Best Tips to Maximize Room in Your XJ Cherokee
Let’s face it. If you take your XJ Cherokee everywhere like we do, loading it up with all the gear you need tends to cramp your style as well as some of your body parts. By the time you put all the things you need into just over 36 cubic feet of space behind the second row seats, stack the rear seats with people and fill your floor boards with drinks and food, everyone becomes wedged in a tiny little bit of space. Maximizing the usable space in the XJ Cherokee doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Here we will filter through some of the best ways to maximize the space in your XJ Cherokee and we will give you some money saving options as well.
Many XJ Cherokees came from the factory with a roof rack. Our first suggestion is to use it if you have lighter or more organized items and cases that can be well secured. While the factory roof rack is great for loading slim line or light weight items it just is not good enough when it comes to the large, heavier or bulky items that seem to take up the most space inside your XJ. Several manufactures have an option in this market. They range from a universal carrier at just over $100 that can be secured to the factory mounts all the way up to model specific heavy duty carriers around $1300. Our suggestion is to stay somewhere in the mid range with these products. There are many well sized and strong roof mounted carriers that will do the job. One example is the Smittybilt Defender Roof Rack for the 1990-2001 Jeep Cherokee. It is a great carrier and at around $535 is a great buy. If you need a solid carrier in the lower price segment Amazon sells a Universal Carrier for just $105 that will work with your factory roof rack.
Hitch Mounted Accessories:
There are some great space savers that can attach directly to your hitch. Bicycle carriers, Spare Tire Racks, Luggage racks and Cargo Baskets, even Surfboard and Canoe Carriers that will save you some space inside or on top of your XJ Cherokee. There are almost as many options in this segment as there are things you may want to carry with your XJ. In most cases a standard cargo carrier will do the job. Vault makes a pretty good carrier that is 60″ x 22.5″ for $130. Couple this type of carrier with straps and a roof attachment, you can carry just about anything. Bicycle Racks vary but Yakima makes a 2 bike carrier for around $375 and has an optional Holdup for 2 more. These are just two examples, please do your research to find the best one for you.
Lift Gate or Bumper Mount Accessories:
Depending upon your tire and wheel group, adding a lift gate or bumper mount spare tire rack with your matching spare is a great way to free up usable space in the storage compartment behind the 2nd row seats. You can also continue to use your hitch for other things like towing or a separate space saving option. If you have factory wheels and tires this is an easy transition. If you have a larger wheel and tire group make sure to do plenty of research before purchasing one. Hanson Offroad makes the simplest version for around $550 but we have found that the Smittybilt Carrier even at $741 may be a better buy.
Like hitch mounted accessories, there is almost as many items in this segment as there are things to organize. From seat mounted add a trunk style cargo bags, grocery bag holders/organizers to full cargo area racks that give you two levels or more of space to organize your gear, there are certainly a ton of options to choose from. The Mountaineer Rack sold by Olympic 4×4 is a great cargo area accessory for about $275.
As you can see, there are many options for you to leave some leg room for you and your family or friends in your XJ Cherokee. We will keep updating this post with the latest information on products after we can safely say they are the best available. Please keep Rated XJ in mind when searching for more helpful articles down the road.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post,