What is Camp Jeep?
Camp Jeep is an off-road driving course set up inside at auto shows throughout the country. Several off-road-like obstacles are set up for people to experience the vehicle’s capabilities in a safe environment. We were lucky enough to get a few trips around the course at the 2017 Denver Auto Show. There were several Jeep Wranglers to make short work of the course, a Cherokee, a Grand Cherokee and even a Renegade. It’s hard to really tell what a vehicle can do just by standing looking at it. Furthermore, no matter how many times you might read the specs of fancy off-road equipment on the vehicle, the proof is seeing it or experiencing it first hand. The nice part about Camp Jeep having different vehicles available for you to ride in, is that you absolutely can tell the difference in how each vehicle handles the obstacles differently.
“The whole point of what we’re trying to show off at Camp Jeep is the capability of each Jeep vehicle,” Jim Morrison, director of Jeep Brand marketing said.
The first trip we took was in a Wrangler Unlimited, driving over what looks like a close knit pile of tree stubs all at different heights. Whilst most regular cars would get stuck due to ground clearance, the Wrangler bounced a little but inside the cabin, it was like smoothly rocking a baby to sleep. The next obstacle was a short uneven ramp demonstrating articulation that most cars would get high centered on. “The articulation standard indicates that when one or more wheels are elevated, the Jeep® 4×4 system helps the others stay on the ground longer to keep you moving. Suspensions enhance off-road performance by maximizing flexibility, axle articulation, and wheel travel” Again, the Wrangler just drove over it like it wasn’t even there.
Then came the ground clearance section which was a bunch of logs spread out at uneven distances and height. In a car, this would be equivalent to driving over lots of really big sleeping elephant speed bumps. The Wrangler made it look easy.
The most fun (and impressive) part: A 35° climb up and down. It’s a little scary when you can’t actually see the surface your driving on. When you climb up, all you see is hood. On the way down, let go of the pedals and let the downhill assist take over. The downhill assist uses engine braking and wasn’t even noisy (compared to other DAC systems).
We stuck a camera on the hood of a Wrangler to give you a great view!
Frazier, Kevin E. “Welcome to Camp Jeep®.” Welcome to Camp Jeep® | FCA360. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://360.fcanorthamerica.com/featured_news/welcome-to-camp-jeep/>.
Jeep – Trail Rated – Home. Jeep, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://m.jeep.com/trailrated/>.
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. She has driven hundreds of vehicles, not only new cars but beaters without heaters, fast cars on fire, slow cars in snow, off-road trucks in the mucks, and old pickups with pups. She’s driven heaps of Jeeps, miles in muscle and once took her gran in a car from Japan.