Building the Ultimate Hunting Vehicle is no small task, but some small steps right at the beginning make a big difference. In this video, we head back to the dealership where we purchased our 2021 Wrangler JLU Rubicon for a few extras.
Best Cargo Mats for Jeep Wrangler
While there’s seemingly no limit to what you can spend on your hunting hobby, not to mention your hunting vehicle, I wanted to get the best cargo mats available for our build. While you would think that if you paid for floor mats on the invoice you’d get the rear cargo mat as well, you’d be wrong. And that’s not entirely bad.
Whether you’re talking about your favorite shotgun, ammo, or game to hunt, you’ll find some who agree with you and some who disagree. And the truth is, you could make an argument for a cargo mat with taller sides and complete coverage left to right.
But the issue I constantly ran into with the cargo mat of that description in our first Ultimate Hunting Vehicle build was that I usually have the back seats folded down so that the rear of them becomes a deck surface in line with the cargo department. There’s a lot more room for long guns when hunting and mountain bikes when just playing in the mountains. And without coverage on the seatbacks, they just got ugly.
This time, I wanted to find a way to protect my seatbacks in the JLU Rubicon. There’s not much to choose from in that form factor, so choosing the best cargo mat for the Jeep Wrangler proved easy: Go back to the dealer, Faricy Boys in Colorado, and pick up the Mopar 2021 Jeep Wrangler JL Cargo Mat. It appears Jeep has updated this mat since introducing it, solving some small problems that I read about elsewhere. In fact, I’d say it’s almost perfect, but I almost didn’t get it.
My hesitation? You have to cut into the cloth covering the back of your seats to install it! I mean, you buy a $55,000 Rubicon and then start hacking it up with a $3 utility knife and scissors? Well, it turns out that once you get past the emotional trauma, it’s a really great system. Don’t judge me.
My seats go up and down and my mat moves with them. I only wish it covered the full width in the back using slots to give you access to the D rings which I use all the time. And taller sides would allow snowmelt, etc., to be better captured. There is no rule that says you can’t drop a full-width tall-sided mat on top of the longer Mopar mat anyway. I’ll say the mat is worth every penny of the $174 I paid for it.
The Jeep Wrangler Paint Problem
In the first installment of this Ultimate Hunting Vehicle 2.0 series, I explained why we chose the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. I love the practicality of the four-door Wranglers, I love the fun, I appreciate that they are the infinitely customizable AR-15s of the automotive world. Nothing is perfect, though. The door hinges protrude from the body, and even on stock tires with no lift, they are rock magnets. I’m pretty sure I had them chipped before I got home from the dealership. Bummer, but not surprising. I expect the problem will repeat itself over the years so I’m glad Mopar has a simple solution. Well, two solutions, actually.
For bigger scratches, you can buy some spray paint, color-matched to your Jeep. Thankfully, I haven’t yet needed that yet. But I did pick up a can at the dealership as the UHV 2.0 will go places the mall crawlers never dream of. A can of Mopar Spray paint will run about $14.
For our door hinges, though, Jeep gives us a better option. The Mopar touch-up paint pen is a three-in-one solution for hinge paint chipping. The fourth part is a better painter than me, but this works and probably better than my skill level shows. The pen consists of an abrasive prep tip, exact color match paint, and clear coat, all in a single fat marker-looking package.
Mopar says, “Get a perfect match to the original FCA factory finish when restoring that scratch or chip right in your garage.” You’re still going to need some skill, and I’ll probably get better with time. Either way, for $17 it beats ignoring the damage and protects the Jeep. This purchase falls into the no-brainer category for me.
A Screen Protector Inside Your Ultimate Hunting Vehicle?
Perhaps that sounds as dumb to you as it does to type it. But, hear me out. The Mopar Media Center Screen Protector for 8.4 Screen is a lot like the screen protector you may have on your phone right now. No, we can’t really drop the screen in the center of the console, so what’s the point of this $20 spend? Mopar claims increased clarity. Perhaps someone with better eyes than mine could vouch for that.
I just figured it might be a way to mitigate fingerprints. And, if you have to operate it with filthy hands, you won’t mess up your $1500 upgraded glorious display. While I enjoy the premium sound system that comes with the 8.4″ screen, I flat out love that screen itself. On the off chance I might actually need that protection some time, $20 is totally worth it.
Door Sill Guards
After driving the UHV 1.0 for a while, I noticed how much damage my door sills got from mud and rocks in my boots. And then there are the scratches I just can’t explain. I know it’s going to happen again on my 2021 Rubicon UHV 2.0. Mitigation is the easy way to address that. Door sill guards from many manufacturers are a piece of cake to install and protect the most vulnerable areas of your door sills. You can find them in gaudy chrome-finished metal, much better stainless steel, or some polymer blend plastic. I chose plastic.
Why the cheapest? I don’t want shiny, and honestly, the black plastic on my white Rubicon door sills looks great. I also went with Mopar again here. My dealer had the Door Sill Guards in stock and for $80 and the Wrangler moniker molded in it just makes sense to me.
But the Dealer?
I admit it, having been part of the Jeep Wrangler world for many years now, I’ve not always maintained a very positive perspective about car dealers as a group. But having shopped around for a 2021 Rubicon, measured options, and salesperson involvement, I came away from my dealership experience impressed. I even met with the General Manager of Faricy Boys after purchasing my Jeep to see if they’d like to financially back the UHV 2.0 project. Note I did that after purchasing the Jeep, not trying to play some card from a media outlet new to them. Unfortunately for me, they don’t do that kind of promotion at this time, and probably never.
Still, it was a productive conversation. We talked about how we Jeep owners worry about voiding warranties with upgrades, etc. It seems I have a lot less to worry about than I would have guessed. Hopefully, I’ll never have the occasion to test that. The Parts Department manager is an off-roading enthusiast and understands my priorities on this build, always a good thing when you have questions.
The fact remains that a Dealership can cost more, but not always. But you don’t pay shipping and they are probably just down the road. Convenience is worth something to me, maybe it is to you, too.
I really don’t know if I’ll be back at the dealership for the purpose of this build or not. Most of what I have on the roadmap at this point isn’t from Mopar. In fact, I have an Addictive Desert Designs bumper from Extreme Terrain waiting in the garage even now. Come back for that installment of the UHV 2.0 build soon!