camera; fill up the gas tank and have a great time. Looks like I have all my essentials now I just need a good night sleep on Friday night then I'll be ready to hit the trails.


- Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jeep Wrangler Noises!


"Did you hear that?" My mom asked me while we were out cruising in my Jeep Wrangler. I had just installed my new rear bumper. I told her it was my d-rings (shackles) clanging on my rear bumper. Ever since she pointed it out I constantly heard the clanging noise, especially when I would bounce over the speed bumps in my neighborhood. It drove me nuts. 



So... I decided to buy the Daystar D-Ring Islolator kit to install on the rear bumper's shackles. 











This kit includes a black isolator and 2 washers. They are constructed with durable polyurethane material.  They are intended to prevent rattling against the anchor points. They also protect the finish of the bumper from damage. No more clanging, so the ad said. 




I installed them a week ago -- by the way -- a pretty easy and simple process. The isolator snaps onto the d-ring. Then all I had to do was slip the washers between the recovery point and the dring. 



So now was the test. Will they stop the clanging? I took my Jeep Wrangler out for a test drive through the neighborhood streets over several speed bumps. My top was down allowing for me to hear any noises better. I was impressed. The clanging noise was gone. The only negative to the Daystar isolator kit is the color. They do come in red, blue yellow and black.  But no purple! Maybe some day. 

       - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

50 Before 50: #32 Check

Just like with the Slurpee #39 and try a Moonpie #40, drink a margarita gets the same reaction when I tell folks I've never had one. "WHAT, YOU'VE NEVER HAD A MARGARITA?" 

Many years ago I tried a couple shots of tequila and had the worst headache of my life, so I stayed away from the stuff.





So all those mom's nights out, I would have the lone beer or lone glass of wine while the group shared pitcher upon pitcher of margaritas. 

Now that my 50th is drawing near I figured I had better figure out what all the fuss is about. My good friend Jessica took me out to one of my favorite places for lunch for a belated birthday celebration. She bought me my first margarita to try. It was a Cadallic margarita with Grand Marnier an orange-flavored cognac liqueur and a top shelf tequila. The Cadallic Margarita is 
smoother with a more rich taste.





The first sip was not what I was expecting. A little tart as you can see from the picture. But after a couple more sips it went down smooth as silk. And guess what?  I didn't have a headache the next day. 







I drank every last drop. I'm looking forward to another night out with chips, salsa and a whole pitcher of margarita's just for me!






        

- Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Winterize Your Wrangler!


Old Man Winter is just around the corner for a lot of us. Wintertime can be hard on a vehicle. The cold temperatures, the salt on the streets damaging our under bellies, snow and ice -- okay this part maybe not so much for Jeep Wranglers. But... It is important to take extra care of your Jeep during these winter months, so you can continue to enjoy many years of fun with your Jeep, no matter what the weather. 

Here are some tips I have gathered from my own experience and from other Jeepers, that I would like to pass on to you. First, I will start with a Mythbuster. Auto experts today say you should warm up your vehicle for no more than 30 seconds before you start driving in the winter. It doesn't help your vehicle to warm it up any longer than that. 


Washington Post Article - Winter Myth 



If you have a hard top, it is time to start thinking about putting it back on. I don't have a hard top so I make sure my soft top is cleaned with special soft top cleaners and I use a soft top protectant. Now for those of you in the deep South and Southwest, it may be time for you to take off the hard top to enjoy those cooler winter temperatures.  






Keep a Full Tank of Gas -- this helps prevent condensation from forming on the walls of the tank and dripping down into your gas. 

Carry an Emergency Kit -- include a shovel, ice scraper, blankets, jumper cables, flashlights, extra clothes, recovery gear, and food & water.

Wintertime also requires extra preventive care and maintenance like checking your brakes. On older models you should flush your coolant. Don't forget a useful set of new windshield wiper blades can be helpful during ice, sleet or snowstorms. There are special winter wiper blades that offer shielding from snow, sleet and ice build up.  



Do not use an ice scraper on your mirrors as it could scratch them. Add some de-icer to your windshield washer fluid. And check your heat and defrosters to make sure they are operating properly. 

WRANGLER Owners: Lube the door hinges and put the torx bolt back on.

Wash and wax your Jeep to help protect the paint from the salty roads. 


Also if you off-road and have scraped your under carriage I suggest spending some time on those scratches to prevent rust from forming. 

Jeep Momma Undercarriage Rust Prevention Tips



Do you have any advice for Jeep owners looking to winterize their vehicles? Share them here!

        - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

50 Before 50: #14 Check

My 50 Before 50 list is suppose to be comprised of stuff I have never tried before.  But #14 on my list, I just couldn't pass it up. I have had two facials before but they have been a part of a girls weekend. This time I just wanted to have a facial be one of my everyday errands. 


I love facials, they are ten times more relaxing than a massage. It was pure Bliss! I think I just might make this a monthly "errand". But first I will need to find a job to pay for it. 

      - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Wrangler Trunk Storage Bags

Last week after reading more in my Jeep Wrangler owner's manual, I began to grow a little concerned for the weight I have been adding to my Jeep. I have added an aftermarket front and rear bumper, and rock sliders. These additions account for about 300 pounds extra in my Jeep.  I would also like to add additional armor to the undercarriage of my Jeep for more protection, but this means more weight to the Jeep. 

With concern for the weight in and on my Jeep... -- Some folks
tell me a couple hundred pounds over the correct load limit shouldn't be a big deal for a Jeep Wrangler, especially a Rubicon -- ...but I decided to take out my Tuffy Storage Trunk anyway. It is made of 16 gauge steel and is quite heavy.  



As I was looking around for other storage alternatives, I realized that these other possibilities were very pricey -- too much for my budget. I wasn't ready to spend hundreds of dollars for a Jeep storage unit. Nor did I have a need for a storage unit to be permanent or heavy. 


I still use my Jeep as my daily driver and my needs for the trunk can change from week to week, even day to day. My Jeep can be a "Grocery Getter" one minute then a "Soccer Mom" vehicle the next. Then it is my off-road trail cruncher over the weekend. So my Jeep trunk needs to be versatile in the storage department .   


During this whole process the stars seemed to line up for me. Red Kitty Industries contacted me about their Jeep storage bags. They sent me out the RightLine Jeep Trunk Storage Bag for review.




I received the Storage Bag quickly and immediately installed
the bag. It was a perfect fit for me, and it is reasonably priced. Compared to other storage units out there this price works perfect for my kind of budget. 

$144.95

Now, I'm looking at the Jeep Side Storage Bag. It looks like a great fit for my first aid kit and other "mommy" necessities to fit in my Jeep -- Sunscreen, bug spray, wet wipes... the list goes on.  

      - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Jeep Wrangler Storage Solution




Ever since my new found love for off-roading, I have begun
to collect "stuff" -- Tools, Recovery Gear, Emergency Supplies, First Aid Kit and more. This "stuff" starts to pile up in the Jeep. When you are off-roading you can't just have this "stuff" laying around in the back of your Jeep. It can be dangerous as you bounce around on the trails or even if (knock on wood) -- you roll your Jeep. 


I used to have a 16 gauge steel storage trunk in my Jeep Wrangler. It was extra weight I didn't want in my Jeep, and not an efficient way to organize my "Stuff".



So when the folks at Red Kitty Industries asked me to test out their RightLine Gear Trunk Storage Bag, I was all over it.

It was shipped out, and the next day it was at my door. The bag came neatly folded in it's own box with all the necessary pieces. 



This storage bag was made specifically for the JK (2 door) and the JKU (4 door). I was pretty excited when it arrived, because I like to organize and have my "stuff" organized. 


It was a simple process to install. After inserting the plastic sleeves, I filled the pouches with my "stuff". I like the 4 separate compartments that hold my "stuff". 

Then I attached the straps to the attachment rings on the bottom of the rear seat. 



Then I aligned the storage bag to the top of the rear seat, and buckled the straps to the roll bar and rear seat head rests. 

It was a very simple, easy install. Of course if you know me, once it was installed I had to re-organize my "stuff". Yeah I know it's a sickness.   


The RightLine Trunk Storage bag fits perfect behind the rear seat of my 4 door Wrangler and leaves room for more "stuff". In the 2 door Jeep, with its angled design this bag utilizes all the space in the Jeep's trunk.




It features 4 waterproof zipper compartments with an inner mesh pouch. I was able to fit all my Jeep "stuff" in the compartments with room for more "stuff". 




It is made from PVC Coated mesh which is a stiffer nylon re-enforced PVC. It is weatherproof and UV resistant. So I will feel safe with it in the back of my Jeep Wrangler with my top down all summer long. The bag has welded seams and urethane coated zippers for an easy zip and unzip to get at my "stuff". 

And.... this storage bag can be easily removed from my Jeep and carried with the handle or shoulder strap where ever I want to take it. 

I love this RightLine Storage bag because I am able to lessen the weight in my Jeep and get rid of the bulky, heavy steel trunk. Plus the fact this storage bag has 4 separate compartments to keep my Jeep "stuff" organized. 

Now I will have to check out the cool storage bags they have like the Jeep Side Storage Bag. 

     - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! -

Red Kitty Industries provided the Trunk Storage Bag for review. No additional compensation received. All opinions are my own.