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Why Do Jolly Jeepers Love their RV?

Jeff Johnston: An RV is a wonderful device. It helps you enjoy your hobby. Hi, I’m Jeff Johnston for “RVing Today.” We’re in the Tillamook State Forest, just outside of Tillamook, Oregon, at the Portland Jolly Jeepers “Back to Basics” Rally. The place is full of RVs, and we’re gonna show you what these guys do with their RVs that helps them come out here and enjoy the back roads and the hospitality of the Jolly Jeepers. And in the interest of full disclosure, I was once a Jolly Jeeper member myself.

The Jolly Jeepers “Back to Basics” Rally is a long-running annual event that combines comfortable camping and scenic four-wheel-drive trail riding in the Tillamook Forest area of Western Oregon. Many of the participants started with tents and have graduated to RVs of all kinds. A look around the campground reveals it resembles an RV park as much as a jeep trail-ride event. We asked around among the participants to collect some opinions on how using their RVs improves their enjoyment of the event.

Frank Norwood: Absolutely, absolutely. I can come back to my ride. It has a shower, has a toilet, has A/ C. It has everything you need just like a home and makes it nice and easy, particularly if you have kids that I can just stick ’em in the bathtub.

Evan Belt: This is our 2011 16-foot Scamp, and we chose the Scamp because it’s easy to care for, and it’s also can be towed behind our jeep or other vehicles. It’s about 2,200 pounds. It has a bathroom, has a bed. It has a kitchen, all the amenities of a large RV, but it’s very small, and it’s very convenient to take pretty much anywhere we wanna go, hiking or jeeping or all the outdoor adventures.

Melody Dekorte: So, the motor home allows us to get out and explore the world in a little bit more of a glamping fashion. I’m not much of a tent person, so this is definitely more my speed, especially with the hot water and the Corian countertops and everything else, so it’s really nice to have our second home with the creature comforts that we’re used to on the roadway with us, going to all the little jeep events.

Scott Weninger: The best thing about our jeepin’ experience is that, when we come back to camp, we have a comfortable place to stay. Beds are comfortable, hot shower, hot meal, and then we can rest and do it up again tomorrow, so all good.

Jeff: The rally includes a wonderful steak dinner prepared by the club, and likewise breakfast, to get the participants off on the right foot. The fun begins when you hit the trail in your favorite four-wheel-drive rig. The legal recreational driving trails are maintained by the forest service and available to the public. Not all jeep trail rides go as planned.

female: Okay, so I was drivin’ my Jeep Wrangler up the trail, following a few other people up the trail, when we’re comin’ up on a rock garden, and my axle really wasn’t strong enough to be climbing up said rock garden, and my axle broke, which means this whole wheel wanted to walk its way out, so we weren’t gonna be able to make it off the trail unless we had another axle to put in it, and we didn’t. So this log was just layin’ there, couple feet from us. Our trail leaders, Ron and Grant, had these straps and a rope, and we strapped the log into the step and to the bumper to keep the wheel from falling out so that it would freely roll, and we just slowly drove it back to a road where we were met by a trailer, and they picked us up and brought us back to camp, and it worked.

Jeff: When the trail ride is over, you have your comfortable RV waiting back in camp. That’s the way to go