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Old 03-30-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
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1963 24' Tradewind
Anderson / Sun City , Indiana / Arizona
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Posts: 444
Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel update

I tow a 1963 Tradewind (single axle) with a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Mercedes 3.0L diesel engine. Some believe that this vehicle is not a capable tow vehicle. However, my experience, so far, has been very positive.

We have towed our Airstream about 3,000 miles with this vehicle. We just arrived in Florida for the St. Augustine National Rally. It was about 1,100 miles from Indiana and a very smooth trip. We averaged 17.1 MPG. During the stretch though the hills & mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee our mileage dropped to the low 16's. We get close to 18 MPG on flat stretches. These MPGs are actual calculations, not relying on the estimates on the instrument panel readouts.

We use an Equal-i-Zer hitch and experienced no sway even with strong cross winds, or passing semi tractor/trailers.

The 5 speed transmission only downshifted into 4th gear three times on very steep uphill grades. Otherwise it pulled effortlessly turning about 2000 RPMs at 60 mph.

I think this is a testiment of the towing ease engineered into the early Airstreams. Even with a vehicle that many think too small, and a hitch that is certainly not up to the standards of a Hensley, the old girl still tows great.

I might add that the new Henschen axle rode smooth as glass. Not one item was out of place during the 1100 mile journey.

BTW....... Having a great time at the St. Augustine Rally. What a great group of WBCCI folks. Didn't know one person when we arrived yesterday, and feel like part of the group already.

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Old 03-31-2010, 05:47 AM   #2
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1973 23' Safari
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
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Thnxs for the update GM. The 3.0 sounds like a nice power plant.

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:17 AM   #3
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Lin , Ne
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Originally Posted by Grand Master View Post
I tow a 1963 Tradewind (single axle) with a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Mercedes 3.0L diesel engine. Some believe that this vehicle is not a capable tow vehicle. However, my experience, so far, has been very positive.
It may be because your jeep has a short rear overhang (axle to bumper) which is as or more important than wheelbase.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:44 PM   #4
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Rockville , Maryland
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Yea - the German 3.0 Blu-Tec diesels are "great"!!!

John "JFScheck" Scheck
2014 Itasca Solei 34T in Red Maple
Freightliner XCS Chassis with Cummins 6.7 ISB & Allison MH Transmission
**I Love U.S.A.**
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:27 PM   #5
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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I always like to read first hand reports, so much better than speculation. Thanks!

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Old 09-16-2010, 09:37 PM   #6
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2008 23' International CCD
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
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We have now put on over 11,000 kms on our 23 foot Airstream with our 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee as the TV. Even without the diesel, it has been a little powerhouse. We just got back from a trip to Yellowstone, and it handled the grades just fine. We love our Jeep and hope we can get many more years out of it.

Thanks r carl for explaining the rear overhang...that's what my dad always says!


Lisa and Paul

2008 23' Int. CCD "The Atomic Pod"
1973 13' Boler (fiberglass egg) "The Boiler" (

WBCCI #23223 (=23 CCD)
TAC- SK 23223
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