What is a Jeep Wave and Is It Only for Wranglers?

At some point, while riding a Jeep, you may have noted that other Jeep drivers wave at you more often than not. There are a couple of reasons why Jeep drivers are so fond of waving to each other. Several theories exist as to how this tradition started.

Here you will find out all that you need to know. But first, let’s answer the question: is the Jeep wave only for Wranglers?

Is the Jeep Wave Only for Wranglers: Short Answer

No, it is not just for Wranglers. All Jeep owners can do it. It does not matter what make or model of Jeep you have. Everyone is free to join so long as they have a Jeep. Riding a Jeep is all that matters. So if you are sitting inside a Jeep, feel free to wave at other Jeep drivers.

This habit was more common at the start among those riding the JK, TJ, YJ, and CJ models. However, it slowly spread to all other Jeep makes and models.

But why do they do it? Think of it as a show of solidarity. Since you are part of the Jeep community, you belong to one big family of adventurers, thrill-seekers, and outdoors enthusiasts. You and other Jeep owners are all united by that one passion – driving a Jeep. Hence, it would be quite nice of you to acknowledge and appreciate other Jeep drivers by waving towards them.

The key thing is this. If another Jeep driver waves, you wave right back, don’t hesitate. It does not matter what kind of Jeep you have.

Jeep Wave: How it all Started

You might be wondering at this point how did this custom originate. Although there are a few theories of how it all started, 2 of these theories are the most plausible.

The first theory goes back as far as the history of the Jeep. You may know that the Jeep was first produced during World War 2. US soldiers riding Jeeps would wave at each other to signal that they were friends, not foes. This way, they would not be mistaken for being enemy combatants.

Another theory exists that is linked to the first. It goes this way. When the war ended, citizens would wave at veterans to acknowledge their service. Veterans would also wave at each other as a greeting.

Practicing this custom will make you feel good. This is the most obvious reason for doing. When Jeep drivers wave at each other, they acknowledge that they belong to one community. It is a show of camaraderie and friendship.


Popular Jeep Wave Styles

Over time several Jeep wave styles have become a common habit among Jeep drivers. Which style you select is a matter of personal preference. You are free to select any Jeep wave style that suits you.

Here are the main Jeep wave styles.

  • Extend 2 fingers from the top of the steering wheel. Think of it as a peace sign while your hand is on the steering wheel.
  • Extend 1 finger upwards from the top of the steering wheel.
  • While keeping the base of your palm on the steering wheel, you can extend all your fingers.
  • You may stretch your hand out from a window.
  • Make the “hang loose” sign.

Other Styles of Waves

As you have seen, there are different Jeep wave styles. You can practice whichever one you like. It would also be a good idea to take a close look at the custom in your area. Perhaps one particular Jeep wave style is more widely prevalent in your place. You may want to use this style more often then. But in the end, it is really up to you.

Although it is not a legal obligation, you are expected to uphold this long-standing tradition and custom. Jeep wave rules are few and easy to understand. Almost all Jeep owners observe these unwritten rules. You should do the same. If another Jeep driver waves at you, you wave right back. It does not matter whether you are driving a Compass or a Grand Cherokee. You simply do it as a show of friendship and amicability.

And this practice is not just limited to Jeeps. Drivers of other models also wave at each other. Owners of Harley-Davidsons, classic cars, Porsches, Mini Coopers, and other car models also have a history of waving to one another as a gesture of goodwill.

Of course, there are plenty of perks and benefits to be had by joining the Jeep wave program. What’s more, there is dedicated customer support 24/7. You can wave to another Jeep owner at any time of the day, and they will most likely return the compliment. The good thing about this program is that you are automatically enrolled as soon as you buy a Jeep. You gain membership immediately upon buying any model of Jeep.

Jeep drivers take great pride in this tradition. You, too, can become a staunch stalwart of this tradition.

You may also run into naive Jeep owners who don’t know about this tradition. So when you wave at them, they will start wondering if they know you. They will give you a perplexed look as if trying hard to remember where they last met you. There is no need to mind. You can laugh it off.

One nice thing to do would be to initiate the Jeep wave. Be proactive and don’t wait for the other fellow to the first wave. Take pride in waving first and upholding a time-honored tradition.

Bottom Line

Is the Jeep wave only for Wranglers? The short answer is that it extends to all Jeep models.

Mark Anders

I love my Jeep and will share my years of knowledge with you here! Stay with me and read on!

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