Is PW right for me?

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When i bought my power wagon i was actually at the the dealer buying a gladiator. I was a hard core jeep guy. Had owned 4 previous wranglers. Was at the dealer getting ready to sign papers on a gladiator rubicon and my wife suggested we take a power wagon for a test drive.
 

jerry clements

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I went from a Gen 1 Raptor to a PW and it was the right choice for me. I had toyed with a smaller truck. A smaller truck will not haul more than your 200 series. The PW is easier to maneuver than a Raptor because it is not as wide. The disconnecting sway bars also come in handy over rough terrain.

If I had gone with a smaller truck, it would have been a ZR2.
 
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Gxgn

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@jerry clements i tested a zr2 few years ago, I like how it handled, it felt “light” but I’m sure with larger tires and some armor it would feel a bit different. Right now the interior feels a bit dated to me. I also contemplated a Ranger, they are fairly cheap if you buy used and leaves you a lot of budget for the build But I thought if I was to buy a Ranger I might as well wait for next year model. Did you run into many trails where you wished you have gone with a midsize truck?
 

jerry clements

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If your simply off roading and not hauling camping gear a smaller truck may be more practical. The larger truck allows for more gear, more comfort.

To me it's a no brainer when a decked-out Gladiator is about the same price as a PW. A PW is a lot more vehicle for the same price, has the same running gear as the jeep plus a winch. The PW on 35s with the lockers on and sway bars disconnected is very comfortable off road rig. Ive taken many trails with the PW that I didnt finish with the Raptor, not because the Raptor wouldnt make it but I was tired of getting beat to death.

The PW on tight cliffside trails with an oncoming vehicle is not a pleasant experience. Tight switchbacks and narrow trails with heavy brush are also not pleasant. Size has benefits and detractors.
 
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TRX21POWERWAGON22

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I have a TRX, PW & a built 2002 taco on 1 ton axles & 40's. I only bought the PW as I couldn't get another TRX for the right price & they wanted too much for the 1500's. I have always wanted a PW, but never I mean never wanted a 2500, but with prices I was pushed into a 2500. Since I decided to go 2500 and gasser was required I decided on the PW and fits my needs perfectly and way better then the TRX as it is my camping, tow rig and trail/ offroader, but I'll never go on crazy stuff since I have a Rig for built for that. I had a 2015 JKU on 40's back when wranglers were dirt cheap to buy(built it for just 35,000 including the Jeep price and was 100% better then the rubicon as the only thing left was the engine and transmission), but since I had the taco I never used it after a while. I wanted a Gladiator, but I can't get my head around the cost to built it plus it can't tow my 10,000 trailer. If I was to buy another Jeep I would only buy a Gladiator. If you are going to play in mud or offroad when weight can be a problem the PW is not the best pick. My JKU was close to 5,000 pounds and my taco is about 4,700 pounds, but thats because I have a cage and 3 winches etc.
 

Docwagon1776

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I'm trying to like the Gladiator but I'm failing - I know it's just a personal taste but I find it ugly. Maybe I'll wait for 2023 Ranger Raptor or whatever new Taco comes up with more power. I reached out to a RAM dealer recommended on this forum and they advised it would be a 6-8 month wait to get a PW anyway.

Have you seen the Gladiator in Gobi? I think the right color is really needed on the Gladiator.

I want a midsize because the trails around here are just too tight otherwise. I am really interested in the Ranger Raptor, but I'm afraid it'll be a 2-3 year wait if you aren't lucky like the Bronco is.
 
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Gxgn

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thank you for sharing your thoughts guys. I tested yesterday a 2021 PW and here are my initial thoughts based on this quick test:

pros:
- super comfortable interior, on par or better with my Land Cruiser
- ton of space
- seams better built than I expected

cons:
- I was surprised with the weight, I expected the 400hp will move the body more agile. It felt a tad heavy. My LC with bumpers, sliders and all the addons was also close to 7000 lbs and the engine was less than 400 hp and still felt a bit more lively
- size is massive, the width is bare;y larger than the LC but because of the height of the hood and the overall length it felt humongous. Height and width wise would fit in my garage but the length is an issue/ I can fit it but not be able to open the tailgate
- it was more bouncy than I expected for such a heavy rig. It probably didn’t help that tires were at 70psi perhaps from the sun
- avg mpg displayed was 10.1 but I know some of you get better even with 35s

Just out of curiosity I tested a Gladiator after. Here are my thoughts on this quick ride:

pros
- it felt more nimble than I expected. The drivetrain felt quite good
- very small size, could fit anywhere

cons:
- horrible interior (I know it’s subjective and plenty of guys love them)
- it felt like I’m touching the windshield with my head
- the left leg was touching some strap that holds the door, it felt more cramped than a Corolla
- the truck wandered on the highway when a gust of wind hit us
i know plenty of people love them, I appreciate what that truck can probably do offroad but considering I would have to drive 1000 miles to get to the trail it’s a hard no for me.

So no decision yet. I’ll probably test one more and think about it. Probably the future Ranger Raptor would be the right truck for me but it’s so far away from being available.
 

Grand Mesa

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"very small size, could fit anywhere".

My bet is that it can't easily fit between 2 six feet wide spaced posts as our vintage 1/2 ton Chevrolet LUV (Light Utility Vehicle) does daily. That's what we use for our ranch work truck hauling everything about our acreage due to it's tiny size.

20210911_152137(2).jpg
 

Docwagon1776

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Just out of curiosity I tested a Gladiator after. Here are my thoughts on this quick ride:

pros
- it felt more nimble than I expected. The drivetrain felt quite good
- very small size, could fit anywhere

cons:
- horrible interior (I know it’s subjective and plenty of guys love them)
- it felt like I’m touching the windshield with my head
- the left leg was touching some strap that holds the door, it felt more cramped than a Corolla
- the truck wandered on the highway when a gust of wind hit us
i know plenty of people love them, I appreciate what that truck can probably do offroad but considering I would have to drive 1000 miles to get to the trail it’s a hard no for me.

So no decision yet. I’ll probably test one more and think about it. Probably the future Ranger Raptor would be the right truck for me but it’s so far away from being available.

The strap is stiff on some of them but loosens over time, I noticed the same thing you did but it's not present in others. I don't know how fast you drive, but it also seems like it's really out of breath at 80mph+, so not the truck I'd want for longer drives through much of Texas. The moving in the wind and the general feel of it made me think it'd be fatiguing to drive long distances. It's also pretty loud on the inside, more so depending on trim, and is pretty expensive for what you get.

Like you, I'm hanging my hopes on the Ranger Raptor for something that's not fatiguing to drive 10-16 hours to get to where I want to use it offroad. If it sucks, I'll just stick with a full size 1/2 ton and avoid certain trails, I guess, or rent a Jeep when possible.
 

Dean2

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I like full size 8' box 2500 crew cabs to tow a camper and an off road machine to the trails. Using any full size pickup, let alone a 2500 for off-roading just isn't what they are built for. Guys do it, but it beats the heck out of the paint work and the rest of the truck. Get a 2 or 4 up SXS and go places no 4x4, including a Jeep, let alone a PW, ever thought about.
 
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