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Old 10-08-2019, 09:35 AM   #1
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Jeep Wrangler JKR Towing Issues at Speed

I have had several motohromes over the years, including a 37' diesel pusher, and a couple Class C's ranging from 31' to 22'. I have towed 5 different vehicles ranging from a volkswagen new beetle to a 2005 Toyota 4 Runner, 2010 Rav 4, and 2007 Toyota Tundra, behind these coaches and have never had an issue towing. Last year I bought a new Winnebago 22M with the E450 chassis option, and a Jeep JK Rubicon two door with automatic transmission. I'm a hunter so I modified the Jeep by lifting it 3" with a Rubicon Express lift and added 34" 10-ply standard width tires instead of the factory 32's. I use a Demco tow bar that connects to the winch bumper shackles, needing a 10" riser on the hitch. Slickest/fastest hookup I've ever had. Also installed an Air Force One tow brake mounted under the driver's seat; no more BrakePro or BrakeBuddy issues. I've towed the Jeep about 1600 miles so far and while the 22M has plenty of power, I have an issue at speeds greater than around 55 mph. The steering requires a little bit of nearly constant correction in the 55-65 mph range. At slower speeds, there's no issue. I have had the Coach aligned twice at the local Ford Truck Shop (coach now has 5,000 miles), and they installed 4 new caster/camber bushings at the last alignment, plus found a little bit of toe-in adjustment. When I'm not hooked to the Jeep, the coach steers just fine at any speed; as well as up to about 55 mph before the steering changes. Also, the Jeep steers just fine and has good alignment when it's not hooked up.

I've thought of about everything I can to fix this, including putting some shims around the hitch shere the riser connects to the coach and to the tow bar to remove slack in the hitch, as well as note which road surfaces give me the most problems. Rutted freeways and rougher roads produce correction issues than new pavement.

I'm wondering if it's an issue of the short wheelbase on the 22M combined with the short wheelbase of the two door Jeep, and the lack of good aerodynamics with the Wrangler that causes the combo to produce more side to side wander. And if a a 4 door Wrangler with its longer wheelbase would help. I really don't want to buy a lightweight small tow car to get around this issue because I need the Jeep for hunting when using the coach.

Has anybody experienced this issue and have any ideas?
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:00 AM   #2
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Did you try towing with the Jeep at stock height and tires?

The length is the first thing that came into my mind. I wish I could offer any advice other than connecting the Jeep to a longer class A and seeing it tows better.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:43 PM   #3
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Hi,

I had a similar problem with an old GM P32 Chassis Bounder using a 6" riser. The problem is that the Jeep steering continually over corrects just a little bit and pushes sideways on the bumper of your motorhome. The overhang behind the rear wheels gives the Jeep a lot of leverage as it pushes you around thereby causing you to continually need to correct the steering to compensate.

A rear track bar may help this A LOT! See here: https://www.amazon.com/SuperSteer-SS...omotive&sr=1-2

Unfortunately the fix for this isn't cheap. On my Bounder it completely took away the wander.

You can eliminate the movement of the 10" riser by installing one of these: https://www.amazon.com/MaxxHaul-5002...a-693753947949

With my current coach I use a 10" riser when towing my lifted jeep. With my bigger coach I didn't feel the Jeep moving around so much as I could see it in my rear camera. The hitch tightener eliminated the little bit of wobble.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:53 PM   #4
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First you need to instal a Roadmaster Quiet Hitch if not 2 of them, one on the riser and one on the tow bar. Next you say you installed a 10" riser, Now I ask why? You may have already done this, so if you did then forget about it.
1. Measure from the ground to the top of the bumper of the Jeep prior to
hooking it up.
2. Now hook it up and perform the same measurement again.
3. Did this number change? If so which direction?
4. If it went up, then you are lifting the front end of the Jeep. If it went down
then you are applying pressure to the front end of the Jeep.
5. All of this will cause issues with towing in different ways. This also means
that your riser is not correct, too tall or too short.
6. Fix any issues here and then see how it effects driving.
No matter what you still need to get rid of any side to side oan up or
down
movement of the hitch and riser.
Oh yeah about the Riser, I hope it is one made by your Tow bar company
and not some off the wall brand. This could also be contributor if the
issue.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:57 AM   #5
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Replying to all your good comments:

BirchyBoy: I lifted the Jeep before I got the motorhome, so I didn't get a chance to tow it at stock height and tires. I would like to tow it with a Class A and see if it makes a difference. I am trying to find somebody with one who can tow it for me since I don't own mine anymore.

yeloduster: I like the track bar idea a lot. I'm thinking that even though I have an e450 on a short 22' chassis, the track bar would help with the small correction the short Jeep is doing side-side as it follows the ruts in the pavement or deals with wind and poor aerodynamics from if nothing else, road turbulance from other trucks and vehicles on the highway. I'm going to get one of these track bars and see how it works.

SuperGew!: I needed the 10" riser to level the tow bar with the Jeep and the motorhome. The reason is that we have an excellent company called Ballews in Tacoma, WA, that installs anything related to towing and fabricates anything needed to make it work. They fabricated tow bar ends for the Demco bar (better than my previous Roadmaster bars), that hooked directly to my towing shackle mounts on the front of my Warn Winch bumper. So I don't need a baseplate or have any extra hardware on the front of the Jeep to deal with when going over obstacles off road. Ballews also fabricated the riser and it's very sturdy, much better than aftermarket risers.

yeloduster and SuperGew!: I've used the Roadmaster quiet hitch previously to try to quiet the motion in the towbar to my travel trailer and after trying two of them, they each broke off at the nut when towing so my experience with them is not good. It could have been I was using a weight distributing hitch on the travel trailer with my pickup and the leverage was two great on those clamps. It might not be the same since there's not the same type of weight on the hitch when towing 4 down. I am using spring blade thin putty knives now to take up the slack around the hitch, secured by rescue tape, and they help, but can't get rid of all of it. I like the looks of the MaxHaul Quite Ride clamp and am also going to give it a try to see if it will hold the connections tight.

Reading your good comments made me think that I haven't realigned the Jeep since I got the motorhome. The 10 ply tires I put on it were done at the same time as the lift kit, and it was aligned with the lift change. That was about 4,000 miles ago and I haven't rechecked it. It could be the toe in is off because that will cause some side-side movement of the Jeep on every little change in road surface. That was one of the issues with the alignment from the factory on the coach, and it helped a lot on the coach, when not towing, when the Ford Dealer corrected it.

Thanks for your comments; I will report back later and let you know if these changes helped.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldForester View Post
Replying to all your good comments:


Reading your good comments made me think that I haven't realigned the Jeep since I got the motorhome. The 10 ply tires I put on it were done at the same time as the lift kit, and it was aligned with the lift change. That was about 4,000 miles ago and I haven't rechecked it. It could be the toe in is off because that will cause some side-side movement of the Jeep on every little change in road surface. That was one of the issues with the alignment from the factory on the coach, and it helped a lot on the coach, when not towing, when the Ford Dealer corrected it.

Thanks for your comments; I will report back later and let you know if these changes helped.

When you lifted the Jeep you altered the Caster. Toe and Camber are not affected by the lift. Camber is inherent in the manufacture of the front differential housing and the ball joints typically in cannot be adjusted on a solid axle such as your jeep. Toe is adjustable but isn't changed by lifting the Jeep. Toe and Caster both affect straight line stability. Many lift kits include adjustable control arms that allow caster adjustment some don't. Some Jeeps have a Caster adjustment on the rear of the lower control arm...some don't. Adding the lift kit could have reduced the Caster. If so you will notice it while driving down the road. Caution...Caster and front pinion angle are fixed by the manufacture of the differential housing...adjust one adjusts both but not in a good way. Too little caster causes wander. Adding caster may affect the pinion angle enough that you get front drive shaft vibration. Your front alignment guy needs to be an expert on aligning lifted Jeeps. Toe is easily adjusted.

The good thing about Jeeps is that alignment doesn't drift out of spec as many other vehicles. Once it is set...it is set!..and very little other than a catastrophe will change it!

If the Jeep drives well down a straight road and doesn't wander then I suspect that alignment will not fix your problem. A track bar on the MH probably will.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloduster View Post
When you lifted the Jeep you altered the Caster. Toe and Camber are not affected by the lift. Camber is inherent in the manufacture of the front differential housing and the ball joints typically in cannot be adjusted on a solid axle such as your jeep. Toe is adjustable but isn't changed by lifting the Jeep. Toe and Caster both affect straight line stability. Many lift kits include adjustable control arms that allow caster adjustment some don't. Some Jeeps have a Caster adjustment on the rear of the lower control arm...some don't. Adding the lift kit could have reduced the Caster. If so you will notice it while driving down the road. Caution...Caster and front pinion angle are fixed by the manufacture of the differential housing...adjust one adjusts both but not in a good way. Too little caster causes wander. Adding caster may affect the pinion angle enough that you get front drive shaft vibration. Your front alignment guy needs to be an expert on aligning lifted Jeeps. Toe is easily adjusted.

The good thing about Jeeps is that alignment doesn't drift out of spec as many other vehicles. Once it is set...it is set!..and very little other than a catastrophe will change it!

If the Jeep drives well down a straight road and doesn't wander then I suspect that alignment will not fix your problem. A track bar on the MH probably will.

My lift kit did include the lower control arms for the caster adjustment, and the shop that installed it are probably the best experts for aligning lifted Jeeps because they specialize in Jeep mods. I have noticed a little wander when driving the Jeep alone at speed; not a lot but not completely holding a straight line, which makes me think it wouldn't hurt to check it again. I think I'll do all three - check the alignment on the Jeep, install the track bar on the coach, and try the maxx hitch clamps to see if they work better thant the Roadmaster one did. I'll do them one at a time and see how it tows with each addition.

Thanks for the info; it was helpful.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:19 AM   #8
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Good luck. Let us know how things work out.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:58 PM   #9
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I have owned many lifted Jeeps and have had no problem towing them behind RV's.


I believe the problem is that you have a very short wheel base RV. When the Jeep wanders a bit, it is able to pull the back of the RV from side to side. It isn't pulling it very much, and to be clear, it isn't pulling your wheels, it is only pulling the body around on your suspension. But it is enough for your to notice, and you make a correction.



The solution is a rear track-bar for your RV. This will prevent the Jeep from pulling the back of your RV from side to side.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:03 AM   #10
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Just throwing out a wild guess here.

My first thought was that maybe the front end of the MH was moving up and down more because of the Jeep's weight. Not tongue weight mind you, but the resistance of the Jeep pulling back on the motorhome. I would think this was a possibility, especially if the hitch and base plate weren't even.

I used to tow my lifted Jeep Cherokee on all 4s behind a 23 foot motorhome. I don't remember having the same issues as the OP but I definitely knew the Jeep was back there. The MH just didn't drive the same as it did solo or when towing the boat.
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