The Simplest Ways to Waterproof a Jeepby Jen Davis
Jeeps are, by nature, only partially waterproof. Due to the high number of detachable, removable parts on Jeep Wranglers, these vehicles have a tendency to leak. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the amount of water that gets into your Jeep and small changes you can make to reduce the problems you have when water gets into your Jeep.
Hard Top and Doors
The soft top on a Jeep Wrangler is probably the leakiest part of the vehicle. The soft top is essentially vinyl held together with overlapping zippers and Velcro. While it is relatively waterproof when it leaves the factory, over time it will wear out and begin leaking. By replacing your Wrangler's soft top with a hard top and your half-doors with full doors, you can significantly reduce the amount of water that will come into your Jeep.
Maintain Your Top and Doors
The more you remove your Jeep's top and doors, the more wear and tear they will develop. You should make sure to properly maintain and store your Jeep's removable pieces. If you see that something is starting to wear out, such as a velcro closure, replace the part. If a seal starts to leak, re-seal it.
You should expect to replace your Jeep soft top every couple of years if you regularly take the top down. If you really want to avoid damaging the top and extend the life to the fullest, leave the top in one position for as long as possible. You can either leave your top up or leave it down and use a specially made cover to protect your Jeep from the elements when it is not in use.
Remove Carpeting and Drain Plugs
The carpeting in your Jeep Wrangler is made to come out, so unsnap it and remove it from the Jeep. This way if water gets in, which it inevitably will at some point if you take your top off or open your windows, you don't have to worry about wet carpeting. Also, there are rubber drain plugs in the floorboards of your Jeep. Pop these out and any water that comes into the Jeep will flow right back out onto the ground.
Install Waterproof Options
You can purchase aftermarket, waterproof accessories and options for your Jeep. Waterproof seat covers will greatly reduce the amount of moisture that soaks into your cloth seats if they happen to get wet and can prevent mold from forming. You can also purchase a waterproof marine radio/CD player that can withstand occasional leakage and even full-out rain storms with the top down.
- woman in open jeep image by Inger Anne HulbÃ¦kdal from Fotolia.com