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Old 12-08-2022, 07:17 PM   #1
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Flat towing manual transmission Wrangler

Iím in the process of searching for a Jeep Wrangler to tow behind our 2020 Winnebago 22M. Iíd like to get one with the 6 speed manual transmission. I found a low mileage 2020 Sport model with a soft top. Kind of wanted a hard top, but theyíre a little hard to find. I researched the ownerís manual online and thereís a very distinct order to get it ready to tow. The ownerís manual stated after putting the transfer case in neutral and verifying, put the transmission in gear. But it didnít say which gear! Iíve read several great threads here and some mention 1st gear, some 2nd or 3rd. A couple leave it in neutral, but Iím going to stick with the ownerís manual. Iíd love to hear any and all thoughts on it.
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Old 12-08-2022, 07:29 PM   #2
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I've towed a manual JL 1000's of miles. Definitely needs to be in gear but really doesn't matter what gear. I choose 4th because if for some calamitous/nefarious/egregious reason the transfer case got knocked back into 2H, it wouldn't rev to some ungodly rpm immediately. My logic is probably whacked but Jeep doesn't tell you what gear to put it in so I choose 4th.
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Old 12-08-2022, 08:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Chapo View Post
I've towed a manual JL 1000's of miles. Definitely needs to be in gear but really doesn't matter what gear. I choose 4th because if for some calamitous/nefarious/egregious reason the transfer case got knocked back into 2H, it wouldn't rev to some ungodly rpm immediately. My logic is probably whacked but Jeep doesn't tell you what gear to put it in so I choose 4th.
I was going to suggest the highest gear for the very same reason. They have you put it in gear because the friction in the transfer case will cause the transmission to turn slightly, and putting it in gear stops that.

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Old 12-08-2022, 08:34 PM   #4
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I usually put it in third gear, but have forgot and left in neutral before with no issues at all. Never thought about if the transfer case jumped back into gear, but anything’s possible..
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Old 12-09-2022, 05:07 AM   #5
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My BIL towed his off road kinda jeep. He is a 'follow the rules' kind of guy. But he broke some kind of nylon bushing in the transfer case in his towed jeep. I doubt he was towing very fast, maybe top speed 60 mph. Anyway he could not get the jeep in 4WD after towing it. I don't know what gear he was in.

When I was thinking of towing a toad I read it is fairly complicated. Top speed, stopping after so many miles, making sure everything was set up correctly etc. etc. I decided to buy a truck and 5th wheel.
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Old 12-09-2022, 05:18 AM   #6
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Yeah, doesn't really matter. I've been leaving mine in first gear after I test to be sure the T case is in neutral. Good luck with your search.
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Old 12-09-2022, 06:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raxel7851 View Post
Iím in the process of searching for a Jeep Wrangler to tow behind our 2020 Winnebago 22M. Iíd like to get one with the 6 speed manual transmission. I found a low mileage 2020 Sport model with a soft top. Kind of wanted a hard top, but theyíre a little hard to find. ...
Just a side note - I also wanted a hard top (so I could carry kayaks). I did end up finding a Wrangler with one, but in the search process I found that there were usually several hardtops being sold separately on Marketplace at any given time. So you might explore that as a fallback.
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Old 12-09-2022, 02:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Raxel7851 View Post
Iím in the process of searching for a Jeep Wrangler to tow behind our 2020 Winnebago 22M. Iíd like to get one with the 6 speed manual transmission. I found a low mileage 2020 Sport model with a soft top. Kind of wanted a hard top, but theyíre a little hard to find. I researched the ownerís manual online and thereís a very distinct order to get it ready to tow. The ownerís manual stated after putting the transfer case in neutral and verifying, put the transmission in gear. But it didnít say which gear! Iíve read several great threads here and some mention 1st gear, some 2nd or 3rd. A couple leave it in neutral, but Iím going to stick with the ownerís manual. Iíd love to hear any and all thoughts on it.
Well Sir,
It's up to you but, I'd re-think about the manual version. For one, and a very important reason, your resale value with an automatic is considerably better than with a manual version. We've had 9 different Jeeps and two have been sticks. What a horrible mistake. But that's a whole other story.

Anyway, either way, manual or automatic, transfer case in neutral and manual trans IN GEAR and an automatic goes into park. The prime reasoning for the sticks to be placed in gear is, what can happen if and when a stick is left in neutral, the input shaft to the transfer case can actually turn some of the gears in the tranny, resulting in what's called "sympathetic rotation" of some of the transmission gears. And some of those are not lubed correctly in this kind of situation.

So, by leaving the stick trannies in gear, ANY GEAR, that sympathetic turning is halted. We left our two stick version Jeeps in second gear for towing. Good luck on your search.
Scott
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Old 12-10-2022, 08:49 AM   #9
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Well Sir,
It's up to you but, I'd re-think about the manual version. For one, and a very important reason, your resale value with an automatic is considerably better than with a manual version. We've had 9 different Jeeps and two have been sticks. What a horrible mistake. But that's a whole other story.

...
Scott, as a recent used Jeep purchaser (w/manual) I'd be interested to know what your manual Jeep experiences have been. I already have what I have, but I'm always open to learning from others... Feel free to PM me if you think it would derail OP's thread too much...

Happy Saturday, all!
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Old 12-10-2022, 11:39 AM   #10
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I don’t know many die hard Jeep enthusiasts that run automatic transmissions, just sayin. I look at Jeeps on several different “for sale” websites (looking for a Rubicon TJ) and the manual vs. automatics are priced about the same. Matter of fact, the manuals seem to sell rather quickly, while the automatics seem to languish for sale longer. Now when it comes to the Jeep 4 door limousine lineup that’s a different story, as 90% are automatics.
I certainly wouldn’t worry about resale on a manual trans equipped Jeep.
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Old 12-10-2022, 08:27 PM   #11
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Doesn’t matter which gear as long as the internals of the transmission are locked (in gear).
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Old 12-11-2022, 05:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Alpine36 View Post
I donít know many die hard Jeep enthusiasts that run automatic transmissions, just sayin. I look at Jeeps on several different ďfor saleĒ websites (looking for a Rubicon TJ) and the manual vs. automatics are priced about the same. Matter of fact, the manuals seem to sell rather quickly, while the automatics seem to languish for sale longer. Now when it comes to the Jeep 4 door limousine lineup thatís a different story, as 90% are automatics.
I certainly wouldnít worry about resale on a manual trans equipped Jeep.

Totally spot on.

If looking at TJs (1998 - 2006), the early variants only had the 3-speed auto. LJs offered the 4-speed auto, but do your homework as they are prone to ECM failure and the ECMs are not readily available. The later 6-speed manuals are not well regarded.

Iím sure the JK automatics are more plentiful and more modern. The progression by Jeep to make the Wrangler more civilized has brought in a new group of owners who will never go off-road. The Wrangler has, unfortunately, just become another SUV in the market.

Toading a Wrangler is much easier than towing a fifth-wheel. Iíve done both and wonít go back to a fifth-wheel.
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Old 12-13-2022, 12:03 AM   #13
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Scott, as a recent used Jeep purchaser (w/manual) I'd be interested to know what your manual Jeep experiences have been. I already have what I have, but I'm always open to learning from others... Feel free to PM me if you think it would derail OP's thread too much...

Happy Saturday, all!
Steverino,
At your basic 70 years old, I've been SHIFTING vehicles, trucks, runway tankers, Fire Department tankers, motorcycles and a whole lot more for decades. In my recreation, I want to make life EASY. Both on and off the trail, due to the way they're built, most Jeep Wranglers are a bit jerky in the stick versions. Yeah, you can be good with a clutch but, they cannot compare to the smooth operation of an automatic in various driving conditions. Not all Jeep drivers are tough trail drivers. But for the ones that are, feathering a clutch in some or many precarious situations, is a lot tougher than just easing a throttle and let the torque converter do the "slipping". It's a choice thing, you do or have what appeals to you, not any of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine36 View Post
I don’t know many die hard Jeep enthusiasts that run automatic transmissions, just sayin. I look at Jeeps on several different “for sale” websites (looking for a Rubicon TJ) and the manual vs. automatics are priced about the same. Matter of fact, the manuals seem to sell rather quickly, while the automatics seem to languish for sale longer. Now when it comes to the Jeep 4 door limousine lineup that’s a different story, as 90% are automatics.
I certainly wouldn’t worry about resale on a manual trans equipped Jeep.
"Die hard" Jeep enthusiasts? Well, we've been "Jeep'n" for oh, about 35-38 years and have owned 9 different Wranglers, including three Rubicons. We've done the Easter Jeep Safari for 15 years in a row. Colorados Ouray/Silverton trails for almost as long, Jeeped on Montana, CA, and many other states so, I'd say we're a "Jeep enthusiast". And, of the 20 or so Jeepers that we had in our group, not one of them had a stick. And they'd tackle the toughest that Moab had to offer as well as we all did the actual Rubicon trail twice. And all those boys AND girl Jeep drivers ALL advocated it's (Jeep control in tough adverse conditions and obstacles) sooooo much better with an automatic.

This is a choice thing again. You use what you like. Those of us who had stick Jeeps ALL have changed to automatics way early on in the game. As far as resale is concerned, well, again, everyone I've ever talked to about purchasing a Jeep has been adamant about getting an automatic. Different sales or, "resales" may be affected by age (of the driver, not the Jeep), maybe nostalgia, or who knows.

Heck, even my two big motorcycles are automatic. An '18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports *DCT* and, an '18 Honda Goldwing Tour DCT Airbag. Both are pure pleasure to ride. Jeeps are fun vehicles. They are not the best as far as ride is concerned, even bone stock, no matter what model and year. And they suck for gas mileage but what do you expect for a rolling Kleenex box on wheels. They've got as much aerodynamics as a gymnasium. But people like them for what they are and, RV'ers love them for the simplicity of towing AND maybe some off roading at their destinations.
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Old 12-13-2022, 01:57 AM   #14
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This is my current fleet of Jeeps, a Gladiator Rubicon and two Wranglers (a 2 door Willysand a 4 door Sahara). I've always maintained a fleet. I've also always kept at least one manual in the mix. I've never had problems selling a manual or off-roading my manuals or thinking my manuals were in any way inferior. Sometimes you just feel like driving your manual. I'm very happy that Jeep continues to offer it. My wife takes the manual Sahara 90% of the time and I have to steal it from her. This involves me waking up before her, which sucks for a semi-retired guy. But what are you gonna do?Click image for larger version

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