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Old 11-09-2015, 08:08 PM   #1
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Towing a Jeep

Is anyone flat towing a Jeep Wrangler? I'd like to know how the performance is. A 2 door Wrangler weighs about 4000 lbs.

Bob
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:54 AM   #2
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I've towed our 2 door jeep Rubicon from Maryland to California and back. No problems it is a heavy load but we kept it slow. We did disconnect for vail pass. I don't normally tow anything and the mileage dropped to 13-15 mpg. If you don't have a Rubicon your jeep will be about 500 lbs lighter. Get a solid tow setup and a brake.


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Old 11-10-2015, 07:36 AM   #3
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I haven't towed a Jeep, but I have towed a toad over 11,000 miles in my Interstate.

You may want to look into getting a RennTech ECU tune for the Sprinter. It will improve horsepower AND fuel economy at speeds of 60mph and lower, but if you go faster than 60mph, fuel economy will drop like a stone. If you get it, get used to poking along at 60mph whether you're towing or not. The engine will also run about 5° hotter, hardly enough to tell the difference on the temperature gauge in the message center.

My toad has a curb weight of 2700 pounds and a GVWR of 3500 pounds. It's routinely loaded to about 3100 pounds when I'm towing because I use my toad as overflow storage while in transit. With the RennTech ECU tune I routinely get over 18mpg on flat terrain near sea level while towing at 60mph. Crossing the continental divide in July at 7280 feet in New Mexico, I was still getting over 15mpg while towing at 60mph. That's an improvement of about 2mpg versus before getting the ECU tune. The horsepower difference is mostly noticed when accelerating at a highway on-ramp, which is really the only time you need to pour on the coal while towing.

One caveat… make sure that when you set up your Interstate and Jeep that the towbar is level. I can't count the number of people who pull a toad and ignore this rule. If the towbar has a rise or drop so that it's pulling at an upward or downward angle you won't get the best possible fuel economy because the van will be constantly trying to lift or push down the front end of the toad. The proper setup has the towbar level so that the van's power is all going to a straight horizontal pull, with no up or down component.

So if the Jeep's bumper is higher than the Interstate's receiver, you'll want a kit from Blue Ox, which normally has the attachment point on the toad below the bumper. If the Jeep's bumper is level with the Interstate's receiver, you'll want a Roadmaster kit because Roadmaster typically positions the attachment points on the toad level with the bumper. The chance that the Interstate's receiver will be higher than the toad's bumper is so remote that there's no point considering it.

I don't know enough about the Stowaway towbars to really talk about them, except to note that the Stowaway fold up on top of or right in front of the toad's bumper, and attaches to a regular hitch ball on the van. The Roadmaster and Blue Ox systems typically have a towbar mounted on the van's receiver, and attach to the baseplates on the toad.

Here's a picture of my Roadmaster setup…
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:43 AM   #4
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We are towing a 2013 Fiat Abarth which only weighs about 2500 lbs. I have the Renntech tune which I also highly recommend. On our recent trip out west, we had a couple of high mileage days as we needed to meet my buddy on a certain day in Lake Tahoe. So I was pushing it and had the cruise set at 73 mph. In addition we were going up in elevation and facing a 30mph angled headwind. Predictably we had our worst fuel mileage in the 12's and 13's.

We were less pressed on the way home so I set the cruise at 67mph. We had consistent 16mpg readings with a top reading of 17.7 on one tank. I tend to have a heavy foot and, when I merge onto an interstate, I am already at my cruising speed at the end of the ramp. In spite of this, I averaged 15 mpg for the entire trip, which included lots of mountain driving.

BTW, Renntech was founded by one of the original founders of the AMG tuning company. AMG was purchased by Mercedes quite a few years ago and their AMG badged cars are now built in-house. AMG had a very positive relationship with Mercedes for years before their purchase. Renntech carries on that tradition as the local Mercedes dealer is an authorized dealer for their products. Because of these relationships, I had high confidence in having them alter my ECU. I removed it myself and sent it to Renntech and had it back a couple days later.
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Old 11-10-2015, 02:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryBound View Post
I've towed our 2 door jeep Rubicon from Maryland to California and back. No problems it is a heavy load but we kept it slow. We did disconnect for vail pass. I don't normally tow anything and the mileage dropped to 13-15 mpg. If you don't have a Rubicon your jeep will be about 500 lbs lighter. Get a solid tow setup and a brake.


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This is helpful information. Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerhofer View Post
We are towing a 2013 Fiat Abarth which only weighs about 2500 lbs. I have the Renntech tune which I also highly recommend. On our recent trip out west, we had a couple of high mileage days as we needed to meet my buddy on a certain day in Lake Tahoe. So I was pushing it and had the cruise set at 73 mph. In addition we were going up in elevation and facing a 30mph angled headwind. Predictably we had our worst fuel mileage in the 12's and 13's.

We were less pressed on the way home so I set the cruise at 67mph. We had consistent 16mpg readings with a top reading of 17.7 on one tank. I tend to have a heavy foot and, when I merge onto an interstate, I am already at my cruising speed at the end of the ramp. In spite of this, I averaged 15 mpg for the entire trip, which included lots of mountain driving.

BTW, Renntech was founded by one of the original founders of the AMG tuning company. AMG was purchased by Mercedes quite a few years ago and their AMG badged cars are now built in-house. AMG had a very positive relationship with Mercedes for years before their purchase. Renntech carries on that tradition as the local Mercedes dealer is an authorized dealer for their products. Because of these relationships, I had high confidence in having them alter my ECU. I removed it myself and sent it to Renntech and had it back a couple days later.
Thanks again to everyone for the detailed responses!

Bob
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