by Matt Konkle
Quadratec Channel Editor
“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
When you are a Jeep owner, whether you just joined the family or are a long time member, sometimes it is the little things that quickly become forgotten as bigger, flashier items jump into your view.
Lift kits, tires, winches, light bars, tow kits. You name it, there is an accessory for it. And as a Jeep owner, everyday can seem like you are walking the carnival midway with lights flashing, arrows pointing, and signs begging you to check out the latest piece that you must have on your vehicle.
Plus, it doesn’t help when friends, family members – even random people in parking lots – all keep asking you that same question.
What are you going to do to your Jeep?
Well, having bigger, flashier goals is great. That’s why we’re here at Quadratec. To be that partner helping you achieve those goals when you need us.
But sometimes it is a Saturday morning, you have a cold cup of coffee in front of you, and you're just not feeling very flashy. That’s actually great too. Because for these days, you can turn back to the little things and remember that the best memories are often made from things you just get up and do rather than what you do to your Jeep.
So here are five seemingly little things you can do today in your Jeep:
Do the Jeep Wave
We’ve lost count how many times people post, or tell us on the phone, that they didn’t get a single Jeep wave on the way to work, or wherever. Maybe it’s just not that common any longer. Maybe it’s just that people don’t know. And maybe you were the one who didn’t wave today because you forgot or are unfamiliar with the process.
Anyway, generally speaking the Jeep wave boils down to this: when two Jeeps pass each other on opposite sides of the road, one of the drivers initiates the wave and the other waves back which symbolizes respect between jeep owners and their vehicle choice. That's just about it, really. The wave can be exchanged on a multiple lane road or highway when both drivers are able to see each other and usually consists of either a raised hand waving, or using two or four fingers extended upward from the steering wheel. Some even believe in a whole Jeep waving hierarchy, ranking each vehicle on a point system based off the Jeep's year, number of mods, daily driver or off-road vehicle, and other factors. Those in the lower-point total Jeep are supposed to wave first. However, we've found most people stick to simplicity and just wave when they see another Jeep. So go ahead and raise that hand when you are out driving today. Hopefully you'll get a wave back.
When was the last time you closed the door on your home and just rolled out to drive? Top up, top down - whatever the season. Most times, we get in our Jeeps and head to work, or somewhere else like the store, or a kid's sporting event. For those who do not daily drive, then it is the trails. You know what we're talking about. Jeeps were made for adventure. For fun.
So if you are working today, try abandoning the lunchroom on your break and take a drive around town. Maybe cruise through the newly built neighborhood and admire the homes you'll never have because you own a Jeep. If it is warm enough, then string up that Jammock you just bought and relax. Make sure to fully stretch out or, better yet, bring a book and put that phone away to reach true relaxation. Listen, your Jeep wants you to enjoy yourself. Why not make it happy so you can be happy.
The drive home today doesn’t have to be just the same old boring road home. Whether you are an experienced off-roader, or you’ve never taken the vehicle off-pavement, why not skirt the rules of normalcy on your daily ride and find a different way. Take your vehicle down that rutty gravel farm road if you can, or find a somewhat torn-up path around the edge of your city – maybe out by a river where you'll run into a mix of dirt and water. Better yet, use your phone or computer and look up top recommended places nearby where you can get some fresh dirt on that Jeep. Maybe you’ll even get to put the vehicle into 4-hi. And, of course, make sure to take some pictures and post them to our Facebook page.
Perform a Quick and Easy Jeep Modification
No, we’re not talking about buying the cheapest lift kit from the closest auto store and throwing it on your vehicle. We’re saying take a few moments today and see if there is something relatively cheap and easy you can do to customize your vehicle. Maybe something like replacing those worn windshield wipers, or getting a roll of Velcro and making an attachment spot for your cell phone, or something to hold that flapping seat belt down. We've even seen a small carabiner clip used as an attachment point on the front seat strap, to make it easier to pull the seat forward.
Some people really like flipping their rear view mirror upside down to gain better visibility, or installing led interior lighting to give your vehicle a different look. Heck, we know all kinds of people with 2-door Jeeps who simply remove the back seat just to have that extra storage space. Of course, your mileage may vary if you have children.
Truth is, there are all kinds of cheap and easy ‘mods’ you can do today to add a bit of life and personality to your Jeep. You don’t have to always think big – just think practical.
Join a Jeep Club
Chances are, if you are like most Jeep owners, you purchased your vehicle to have fun - whether through modding, daily driving, weekend adventuring, or whatever. And even though you may be having a blast doing just that, becoming a member of a local Jeep club takes that fun level and multiplies it to Rubicon Trail heights.
Joining a Jeep club is simple and something you can investigate today. Most clubs will have either a website or email address you can use to contact a club officer about membership info. Many also have weekly events, such as meet and greets, that you can attend (maybe even today) to find out if the club is a good fit for you.
Jeep clubs are a great way to raise your skill level and gain a better understanding of off road driving basics from members who probably go wheeling every weekend. You'll also probably learn about new trails and places to ride in your area that you've never even heard of before, and you may even gain access to trails simply because of your club membership that you couldn't ride on your own. Speaking of trails, most events or runs require multiple people anyway, so as a Jeep club member you should never have a problem finding someone to head out with for a nice safe trip.
So enjoy the little things and take time today to do something fun in your Jeep. Yes, a 4” lift kit, 33” mud-ready tires, extra-wide fender flares, and a 9,500-pound pulling capacity winch are all great big picture items, but don’t forget about all the little things you can do. Because, chances are, you’ll look back one day and realize these were actually the big things.