broadicustomworks

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Rented a 2020 Wrangler here in NC, drove it straight through all the way to Sewell in Odessa, TX.
Picked up our new BL Tuesday AM, headed south to Big Bend Ranch State Park, after a brief refuel in Alpine.

We camped out under the stars there in BBRSP the first night, got up, packed back up, headed out to Big Bend National Park to ride some trails.

We left the pavement and headed on our first off-road adventure down Glen Springs Rd, stopped briefly many times to switch drivers, take pics, do some light exploring on foot.

Rode it all the way to the end, checked out a few side trails at the far south end of River Rd, checked out the Village and the border crossing.

Headed back out, rode some more, checked out many more stops.
Headed back out to Terlingua, found a cool border-lands vibe bar and grille, slept like a rock.

The next day we took mainly 2 lane backroads back diagonal across TX, avoided interstates. It was really cool to watch the landscape and vegetation change as we did so.
Booked it on back to NC, logging about 2300 miles in 4 days.
Average MPG with the cruise set on 80 was about 14.4.

For about the first 30 minutes we kept it between 7-17mph. By the end I was throwing dust up behind me at over 55 on the sandy/Rocky River Rd. It handled it better, rode better, was amazing off-road at those speeds, drifting around curves, soaking up the dips and bumps. Had I aired down it would have been even smoother.

the good:
-plenty of power
-amazing ride and handling
-zone lighting comes in REALLY handy.
-no hint of mechanical or electrical issues.
-no squeaks, rattles, issues at all.

the bad:
-below 65 was better mileage but taking long trips at highway speed is going to have you stopping for gas frequently and drain that wallet.
-The prop-up rear soft top is handy, but is still a bit of a PITA to use. Quicker than a zip-out window like a Jeep. having to use both hands to open is a pain unless you open one side, easily sit it back down so it doesn’t latch, unlatch the other side.
-the passenger areas can get crampt quickly with trip stuff (blankets, pillows, drinks, snacks).
-the CarPlay was finicky at times.
-wind noise (to be expected)
-a bit more room under ANY of the seats would be super handy and nice to have to store some stuff on trips like FA kits, Recovery gear, etc.
-rear compartment plastics scuff very easily. Be prepared for this surprise.

observations:
-The soft top just kind of sits there on top of the roll cage, latched in front, you can put your whole hand up into the Bronco, allows for 98% of the wind noise vs just because it’s a soft top wind noise (I’ve owned ST Jeeps).
-The dash layout is good, got used to the gauge setup, and no, no one uses the regular speedo.
-Shifter is amazing in ergonomic design.
-Door panel tops are also at the perfect height.
-HVAC will blow you out of the seat at times. Very hot heat, very cold AC, hurricane-force power.
-auto dim lights were a cool novelty at first, quickly disabled it.
-as expected, the windshield is a bug magnet. Expect to clean it at every fill up.
-seats were nice, supportive, much better than the Jeep rental. (As was everything else).
-lots of little quirks and “figuring out” of features, like an adventure all on its own.
-at the car wash, (back to observation #1), spraying it off and even up at the seal showed no leaks.
-power seemed lacking on takeoff (I didn’t tach it up because of break in time), but rolling power is nice.
-upper dash is a great design, plenty of areas to store some items, and they don’t slide around and stay in the compartments.

recommendations:
-get the dash imprint decals from StickerFab. They really add a nice touch. Also invest in the door entry protection.
-Dual zone controls are priceless if you and your passenger have different ideas on what a comfortable traveling temp is.
-invest in some PPF (I have the armor version ordered from XPel). This is for at least the doors from the body line down.

https://www.xpel.com/ARMOR-Protection-Film

-Get out there. Get off pavement. See things you never could have/would have. Make memories. Take that trip. Pack that tent. Just do it. Your soul will thank you.


long story, but overall and abundantly happy. As many say, they are worth the wait, worth the struggle, worth the stress. You do tend to forget it all once you hit that Start button the first time.
SAS pkg handles things like a dream.
Y’all are gonna love them.
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j_marinelli

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Awesome to see you take the Bronco straight out from the dealer and make some memories with the family!
 

Razorbak86

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Great trip report, Dave! This is one of my favorite things about this forum. 😎

What were the most memorable parts of the trip for the girls? 🤔 What memories did you collectively create together? 🗺 What were the places, things, or daily routines that made them laugh 😂 or cry 😭? All the things that they will recount and talk about at future holidays and family get-togethers?
 
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broadicustomworks

broadicustomworks

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Great trip report! This is one of my favorite things about this forum. 😎

What were the most memorable parts of the trip for the girls? 🤔 What memories did you collectively create together? 🗺 What were the things that made them laugh 😂 or cry 😭?
Most memorable for them? Probably letting them both (daughters) drive for about a half hour on trails, and their first foray into camping out.
Mom also had some time in the saddle.

memories? Man…tons. We saw tumbleweed for the first time! We saw wild horses, bear, wild cacti for the first time. It was their first time in several states, and first time seeing Mexico. Now they also have the memory of driving 25 hours straight, and why that’s not the funnest time to have.

things that made them laugh? My reaction to seeing the tumbleweed “Holy Shit! It’s a tumbleweed”.

Things that made them cry? The fact that the restrooms in the desert don’t allow for the easiest of times. You can’t flush toilet paper, and the toilets don’t exactly flush that well even without it.
The lack of sleep and stench of burning oil rigs also had them about to revolt on me.
 
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Razorbak86

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Most memorable for them? Probably letting them both drive for about a half hour on trails, and their first foray into camping out.

memories? Man…tons. We saw tumbleweed for the first time! We saw wild horses, bear, wild cacti for the first time. It was their first time in several states, and first time seeing Mexico. Now they also have the memory of driving 25 hours straight, and why that’s not the funnest time to have.

things that made them laugh? My reaction to seeing the tumbleweed “Holy Shit! It’s a tumbleweed”.

Things that made them cry? The fact that the restrooms in the desert don’t allow for the easiest of times. You can’t flush toilet paper, and the toilets don’t exactly flush that well even without it.
The lack of sleep and stench of burning oil rigs also had them about to revolt on me.
Ahhh… good times! 👏

These stories will grow organically over the years, and when they are recanted 10 years from now, you will barely recognize them. 😉
 

BAUS67

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Great pics Dave !!!!!! That is how it's done, Bronco style. 🍻
 

BadDaddyP

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Really appreciate the post! We were down in Big Bend just last week for a few days. Love that area, though I was in a minivan. :(. My Badlands is still in the womb, but I have a build date in mid -January and if all works out, I'll be driving from Texas to Alabama the last week of January.

Curious about a couple of things. 1) did you have the factory soft top or the Retractable Full Soft Top. One of your picks suggested the latter. That's the one I want as I got to experience it here in Austin at Off Roadeo and it looks to be a little more "tight" than the basic soft top. 2) did you use the trailguide on the Bronco to find and navigate any trails? My road trip out to Tuscaloosa will be my first - but I think we'll take our time and get off-road along the way.
 

RoLyMa27

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Most memorable for them? Probably letting them both (daughters) drive for about a half hour on trails, and their first foray into camping out.
Mom also had some time in the saddle.
Awesome family on an epic adventure in one sweet ride. Thank you for sharing it with us.
 

RBF 1401

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Thanks for all the pics and details! What a fabulous way to break in your Bronco!!!😍😍
 
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broadicustomworks

broadicustomworks

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Really appreciate the post! We were down in Big Bend just last week for a few days. Love that area, though I was in a minivan. :(. My Badlands is still in the womb, but I have a build date in mid -January and if all works out, I'll be driving from Texas to Alabama the last week of January.

Curious about a couple of things. 1) did you have the factory soft top or the Retractable Full Soft Top. One of your picks suggested the latter. That's the one I want as I got to experience it here in Austin at Off Roadeo and it looks to be a little more "tight" than the basic soft top. 2) did you use the trailguide on the Bronco to find and navigate any trails? My road trip out to Tuscaloosa will be my first - but I think we'll take our time and get off-road along the way.
Factory soft top, which is fully retractable. It opens partially like I had it, or you can remove the rear plastic windows and put it fully down.
I didn’t use the trail guide.
I have AllTrails and didn’t use it either.
I had maps printed and laminated to refer to, and a LOT of time invested in looking at maps online of the area, as well as a ton of trail videos.
I’ve been a lot of places in my life but this past week down there is a solid #1 favorite. It is so beautiful, peaceful, remote down there.
 

Calypso

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What wonderful photos, capturing the beauty of the middle of nowhere. Big Bend is now on my list , never been s or w of DFW.
I'm imagining the soundtrack of the thorn bush at twilight. No ringtones, leaf blowers or sirens. I'm sure the desolation is awesome.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us!
 
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