Finally all the anticipation was over and it was finally time to head out for Jeepin With Judd. I started a brand new job recently, so I unfortunately couldn’t make it to the event on Friday, but I was headed out early Saturday morning. And by early, I mean 5am…because obviously I couldn’t wait to get there.
I was lucky enough to be able to trailer my Jeep to the event which is a great option in case anything was to break on the trail. Instead of being stressed out about breaking and having to repair in order to drive home, I could be at ease knowing that if the situation needed, I would be able to reliably get myself and my Jeep home safely.
When we finally got to JWJ, we were greeted by an unrelenting cloud of…dirt. The dry air and lack of rain created a dust cloud throughout the entire ranch, and it was the fastest way to get your Jeep absolutely filthy. We drove up to a camping spot, unloaded our gear, and headed out to our first stop: the moderate obstacle course.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I like a little off-roading warm up before I dive head first into an extreme or advanced course. The moderate course at Jeepin’ With Judd is perfect for this little warm-up routine. It’s not too extreme, and it’s not too boring for a modified Jeep either, so this is where we started the day.
Next up was the extreme obstacle course, which you run right into at the end of the moderate, or obviously turn the way out of that Jeep graveyard. I got lucky and happened to be on the extreme course while photographers from Jeepin’ Central Florida Magazine were snapping photos and they got some really great ones of Rajah!
On the extreme course, my friend Danielle broke her front driveshaft. Thankfully, the Jeep community is more than amazing, and a fellow Jeeper who was already broken and done for the weekend let her take his stock front driveshaft so she can install it on her Jeep and keep going. How amazing is that?!? I feel like anywhere, anytime, you can always count on a Jeeper to help you out. Danielle, with the help of her boyfriend, was able to remove the broken shaft and install the stock driveshaft that came out of the other Jeep. After doing some trails, she decided to tackle the exact obstacle that brought her down the first time, and did so successfully. That’s how you wheel like a girl, Danielle!
The extreme obstacles at Jeep events are always so much fun to spectate. Jeeps break all the time, and the obstacles are short enough where you don’t get bored. At Jeepin With Judd, there is a great view of the obstacle courses for spectators and there is always clapping and “ooohing” and “ahhhing” all day long from the crowd.
The trails at Jeepin’ With Judd are pretty extensive for a Florida Jeep event, which is what makes this event so great and worthwhile. There are ten trails, ranging from stock difficulty to advanced where both front and rear lockers are required. I did both the advanced trails, Hog Root and Twin Rock. They were both pretty long, like maybe an hour’s worth of riding, and a lot of articulation was required on the Jeep’s part. These trails are a great way to learn how to wheel your Jeep. Some spots can get pretty tricky when you are leaned over all the way to one side, and you have to turn in the right direction to avoid a flop.
On one of the trails, I ended up trying the mud pit (unsuccessfully) and with much regret (oh boy the cleaning). I went into this mud hole that was probably too deep for my comfort! Towards the end, my Jeep didn’t want to go forward anymore and water started seeping in through the doors (JK owners’ worst nightmare). My carpets were getting ruined…
So I ended up slamming my Jeep in reverse and hauling it backwards through the hole and up the little climb. I stopped at the top and left my Jeep at an angle to try and get the water out quickly but the damage was already done. Everything inside was soaked in muddy water. Great.
Lesson learned: just do yourself the favor and remove your carpets before any Jeeping trip, even if you aren’t planning to mud. It will save you hours of cleaning later on (yeah, like…hours and days really).
Anyway, after that mud escapade, it was important that I got the radiator hosed down to prevent any overheating problems. There was a pressure washing station run by a club that charged $1 per minute for donations. I made sure the radiator was washed out really well and took most of the chunky mud off my Jeep. Then I was ready for one more trail before the event closed.
Jeepin With Judd is by far my favorite Florida Jeep event. It is extremely rewarding for new Jeepers and experienced ones all at the same time. I highly recommend for everyone to try and make it to the next JWJ!
Did you go this year? Leave me your thoughts in the comments! Which trail or obstacle was your favorite?