There are a lot of truck and Jeep owners that spend their time and hard-earned cash to build their perfect rig for enjoying the great outdoors. Whether they take their rides down rugged backroads, rock crawling or on an overland adventure, these owners take pride in their trucks and Jeeps.

Some may call them crazy but at Exploring Trails, we love it and we want to know more about their amazing rigs and the trails they have explored!

John Patrick is a hard-working Jeep off-roader that owns an awesome 2007 Jeep Wrangler JK 2 Door built for rock crawling fun. Who is ready to rock?

2007 Jeep Wrangler JK 2 Door - Exploring Trails
ET
: So tell us a little about yourself?

JP: I’m just a regular working guy. I’ve been married to my best friend for 30 years and she enjoys the outdoors and Jeeping as much as I do. In my younger years, I was in the auto body field but for the last 30+ years, I have been a truck driver.

I know how to weld, some fabricating skills, painting,  auto body repair, and my own mechanic. I’m not a wealthy man as some may think but if you have a dream you work hard to make it come true.

 

ET: What type of Jeep do you have?

JP: I have a 2007 Jeep Wrangler JK 2 Door. Like everyone else, I started with a 3” Teraflex short arm lift 35” Tires, bumpers and a winch. Soon after that a 4.5” Long arm lift, 37” tires and ARB lockers. Even though I had my front axle sleeved & gusseted and RCV Shafts I bent my axle! It just couldn’t take the abuse anymore. Lesson learned! So I started over building my Jeep. Here are my mods in a nutshell:

  • Dynatrac Prorock 60/80 axles
  • Atlas 2 spd 5:0:1
  • King Coilovers 2.5×14 Front & rear
  • PSC hydro assist steering
  • Raceline Monster 233 Beadlock wheels
  • PitBull 42x15x17 Rockers Bias ply tires
  • Simpson custom heated harness seats/harnesses
  • Custom made body armor
  • 12” rear stretch double Triangulated arm system
  • 2.5” front stretch Custom Rock Krawler 3 link Arms
  • RDE2ROK edition front bumper by RPMFAB
  • Warn Rc 9.0 Winch / Pro-vantage 3500 suckdown winch
  • 1.75” 7075 Aluminum Steering Arms by RPMFAB

And I could go on and on…Because my job keeps me away from home 5 days a week, all the work was done by Cutting Edge 4×4 and RPMFAB in the Phoenix Area.

John Patrick in his Red modified Wrangler JK Jeep rolls over large boulders with ease.


ET
: Why did you choose a Jeep?

JP: I think Jeep is the original off-road vehicle. Although we tend to customize and make our Jeeps our own creation, it’s still a Jeep.


ET: What is your favorite mod? And what do you have planned next?

JP: I love all my mods but the rear stretch has to be my favorite. As a matter of fact, my build was based around the stretch. If you are going to crawl a 2 door, a rear stretch is a must! My next mod is going to be a custom full cage. It will be very soon and I plan on doing this myself.

 

ET: If you were given an unlimited budget, what would you do to your Jeep?

JP: Changing out the 3.8 V6 to a Hemi or an LS. I may have to rob a bank for this one!


ET: Are you a member of a Jeep club? 

JP: Not anymore…I used to be involved in clubs and Forums but too much drama. I go wheeling with a group of friends that are well equipped. We all have fun and I trust these guys. We participate in most local events and charity events.


ET: How did you get started off-roading?

JP: When we moved to Arizona about 15 years ago we bought a 1976 CJ5 for going out in the desert to explore ghost towns and old mines. Shortly after that, my friends introduced me to rock crawling!

Needless to say, I got bit by the off-roading bug bad! I didn’t want to put money into the CJ so I bought the JK and went crazy. I’m still very passionate about off-roading today more than ever.


ET: What is your favorite trail?

JP: I don’t know if I have a favorite trail? I have favorite areas such as Moab, Utah. Pritchett Canyon, and Area BFE for sure! Johnson Valley Ca. Home of “King of the Hammers” has some gnarly trails. But here in Arizona, we are blessed with so many trails all around us. Table Mesa is very popular and brutal, Florence Jct. has some good ones but my favorite area in Arizona is Parker! Fun, Tough, Brutal yet beautiful.

Most of the time a couple of us get together and just go out in the desert and explore, mostly run up dry washes where you’re bound to run into a waterfall. These are the most fun days. Always different scenery.

 

ET: What was your Oh Shit! moment on a trail?

JP: Area BFE in Moab Ut. We were on a run with Warn, Raceline Wheels, BFGoodrich, MACs Tie downs, and AEV. We were having lunch at the base of “Suicide Hill” and I thought it was the perfect opportunity. I had Shannon Campbell, Erik Miller, Jessi Combs and Terry Madden there to spot me!

Although I needed HorsePower and Sticky Tires for this obstacle I was going for it anyway. My first shot was the closest, I thought I had it, but no! It got worse every try after and at one point my front end was straight up in the air! OH SHIT! Not sure if I was going over? But it turned out ok. Needless to say, I didn’t make it, but I gave one hell of a try!


ET: What trail advice would you give?

JP: We all off-road for the fun and enjoyment of being outdoors with others. It’s always fun to challenge yourself on obstacles but no shame in backing off of something you can’t do. Don’t let others push you into doing something your not comfortable with. Scratches & dents can be fixed but your life is precious.


ET: Have you ever had to do an emergency trail fix? 

JP: I’ve been lucky. Don’t get me wrong! I’ve broken plenty but was always able to make it home. When I bent my front axle it was squirrelly but I made it home. I broke my front & rear ring & pinion at the same time on Pritchett Canyon in Moab but was able to make it back to camp where I trailered it home.


ET: What fellow Instagrammer / company would you like to give a shoutout to?


JP
: I would like to give a shout out to @RPMFAB, they are a fast-growing off-road Fab shop, also very busy with @v8hjhemijeeps (same company) they are very involved with the Jeeping community and super nice folks. I’m proud to call them my friends.

 

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We would like to thank John Patrick for taking the time to do this interview with us (Please note this interview was originally published in 2018 on our old site Truckin’ & Trails). If you are interested in seeing more of this amazing rig, visit him @rde2rok on Instagram.