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Old 03-03-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Towing a Jeep Wrangler behind our 2005 35A Suncruiser in the Colorado mountains

Last year we traded the 5th wheel for a 2005 35A Suncruiser, we love it.. We live on the front range of Colorado and didn't venture into the mountains. This year we plan on driving thru the Mountains on I-70, towing a 2002 Jeep wrangler. I have weighed the MH, fully loaded, and we are under the the 30000 lb. GCWR by @ 3500lbs.
Does this sound reasonable? Is this too much for the workhorse 8.1 on the high passes?
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kend51 View Post
Last year we traded the 5th wheel for a 2005 35A Suncruiser, we love it.. We live on the front range of Colorado and didn't venture into the mountains. This year we plan on driving thru the Mountains on I-70, towing a 2002 Jeep wrangler. I have weighed the MH, fully loaded, and we are under the the 30000 lb. GCWR by @ 3500lbs.
Does this sound reasonable? Is this too much for the workhorse 8.1 on the high passes?
Kend51,
You're going to be just fine. We've made the trip from San Diego to Moab UT for fourteen years in a row to the Easter Jeep Safari and, we did it with three different coaches. Our first one, a 28' Class C Ford with the 460 in it, did great. The second, a 34' Fleetwood Bounder 34V and while considerably heavier than the previous C we had, we still did just fine. And our present one, an '04 Itasca Horizon with the 330 CAT, does OK, not great but, OK. I-70 from the I-15 intersection as you may know, has some fairly steep grades 'till it get's to Green River.

Now, on to Colorado. We ran the 550 (Million Dollar Highway) in both directions. From Montrose to Durango and the other way, with all three rigs and yep, some serious grades but, there's no skeletons of our rigs in the dead cockaroach positions anywhere along those runs. Yes, the rigs slow down quite a bit but, gearing and correct application of brakes and throttle will get you through just fine. The GCWR of your rig will be close but, not over taxing.

We ran all those runs with multiple rigs that were with us and, they all towed Jeeps. All different engines and trans and none had any troubles. You'll be just fine.
Scott

P.S. Not to mention, the 550 has some of the most spectacular scenery you'll ever see. Don't be affraid of the grade or curves. It's a great road.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #3
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Kend51,

Now, on to Colorado. We ran the 550 (Million Dollar Highway) in both directions. From Montrose to Durango and the other way, with all three rigs and yep, some serious grades but, there's no skeletons of our rigs in the dead cockaroach positions anywhere along those runs. Yes, the rigs slow down quite a bit but, gearing and correct application of brakes and throttle will get you through just fine. The GCWR of your rig will be close but, not over taxing.

We ran all those runs with multiple rigs that were with us and, they all towed Jeeps. All different engines and trans and none had any troubles. You'll be just fine.
Scott

P.S. Not to mention, the 550 has some of the most spectacular scenery you'll ever see. Don't be affraid of the grade or curves. It's a great road.

We drove the 550, "million dollar highway", years ago pulling a pop up. Don't know how the DW would do sitting high in the MH looking out over the edge the road. will need to make sure she has her knitting along to keep her eye's off the road

Thanks for the quick reply.
We had the 8.1 and Allison transmission in our pickup that pulled the 5th wheel in the mountains and it did fine. Just wasn't sure about a larger, heavier vehicle like the MH.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:12 PM   #4
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Should Be No Problem.......but

We also have a 2005 35A and pull a 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (last year of the 2-door version). We have crossed the Cascades as well as Siskiyou Pass many times with no problems. We tend to pack lightly though which helps. You may not get to the top of the hill first but you'll get there. One thing though, you said you weighed your rig loaded and were 3500 lbs. below GCWR. I'm confused if the weight of the Jeep was factored into that 26,500 lbs. or is that the just the MH? I mention it because if that is the weight of the MH only, you are 2500 lbs. over the GVWR of 24,000.
Keith
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:03 AM   #5
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We also have a 2005 35A and pull a 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (last year of the 2-door version). We have crossed the Cascades as well as Siskiyou Pass many times with no problems. We tend to pack lightly though which helps. You may not get to the top of the hill first but you'll get there. One thing though, you said you weighed your rig loaded and were 3500 lbs. below GCWR. I'm confused if the weight of the Jeep was factored into that 26,500 lbs. or is that the just the MH? I mention it because if that is the weight of the MH only, you are 2500 lbs. over the GVWR of 24,000.
Keith
The Jeep was factored in.
How does your 35A handle. Ours is a bear in strong crosswinds, but not too bad for normal driving. need 2 hands, can't do the one hand at 6 oclock as some have said they do. I'm trying to decide if adjusting the caster and adding trac bars is worth the investment as others have advised on another thread.
Thanks
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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Handling

It can be challenging at times even after I spent a lot of money on a Safe-T-Plus steering unit and TruTrac stabilizers front and rear. All of those additions helped me go from herding the beast down the road to driving it but she still tends to wander on rough or uneven pavement. A local section of recently repaved freeway made it seem like we were riding on rails. I could relax and use one hand on the wheel.

As for towing the Jeep, you are at about the same weight as we are. I just take my time going up the hills and try to avoid the lowest gear because that 8.1 really screams in 1st. You'd swear it's going to fly apart. A slower speed in 2nd is much less ear splitting. You'll find that sweet spot with your foot that keeps in it in second with experience. Of course, on long very steep climbs it may be unavoidable. On the downhill side, you'll learn to love the grade brake.

We bought our unit new and we have no plans to get rid of it. It's been reliable and enjoyable.

Keith
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:00 AM   #7
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It can be challenging at times even after I spent a lot of money on a Safe-T-Plus steering unit and TruTrac stabilizers front and rear. All of those additions helped me go from herding the beast down the road to driving it but she still tends to wander on rough or uneven pavement. A local section of recently repaved freeway made it seem like we were riding on rails. I could relax and use one hand on the wheel.

As for towing the Jeep, you are at about the same weight as we are. I just take my time going up the hills and try to avoid the lowest gear because that 8.1 really screams in 1st. You'd swear it's going to fly apart. A slower speed in 2nd is much less ear splitting. You'll find that sweet spot with your foot that keeps in it in second with experience. Of course, on long very steep climbs it may be unavoidable. On the downhill side, you'll learn to love the grade brake.

We bought our unit new and we have no plans to get rid of it. It's been reliable and enjoyable.

Keith
Can you tell me more about the Safe-T-Plus steering and the TruTrac stabilizers?

Already used the grade brake last year in south central Colorado. love it. Very similar to the Tow/Haul that our 2500HD had when pulling the 5th wheel.

thanks to all who replied.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:21 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Kend51;1487511]Can you tell me more about the Safe-T-Plus steering and the TruTrac stabilizers?


I had them installed at Camping World and they did an excellent job. The Safe-T-Plus tightened up the steering response and limited the amount of wandering significantly. Initially I could move the steering wheel back and forth about 10 degrees with no response. That has been reduced to near zero. I definitely felt the improvement in controllability after installation. If you decide to have installed, be sure to get an alignment first.

The stabilizers reduced body roll and wallowing substantially. It made the coach much more rigid and resistant to crosswinds, passing semi's as well as in just going around corners.

Can't remember exactly what it cost but it was worth every penny to us.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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I just installed steersafe. I had steersafe on a MH before & really like how well they work.
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