HerJeepLife.com’s UnOfficial Guide to the Jeep Wave

When you purchased your first Jeep Wrangler and drove it off the lot (or the previous owner’s driveway), you were probably pretty giddy with excitement. Once just a dream, your Jeep ambitions were finally coming to fruition. On your way home, however, you might’ve noticed a strange thing beginning to happen that made you feel like part of something – a movement even. It made you feel like you “belonged.”

It’s just a small gesture, really. But complete strangers making eye contact and waving as they drive past in their own Jeep Wrangler conveys a whole lot. It might be a full hand that waves out a window, or it could be just two fingers lifted off the top of their steering wheel, but this my friend is the Jeep Wave. Not just relegated to folklore, Jeep owners really do wave at each other in the real world.

Much like motorcyclists and Mini Cooper drivers waving to one another, Jeep owners show their respect for each other by this simple gesture which fosters community and solidarity. Esprit de corps, if you will.

Because Jeeping is a way of life.

It happens every now and again that a new Jeep Wrangler owner slips through the cracks and isn’t informed by her Jeep salesperson of her new Jeep Wave obligation. Shame on those Jeep sales associates, but we’re here to rescue those who don’t know about it from continuing to receive those ugly glares of judgment and disdain because they either:

  • didn’t initiate a wave
  • didn’t return a wave.

You see, there’s a certain “hierarchy” to owning a Jeep, and therefore, to the Jeep Wave. In fact, here’s the official statement from Jeep Nation on the subject:

“Warning: Owning, registering, insuring, or driving a Jeep implies knowledge of and intent to abide by the following rules, regulations, and guidelines. Failure to obey the letter or spirit of the rules may result in your being ignored by other Jeep owners as you sit along the side of the road next to your stalled vehicle in a blizzard surrounded by Saturns, Yugos, and Hyundais.”

Sounds a bit dubious, right? I know. But it’s really a simple matter because you see, when you own a Jeep Wrangler, no matter where they are around the world, every other owner of a Jeep Wrangler is a comrade and should be treated accordingly – hence, the Jeep Wave.

Jeeptalk.org tells us:

“The Jeep Wave: An honor bestowed upon those drivers with the superior intelligence, taste, class, and discomfort tolerance to own the ultimate vehicle – the Jeep. Generally consists of vigorous side-to-side motion of one or both hands, but may be modified to suit circumstances and locally accepted etiquette.”

While the Jeep Wave is rendered in good-natured fun, there are some rules that govern its delivery. Let’s take a look at those now. The hierarchy previously mentioned is based on a few different factors. Those being:

  • The model and year of your Jeep
  • Mods and upgrades versus stock
  • Pavement Princess versus Mall Crawler versus Off-Road Beast
  • Daily driver versus Tricked out Overlander
  • Nostalgia

Typically, though, most Jeepers and JeepHers will just wave to any other person driving a Jeep Wrangler, regardless of the aforementioned factors. But there are those who take the Jeep Wave quite seriously for what it represents, so for that reason, it’s good to be well informed on the subject.

That being said, thanks to Andrew Boyle over at CJPonyParts.com, there is an actual Jeep Wave Calculator to help you determine where you fall in the Jeep Wave food chain and who should initiate the wave.



Pro Tip: If you’re ever in doubt, just whip it out and wave. No one will fault you for being proactive in your Jeep Wave prowess.




If you’re still confused, the helpful folks over at Reddit had a pretty lengthy discussion on the topic which resulted in this handy flowchart, which should be taken with a grain of salt and for the fun it’s meant to be:

(Credit: Reddit OP NikonD3s)

Now, on to the different types of Jeep Waves. Because we’ve received a few questions regarding the proper style or format of Jeep Waving we’ve conducted exhaustive research on the subject. What follows are our findings of the matter via All Things Jeep, Jeep Guide, and a few dozen Jeep forums.

*Observe closely and make note that: should you attempt a particular style of Jeep Wave without first familiarizing yourself with its proper execution, you will be pointed and laughed at – most likely before a return wave has been rendered.

(Credit: Reddit OP deleted)

Here’s some guidance borrowed from All Things Jeep:

  • Topless: One-handed wave above windshield or outside body tub (HJL Note: the latter particularly if your doors are off)
  • Topless in blizzard: Shiver and nod, hands may remain frozen to steering wheel (Head nod to Gina in Fayetteville, NC)
  • Southern/rural locations: Raise fingers from steering wheel and nod

While there has been, in recent years, a number of new additions to our Jeep Wrangler family who, through no fault of their own, have not been properly informed of their Jeep Wave responsibilities, it is up to us, the seasoned Jeep Wavers to educate them and lead by example.

All in all, the Jeep Wave is a way for Jeepers and JeepHers around the world to acknowledge and salute one another along the highways of life. Whether it’s a soccer mom who never leaves the hardball or a country girl who loves to go topless and get dirty, flash a wave and carry our Jeep Wave tradition forward to new generations.

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What’s in a Jeep Name Anyway?

What is it that compels us to name our Jeeps? Is it because we perceive our Jeeps to be an extension of our personality? Or is it that maybe they are the embodiment of our alter egos – the person we dream of becoming?

People often seek help in choosing a name for their Jeeps and whenever I am asked, my advice is to be patient. A name will come to you when the time is right. There’s no rush.

If you’ve ever owned a pet (especially a Jeep Dog), you know it takes a few days of watching and interacting with them to learn their personality before you settle on a permanent moniker.

It’s kind of the same with your Jeep. You may have already picked a name during your days of Jeep daydreaming, or it may come to you within a few months of purchasing your Jeep. But at some point, a name will pop into your head that just feels right.

Typically, after driving your Jeep for a while, you’ll see that it will develop a “personality.” With each mod or upgrade you add, your Jeep’s personality will start to evolve and take shape.

Almost three years had passed after purchasing my Willys Wheeler edition JK before the perfect name came to me. During that time, I’d referred to my Jeep simply as “Willys” – a temporary placeholder until I could come up with something better, which ultimately turned out to be “Miss-Chief.”

You see, it’s a play on words: Mischief is purposefully misspelled as a reference to my former position and rank in the military. A Chief Warrant Officer in the Army can be addressed as any of the following, based on their gender: “Chief,” “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Miss,” or “Ms.”

Further, and in reference to the term mischief, I like to think my Jeep has a playful personality which sometimes finds her in trouble (in all honesty, it’s me seeking off-road playtime and finding myself in need of a tree to winch off to).

Some people choose names based on the color of their Jeep. Others choose a name that is related to the Jeep owner’s hometown, alma mater, profession, favorite hobby, or favorite sports team.

And you know what else? Unlike having a child, you also get to choose the gender of your Jeep: a boy or a girl. Which do you want? Depending on your preference, you have twice as many ideas for names to choose from!

As for my JK, Miss-Chief, well, I suppose it could be classified as a transgendered Jeep because it started out as a male (Willys) and has since transformed into the sexy off-road beast she is today.

If you’re feeling left out and judged because you haven’t named your Jeep yet, there’s no need to worry. There are loads of folks who go through their entire Jeep lives having never chosen a name for their Jeep. Even if you only ever call your Jeep a truck, rig, ride, or whip, you’re still a member of our Jeep family! (Unless you call your Jeep a car – in which case we’ll shun you like a Leper).

Does your Jeep have a name? If so, how did you choose it? Share in the comments!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss out on future blogs, be sure to “like” our Facebook page, “HerJeepLife.com,” and join the “HerJeepLife.com” group. Like us on Instagram: herjeeplife.

Jeep Dogs

You’ve seen them out on the trails, and you’ve probably even scratched the head of a few in your day. You may even be lucky enough to count yourself amongst those of us who have them. They’re our favorite trail companions, they’re our Jeep Dogs.

It’s because we love them so much that we want to protect them and do what’s right for them. It’s also why we want to include them in our favorite activities. It was while I was reading an article recently, published by Jeep Jamboree, USA, that I discovered a little-known fact.

Did you know that this well-respected Jeep event organizer discourages Jeep owners from bringing their dogs along for many of their off-road forays?

Here’s their official statement on the subject:

“Jeep Jamboree USA strongly suggests that pets are not appropriate on Jeep Jamboree USA events. Long hours in vehicles, association with people unfamiliar to the animal, access to inappropriate foods, restricted park areas, leash rules and laws, and many other drawbacks make including pets in the events punishing to the pet, the owner, and the other participants.”

Now, before you roll your eyes and start defending your rugged outdoor dog’s off-road prowess, let me tell you that I’m a JeepHER, culpable of the crime of bringing my own Jeep Dog along for a high-level rated Jeep Jamboree trail ride. It was only during that ride that I realized my mistake.

Although our dogs are always tethered when we ride in any of our vehicles for safety purposes, as Jaxon was that day, along with having a soft and oversized dog bed for his comfort, he did NOT enjoy his ride. Selfishly, I wanted the companionship of my dog and thought nothing of how his 40-lb body would be tossed around inside my JK, regardless of his tether.

While there were a few stops throughout the day, he was fearful for much of the ride (which turned out to be roughly 5 ½ hours in total) and downright panicky at points, trembling, pulling against his tether, and desperately trying to find a way into my lap.

Our dogs typically lay down and go to sleep after their initial excitement of going for a ride wears off, but due to the roughness of the terrain and obstacles, he wasn’t ever able to lay down for more than a moment at a time. To say he experienced a high amount of instability and bouncing around would be an understatement.  You can see the difference in his demeanor in the photos below:

I’ve encountered numerous other Jeep Dog owners out on the trails who, instead of showing empathy for their dogs, laughed and joked how their dogs reacted fearfully or were tossed from the back seat of their Jeep to the front seat. In fact, on the same 5 ½ hour ride I took Jaxon on, a fellow JeepHER was proudly bragging about her senior dog who was being flung about inside her Jeep while laughing heartily about it.

Seeing the look on Jaxon’s face and watching him trying to hunker down while shaking in fear, I absolutely regret taking him on that trail ride. Make no mistake, it won’t happen again.

In the future, my Jeep Dog will ride by my side for rides in the Jeep, but it won’t be on rated trails.

Do you have a Jeep Dog? What are your thoughts about taking them out on the trails with you? Share in the comments so we can all learn from one another!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss out on future blogs, be sure to “like” our Facebook page, “HerJeepLife.com,” and join the “HerJeepLife.com” group. Like us on Instagram: herjeeplife.