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I have been into jeeps for last 20 years or so. Owned CJ5s, CJ7s, XJs, TJs....currently own 03 Rubicon. To me the culture seems to have changed drastically since the introduction of the JK. I believe it was the addition of all the creature comforts. As people who would have never thought of owning a jeep now have no problem buying a jeep. Rarely do I find people who work on their jeeps. More and more it's soccer moms who toss 35s on and put some stickers on claiming they modified their jeep.

Not that long ago it seemed to be all DIY. Break out the welder and see what you can make. Now people just bolt on an angry eye grill and proudly claim they built their jeep.

Even on trail rides most don't bring tools or spare parts much less know how to actual fix anything. Lately don't even go on group rides as I have grown tired of fixing someone else's vehicle just to get our group going. It feels like the whole cool factor of owning jeep is gone once you have thousands of soccer moms crusing around in them. To tell you the truth i don't even bother to wave unless it's an older jeep or one modified for tail use. The wave started as guys would acknowledge some common interest/lifestyle as they passed each other. Now it seems almost meaningless as so many just buy a jeep because its trendy and bolt on a high lift Jack that they will never use
 

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ALL culture is dying.....
 

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The problem is that most folks really can’t afford a Jeep anymore, and many that do buy it for the cool factor, like an Explorer used to be. Those that are buying newer ones use it as a car, mostly.

That’s why I own a YJ. It’s all I could afford, and be able to modify to my needs.

One thing to think about, though, is we all were new at something at one time. We got better at it the more we did it, while others who started with us strayed off to other interests. This will be the same.

Overloading and “Jeeping” is hip now like minitrucks were when I was in my late teens and early 20’s. A bunch of us in our mid Fourties are starting to chase after our dreams now, which include Jeeps, and Jeep culture.

I don’t have an old muscle car because I think the Jeep culture is better. I’d love to have a Cuda, but Jeep folks are friendlier to be with. I hope to help keep it that way.

Imagine all the excellent lightly used Jeeps that will be cheap in 5 years when the fad pulls back!


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I think the biggest problem is JK's just don't break down on the trail so nobody learns how to fix anything. Heck we do long multi-day off road trips and we no longer bring any tools with us as they end up being just dead weight. I just got back from a week in Moab and did many trails solo and others with one other buddy and we never bothered to bring anything but a cooler of beer....Never saw any wj's, tj's, cj's or yj's on the trails either maybe because it was over 100* and they did not have AC or something. As far as the wave goes it actually started in WW2 when guys were just trying to survive :)...
 

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I'd be the flat fender and CJ crowd said similar things when the TJ arrived on the scene.



However, I would agree that the JK changed the Jeep owner demographics more dramatically than previous editions. I'm not sure I fit in with the new Jeep JK crowd as well as I did with the TJ crowd. So, I don't much wave anymore, and I am very selective about the runs I attend.



And for those JKs that don't bring tools and spare parts - they should be left on the trail to walk out alone when they do break down. These are the types of people that die by blindly following a GPS to nowhere.
 

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I tend to agree with everything said here. I own a 16 JKUHR that has not been modified; no 35s, no lifts, no angry bird grill (thank god!), no lights, nothing. Yet, I know my vehicle has been offroad more (and has the scars to show it) than most of the lifted Jeeps here in SE TX. It seems that most folks buy a Jeep, then have to spend inordinate amounts of money just to obtain "the look". I do plan to add skids eventually as I'm thinking about a trip to Colorado next year and would like the extra insurance.

Unfortunately, this new generation just doesn't seem to know (or want to know) how to service their own vehicles. If it can't be repaired using a smartphone, they're not interested. I was out in Death Valley this past spring and ran across a Subaru that had apparently triggered every warning light on the dash. The person didn't ask if I had tools, but rather, if I had some repair app on my phone to diagnose his problem. Later, I discovered that his "problem" was taking a curvy washboard/potholed road at 45+ mph. I pulled over to let them by, but heard every imaginable rattle and squeak known to man! Another instance where common sense was thrown out the window.

I believe the culture is alive and well with Jeepers who truly care about their Jeeps whether it is modified or not. If anything is killing(?) the allure of owning a Jeep, it's the soccer moms who drive their "cool" Jeep like a sportscar and claim they've been offroad by running over the neighbors flower beds. Unfortunately, I believe it's only going to get worse......
 

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I own a CJ, a TJ and a JK. Sad to say, Ryan is right. When I talk to a fellow TJ driver, there is a deep passion on what we fixed that we broke from the trail. If I try to talk to a fellow JK drivers in the parking lot, most of them barely know how to bleed their fluids. The 4 doors are mostly the arrogant and ignorants in terms of jeep wave.
 

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We are on our second JK now, and my wife loves to wave and loves the culture. As a matter of fact, it has been life changing for us. We enjoy the fire roads and our 4 wheel adventure with the top down. We are on the forums, buy each other t-shirts and mugs for birthdays etc. We are always looking at accessories and ways to make it our own.
I think that the Jeep represents fun for us and not transportation. I love to see an old cj on the road and maybe I will be fortunate to own one too. I certainly appreciate the heritage and love owning an icon.
 

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The Jeep is more popular than ever. No Wrangler has ever sold as well as the JKU and that trend is continuing with the JLU. Pretty impressive considering the fact that we are heading towards autonomous vehicles and more fully electric vehicles. So why is it that we don't really have young generation of true Jeepers?

It's pretty simple. Folks who are buying these Jk's & JL's have $, or they're short term leasing them. Folks who have the kind of money to drop on a new JL don't own a single automotive hand tool. Regardless of how many Pentastar cylinder heads they blow, the Jeep goes to the dealer for repairs every time. If these folks have real serious $, they don't mind voiding a warranty. The JL goes to the local 4x4 shop for insanely expensive mods. That's why the Jeep aftermarket is being dominated by JKU & JLU parts. Hell even the production of TJ/LJ aftermarket parts is almost at a stand still. You see a new JK/JL specific fabricator pop up every year.

Great American 4x4 culture was born of necessity. A true automotive passion, first and foremost, and a love for the beauty of God's great outdoors. Hard working Americans that were not blessed with wealth. With that comes a blessing of knowledge, ingenuity and skill. These Jeeps only see the shop once a year for an inspection sticker or an emissions test.

East coast may be different than west coast. I don't see many JKs or JLs on trails out here in the Northeast. Also, it never fails, the trail leader is always an older dude with a Raisin CJ7 on 1 Tons & 40's who gives you shit every time you scratch your pretty Mall Crawler.
 

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I love how people are lumping all new buyers or people who can afford a new JL as people who don’t own tools or can’t do their own work. Do you people read your own posts?

Having a few bucks in your pocket doesn’t make you mechanically inept. If you’re trying to put other Jeep owners down for being more educated and successful then that’s just plain ignorant.
 

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The culture isn't dying...

The culture isn't dying, you are...


Listen to you guys. "I don't wave" [Let them walk out alone if they break down without tools?]

The culture is alive and well, it's the debbie downers and the bitter old folk that forget that not all have the same perspective. That doesn't make them less of a Jeepster. It makes them a Jeepster with a different perspective or in a different frame of mind right now.. I've been in Jeeps for over 20 years (CJ, TJ, XJ and now a JKU). I wave to any Jeep wrangler style, whether they wave back or not. There was a time I didn't wave to YJ's. "It doesn't have round head lights.. I'm not waving." And I realized that I was the ahole. They are just as much of a Jeeper as I am.. and as soon as I started to wave to them I became more of a Jeeper myself.
I met with a 20 year old young man today with a Jeep JK. His first car and first Jeep. You're going to tell me he's not part of the culture, because he doesn't have a bag of tools behind the seat? He's saving for a gear job instead of a bag of weed. If thats not a Jeepster I don't know what is.. he's a heck of a lot more Jeeper than anyone bad mouthing another Jeeper for not being enough Jeeper. I met him on here the other day when he posted a thread about a gear change. He wants to know more about his options.. whats right, wrong and how to meet up with the right people for help. I sat and talked with him for about a half hour. Even bought him a sandwich. He was grateful. No doubt in my mind he will do the same for someone else some day. He also stated how some of the folk on here have been really kind to him.. He most certainly is alive and culturally sound.

Who cares if its a chick driving a soccer tank? More power to you for giving up the mini van. I see them driving their rigs and I think,"thats bada$$".

You want the Jeep culture to live on? How about breathing some life into it instead of sucking up all the oxygen needed for the engines to run???

Green apples grow... crab apples don't.
 

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I own a CJ, a TJ and a JK. Sad to say, Ryan is right. When I talk to a fellow TJ driver, there is a deep passion on what we fixed that we broke from the trail. If I try to talk to a fellow JK drivers in the parking lot, most of them barely know how to bleed their fluids. The 4 doors are mostly the arrogant and ignorants in terms of jeep wave.


We have an ‘01 TJ and there’s a lot of JK’s and some TJ’s in town. My 17 year old daughter gets a lot of Jeep waves when she drives, but when I drive it’s less so. :)

But, back on topic. I think the popularity of the new Jeep models is only a good thing for the brand and aftermarket companies for all models. Everyone benefits. Hell, the resale value on a TJ is still pretty darn good.

Culture? There’s always been a relatively small percentage that have truly lived (understood) it. With that said, there’s a large number of JK’s out there and that small percentage that understand the culture is a large number. I think Jeep’s in good hands.


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Jeep culture is dead and the JK killed it.
 
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No. I rank that right up there with a daily Starbuck latte grande double pump.

I don’t even know what that is and never go to Starbucks, they are anti-American gun culture.
 

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Standards and values only die as long as people allow them to. I do the jeep wave even if it's a stock jeep with a soccer mom inside. You never know who's behind the wheel - but one thing we can all agree on...they made a good decision to buy a Jeep so at least respect that. :)
 

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@flexb You Just saved my thumbs. Well put!

Here, in the northeast, I know plenty of young Jeepers who build, fabricate and alter their old YJ’s, TJ’s, XJ’s and, even JK’s. The culture is alive and well, it’s just changing.

Im well into my 40’s and the way I see it, there’s still creativity, excitement and lots of young “newbies” who enjoy wrenching in todays Jeep culture.

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I think the old jeep culture is passing by. And I think the cause is clear. Blame FCA for a smooth riding air-conditioned hardtop that people drive on the interstate at 80 mph like it was a sports car. Now is that good or bad? No, it’s just different.
But I took my visiting grandkids down from my mountains to the desert the other day and four wheeled them to some petroglyphs in 110° heat in climate controlled comfort with no worry about overheating, so I ain’t complaining - because if I had been in the WWII bone jarring topless dust eating sunburner the grandkids sure as heck would’ve been complaining.
 
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