Wanted: Jeep Van Down By The River - 4xForward

A Forward Control, VW Van, or Ram Promaster

Fred WilliamsWriterChryslerPhotographer

This issue is packed with the off-road lifestyle section, the old iron section, and a bunch of cool Moab features. It got me thinking about my old iron, my recent trip to Moab, and whether or not I was living the off-road lifestyle? My answer: Jeep needs to build a Wrangler based minivan.

I’ll explain. My favorite old iron is my ’64 four-door forward control Jeep (photo 1), but as much as I like it, I wish it was the even rarer van variant that my friend Jesse has (2). I want a van because I like the idea of an off-road vehicle in which you can go from driver’s seat to bed during backcountry exploring. While at Moab I also noticed a number of families in Jeep Wranglers, and mountain bikers, rock climbers, and hikers driving Subarus, not Jeeps.

Recently I was told I needed to move out of my rental. I have begun looking for a new place to live. Then I thought of some good friends of mine who are driving around the world in a 4x4 Volkswagen Syncro Van (3).

Finally, the other day I drove by a Ram/Jeep dealership and saw the new ProMaster van.

Jeep design guys, take a low-roof 118-inch ProMaster cargo van and drop it on a Jeep JK Wrangler chassis and call it the Jeep-Master Van (like 4). Add knobby rubber and wait for the orders.

Some families fit better in a van, but many guys hate to be seen driving a minivan. The same goes for women. I know many who would rather die than end up driving a very practical minivan.

Jeep is having no issue selling Wranglers, many to soccor moms, so maybe they need a new model to steal away market share from all the other minivan companies and small station wagon companies. Instead of slapping a bike rack on the roof of their Subaru, those other Moab-ites could put their bikes in the back of a Jeep-Master Van. Climbers and hikers would love a Jeep-Master Van they could take on a road trip to Moab and then sleep in when they got there.

Picture a solid-frame minivan with an economical V-6 engine, a Rubicon transfer case, and solid axles. The knobby tires don’t have to be huge, just enough to give the Jeep-Master a more aggressive look.

Plus, once my lease expires I’ll need a van to drive on dirt roads and park down by the river when I’m on my own worldwide trip.

Related Articles

It's Not Just Camping - 4xForward

Rick Péwé |

Whoops! Can Be Fun! - 4xForward

Rick Péwé |