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Some folks don't have a garage, or perhaps an extra space in their garage, to park their TJ. Some may have a concrete slab without any over head protection or perhaps they have just a carport. Whatever the situation, having a quality vehicle cover for your TJ is an in expensive way to ensure protection from the elements, including the harmful UV rays that are so plentiful here in sun rich Arizona.
If you find yourself in one of the above situations, consider one of several available Jeep TJ covers from Empire Covers. Empire Covers offers a wide selection of truck covers to fit your price range, starting as low as the cost of a single tank of gas. After looking over the specs of a half dozen available covers, I decided on "The Max" cover, one of several that offers maximum UV protection.
Shipping was fast and the FedEx delivery truck had a box at my door in short order. When Saturday morning rolled around, it was time to see how it fit. Speaking of fit, I'll admit that I initially had some concerns while ordering my cover. The Empire Covers web site gave dimensions for the SUV cover and according to my tape measure, I was right at the edge of those numbers. Although my TJ is far from stock, it retains the stock body configuration. My concern was the 35" spare tire holder at the rear and Troy's bumper with winch at the front. I was pretty sure things would be OK but there was that lingering feeling. With that being said, it was time to get it on the TJ and see how it fit.
First step was to unpack the cover and give it a quick once over. No, it isn't an un-inflated life raft. <grin> The cover was packed in a storage bag that was made from the same material. The storage bag was a pleasant surprise as I didn't realize the cover came with one. Props to Empire Cover for that! Also included in the shipping box was a single page information/instruction sheet and a pair of small blue squares (more on the squares later).
The information sheet explains how to install the cover. Granted, this isn't a rocket science kind of project, but it had a couple of good tips that could make things easier. What it didn't take into consideration is the height of my TJ.....so, as is often the case, I had to improvise a bit....and that simply comes with owning a modified TJ. The info sheet also included care instructions for the cover (yes, it is washable) and how to manage various inclement weather conditions. All good stuff....take the time to read it.
While checking the cover, I paid particular attention to the stitching. I was glad to see that the seams were double stitched. This will go a long ways in keeping the cover from coming apart down the road. Did I mention "The Max" cover comes with a lifetime warranty? You can't give that to your customers when the cover isn't a quality product.
The cover uses a heavy duty elastic band around the bottom edge. It too was very well stitched. Overall, I'd have to say the quality assurance folks are doing a good job to ensure the covers leave the factory assembled very well.
One more item to mention.....about mid distance (front to back) on the cover, there are two well reinforced grommets. They are attached to multiple pieces of material which are well stitched to the lower edge of the cover. These grommet are located on both sides of the cover. They are intended to secure the cover to the vehicle during a high wind situation. It looks as though they are up to the job.
The instruction sheet mentioned radio antennas and what to do
about them in regards to using the cover. If the antenna retracts into the
body, do so before using the cover. In my case, the TJ's antenna does not
retract. To accommodate this, the antenna is removed for now prior to the
first installation of the cover. When the cover is installed, the spot
where the antenna will protrude through the cover is marked. A hole is
made then made in the cover at that spot. The hole will be reinforced by
applying the two self-adhesive squares (one on each side of the cover).
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