Jeep GC V8 vs. V6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-10-2014, 11:36 AM   #1
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Name: Tim
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Jeep GC V8 vs. V6

I am about to pull the trigger on a new Jeep GC to pull my Casita 17 SD. The new V6 and V8 can both pull the trailer. But, I am considering both. V6 gets better mileage. V8 will have reserve power for the mountains.

I have an old (96) Jeep Cherokee that I love with 300,000 miles on it. It's too old to trust and I want to get my trailer out on its first long trip (new to me last fall). Nevada, Utah, Colorado in the heat of summer. Can't expect the '96 to survive that.

I'm a little concerned, the Jeep GC weighs more and the V6 engine is slightly smaller than the 4.0L in my old Jeep. The spec'd. horsepower is higher on the newer engine, but in the long term, would I be better off with the V8? For local cruising the V6 MPG is better.

Anyone using a 2014 Jeep GC on a Casita 17', and is the power an issue? I have seen others using the Jeep on smaller trailers, none on the Casita 17'.

Thanks in advance. Insecure.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:48 PM   #2
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I tow a heavy (3klbs+) 17 with a Liberty 3.7l with the V6. It's on 06. I used to tow a 17ft Burro with it as well.

It works grand, but you definitely know you are towing with it, even at well below this models 5k tow rating.

The V6 mileage, well, it sucks. I am lucky to get 19 mpg NOT towing.

I would love to have that old Cherokee. If it's the straight 6, it will live forever..your 300k is an example of that.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:00 PM   #3
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Yeah, well, that's the kind of thing I am looking at. The new V6 powered GC with the 8 speed is a bit better on mileage than the V8. It's economy vs. capability playing with my pocketbook.

I wish I could keep the '96 Cherokee forever. It's been to hell and back. I have taken it to the top of old logging roads in the Rockies over 10,000' and I've had it in canyons near sea level. It was totalled when a text messaging girl forgot she was also driving. I ended up on top of her Honda Civic looking down at her with the phone still in her hand! I rebuilt it from there and put another 100,000 on it. Glad I didn't cash it in for a clunker! The secret is oil and fixing corrosion before it grows.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:18 PM   #4
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'96 tug.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
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Name: robert
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diesel option

for everyone's information, there is a diesel Jeep Cherokee that gets 30 mpg and has a 7400 lb towing capacity! of course, you're paying for it. starting at 41K

Jeep Capabilities - Eco Diesel Calculator for Mileage & Fuel Costs

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Old 03-10-2014, 02:38 PM   #6
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Nope. Not thinking about that one. Got a friend with a diesel RAM truck. Staying with gas, but the diesel is a great towing motor.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:22 PM   #7
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We bought a V8 Grand Cherokee in 2010 before we went to pick up a new Escape 19'. We had towed a 3000# R-pod behind a Honda V6 and we knew that a V8 would be necessary to tow 3700# regardless of what the listed weight said. We now have 60,000 miles on the Jeep, at 30,000 I wanted to trade it in for an identical one but the deal wasn't accepted so I extended the warranty to 100,000 miles and bought new tires. Mileage with a loafing along V8 is better than a V6 when towing. We now tow a 21' Escape that is over 3700#. With the trailer we will get 13 to 16 mpg, not towing 19 to 23 on the highway or 16 to 18 in town. Here in AZ the speed limits on the freeways is 75 and we have to do that to keep from being run over by semi trucks.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burtim View Post
Yeah, well, that's the kind of thing I am looking at. The new V6 powered GC with the 8 speed is a bit better on mileage than the V8. It's economy vs. capability playing with my pocketbook.

.
The question to ask yourself is how many tow miles will you be doing vs non towing miles. Where are you going to be towing? What are the economics of driving a V8 vs V6 over the course of a years worth of driving. Will it be a big frustration to you if I am not able to do 70 mph going up a steep hill?

Heck I pulled a 16' with a 4 cylinder with the tow cap to fit the trailer for 6 years and I had no problems pulling at 75 mph in Arizona were it is relatively flat compared to here and Washington and Montana over some pretty steep mountain passes where even the V8's are not doing over 50 mph pulling. I should point out I actually had to to watch my speed in Arizona and Southern Cal to keep it below that due to the fact my ST tires on the trailer were only rated for 65 mph.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:04 PM   #9
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As Carol says, you need to know where you will be towing, if in the desert, no problem, but we find we cover the complete western half of the country and need to be prepared for LA lane changes which requires acceleration or the 11,000 hills of Colorado. Just going from San Diego to AZ you will go from Sea level to 4000' many times and some of the pulls get to be long. Also when deciding what vehicle to use consider the tire size, the size of the brakes and the weight of your TV. Most of the smaller engine vehicles won't have the extra weights and maybe not the factory added cooling for the trans, steering and the engine.
Good luck with your decision, make sure you are comfortable with it.
Jack of Tucson when home.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:40 PM   #10
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I'm planning to buy a '14 Grand Cherokee this summer. I have decided on the V8.

The GC V6 is just a bit stronger than my current Highlander V6, but the GC is also about 800 lbs heavier than the HL. My experience with the HL has been that it tows fine until I hit a long grade, and then I have to slow down a lot. Like when climbing the San Rafael Swell on westbound I-70 in Utah, where I'm climbing for several miles straight. With my current boxy trailer (2700 lbs, 7' wide x 99" high) I had to take it at 40-42 mph. With my 2200 lb, more rounded Burro I drove the same route and was able to keep it between 45 and 50 (there might have been less headwind, though). I've decided that I want to be able to drive it at 55 or 60 the next time, so I want the hemi.

Ok, so that's me. Your situation may be different. If you are going to the mountains only rarely and you don't mind taking it really easy on the long climbs, the V6 will probably do you fine. Otherwise, go V8. (Keep in mind that the gas engine will lose about 2% of its power for every 1000 feet of elevation, too.)

One more factor is the transmission. The V6 gets the 8HP45 tranny, built in the US by Chrysler under license to ZF. The V8 has the heavier duty 8HP70 tranny, shipped from ZF (in Germany IIRC). I like the idea of a heavier transmission because I tow about 80-85% of the time (mostly for work) so my tug gets a lot of exercise.

If you tow a whole lot, the fuel economy will not be significantly different between the two engines. It's when not towing that you'll see the advantage.

In the end, which one to get is your call. No wrong answer, just which one do you want for your situation. The GC will be great for your 17' Casita, either way. It has a good high tongue weight capacity and it has the transmission temp readout on the dash. Oh, and what other company will sell you a lifetime max care extended warranty?

If I can't dicker a local dealer down to a reasonable price, I'm going with a dealer in Houston that will sell for 5.5% below invoice (plus $195 fee, so really more like 5% below). The savings could justify a plane ticket and the return gas for me to Tulsa.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:10 AM   #11
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You don't need eight cylinders to tow a Casita 17. Especially in Nebraska! And even if you come out West where we have real mountains, you'll do fine. Maybe a little slow, but fine.

My perspective:
You want slow? Watch a semi crawl over the Cascades...and me right there with 'em in the slow lanes. I only have four cylinders in my Trusty Tug, but then my trailer's a little lighter than your Casita, too. But I still get over the mountains just as fast as the big boys do- sometimes I even pass one.

Bottom line:
The six works best for your 24/7 daily driver needs, economy-wise. And it'll get you where you want to go with the trailer.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:21 PM   #12
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The V6 (4wd) is rated at 19 mpg combined city-highway, and the V8 (4wd) is at 16 mpg combined. If a person did 12,000 miles of combined (non-towing) miles in a year, the V6 should save about $400-$450.

Balance that savings against the pleasure of driving a rocket....
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:40 PM   #13
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The V6 (4wd) is rated at 19 mpg combined city-highway, and the V8 (4wd) is at 16 mpg combined. If a person did 12,000 miles of combined (non-towing) miles in a year, the V6 should save about $400-$450.

Balance that savings against the pleasure of driving a rocket....
Well, that settles it, then. Who knew there'd be so little savings!

Especially since the 6 and the 8 cylinder versions are the same price to begin with....right?
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:48 PM   #14
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I didn't say that. But the discussion's emphasis was on fuel savings. The initial cost difference seemed to be a 'given'.

Some folks might prefer strongly to save a few bucks on fuel. Others will prefer to trade those dollars for performance. Again, I'll say there is no right or wrong answer, it's more about what the OP wants more.

Personally, I have gotten tired of pushing the envelope with a smaller than usual power plant, listening to the high rpms while moving slowly up the grades. And seeing the trans temp light come on. YMMV (literally).
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