Wet and Topless

 We all love the unrivaled feeling of cruising our Jeep Wranglers sans the top, after all nothing in life feels quite as good as the wind in your hair, the sunshine on your face, and the warm reassuring hum of your slightly under inflated Mud-Terrains bobbing down the road. However, most of us who run around playing topless have an unwavering paranoia of sudden down pours. The constant worry of getting our interiors drenched and having to spend the drive home wondering if it has ruined any functionality in the Jeep is enough to keep the tops on most people’s rides. Now I’ll admit, we here in southern California have it a bit better but believe it or not we get surprise rain here too! So what’s exactly at risk here and is it OK to roll without a roof in all weather conditions?

 The majority of people I’ve met who’ve regaled me in their stories of getting caught in the rain usually ended their tale by brushing off the event as no big deal. The Jeep seems to have no issues taking a monsoon magnitude drenching without the top, if you ask owners. However, this shouldn’t be taken as an open invitation to throw on your flip flops, grab your favorite pool toy, and take your Wrangler through the nearest county experiencing a typhoon, as fun as that sounds. No sir, for not everyone should be so lucky. You see, while I said the majority of people seem to have had no issues, there are still several people who have ended up with problems.
Topless Jeep CJ

 The most common issue that has come up is the radio shorting out. It is no surprise that electronic gadgets in our Jeeps are not waterproof, is it? From the basic Jeep deck unit, to the 430N radio with navigation, and even aftermarket head units, all of these are highly susceptible to trouble in the rain. A ton of Jeep Wranglers owners have lucked out and not experienced this issue when forgetting their top, but luck will run out. One owner even claimed their cruise control stopped working for good after going topless in the rain. Electronics aside, the second worst offender of rain related interior mayhem is our good friend iron oxide. Yes rust! Pay a visit to your local drive through car wash minus your roof and you better remove your carpets and surround your Wrangler with fans to dry the cab. If you leave your interior wet your floor and brackets will undoubtable start to rust. Your seat frames will be the next victim so make sure you dry under there as well. You don’t want to be stuck with the task of removing your seats to tackle this rust spot.

 Having the top up during a storm is clearly your best bet. Don’t risk it, mother-nature will win eventually. However, if you do get caught with your pants down, or rather with your top off, take the necessary precautions and your Jeep will thank you. Remove your carpets as soon as you get home and dry the floor. The carpets themselves should probably be shampooed to avoid that mildewy funk. Dry off the seats with a fan for the same reason and to avoid possible mold. If you’re willing to put in the work and chance a radio, then you really don’t have much else to worry about in the rain. The only other thing to keep in mind is that seeing out of your windshield will be difficult when getting rained on, ask us how we know! So until Jeep has interior wipers as an option, carry a squeegee. Or better yet, stay dry and happy wheeling!