Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Jeep Problems - Diagnostic Tips

The wear on my front drivers side tire was very bad. I thought it was a bad alignment. Neil of course knew the issue right away. It was the wheel bearing. Turns out it’s a common failure for all Jeeps. It was getting so bad it was affecting the ABS system. 

Tips on Diagonosing Tire Issues

A good way to diagnose what the problem could be...

unload the tire… get the weight off the tire… like putting the Jeep on a jack stand or jacking it up. Then with your hands at the 12 and 6 o’clock position of the tire… push it back and forth… if there is play in the tire, any movement at all, it’s the wheel bearing or ball joints. When you put your hands at the 3 and 9 o’clock position and do the same thing it’s tie rod ends. And of course, tire wear is a dead giveaway. 

It cost me about $150 for the hub assembly, but I learned something new with this problem. Each set of problems I learn a little more about my Jeep and become more confident. Especially when I am right there when it’s getting fixed. 

This is also a good lesson for those wanting to add upgrades to your Jeep. It will always lead to failures somewhere else on your Jeep so be prepared to empty your pockets. We replaced the assembly and my Jeep is good to go. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Top 5 Ways to Start Crafting a Better Life - A Jeep Life

 Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from. ~Seth Godin

My interpretation of this quote..  rather than just enjoy life while on vacations or holidays, we should strive to make our every day lives the ones we want to be living —every day of the week.

For most of us with Jeeps our Best Life includes wheeling in the great outdoors. However, in today’s world, making the time for wheeling is not always priority because of all our other commitments.  

When I became a Jeeper seven years ago I was struggling with my life. Something was missing, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. So I started a journey of discovery. What I discovered was, I wasn’t living my best life. 

How do you live your best life? 

To live my best life, I needed to stop wasting my precious time. There are so many ways we waste time and it was a real struggle when I began to realize I needed to be a little selfish. I needed to start saying no.    

Another way we waste time is trying to be accepted by our friends, co-workers and society. Everyone wants to be liked and accepted, but many of us spend too much time and energy worrying about what other people think. This kind of thinking makes you feel unworthy. It can become unhealthy and stressful. You might not even realize you are doing it. 

Now, I don't waste my time worrying about what others think. I don't need other people's approval of how I choose to live my life, or caring if I fit in one group or another. 

Now is my time, time to be who I want to be and not worry if I get the approval of my peers, friends, neighbors, co-workers or society. I am living my best life in a camper, spending time in the mountains with my Jeep, and working on Jeeps with very little commitments. I am not spending my time cleaning a four bedroom house or worrying about hurting someone’s feelings because I didn’t invite them to a party or going to an event I really don’t want to attend or trying to keep up with the Joneses putting on those fake facades. 

Another way to stop wasting time is simplifying life. Simplifying is getting rid of the clutter. It bogs you down. It’s a stress you don’t realize you have. There are two kinds of clutter, the physical and mental clutter. 

Getting rid of the clutter will allow you to enjoy more of your time. However, it is so much more than a de-clutter. It is a process and it can take several years before you can perfect it. 

I wanted to make my life one I don't need to go on vacation to escape from. It isn't easy to do, and can take a long time, but committing yourself to the process pays off. First, you have to change your mindset. You need to be open-minded. You need to realize stuff is just stuff. You will also need to be open to let go of people in your life. 

My Top 5 ways to start crafting a life you don’t need to escape from. 

(1) Make Relationships a Priority.

It’s okay to let go of those toxic “friends” from your life. It’s even okay to unfriend them and block them. Stop wasting your precious time arguing with these people online. Your main focus should be on the people who make you happy, give you joy, and are a positive influence in your life.  

(2) Remove Unneeded Possessions from Your Home & Life

Begin to train yourself...stuff is just stuff. Stuff does not make you happy. Since moving into the slide in camper I realized all that stuff in my old house was not needed to make my life happy one. When you go for months with very little you begin to realize all the stuff is not needed to enjoy your life. 

(3) Guard your time

It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to reduce the number of commitments in your life like volunteer positions attending events you don’t care about. 

(4) Take Care of Yourself. 

This was a big one for me. I had to learn to be selfish. I had to learn to say no. I had to learn it was okay to take time for just me. 

(5) Find Happiness in Your Every Day or for me it was take the time to Make Happiness in my everyday life. I did this by doing something little for me every day that made me happy. I also made sure I did something special every week for me that I enjoyed like taking my Jeep out for a topless ride or getting a pedicure or eating at my favorite restaurant. Then every month I planned a special event just for me like a wheeling trip or a concert. Something I enjoyed just for me. 

This was just the beginning of how I started to live my best life. It’s going to be different for everyone. You may not even know what your best life is because you are so bogged down with your old life. But for me changing my mindset helped me realize what was holding me back. It was a long several years, but it was needed to change my mindset. Now I am living my life for me and enjoying the amazing beauty out West. Not everyday is a vacation, there are still struggles but more days are vacations than not.

It's all about discovering and recognizing
happiness. If we get rid of the clutter we can see the happiness. It can be appreciated in the simple things in life. 

Changing our mindset and knowing where to
focus the energy is required. It won't happen overnight as it takes a long time to really start feeling true happiness in the simple.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Rubicon Trail: Final Day

Day Four on the Rubicon Trail, our last day on the iconic 4x4 trail. It didn't turn out how we expected, but it was meant to be. The day before we had to leave our CJ5 on the trail because it had engine issues and wouldn't start. It was a difficult decision for Neil and I which eventually changed our relationship. 

Mending Fences - Blog Post

Early that morning we left the coolest camping spot on Buck Island Lake.

It was a gorgeous primitive camping spot, much needed after the long day 3. 

Leaving the area was a sign of what was to come on the trail. The most difficult obstacles were ahead.  Big Sluice, Saw Toot, Scout Hole, Squeeze Rock and Cadillac Hill. Neil's great spotting skills got us through. 

There were some very intense moments for all of us. It was an amazing day for me as I traversed a lot of those obstacles on my own. I have come such a long ways from those first days at Rausch Creek Off Road Park in Pennsylvania  

It was so cool to see those places you always would hear about. 

The Steel Bridge

Rubicon Springs

Neil took a swim in the frigid waters. My boys and I opted not too. 

The trip up Cadillac Hill to Observation Hill was intense. It was just me and my boys. They were awesome giving me the courage I needed to keep moving forward. 

Once off the trail we found a place to eat. It was nice to all be together to celebrate our accomplishment. 

The rest is history... My Perfect Storm of Loss Blog Post.  

YouTube Videos

Rubicon Trail Day 4 Part 1
Rubicon Trail Day 4 Part 2
Rubicon Trail Day 4 Part 3
Rubicon Trail Day 4 Part 4
Rubicon Trail Day 4 Part 5

Blog Posts

Road to the Rubicon
Rubicon Trail Day 1 
Rubicon Trail Day 2
Rubicon Trail Day 3 - Hard Choices 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Top 5 Tools I Use The Most

Being prepared by bringing tools and recovery gear when you go off road is extremely important. I have several YouTube videos on my channel like, Top 5 tools needed, Top 5 Fluids needed, and many others. 

Jeep Momma YouTube Top 5 Videos 

You never know when or if you may even need those items so in this video I share what I have actually used while I am on those 4x4 trails.

                               Jeep Momma Tools & Recovery Gear Used

The video shares how each of these items where used. 

18mm Wrench - Big Hammer - Recovery Strap - Tree Saver - D-Ring - Soft Shackle
Snatch Block - Winch - 
Hi-Lift Jack - Colby Valve - Pry Bars - Ratchet Straps
Extra U Joints - Ratchet & Socket


The cool thing about the Jeep community is... "You may not have it all together, but together you will have it all."

Don’t get too crazy trying to pack everything and the kitchen sink into your Jeep. It’s good to be prepared. 

You may not use everything you bring and you may not have everything you need, but you may have things others need and vice versa. 

Every time you go out you will learn what works for you and your style of wheeling. Just prepare the best you can and grow on that each time.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Rubicon Trail Day 3 - Hard Choices

To wheel the Rubicon Trail was a dream of mine from the moment I discovered it. That was back in 2014, and I never in a million years thought I would have the skills to tackle this iconic trail. 

Well, I finally made it. I was wheeling the Rubicon Trail with my kids. It is a mement I will cherish forever. In all the times I went wheeling, Michael wheeled with me once at Rausch Creek and Ben three times. So for them to be with me on the Rubicon Trail was a pretty big thing. 

At the time, I was frustrated and irritated. The trip wasn't going as we had planned. Little did I realize the Sierra Nevada Mountains had a different plan for us. A plan necessary for my emotional healing. A plan to show me to look at the positives in life.


We started the morning off having to tow Bumblebee, our yellow CJ5 - the negative. That meant Michael moved to my Jeep for the rest of the trip - the positive.

Rubicon Trail Day 3.1
Rubicon Trail Day 3.2
Jeep Momma YouTube Videos

I had the best time wheeling with my kids. They were amazing giving me support and words of encouragement on the trail. We shared many laughs and stories. I hope someday they will cherish the moment as much as I do.  

About midday on the trail we came across a local off roader.
He shared with us the trail gets harder as you push on. He advised us to turn around as towing would be almost impossible. We toiled over what to do. So many of us wanted to finish the trail. We came from long distances to wheel the trail. As you know from previous blog posts I made a promise to Michael, my oldest son. My kids always and forever will come first for me. 

Jeep Momma Blog Post

In the end after much debate and tears Neil made the decsion for us. He went against every fiber of his being and decided to leave the Jeep on the trail to rescue at a later day. It was extremely difficult for Neil and was dealing with a lot of inner emotions.  

We discussed our options with the property owner and he gave us permission to leave the Jeep. 

Leaving the Jeep was bittersweet. It was extremely hard but it alleviated some stress with our group. We also began to move a lot faster. The decision did put a strain on my relationship with Neil. We were barely speaking or interacting. It was very hard for me as this was the Rubicon Trail. Something we both should of been celebrating. 

Neil rode shotgun with Tara in the other CJ. Most of the time though he walked the trail and guided us all through the difficult obstacles. Neil played a crucial role getting us all off the trail. 

We finally made it to Buck Island Lake and found some really amazing campsites. It was a needed break for everyone.

 The lake cooled off some.

Other enjoyed the fireside chats. 

Neil made our dinner

Ben even did a little exploring. 

Even with the hardships on the trail I will always and forever remember the epic ride. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Jeep Momma Quick Tips

Years ago, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my life. I was lost and looking for direction. I was trying to find my passion.  After a lot of digging deep, I came to realize a long lost passion of writing and photography was my passion. It started in 4th grade creative writing class. I would always go back to it. High School was the newspaper. My career in TV news. Then my blog. It wasn't until I dug deep that I realized I had been living my passion. 

Search of my Passion Blog Post 

Once I made that connection I expanded my YouTube videos.  I stepped up my game with Jeep Momma's Garage videos by expanding to How To's, Top 5, Reviews, Installs. 

Jeep Momma on YouTube

Now once again I am adding Jeep Momma's Quick Tips. Short videos with Jeeping or Off-Roading or camping Tips. Check them out. I have uploaded five Quick Tip videos so far.  

Responsible Wheeling Quick Tip with Jeep Momma Wheel Spin destroys and Damages

Overlanding How To & Tips To Get Started in Your Jeep or 4x4 Vehicle 

Jeep Momma's Quick Tip OFF Road Recovery Gear Must Have Colby Valve + Discount Code

Jeep Momma's Quick Tip & Neil's Two Cents Winch Care & Maintenance

Jeep Momma's Quick Tip - Jeep Off Road Lights Aim

-How To Find-  Where to Wheel For those New Jeep Owners Jeep Momma Quick Tip  

Monday, October 19, 2020

A Must Do Jeep Modification

If I had to do it all over again Jeep Cables would be my first upgrade on my Jeep. Especially since I planned on lifting my Jeep eventually.


Check out this video Neil and I produced that explains why Jeep Cables are a great
upgrade, especially if you are going to add electrical modifications to your Jeep. 

Jeep Cables VS OEM Cables 


nstalling them in your Jeep is doable but can be time consuming. Watch the detailed step by step install video here for the JK/JKU.

Jeep Cables Step by Step Install Video 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Lithium Trim Serum Update

Recently, I used Lithium Trim Serum on my plastic fenders on my Jeep Wrangler. Overtime these plastic fenders fade from UV rays and get stained from mud. I have tried product after product trying to find the best one. 

Trim Serum Review Blog Post

20 % Discount Count Code:

Below are pictures 2 weeks and 3 weeks after the first application of the product. I am living in the high desert of Colorado so it can be very windy and super dusty. I needed to wash the fenders so you can see how the Trim Serum is holding up. 

2 Weeks 

3 Weeks


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Bucket List UPDATED

I haven't talked about my Bucket List in quite a while. It's been over a year. I guess it's because I have been on one big bucket list of an adventure. 

Well, I checked off a biggie this year. The Rubicon Trail. I never in a million years expected to be able to check that one off the list. But I did it. I can't wait to go again. It was an amazing trail. 

Now that I checked off the number one item on my list what's next? 

Ironicly, it's back to where it all started for me, Rausch Creek Off Road Park. I remember thinking when I first started wheeling, I would never be able to wheel those red trails. Well, now I am ready! Rock Creek and Crawl Daddy are on my list. I will then have come full circle. 

Visit Zion National Park
Head back to Rausch Creek to get the last Jeep Badge of Honor Crawl Daddy & wheel Rock Creek 
Wheel the Kentucky Adventure Trail
Wheel in Arizona
Visit Lake Tahoe
OffRoad at Windrock Off-Road Park 
Visit Iceland
Take a dip in the hot springs
Wheel in Colorado
Party in the Keys
Visit San Diego to watch the Navy Seals Train 
Overland across the US up thru Canada to Alaska
Jeep the Rubicon Trail
Hike Old Rag
Hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail
Gold Mine in Alaska
Visit a "Dude Ranch"
Visit Crater Lake 
Climb a Volcano in Hawaii
Revisit Yellowstone
Camp in the Grand Canyon
Hike & Wheel Big Bend National Park
Visit Bond Falls Houghton, Michigan
Visit My Family Farm in Norway 
Wheel Silver Lakes Sand Dunes

 Bucket List Ideas 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Discount Code: JeepMomma20

Those plastic fenders on the Wranglers are hard to keep looking sharp. The suns UV rays fades the plastic, and mud tends to stain them. For the past couple of years, I have been looking for a solution to keep them looking factory fresh. 

Fender Mythbusters YouTube Video 

Lithium Auto Care reached out to me and asked if I would try their Trim Serum product on my fenders. I have tried peanut butter and erasers, so why not.

20% Off Discount Code

Lithium’s Trim serum auto care product says:  TRANSFORMS WEATHERED & OXIDIZED TRIM – RUBBER & PLASTIC – IN SECONDS. 

Lithium Trim Serum Review

True, I would agree with that 100%. 

Out of all the products I have used, trim serum right off the bat makes my plastic fenders look amazing. Trim serum is designed to penetrate and seal all the rubber & plastic trim surfaces to make them look new again. It also helps keep the rubber and plastic from drying out, cracking and oxidizing.     


How long will it last? There is no trim protectant product that will last forever. The question is which one will last the longest. Trim serum from the start made my plastic fenders look brand new. It is supposed to last for several months. The company says about 20 washes. However, as Jeep owners most don’t even wash their Jeep that much in a lifetime. 

I plan on at least washing off my fenders weekly to check on how this product holds up. So far 2 weeks and they still look great. Out here in the San Luis Valley it's very dusty so my Jeep gets filthy constantly.   I used Trim Serum on all my plastic Jeep Parts - door handles, mirrors, dash, and the rubi rails.

Step 1 Wash the surface before applying the trim serum

Step 2  Apply trim serum to surface in a circular motion and let it remain on the surface for several minutes then buff dry.

Step 3 Allow the trim serum to cure for 6 to 12 hours before getting wet.

Additional coats may be needed for severely damaged or faded plastic.