The Jeep Mafia is quickly becoming a Twitter powerhouse in the online Jeep community and it all started with a simple tweet back in 2014.
And so it began.
Now, 14,000+ members later, with new members joining daily, the group continues to grow.
The Jeep Mafia: Origins
Social media is designed to be social. The Jeep Mafia gets this.
You laugh? I know it sounds obvious and simple, but the “art” of being social on social media has for the most part been lost.
Today, most Twitter users seem to use the platform simply for promotions of products or services. Cutting through the spam, and finding Twitter users worth following can be a challenge.
Before I tell you the story, I’ll just go ahead and say that if you love the Jeep life, and you are on Twitter, give @THEJeepMafia a follow. For anyone who loves jeeping, they are worth the follow.
(We’re on Twitter too by the way. You can follow us at @HourlessLife.)
So back to the story. The origins of The Jeep Mafia began just a bit before that first Tweet.
In November 2014, Chris Stockmar was connected via Twitter to three online friends who also had an irrefutable Jeep obsession. Though these four Jeepers had never met in person, they had indeed become friends on the micro-blogging platform and spoke with one another regularly.
Chris decided to create @THEJeepMafia and use it to share the love of Jeeps with others around the world with the same passion for the Jeep life.
Though using Twitter for the newly created group was the brainchild of Chris Stockmar, he wasn’t alone in the endeavor. Chris’ three Twitter-Jeep-obsessed friends joined him in starting the movement. As such, there are 4 people who are considered “Founding Members.”
For the purposes of documenting the origins, these are the personal Twitter handles of the “Founding Four” members:
Chris aka @Thejeepboss (Founder)
Leigh Ann aka @KricketJeeper (Co-Founder)
Jerry aka @ReturnCheck (Co-Founder)
Troy aka @JeepCoach (Co-Founder)
(By the way, give them a follow too, good Jeep tweeps)
When you combine the passion for Jeeps that these four have, and the flexibility and worldwide appeal of a social media platform like Twitter, good things can happen.
Now pushing over 14,000 members, The Jeep Mafia is one of the most fun places for Jeepers to talk to one another on Twitter.
It has gotten so large, that the four had to bring on a team of moderators and fellow Jeep lovers to help manage it. They all do a fantastic job and there are simply too many of them to mention each by Twitter handle.
Today, this group is an active and vibrant community of Jeepers from all over the world, sharing photos, experiences, humor and of course, getting together to wheel.
The Jeep Mafia: Purpose
Unlike most local Jeep clubs or groups who meet regularly, most of The Jeep Mafia hasn’t really met one another.
After all, could you imagine 14,000 Jeepers meeting up at once?
As of this writing, the founders haven’t even all met one another.
Instead, members stay connected online and meet up with other members who they’ve gotten to know.
It is like having a Jeep club wherever you go.
Think about this for a moment. Let’s say you are taking that trip to Moab, but you don’t want to wheel alone. Tweet to The Jeep Mafia and let them know. Chances are they can connect you with some pretty awesome Jeepers right in that area.
Besides sharing a passion for Jeeps and the Jeep life, the purpose of The Jeep Mafia is to provide a Jeep family wherever your travels may take you. In this, they fill a much needed role in the Jeep community.
For folks like us who travel full time, this is especially helpful. One of the cardinal rules of wheeling, is to never wheel alone. The Jeep Mafia helps fill this void when you don’t know any of the locals. For this we’re very grateful.
The Jeep Mafia: Membership
There are no fees or dues associated with membership in The Jeep Mafia. To join, simply follow @TheJeepMafia on Twitter.
The only requirement for keeping your membership in good standing is that you must keep all communications on any of their online platforms drama free.
The founders estimate that out of the 14,000+ followers, 20% are active and loyal.
As The Jeep Mafia has grown, so has the platforms on which you can find them.
The Jeep Mafia’s main platform is Twitter, but they are also now on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.
They have merch available for members which can be requested via their website here.
There are only a handful of obvious things that would get you kicked out of The Jeep Mafia: Too much drama, disrespect for another jeeper, and porn. Other than that, The Jeep Mafia is pretty easy going.
The Jeep Mafia: Activities
The Jeep Mafia is as active as you want it to be. Because it is an online Jeep group, you can connect with any member in your local area by simply reaching out online.
The Jeep Mafia does try and get together whenever possible. When they are doing a group wide event, they’ll announce the “official” gathering via their online platforms.
So far members of The Jeep Mafia have participated in the Bantam Jeep Festival, Jeep Beach and Myrtle Beach Jeep Fest just to name a few.
In 2016 they had a large meetup in Moab, Utah where many of The Jeep Mafia USA members met for the very first time after having known each other online for much longer.
From a charitable standpoint, The Jeep Mafia has participated in Toys for Tots and has sent care packages to Military Jeepers serving overseas. One of the members, Kurt, even drove from Georgia to Texas to support Wounded Warriors. The Jeep Mafia obviously has a heart for Veterans and their families.
Only the future will tell just how big events put on by The Jeep Mafia will be.
The Jeep Mafia: Closing Thoughts
I asked Jerry, aka @ReturnCheck, who answered my questions for the purposes of this interview if he had anything that he’d like to add. He said, and I paraphrase:
We treat all Jeepers the same, no matter what kind of Jeep you own. Whether it is stock or modified, whether you use it to go to the mall or Moab, if you have a love for Jeeps you are welcome in The Jeep Mafia.
For me, The Jeep Mafia is a breath of fresh air. It is a worldwide camaraderie of Jeep lovers. It is in fact a world wide Jeep club.
The ability to connect with other jeepers who are just as passionate as you are about the Jeep life anywhere you might be. This is something that is only possible because of social media and people like the fine jeepers at The Jeep Mafia.
Personally I encourage you to get to know them and to become a part the movement!
Until next time, keep it dirty and wheels side down.
Melissa hodgins-moderator Jeep Mafia
That was a great article, pretty much spot on to what The Jeep Mafia is all about. It’s simple, If you love Jeeps we love you!! Happy Jeeping Everyone
Thank you Jerry! Really appreciate you and the other founders taking the time to do the interview with me. I look forward to meeting you on our travels.
Leigh Ann Lane
We couldn’t do it without our moderators who put in so much time on the account:
@jeep_ky @josephpallotta @laurie988 @JeeperMel @SolarTJChick @KurtsOlllllllO @DelaineCassier @Sherwoodfores @spencer_74 @TweetieTara @wcallahan17 @kyjeepmom @TheMudYeti @rpx53 @Kirby98tj @TeamToad @milania1997
Thank you for starting this awesome group <3
Thank you for listing them all Leigh Ann! Thank you to all the mods of The Jeep Mafia for all that you do for the community too. Hope you liked the article.
Eric, thanks for such an awesome write up! So accurate and well said-stockers to lockers, we respect them all! I truly enjoy my job as a moderator and it’s due to our fantastic group of moderators and our 14k awesome peeps!
Appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. I’m really thankful to be part of the Jeep Mafia. Thank you for all that you and the moderators do!
Excellent article to the core of TheJeepMafia!!
Get out there and Jeep!
See you on the trail or off, butvwhere ever it is don’t forget to *Wave.* to your fellowJeepers
Wave? I always wave! Haha. Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment Kurt! ~ Eric
Great article!! Love interacting with other fellow Jeepers and posting pictures. Awesome Jeep Family!!
So sorry for the late reply, I’ve literally been Jeeping off the grid for months, but I’m back! Thanks for the love on the article David! Jeep Mafia is an awesome Jeep family! ~ Eric
EB - Peanut
Shortly after buying my first Jeep, I found The Jeep Mafia. This is an amazing group and I have developed some great friendships!
So sorry for the late reply, I’ve literally been Jeeping off the grid for months, but I’m back! Glad you found The Jeep Mafia! They truly are an amazing group! ~ Eric
Great article and well written. Thank you Jeep is life
So sorry for the late reply, I’ve literally been Jeeping off the grid for months, but I’m back! Couldn’t agree more Fred. Jeep is life! ~ Eric
What an awesome article! Thank you for the Jeep love and sharing our awesome community! #jeepwave everyone ??
So sorry for the late reply, I’ve literally been Jeeping off the grid for months, but I’m back! Glad you liked the article, personally I’m really happy to be part of The Jeep Mafia myself. ~ Eric
Thanks for the great article. I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful family.
So sorry for the late reply, I’ve literally been Jeeping off the grid for months, but I’m back! Glad you found this Jeep family Patricia! ~ Eric
Thank you so much for this great write up. This has been a great ride. Our Moderators are the best. We love how hard they work. No pay, no free meals, just the love of Jeeps. Can’t wait to see what goes down this year.
Chris, you and The Jeep Mafia team have done something really special here. Looking forward to meeting you someday on the trails. I’m originally from Seattle. So who knows. We travel full time, so I hope to meet many of the Jeep Mafia members out on our travels. We’ll Tweet it out when we’re in an area and tag y’all. It would be great to meet other members when we’re out and about.
If I already commented do I have to comment again? I’m never sure what to do in these situations…It’s really a lot of pressure.
Very well written article. Thanks for the care in writing another great blog about the JeepMafia
Happy to do it Fred! Appreciate you taking the time to comment. My wife and I had a baby recently so I’ve not been writing as much as we’ve been finding our rhythm. But I think we’re there now and new articles should be on the horizon soon!
Great write up on TBDJCOTP! (The Best Damn Jeep Club On The Planet)
I’ve been a member since Feb 2015 and have made many GOOD friends that I otherwise never would have met.
Thanks for leaving a comment Ed. Looking forward to meeting many Jeep Mafia members as we travel around the country.
We would like to give a special Shout Out to all of our followers, Without them we would not be what we are today!!
We’re one of them! We love the Jeep Mafia, y’all are truly a great worldwide Jeep club. We’ve heard rumors about our Jeep friends in the Austin, Texas area getting koozied lately! They’re pretty stoked!
Love being a part of the jeep mafia members! My Jeep passion i didn’t know i really had grew 10x ????
So sorry for the late reply, I’ve literally been Jeeping off the grid for months, but I’m back! Right on! Jeep Wave back atcha! ~ Eric
Thank you for a kind & accurate article. This is truly an amazing group of jeeple & I consider it an honor to be part of it. ??? @SolarTJChick
So sorry for the late reply, I’ve literally been Jeeping off the grid for months, but I’m back! Glad you are a part of the Mafia. I’m glad I am too. Nice to meet you SolarTJ! ~ Eric
I am proud to be a Jeep Mafia member. This article is spot on! Great job!
So sorry for the late reply, I’ve literally been Jeeping off the grid for months, but I’m back! Appreciate the kind words about the article. Glad you enjoy the Jeep Mafia, I do too! ~ Eric
Thank you it was very well written. Somebody said they were serving pizza and wings where do I find that good stuff. Thank you Jeep Mafia for doing what you do every day you rock.
So sorry for the late reply, I’ve literally been Jeeping off the grid for months, but I’m back! Pizza and wings? I’m down haha. Fastest way to find out what is happening is to Tweet them. They are great about responding! ~ Eric
I am interested in meeting other people in the SW Michigan or far Northern Indiana area