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Old 07-13-2019, 06:39 PM   #1
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Jeep vs Toyota

We just bought a new travel trailer to replace our old tent trailer. The new trailer is small by hard side standards with a bumper to hitch length of 19 ft and a dry weight of 3,000 lbs. It's been our plan to replace our ageing Explorer with a Toyota 4Runner because the 4Runner has a 4 litre engine and comes standard with a hitch. It also has a frame. Recently we learned that the Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 3.6 litre engine is rated even higher at 6,200 lbs. That's quite a difference in towing capacity. Also being an American vehicle it is much cheaper than the Toyota. We took one for a test drive today. It was quite nice. However it's always been my impression that Chrysler Dodge Jeep vehicles were at the bottom of the the reliability charts. I'd like to hear from people who have used either of these vehicles and especially if you tow with them. Have they met your expectations? Can the V6 Jeep really handle serious trailer loads? Is the 4Runner worth the extra money. Any and all informed opionions are appreciated. We don't want a pick-up.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:04 PM   #2
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I have owned 5 Jeeps, loved every one of them.
Both Cherokee and Grand Cherokee....
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:21 PM   #3
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Not sure about the newer Jeeps but my 2005 Jeep GC has seen it's share of problems. Had several failed recall attempts by Jeep, finally got fixed but they were poor experiences from my point of view. Have had several other issues I've been able to fix on my own.

I will say that my 2005 Jeep GC has the 5.7 Hemi and it will pull 7500 easily. It also drives great, very responsive with lots of power. Best handling vehicle in the snow that I've ever driven.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:39 PM   #4
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Hi Glen; All I can say is Mac99 was extremely lucky to have no problems with his Grand Cherokee! Had a used 1996 with the 318 V8 and a new 2001 with the 4.7 V8. The used 1996 was far better in quality than the 2001. Still, lots of problems. I would have loved to run the 2001 through a shredder at Chrysler's expense. Have owned Jeep products since 1968. Do a lot of my own work, still to me, the Wrangles while not perfect, have had the fewest of problems. Have towed with the older Jeep Wagoneer's with V8 engines. Did a good job. Quality is a word that works it's magic if you find a product that has fewer problems and gives you good service. This is just my opinion, but if I was looking for a quality vehicle that has a proven track record of quality and is built on a frame with a V8 engine and a good towing capacity I would look for a good used Lexus GX470 or 460. Not new. Prices come down with age. Do some research and see what you come up with for information. I would have bought a 4Runner when they had the 4.7 V8 but with the sun roof the ceiling was too low for me. Wish they had kept a V8 option in the 4Runner. This is just my 2 cent worth. Happy researching!
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen 3 View Post
We just bought a new travel trailer to replace our old tent trailer. The new trailer is small by hard side standards with a bumper to hitch length of 19 ft and a dry weight of 3,000 lbs. It's been our plan to replace our ageing Explorer with a Toyota 4Runner because the 4Runner has a 4 litre engine and comes standard with a hitch. It also has a frame. Recently we learned that the Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 3.6 litre engine is rated even higher at 6,200 lbs. That's quite a difference in towing capacity. Also being an American vehicle it is much cheaper than the Toyota. We took one for a test drive today. It was quite nice. However it's always been my impression that Chrysler Dodge Jeep vehicles were at the bottom of the the reliability charts. I'd like to hear from people who have used either of these vehicles and especially if you tow with them. Have they met your expectations? Can the V6 Jeep really handle serious trailer loads? Is the 4Runner worth the extra money. Any and all informed opionions are appreciated. We don't want a pick-up.
I've had a Grand Cherokee, it was a good car.

I have a Dodge Grand Caravan with the 3.6 V6 currently, it has plenty of power and I don't doubt it'll tow your trailer...

The 8speed ZF transmission is used all over the world by lots of manufacturers, from Hyundai to BMW or even Jaguar.

It's a well proven transmission.

I'm quite happy with all of the ChryCo products I've owned.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:14 PM   #6
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You perception is correct about FCA. Their vehicles tend to have a few more problems than other manufacturers.

But you say you not not want a truck? You do know they ride better than a lot of cars and are quiet and refined and do make great highway cruisers. They have a longer wheelbase which makes them ride nice.

Back to the Jeep. It will have a 3 year warranty and should be more reliable then the most reliable vehicle from 2000.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:49 PM   #7
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You perception is correct about FCA. Their vehicles tend to have a few more problems than other manufacturers.

But you say you not not want a truck? You do know they ride better than a lot of cars and are quiet and refined and do make great highway cruisers. They have a longer wheelbase which makes them ride nice.

Back to the Jeep. It will have a 3 year warranty and should be more reliable then the most reliable vehicle from 2000.
We'll tow with it for maybe five weeks per year, hopefully more. For the other 47 weeks it's going to be used to pick up groceries and general errands. We don't need a truck for that. Also when it's not towing it will likely be my wife's vehicle and she doesn't want a truck. So it's still a Jeep Grand Cherokee, or a Toyota 4Runner unless I've missed something. The other vehicles such as the Explorer, or GM products have lesser tow ratings or smaller engines.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:08 PM   #8
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I am on my 5th Grand Cherokee without any major complaints. I recently bought a new GC and a new Wrangler. I love them.
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:20 AM   #9
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We had a ‘13 GC Hemi and loved it. You’re going to run into weight issues pretty quickly with the GC. Your dry weight is 3k. Add for battery and propane and cargo and you’ll be close to, say, 4K with a tongue weight of 400lbs +/-. Add 75 pounds for the weight distribution hitch so round up to 500lbs. The payload capacity for the GC will likely be around 1,100, so about 600 lbs for gas, your family and other stuff.

I’m not sure what the 4Runners specs are. Good luck making a choice.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:02 AM   #10
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Go drive both of them empty, you will get a pretty good idea of performance that way and just visualize what the added weight will do. I think you will find that the Toyota is under powered even when empty.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:40 AM   #11
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Drive an Explorer with the Eco-boost. Best towing engine on the market that is not wrapped in a truck.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:59 AM   #12
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I currently own a 2014 JGC 3.0L and have had only minor wear related issues. I get about 15 MPG pulling the trailer and around 30 without the trailer.

There are no Toyotas that can match that, as far as I know.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:40 AM   #13
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There are many people with Toyotas claiming the tow unrealistic weights all if the time with no issues just as there are people who have Ford Chevrolet Dodge etc all with the same claims and the sales people at the dealerships will tell you anything you want to hear (for the most part) my suggestion is talk to the technicians and most will give you the real answers and they can tell you what they see happening. I myself will only buy gm products I was a gm mechanic/technician for 30 years and in management for 15 all if my trucks have gone over 200,000 miles towing boats, cargo and travel trailers and have never had any issues as long as I maintain them. So, my suggestion talk to the people who fix them
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:04 AM   #14
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There are many people with Toyotas claiming the tow unrealistic weights all if the time with no issues just as there are people who have Ford Chevrolet Dodge etc all with the same claims and the sales people at the dealerships will tell you anything you want to hear (for the most part) my suggestion is talk to the technicians and most will give you the real answers and they can tell you what they see happening. I myself will only buy gm products I was a gm mechanic/technician for 30 years and in management for 15 all if my trucks have gone over 200,000 miles towing boats, cargo and travel trailers and have never had any issues as long as I maintain them. So, my suggestion talk to the people who fix them
True although even the technicians who fix them have their own biases and they may not have towed anything.

I have learned from searching for a trailer two absolute truths
1. RV salespeople will always over rate your tow vehicle and claim that you'll hardly notice the trailer is back there, and
2. RV technicians will always underrated your tow vehicle and suggest you get a truck.

Here I am looking for the experiences of average people who have used SUV to tow smaller trailers like my 19 foot Winnebago. What vehicles work well and what vehicles just don't live up to the manufacturer's claims.

Interestingly the new GM products have very low tow ratings. While most mid-sized SUVs are rated at 5,000lbs the GM equivalents are rated at 4,500lbs. The Explorer and 4Runner are both rated at 5,000lbs.
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