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Old 06-11-2020, 07:00 PM   #1
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Jeep Gladiator

Anyone towing with a Jeep Gladiator? I traded in my 2500 Duramax for one this week. The 2500 was a towing machine, but I hated driving it the rest of the time. Getting into tight parking spots, navigating the elementary school drop off with my kids, etc. The 3/4 ton was just too big.

So far I am loving the Jeep. I towed the 25fb about 20 miles today on 2 lane roads going 55 mph. I was very surprised at how well it did. It was very windy today and I had no problems. I havenít taken it on the highway yet, but so far things are looking promising.

Iím currently using a Fastway E2 hitch. It was always fine with my 2500, but I may upgrade to something a bit better since I know I am approaching the limits of the Jeep. Right now leaning towards either an Equalizer or a Blue Ox.

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Old 06-11-2020, 08:18 PM   #2
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Just finished up a long discussion about the Gladiator. The tongue limit is lower than what you're likely putting on the vehicle. the spring rates are low so that is likely the issue. I'd advise doing something to shore up the rear springs, maybe air bags, and also pay attention to differential temperature for the first couple tows. Inspect the receiver mount especially the welds also. The mount may be weak.
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:21 PM   #3
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Maybe should have bought a 5 year old Corolla for around town and kept the Duramax for the heavy lifting?
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Old 06-12-2020, 04:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Just finished up a long discussion about the Gladiator. The tongue limit is lower than what you're likely putting on the vehicle. the spring rates are low so that is likely the issue. I'd advise doing something to shore up the rear springs, maybe air bags, and also pay attention to differential temperature for the first couple tows. Inspect the receiver mount especially the welds also. The mount may be weak.
My tongue weight runs around 750lbs. I check it with a Sherline scale. I am only carrying one propane tank, and I also have converted to lithium batteries moved inside the trailer. Those two things alone dropped about 125lbs off the stock tongue weight. I can also move the spare tire depending on loading if needed. I travel light, pack very carefully, and total weight of my trailer stays in the 6000-6500 range.

I was also initially worried about soft rear springs and I am planning airbags. However, I was surprised to see the rear only dropped 1" with my WDH set. Hellwig makes a stiffer rear sway bar that I might also try. Again though, it was very windy when I towed yesterday, and I didn't feel any body roll at all. I was quite surprised at the ride quality. I knew it wouldn't compare to towing with my 3/4 ton, but it felt very comparable to towing with 1/2 tons I have driven.

My wife has a Grand Cherokee with a 5.7 Hemi that I have also towed our airstream with. The Gladiator felt significantly more stable and a smoother ride than the Grand Cherokee. Likely due to the much longer wheelbase (137" vs 115"). I was expecting to be disappointed in the power of the 3.6L in the Gladiator, but I really wasn't at all. The 8 speed transmission and the 4.10 axle gearing didn't seem to give up much to the Hemi in my wife's GC. I haven't been on the interstate yet, so that will likely be where the horsepower difference is noticed. More miles are needed before I will really feel confident.

I was watching all the temps while towing, and plan to keep an eye on the hitch welds like I would for any vehicle.

Worst case scenario, the plan is to downsize to a 23 footer if I can't make the 25fb work. I think 25 will be fine for the way I use it, though.
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by KK4YZ View Post
Maybe should have bought a 5 year old Corolla for around town and kept the Duramax for the heavy lifting?
I thought about keeping the Dmax, but that is just too much money to keep tied up in a vehicle that would only get used a couple thousand miles a year. Not to mention insurance costs, and taking up garage space. I'm pretty sure the Gladiator will handle all the heavy lifting I need.
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:36 AM   #6
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Good to hear you are managing tongue weight. DON'T add a stiffer sway bar to the rear, that will make the rear more likely to slip when the trailer pushes on it in a hard turn and you could jackknife and roll. Not intuitively, rear end roll is helpful as it prevents the inner rear tire from being unloaded in an evasive turn so you want a bit of rear roll, You also want your inner front to unload just a tad so the front drifts/slips with the rear in a hard corner, so stiff front is good while towing.

Pay attention to the rear suspension, bottoming out or too spongy is what you are looking out for, not so much a bit of sag. If it is tight and stiff while towing you needn't add airbags. Check the differential for excessive heat once or twice and you should be good.

Edit: Don't go too light on the tongue unless your hitch has excellent sway control properties. You don't want a nasty wind storm to ruin your day.
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Old 06-12-2020, 06:49 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. How do you monitor differential temps? Is shooting them with an IR thermometer sufficient? I can watch coolant, oil, and trans temp on the screen, but I don't have a readout for the differentials, at least not that I have found yet. I'm still playing around with the settings.
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:46 AM   #8
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Yes if you have an IR thermometer, That's great. The internal temperature will be quite a bit higher than outside while traveling so wait 15 minutes after stopping and then figure the lube is about 30 degrees hotter than the outer metal. Ideal would be lube temp less than 250 F while towing. Over 300 should cause you to get some severe duty lube. Over 380 starts to be a concern... While you're at it, use the IR to check tire temps, They are likely inflated correctly when the sidewall temp matches the tread temp after driving for 30 min or so. Inner and outer sidewall temp differences indicates an alignment issue. Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2020, 08:01 AM   #9
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Add checking trailer brakes drums to your IR check list. Itís not so much a specific temp as it is a uniform drum to drum review. Cold drum likely not contributing to braking a hotter than others is either saying Iím doing too much braking or I need attention.
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Old 06-12-2020, 09:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by azeeb View Post
I thought about keeping the Dmax, but that is just too much money to keep tied up in a vehicle that would only get used a couple thousand miles a year. Not to mention insurance costs, and taking up garage space. I'm pretty sure the Gladiator will handle all the heavy lifting I need.
Yeah, I can see that. Good luck with the Jeep. It looks like a cool vehicle!
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:33 AM   #11
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First real camping trip. The Gladiator did great. Better than I expected. No water hookup so I was carrying a full freshwater tank. Not much in the truck except my wife and I, my two six year old twins, and the kids bikes in the back. I bought a new blue ox sway pro and have been pretty happy with it.

I did have a problem with the airstream. A brake broke on one wheel. Something in the self adjuster broke and everything came apart. It was squeaking pretty bad when we pulled into the campground. I had to spend half a day getting that fixed. Fortunately parts were available in the town I was camping near.
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Old 07-25-2020, 11:40 AM   #12
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Glad to hear the Jeep did it's job. Sorry to hear about the brake issue. If you were able to get temperatures, it would be nice to hear about them.
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Old 07-25-2020, 04:54 PM   #13
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My wifeís Chrysler 300 came with the 3.6L V6 (similar to yours, I assume) and I was surprised at how much power it had.

FWIW, Banks makes a ram air intake for the Gladiator that looks pretty cool.
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Old 07-26-2020, 11:08 AM   #14
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Glad to hear the Jeep did it's job. Sorry to hear about the brake issue. If you were able to get temperatures, it would be nice to hear about them.
According to the dash computer:
Coolant temp was 200
Oil temp was 215
Trans temp was 200-205
Average MPGs was 11.8 driving 65 mph

The exterior of the rear diff cover read 205 with my IR thermometer.
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Old 07-26-2020, 10:31 PM   #15
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very nice!
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:10 PM   #16
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Did i miss which break controler your using?
Trying to find info for directlink and if jeep protocol will synch. I know 2018 there was a security gateway module installed .
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:43 AM   #17
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Iím using a Curt Spectrum controller. They make a harness that plugs in to the gladiator brake control plug located up behind the ODB port. I donít know anything about direct link. I know there is a security gateway module is the gladiator.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:15 PM   #18
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I bought a 2020 GT 23FB and am towing with a Gladiator. First RV but Iíve pulled many trailers. Drives like a dream. Feels like plenty of power and I have packed the truck and the trailer with cargo and itís been great.

Using the equalizer four way hitch which is impressive.

I love the combo.
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Old 08-05-2020, 06:09 AM   #19
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That's a nice combination, the Gladiator is a good fit for the 23, and the Equalizers perform well. Glad to hear it drives and feels in its element.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:44 AM   #20
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New to both the Gladiator and Airstream clubs. Iíve always had Wranglers in the past and have been searching for an old Airstream to try my hand at fixing for some time. Towed a 27í 1974 Overlander about 35 miles from where I picked it up with no issues A couple weeks back. Itís much lighter than stated, though (~4000 lbs), as it is gutted completely on the inside. Anyhow, the Gladiator is amazing. Looks like you have the Rubicon, so you are definitely pushing it in terms if weight. Iíve read in the Gladiator forum that a guy with a newer 25í model was looking to go to 23í for less weight as well as less width (?) forr less resistance if I remember correctly.
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