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Old 12-08-2013, 11:55 PM   #1
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Jeep for Toad - Questions.

Good Evening,

My wife and I have a tag DP, we currently flat tow a 2010 Ford Focus. All with blue Ox and the Patriot brake system. It works fine, I set the car up and installed the base plate and wiring myself. We have 2 young girls and generally do trips in our Rv for 1 to 2 weeks at a time.

We have recently considered picking up a mid 2000's Jeep, nothing fancy or too tricked out. Probably a Wrangler TJ. Just for flat towing and to have a toy around the house when we are not using the RV. We understand how popular the Jeeps are as we see many being towed in our travels.

We considered setting up our 2013 F150 but its a 4X2 and would require a driveshaft disconnect. Something I'm not keen to do.
A used Jeep would not replace our 2 current daily drivers it would be used just for what I mentioned above - a toy.

I understand the many negatives of the Jeep from a daily driver standpoint, but I was hoping to find some members that would comment on how they are to tow for occasional use. Any drawbacks from a mechanical stand point or "toad" problems that a first time Jeep owner would have not thought about??

Your comments would be appreciated.


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Old 12-09-2013, 01:17 AM   #2
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Jeep TJ makes an excellent toad. Just put the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in park/gear and tow. Rather than a baseplate I prefer to use a aftermarket bumper with tow brackets or D ring loops. Usually cheaper, more for your money, and you need little or no drop at the MH receiver.

The back seat is small, but ok for a couple small kids for occasional travel.

Cheap and easy to maintain. Simple mechanicals and electrical. Huge amount of tribal knowledge on Jeep forums.

Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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A couple of other options over the TJ (made through 2006) are: a Jeep LJ (long TJ) for more room and possibly a smoother ride over the TJ. or: Jeep Cherokee (not Grand Cherokee), which was made until 2001. The drive train is basically the same as a TJ, but has a 4 door, SUV-styled body (not a convertible). I toad a Cherokee for many years and enjoyed it.

Fran, Mary & Zoey (silver Cocker)
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:11 AM   #4
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We have a newer 2012 Jeep JK 4 door, I love it as a toad and use it as pretty much a daily driver at home, I have a 300 and a GMC 2500 but love to drive the jeep. I really like the 4 door over the 2
Sally, Hailey (Shih Tzu) and Me!
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:19 AM   #5
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Jeep Toad

We tow a 2006 Jeep Liberty automatic. It's a great little all-around 4w drive car.

The manual says you leave it in park, with the transfer case in neutral, and the ign. switch on acc. You have to be VERY careful when starting out that the key is in the right place or the steering will lock, which will result in a badly scuffed front tire at least if you discover it within a few miles. Ask me how I know this, LOL.

The one undesirable thing that happens is that it is easy to arrive with a dead battery. I am not sure why that is, I am meticulous about turning off accessories. It is not the brakes, because I use the clunky roof directional/brake lights. However, the solution is to start the car once a day and idle it for a while.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:51 AM   #6
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I will have a look online for some of the other models that everyone has mentioned.
The 4 Door Jeep models with lower kms seem to be more money than we would like to put into a occasional toad vehicle that we just use a couple months of the year.

Here in Canada alot of the Jeep products seem to suffer from rust, frame and body mount issues. The road salt is a real killer for them.
I have found a couple of Wranglers, 2 doors, lower kms, like @ 75,000 miles clean and not modified for around $7500......

The search continues. Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:21 AM   #7
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I presently tow a 2008 Wrangler and it is a great vehicle. Probably towed it around 30,000 miles. I had a 2001 Grand Cherokee that was great to tow and nice to use. I also had a 1985 CJ7. The Wrangler and the CJ7 were both modified to do serious off road adventures at the 35 inch tire level. For your family I would recommend the Grand Cherokee. The ride and room are great and you can go off road exploring a bit. If you are interested in more serious exploring, I would recommend the LJ model recommended in a previous post. If looking for the Wrangler, spend the extra money for the Rubicon models. They give you 4:1 in the transfercase and lockers in both axles.

Have fun.
2001 34' Alpine Coach
2008 Jeep Rubicon or 2012 Ford F150 4x4 Lariat towds
or a couple of different trailers
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:50 PM   #8
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In the area I live, a TJ with 75k miles for $7500 is a great deal. I've owned and towed a TJ and 2 JK's since '05 and am very happy with them as a toad. They were also my DD.
14 AC Eagle DD-13
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:48 PM   #9
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Thanks Dan,

The issue here in Canada is that alot of 10 year old Jeeps are shot because of winter salt on the roads.

Spots like the frame, body mounts. And of course the usual areas including around the windshield hinges, under the rear tailgate and so on.

The latter I can deal with but its the structural stuff that puts alot of our used stuff in the "crap" pile.

Still searching. My wife and daughters found a yellow one with low mileage but I can't seem to get my head wrapped around that colour behind our Holiday Rambler.

Thanks for the continued input.

By the way as my original post mentioned I considered putting a driveshaft disconnect on our new 2013 4X2 F150, but I talked to Ford today and they said it would void all factory warranty - so that idea is off the table.

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Old 12-09-2013, 10:35 PM   #10
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Find one south of the rust belt and make a trip in the RV to get it. You could rent a trailer to get it home if you didn't want to either drive it back or wrench on it away from home.
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:12 AM   #11
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We've towed our 2004 TJ over 100,000 miles behind our motorhome without a single problem. It has another 39,000 miles on the odometer. It's never been back to the dealer for work of any kind. So far the only problem has been a broken heater knob at 16,000 miles. The replacement was so cheap it would have cost more in gas to take it back to the dealer than I paid for the part.

We don't use it for a daily driver. It rides a little stiff, and doesn't have a lot of room, but it's a great off road vehicle. We've considered a newer JK, but it's a bit large for some of the trails and weighs another 1,200 lbs.
2013 Adventurer 32H
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:23 AM   #12
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For the record, the Magnussen-Moss act prevents them from voiding the whole warranty because you used an aftermarket part,they can only void warranty if they can prove that part caused a related failure. But I am fan of Jeeps for toad vehicles,and off-road toys.
Ken Perry Jr.
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85 4runner (toy) 91 4runner (daily driver)
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
Find one south of the rust belt and make a trip in the RV to get it. You could rent a trailer to get it home if you didn't want to either drive it back or wrench on it away from home.
That's what I did. I located a 2004 Wrangler Rubicon in Phoenix, AZ that an online auto dealer had. I bought it over the internet and had it shipped to Iowa. Had 27,000 miles on it when I bought it and absolutely no rust. It's my second TJ that I've had as a toad vehicle and I love them. We also use it strictly as a toy, but I use every excuse I can find to drive it as often as possible.

Short wheelbase and tucks in behind the motorhome very nicely. The advice about making sure the key is on the right position while towing is very important. I know from experience and it was a good thing that I needed a new set of tires anyway because I sure needed them after the front wheels locked after a turn.

2010 Itasca Sunova 33C, (lots of upgrades and modifications)
2011 Honda CRV, 2004 Rubicon (many modifications)
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