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Removable roof panels are great, until you have to find a place to store them. A September 2021 filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicates Jeep may be working on a solution for the Gladiator.
First spotted by Muscle Cars & Trucks, the filing details a way of storing Gladiator roof panels on a hard tonneau cover, which in turn would sit over the bed and create covered storage space.
According to the document, roof panels could be arranged on the tonneau cover and locked in place using a rotating lever. All pieces will fit within the footprint of the bed, the document shows.
Jeep Gladiator roof panel storage on bed tonneau cover (patent image)
Use of the bed means this setup is unique to the Gladiator, so Wrangler owners would still have to find alternative ways of stowing panels if they decide to do some open-air driving. Still, it’s a clever idea to make use of available space. The Gladiator doesn’t have a frunk like the one used to store the GMC Hummer EV’s t-top roof panels, after all.
It’s unclear if Jeep’s bed tonneau cover will make it to production at all, however. A patent filing is not confirmation of production plans, but it’s possible that something like this could appear on one of Jeep’s SEMA or Easter Safari concepts as a way to gauge customer interest.
The Gladiator carried over to the 2022 model year basically unchanged, with the only real news being the return of the Gobi exterior paint color that was last offered on Jeep’s pickup for the 2020 model year.