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Old 07-01-2016, 05:58 PM   #1
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2016 16' Sport
Longwood , Florida
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Towing Sport 16 With A Wrangler

My wife and I just bought a 2016 Sport 16 and want to tow it with our 4-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport. The Sport 16 has a UBW of 2860 lbs. The Jeep is rated at 3500 lbs. tow capacity. We're using a weight distribution hitch. We can also have the dealer add a brake controller for the Sport 16's electric brakes (should I add the brake controller?). Do you think the Wrangler will be okay towing the Sport 16 on flat Florida roads for camping trips of approximately 2-4 hours away from home? Thanks for any advice!
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:11 PM   #2
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1991 25' Excella
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The wrangler should do fine but Id check with jeep before using a wd hitch. It may need an additional support welded in.
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:33 PM   #3
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Definitely get the brake controller. Two of our customers have Wrangler-series, and tow 16' Sports. Another customer has a Dodge Caravan, and tows a 16' Sport with it. All of them have WD and brake controllers.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:40 PM   #4
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Seattle , USA
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The Jeep should be FINE in the limited capacity in which you will be using it. Flat land and a small trailer should be OK. The 16ft Sport is about the ONLY sensible Airstream I'd try pulling with a Jeep. I tried pulling a 13ft Scamp with a 2 door in the mountains of Colorado and it did NOT go well. Just driving that Jeep around the mountain roads alone required the heater be turned on to keep the coolant temps from pegging 250 degrees. But...as long as you stay on flat land, drive slow, and only drive short distances, you should be fine. Watch the coolant temperature constantly. Add coolant as required; keep some in the Jeep.

There are VERY SERIOUS issues with excessive engine and transmission temperatures in the Pentastar equipped Jeeps, ESPECIALLY with the added weight of propelling the 4-door Unlimited. That engine is stretched to its limit as it is. These things run SUPER HOT even in the 2 door versions just running around town without pulling anything.

I VERY STRONGLY advise you to read the thread linked below and examine the links provided in it regarding issues with the cooling systems in these Jeeps and the issues with the Pentastar:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...le-132185.html

If your Jeep is a 2012 or newer model, PLEASE pay attention to the Pentastar issues linked to in that thread. These issues STILL occur, but with less frequency as the 2012 and 2013 models.

Basically, the engines have no exhaust manifolds as they are instead an integral part of the heads themselves. The engines run excessively hot by design (230's just toodling around town with the fan going full blast) and the exhaust valves in the heads fail. Chrysler has been replacing heads left and right for years, but the problems still come up...again, not as often.

But, pulling a trailer will NO DOUBT stress this engine and cooling system to the MAX. Just be ready for what CAN happen.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:31 PM   #5
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I have towed thousands of miles (including up and down mountain passes) with my stock 2015 JKU with no problems. I find the sweet spot for gas mileage is about 58-62 MPH (depending on headwinds.) This is also below the 65 MPH rating for the trailer tires. I don't know what the problem is with some poster's JK, but my coolant stays around 208° F (as shown on my EVIC).

You should be fine if you stay below 3500# and 350# hitch weight. Definitely get a brake controller. The JKU with Max Tow has TSC (trailer sway control). It must work as I've never had a problem with sway. (YMMV)
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
I don't know what the problem is with some poster's JK, but my coolant stays around 208° F (as shown on my EVIC).
The 2012 JK that I was driving did not have access to the actual coolant temperature on the EVIC; it only had the standard idiot gauge that hardly moves until you're in the 230 degree territory. They didn't add the enhanced EVIC until after ours was built.

I used an OBDII adapter which connects via bluetooth to my Android phone and utilizes the "Torque" app which not only lists the ACTUAL coolant temperature in real time but also the actual transmission temperature (amongst a whole SLEW of other data if you wish).

Unless they have redesigned the cooling system on 2015 and newer Jeeps (which I seriously doubt), your coolant temps are AMAZING!!! ESPECIALLY if that's while you're towing, let alone towing up hill in 95 degree heat!!!

High coolant temperatures of the JK and JKU are the norm on EVERY Jeep forum I'm part of.

Hmmm...

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Old 07-01-2016, 10:29 PM   #7
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The excessively elevated coolant temperatures of the Jeep Wranglers are designed that way for EPA reasons to reduce emissions. It doesn't matter to the EPA that these super hot temperatures cause the engines and transmissions to prematurely fail.

Here is a memo from Chrysler, Star Case S1324000004:

"Engineering has determined the gauge is reading higher than design intent. If this is the customers
complaint, review the below operating parameters. This condition is being investigated by Engineering.
Some customers may comment the temperature gauge appears to read hot or above the half way
point in its travel. The thermostat is designed to open at 221F, resulting in an Engine operating
temperature of 230F."

I SERIOUSLY doubt anyone's Wrangler runs at 208 pulling a trailer. Hmmm...

Here are some of 100's of examples of complaints of Jeeps running hot:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/20...e-1205897.html

"I recently purchased a 2015 JK. I have less than 100 miles on it. I noticed the temperature on the (EVIC?) said 226 degrees at idle. The fan seemed to kick on and it started to go back down. Is this normal? I looked at the needle gauge and it was in the middle. Please Help!"

"My new 2016 JKU Hard Rock is routinely showing 222F in normal driving with only 80F temps. Not sure what it will show when it gets hot."

"Saw 224 during stop and go driving today. And it wasn't even 75 out. It seems to fluctuate from this as a high to about 205 as a low, once fully warm. What gives?"

"Have seen exactly what you're seeing in the wife's '14. Was idling while she ran into her parents one day last week (65° ambient) and saw it hit 224°. Have seen high 190's-212° while driving. We've got the intermittant water pump bearing noise so I didn't know if they were connected or if this little 6 just runs warm."

"Mine still seems to run hot. After driving for hours, and stop and go will spike the temp to 226+. Did some moderate hill climbs and saw it hit 240 and 3/4 on the gauge. That scared me! Yes the fan came on and cooled things down, but I had to stop just a little way up the hill."

"Just got a call from the dealer. They say everything is fine. I checked coolant levels just this morning before I drove it there. Explained that when it got real hot, 240+, the overflow bottle got really high and did not go down after cooling. They tested the radiator cap and said its fine too. They have no explanation for what I have experienced."

"It just worries me. A vehicle that can easily reach 226 while idling with no load, can also easily overheat when working hard it would seem. I know I have seen temps of 240+ (3/4 on the dash gauge) when climbing mild hills and I have to stop before things get worse."

"Well, I've hit 242 and no light yet. On long hill climbs this sucker gets hot fast!"

"The idiot light will come on at 267, so you are OK at 242. I drive my 2013 Rubi every summer for 3months/15000miles Overland Expedition offroad and on highway and on long hills in UT or CO I get 239 and then it cools down little bid. My operating temperature is between 222-228 on straight highways. You can't listen to members who drives it to work and back for 30minutes each way with no hills!!!!"


OK...that's enough examples.

BE CAREFUL AND WATCH YOUR COOLANT TEMPS VERY, VERY CLOSELY WHEN ATTEMPTING TO TOW WITH A JEEP WRANGLER!
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:57 PM   #8
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My 2014 JK never overheated, towing or not and I abused that thing beyond belief. Most oems these days run the engines a little hotter for emissions thats normal.
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:50 AM   #9
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Longwood , Florida
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My wife and I were picking up our new Sport 16 on Thursday from the dealer. We did the orientation, the dealer had the WDH installed and everything was great. U-Haul installed a brake controller on the Jeep. When they plugged the 7-point connector from the Sport into the Jeep, the Jeep's dash began smoking. We unhooked the Sport and nursed the Jeep back to the dealer. Turns out the brake controller was installed incorrectly by U-Haul and it fried my wiring harness. U-Haul filed an insurance claim and the adjuster is supposed to look at the Jeep on Tuesday. As soon as the wiring harness is replaced, we'll have the RV dealership install a brake controller and we'll try again.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:02 AM   #10
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Sounds like you're off to a roaring start!!!

Remember, the trips you remember are going to be the ones where EVERYTHING goes wrong!!!

Glad to see you read up on the links I sent...

Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:25 AM   #11
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Use an OB2 monitor like Scanguage or such to get the real water temperature instead of the cheap dash gauge. At the moment I'm using an app on my iPhone called OBD Fusion that connects via wifi to an OBD port dongle. I think the dongle was about $10 on Amazon and the app was free or near enough to free.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:05 PM   #12
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Hailey , Idaho
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Definitely install a brake controller....definitely! You'll be glad you did. jon
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:08 PM   #13
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Forgot to add something...although you live in Florida (my home state) you don't have the hills (highest point is about 320ft), but you have the heavy rains and flooded highways/roads most of the summer. If you don't have a brake controller that fine AS of yours will pass you while you're facing backwards....I have seen it happen. Safe travels. jon
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:08 AM   #14
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2016 16' Sport
Longwood , Florida
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I bumped into someone at Camping World the other day with a lifted Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and he tows a an Airstream with no problems. Good news there.
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