Jeepfreeks.com is one of the largest online Jeeping communities. Meet Travis Daines: the man behind the website—and, arguably, the biggest Jeep freak around.
Where does your love of Jeeps come from?
I grew up in South Weber, Utah and my family owned a 1949 Willys CJ-2A. One of the earliest photos I have was taken at Sand Mountain, Utah when I was 4 months old—my mom was holding me while riding in the Jeep.
We went camping, hunting and picnicking near the Weber River, all in the Jeep. My dad was a great driver and always pushed it to the edge. There was even a watermark in the speedometer from him crossing the river behind our house. Basically, my childhood was centered around that Jeep.
Why did you start JeepFreeks?
Back in October 2012, I was on a family trip to Moab. My nephew trailered his Jeep down for the weekend and was installing a steering link when I snapped a photo. I thought to myself, these are the stories I need to tell.
On November 23, 2012, Jeepfreeks.com was born. The foundation of this community is passion and I’ll always tell the everyman story, like a teenager building a YJ with every penny he could earn. We can all relate to backyard or home-garage-built Jeeps.
What does being a JeepFreek mean?
Being a JeepFreek is easy. Just uphold the real-world values of the Jeep community: be positive, be helpful and be respectful. On the trail, you’ll encounter problems. Jeep people don’t compete like other off-road groups. Instead, we’re there to help others and get everyone home safe.
What do you drive?
I have a slightly built TJ with a 2-inch lift, open diffs, manual transmission and 32-inch BFGoodrich® Mud-Terrain T/A KM2s. I’m challenged every time I go off-road. To me, the most overlooked part of building an off-road vehicle is that people won’t go wheeling until their build is complete. They modify every component possible before building driving skill. The first mod you do is to yourself.
What does BFGoodrich mean to you?
In 2015, I got an email from [a global brand manager at BFGoodrich]. She invited me to Frozen Rush in Maine that winter. When we finally met in person, it was like being welcomed into the family—and the same principles and values for Jeep Life live in the entire BFGoodrich family.
What is your favorite part about four-wheeling?
I love seeing someone new try a difficult trail. At first, they’re completely overwhelmed by the obstacle in front of them. But once everyone starts helping, you instantly see them grow, reaching a little deeper for the courage to step outside their limits. No matter your background, age, gender or economic status, wheeling outside your comfort zone with others who are willing to help you teaches life lessons you won’t find anywhere else. And you’ll have fun doing it.
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