The Hangout

Jeep clubs, shows and off-road events allow Jeep owners to get together, compare vehicles and have a good time in the great outdoors. While there are relatively few hang outs in San Francisco, throughout California there are several groups available to join depending on driver’s interests.  Each group offers trail rides, group activities and information for Jeep owners.  There are even clubs designed specifically for Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon owners.  In addition, joining a 4WD organization is also a wonderful way for novices to learn how to fine-tune their off-roading skills.

4WD Clubs

There are several California 4WD clubs that take membership from any 4WD vehicle owner.  Some of these include additional interests, such as the 4 Wheelers 4 Christ club.  There is also the California Association of 4WD Clubs, the California Off Road Vehicle Association (CORVA), the Dirt Devils and the Northern California Ridge Raiders 4X4 Club.  These clubs keep members up to date on the latest trail information, offer awards for prominent leaders in the 4WD community and set up 4WD meetings.

Clubs for Jeep Owners

There are also several clubs designed specifically for Jeep owners within California.  There is the Jeep Night Club, the Pirates of the Rubicon 4WD Club, the Rubicon Owners of California Club, and the Sacramento Jeepers.  By joining a Jeep club, members are kept abreast of the latest industry news, legal issues and where the best trails are.  They can also sign up for group off-road trips, attend shows, get fast information on new Jeep accessories and communicate with other Jeep owners through online forums and chat rooms.

Jeep Shows

There are several places that Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon owners can show off their vehicles or view new ones.  Some of these shows are sponsored by the Jeep clubs and other are put on by 4WD associations.  One of the biggest shows is the California Association of 4WD Clubs 4 Wheel Drive Expo and Trade show.  This show lets 4WD viewers come and see the latest Jeep apparel, gifts and off-road tools.  There is also Camp Jeep, a new attraction at the California auto show this year.  This exhibit has been touring auto shows since 2004.

Land Use

By joining a Jeep organization, members are also better able to help preserve land use.  Jeep clubs help members keep abreast of any current closures and future closures that may happen.   There are letter campaigns, rallies and meetings to attend.  Member volunteers can also help keep trails and campsites in good shape.  This helps keep more trails open.  There are also several national organizations that work to keep land available for 4WD activities including the Blue Ribbon Coalition, the United Four Wheel Drive Association and Trails in Trouble.

Legal Issues

Environmentalists frequently worry that 4WD vehicles can tear up the environment.  However, by being a responsible Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon owner and working with local and national associations, this problem can be alleviated.  Often Forest Services begin to close trails and rehabilitate the land when a lawsuit is threatened.  Joining a club can help to fund administrative appeals that can help keep 4WD trails open.  They also advocate with the Forest Service to help form new, well managed trails.

Membership

Many Jeep clubs need the membership fees.  However, it is important to remember that these groups work to make 4WD accessible and fun.  By joining a group, Jeep owners are able to meet with like-minded individuals for fun and adventure.  These groups also let them communicate and get the latest information available.  An added benefit of membership is that most groups have set safety requirements that are enforced on each run so that there are no casualties during a 4WD excursion.

Joining a Jeep 4WD or general 4WD club can let off-roaders learn more about their vehicles and the best local trails to ride.  There is also the factor of safety in numbers.  While a lone Jeep might get stuck in an out-of-the-way location, riding with a group, ensures that anyone who has a problem while on a trip has help nearby.  Jeep’s “go anywhere” reputation lets owners enjoy an unparalleled freedom.  Find a structured 4WD club or an un-structured casual 4WD club based on  philosophies, levels of participation, trips and events, community involvement, age or size of the club.