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Old 12-17-2013, 08:56 AM
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Flat towing behind an RV

One great advantage of the Active Drive II and the Trailhawk is the neutral that allows the Cherokee to be flat towed (i.e. with all wheels on the ground.)

There are a lot of simple aftermarket products for Wranglers to connect tow bars but on a vehicle with a front fascia, an attachment called a base plate must be bolted onto the front frame area. On most cars, that means the front fascia must be removed to access the bolt points and sometimes trimmed before re-attaching. Several companies including Roadmaster and Blue OX make the baseplates. You might have seen them on GJ's.

I started this thread to gather comments on experiences in fitting the base plates to a Cherokee and to discuss flat towing in general.

I have been towing a 2005 Honda Element. It has 95,000 on the ODO and at least another 75,000 of towing miles not registered. Nothing wrong with the Honda but the technology and comfort of the Cherokee just blew me away (as I'm sure it did to a lot of you.)
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:14 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

Spoke to Doug at Blue Ox on 12-16-13 and was told they just did a test fit on the Limited. I was told the base plates should be ready in a few weeks. You might want to call them about your concerns. I have a Trailhawk and was hoping the base plates would be the same fit but they aren't. Still waiting for a Trailhawk to be done as a test fit. I would do it but time and distance are a concern.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:51 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by winnman View Post
Spoke to Doug at Blue Ox on 12-16-13 and was told they just did a test fit on the Limited. I was told the base plates should be ready in a few weeks. You might want to call them about your concerns. I have a Trailhawk and was hoping the base plates would be the same fit but they aren't. Still waiting for a Trailhawk to be done as a test fit. I would do it but time and distance are a concern.
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I'm getting edgy now. Roadmaster how has the baseplates on its site for the Trailhawd WITHOUT adaptive cruise. No indication of what happens with the Limited. The method used for the Trailhawk (as reported on an RV forum by a user) cannot be applied to the Limited or lesser models.

If it turns out we can't tow ours flat because of all the wonderful options up front, I'm going to have egg running down my face. We were within 2 minutes of committing to an Edge Limited AWD and the dealer was going to install the baseplates. We decided against it as we felt Ford did not deserve the biz given how it treated Escape owners. I sure hope we don't find ourselves wishing we'd purchased the Edge. If we had, we'd have been through all this nonsense in August.

Fingers crossed for sure.

GR
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:19 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

I have a Trailhawk with adaptive cruise control ordered. It is sitting in Winnipeg on its way to B.C. I am confident Roadmaster will have a bracket for my Trailhawk in the next short while. They are asking for both a Limited and Trailhawk with adaptive cruise control to come to their headquarters to be fitted for a bracket. See link
Roadmaster Inc. - Tow Bars, Braking Systems & RV Accessories
Check out the instructions for installing on the Trailhawk without adaptive cruise control.
http://www.roadmasterinc.com/pdfinst/521446-4.pdf
I will be having the dealer install this.
My install for my Honda Fit was just as complicated, the dealer did a great job.
Be interested to see what Blue Ox comes up with.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:32 PM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedalbob View Post
I have a Trailhawk with adaptive cruise control ordered. It is sitting in Winnipeg on its way to B.C. I am confident Roadmaster will have a bracket for my Trailhawk in the next short while. They are asking for both a Limited and Trailhawk with adaptive cruise control to come to their headquarters to be fitted for a bracket. See link
Roadmaster Inc. - Tow Bars, Braking Systems & RV Accessories
Check out the instructions for installing on the Trailhawk without adaptive cruise control.
http://www.roadmasterinc.com/pdfinst/521446-4.pdf
I will be having the dealer install this.
My install for my Honda Fit was just as complicated, the dealer did a great job.
Be interested to see what Blue Ox comes up with.
I did look at the Roadmaster instructions - very messy. We (meaning a son with is an BEng (Manufacturing) and MEng (Mechanical) installed them on our last two toads (well, I supervised . Tahoe was very easy other than one Blue OX screw up and we had to trip around the tow hook area, but the Escape took longer and we had a lot of parts laid out on the floor of the garage. The frame of the Tahoe is so strong it didn't need the cross support and that made things much easier - pull out the tow hooks, drill one extra hole on each side, slide in the baseplates and bolt in with Loctite, then put safety cables on and that was it.

My son was in Japan on behalf of Ford working with Mazda for six weeks when they designed the common product so he was somewhat familiar with it. He is NOT volunteering for this one. If BO comes through we are going to Pender in May and will let them do it. We contacted them last summer (when it looked like we'd get an early delivery - ha ha - and agreed we'd head right to their plant as soon as we got our car. That meant a free installation and a free tow bar.

Frankly, I'll be happy with a good clean installation and a fair price. We'd also like to sightsee for a few days in Nebraska.

GR
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:52 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

subscribed!
will be flat towing behind RV
hope they come up with a "clean" look and easy adaption to "Ready Brute"
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:27 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

On one of the RV forums it was reported that Demco has one for a Limited - and it was developed on a loaded version like mine. The fellow reporting stated that Demco is ahead of the others since it has one design that covers all variations of the Limitied. I think he was off base because Blue Ox did one on a "unloaded" Limited and is still asking for a Loaded Limited to work on. No doubt in my mind they will have one version after they do a loaded Limited.

I asked the fellow who reported on Demco about the cross member. He said there isn't one. I don't believe that statement because both the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler require a cross member. I just can't image that the Cherokee frame is that much stronger. Our Tahoe LTZ did not require a cross member (these can be seen on the Demco and Blue Ox sites) because it had two very large frame rails.

GR
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:33 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

I was thinking if the frame is strong enough for the tow hooks, cross member may not be necessary.
Hoping......may be a very simple and clean install
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:53 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator View Post
I was thinking if the frame is strong enough for the tow hooks, cross member may not be necessary.
Hoping......may be a very simple and clean install
If that is the case I'd almost get excited.

It would sure be a major statement about the strength of the frame.

It sure would be a clean install. Our Tahoe was a piece of cake "except" for a small screwup by Blue Ox. GM made a minor change and BO didn't catch it. They said no cutting necessary. We had to saw out a small section of the fascia where the two hooks came through.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for this one for sure. Might not even bother driving to Pender NE if that is the case.

GR
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:59 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

As Steve would say, one more thing. I also hope the installation can be done by simply driving the front end up on ramps and working from below (like the Tahoe). If the front end has to come off, from our experience with the 2011 Escape, that is a HUGE PITA and we had parts laid out all over. I also watched an RV dealer do our 2004 Colorado and he suggested I not watch - kind of like the "you don't want to watch sausage being made" comment. It too was messy.

GR
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:27 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

Ha! I did the installs on 2000 Honda Civic, 2001 jeep Cherokee, and 2009 Subaru

You are right, some installs are very intricate and require photos of the disassembly in order to remember the assembly steps, at least for me............I have CRS
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:59 AM
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Re: Flat towing behind an RV

I just took a look at the Roadmaster instructions for the 2014 Trailhawk - and ...................NO CROSS MEMBER.

Is that making me feel good - YES. Of course, they went in where the tow hooks are - but on the Limited???

http://www.roadmasterinc.com/pdfinst/521446-4.pdf


GR
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