We crunch the numbers and see what it really costs you. The answer isn’t as bad as it looks.
Using the jeepfan.com JK we tested out what the cost difference really is. During a few trail runs to Rausch Creek we kept track of the total fuel usage and applied it to $2.00/gallon gas vs. $4.00/gallon.
From our home base to Rausch Creek it’s about 60 miles one way. We filled the JK and set off for RC.
We wheeled the Jeep all day and drove it back and used less than 1/2 a tank of gas or roughly 9 gallons. Not bad fuel usage for a Jeep.
9 Gallons @ $2.00/gallon = $18.00
9 Gallons @ $4.00/gallon = $36.00
So the trip actually cost $18.00 more than it did a few years back. Sure $18.00 is more but it doesn’t seem like much considering it is a full day of enjoying the hobby we love so much.
If you have a trail rig that you trailer to the trail it’s gonna cost you more. Still, if you think about it it’s not enough to just park your vehicle and forget your off-road hobby. We all spend our hard earned money and time on building our trail Jeeps, not using them is a near crime.
Ways to Save
Drive your Jeep there instead of trailering. Towing will always cost more. Perhaps we will see the return of the moderate trail rig that can be driven to work daily and wheeled on the weekend.
Reduce your stuff you take with you to save on weight. Carrying loads of spare parts, tools, and stuff will weigh your Jeep down and reduce fuel efficiency. It is said that every 100 lbs reduces efficiency 10%.
Keep the accessories under control. Many of us spend extra money on our Jeeps on stuff that may not be a direct trail benefit. Spend your money on skid plates and lift kits rather than light guards and seat covers.
Build your Jeep just for the basics. A moderate 2-3″ lift and 33-35″ tires makes a formidable trail Jeep that can be driven daily for not too much money. Look at 2-2.5″ spacer lifts for coil spring Jeeps.