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Old 08-17-2003, 10:26 PM   #1
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Jeep with an I-6 engine for towing 25'

Hello, this is a new post to an old thread, but we are shopping for
a Jeep Laredo, after nixing the Liberty idea, since we just bought
a 19' Safari, our first American Legend adventure, and looking down the road we will most likely at least move up to the 25' Safari. Our dilemna is whether an I-6 (not a V-6) would do the job, assuming we stay within the weights. The v-8 would be nice,
but pricing is an issue right now, so we are not sure. Some folks have recommended the wagoneer model, an older jeep, but they did not say which engine it had. Any comments on towing with Jeep Cherokees, Liberties, or Wagoneers would be appreciated.

Roger and Nancy
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Old 08-18-2003, 06:34 AM   #2
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An older full-sized Grand Wagoneer would definitely fill the bill but they haven't been made since the early 90's and get horrendous fuel mileage, standard with a 5.9 V8 and 4x4. With that said they still have a loyal following, classic lines and something different than the run of the mill SUV. The straight six in the later Cherokees is a torquey little engine but would work only for the smallest Airstream possible, even with that they would be somewhat challenged. I would stick with a V8 Grand Cherokee myself, still not the ideal choice, maybe not enough wheelbase for most folks but if you stayed at a 22' Airstream or under you may be OK. Don't know much about the Liberty but my first impression is too small to be a viable tow vehicle.

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Old 08-18-2003, 06:45 AM   #3
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In a word....NO!

My bro has a Lorado and was going to place a hitch on his car. I told him to forget it.

First, the car has no wheelbase, second I have a great respect for the inline 6 it has and his car is a body on frame. However, it does not have the cooling, gearing or wheelbase to be able to successfully tow my 19' Bambi. This does not even take into account if the tires on it could handle the additonal 460lb hitch weight with his factory off road tires.

I told him he could tow my boat (18' and 2200lbs), but a 4600lb trailer....no way, no how. I told him if he really wanted to do it, he could buy his own camper and do it.

Bottom line, the Larado, Liberty and 6 cyl Grand Cherokee were not designed for such loads. The heat will no doubt kill them. From what I've heard, if you go with the V8 Grand Cherokee, you'd be better off in the Dodge 5.xL V8 since the engine bay allows more air keeping the engine cooler. I got this straight from Apple 1 of this forum. He worked for Chrysler for years. If you do go with the Larado, Liberty or 6 cyl GC, you do it at your own risk. The V8 GC would be the minimum I would go with....

My .02.

Eric
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Old 08-18-2003, 07:39 AM   #4
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Re: Jeep with an I-6 engine for towing 25'

Quote:
Originally posted by Roger and Nancy
Hello, this is a new post to an old thread, but we are shopping for
a Jeep Laredo, after nixing the Liberty idea, since we just bought
a 19' Safari, our first American Legend adventure, and looking down the road we will most likely at least move up to the 25' Safari. Our dilemna is whether an I-6 (not a V-6) would do the job, assuming we stay within the weights. The v-8 would be nice,
but pricing is an issue right now, so we are not sure. Some folks have recommended the wagoneer model, an older jeep, but they did not say which engine it had. Any comments on towing with Jeep Cherokees, Liberties, or Wagoneers would be appreciated.

Roger and Nancy
I confess that I don't know anything about the current Jeep lineup; however, I don't recall anyone ever saying that they've had a positive experience towing with any Jeeps (except for the old '70s to '80s Wagoneers with 360 v-8s; and their 4WD was always a concern as it wasn't extraordinarily reliable). They did ok with a light-weight trailer, but were never stellar performers.

Now that I think about it, I can't ever recall having a conversation that someone said "gee I wish I had my Wagoneer/Cherokee back, what a great car it was..."

The old 258 I-6 was an awesome engine... but it's just not up to the task of towing. It was sufficient in the CJ line, but it was all it could handle to haul those old weighty Jeep Wagoneers and Cherokees around by themselves.

I'd suggest you look at something other than the Jeep lineup for a tow car.

Good luck...

Roger
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Old 08-18-2003, 11:54 AM   #5
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Gee, I wish I had my Wagoneer back--What a great car that was!

Short Answer: the 6 cylinder Jeep GC is underpowered for the job.

Long Answer: Last September, I traded in a '93 Wagoneer for a new 6 cylinder Grand Cherokee. Two months later, I got the Airstream bug. (BTW, want to buy some Enron stock?)

I just finished towing our '63 Flying Cloud the 2,500 miles to/from the VAC Rally in Colorado, with the Jeep. The Airstream is 22' long, weighs 3305 lbs dry, and has a tongue weight of 410 lbs.

The Jeep performed admirably. It reminded me of "The Little Engine That Could." Started at sea level, went up and down some, ended up at 7,000 feet. The desert was hot--110 to 115 degrees. No overheating problem.

The flat highway driving (El Centro to Phoenix and Flagstaff to Santa Fe) was a breeze. Many times, I had to react to the speed creeping over 70. A top cruising speed of 65 on the flats was more comfortable to me.

The grades were the challenge. The top speed dipped to 50 MPH a number of times between Phoenix and Flagstaff, and between Sante Fe and Colorado. Would have definately liked more power there. Raton pass (NM-CO border) wasn't bad, because construction there slowed everyone down to a one lane 45 MPH crawl. If I had had to challenge any of the higher mountain passes, I would have been way out of my league.

As far as handling goes, the Reese weight distribution bars and dual cam sway control made a HUGE difference for me. With them, my knuckles turned pink again

I'm a big Jeep fan. I'm convinced that a Grand Cherokee saved the life of my wife and son 5 years ago, when they got hit head-on by a firetruck going 40MPH. We're a two Grand Cherokee family now, and we've had 3 GC and a Wagoneer in the last 5 years. I really WANTED this to work. But in my opinion, the 6 cylinder GC was pushed to it's max on this trip, and there are more challenging situations out there that everyone will encounter. The new 25' Safari is considerably heavier than my old bag 'o bones, and I doubt the 6 cyl. GC would do the job for you.

If a person was REALLY stuck on the idea of a Jeep (say, for a light trailer), the most powerful Jeep ever produced was a 1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Litre Limited. They were made for 1 year. 245 horsepower, 0-60 in 7.3 secs, 335 foot pounds of torque. They growl like an old GTO. Still got a wheelbase issue, I guess. Plus, you've got to live with 10 MPG everytime you drive it.

Good Luck!

Tom
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Old 08-18-2003, 12:04 PM   #6
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Re: Gee, I wish I had my Wagoneer back--What a great car that was!

Quote:
Originally posted by 63flyingcloud
Short Answer: the 6 cylinder Jeep GC is underpowered for the job.

Long Answer: Last September, I traded in a '93 Wagoneer for a new 6 cylinder Grand Cherokee. Two months later, I got the Airstream bug. (BTW, want to buy some Enron stock?)

I'm a big Jeep fan.
Tom
Tom, I stand corrected. Thanks for the eloquent vote for the GC/Wagoneer!

I was a mega-jeep fan for years; had a number of '70s & '80s CJs and a '71 Jeepster Commando with the odd-fire Buick V-6, but I had always heard horror stories about the big Jeep's transfer case/AWD setup. Rumors abounded: everything from them flying apart in the desert to grinding up chains & gears to horrendous tire wear. Did you ever have any complaints with yours?

Roger
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Old 08-18-2003, 12:37 PM   #7
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Hey Roger!

I had good luck with the Wagoneer. It lived its life in San Diego, though, and 90% of the time it was only used as my wife's "mall-assault vehicle." No mechanical problems, other than a little oil leak when it reached 10 years old.

Yes, tire wear was advanced because of the All Wheel Drive. The trade-off was that it was great fun watching the smog test guys put the rear wheels on rollers, "take it out of 4WD," and punch the accelerator. Of course, I only let them do this where there was a pull-through bay!

Tom
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Old 08-18-2003, 01:30 PM   #8
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I pulled our 25' Safari with a 5.2 1998 GC until recently. Reese and sway bars plus airbags in the rear coil springs. It did quite nicely, even between Phoenix and Flag.

I'll admit that I didn't normally run 70mph in it, but it was willing. And easy to maneuver while parking. Low range was handy then too for accurately controlling the speed.

The only problem was that the brakes weren't quite up to stopping both when the trailer brake controller wasn't adjusted right.

Other than that, it did real good over a year of towing around northern Az and New Mexico.
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Old 08-18-2003, 02:36 PM   #9
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Cool Hooooold on there, Babalouie!

This just in:

Motor Trend magazine has spied a new Jeep model for 2005, called the Jeep Commander. It is described as follows:

"Jeep has long-sought to offer a vehicle larger than the current Grand Cherokee, like the classic Wagoneer. Rumors have such a vehicle well under development, referred to as Commander. The three-row SUV will be competing most directly with the Hummer H2, looking to preserve Jeep's reputation as ultimate off-roaders while addressing consumer demands for a large, family-hauling vehicles. The 4.7-liter V-8 will likely provide the base power, but expect the larger 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine to be available."

Motor Trend also expects an "all-new" Grand Cherokee to be introduced in 2005, including an extended wheelbase version.

That's what I'M TALKIN' ABOUT!!

Check it out--they also expect that 2005 will bring a Honda pick-up, a Jaguar X-type wagon, and a long wheelbase 300hp Land Rover Discovery.

http://www.motortrend.com/future/spi...vf/index3.html
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Old 08-18-2003, 06:44 PM   #10
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Short answer-go with the V-8!
I had the I-6 in my '99 Laredo and it was o'k for small haulin',but I feel WAY more comfortable with my '01 GC Ltd .The 4.7l has the extra power you need ,especially when you need to get out of some fooll's way!
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Old 08-19-2003, 06:54 AM   #11
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Re: Hooooold on there, Babalouie!

Quote:
Originally posted by 63flyingcloud
a new Jeep model for 2005, called the Jeep Commander.

That's what I'M TALKIN' ABOUT!!

Here's some skinny culled from the web:

Chrysler Jeep Commander 2



by Alberto Rossi

Can a Jeep® merge an advanced fuel cell powertrain in a luxury sport-utility vehicle that is virtually pollution-free, while achieving double the fuel economy of a conventional SUV? Commander 2 offers advanced design and technologies that will meet customers' needs in a clean, efficient vehicle that will address the environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Under the Hood

Commander 2 is clearly a Jeep®, with its trademark seven-slotted grill and characteristic trapezoidal wheel arches, among other visual hints. While Commander 2 duplicates the shape and design of the first Commander, under the hood lies a completely reengineered fuel cell system. Now, the fuel cell is combined with dual front and rear electric motors and advanced batteries into a hybrid-electric fuel cell powertrain that represents further advancement in the development of ultra-clean, ultra-efficient transportation. Commander 2 has near-zero tailpipe emissions and improves the average fuel economy by up to 12 mpg (gasoline equivalent).

Running on electricity, the Commander 2's energy is generated by the fuel cell which is fueled by hydrogen from an on-board methanol reformer. Two AC induction motors, one for each axle, provide full-time, four-wheel drive.

Features of the Commander 2

The silvered-bodied Commander 2's overall height is equivalent to the 2001 Jeep® Grand Cherokee. It stands 80 inches wide overall, more than seven inches wider than Grand Cherokee. Some features of the Commander 2 include: wider stance to help intensify a drivers' sense of security, three comfortable bucket seats in the rear, extra storage space in the center console, 180 degree convex side view mirrors to eliminate blind spots, tow hitch covers which fold down and double as a step for ease in reaching the roof, a "Infotronic" system that performs as a mobile office with a toaster-style pop-up "plug and play" laptop computer docked in the center console (with Internet for real-time weather and traffic information and directions; e-mail phone and vehicle diagnostic information), a small microphone in the steering column that allows the driver to access the mobile office via a voice recognition system, and a tiny camera positioned to take a picture of the driver so if the vehicle is stolen a picture of the thief is electronically sent to the authorities.
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Old 08-19-2003, 09:47 AM   #12
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I hear those "on-board methanol reformers" can be tempermental.

Is this a car, or a train???? Wild stuff!

Tom
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