Editor’s note: Our Staffer, Jered Korfhage, is reporting from the road while on the Topless Tour 2018—a Jeep trip across the country with no top, no doors, and lots of wheeling. Below you’ll find his latest adventures.
I spent the last 10,000 miles with the BFGoodrich T/A Mud-Terrain KM3s (full tire test report coming soon!) and it was time for a new set of shoes. For the remaining half of the trip, I began the long-term test of Pirelli’s all-new Scorpion All-Terrain Plus. It was much easier schlepping five tires without the Jeep’s hardtop on.
After mounting the 285/70R17 rubbers, I had to pose for a shot with a fellow Jeep enthusiast.
The tires were clean for roughly 4 hours before I sank them in some sulfurous-smelling Ohio slime. These definitely are not mud-terrain tires, but with some careful line choice, the winch remained unused.
Back on the road. I found no thunderstorms as I crossed Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, but I did find boredom halfway through Nebraska. Solution? Navigate to the state line via nothing but dirt.
I logged just over 50 miles off the pavement before sundown. With no hopes of making it to Colorado to camp in a civilized manner, I settled with a road shower and a rest stop nap. The Shower Pouch was rather useful for cleaning the dragonflies and layers of dust from my face (and neck, and back, and everywhere else). Unlike a typical wet wipe, this cloth measures 1x2 feet, making a quick pseudo-shower a luxurious experience.
Driving across Colorado was cold. The mountains are scenic but I still could not find rain or snow. At a few points along the way, the Dometic CFX40W was actually warmer than the outside air.
I can’t say I did any extreme wheeling in Idaho, but I sure did cover some picturesque terrain. With no doors or roof, the signature crunching and grumbling of the rocks went straight to my ears, and I could focus less on line choice and more on the mountains around me.
I did some quick calculations and figured if I planned on getting to work on time come Monday morning, it was time to aim the Jeep toward California once again. This was my last chance to fill the tank with non-California gasoline, swelter in Nevada’s 100-degree heat, and re-learn how to deal with traffic.
Pictured here is 16 states’ worth of entomological data collection. Some of these bugs were as big as birds. No windshields were damaged here, only bugs.
My actual mileage of 5,646.5 fell short of the 6,000-mile estimate for the trip, but I’m not counting. I drove through 16 states, wheeled in five of them, and managed to not crack the entire Jeep in half.