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Old 10-06-2015, 04:22 PM   #1
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My perfect towed vehicle

I am looking for input from this forum on what you think would likely be my "ideal" toad. The constraints/need statements are the following: 1) towable 4-down without modification or auxiliary lubrication to the transmission. 2) able to do some light towing on its own (small trailers and/or a smallish boat (think small pontoon boat rented near a target campground). 3) reasonable for use around home town when not on the road behind the RV. 4) able to be driven on semi-rough dirt/gravel roads (but NOT off-road) (many of the national parks have gravel roads to access camp areas or trail heads.

The vehicle that comes to my mind is a Jeep Wrangler 2-door w/standard transmission. Any other thoughts or suggestions??

Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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4-door Wrangler rides better due to longer wheelbase. A Ford Explorer may also be a good choice, and along the same style, the Jeep grand Cherokee if you want to keep it int he Jeep family.
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:39 PM   #3
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What about a Honda CRV 2014 or earlier?
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:09 PM   #4
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Wrangler with auto trans. Made for 4-down. 4 years, over 30K miles. No issues!
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:38 PM   #5
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A 4 door Wrangler with accessories, winch, aftermarket bumpers, and hard top pushes the 5000 lb limit for gas MHs but is still under the limit. If your coach is a diesel then you are fine. I pull a two dr behind a Ford V10 but wish I had bought a four door for the easier access to the rear seating.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:51 PM   #6
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Are you talking new or used?

We have a 2011 Jeep JKU that is my daily driver, tows a small 6x10 flatbed trailer when needed, although not a powerhouse when I do, but it is more setup to do moderate to difficult off-road trails.

If you are considering a used or a bit older vehicle I would suggest looking for a super clean Jeep ZJ or WJ. These are easily towed 4-down and are actually quite comfortable and luxurious for around town driving.

We towed two separate 1996 ZJ's for nearly 100k miles and were my wife's daily driver for 13 years and my son's for 3 before purchasing and building our 2011 JKU.

The ZJ or WJ had V8 engines and a simple transfer case shift and unlock the steering wheel and towbar/brake setup and you are ready to go.

Something to consider but it may be hard to find one that isn't beat to hell or cut up at this point in time. I am sure there are at least a few nice clean ones out there though.

Mike.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post
Are you talking new or used?



We have a 2011 Jeep JKU that is my daily driver, tows a small 6x10 flatbed trailer when needed, although not a powerhouse when I do, but it is more setup to do moderate to difficult off-road trails.



If you are considering a used or a bit older vehicle I would suggest looking for a super clean Jeep ZJ or WJ. These are easily towed 4-down and are actually quite comfortable and luxurious for around town driving.



We towed two separate 1996 ZJ's for nearly 100k miles and were my wife's daily driver for 13 years and my son's for 3 before purchasing and building our 2011 JKU.



The ZJ or WJ had V8 engines and a simple transfer case shift and unlock the steering wheel and towbar/brake setup and you are ready to go.



Something to consider but it may be hard to find one that isn't beat to hell or cut up at this point in time. I am sure there are at least a few nice clean ones out there though.



Mike.

I was thinking used .. But in the 3-4 year old range. To tell the truth, I have never been a fan of SUV's .. So the explorer would like not be high on my list. Sounds like I need to take a closer look at the 4 door wrangler ( and what can I say ... I LIKE a standard transmission ... Learned to drive on a '68 VW Bug. ... Hence my current manual transmission Mini. :-)
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:37 AM   #8
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I'll add another vote for the Wranglers. I have towed two, a 2005 and now a 2012. They are very easy to set up and tow great. Both were 2drs so there was no weight issue. Anything after 2007 is a good choice because you don't have to leave the key in the ignition to tow. They do not have a locking steering wheel.

You might check in your area for a lease return sales lot. I bought the 2012 as a lease return and still had 1,000 miles and three months left on the initial warranty. What I found were a lot of used Wranglers with over 100,000 miles on them that were more expensive than the lease return with only 35,000. Lease vehicles generally have to be kept in good shape and the mileage kept low.

Just my opinion, others will vary.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:08 AM   #9
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I suggest a Jeep Grand Cherokee in the 2011-new range. They meet all of your requirements and the tow ratings can be as much as 7200lbs.
I have been towing boats for the last 30 years with many different vehicles and I can say that you do not want a manual transmission. It can be very difficult pulling a boat up the launch ramp without burning the clutch and if you try and use low range in a Wrangler you won't be able to turn without severely stressing the drive train.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:40 AM   #10
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Chevy Colorado 4X4 with neutral in transfer case. Easy to tow and has plenty of towing capacity for what you describe.

Glenn
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis_K View Post
I suggest a Jeep Grand Cherokee in the 2011-new range. They meet all of your requirements and the tow ratings can be as much as 7200lbs.
I have been towing boats for the last 30 years with many different vehicles and I can say that you do not want a manual transmission. It can be very difficult pulling a boat up the launch ramp without burning the clutch and if you try and use low range in a Wrangler you won't be able to turn without severely stressing the drive train.

My Wrangler Sport has the "Hill Holder" button. It's fantastic!
Problem solved
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis_K View Post
I suggest a Jeep Grand Cherokee in the 2011-new range. They meet all of your requirements and the tow ratings can be as much as 7200lbs.
I have been towing boats for the last 30 years with many different vehicles and I can say that you do not want a manual transmission. It can be very difficult pulling a boat up the launch ramp without burning the clutch and if you try and use low range in a Wrangler you won't be able to turn without severely stressing the drive train.
The WK2 Fourth Gen would be nice, but forget about the 3rd Gen WK (2005-2010). They have a face only a mother could love.

Mike.
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:07 PM   #13
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Perfect tow vehicle

Have a 2014 4 door wrangler, Rubicon. This is my seventh jeep. Tow great, four doors better than 2. However if you are buying used get at least 2012 as the engine changed and added 80 horsepower and better mpg than the previous years.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis_K View Post
I suggest a Jeep Grand Cherokee in the 2011-new range. They meet all of your requirements and the tow ratings can be as much as 7200lbs.
I have been towing boats for the last 30 years with many different vehicles and I can say that you do not want a manual transmission. It can be very difficult pulling a boat up the launch ramp without burning the clutch and if you try and use low range in a Wrangler you won't be able to turn without severely stressing the drive train.
Dennis_K: good point on the manual vs. auto transmission. (my main reason for wanting thinking I want the manual transmission, which I guess I should have pointed out, is for handing steep mountain slopes. Downhill in 1st gear in a manual saves the brakes - cant equal that in an auto (I believe).

QUESTION: when you say "if you try to use low range in a Wrangler..." are referring to a manual, or relating to a problem even with the auto transmission in a Wrangler???
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