Jeeps are one of the most popular car brands and over the years have become almost more than just a brand, perhaps even becoming a symbol of freedom and exploration. It should come as no surprise that Jeeps have become immensely popular both for their iconic look and incredible off-road prowess.
But, are there people who are more than just a Jeep fans? People who take the word fanatic to another level and have built an entire subset of the brand for their very own. Yes, they’re called Jeepers. And here’s everything you need to know about them.
What Is A Jeeper In The World Of Jeeps?
So, what exactly is a Jeeper? The best way to describe it is someone who is an absolute fanatic of Jeeps. Knows everything about them, rates them higher than any other off-road vehicle (or even on-road vehicle in some cases), and makes being a Jeep lover a huge part of their personality. Is it like being in a Jeep-themed cult?
Some people would say yes but that’s not true. There is nothing wrong with loving a particular brand of vehicle above all others. Some people think it’s weird but there are all sorts of car fanatics that back one particular brand the same way they might back a football team. Subaru vs Mitsubishi in the rallying world is a good example of this.
What separates a Jeeper from a regular Jeep owner? Regular Jeep owners might own other vehicles, maybe another off-road vehicle like a Land Rover Defender or Suzuki Jimny. Would a Jeeper own another vehicle? Sure, maybe a small compact SUV for their day-to-day driving. But they would never own another off-roading vehicle.
They would never own an alternative to the Jeep because to them there is no alternative to the Jeep. Why would you settle for less even if it means spending a little more on a Jeep? There is a reason they tend to be quite expensive (even on the secondhand market). Because they are good quality and they hold their value. Something that is likely a key factor behind the Jeeper following that adores them so much.
Do I Have To Own A Jeep To Be A Jeeper?
Whether you need to actually own a Jeep to be considered is a really good question and one that won’t get you a simple answer from the community. Many people within the Jeeper community argue that you do need to own a Jeep to be a Jeeper. However, a huge subset of the Jeep community is made up of people who admire the cars but do not own them.
Perhaps they owned one at one time, or maybe they aspire to own one someday, but they currently do not. After all, you can be a huge fan of Ferrari but never even touch one. Is excluding members of the community, who love the same thing you love, simply because they don’t own a Jeep really something an embracing community would do? Probably not.
There is a great thought experiment on behalf of the argument that non-owners should be included in the Jeeper community. Imagine you own a Jeep and attend Jeeper meet-ups to see friends, check out other people’s Jeeps, and generally have a good time in the Jeep community. You bring your son, daughter, grandson, etc. with you to the meet-up.
They have a great time meeting all the other owner’s kids and exploring all the super cool jeeps there. They ask you if they’re now a Jeeper too. How could you say no? Just because they don’t own a Jeep does not mean they aren’t a Jeep lover and that they are not actively involved in the community. If being a Jeeper really is all about being a space for Jeep fans to get together surely it should include all fans. Not just the ones that can afford the price tag
Why Do Some People Say You Have To Own A Jeep To Be A Jeeper?
The argument against allowing just anyone to be a Jeeper is that it’s very much intended (by some people) to be almost like an owner’s club. Only people who own Jeeps can be included in the term Jeeper, otherwise, you are simply just a Jeep fan. There is a clear difference between the two in some Jeepers’ eyes.
After all, if you love Jeeps so much that you would consider yourself a Jeeper why don’t you own one? Sure, Jeeps aren’t cheap but they aren’t exactly supercars either. It is up to you to decide whether or not you feel like anyone should be allowed to be a Jeeper or not.
Why Do Some People Love Jeeps So Much?
Almost any type of vehicle that has something special about it will have a following. Be it in the broader sense like people who are huge fans of classic American muscle cars. Or in the very niche sense such as Honda Civic Type R fanatics that pretty much focus on one specific car.
When it comes to Jeeps, they are great off-roading vehicles and they look stunning. They have a great history behind them and are beloved the world over. There are a ton of genuinely good reasons to love Jeeps as much as Jeepers do.
What Are Some Things Only Jeepers Do?
It may not fall under Jeepers entirely, but something pretty unique to the Jeep community is the Duck Duck Jeep Movement which entails leaving a rubber duck on another Jeep owner’s vehicle when you encounter them in the wild. Some Jeep owners have a huge collection of rubber ducks attached, or onboard, their Jeep which is almost a comedic status symbol in the Jeeper community.
So, we have covered what a Jeeper is and what they are all about. Whether you are a member of the community already or not, you likely have a pretty strong opinion one way or another about whether or not you need to be a Jeep owner to be a Jeeper.
All we know for sure is that there is a huge fanbase for Jeeps around the world and that if you don’t quite feel you fit in with the Jeepers, there are plenty of other Jeep lovers out there that share your passion for these exceptional all-terrain vehicles.