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Old 01-02-2021, 09:47 AM   #41
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SAE, society of Automotive engineers have an industry standard test procedure. They use .3 g and .4 g for oversteer, and 62 mph dry flat road, no wind impulse sway test. Neither are particularly challenging so towing limits get set quite high compared to the range of US road conditions.

I meant do you have a source for the part about manufacturers pushing limits to the max.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:39 AM   #42
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Those who follow SAE standards and advertise compliance to the standards use the test procedures and continue to add weight to a mostly flat utility type trailer until they fail the particular tests. They use the highest weight that passes all tests as the final value unless that weight causes comfort or suspension performance parameters to go out of spec. They then advertise that the towing limits meet SAE standards. The procedures and methods are documented in SAE papers they sell. Various manufacturers reps who have been interviewed about the procedures are quoted describing the procedures and how they set limits no additional safety margin in described. Some reps note the tests themselves have margins built into them.

I suppose you could argue the tests themselves are conservative. Does anyone towing take corners at .3 g? Probably not on purpose as anything over .24 is uncomfortable for most passengers. How about an emergency swerve? Medium and large trucks are at risk of roll at .7 g, SUVs are much better than that, so there is a lot of room there for a wild swerve well above the .3 threshold. Likewise with sway. 62 mph is not particularly fast and the conditions are not very demanding so I don't see much safety margin there.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:59 AM   #43
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Andy, you're well-respected because you've helped explain to so many people how their non-pickup truck is great for towing, and I agree, people don't have to have a pickup to be their tow vehicle.

To explain this a little.

A Wrangler Unlimited has a towing limit of 3500lbs. The manufacturer says, don't tow more than that with it. The 16' Bambi has a maximum capacity of 3500lbs gross. Any Airstream bigger than a 16' Bambi is too large for a Wrangler Unlimited to tow within the United States according to Jeep.

Canada, I don't know their laws, I suppose it's legal there.

And, you might get away towing something larger for awhile. But if you get into an accident, and have been towing with something larger than your vehicle is rated for, I wouldn't want to be the person explaining to the trooper that the Canadian dealer said it was legal.

The Gladiator, depending on how you spec it, can tow 7650lbs. That's more believable that you can have something go offroad, and also tow.

Djg, do the research, look at the specs for the vehicles you're interested in, look at the weights for the Airstream you're interested in, and know how much stuff you want to bring along, as far as payloads go. Good luck.
Hi Leslie

Unlike most posting I have towed with many Wranglers and a tested a Gladiator. Though the Gladiator has a higher tow rating I think that is more likely a marketing decision as they want it to compete with other mid size pickups that have exaggerated tow ratings. The Rubicon has no direct competitors so there is no sense in them taking on the liability of a tow rating for it.

The Rubicon has 4 advantages over the Gladiator, 19" less rear overhang. Though the wheel base is 19" longer on the Gladiator that can't make up for the increased overhang. Suspension tune and all other elements of the chassis are the same. Stability and handling are better with the Rubicon Unlimited.

The longer chassis of the Gladiator and the lack of a body for support over the box gives it more chassis flex which combined with the high un-sprung weight of the live axles diminishes the ride quality when towing.

Power wise the Rubicon has more reserve power because as boxy as it is it is still more aero than the Gladiator. Personally even though you give up two ratios I prefer the manual in the Rubicon but they are close enough that it is personal preference.

The fourth difference is the only reason to buy the Jeep is you want great off road capability and who wants an off road vehicle with a 137" wheelbase, those better be pretty wide open trails.

Tow ratings have no legal reference nor should they as they are always going to be largely a guess as there is much more that goes into towing a trailer than its weight. The Jeep is actually a good example, though we regularly connect them to 25' Airstream's we would not dream of connecting one to 3000 pound tall box trailer on leaf springs and no shocks. It would not have good control or enough power to pull it through the air.

Towing on the highway our Chrysler 300' (which we have been towing with for 16 years) is vastly superior tow vehicle. In V6 trim the same engine and automatic transmission as the Jeep but performance is better due to the reduced aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance of the car. The stance of the independent suspension roughly 18" wider, the center of gravity is much lower and the tire and wheel combination just about perfect for towing. It's tow rating is 1000 pounds. It's as ridiculously low as the Gladiator is ridiculously high.

Knowing this about tow ratings we look at a combination of the properties of a vehicle and past experience with it to get a much more accurate idea of what towing performance to expect.

The equations creating a combination is a recipe of vehicle and trailer specs, customer expectation and use along the appropriate hitch system. There is no single answer for everyone. The poor vehicle manufacturers have no access to 75% of the equation but will get 100% of the blame if something goes wrong so tow ratings for them are risk vs reward and who can blame them.

I've been writing for RV Lifestyle magazine for 33 years some of my articles are posted on their website. If you have a specific question I likely have an article related to it. Feel free to send me an email with questions.

I hope this helps.

andy@canamrv.ca

https://rvlifemag.com/category/rv-life/hitch-hints/
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:49 PM   #44
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Tow ratings have no legal reference nor should they as they are always going to be largely a guess as there is much more that goes into towing a trailer than its weight.
I’m not exactly sure what this even means. If you’re saying that tow ratings have no legal relevance, that is absolutely wrong. Any American tort lawyer worth his/her salt knows that establishing negligent conduct is the key to victory and negligence does not require that a law be broken—just that a standard of care was breached. Are you actually saying that a manufacturer’s tow rating is not a standard of care that has legal significance? Are you willing to indemnify anyone who relies on this legal advice if you turn out to be wrong?
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:48 PM   #45
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Hi Andy,

Thank you for replying. In this particular case, my commentary was for Djg to help his research, but I'll admit to always striving to learn more myself.

I realize that if we started with a 'standard' vehicle, a lot of the changes made to it to improve its offroad capabilities are opposite of what changes would be made to improve its towing capabilities. Higher center of gravity instead of lower, shorter wheelbase instead of longer... and that the Gladiator compromises some of its offroad capabilities in order to be more trucklike than a Wrangler.

And, I've a bit of experience in the offroad use side of these equations... the aforementioned Wagoneer was a Jeep I had at one point in the past, along w/ a little Cherokee... I've also have a couple of 88" Series Land Rovers (a Series II and a Series III), have previously had a couple of generation 1 Land Rover Discoveries, have had more than a couple of Subarus over the years (the wife is still driving an Outback), then I had a Sierra, a 4Runner, and now am back in a Sierra again. I completely understand the desire to have an open-topped Wrangler, and bring along a nice camper with it. But with that said....

My 'heartburn' I suppose is when suggestions are made that are counter to the manufacturers. I get that your Chrysler 300 is actually a great tow vehicle: you know your car, and you can do that if you choose to.

But when the Chrysler corporation through it's Jeep line, states that a Wrangler can tow up to 3500lbs, And that a current 25FB's base weight is listed at 5,503lbs with a tongue weight of 837lbs.... Well, I'll grant that you actually said "If connected properly they are about the best combination of off road and towing capability. If you’re not looking to go off road there are better tow vehicle choices" So we acknowledge that there are better tow vehicles out there, and, that it's more suited to towing and offroad use than a regular 2-door Wrangler.... but that still doesn't make it 'right' to knowingly ignore what the manufacturer's manual states as a limit.

Don't get me wrong: speed limit says 60, and it I'm just scootin' back home from work, I'm doin' 65. I'm not dragging my Airstream to the scales before leaving the house to see if that extra box of cereal put us over, or if I need to move it from the kitchen cabinet up to the front storage under the bed to fine tune the front/rear distribution within a pound. But there is a difference between slightly bending a line, and completely ignoring it. And, there's a difference if I look at the data and knowingly make a choice, and if I, if I was a professional in the RV field, suggested to a customer that it's okay if they ignore the owner's manual.

It may be that a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is actually capable of safely towing something that weights 8000lbs: but because Jeep put that sticker in the door and that weight in the owner's manual... this might be different in Canada but here in the US... it might be a safe combination and I might be the safest driver on the road, but when someone else does something stupid and I'm sitting there on the roadside after an accident, I know that the other person's attorney, even if I'm not the one at fault, is going to have a heyday w/ me in the courtroom. (I work for a state agency enforcing regulations, so, I tend to have a CYA attitude in all that I do.)

If you have an article on the way to navigate through the legalities and liabilities of safely towing when outside of the manufacturers' recommendations when inside the United States, that is an article I would appreciate having.

Regards,
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Old 01-02-2021, 07:59 PM   #46
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Hi Leslie

Unlike most posting I have towed with many Wranglers and a tested a Gladiator. Though the Gladiator has a higher tow rating I think that is more likely a marketing decision as they want it to compete with other mid size pickups that have exaggerated tow ratings. The Rubicon has no direct competitors so there is no sense in them taking on the liability of a tow rating for it.
Thoughts and opinions are no substitute for facts. The more rational explanation for the higher tow rating is the vehicle is more capable, because we know Chrysler tests their vehicles and know what they are capable of.

Quote:
The Rubicon has 4 advantages over the Gladiator, 19" less rear overhang. Though the wheel base is 19" longer on the Gladiator that can't make up for the increased overhang. Suspension tune and all other elements of the chassis are the same. Stability and handling are better with the Rubicon Unlimited.
Towing stability is much more nuanced and far less linear than you might suppose. In modeling stability for these vehicles, addition of 19 inches of wheel base far and away improves sway and oversteer stability as compared to the degradation from 19 inch increased overhang, though the longer overhand does degrade suspension, steering and handling performance measures. This is not to say minimizing overhang is not important, but of the two more wheelbase is the better choice for towing stability in emergencies. SAE towing combined handling tests confirm this and are reflected in the towing limits.
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:09 PM   #47
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Are Chrysler’s test results available for our examination?
I have some academic research experience and in the academic world nothing is accepted without published data.
We cannot infer that they have set the tow rating at maximum only because a standard exists. This is analogous to saying that everyone drives the maximum speed limit because a speed limit exists.

I have a hard time believing that a company that sells high margin pickup trucks does not have an incentive to be conservative when publishing tow ratings for jeeps.
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:16 PM   #48
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If a person can afford an Airstream, then they can afford a proper TV, not scrimp to use the passenger vehicle they've had in the garage.

If you don't care enough to do that for yourself, think of the people who didn't get to choose and are sharing the highway with you.

I'm a novice and I figured that out right out of the gate.
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Old 01-02-2021, 09:51 PM   #49
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Are Chrysler’s test results available for our examination?
I have some academic research experience and in the academic world nothing is accepted without published data.
We cannot infer that they have set the tow rating at maximum only because a standard exists. This is analogous to saying that everyone drives the maximum speed limit because a speed limit exists.

I have a hard time believing that a company that sells high margin pickup trucks does not have an incentive to be conservative when publishing tow ratings for jeeps.
.

Test results are most often considered confidential and not available for public release. I also don't accept much without validated evidence. I provided you with some evidence to support the numbers at face value. Chrysler says in their tow guides they follow the SAE J8207 towing standards and as I described how they are not conservative. You may want to read the remaining tests, you will see they are not particularly conservative either. This leaves us with a claim by Chrysler they follow and conform to the standard and nothing that can be released to validate that claim. So does Chrysler have a history of lying about such things? I have not seen that.

But turnabout is fair play. What published data supports your current belief? Wouldn't it be more consistent to say you don't know if the rating is conservative? Also what is the null hypothesis? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to accept the manufactures rating at face value unless you have data that disproves it or information that Chrysler has a history of deceiving its customer?

Finally, it makes no sense to set them artificially low. Potential customers who see the low rating and want an apparently more capable vehicle will instead purchase from a competitor that has a similar product with accurate ratings. A universal truth in free market sales is that companies universally and as a invariant rule do all they can to put every one of their products in its best light. This is Economics 101.
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Old 01-03-2021, 06:06 AM   #50
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Jeep - Short Rear Overhang Adds to Rig Stability

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... Chrysler says in their tow guides they follow the SAE J8207 towing standards...
My understanding is that the Jeep Wrangler (JLU) only fails the SAEJ8207 at higher trailer weights as the Jeep may overheat during the "Davis Dam Highway Gradability" part of the testing (at ambient air temperature of 100 °F minimum). The Jeep Gladiator's (JT) cooling system is different, which allows it to pass.

Because of this short coming, there was no point for FCA to upgrade the hitch receiver to allow it to support more tongue weight and to handle a weight distribution hitch.

If you are not planning on hauling your rig up steep, long inclines in high ambient temperatures, a Jeep, with its short rear overhang, can safely tow a properly set up trailer.

IMHO, the weight of the trailer does not make a rig inherently unstable, but improper lash-up or loading will.
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Old 01-03-2021, 06:06 AM   #51
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I agree that we have no way of knowing wether they are being conservative or aggressive in publishing tow ratings.

This makes it impossible to rely on tow ratings.

Also, I find it impossible to believe that so many different vehicles conveniently have exactly a 3500lb rating.
If they really were maximizing the limit it wouldn’t come out to the same amount so often.

As for economics 101, this is why Chrysler has many different vehicles for sale.
It’s not that you will got to buy a Jeep Wrangler and when you find out the tow ratings you’ll run across the street to the ford or Chevy dealer, you can buy a vehicle with a higher rating from Chrysler, probably one that is more profitable for the company.
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Old 01-03-2021, 06:08 AM   #52
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My understanding is that the Jeep Wrangler (JLU) only fails the SAEJ8207 at higher trailer weights as the Jeep may overheat during the "Davis Dam Highway Gradability" part of the testing (at ambient air temperature of 100 °F minimum). The Jeep Gladiator's (JT) cooling system is different, which allows it to pass.

Because of this short coming, there was no point for FCA to upgrade the hitch receiver to allow it to support more tongue weight and to handle a weight distribution hitch.

If you are not planning on hauling your rig up steep, long inclines in high ambient temperatures, a Jeep, with its short rear overhang, can safely tow a properly set up trailer. IMHO, the weight of the trailer does not make a rig inherently unstable, but improper lash-up or loading will.

This is great information.
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Old 01-03-2021, 06:56 AM   #53
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I can tell you my first priority is to drive something that Keeps me out of the accident in the first place. That is best liability mitigation. So short stopping distance and quick handling.

I can tell you the Vice President of a large insurance company looked into this extensively with his legal team who phoned me asked many questions. He then proceeded to tow his 28’ Airstream all over the continent with a sedan for 10 years.

The largest insurance broker in Ontario towed his 34’s with a variety of sedans and then German SUV’s.

Several auto company engineers are clients I can’t think of any who’s vehicle has a tow rating higher than their trailer weight.

A GM plant manager towed his 34 with Buick Enclaves.

After my seminar at Alumapooluza a gentleman came up to me and said how much he enjoyed my seminar and that he was embarrassed to say he was towing a 25’ with an F250. I replied “don’t be embarrassed there are many millions of add dollars being spent to make you that’s what you need to do”. He replied I can’t really use that as an excuse you see I am a Ford Engineer. I asked what part of the vehicle he worked on and he replied “I design unibody structures” I replied “you must be a pretty smart guy as these new unit body’s are amazing”. I asked him is there any part of my seminar you think I’m out of line with? Numbers don’t make sense testing isn’t valid etc? He replied “It all looked good to me I’ve just never thought all the factors together before that way, makes perfect sense. What I found humorous was how well you understand the politics of it all. I haven’t traded my 250 because the new one is even more ridiculously tall than my current one and that height was added just to make it sell better.

If you’re interstate in this come to one of our seminars at the store sometime. There will be 10 combinations available for test drives. If you want our engineer or I can take you for the E ticket ride.

I also do seminars at Alumapalooza. I only have one combination there. I’m sure it will be the Tesla for the next one.
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Old 01-03-2021, 07:02 AM   #54
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If a person can afford an Airstream, then they can afford a proper TV, not scrimp to use the passenger vehicle they've had in the garage.

If you don't care enough to do that for yourself, think of the people who didn't get to choose and are sharing the highway with you.

I'm a novice and I figured that out right out of the gate.
Incredible....Common sense on the AS forum.😲

Put the cart before the horse.
Find the AS you love and then get the horse to match.
You may even find it easier to sell as a matched combo, if the lifestyle doesn't match expectations.
"Yes, very safe, tows well no safety concerns in 10k mi."

PLUS...If you really love the AS. It's likely to stay in the family much longer than the Daily Driver.


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Old 01-03-2021, 07:41 AM   #55
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My understanding is that the Jeep Wrangler (JLU) only fails the SAEJ8207 at higher trailer weights as the Jeep may overheat during the "Davis Dam Highway Gradability" part of the testing (at ambient air temperature of 100 °F minimum). The Jeep Gladiator's (JT) cooling system is different, which allows it to pass.

Because of this short coming, there was no point for FCA to upgrade the hitch receiver to allow it to support more tongue weight and to handle a weight distribution hitch.

If you are not planning on hauling your rig up steep, long inclines in high ambient temperatures, a Jeep, with its short rear overhang, can safely tow a properly set up trailer.

IMHO, the weight of the trailer does not make a rig inherently unstable, but improper lash-up or loading will.
Your humble opinion defies physics laws. Maybe you can teach Newton a thing or two.
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Old 01-03-2021, 07:52 AM   #56
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Your humble opinion defies physics laws. Maybe you can teach Newton a thing or two.
Not clear on your reasoning.

A light trailer, improperly loaded (e.g. not enough tongue weight), is more likely to sway uncontrollably than a properly loaded and rigged heavier trailer. There are many factors that can make a trailer sway, but mass does not make a trailer inherently unstable.
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:13 AM   #57
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I agree that we have no way of knowing wether they are being conservative or aggressive in publishing tow ratings.

This makes it impossible to rely on tow ratings.
Tow combinations behave in deterministic ways and so we can follow the scientific method to validate or disprove the manufacturers claims.

The null hypothesis is of course that Chrysler is correct and the jeep is only capable of safely towing 3500 lb. Anyone who makes a claim against that must demonstrate with repeatable evidence the combination performs on grade, does not overheat in any way on grade, and is safe and stable for all expected road conditions. The SAE has made it simple to either disprove or validate tow ratings by prescribing precise tests that expose the vehicles true capability. Anyone can repeat these test. The fact that hitch installers and owners, who come here to contradict the manufacturer, do not repeat these tests speak volumes for the voracity of their claims.

Quote:
Also, I find it impossible to believe that so many different vehicles conveniently have exactly a 3500lb rating.
If they really were maximizing the limit it wouldn’t come out to the same amount so often.
3,500 is an industry standard for trailers, couplers and receiver capability. In that class of trailer it makes it a popular number for manufacturers to design to and market for.

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As for economics 101, this is why Chrysler has many different vehicles for sale.
It’s not that you will got to buy a Jeep Wrangler and when you find out the tow ratings you’ll run across the street to the ford or Chevy dealer, you can buy a vehicle with a higher rating from Chrysler, probably one that is more profitable for the company.
You may want to retake the class. This is not the way most buyers behave. I doubt you make purchasing descission so cavalierly. If you do, the dealers probably love you.
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:18 AM   #58
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DW loved it, locking hubs, never got stuck thru the Buffalo Winters, relatively comfortable, and looked like nothing else at the time.
It was just a drastically underpowered, no mpg, overheating TV.
Very squirrelly, with the 23' Safari it struggled even on the most wimpy of grades.
I was always fixing 'minor' stuff like AC, cooling system, tailgate, heater and most things electrical.
It finally an engine swap so it could be sold.

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We had an ‘83 Cherokee. Same vehicle without the wooden crate exterior and leather seats 😀. 360 V8 2bbl carburetor. Same color as yours. It was probably the worst put together vehicle I ever owned. Water leaks from underneath, carburetor issues frequently. But I think it would tow better than a wrangler, if only for the longer wheelbase.
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:24 AM   #59
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Not clear on your reasoning.

A light trailer, improperly loaded (e.g. not enough tongue weight), is more likely to sway uncontrollably than a properly loaded and rigged heavier trailer. There are many factors that can make a trailer sway, but mass does not make a trailer inherently unstable.
The trailer is not the only component in a combination. Everything else constant, raising trailer mass progressively reduces critical speeds to the point and beyond where the combination's becomes inherently unstable for both sway and oversteer. To claim otherwise defies the principles of inertia.
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:31 AM   #60
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This is great information.
And yet completely void of valid published data for the Jeep. Your bias is showing.
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