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Old 09-01-2014, 09:58 AM
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Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

We just returned from a 6,886 mile road trip from Oregon through British Columbia, Yukon, Alaska and back. Towing a 5,000 pound double axle trailer over countless mountain passes and some not-so-good roads. Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 (2014 model) performed flawlessly, averaging 16.1mpg over the trip. Oil change in Anchorage was $211, including tire rotation, DEP fillup and new air filter. Amazing engine and transmission combination.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:10 AM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

And no picture for those of us who are stuck at home.


Glad you had a good trip.


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Old 09-02-2014, 09:45 AM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

Great to hear! We also are planning to drive to Alaska next summer from a little farther away-- Wisconsin. We have exactly the same Jeep diesel as you do-- even the same color! Our trailer is a little smaller than yours, 21 feet and maybe 4500 lbs fully loaded. We figure the trip to be a little over 7000 miles for us, and we also thought it would make sense to change oil, etc. in Anchorage. I recall that there are a couple of Jeep dealers in Anchorage. Which one did you use for your servicing?

Also, did you drive the TOW? We have seen mixed reviews of that road, particularly portions in the US, which one blogger with a 5th wheel called "nothing less than dangerous, especially when wet".

Thanks for the report and, again, glad you enjoyed the trip. Everyone raves about their experience, and I am even happier that the Jeep is up to the task.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:36 AM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

Anchorage Chrysler/Dodge Center, right next to the municipal airport in Anchorage. Call them ahead and set an appointment. It takes 30 minutes to drain the oil... something they knew about. Good wifi in upstairs waiting room.

Drive the TOW road from Dawson City to Chicken. Yes, it was a muddy road but the Jeep is made for that. Don't miss that drive - it's worth the view. Overall on the trip do two things: slow to 20mph or slower when you see roadside cones or road wavey signs... the road damage from permafrost can tear your trailer apart! Buy diesel whenever you see it, especially in northern BC and Yukon. I filled whenever the guage approached 1/2 (you should get about 100 miles per quarter marking on the guage). Finally, don't buy DEP just anywhere and make sure it is FRESH. I let the dealer do all top-offs.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:53 AM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

Thanks. There have been so many issues with DEF purchased outside the dealership that I was thinking I would be overly cautious and just have the dealer fill it right before I leave (with an oil change), then have the same thing done in Anchorage. Did you find the need to fill up on the way to Anchorage, or on the way home after the dealer topped it off?

One more thing-- if I do need to buy it, how do you tell freshness? There has also been a lot discussion about where to find the date codes, with some contributors to the forum saying that the codes are no longer being used. Thanks again for all the advice!
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:42 PM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

We just went from Kamloops BC to Fort St John BC 962km one way (598 miles x2).
Then back again with a small but packed 5x8 U-Haul Trailer, weight unknown.
The trip up was our first major highway trip and loved the ride of this vehicle.
I was a bit disappointed with such a drop in fuel efficiency on the way back, but she handled well. I thought with a diesel we wouldn't see such a difference in fuel consumption while towing. Never kept that close a track of it however. Did the trip up in a day (noon - 3am) and the trip back the next day (4pm - 5am) with 4 adults and a baby and 2 small dogs.

Also noticed when we first hooked up to the trailer the hitch seemed to have some clunky play in it. The clunking was less once the trailer was loaded but odd.
Was interesting using the paddle shifter to down shift and save on the brakes though the hills. The 8 speed is sure smooth though. We'll see how the Eco-Diesel like our 23' boat next season (been using our Harley F-350 V10 gas so far).

The Hammer
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:20 PM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emersonjeep View Post
One more thing-- if I do need to buy it, how do you tell freshness? There has also been a lot discussion about where to find the date codes, with some contributors to the forum saying that the codes are no longer being used.
The manufacturing date of Peak BlueDEF is encoded and printed on the jug and usually on the 2.5gal box. Look for something like:
GA151630079
The first two letters are the manufacturing plant code. The next two numbers are the year plus one (15 is for 2014). The next three numbers are the number of days remaining in the year (163 is in June).

DEF is easy to buy and add yourself. Also, if your tank is full when you leave on an 8,000 mile trip you should not need to add DEF during the trip.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:42 PM
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:45 AM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

ScottinOregon-- did you tow the trailer up the 11 mile 11% grade coming up out of Skagway-- I've been reading about that, and even though I have learned how to control engine temps over some Colorado mountain passes, none of them have a grade like that one!
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:35 AM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHammer View Post
We just went from Kamloops BC to Fort St John BC 962km one way (598 miles x2).
Then back again with a small but packed 5x8 U-Haul Trailer, weight unknown.
The trip up was our first major highway trip and loved the ride of this vehicle.
I was a bit disappointed with such a drop in fuel efficiency on the way back, but she handled well. I thought with a diesel we wouldn't see such a difference in fuel consumption while towing. Never kept that close a track of it however. Did the trip up in a day (noon - 3am) and the trip back the next day (4pm - 5am) with 4 adults and a baby and 2 small dogs.

Also noticed when we first hooked up to the trailer the hitch seemed to have some clunky play in it. The clunking was less once the trailer was loaded but odd.
Was interesting using the paddle shifter to down shift and save on the brakes though the hills. The 8 speed is sure smooth though. We'll see how the Eco-Diesel like our 23' boat next season (been using our Harley F-350 V10 gas so far).

The Hammer
Tongue weight on the empty trailer of yours was causing the clunking. You need to have 10% of trailer weight on tongue. 5,000 pound trailer... 500 tongue. That is why sway bar/load leveler hitches are so important for safety! Your boat should be better to tow than a box trailer, which is like a sail... Head winds would kill the diesel mileage to 10 or 12 mpg; tail winds 21mpg to 25mpg.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:41 AM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emersonjeep View Post
ScottinOregon-- did you tow the trailer up the 11 mile 11% grade coming up out of Skagway-- I've been reading about that, and even though I have learned how to control engine temps over some Colorado mountain passes, none of them have a grade like that one!
Did not do the Skagway, but did some 10% grades for 5 or 6 kilometers. One in the Okanagan in 95 degree heat. The oil temp was above 250; water hot. I did stop for a photo op at the top and, stupidly, shut off the diesel. When I restarted in about 5 minutes, well, I'm not sure where the smoke came from, but there was smoke in the engine compartment and it sucked into the air vents. I thought for sure my big fire extinguisher in the back was going to be needed, but, fortunately, whatever got on the hot surface it burned off and after driving with the windows down and the AC off for a few miles the smell was gone. Lesson: leave the engine running, even for short stops. Plus, it sounds cool. Other lesson: be ready to explain why a Jeep needs diesel. Five times people would question why I was in the diesel line...
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:01 AM
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Re: Epic Road Trip: EcoDiesel JGC + 5,000 pound trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinOregon View Post
Tongue weight on the empty trailer of yours was causing the clunking. You need to have 10% of trailer weight on tongue. 5,000 pound trailer... 500 tongue. That is why sway bar/load leveler hitches are so important for safety! Your boat should be better to tow than a box trailer, which is like a sail... Head winds would kill the diesel mileage to 10 or 12 mpg; tail winds 21mpg to 25mpg.

Never noticed the clunkiness when towing with my pickups (F350 with lift or 2004 Nissan frontier) even when hooked up to an empty jet ski trailer. The clunkiness I'm speaking of did become less when Uhaul was loaded. I guess the play was in the 2x2 square tube not farther back.
I'll have to listen closer next time with the trucks too.
In an unrelated incident a friend hooked up Uhaul when we went to return it and the hitch hopped off the ball when we were motion smacked the little eyelet where the chain hooks. Could have been a lot worse!

The Hammer


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