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Unread 05-16-2011, 09:04 AM   #1
hoaxci5
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 861
Jeep Jamboree (Big Bear, CA)

This is going to be long..

A few months ago I stumbled across the Jeep Jamboree website, and got very interested. I've only had my Commander since Aug, and it's my first Jeep and first 4x4. So the offroading thing is still very new to me, I figured what better way to learn than to head off to a Jamboree. I was a little put off by the price, but I figured meals were included and I'd have someone where to walk me through whatever we came across. I shot off an email to make sure it wouldn't be an issue to bring my kids (2 1/2 year olds) and received a response very promptly that pretty much all Jamborees were kid friendly and it would not be an issue at all. So I signed up. Since my wife has been deployed I've been taking care of the kids all on my own, but my mom was talking about flying out to help me out for a week or so, so I dropped the idea of her tagging along for the Jamboree.. she was in, but decided to just stay at camp at let me have fun offroading and not have to worry about the kids. Who am I to complain?

So I pickup mom from LAX on Thur and we drive to camp site (Serrano on the northside of Big Bear Lake) We setup camp and head over to registration. They do a tech inspection and place you in a group based on offroading experience and vehicle modification. I already knew when they saw a Commander roll up that they were going to try to put me in the stock group to run some fire roads. So I had a plan.. I talked to the tech inspector and told him I didn't want to be in the stock group (3 groups, stock, modified, and super modified) He said based on long wheel base and no rocker guards he didn't recommend that I go in the modified group, but said I could talk to Randy who was the head guy in charge.

So I go in and find Randy and explain the situation.. "My wife is deployed, if I break it I can fix it before she gets home" all the trail guides running the sign ups love this line.. so Randy and I go out to checkout the Commander. I explain that I'm essentially locked front and rear so capability shouldn't be an issue and that it's just potential rocker damage. He tells me as long as I'm fine with it so is he.. and there you have it, bumped up to the modified group.

After finishing registration I checkout the Jeeps in the parking lot, there were 80+ participants, I was the only XK, there were 2 WK's (one in my group and one in stock) and maybe 1-2 older Grand Cherokees everyone else in was in some variation of Wrangler..

Day 1
OMG Pictures!!

Stock group staging


My group staging


Super modified staging


After a safety meeting we met up with our trail guides for some introductions and such. There were about 15 Jeeps in my group and 3 trail guides. The trail leader with his wife driving in a pretty heavily modified JK, and the tail guide in an even more modified JK.. the mid guide, well yea he was a last minute addition and didn't want to bring his JK since he just had it detailed..... so he was going to ride with the person they thought was going to have the most trouble, me. I was fine with that, I'm still new to the whole jeep thing, I'm surrounded by Wranglers and one WK with a ton more armor, and an ARB front bumper with winch so I'm figuring I might be in trouble.

So we head to the trailhead and airdown.


We start down the Pontiac Loop Trail, and come to the first poser obstacle


Then we find out how the trail got its name...


Then we get to some fun stuff.. I think this was a different trail, but I didn't really know where I was at at any given time so I may have trails named incorrectly..

A little stuffing and drooping


Followed by..


Shortly after me was the WK, and the trail guides didn't realize yet that we didn't need tires on the ground to keep moving..


When I had pulled forward I didn't realize I parked on this rock to run back to take pics of the other Jeeps, I guess Goodyear Silent Armors are pretty strong..


So we finished up the day, Josh (trail guide riding with me) was pretty impressed with how easy the Commander made it through all the obstacles and was excited to ride again the next day since we were going to do some more challenging trails.

After spending the whole day with him and talking with a few of the others people on the trip, we decided since we had about 30-45 min to kill before dinner was served we'd head over to the Big Bear Brewery for a beer. Nice wind down and sit with a few of the people I'd spent the day with and have a little more conversation. This is about the time I find out that Josh is Randy's son.. Refer back.. Randy is running this whole show.. (not that it really means anything, just solidifies that Josh should know what he's doing assuming he's been around this type of thing his whole life)

So we have our beer and conversation and then head back to our catered meal at the Elks Club. I had noticed during registration that there was a cool JK with a rooftop tent and pulling a trailer but didn't get it to really see it until we got back, even though he was actually in my group.

Turns out the owner is Mario, the VP of Adventure Trailers I ended up talking to him a fair amount throughout the weekend, and his JK is a AEV Hemi and his whole setup is pretty sick.

__________________
Unknown - 1995 XJ - 4.5 RC lift, drop brackets, 33" MT's, SYE, Custom Bumpers/Rockrails
Rambo - 2007 XK Limited 5.7 - OME HD - Monroe Load Levelers (F150) - Flashpaq - RRO SuperSliders - 4XGuard all over - SOLD
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Unread 05-16-2011, 09:05 AM   #2
hoaxci5
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 861


Day 2
The Commander had earned some points the day before, along with the trail guides understanding that while I wasn't there to break it, I didn't mind "having some fun."

We stage up and have another meeting.. and then caravan off to the trailhead.




Since we had spent the whole day together as a group, everyone was getting a little more comfortable with each other.. so today they really laid into Commander joking.. but Josh and I were having fun with it.. on the way to the trailhead they were trying to give us a hard time about the dvd player... I just told them we were loving the AC and planning to watch Star Wars 1-6 while on the trail and enjoy every minute of it.

They learn today, RESPECT the Commander. We did Horse Thief Flats first, which is the Trail Leaders clubs adopt a trail.. They installed a gatekeeper obstacle because a Ranger found himself a little scared when he ended up on the trail in a stock Ford Ranger..

On the gatekeeper.


On the way down to the flats.


The whole group at the flats.


Once at the flats, we had to just turn around the return back the same way we came. Once we were out of there we headed over to Gold Mountain Trail.

Not very far into the trail was what they called the waterfall. I hope this video works..
[video]https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1891737585334&subj=1598361114[/video]
(In case that doesn't work try this link https://www.facebook.com/video/video...85334&comments)
You can hear Josh, he's the one taking the video talking about how much traction I have, and then Steve (trail leader) talking about the electronic limited slips..
__________________
Unknown - 1995 XJ - 4.5 RC lift, drop brackets, 33" MT's, SYE, Custom Bumpers/Rockrails
Rambo - 2007 XK Limited 5.7 - OME HD - Monroe Load Levelers (F150) - Flashpaq - RRO SuperSliders - 4XGuard all over - SOLD
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Unread 05-16-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
hoaxci5
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 861
WK coming up the waterfall


Open diff Wrangler didn't make it up without Josh driving..


The next part I didn't get any good pics of anyone except our supermodded tail trail leader.. it wasn't too hard to get up anyways, but in his Jeep he just made look easy.


Then was a pretty big rock garden, which we actually crossed paths with one of the super modified groups. They were loving watching me traverse the garden.
This pic was taken by one of the super mod group and he emailed it to me, you can also see the other Jeep facing opposite of me..


After the rock garden it was pretty easy trail to the finish and then we headed back to the lodge for dinner and raffle. Once there the corporate skirt (thats what she called herself) passed out surveys for everyone to fill out. There was one for Jeep Jamboree and one for Jeep Corporate. Wende (Steve the trail leaders wife) had been commenting all day about how awesome the commander was and how amazingly well it did over everything we threw at it.. So she let Jeep know..


So the overall Jeep Jamboree experience was pretty much amazing. I knew going in that I would get some minor damage and that was all on me. I wanted to be up in a harder group than stock. So I did bang the skid plates several times, along with a nice hit on the 4x Guard Belly skid. I'll try to get some undercarriage carnage pics in the net few days and update here.. I did hit both stock plastic rocker guards and do some minor damage, but they are still holding tight. However I did have to duct tape the front air dam on the way back to the lodge after day two..


I have since just removed it all together, and I think I plan to just leave it off..

So the short version of all of this.. if you are thinking about doing a Jeep Jamboree, do it. I feel it was money well spent, the guides were awesome, the food was good. The prizes and goodies bags were great. They were well organized, I can't think of a single negative other than price, and looking back now that its over I think it was worth every penny. I don't think I've had a smile on my face for so many hours straight in my whole life.
__________________
Unknown - 1995 XJ - 4.5 RC lift, drop brackets, 33" MT's, SYE, Custom Bumpers/Rockrails
Rambo - 2007 XK Limited 5.7 - OME HD - Monroe Load Levelers (F150) - Flashpaq - RRO SuperSliders - 4XGuard all over - SOLD
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Unread 05-16-2011, 10:57 AM   #4
RehabZJ
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2006 WK 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Aurora, CO
Posts: 43
Nice adventure!
I've been thinking about doing a Jamboree since I got my ZJ (my first Jeep as well) and I think you actually sold me on it.
Pretty cool to see how capable the Commander really is.
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Unread 05-16-2011, 11:02 AM   #5
AJeepZJ
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ft Bragg, MO
Posts: 3,575
Excellent wheeling dude. I saw your video clip, and that was awesome. Nice work.

edit: oh... That WK that was there... that was hawt. I smiled when I saw it. The XK/WK are etching themselves into tradition. These XK/WK's get a little older and they are showing there faces a lot more frequently at the trails.
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Unread 05-16-2011, 01:04 PM   #6
BonesWK
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Location: Wilmington, NC
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nice trails out there, looked like a lot of fun!
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2006 Black WK Limited 4.7 4x4 QD II -- RR 2.25" Lift - JK Moabs - 32" Wildpeaks - Rear OME Shocks - AFE Stage 2 Intake - Saguaro 4x Front Shackles - 1-1/2" Wheel Spacers - Tail Light Guards - CB - 4' Firestik - Rola Roof Rack - Exhaust
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Unread 05-16-2011, 02:37 PM   #7
Budasac
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That looks like you had a sick time. Way to represent the XK/WK group.
I was going to go to the East Coast Jeep Jamboree years ago with my TJ, but I was shocked by the price. Looks like alot of fun though. Next time it comes around I'll have to check it out.
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Unread 05-18-2011, 03:49 PM   #8
hoaxci5
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 861
I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little disappointed there haven't been any wrangler owners with smart *** remarks
__________________
Unknown - 1995 XJ - 4.5 RC lift, drop brackets, 33" MT's, SYE, Custom Bumpers/Rockrails
Rambo - 2007 XK Limited 5.7 - OME HD - Monroe Load Levelers (F150) - Flashpaq - RRO SuperSliders - 4XGuard all over - SOLD
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