By Jon Maib

I bought my first Jeep when I was 18 after I completed my first bank loan. I purchased a 1971 CJ-5 that was in immaculate condition. That vehicle was my introduction to the Jeep world and to off-roading. At the time, I had a coworker that connected me with a neighbor of his that lead trail rides and I was able to take the CJ-5 off-roading for the first time. After my first off-road trip, I was hooked. Since that first trip, I have owned 6 different Jeeps over the years and have tried to take each one on some sort of off-road trip. I have done many trails and off-road parks in California and Texas/Oklahoma and have even attended many different events over my lifetime.

The one thing I have never done though, is an official Jeep Jamboree. I have heard and read about them for years and yet, never managed to make it out to one. This last March, I had the opportunity to take our Project JKU, Vulture, to my first Jeep Jamboree in Llano Texas for the 14th annual Texas Spur Jamboree. I will let you know up front, that Jamborees do have a hefty price tag to attend and varies from event to event depending on location (average $250-$1450 per person or $600 - $850 for a family), but after going to our first one, I can tell you it is worth every penny. Jeep Jamborees are very well organized have great trail leaders and the food was fantastic. During our Jamboree, they feed us breakfast, provide a sack lunch for the trails and had some fantastic dinners!

The wife and I arrived on a Thursday evening in Llano, TX after a 4 ½ hour trip from our home in McKinney, TX. to get checked in and get our rig inspected. The Jeep Jamboree does require each vehicle to have tow points and a CB radio. They will also NOT allow any vehicles with tires over 37 inches, so don't try. After inspection, we got registered, got our driver swag bags and then got connected with a group to go wheeling with. The great thing about the Texas Spur Jamboree is that everyone does the same trails throughout the weekend so you don't have to pick which trails you want to do. After registering, we stuck around and talked with other Jeepers and then headed out to setup camp at the Llano City RV Park that sits right on the beautiful Llano River, which all happens to be right next door to the Community Center where the Jamboree was setup at.

The Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree has the pleasure of using the historic Inks Ranch that is located just a few miles from the Llano Community Center and is only availabe for Jamborees, so you can't wheel here any other time. The Inks Ranch is an amazing place to wheel and the trails are probably some of the best in Texas! The ranch has everything you could want, from dirt trails, sandy washes to huge rocks to climb, all of which will test you and your rig. Luckily, the Jeep Jamboree recruits some of the best trail guides that work with you to get your Jeep through all the tough sections with minimum to little scraping or damage. These guys know these trails well and what lines work best for each Jeep.

This trip allowed us to test out all the products we recently installed on Vulture. Our 4" Skyjacker long arm kit worked without any issues and allowed us to be flexible to conquer all the trails we threw at it, our 37" BFG KM2s grabbed onto every rock pulling us up and over the ledges while our Raceline Monster Beadlocks kept them in place at low PSIs, our JE Reel drivelines performed without any issues and followed the full flex of the Skyjacker lift. We couldn't have done most of the trails we tackled though without our Yukon 4.88 gears and Zip locker!

Jeep Jamborees are a great place to learn how to off-road if you have never been or allow you to increase your off-road skills as well allowing you to meet other Jeep enthusiast. We had such a great time with our red group, wheeling, goofing around, talking and just enjoying the natural surroundings together. If you have never done a Jeep Jamboree, we highly recommend that you do at least one! Check out the Jeep Jamboree site for a location near you (, but if you get the chance, we highly recommend you check out the Texas Spur trip for some of the coolest trails in Texas!

We want to give a special thanks to the Jeep Jamboree for allowing us to come and cover the 14th annual Texas Spur Jamboree. Also thanks to our friends over at Baertrax in Dallas for helping us get the rig ready for the trip.