2016 JK Family Truckster build


I'm back in a Jeep after bouncing around a little bit. Started with a '99 TJ that started the exploration bug.

Moved on to a Tacoma

Supersized to a Tundra (photo taken at Expo East -great time)

Ten years after selling the TJ, I'm finally back in another Jeep. They've come a long way. I ordered it the way I wanted it. A 2016 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock, 4:10's, hard top, Nav, side airbags. The only mess up was when it came in, it had max tow, which I was was not charged for.
The plans are to keep it fairly light, nothing crazy. It's a daily driver, family truckster so it needs to drive good, ride good, carry loads well, and not be too tall for my wife and 8 & 12 y/o daughters to get in. I have the 285/70r17 KO2's in my garage, that were on my Tundra that I plan to put on he Jeep. Just need to pick up a spare. The biggest tire size I see going up to would be 285/75r17. I don't care for the stiff way the 19/60 springs ride unloaded and mushing ride when loaded. I have a trip from Central Florida to Nova Scotia & Maine planned the end of June, so I haven't work cut out for me to get the mods done. Here's what the plans are so far:

I already found a full set of 3 mo old Bilstein 5100's on Craigslist

Next to get:
Teraflex rear rack
Wire the back for my Waeco CF50
Look into better headlights
Either Synergy 1", Rock Krawler 1.5", or OME springs
Proper bump stops
AEV correction Brackets
Rear track bar bracket
Hard top headliner
Rear seat recline spacers

I've had it for a week and we've already explored the Seminole State Forest Wildlife Management area, even found a hidden springs and looked for sharks teeth. It feels good to be back.

Last edited:

Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
Welcome back! :beer:

Great platform to start with. A good set of springs and shocks will go a long way. Great set of mods to start with.


Looks good.

On the headlights... after having tried at least half a dozen different setups (from cheap to expensive), I'd look at 2 options. Either a set of Trucklites (I think you get better value out of those over JWspeakers EVO2) or Hella's (halogens) with a harness. Just keep in mind that hot glass lens and cold wet mud don't mix - went through a couple sets before going with LEDs.

TLs will likely run 350-450 (guessing). Check out the used market, as you can find some decent ones that way. Hella's and a harness will cost around 250-350 (it's been a while). Both are very good upgrades and well worth the money.



My JKUR is a DD and I have been very happy with the build quality and comfort.

I have done a few mods, but doubt that I will use all of the Jeep's potential.

The only thing I am lacking is cargo capacity. At some point I will need to invest in a trailer.



Trucklites are definitely the way to go. I just wish I would've gotten them with the new heater (I live in PA). I think shocks are the next upgrade for me. Good luck with your build.


Autism Family Travellers!
I third or forth or fifth...the trucklites. The best light for the Jeep. Also, I would add a few days on your trip if possible and get to newfoundland. See icebergs, whales etc....Worth the time to go...Hey I am a bit biased since I live here tho. Too funny, I am heading to Zephyrhills, the end of the june!


I'm overdue for an update. The trip to the northeast from Florida went well. We explored Maine, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. It was a good trip. I installed a Teraflex rear cargo shelf, and that worked really well. We were able to have 2 levels of storage in the back. The Bestop rear rack above the spare worked ok, but didn't put anything too heavy on it, just sleeping bags. The Trasharoo worked good until one of the buckles that holds it to the tire broke. I learned the 19/60 springs aren't going to cut it. All in all, the trip went well. 3900 miles in 13 days. Getting ready for Overland Expo East now.


Jeff Patterson

I have the same Jeep with the same spring combo - what are your thoughts about a spring replacement now that you have some miles under your belt? Thx


The 19/60 springs weren't too bad for daily use. My Jeep is pretty light without the heavy bumpers, and winches. On the trip loaded down, it sagged pretty good and bounced off the bumpstops. Last week I installed an AEV 2.5 lift. So far, I love it. We will see how it handles the load on the way to Expo East with my trailer.

Good eye on 'Mater! He is (was) a good camping pillow. We lost him somewhere in the DC area on the way home.


How much weight is the Trasharoo and the extra rack up top putting on the factory spare mount (I assume the rack links in to the spare mount/tailgate)?


How much weight is the Trasharoo and the extra rack up top putting on the factory spare mount (I assume the rack links in to the spare mount/tailgate)?
I didn't want to put too much stress on the tailgate. On the rack, I only had 4 sleeping bags in the big duffel. In the trasharoo, I have a Luggable Loo (5 gallon bucket toilet set-up) and water shoes. Nothing heavy, just bulky.


View attachment 369473

Same concern here so I just installed the Morryde HD Hinge Kit, seems quite stout and has grease zerks.
I have had these for a few years now (pretty sure I put them on 2 summers ago). Absolutely love them. However, while they're great to put a little more weight on the tailgate, if one plans on doing anything excessive I'd go with the Teraflex setup (or something similar).

I love the hinges. For my heavy 35" spare, they've been great. I even like them just for one's general sanity, even if one isn't going to go with a 35+ inch tire. I'd even toss up a loaded trasheroo on there with no concerns. However this summer I purchased the Titan Tank (13g fuel tank) and MorRyde's tailgate re-inforcement setup. However with the weight of the spare and a full Titan Tank, the hinges and MorRyde's setup can't handle the weight. Without the tire or with the tank empty it's fine, but both is too much. I've been told by others on here that people with the Teraflex and this same setup have not had any issues, so next summer that's likely the route I'll go. Which is unfortunate as I love the idea of supporting small companies who are making new innovative products. But for an easy and cheap way to securely pack an oversized spare, they're a great way to go.

Just thought I'd share.