By Jennifer Rand
We recently took our first road trip to our first big Jeep event, Jeep Beach in Daytona, Florida, to promote our new buy-sell-trade app, Jepr. We didn't have a product to sell per se, but wanted to promote Jepr and meet as many Jeep people as possible. We arrived after 18 hours of travel, and Jeep Beach did not disappoint.

The mid-Florida Jeep Club created the Jeep Beach event and it's incredible what they've accomplished. Jeep Beach has grown into one of the largest Jeep only events in the U.S. and has raised more than one million dollars for local and national charities. Many of the non-profits represented at Jeep Beach were in support of military Veterans, like Mission22 and 4 Wheel To Heal. The event is comprised of several major events and numerous smaller events throughout the week. It's touted as a family friendly event, and there were plenty of families enjoying the festivities. There was a kick-off party, a luau, block party on Main Street, the main vendor event, a music concert, off-road experiences, more block parties, the world's longest jeep wave, and the Jeep Beach cruise at Daytona Beach on Sunday morning.

Jeep Beach's main vendor event was held at the Daytona International Speedway beginning on Thursday and going through Saturday. Thousands of Jeepers and hundreds of vendors gathered at Daytona International Speedway. [Tip: Register early so your packet is delivered in the mail ahead of time and you avoid the long registration lines]. The vendor event was a feast for the senses. Upon arrival, you're greeted by a sea of Jeeps parked in the middle of the enormous Daytona International Speedway where you can walk around in the Florida sunshine and hear the roar of the racecars getting track time in the background. Throughout the day, there were military jets flying overhead making us wonder if an airshow was part of the event. We grabbed a bite to eat at the food trucks and watched Jeeps do the off-road courses as everyone cheered them on and whooped at their fails.

The variety of Jeeps on display was mesmerizing. From the original Willy's, modified CJs through JKs, to the Jeep Sandstorm concept, and even the extremely high-end custom jeeps exhibited by Starwood Motors. As newbies, the experience solidified our enthusiasm for the restored older models.

We got to see the latest and greatest new products up close and personal like the new Rock Krawler suspensions, Skull Krushers' inner fenders, and ARB's new Linx interface. My personal favorites were the small business vendors – the Jeepers that found a way to solve a minor problem on their Jeep and ended up with an innovative product for the marketplace. Aerolidz has a customizable attachment to the light bar that eliminates the whistling sound. KikBax is an all-in-one mirror and foot peg that shuts off the interior light when your doors are off. Good ol' American ingenuity! And of course I had to make a stop at the Crawlher booth to pick up a new hat and shirt.

Daytona is one of the few places in the country where you can drive on the beach because of the hard packed sand. It was our first time to drive on the beach and with a conga line of fellow Jeepers it was a fun finale to Jeep Beach 2018. I may need physical therapy for my hand after waving at what felt like a thousand Jeeps. Jeep Beach is an incredible opportunity for the Jeep community at-large to get together for some great causes and get great deals on the latest products. It's the perfect atmosphere to get a close look at everyone's customized rigs and really get a feel for the next mod you're interested in. Jeep Beach represents why people drive Jeeps in the first place - Cruise around town or the beach with your top off, complete off-road courses, and meet fellow Jeepers. We met people from Canada, from all across the United States and even met a couple who've gone the last nine out of the 15 years of Jeep Beach. There seemed to be a theme, if you go once, you'll want to return, so be sure to put it on your calendar for next year – Jeep Beach 2019 is April 22 to 28th.

About Jepr
Jepr is the fastest growing buy-sell-trade mobile marketplace app for the Jeeping community available on Android and iOS. First-time app creator, Justin Rand, had the idea after being frustrated with how long it took for him to find exactly what he wanted for his '97 TJ. He set out on a mission using technology to connect Jeepers in one convenient marketplace regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Get it on Google Play