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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

6 Vital Jeep Accessories for Spring and Summer!

Greetings, Jeep Lovers!
Ahh...New England.  Land of palm trees and sunshine...oh wait.  Nope.  That's not quite right.  In fact, as I write this we are recovering from a foot of snow that was dumped on us a few days ago, and this is the First Day of Spring!  Oh well...we love our weather here at Lahti's Jeep in Central Massachusetts, but luckily this post will be useful to everyone (except perhaps our friends in Alaska).

As I said, as of today, Spring is officially here!  The weather may not know it, but after a hearty New England winter, we are all ready for some serious sun.  So I'm giving everyone a head start, and we're going to discuss 6 amazing accessories that will help everyone get the most out of their Jeeps later this Spring and into Summer.  Ranging in price from about $25 to around $800, we think you'll find something in this post that matches any budget.  Given that most of the locals are still sore from shoveling, this will give us something to look forward to and maybe start putting some cash away for, so when that blazing sun hits you'll be ready.

First up, the tube cooler!  This ingenious device straps to your rollbar and neatly packs away a six pack of your favorite canned beverage (Note: Never drink and drive).  Most can be had for around $25 and keep your drinks somewhat cool and very accessible, depending on which bar you choose to strap it to.  You can also pull it down and carry it like a backpack (or large purse), when you step out of your Jeep at the beach.

Then we have the mesh sun screen top, which doesn't flap or bubble in the breeze, allowing you to get just the right amount of sun, while driving in peace and quiet.  These can usually be had for under $50, but may require installing a retaining channel on your windshield first.  Still, it's a nice way to see the sights without being completely burnt to a crisp.

With a trail shade canopy, you can park and set up a picnic from the back of your Jeep, without much fuss.  Chill out in the shade while grilling up lunch, enjoying cool breezes and 270 degree visibility.  If you don't want to mount it to the spare tire, this item can be taken on a hike and staked down or attached to whatever you find handy (trees, for example).  Under $75.

For just under $200, you can get a fold-out tailgate table, that turns the inside of your tailgate (comes with mounting hardware) into a two-tier buffet center.  Just park the Jeep, whip out the picnic basket, unfold the table from its neat and clean, briefcase-sized travel position, set up lunch and dig in!  The 12 gauge aluminum table wipes down quick and clean, letting you get back on the road fast, without splinters in your backside from messy, sticky picnic tables.

When I was a kid, we took a trip to some crazy national park in Canada.  It was cold, it was dark and right around bedtime we started hearing some ridiculous animal sounds (I guess it could have been a raccoon, but I personally believe it was 2 or 3 large black bears.  Needless to say, we spent the rest of the night huddled for warmth in the back of the minivan.  If we had this handy tailgate tent, our speedy retreat would have involved a lot fewer steps!  Depending on the brand, sale prices, etc., this easily set-up tent can usually be had for for under $400.  Stay close to safety and carry your house on your back like a Jeep turtle - negating the need to unpack each and every god forsaken item before you crash for the night.

Last but not least, and the priciest item I'm highlighting today, a portable fridge/freezer can work wonders.  I can almost hear you asking, "But I have a little, rinky-dink 12-volt cooler already...why do I need this?"  This is not a "powered cooler", this is an actual refrigerator/freezer!  The reasons people are shelling out almost $800 for this little baby are many.  Firstly, it comes in a 50-quart size.  How big is that you ask?  Think 72 12 oz. cans. You read that right, 72.  Forget about the waterlogged sandwich or shifting ice - no longer an issue.  The front-opening lid, and strong, patented hinge allows you to actually get to all your goodies inside.  Got a 2 liter bottle of cola?   No problem - guaranteed to fit.  Electrical cables getting tangled and lost?  Nope.  Built in cable retention.  Matter of fact, it comes with two cables, one DC for the road and one AC for at-home use.  This sucker can go from the backyard to the boat to the Jeep, all in a weekend!  Packing away your perishables is no longer an issue.  Now you just need to pick where to go, stop at the store and head out!

Well I hope this brightens your day a bit and gets those creative juices flowing.  Spring is here, believe it or not, and pretty soon we'll all be complaining about the heat.  Here's hoping you have a great summer on the way, and I hope these items come in handy to let you take advantage of all the open road has to offer.
Until next time, stay safe out there!
- J.M. for Lahti's