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Old 09-10-2019, 06:11 PM
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Why can't Jeeps just be Jeeps

I thought long about whether to post this because I suspect Iím a bit of an oddity here, and I can already see the blowback.

First. In my 59 years, Iíve never owned a Jeep, but a few months ago I finally purchased my first Jeep. Iíve wanted a Jeep for some time, but for various reasons I wasnít able to pull the trigger until now.

The reason I finally made the purchase was that I wanted the full Jeep experience. Now this means different things to different people. For me, it was the total open-air experience, no doors, no soft-top roof, just the rush of air, Zeppelin tunes on the audio, and the feeling of total abandon and freedom that can only be experienced in a completely open-air drive (preferably at fast speed).

What Iíve discovered however, is that all that really matters is the build. Entire chat rooms, websites and forums are devoted this, and this alone. An entire online cottage industry exists to cater to every conceivable build list item. And all of this comes at huge cost.

But more than the cost is the notion that my validity is measured by my build. Either directly or by inference, the ďstockĒ Jeep is without merit. If Iíve read it here once, Iíve read it a dozen times. People talk of ďstockĒ Jeeps like they talk about something decrepit, and Iím insulted.

When I purchased my JL, I was all-in! I joined my local Jeep club, and made plans to attend my first meetup. I drove an hour to the meetup site, and when I arrived, the Jeeps parked in the lot told me everything I needed to know. Maxed out builds, 38Ē MT tires, lifted to the sky, all painted black. My white stock JL appeared lame. I turned around and drove home. I have no desire to listen to bunch pricks compare notes on their builds, and their next mod. As I drove home I wondered if this would be the pre-requisite. In order to be a Ďrealí Jeeper would I have to fork out thousands of dollars modifying my Jeep? Iíve lived too many years and come from too humble beginnings to be impressed by such pomp.

Does this mean Iíll never build or mod my Jeep? Perhaps, perhaps not. But unless the mod satisfies a practical, utilitarian purpose, itís all pretense (IMO).

I love my Jeep. I plan to never sell it. And Iíll continue to enjoy it just the way it is. Some day I may modify some part of my Jeep, but until then my Ďstockí Jeep will suit me fine.

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Old 09-10-2019, 07:45 PM   #2
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How do you know they were all pricks if you just left??????
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:00 PM   #3
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Your Jeep is your Jeep and you appreciate it in the way you want to. Use it for what ever reason you have. I wave at ALL Jeeps, stock or not because of what Jeep represents. I love wheeling with stock Jeep or even just passing one on the road.
I've been looked down on because I still run 35's and not 37's or 40's...not my thing.

Welcome to the Jeep Family from Colorado. It's yours and make it yours in your own way.
No judgement here. Stock JL's can tackle some tough shi* so enjoy what you have. I have nothing but respect for someone who WANTS to drive a JEEP for what it is!
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:06 PM   #4
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Whether your rig is stock or modded. Your part of the brotherhood. Make your Jeep how you like it. If others don't like it. F them. Big Jeep wave to you sir.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:09 PM   #5
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Crazysjeep has a good point. Some of those big tire guys are super cool and started wheeling with a stock Jeep. Eventually their level of wheeling demanded a built rig. Those guys are great to wheel with. You will learn a lot from them, and if you get stuck they will get you out. If you break there is a good chance they can do a bush repair and get you off the trail.

A real Jeeper will never look down on you for running a stock rig!
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:15 PM   #6
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to each his/her own....if you feel the need to join a Jeep group search around for a group that put less emphasis on mods.... but it sounds to me like you are not a joining a club kind of guy....I shoot but have never shot trap,skeet,clays,ect in a league.....don't care to....I used to bowl....but just with friends bsing and having a couple beers....Im on my 4th Wrangler and have never joined any club....and have not modified any of them unless something broke and needed to be replaced.....enjoy your Jeep...and don't worry about others....don't want you to start returning Jeep waves with the one finger variety....
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:21 PM   #7
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OP, two things strike me here. Looks like a lot of judgement without investigation and maybe you care too much about what you think others think about you.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:23 PM   #8
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OP, two things strike me here. Looks like a lot of judgement without investigation and maybe you care too much about what you think others think about you.
well said don't worry about what others think as long as your happy with your jeep that's all that matters
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #9
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In the Jeep club i am in in lower michigan. The biggest jeep is on 40s ,The smallest jeep is stock.
The oldest person in our group is 74 and the youngest is 19. It doesn't mater how old you are or what kind of Jeep you drive. We have all kind's in our club.

If you don't want to wheel you'r jeep that is fine. There is always an empty seat and someone will let you ride. Kid's are welcome, Pet's are welcome.

We had a group of about 47 of us that went up to Drummond Island in the upper peninsula last weekend to go wheeling . I think we had 27 Jeep's up there. It was a blast. We had day run's and night run's. Some drove up and some trailered .

We had a guy blow a head gasket on his tow vehicle 6 hour's from home. We drove some Jeep's home that were trailered up so we could get his tow vehicle home. No one get's left behind .

Nope.. We are not all prick's. Get out and enjoy you'r Jeep.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:22 PM   #10
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Welcome to the Forum SineNomine,

I'm older than you by better than a decade and a half. I don't do the hard stuff anymore because I don't want to work that hard.
I enjoy my YJ as a daily driver and on easy trails. If anyone ever tried to give me BS about no lift or "only" 31" tires I'd probably laugh right in their face.
I have it for ME.
Too bad your first experience was with a group that wasn't as welcoming as they might have been. It could have happened the same with any group centered around whatever sport.
Stick around this forum and you're sure to find posters that you can relate with.

If you go to the main page of this forum and scroll down past the vendors, you'll find the "WF Local Forums for your state". Open that link and click on your state.
Once you find a run posted, ask about the run. Tell them that you have a stock Jeep and would like to learn about 4 wheeling on the easy trails.

Let us know what sort of response you get.

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Old 09-10-2019, 09:42 PM   #11
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Welcome to the Forum SineNomine,

I'm older than you by better than a decade and a half. I don't do the hard stuff anymore because I don't want to work that hard.
I enjoy my YJ as a daily driver and on easy trails. If anyone ever tried to give me BS about no lift or "only" 31" tires I'd probably laugh right in their face.
I have it for ME.
Too bad your first experience was with a group that wasn't as welcoming as they might have been. It could have happened the same with any group centered around whatever sport.
Stick around this forum and you're sure to find posters that you can relate with.

If you go to the main page of this forum and scroll down past the vendors, you'll find the "WF Local Forums for your state". Open that link and click on your state.
Once you find a run posted, ask about the run. Tell them that you have a stock Jeep and would like to learn about 4 wheeling on the easy trails.

Let us know what sort of response you get.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:51 PM   #12
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Why can't Jeeps just be Jeeps

Iíve learned as Iíve gotten older, Iíve now owned a CJ, TJ, JKU (3 boys required it), and now a YJ. Itís my favorite.
I used to build my Jeeps, thought it was for a purpose. Then I saw a stock YJ going everywhere the built Jeeps went. You may need built in some places, but not W KY.
Like Lucky, mines a DD, when purchased it had a small lift on it. It wears a winch and 31Ē MT because my sonís and I hunt and fish a lot by ourselves.
Itís for me and no one else (but my boys sure do love it). I donít care what other people think.


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Old 09-10-2019, 10:38 PM   #13
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be prepared to also face the, "real Jeeps stopped after the TJ" talk too. I guess some of that is changing to anything past the JK isn't a real Jeep. Funny how that changes.

In any group you'll get the "hardcore" people who look down on any newbies. They forget that one time they were new.

You will find a ton of people who modify their Jeeps though and most who go to meetups will be part of that crowd, but they aren't all bad. modifying my jeep is one of the things I love about ownership. I really enjoy researching and making it my own.

Try to think of what you might want to get out of a meetup or a Jeep Group and go from there to find the right group.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:03 PM   #14
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I’m curious what he thought people in a jeep club were going to talk about? The weather perhaps or who got the best deal on their jeep? I wish I had a sixth sense where I knew what people were going to talk about by the color of their vehicles.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:39 PM   #15
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Here is what I understand you to have said:

You bought a jeep. You joined a club. You went to a meetup with the club. You passed judgment on the members of the club based on the rigs you saw. You decided everyone there must be "pricks" and you left. You then justified that judgment with your age.

If I've got that right, then I think that club dodged a bullet avoiding your judgmental attitude.

Who do you think you are, invalidating how other people enjoy their jeeps? You're every bit as bad as the people you criticize for giving you a hard time for having a bone stock jeep. That's an immature attitude, whether you're 19 or 69.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:49 PM   #16
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I think they would have been excited to have a fresh new member. That's what I thought clubs were for, to meet new people with like interests. And the great thing is that they'd be able to share their experience in modding - if that's what you're interested in.

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Old 09-10-2019, 11:51 PM   #17
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Oh yeah I have a heavily un modified Jeep with a disastrous giant golden eagle on the hood. And I love it. It's my Jeep, and it's my golden eagle. And together they spell freedom.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:00 AM   #18
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Oh yeah I have a heavily un modified Jeep with a disastrous giant golden eagle on the hood. And I love it. It's my Jeep, and it's my golden eagle. And together they spell freedom.
That's right MERICA
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:25 AM   #19
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I thought long about whether to post this because I suspect Iím a bit of an oddity here, and I can already see the blowback.

First. In my 59 years, Iíve never owned a Jeep, but a few months ago I finally purchased my first Jeep. Iíve wanted a Jeep for some time, but for various reasons I wasnít able to pull the trigger until now.

The reason I finally made the purchase was that I wanted the full Jeep experience. Now this means different things to different people. For me, it was the total open-air experience, no doors, no soft-top roof, just the rush of air, Zeppelin tunes on the audio, and the feeling of total abandon and freedom that can only be experienced in a completely open-air drive (preferably at fast speed).

What Iíve discovered however, is that all that really matters is the build. Entire chat rooms, websites and forums are devoted this, and this alone. An entire online cottage industry exists to cater to every conceivable build list item. And all of this comes at huge cost.

But more than the cost is the notion that my validity is measured by my build. Either directly or by inference, the ďstockĒ Jeep is without merit. If Iíve read it here once, Iíve read it a dozen times. People talk of ďstockĒ Jeeps like they talk about something decrepit, and Iím insulted.

When I purchased my JL, I was all-in! I joined my local Jeep club, and made plans to attend my first meetup. I drove an hour to the meetup site, and when I arrived, the Jeeps parked in the lot told me everything I needed to know. Maxed out builds, 38Ē MT tires, lifted to the sky, all painted black. My white stock JL appeared lame. I turned around and drove home. I have no desire to listen to bunch pricks compare notes on their builds, and their next mod. As I drove home I wondered if this would be the pre-requisite. In order to be a Ďrealí Jeeper would I have to fork out thousands of dollars modifying my Jeep? Iíve lived too many years and come from too humble beginnings to be impressed by such pomp.

Does this mean Iíll never build or mod my Jeep? Perhaps, perhaps not. But unless the mod satisfies a practical, utilitarian purpose, itís all pretense (IMO).

I love my Jeep. I plan to never sell it. And Iíll continue to enjoy it just the way it is. Some day I may modify some part of my Jeep, but until then my Ďstockí Jeep will suit me fine.
What he said.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:40 AM   #20
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From the time I got my first 4x4 pickup in the 80s and still now, I have often thought - If no one modded their rig, no one else would have to.

A stock 4x4 is bought and wheeled.
There is a threshold of what it is capable of and soon it is reached.
The owner wants new challenges so it is upgraded.
Soon the threshold of what it is capable of is reached.
Wash, rinse, repeat...

However the modded rig still wheels the trails that he did before it was modded. Now the larger tires will dig the mud holes deeper. The trail may evolve to be more difficult. A new more difficult trail may open up that a stock jeep can't do. A new owner may be excluded from the harder trails and then feel the needed to modify to keep up with the group. A normal progression of a hobby is to take it to the next level as the budget allows. (mostly)

When we head out as a group, the "smallest" jeep is noted. Not to put it down, but we don't want to go on a trail that it can't. So sometimes the big rig guys go out, and the smaller ones are not included. If larger rigs never existed, the stock ones would be capable to all trails and the only variable would be the drivers skill. Kinda like NASCAR.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:15 AM   #21
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Even the WW2 keeps were missed for desert use. They used a 7" wide tire vs 6" tire. They added extra capacity for the radiator, I believe it mounted on the front bumper. Why? Because they encountered terrain that required a change. Why do hit rodders modify there vehicles? Why do low riders lower their vehicle? Why do run and gun competitors modify their guns? Why why why. Because this is America and we can. If some Keeper thinks your Jeep isn't a Jeep because it's stock, tell him to go have relations with himself. Why because it's America and you can.

Having said all that, there are practical reasons for mods. Each one depends on where and how you run. Certain mall clubs have very specific requirements.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:30 AM   #22
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From the time I got my first 4x4 pickup in the 80s and still now, I have often thought - If no one modded their rig, no one else would have to.

A stock 4x4 is bought and wheeled.
There is a threshold of what it is capable of and soon it is reached.
The owner wants new challenges so it is upgraded.
Soon the threshold of what it is capable of is reached.
Wash, rinse, repeat...

However the modded rig still wheels the trails that he did before it was modded. Now the larger tires will dig the mud holes deeper. The trail may evolve to be more difficult. A new more difficult trail may open up that a stock jeep can't do. A new owner may be excluded from the harder trails and then feel the needed to modify to keep up with the group. A normal progression of a hobby is to take it to the next level as the budget allows. (mostly)

When we head out as a group, the "smallest" jeep is noted. Not to put it down, but we don't want to go on a trail that it can't. So sometimes the big rig guys go out, and the smaller ones are not included. If larger rigs never existed, the stock ones would be capable to all trails and the only variable would be the drivers skill. Kinda like NASCAR.

This is well said, I have often had this thought as well. When I first went to Uwharrie in 2003, I had a 2002 TJ Sahara on 32" Bridgestone Dueler AT's. I did every trail there except the backside of Daniel and had a terrific time learning how to pick lines and use my Jeep. My last trip there was about a month ago with my 14 JKUR on 35" Mud Grapplers. There were several times on Dutch John and Dickey Bell that I had to use both lockers and banged skid plates. On the way home I was thinking about that 02 Sahara I had and how there is no way I would have been able to do a lot of the trails without taking the bypasses.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:53 AM   #23
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Make it yours. That's the great part of a Jeep. Whether stock or totally rigged out...the label still reads Jeep. I run BFG KO2's that are basically stock in size (275/70/R17). I absolutely love it too. I will wave to any Jeep on the road and I always receive one back, whether they are stock or not. It's the community. Welcome to it and enjoy the ride.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:12 AM   #24
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Every group has a few. They may not make a bad first impression, but it will show in time. Some groups are all there to have fun and not concerned about lift and protection until it comes to getting from start to finish on some trails. Then they will let you know there will be some areas of concern and if you want to try the trail they will help you. But if they know a stock Jeep could too easily be damaged they will discourage you from trying it.

I've belonged to several clubs over the years and each one has had a few bad apples. Most tend to congregate together. So that one person that made you feel uncomfortable was either the one bad apple that was out of place or the whole group could have been of the same type.

Check out another group. There are some local city groups and then the state wide groups. Some outwardly talk of challenging the nastiest stuff they can find and look at trail damage as badges of honor.

I follow a couple local groups on Facebook but have only been out with one group. Everyone is friendly. Some are more eager to do something they can write home about than others. Like has been said above. Ages range from late teens to 70's.

It took me a year and a half to add Differential covers and rock sliders. Neither have been tested yet

First mod was the rear seat recline kit which was installed at about 1 year of ownership.

Enjoy it for that feeling you get with the open air.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:51 AM   #25
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I am one of those that runs big tires and looks forward to having a stock or lightly modified Jeep in my group.
1. Its fun to spot something new vs. the same setup everytime.
2. I get to help someone who may not already know the capabilities realize what they are.

You don’t have to throw your wallet down to make Jeeping fun. Stock jeeps are just about as fun as modified Jeeps. The rocks just get bigger.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:58 AM   #26
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Yep sounds like the OP is the judgmental one here, sorry...
You didn't even get out to say Hi or give them a chance to introduce themselves

Coming from the Bike scene myself it is full of this as well
Don't judge a group just by what they appear to be like, you don't know their story or path just as they don't know yours
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:58 AM   #27
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Every group has a few. They may not make a bad first impression, but it will show in time. Some groups are all there to have fun and not concerned about lift and protection until it comes to getting from start to finish on some trails. Then they will let you know there will be some areas of concern and if you want to try the trail they will help you. But if they know a stock Jeep could too easily be damaged they will discourage you from trying it.



I've belonged to several clubs over the years and each one has had a few bad apples. Most tend to congregate together. So that one person that made you feel uncomfortable was either the one bad apple that was out of place or the whole group could have been of the same type.



Check out another group. There are some local city groups and then the state wide groups. Some outwardly talk of challenging the nastiest stuff they can find and look at trail damage as badges of honor.



I follow a couple local groups on Facebook but have only been out with one group. Everyone is friendly. Some are more eager to do something they can write home about than others. Like has been said above. Ages range from late teens to 70's.



It took me a year and a half to add Differential covers and rock sliders. Neither have been tested yet



First mod was the rear seat recline kit which was installed at about 1 year of ownership.



Enjoy it for that feeling you get with the open air.
Read the ops post again. He didn't meet any bad apples. He didn't give them a chance. He WAS the bad apple.

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Old 09-11-2019, 10:30 AM   #28
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More importantly, clubs, groups, etc are not everyones cup of tea. Sure as shit ain't mine. Don't get me started on the wave thing either! :lol
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:04 PM   #29
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Mobile, Homeless, looking,
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I much prefer wheeling with a group of 2 or 3 close friends than in a large group of jeepers that I don't even know. I have tried that scene and didn't like how many didn't follow the rules put out at the start of the run about "NO ALCOHOL UNTIL YOUR OFF THE TRAIL". I saw many cans of beer and other things while on the run that I was not comfortable with. That was the first and last time for that 'Club'. I have friends that I socialize with that also happen to have jeeps. If I get along with them off the trails, I love them on the trails because they have the same unwritten rules as I do. It makes it feel much more safe while on the trail.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:53 PM   #30
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Clear Spring, Md
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I don't know if the OP will be back. I am sorry they left without seeing how the people in the club were, vs judging them based on how much they had modified their Jeeps. Ironic that they were doing exactly what they expected the Jeep Club people would do.

That said, I am not really much of a club person, I don't generally join clubs. We do things that other people are doing, we wheel at events like Topless for Tata's and when they have events at our local offroad park (Chaos Offroad Park). Usually we wheel alone or with actual friends. Usually small groups, big groups get out of hand too quickly. But we don't really do the club stuff. Nothing personal, just I don't need more friends. I have enough friends. Not judging those that like clubs and the whole group thing. It just isn't for me. But I really don't get joining a club and then being mad that everyone in the club isn't just like you.
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