When we bought our Jeep before our adventure, my dad said, “You didn’t just buy a vehicle, you bought a Jeep.” He told us that being a Jeep owner was a whole thing and that we would find out just what he meant as we traveled around.
Driving down the road we see a guy stick his head out the window of his Jeep and yell, “Solid, man!” as we drive by.
We pull up into a parking spot by the Oceanside harbor and the guy in front of us FREAKS out while taking a video in his own Jeep. He wants to add us to the video because, “how crazy is it that we are both parked here in our jeeps!?” He is a new owner and just starting to learn what we’ve been learning for months now.
We’ve had people run up to us in parking lots and ask the year and if it is a CJ or a YJ.
We’ve heard stories from other Jeep owners about the ones they’ve had in the past.
We have people honk at us and yell out that our Jeep is awesome.
Every person driving a Jeep waves as you pass them on the road. It’s just what you do when you drive one.
We have a 1988 Jeep Wrangler YJ Islander Edition. It’s a soft top which makes it perfect for SoCal.
Ours is pretty basic though. There is a thin rug thrown over the metal bottom, no A/C, a tape player, blown out speakers. It also doesn’t lock (why would you want to lock something when someone breaking in just has to cut through the window?). The windows zip down, they don’t roll, and they are plastic. Everything rattles. It is the loudest, bumpiest ride ever, like riding a four-wheeler. It is also one of the most difficult manuals either us have ever driven—Andy has only ever owned manuals.
We couldn’t take my Prius on the road with us because it could not be towed dingy-style (all four wheels on the ground). Andy did not want a car dolly to deal with so we started looking into vehicles that we both liked and could be towed the way we wanted them to be.
We’ve always like Jeeps; my dad would never let me have one growing up. I’m sure it was because he knew I’d get into too much trouble if I had one. We found this one and it came equipped with the tow package we needed to bring it behind the RV. At an awesome price.
We discussed selling it the other day and buying something that got better gas mileage, had windows and locks, had A/C, and was easier to drive.
But there’s something about being a Jeep owner that makes you feel like you’re a part of something. And we are.
It’s because a Jeep isn’t just a vehicle, it’s a lifestyle. My dad was right (did you hear that dad??).
You can go almost anywhere in a Jeep. And you can do almost anything to a Jeep. Everything is replaceable and customizable. Parts are everywhere. The biggest thing we need for it is a lockbox for our stuff while we are out in the water. Someplace secure to leave things we can’t bring with us.
We’ve taken our Jeep through a snowstorm in New Mexico, driving it down the road until we got cell service and could tell my parents we were OK.
We’ve taken it through mountain roads in Colorado when an unexpected snowstorm made the roads nearly impassable and we passed truck after truck in the ditch.
We’ve taken it off-roading in several places, the two most memorable being in Colorado with my dad and sister and in southeastern California near the Salton Sea.
I don’t have to worry about the rough ride into the wolf center to volunteer because the Jeep can make it in no problem.
We take it out looking for animals, armed with a camera and binoculars.
And it is perfect for our new kayak. Days at the beach are a breeze with our water-ready seats. We load up the kayak, snorkel gear, wetsuits, and lunch for a day filled with aquatic adventures.
Why can’t I bring myself to get a different car?
It’s a Jeep thing.