Living in and Converting a Jeep Cherokee
(Editors Note: Today we are having another guest post by my very good friends Forrest and Beth. They are very young but they have already packed two lifetimes of adventure in their few years: I tremendously admire them for that! 🙂 In today’s post they are going to tell us about their cross-country trip in a 4×4 Jeep Cherokee. I have to tell you that if you are considering living in an SUV I think a Cherokee would be my first choice. The engine and transmission is a very reliable and proven combination that gets reasonably good MPG. Under the sheet metal it is the exact same vehicle as a Jeep which means that there is a huge aftermarket of accessories to make it better off-road and 4-wheeling. But even box-stock it is a tremendously capable vehicle in the back-country. Best of all there are a lot of them available used so you can probably find one for a good price and parts and service are available for them everywhere. I think it may be the perfect adventure vehicle! Sprocket is their Black Lab that they had just gotten as a puppy.) Be sure to check out their great blog!! http://3upadventures.com/
The Cherokee is not the most comfortable rig to live out of. Especially for two people. HOWEVER, I’ve joked that if it were ever just Sprocket and I, I’d probably get one, put this set up in it and tow a 13′ Scamp. Because I love them both so much.
The whole 2010 road trip (Oregon to Texas to Key West to Maine back to Oregon) came about when I found a 5spd on Craigslist. I was driving an automatic Cherokee and getting ~18-20mpg and was hoping to pick up a few miles per gallon. They’re pretty rare so we headed out to buy it. Turns out we got 22-28mpg depending on elevation, speed traveled, etc. That thing LOVED going about 45mph at 6,000ft! We’d get that 28mpg only under those conditions. It could usually be counted on for 23 or 24mpg at 55mph.
We were 4-wheel drive equipped in a nice small secure package. Cherokees are also relatively easy to work on (you’ll have to talk to Forest more about this).