You are pretty close on the pro's and con's, except the loading time and the long trip thing. It takes me longer to load my cooler (fit all the beer and food inside) than it does to pull the front seat and install the platform. It takes me less than 5 minutes to do the swap. My platform is in 2 pieces, one covers the rear section, which stays in place all the time, and the other covers the passenger seat area. The framework for the front section, built from thin wall 1" square tube, bolts in place using the seat mounting bolts. There is a ton of storage under the front section of the platform. Enough room for all the tools I carry (in soft tool bags from Sears), my spare hardware collection (another Sears tool bag, stuffed with nuts/bolts/clips/hose clamps/etc), spare driveshaft, a couple of jackets, maps, rags, etc.
Originally Posted by 1leg
The rest of my gear stays stored in action-packers, so I just pick them up and go. Fully loaded, I can keep all of my gear below the window level, and leave the front part of the platform open for the dog to stretch out on.
Setting up camp takes about 5 minutes---I open the back door, pull all the junk out, slide it under the jeep, spread out my sleepingbag and pad....and I'm done. If I want, it takes a few more minutes to set up the table and chair....
"Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured" ~someone