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Old 10-01-2016, 10:20 AM
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Eco diesel towing

Just returned from a 5200 mile, 39 day adventure out west. I live in Ca. and went from SoCal to West Yellowstone, thru the Tetons, Northwest Montana, eastern Wyoming, Colorado, and then thru Moab and the Nat. Parks in Utah.

So it's obvious there was a lot of climbing and mountainous terrain. I'm towing a travel trailer that I weighed at a truck scale. The weight is #5520 on the trailer axles.

I was within 60 lbs. of the max rear axle rating on the JGC with the trailer hooked up, and a full tank of fuel and passengers and cargo.

Rear axle weight - 3640 lbs.
Front axle weight - 2940 lbs.


I'm using a Husky TS weight distribution hitch. Here are some of my observations.

This size TT towed fine but I would not go to the max tow capacity of #7200, especially out here in the west. Just my opinion.

Paddle shifters are a great aid when towing. I used them all the time.

I aired the rear tires to max capacity when towing (44 lbs).

Probably about 3100 miles were actually towing miles, the rest were driving around from the campgrounds.

I had 7 full tanks of fuel that I kept track of, that were towing miles only, and averaged 13.4 MPG using pen & paper calculations.

One tank of fuel I used driving around Yellowstone, I actually averaged 32.2 MPG. Might have something to do with the altitude, but I was shocked.

Leaving Ca., heading north to Vegas on I-15 is a 19 mile uphill climb called the Baker grade. I think it is a 4-6% grade.

I have a Scan gauge X with PID's for the eco Diesel. Here are some #'s from the climb measured at the top of the grade.

Outside temp - 81 degrees.
Water temp - 240 degrees
Transmission fluid temp - 214 degrees
Oil temp - 267 degrees
EGT at the turbo - 1500 degrees

I also did the climb on I-70 heading west in Colorado thru the Eisenhower Tunnel and over Vail pass. Anyone who has driven this knows what a tough climb this is, especially towing.

The lowest speed I had was 45 MPH and in 4th gear. I also had a 20-30 MPH headwind to deal with.

I had numerous hard climbs on the trip and it handled all of them well.

Overall, I can't complain about the Eco diesel as a tow vehicle. I wish FCA would offer some extending mirrors when the tow package is optioned.

The clip on mirrors are OK, but not the best option.

I hope this info may help someone and give them an idea on it's capabilities.

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Old 10-01-2016, 11:03 AM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

Wireman: I did a trip around the west this summer also. I have a 2300# trailer.
Got anywhere from 16-19MPG's towing. MPG's depended on wind or hills of course.
Pretty much got the same numbers as you my oil temp maybe about 255 worst case, and of course my water temperature needle sometimes got close to the orange. But based on other discussions and the thermostat opening fully at 225, I just kind of ignored it. Hard to do though. I think the temperature guage is the same that goes into all Grand Cherokees. The gas GC's thermostat fully open at 200 deg. I would assume that is the center of the gauge hence why ours seem to hang out 3/4's of the way to red when working a little hard? Thanks for the update.
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:05 PM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

Great report.
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:05 PM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

Nice report Wireman, thanks!

That goes pretty much with what we experience in our JGC. Our trailer weighs in at 4700 and we average 14.9 towing at 65mph but have seen higher mpg's "on the level" with zero wind. 30+ mpg when "unhooked" is pretty common as well, especially at altitude!

We never worry about oil/trans/coolant temps either, even when going up some steep hills we've never seen it get high enough to worry. Or in the case of the coolant, into the red. Also, se don't use Eco when towing and I also use the paddle shifters on the steep ones.

Very happy with ours with over 18k towing and, since new, I keep our tires at 36psi, even when towing. We replaced our Michelin Latitudes at 32k due to a huge screw going into one of them, right on the shoulder. As it was not repairable, and a new tire would have screwed up the 4WD, we replaced them with Pirelli Scorpion Verde Plus, which I am keeping at 36psi.

We rotated our tires every 6500 and the wear patterns across all 4 Latitudes were very even, so it appears that the 36psi worked really well. A nice balance between ride and wear.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:10 PM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

For those interested: a GDE tune will increase the wonderfulness of your towing experience by increasing the HP/TQ to the rear wheel, improving your fuel economy at the same time and giving the option of a engine brake via the variable vanes of the turbo. For the summer months I pull an all aluminum 7x19 tandem axle V-nose that when loaded is @ 4226 pounds, and at freeway speeds(68-70mph) I'm netting 17.9mpg w/trailer in tow.
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:04 AM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

Nordic,
All well and good about the GDE tune but some of us are still under warranty plus we also bought the MoPar extended warranty, which is good until 2022!

Given the above, I don't want to mess with anything which would invalidate the warranty.
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:38 AM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

Same here as Philbytx, I'm sure the tune works but I also have the extended warranty and I'm satisfied on the performance towing.

I don't want the hassle with a dealer if there are issues.

Which brings me to the change to Rotella T6. I think there is more to this story that FCA is telling. Possible wear issues with the Pennzoil and future liability issues with the 14-15 diesel's.

I can't understand why the haven't put out a TSB for the 14-15 models instead of dragging there feet on this issue.

Draining the oil out of the new 16's at the plant & dealers sure is a little suspicious.

JMO
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:39 PM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by philbytx View Post
Nordic,

All well and good about the GDE tune but some of us are still under warranty plus we also bought the MoPar extended warranty, which is good until 2022!



Given the above, I don't want to mess with anything which would invalidate the warranty.

What's to say I'm not under warranty as well. The tune is undetectable by a dealership.
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Old 10-02-2016, 05:33 PM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

A reprogrammed ECU is undetectable? Hard to buy that. Anyone know for sure?
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Old 10-02-2016, 05:45 PM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

Quote:
Wireman Wrote
I wish FCA would offer some extending mirrors when the tow package is optioned.

The clip on mirrors are OK, but not the best option.
These are available in Australia if your interested

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Old 10-02-2016, 06:59 PM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ridesouth View Post
A reprogrammed ECU is undetectable? Hard to buy that. Anyone know for sure?

Contact GDE for validation.

http://www.greendieselengineering.com
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:42 PM
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Re: Eco diesel towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by wireman View Post
Same here as Philbytx, I'm sure the tune works but I also have the extended warranty and I'm satisfied on the performance towing.

I don't want the hassle with a dealer if there are issues.

Which brings me to the change to Rotella T6. I think there is more to this story that FCA is telling. Possible wear issues with the Pennzoil and future liability issues with the 14-15 diesel's.

I can't understand why the haven't put out a TSB for the 14-15 models instead of dragging there feet on this issue.

Draining the oil out of the new 16's at the plant & dealers sure is a little suspicious.


JMO
Yep FCA won't say a thing. When I call them they say they been instructed not to discuss it. I went back to the dealer and had them change my oil to the Rotella T6 for no charge. I know looking at the RAM site, those guys have had quite a few engine failures. Have no idea if the oil was the cause.
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