Jeep Gladiator pickup experience??? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-02-2019, 11:08 AM   #1
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Talking Jeep Gladiator pickup experience???

Anyone towing with one of these? Big plus if its a Scamp 19 or Escape 5.0 as I really need info on the hitch setup but all first hand comments welcomed. No complaints with the two Tacoma 4x4 DC's I've had going back to 05; they are/were great at towing. offroading and as just general vehicles with little to no maintenance issues. Both of these had the 4.0 however and I'm hearing rumblings about the loss of torque with the 3.5 in the more recent models. Plus, I just like riding around with the doors and top off.

I've owned a Wrangler TJ for over twenty years and am well aware of the idiosyncrasies of Jeep as a brand so no need for cautions/warnings/anecdotes etc. on the mfr.

TIA - Al
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:35 PM   #2
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I didn't know the Gladiators were being sold already. Interesting.
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Old 10-02-2019, 04:56 PM   #3
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The Gladiator has a pretty healthy tow rating and wheelbase, shouldn't think it would be a problem. But I have not won the lottery yet, so no firsthand experience for you. I priced one out a while ago and a Rubicon (I wouldn't get anything else as off-roading is a hobby of mine) version as I would like it is around $55K.
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Old 10-02-2019, 06:40 PM   #4
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Al,
I have a Pentastar in my JK and I would never want to tow anything heavy with it. A screaming small V-6 Is not a nice thing to live with. Same engine as used in the Gladiator, unless you are talking about the diesel.

I followed the development of the Gladiator, but have no personal experience with one. But, they are pressing the cooling system to the max with them, for sure. The styling dictated the radiator configuration and it was almost impossible for them to get the tow rating to where it is. Why start out with something underpowered that is pushing it's cooling system to the max? All while towing a trailer that might be heavier than it is, and doing it with a narrow wheelbase?

Seems like a Rebel would be a much better choice. It would still have a lot of the features that the Rubicon has, can be had with the Hemi or the diesel, and has better stability when towing. And the wheelbase is not that much different, compared to the Gladiator.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Carlson View Post
The Gladiator has a pretty healthy tow rating and wheelbase, shouldn't think it would be a problem. But I have not won the lottery yet, so no firsthand experience for you. I priced one out a while ago and a Rubicon (I wouldn't get anything else as off-roading is a hobby of mine) version as I would like it is around $55K.
Only one version of the Gladiator has the advertised top tow rating of 7650#, it drops off with other trim levels, be sure and check the tow rating for the specific truck you are considering. The base truck has a 4000# tow rating...
The 137+" wheelbase is a bit long for towing most fiberglass trailers, especially when the width is factored in.

Here's an article which may prove interesting...


https://www.tfltruck.com/2019/03/202...-towing-specs/

s.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:40 AM   #6
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So my (theoretical) Rubicon is rated at 7,000 pounds... more than enough for my needs. But yeah, that's a pretty big swing in rating from base model to max tow package.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:02 AM   #7
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Gladiator

I have a Gladiator. Mine is the Sport S model, second up from the base model. I got the Max Tow package. It is rated at 7650# towing with a 720# tongue capacity. I pull a 16' Std Scamp. Towing in Ohio's rolling hills I get 18 mpg at 60 MPH. 24 mph not towing.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:32 AM   #8
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Kenny,

That is a nice looking setup.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:52 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback folks.

Mike - They've been out for a few months now and I think the shine is starting to wear off a bit. Local small town dealer has six on his lot and is now willing to come off sticker a bit.

Steve - I test drove a Rubicon and it 'feels' like it would do the job. The eight speed auto and 4:10 gears help. HP is better than the 4.0L Tacoma's I've had and torque is almost the same. The only time I've felt underpowered with the Toyota was crossing Teton Pass. Offroad ability is a big factor in my decision as well and a Rubicon to my specs would come in about the same as what you came up with.

John - The diesel option is a consideration and I'm in no hurry to make a move. One of my friends just bought a JL and has a 17' Casita so I plan to spend some seat time in it before finalizing anything. I'd heard of the radiator placement issue also and that is a concern. I have a Dodge pickup with the Cummins turbo and a 4WD Silverado on the farm that I could tow with but both,IMO, are too big to playy offroad - and the tops don't come off LOL

Floyd - My short bed DC Tacoma's have a WB of 127.4" and do a great job with the 19'er Scamp. If I stay with Toyota, I'd probably go with the long bed which has a 140" WB. I think I'd be OK with weight - with both tanks full and all our camping gear, the Scamp comes in a tad less than 3.500 lbs. How's that new Ranger working out? I had a problem with Ford many years ago and have never owned another - silly, I know. I haven't entirely ruled them out this go round. Gladiator, Tacoma, Colorado/Canyon, Frontier and Ranger are all on the table at this point.

Kenny - THANK YOU!!. That mileage is much better than I get with the Tacoma (12 towing, 16 city/highway). And that is a good looking combo. The Gladiator uses a different bed mounting system than the Tacoma and I'm trying to wrap my head around how this could work for the Scamp hitch. I may be PM'ing you with more questions if you don't mind.

Again - thanks for the replies.

Al
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:13 AM   #10
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Almost totally off topic, but you don't need anything like a Rubicon for an offroading hobby, unless by hobby you actually mean being pretty serious about offroading. There is of course nothing wrong with buying what you want, and nothing wrong with overkill.

But I always have to smile when I see a certain type of jeeper pull onto dirt roads here and in southern Utah, all impressed with themselves driving down rutted, rocky roads. Then they get to the trailhead at the end of this "4x4" road and see multiple Honda Accords parked in parking lot This isn't meant to say you're one of those people; just pointing those people out.

The actual Rubicon trail? Yeah, you need something hardcore. 99% of the rest of the roads out there? You just need to know how to drive whatever you happen to be driving.

I saw one of those Gladiators in someone's driveway earlier this summer. I hadn't realized they were coming out with a Jeep pickup until then. I'm sure they'll be popular.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:47 PM   #11
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I went to the local dealership in my Comanche to see the new Gladiators. They're nice … but I think I'll keep what I have.

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Old 10-03-2019, 07:16 PM   #12
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I've had a Tacoma set up to pull a Deluxe Scamp 19, I sold the 19 and bought a Std. 16.
The max tow package comes with the hitch, HD H2O cooling, oil and transmission cooling with digital temperatures on the dashboard and 4:11 gear in rear end. The rear view camera has a guide line leading to the trailer hookup to guide you in, then a zoom function to to allow you to see the ball up close as it aligns with the trailer coupler. I also installed a Redarc brake controller.
On this site I see many people asking if their vehicle is capable of pulling a trailer. Because there are many small trailers they want to pull it with their small vehicle. The auto makers give a tow rating of the vehicle but you have to factor in what your using it for. I want to be able to keep up with traffic, be able to pass in a reasonable distance, pack all my gear in my set-up. For me, if you cut the manufactures tow rating by 40% you will be good. So my Gladiator is rated for 7650# minus 40% =4,590#. My Scamp is half that. If you want a bigger camper you'll need a bigger tow vehicle.
Raspy, I see you have a a Black series HQ19 on order. It weights 6,122# empty. If I pulled that weight up a long grade my engine would be screaming at me. I would want a bigger engine. BTY the diesel Gladiator when available will be less tow rated than the gas with max tow.
Here is the controller:
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:44 PM   #13
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Zach - Point well taken. I made most of my beach beer money in the 60’s with a ragged out FJ40 pulling folks out who’d gotten their monster trucks (the best daddy could buy) stuck before the tide came in.

If all I needed was a trail rig, my twenty year old modded TJ would likely be a better choice than a Gladiator (even a Rubicon) but, as much as I like wheeling the Wrangler on USFS fire roads in the Smokies or on the beaches of our Outer Banks, the inter-state drives to get it there ain’t much fun. And it sure can’t drag the 19’er along.

The Gladiator looks to be capable of getting us across the Country in relative comfort while towing the Scamp and of providing an open air feeling for backroad drives once we get there. I’m not aware of anything else on the market that can check ALL of these buttons. Is the Rubicon package worth the extra cost? To me it is. We seldom have another vehicle along when traveling in the back country and, at 70, I like the safety margin provided by many of the Rubicon’s features but it certainly has some bells and whistles I’d never use. I miss the old days (pre 70’s) when almost every add-on was an individual option. The logic behind some of the bundling in today’s “packages” often escapes me.

For the record, I’ve never run the Rubicon Trail and no longer have the desire to do so. I have been on the White Rim and wouldn’t mind giving that one another shot.

PC06 - Nice looking Comanche, you don’t see many of them around anymore.

Al
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:27 AM   #14
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The white rim is great. It's a 2wd road, though. Assuming it's dry...Murphys Hogback used to be pretty rocky, but like most places, they've made a bunch of "improvements" and I'd be surprised if a Honda Accord couldn't do the whole road. It's pretty tame.

An FJ40 isn't a fair comparison . Those were what made Toyota legendary for offroad capability. Essentially a Jeep, but made by Toyota. Hard to beat. I think Toyota made them for the US military in the Korean war, if my memory is right. Basically the same history as Jeep. But Toyota engineering.

The only time a serious offroad beast is really needed is the stuff where people are climbing dry waterfalls and boulder trails that just as easily land you on your roof if you aren't careful. Or mud pits. Everything else just requires a little skill and whatever vehicle you happen to be driving.

It wasn't as much you as Steve's comment that compelled my post. Just wanted to point out that a Subaru, or even Honda can do anything 80% of the people out there want to do, as far as "offroading". Doesn't mean you shouldn't buy yourself a Jeep if that's what you want, but I guess I like to be brutally honest with myself about the difference between need and want. I found myself on a road this spring that a Honda or Subaru could not have driven...but it was kind of a mistake. It is nice to be able to get to the other side when you find yourself on that kind of road. Most people never will.

I drove what I thought was a pretty crazy road this summer, lots of giant potholes, rock outcroppings and steep grades. Got up to the top...Hondas and Subarus! More cars than trucks up there. Then on my way down a guy in a lifted F250 with giant mud tires stopped me to ask "can this thing make it up there?"

Anyway...I totally get the top off, or doors off thing. I had an 83 Toyota 4x4 a few years ago, and one really hot summer I drove around for a few months with the doors off. Great air conditioning

Now I'll shut up and let the thread get back on track.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:33 PM   #15
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Al, when you come out to Arizona to see us, we’ll take you rock crawling.
Dave & Paula
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:59 AM   #16
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I would argue that a FJ40 is a clone of the legendary British Land Rover, from when *they* were serious 4x4s, unlike today's mall terrain Discovery and such.

serious offroader vehicles like Wranglers tend to be short wheelbase and rather 'pitchy' when towing even a small trailer due to having big wheels and tall soft suspension. I 'fixed' my Tacoma TRD via airbags and stiffer shocks, but it was a relatively long wheelbase (127.8") compared with a Wrangler or whatever.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by David B. View Post
Al, when you come out to Arizona to see us, we’ll take you rock crawling.
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Well shoot, that settles it then - Gladiator it is. I just have to convince Cindy a Rubicon is worth the $9K delta over a loaded Tacoma TRD.


Zach, no problem with your response and appreciate the input. I'm just old, fat and lazy and live on the east coast where we don't have the great wide open country available to you folks out west. Whatever I end up with has got to first get me 2K+ miles in comfort and then be able to play.

John - The Firestone air bags made a big difference on my Tacoma as well and would be one of my first mods if we go with another Toyota over the jeep.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:02 AM   #18
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John,
I had to do the same on two of my Tacomas. The first one I installed a Helwig leaf spring helper, on the second Tacoma I went with the Sumosprings.
https://www.suspensionconnection.com...40-tacoma.html

Both prevented the back of the the truck from sagging and bouncing when crossing RR tracks or culvert bumps in the road.
Here is how the Helwig looked installed:
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:11 AM   #19
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Al, I agree with you about the new Tacoma engine, time will tell. I wish the auto makers would offer an inline 6 cylinder for the consumers that want to tow.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:26 AM   #20
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John,
I had to do the same on two of my Tacomas. The first one I installed a Helwig leaf spring helper, on the second Tacoma I went with the Sumosprings.
I would suggest the firestone "riderite' airbags for *any* truck/vehicle with overly soft leaf springs in back...

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