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Old 12-09-2012, 07:52 AM   #1
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Toad question-wish I had a Jeep

Getting ready to buy something to tow behind our 2011 Fleetwood 32V. Have it kind of narrowed down. Question is in your travels, regardless what you are towing. how many times did you wish you had something you could comfortably take down that backroad.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:02 AM   #2
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I tow a jeep liberty and before that I towed a cherokee. We have gone down many backroads in all our travels a lot of them not roads but maybe a trail. Most of the western States. The experiences and scenery are well worth it. Got to have good tires and skid plates. In our adventures off road we definitly needed low-low gear.I am very happy with the jeep.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:18 AM   #3
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Kind of biased 'cause I have my RVs pretty much purely to support my Jeep hobby but being able to get out in the back country is a huge part of the attraction of "getting away" for us.

Look at your needs/wants and drive a few different models to see what you can live with on road. Personally I love the older Cherokee (XJ) models for a good blend of capability, on road ride and value. We had a 4dr Wrangler (JK) for a few years it's a heavy beast but the ride is improved over the older TJ Wranglers and light years ahead of the YJ version. A neighbor has a Compass and does quite a bit of light trail travel in it.
The above post is just my experience/opinion which is worth exactly what you paid for it.
'05 Lance 845/'06 F-250 or '99 Alpine 36SDS Usually towing an '01 Wrangler locked on 35"s or moderate '98 Cherokee on 33"s (rear locker only)
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:42 AM   #4
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We used to tow a 4WD vehicle (Chevy Tracker) but never really went much beyond dirt roads. Even traveling the back country in places like Moab there were always adequate trails to follow, so any 4WD vehicle did fine. Ditto for Maine and even Alaska, where we climbed mountains and drove to secluded rivers. You probably don't need a real off-road vehicle (skid plates, raised suspension, etc) unless you really want to make your own trails, but a 4WD SUV can be a plus. And since you are asking this question, I'm guessing that trailblazing is NOT your hobby!

So, I would suggest that a 4WD or AWD SUV is probably a good choice for you. You get better road manners and comfort for every day driving, but enough extra capability to venture off the beaten path.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:42 AM   #5
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We own and tow a TJ Wrangler that we play in the So Cal deserts in. Also we tow a Honda CRV which has a little ground clearance and all wheel drive but that's just in a pinch.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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Had a Chevy Tracker and traded it in on the Liberty. Love the jeep...
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
2014 Coachmen Leprechaun 319DS V-10
2011 Jeep Liberty Jet & 2014 Jeep Wrangler
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:07 AM   #7
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We are Jeep people.
2014 Phaeton 36gh
2008 Jeep Rubicon or 2012 Ford F150 4x4 Lariat towds
or a couple of different trailers
Retired in Apple Valley, California
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ernsue View Post
...Question is in your travels, regardless what you are towing. how many times did you wish you had something you could comfortably take down that backroad.
To answer your question; all the time! No matter where you are there is always a back road that begs to be explored. Some of the things we have found down those backroads include ghost towns, historic places, interesting people, fabulous scenery, stunning wildlife and, of course, the occasional dead end. But that's part of the fun.

Even before we retired and bought our coach we have always owned at least one vehicle that was capable of taking us "down that backroad". There were a number of 4WD trucks and 1 AWD Subaru Outback. If the Subaru was towable we would still own it. Unfortunately, it was an automatic and Subaru automatics are not towable unless they are 4 wheels up on a trailer. We considered trading it for a stick but Donna didn't want to got back to driving a stick again so we opted for our Jeep Liberty.

Once your Jeep is properly equipped to tow the only thing you will need to put it into tow mode is a pen, and that is just to depress the little button that will put the transfer case in neutral. There are no fuses to be pulled, the key does not need to be on or even in the ignition because the newer Jeeps do not have a locking steering column. Do look into a supplemental braking system. Jeeps are not light. I would stay away from any system that involves a device that sits in the driver's foot well and mechanically connects to the brake pedal. Due to it's shape, the foot well of the Jeep Liberty is not conducive to that kind of system.

Hope this helps with your decision.
Craig & Donna
2005 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV (aka The Hotel Monterey)
2011 Jeep Liberty Limited
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:08 AM   #9
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We have a 11 wrangler 2 door which is my baby. Probably the easiest vehicle made to tow 4 down. That being said I don't tow 4 down, instead haul on a trailer. But we also have a 13 escape and the wife likes it a lot better as its easier to get in and out of and it rides better. It is a 4X4 all wheel drive and also does better on gas then the jeep. Probably a little lighter also. With the Aluma trailer I am a little over my 5K towing limit, with the ford may be a little under. Just going by spec weights as I haven't weighed any thing yet. Not even the MH.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:23 AM   #10
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We have an 04 Jeep TJ. It's been towed about 75,000 miles and driven another 35,000 miles. It's a stock Sport model that's great for easy and intermediate trails. We've done a few advanced trails, but you really need lockers and some suspension modifications to do the really tough ones.

In my opinion a Jeep Wrangler is the best of both worlds. You can travel down the highway at 65 mph then turn off the pavement and go just about straight up the trails. It's meant to be towed and doesn't need any modifications. On ours you just put the transfer case in neutral, the transmission in park, and the igntion key in the accessory position.

While there are many 4wd vehicles on the market there aren't many that have the ground clearance and the body on frame construction of a Wrangler. The nice thing about the Wrangler is it's small enough to do any of the trails, and tough enough to get there and back.

Once we took our Ford Bronco off road, but only once. It was nearly impossible to see over the hood on steep climbs. Half the time you couldn't even see if someone was comming in the opposite direction. It was long enough that it got high centered, and in some spots I swear it was wider than the trail.

You see all kinds of things on the trails, but most need a visit to the body shop after a long difficult trail.
2013 Adventurer 32H
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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Jeeps are great, IMHO. We go off-roading in the mountains and deserts of SoCal in a TJ Wrangler Rubicon. When not off-roading makes a great toad - easy to tow. Reliable and simple. Lots of tribal knowledge readily available to repair or modify.
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 12-09-2012, 09:37 AM   #12
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My 2011 GC Overland Tows like a dream. Less than 5 minutes to hook it up and a great ride . And it's purty!
I haven't put any Arizona pinstripes on it yet but I know it'll go anywhere I want it to. I spent 22 years playing with Tanks in the Army so I expect a lot
2012 Itasca Meridian 42E, Roadmaster Tow System, Unified Brakes on Toad
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. US Army Armor. Ret
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:45 AM   #13
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We have a Jeep YJ .We go to Nevada,Idaho,Denver,New Mexico,Utah i tell ya what you will always enjoy your travels when you have something like a jeep. We travel thru mountain passes to lakes and back roads to see different sights. My wife also will take the back seat out and theres plenty of room for grocery shopping or antique store shopping. We even use it for a little storage when towing. Cant even tell its back there its so light. We love it.
Tom & Christi Rae Sutler
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:49 AM   #14
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I tow a 2012 Jeep JKU Rubicon that's moderately modded and will go anywhere. It is our baby, but the baby is not particularly light weight or thrifty on gas. My Jeep weighs about 4500 lbs and gets about 15mpg. Don't get me wrong, I love it. I tow it with a new 450 HP Entegra and it is an extremely easy vehicle to setup and tow. I have an aftermarket offroad bumper with towbar tabs built in and it literally takes me 3-4 minutes to hook up.

On an older RV I had, similar to ernsue's 37 ft, I towed a used 4x4 Tracker softtop. That car weighed 2100 lbs and was quite easy to hookup also. The 330 HP motorhome never knew it had a toad.

Consider when buying a toad;
1. How much car do you want to pull (weight/length). How many HP is your RV.
2. Will you ever go offroad? 4 wheel drive is heavier and more rolling parts.
3. How many seats or how much space do you need.
4. Do you want to tow a beautiful new car behind a rock throwing RV?
5. Can you afford/store a single purpose tow car and have another DD for home?

IMHO, there isn't a perfect tow car.
Dave & Debbie
2014 Anthem 44B
2018 Ford F-150 Diesel
2016 Ford Edge toad
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