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  #13  
Old 08-10-2015, 02:03 PM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

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Originally Posted by volvite View Post
However if you visit a trailer forum they will tell you that I'm nuts for towing such a big trailer with my GC.
I've noticed that about the RV forums - just another version of car forums, if you don't use the biggest hammer possible to hit the nail you're doing it wrong... Not to dismiss the advantages of towing with a bigger truck but when correctly sized and within ratings of the GC its just not needed.

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  #14  
Old 08-11-2015, 12:06 AM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

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Originally Posted by TurboRush View Post
I've noticed that about the RV forums - just another version of car forums, if you don't use the biggest hammer possible to hit the nail you're doing it wrong... Not to dismiss the advantages of towing with a bigger truck but when correctly sized and within ratings of the GC its just not needed.

Exactly. Bigger trucks will pull better but I know my Jeep pulls and stops my trailer just fine.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:54 PM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

In the spring we purchased a '15 GC 3.0 ED to replace our '94 F-250 Supercab 4x4 w/460 gas engine w/4:10 gears. We pull a 2009 Jayco JayFlight 22FB trailer that is about 5500lbs loaded, 650 lbs tongue weight on the scale. It's a standard trailer, not an ultra-light. We use an Andersen WD hitch, and we are careful to not overload the 1050 lb capacity of the GC.

The GC pulls the trailer with no problems, and even does better on the hills than the F-250 since the torque is almost the same, and the 8 speed trans has more gears to select from during the climb. Hills in the NW mountains can be long and steep in places, so it is easy to notice the difference, and the GC absolutely does a much better job with our trailer. Temp climbs to just below the red line, then rapidly decreases during descent. MPG's are 14-16 depending on the terrain at 55-60 mpg with the trans in Auto mode, tires at 36lbs. I don't tow over 60 ever. The GC stops just as well as the F-250 did, perhaps even better, hard to tell since we've never done a panic stop.

We now have around 5000 miles towing here in WA and OR, and the major difference that I have found so far is that the GC "feels" the trailer more than the truck. It bounces slightly more on bumps and it sways slightly more in the ruts of the highway that are created by semi trucks on the Interstate. I can feel the push of the air of a semi long before it passes me as it pushes the trailer to the side. I also sometimes can feel the wind push the trailer slightly to the side, requiring a slight correction on the steering wheel of the GC. Neither of these are excessive or dangerous, but I found that I'm more aware of the feeling than when I towed with the F-250. With it I could tow with one hand on the wheel and not really know the trailer was there. With the GC I tend to drive more with both hands on and stay more aware of what's happening around me. That's the trade-off for 14-16mpg vs 7 in the F-250....

The largest difference is when the wind is blowing, the trailer sometimes feels like it is "wagging the dog". A strong side gust will cause the back end of the GC to move one direction and the front goes the other way. So far I have not had an issue where it pushed me across the white line or the fog line, but I wonder what would happen during an extreme gust from the side at 60mph... I slow down when in windy conditions, but it's that totally unexpected side gust that comes out of nowhere on a relatively calm day traveling at 60mph that I'm referring to. I've never experienced that to the same degree in the F-250 after 6-8000 miles per year of towing.

So, bottom line is that the wheelbase and light weight of the GC definitely makes a difference. So far, for me the difference is an acceptable trade-off for the fuel mileage, the ability to travel off-road comfortably at our destination and the ability to put the GC in our garage when not used for towing.

If the wind ever puts me over the white line or the fog line, or makes me believe that I would have gone over had I not corrected in time, then the GC is going to go and I'll move up to a diesel full size truck - very reluctantly.

Personally, after towing our 22 foot trailer (25 w/hitch), there's absolutely no way that I'd want to try towing a much longer trailer, only due to the wind situation that I mentioned.

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  #16  
Old 08-14-2015, 08:25 PM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

Bluegrass Picker--I have much the same experience as you with towing. I am pulling a 23.5 ft. camping trailer with a Blue Ox hitch. Keeping the tongue weight about 400 lbs. Hills are no problem except extremely long, steep uphills which create a little too much heat for my liking. But the Jeep/trailer moves exactly like you say. Big rigs cause the Jeep to steer to the left as they approach--not enough to panic over but enough where you need to be alert. I did some towing with winds gusting to 50 mph and had to pay very close attention but never left my lane--had some white knuckles at the end of the day. I am currently looking at installing an upgraded rear anti sway bar (Hellwig) but don't know enough about it to try it. Good article in Trailer Life magazine this month with GC towing a 24' camper with the above mentioned sway bar. Supposedly makes some improvement. Do you have any experience with same?
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:25 PM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

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Originally Posted by mowingy View Post
I am currently looking at installing an upgraded rear anti sway bar (Hellwig) but don't know enough about it to try it. Good article in Trailer Life magazine this month with GC towing a 24' camper with the above mentioned sway bar. Supposedly makes some improvement. Do you have any experience with same?
Sorry, no experience here with the Hellwig. Perhaps someone else might chime in?
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  #18  
Old 08-14-2015, 11:17 PM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

I've put around 4000 miles on my 2014 GC towing a 25' Airstream around the Western US.

- GC/Airstream specs.
--GAWR Front Actual 3140 lb
--GAWR Rear Actual 3700 lb
--Trailer 6600 lb
--Combined trailer/vehicle 13440 lb
--Propride 3 Hitch and Direclink brake controller (electric/hydraulic disk brakes)

My fuel milage has averaged between 14 and 18 mpg. The highest EVIC oil temp I've seen is 257 F on long uphill pulls. Coolant temp has often climbed to one notch below red on the gauge, but I've always been able to control the temp by slowing down and/or manually downshifting. Transmission temps have never climbed above 203 F.

Overall, my towing experience has been positive. I've never experienced trailer sway, wind issues, or being sucked in by passing 18 wheelers. I attribute this to the ProPride hitch, the DirecLink brake controller, electric/hydraulic trailer brakes, and a properly loaded car/trailer.

With that said, I've decided to go back to using my 3/4 ton Duramax pickup to tow the Airstream. The GC's biggest limitation is tongue weight, especially if you are carrying passengers/cargo in the Jeep. When towing I carried no cargo in the Jeep and just loaded the trailer with the bare essentials. As you can see with full fuel and DEF I was max'ed out on the front and rear axle loading with just my spouse and I in the Jeep. My second concern regards increased maintenance intervals and cost. For example, Chrysler says the ZF transmission doesn't need serviced for the lifetime of the vehicle. I need this Jeep to last 200K miles and I suspect that well exceeds Chrysler's definition of "lifetime." The ZF company website recommends servicing this model transmission at 60K miles if it is used for towing and/or off road. The ZF trans filter is integral to the pan and sells for around $315 US. It takes 8 qts. of special trans. fluid that sells for $34 qt. Add shop time and your looking at $700 for a filter and fluid change. The increased maintenance cost and wear and tear on the Jeep just don't add up for me.
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2015, 02:04 PM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

FYI - The JGC Diesel hitch weight max is 720lbs.

We tow a Lance 1685 (overall length 20'6") weighing in, usually, around 4600lbs (5500lb max) and we use the lightest WDH, which is the Andersen.

Towing would never be an issue as we actually matched the trailer to the Jeep, with the 1685 weighing less than the JGC. We could have gone up to a Lance 2285 but, for just two of us, we liked the storage and set-up of the 1685 better.

We also installed the Tuson Direclink brake controller (as another poster has) and it works really well, as the TV/TT combo feels like one unit when braking. The Andersen WDH also makes the set-up handle and feel very tight.

About half of our current 22580 mileage has been towing our Lance and we've experienced zero issues. As I'm a little anal, I am changing the engine oil at 7500 miles instead of 10000 and the last Blackstone analysis showed that at 8500 miles, the oil was still in good shape. But after our recent trip of 2100 miles up and down the mountains of NM and CO and showing 7500 total miles on the EVIC, IMHO, it is cheap insurance for me to do an oil and filter change.
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Old 06-29-2016, 12:51 AM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

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Originally Posted by pnwsnow View Post
I have heard the same comments about wind and trailer length. My trailer is about 25' from tongue to bumper. Just got back from a trip over Donner Pass. We pulled at 60 mph and 90 degree weather without any problems. The tagged dry weight on my trailer is 3400 lbs. averaged 17 mph towing on this trip.Attachment 59136


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Mind sharing what hitch and sway system you are using?
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  #21  
Old 06-29-2016, 08:27 AM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

OK, my towing might be a bit different that your travel trailers, but I pull an enclosed race car trailer with my JGC ecodiesel.
V-nose Vintage trailer, with 6.5' interior ceiling height
102" wide which I think is where one of the big differences is compared to a TT
Length at the centerline of the interior is 23' plus 3.5' of tongue= 26.5' length
Loaded with the 911 race car, spares, tool chest and a 125cc motorcycle I weighed 6,600# on a certified Cat scale with 900# tongue weight.
Tow with a Reese DualCam Sway control WD hitch using 1,000 spring bars. All Reese brackets are welded to the tongue for added security.

So I have a LOT of frontal area on the trailer which you can feel in headwinds. And big flat slab sides that make the entire rig very sensitive to cross winds or 18-wheelers when passing or being passed. Before this I pulled with a GMC Yukon Denali XL 6.2L gas. That 134" wheelbase made a huge difference pulling this trailer. Never ever had a white knuckle ride, just needed it wound up above 3,400 to get any torque and at that i got 7 mpg on premium fuel.

The GC is a compromise at best. It pulls great, but the wheelbase is really too short and the track width really too narrow for my type of trailer. I've already found on a downhill stretch at 70 mph (speed limits around here are 70 for trucks and trailers) when I get passed by 18-wheelers my trailer really yanks at the back of the GC, uncomfortably. I've got a 700 mile round trip tow to a race coming up in a few weeks and I'll use the GC, but for the 2,000 mile tow to VA and back in September I'll rent a 3.4 ton GMC Duramax from my local Enterprise Commercial dealer for the trip.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:01 AM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

Not to poke but for the record are you saying that the tongue weight is 900, exceeding the 720 limit? Unless you are a jockey you alone are probably exceeding the payload capacity of the jeep. That's the one "downside" ive found so far is that i wish it were more about 1300 or so pounds, but not too many SUVs of similar size beat the jeep anyway. Im in the same boat, looking at trailers that meet the limitations of this jeep, which isn't a big deal in the big picture.
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Old 06-29-2016, 12:28 PM
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Re: Can I safely tow a longer trailer?

You're correct, that's how I used to tow with the Denali. With the Jeep I take out the motorcycle and generator both of which are inside the V of the front edge of the trailer, taking them out removes roughly 200# from the tongue weight. My most recent tow I loaded the car in then strapped the generator in the back behind the car so I'm estimating the tongue weight to be in the 700-725 range. And everything goes in the trailer, the only thing in the Jeep besides me is my suitcase.... even the cooler of beer stays in the trailer.
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