Towing vehicle question - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-06-2006, 07:05 PM   #1
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Hello to the community members. Thanks for providing help, especially to new owners.

My wife and I are planning to purchase either a 17' Escape or Casita in the next week. My towing vehicle is a 1998 Jeep Cherokee 6 cylinder with a rated towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. We're looking at a loaded RV weight of about 2,500 lbs.

I have been told that we have enough horsepower in our Jeep, but we've received inconsistent advice about whether this vehicle is enough to do the job. We plan to tow our RV in the Colorado mountains.

Some have suggested that we add a transmission cooler to the basic towing package. U-Haul appears to be equipped to provide everything: Class III hitch, brake controller (Prodigy), trans. cooler, and 7-pin wiring.

Two questions: 1) Do we have an adequate towing vehicle?; 2) Is U-Haul a reliable vendor for all hitch and towing package components?

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Old 05-06-2006, 07:13 PM   #2
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 546
Hello Brent

I tow my Scamp 16 with a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8. It handles my trailer nicely. I do use a friction sway control to keep the trailer from dancing behind me.

I've had no problems towing with my Jeep until last summer. The problem I have is overheating. I replaced the radiator with a 3 core unit (did not resolve the problem) and then I replaced the water pump with a Flow Kooler "hi flow" unit. I've not had the chance to test if the water pump has fixed the overheating problem.

FWIW, If I still have an overheating problem, I'm going to trade the Jeep in on a new Jeep or possibly a VW Touareg. Whatever I get, it will be white to match my Scamp!

-- Dan Meyer

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Old 05-06-2006, 08:23 PM   #3
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Posts: 5,000
I don't have experience with the Cherokee particularly, but I know that there are several members who successfully tow with them. Generally any vehicle with a 5,000 lb tow rating is more than adequate to handle any of the FG trailers in the 16-17' class.

I tow a Scamp 16 Custom Deluxe with a Tundra 3.4l six rated at 5k and it does just fine.

Uhaul has generally proven to be reliable with their installations. Just remember that any company is only as good as the installers who work for them.

Good luck!

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Old 05-06-2006, 08:45 PM   #4
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Name: Vic
Trailer: Fiber Stream 1982 16 ft
Posts: 336
I'm new to the fiberglass trailer world, but I've towed some big heavy travel trailers in my time. An additional properly installed automatic transmission cooler is a good investment. I have never heard of anyone wishing they hadn't, and many wishing they had.

With my old Ford F150 and 21.5' Aljo, I had the additional cooler and towed without problem. I just couldn't tow in Overdrive, since it wouldn't keep my rpm up for proper cooling. Read your owner's manual carefully on the towing instructions.

An idea might be to go to AAMCO. I've always had my automatic transmisisons done by them, with the full lifetime warranty. Too bad I now have a standard tranny 4Runner.

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Old 05-06-2006, 09:22 PM   #5
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,010
I did my own hitch and 4 wire wiring, but Uhaul did my tranny cooler. I was happy with it, thier price and thier service.

They can get it done quick too. Almost a shop and wait thing.
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Old 05-06-2006, 10:16 PM   #6
Trailer: 1968 Eriba Puck
Posts: 41
Brent, I tow a 13' Burro with a 1995 Jeep Cherokee straight 6, 4L engine (with 182,000 miles on it. I plan on replacing it at 300,000 miles ). I had U-Haul put on the hitch, do the wiring, and install the tranny cooler. I do not even know the trailer is behind me unless I look in the mirror. A lot of my driving is in and around the Smoky Mountains and it has no problems there. I did have the shop put on a heat gauge because I didn't want the idiot light to be my first notice that the car was heating up, but there has never been a problem with that. I wouldn't hesitate to pull a 16' or 17' trailer with it.

Good luck.

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Old 05-06-2006, 10:22 PM   #7
Trailer: 1968 Eriba Puck
Posts: 41
Brent, one additional comment. Over the years, U-Haul has put on all of my hitches and done the wiring for the trailer connections. They have always done a great job for me. They do enough of these that they know what they're doing.

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Old 05-06-2006, 11:04 PM   #8
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Trailer: Trillium 4500
Posts: 45
Cherokee owners beware of one thing! Inspact were the hitch is attached to the body. It has a tendency to tear out the bolts! Later years are better, but I find it still happens. Im somewhat of a cherokee expert!(I have a jeep shop) Other than that, They are the best SUV ever made!

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Old 05-06-2006, 11:18 PM   #9
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Trailer: Trillium 4500
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Here's another version of the cherokee, the camanche! Its got a little fiberglass in it too!

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Old 05-07-2006, 11:54 AM   #10
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Thank you all for such thorough and helpful advice. Becky and I are looking forward to getting to know other owners and appreciate a resource such as this forum. We've already connected with a few FRV owners in Denver and found them to be "our kind of folks."

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Old 05-07-2006, 07:00 PM   #11
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Name: Liz
Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
Posts: 2,027
I've just joined the Jeep tow vehicle crowd. We just bought a 1995 Grand Cherokee Limited. Gas mileage with the V8 is scary with gas at $3.35 a gallon. It's high mileage but that has never scared us before. I think the tow stuff on it is a factory set up. I'm going to have a dealer run the vin to check on that and check to see if the recalls have been done.

I was hoping for a replacement Scrambler (used to have an '83) but our budget couldn't take the collectable factor price they have aquired in the last few years. *sigh*
1979 Boler B1300 | 1987 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | We officially have a collection!
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:19 AM   #12
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Trailer: 73 Boler
Posts: 159
A tranny cooler is worth its weight in gold. I would definitely install one in your jeep. When your towing the tranny takes all the abuse and HEAT BUILDUP. If you everheat you may kill your tranny. Ask me how i know this.

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