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  #61  
Old 08-03-2014, 09:14 AM
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As you may know, Blue Ox does not list a baseplate for 2015 Cherokee. I emailed them last week and they don't know yet if their 2014 will work on the 2015.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:21 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

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Originally Posted by Array View Post
As you may know, Blue Ox does not list a baseplate for 2015 Cherokee. I emailed them last week and they don't know yet if their 2014 will work on the 2015.

re: Tow Baseplates for 2015: Thanks for checking with Blue Ox. I see Demco does not list a 2015 Cherokee baseplate; Roadmaster lists baseplates (towbar brackets) for 2015 Latitude and limited, but not yet for Trailhawk. I emailed Demco and Roadmaster and will post what I hear from them.

When I wrote this post I was thinking more in terms of possible changes to Cherokee ActiveDrive II (Lat/Lim) and Active Drive Lock (TH) models in terms of flat tow procedure or possibility. I hope someone here can provide an answer.... we're ready to place an order for a 2015 TH and I want to be absolutely sure it'll be towable behind out motorhome.

.. RP
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:59 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

You know, that's a good point. It's difficult at this point to be 100% sure. Jeep has not put out anything official that I know of.

In his 2015 changes thread, Milous did not mention any drivetrain changes regarding RV towing.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:57 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

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Originally Posted by rpasetto View Post
re: Tow Baseplates for 2015: Thanks for checking with Blue Ox. I see Demco does not list a 2015 Cherokee baseplate; Roadmaster lists baseplates (towbar brackets) for 2015 Latitude and limited, but not yet for Trailhawk. I emailed Demco and Roadmaster and will post what I hear from them.

When I wrote this post I was thinking more in terms of possible changes to Cherokee ActiveDrive II (Lat/Lim) and Active Drive Lock (TH) models in terms of flat tow procedure or possibility. I hope someone here can provide an answer.... we're ready to place an order for a 2015 TH and I want to be absolutely sure it'll be towable behind out motorhome.

.. RP
from 2015 KL shop manual:

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  #65  
Old 08-03-2014, 06:53 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

@fnkychkn - So you guys already have access to the 2015 KL shop manuals. Do you know how a non-tech could order those manuals? Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:13 PM
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@fnkychkn - So you guys already have access to the 2015 KL shop manuals. Do you know how a non-tech could order those manuals? Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:50 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

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Originally Posted by Array View Post
You know, that's a good point. It's difficult at this point to be 100% sure. Jeep has not put out anything official that I know of.

In his 2015 changes thread, Milous did not mention any drivetrain changes regarding RV towing.
I've written to Jeep, asking for the official word on flat-tow procedure and allowability for 2015's. I'll post whatever info I receive.

[The reason for my concern about this dates back to '05 or '06 when Honda "de-certified" some of their vehicles for flat-towing. Evidently no design changes had been made, however Honda had decided not to include some vehicles, for example the Pilot, in their OK-to-tow list while others, like the CRV, remained.]
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:56 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

@rpasetto - I hear ya. There are no guarantees at this point.

Speculation: Isn't the Honda scenario different in the sense the drivetrain is not put in neutral? AD2 puts the drivetrain in neutral, eliminating complexities of running a tranny pump to lubricate/cool it while the tranny is in neutral. Since AD2 is a 2 speed transfer case, I doubt Jeep would eliminate the shift to neutral and kill the RV market.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:07 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

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Originally Posted by Array View Post
@rpasetto - I hear ya. There are no guarantees at this point.

Speculation: Isn't the Honda scenario different in the sense the drivetrain is not put in neutral? AD2 puts the drivetrain in neutral, eliminating complexities of running a tranny pump to lubricate/cool it while the tranny is in neutral. Since AD2 is a 2 speed transfer case, I doubt Jeep would eliminate the shift to neutral and kill the RV market.
The chart from the 2015 service manual, as posted by fnkychkn a few days ago should guarantee that ... if there's no change to the TH ... e.g. the sticker says "Active Drive Lock" however I can find nothing that says that the 2015 version still has the neutral or still is factory approved for towing.

[Re the Honda scenario... yes, it's very different, technically since towing is done when the auto trans is in neutral. However Honda's reason... back then to de-certify say Pilots but continue to certify flat-towability of CRV's had to do with the ir statement that they hadn't tested the flat-tow in the former but had in the latter.]
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:44 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

A friend of mine had a Honda van that was approved for towing. His transmission burned up. He was covered under his warranty but they told him they were eliminating towing for the vehicles that were burning up transmissions (like GM did within a few months of releasing the Cruze - which they took to RV shows bragging about it being towable flat - and Ford did with the Escape after trying to fix the problem for more than 2 years). I only gave momentary consideration of switching to a CRV because it would be too close to the Escape (drive train all moving while towing) and the CRV manual had the same cautions as the Escape manual. Further, the towing capacity (in case we switched to a trailer in the future) is only 1500 lbs compared with 4500 for our Limited with the tow package. Cherokee quickly won hands down.

We took our Limited out for a "test tow" behind our MH today as we recently installed the baseplates. GREAT. So nice to no longer have to go through the crap we were subjected to with our Escape. One simply has to be careful with placing the transfer case in N. IMO there are a couple of errors (or strange aspects) in their instructions.

6. Using a ballpoint pen or similar object, press and hold
the recessed NEUTRAL (N) button (located by the
selector switch) for four seconds. The light behind the
NEUTRAL (N) symbol will blink, indicating shift in
progress. The light will stop blinking (stay on solid)
when the shift to NEUTRAL (N) is complete.

7. After the shift is completed and the NEUTRAL (N)
light stays on, release the NEUTRAL (N) button.


OK, Jeep which is it? Four seconds or until the N light stays on?

It has to be the latter because I found four seconds gets you no where.

Instructions for taking it out of N same issue.

6. Using a ballpoint pen or similar object, press and hold
the recessed power transfer unit NEUTRAL (N) button
(located by the selector switch) for one second.

7. When the NEUTRAL (N) indicator light turns off,
release the NEUTRAL (N) button.


One again - one second or until the light turns off? My experience - when the light goes off. I can't understand why the instructions were written like this.


I did encounter a problem with my Brake Buddy installation. Basically it would not work because of the changed design of the accelerator pedal compared with our previous toads. In the past the clevis on the BB would fit right over the foot pad and around the brake arm very nicely. Not so with the Cherokee. The brake arm is wider (than the clevis opening) and the arm connects close to one side of the foot pad. When testing it the clevis would not stay on. My son widened the opening in the clevis so it would fit around the arm and suggested I also use a strong spring clamp to ensure it stays on. My wife had a clamp for her woodworking and it really did the trick. Tested it a dozen times and still on firmly.

Also had an issue with mounting the breakaway box for the Brake Buddy. Solved that problem in a way that an engineer or designer would never suggest. My BB small breakaway (BA) box is attached to a right angle piece of metal with a couple of holes holes. I removed a screw from the front license plate and put it back in through a hole in the right angle. So, now the BA was attached to the Cherokee. But that sure wouldn't hold it if it were needed. I then bought a couple of feet of chain with a capacity of over 200 lbs - and a couple of adjustable links. I attached one link to the chain and then to the BA unit. The other end went under the hood and wrapped around the aluminum bumper support behind the fascia and locked it in place with the other adjustable link. There is considerable room under the hood as well as behind it. To eliminate any damage to the paint I bought a length of pipe wrap and cut off about 8 inches. I wrapped the chain from the BA unit to a couple of inches under the hood. The hood still closed perfectly and it held the chain firmly with no rattles. My son is an engineer and when I did this I think he cringed when I told him when I told him what I was doing but when he saw how well it worked he had no complaints. The chain and the links are rated much higher than the pressure needed to activate the BA device.

Now, when we trade the Cherokee (likely 5 years or more from now) the only indication of it being towed will be the baseplates. The BA box removes quickly and the mag light come off the roof in seconds (sure beats screwing around with diodes or separate bulbs). To top it off the baseplates are a lot stronger and better than the tow hooks on the TH could ever be. The factory tow hooks sure weren't made to facilitate towing at 60 mph. So we'd view them as a valuable added feature.

Our first trip comes up in a couple of weeks and I'm actually looking forward to it. With the Escape I dreaded it given the number of transmissions that were (and still are) burning up. One would never know if lightening would strike and it would be your turn to be sitting on the side of the road with a burned out tranny - and hundreds found themselves in such a position and even though fixes were made by Ford under warranty some had to hang around a dealer far away from home for weeks waiting for a new transmission.

If any Jeep marketing and product planning staff read these forums I'd like to offer a suggestion. Create an RV flat tow option package. This package would mean that the vehicle (with Active Drive II) would be delivered with the baseplates installed, an invisible braking system such as Air Force One or one of the others, and a complete lighting system with a connection box on the front that blended in with the honeycomb. Then, a buyer simply hooks up their new Cherokee to the motorhome in minutes and off they go. IMO Jeep would soon have a lock on this area of the business.

Oh, one other point. While I would only buy a loaded Limited (for my Dear Wife - I have a loaded 2014 T&C which recently replaced a loaded 2012 T&C) since I like all the gizmos, widgets and toys (especially when I drive the Cherokee), not everyone wants or can afford them. So, also make available a cheaper model with AD II that would have such a flat tow package as an available option.

That's it for now. If I learn any more during our trip I'll pass on the info.

GR
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  #71  
Old 08-04-2014, 05:39 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by grandriver125 View Post
Also had an issue with mounting the breakaway box for the Brake Buddy. Solved that problem in a way that an engineer or designer would never suggest. My BB small breakaway (BA) box is attached to a right angle piece of metal with a couple of holes holes. I removed a screw from the front license plate and put it back in through a hole in the right angle. So, now the BA was attached to the Cherokee. But that sure wouldn't hold it if it were needed. I then bought a couple of feet of chain with a capacity of over 200 lbs - and a couple of adjustable links. I attached one link to the chain and then to the BA unit. The other end went under the hood and wrapped around the aluminum bumper support behind the fascia and locked it in place with the other adjustable link. There is considerable room under the hood as well as behind it. To eliminate any damage to the paint I bought a length of pipe wrap and cut off about 8 inches. I wrapped the chain from the BA unit to a couple of inches under the hood. The hood still closed perfectly and it held the chain firmly with no rattles. My son is an engineer and when I did this I think he cringed when I told him when I told him what I was doing but when he saw how well it worked he had no complaints. The chain and the links are rated much higher than the pressure needed to activate the BA device.

GR

Now, that's what I would call Belt, Braces and a 6 inch nail! Our BA switch is bolted to and fitted through the diamond mesh grill, more or less out of sight below the license plate. Plenty of strength in that plastic.

I agree with you on the complexity of getting in and out of neutral. I carry a copy of the relevant pages from the manual and I still get it wrong. There seem to be so many interlocks involved that prevent the parking brake being released or the transmission coming out of park which would result in wheels being locked. I now request my DW to check that all four are rolling before we set off.


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Old 08-04-2014, 05:46 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

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Originally Posted by MartinC View Post
Now, that's what I would call Belt, Braces and a 6 inch nail! Our BA switch is bolted to and fitted through the diamond mesh grill, more or less out of sight below the license plate. Plenty of strength in that plastic.

I agree with you on the complexity of getting in and out of neutral. I carry a copy of the relevant pages from the manual and I still get it wrong. There seem to be so many interlocks involved that prevent the parking brake being released or the transmission coming out of park which would result in wheels being locked. I now request my DW to check that all four are rolling before we set off.


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Gee, you sound just like me. DW has to walk along and make sure the wheels are rolling easily and that it turns AND that the locks on the tow bar have set. We have our FRS radios on she keeps me posted on each item. On one occasion she missed one arm on the tow bar not locking and as we went down the road I looked at the toad (Colorado) in the rear camera and wondered why it was moving from side to side. Stopped and found a few components bent. As it has been said "a cat that sits on a hot stove will never sit on a hot stove again - or a even a cold stove." That is me, I try to stay off the stove, and you are right about the belt and suspenders.

GR
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