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Old 03-02-2023, 07:59 AM   #1
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Why are Jeeps so popular as TOADS? My experience was dreadful.

Not trying to start a war, and I really don't have any brand issues here. I see Jeeps as the most commonly mentioned TOAD (at least my non-scientific data seems so) on irv2 and I see them behind coaches on the road as well.

In the 90s I had a Grand Wagoneer (the one with fake wood on the sides). It was basically a 1960s car--and not a particularly good one--with goodies like power windows bolted on.

It spent more time on the back of a wrecker being towed (haha TOAD) to a shop after stranding me and my family on the side of a road than it did running.

It didn't leave me with a positive experience with Jeep products. And looking at the used options available today as we think about what to get for a toad that they are super expensive and hold their value well. I was thinking a used Subaru with a manual tranny would be a great choice.

So tell me Jeepsters, what--other than some romantic attraction to the Jeep look and name--causes you to have a Jeep? And again, I didn't come here to start a battle.
2004 MADP 4018 "BamBam"
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Old 03-02-2023, 08:10 AM   #2
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Well, they are not for everyone. If you don’t like getting 20 miles off the beaten path to riverfront places like this in Montana then maybe a Chevy Spark will do. For me the choice was made about 40 years ago. Yes, it’s a Jeep thing.
FWIW, this 04 has 189,000 miles on it, and it’s never let us down. Has it been trouble free? Of course not. Nothing is.
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2000 Alpine 36 FDS #74058
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Old 03-02-2023, 08:12 AM   #3
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My 2017 has been totally trouble free. Tow it everywhere and it is great for off road use. Yeh it only gets 19 mpg but so easy to hook up and flat tow. They have come a long way from the one you owned in the 90’s. It all comes down to what you want to use your tow car for. Prior to the Jeep I towed a CRV. For going off road it just didn’t cut it. I try to get away from the crowds and the Jeep wrangler fits the bill for me.

Safe travels

Enjoy the journey
Full timed in 2008 Newmar Essex. Currently part time in 2020 Entegra Esteem 29v tow Jeep Wrangler
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Old 03-02-2023, 08:13 AM   #4
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Jeeps in general are very versatile and one of the most common to be flat towed. Personally, I like the looks and the versatility of Jeeps, especially the wrangler, however IMHO, the quality and dependability is just not there. I know there’s a lot of brand Loyalist out there but I too have seen so many break down. One friend had to have an engine replacement with just over 2000 miles on it. Aside from that, they do flat tow so easily.
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Old 03-02-2023, 08:22 AM   #5
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Jeeps are awesome! They don’t accelerate, stop, or turn worth a damn! They leak, ride like ox carts, aren’t particularly roomy, are somewhat difficult to get in and out of, and get lousy fuel economy!

Fortunately, they do two things very well: dutifully tottle along behind a motor home (90%) of their lives, and competently and safely claw their way around offroad ( 1%) of their lives. See previous paragraph for the remainder.

Knock on wood, reliability doesn’t seem to be an issue with the JKs. I guess this and the aforementioned off-road competency are the reasons my DW is on her second JKU and eyeing a third!
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Old 03-02-2023, 08:30 AM   #6
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It's not just your perception Jeeps are common choices. Below is a list (older, but I couldn't find a current one)of 10 most popular toads. Your experience with Jeep seems pretty dated. My 21 Wrangler has been trouble free. I chose it 100% as a toad first and a daily second and haven't been disappointed. I also enjoy taking it off road which is something I could never do with any of my previous toads.
Bill & Kelli 2015 Dutch Star 4366
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Old 03-02-2023, 08:42 AM   #7
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Current Jeeps are reliable as any other Chrysler product. They hold their value well but the buy-in for a Wrangler is up there. If you want something to drag behind your motorhome that the top comes off of, a wrangler makes more sense than a small convertible car because of the ground clearance of nothing else. We have a Mustang convertible and are looking to trade it for a Jeep or new Bronco.

Nothing wrong with towing a Subaru with a manual transmission if that’s what you would like. Jeeps aren’t for everyone.
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Old 03-02-2023, 08:43 AM   #8
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I have friends who are sand dune jeep drivers and they love them. They are not their daily drivers. But they are constantly working on them too.

I have owned a Subaru and had several issues with it so I wouldn't call them particularly reliable either. While you are searching, use this guide: CarComplaints. It's not so much the number of complaints about certain models, it's the types of problems that I look at. And of course you can purchase the Consumer Reports guide (or find it at the library if someone hasn't stolen it) for the year cars you've narrowed it down to.

There used to be a magazine website that had all the towing specs of different cars going back for many many years, but that mag was sold a few years ago and the new owners immediately dropped that yearly article and 'disappeared' all the historical data off the internet. I don't know where to look now. Except at each car manufacturers sites. However, NEVER trust a dealer's opinion.

I'm towing a '03 Saturn L200 AT sedan with 75,000 miles and it's turned out to be very reliable. Well made. Easily flat towed as all the Saturns are. Has all the bells & whistles I want in a car. Can't 4-wheel with it of course, but it's more of a luxury car and haven't the need to either.
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Old 03-02-2023, 09:01 AM   #9
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Why are Jeeps so popular as TOADS? My experience was dreadful.

Originally Posted by johnbro27 View Post
. . .

So tell me Jeepsters, what--other than some romantic attraction to the Jeep look and name--causes you to have a Jeep? And again, I didn't come here to start a battle.

As my Harley buddies would say “ . . . If I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand!”

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Old 03-02-2023, 09:02 AM   #10
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My 3rd JGC

I am on my 3rd Jeep Grand Cherokee. My only complaint is because I wanted another new one I had to move up to the Overland model which is way more pricey than the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. Starting year 2023 to get Quad Trac ll for the Grand Cherokee you have to move up to Overland. For the Trail Hawk you can also go 4 down for a lower price point. The Trail Hawk is an excellent choice. The Grand Cherokee is a larger auto and why we chose it vs the Trail Hawk. Other than that I love the vehicle. I leased all of mine and because I was turning one back in and taking delivery of another, the dealer had no problem that I had installed a tow bar on a lease.

The Jeep brand tows 4-Down really well, I have not experienced one issue. The auto itself is built really well and has been a reliable, safe and trouble free investment for our needs. My first lease was in 2014 and I don't think I will ever switch although I have looked at Chevy, Ford and even Lincoln products that can tow 4 down.

Hope this helps.
Ken & Diane
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Old 03-02-2023, 09:03 AM   #11
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Since the op mentioned a Waggoneer I'm assuming he is not just asking about the Wrangler type Jeeps. I've owned 4 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 1 Jeep Liberty which I've towed something over 100K miles over the last 25 years with never a problem. Other than tires and oil/oil filter changes, the only repair I can recall is an oil filter adapter which was probably broken due to a tech over tightening and was covered by factory warranty. I'm thinking I usually had something around 50-60K miles when I would trade in (my current 2018 has 40k).
My reasons for using as a Toad:
1)They suited my needs for regular use not associated with RVing.
2)They have no restrictions as far as speed/distance while towing i.e. having to start the engine at every stop etc.
3)The models I've owned all have simple steps to put in 4 down mode i.e. no fuses to remove etc.
4) I felt capable of doing the baseplate installation/tail light wiring myself on all these units where as some other vehicles were more complicated.
5) They allowed for mild off road/Jeep trail excursions where a regular vehicle might have problems for example the Alpine Loop in Colorado.
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2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Old 03-02-2023, 09:04 AM   #12
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For me I decided a Jeep would serve a double purpose as both a toad and something fun to use on the beaches and dunes. As far a reliability I bought a 2000 Wrangler because it's light and very simple to work on, I don't need to depend on anyone but myself to keep it running and I enjoy doing my own work anyway.
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Old 03-02-2023, 09:32 AM   #13
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1990 Jeep Wrangler YJ is getting rebuilt (body and interior) for the 2nd time. Can't wait! Engine 184,000 mi. no issues and I can handle the work if it arises. It's a Jeep thing we wave at each other!
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Old 03-02-2023, 09:35 AM   #14
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It's a cult thing, and once they drink the Cool Aid, nothing else will do.

Actually, Jeeps like the JKs, Wranglers, etc are pretty good for towing because of the ease of installing a base plate to the frame. Solid, and reliable for towing. A solid frame is best for attaching a tow bar to IMHO. That's why I pull a 2010 Ford Ranger around behind us.
Happy Glamping, Norman & Elna. 2008 Winnebago Adventurer 38J, W24, dozens of small thirsty ponies. Retired after 40 years wrenching on trucks! 2010 Ford Ranger toad with bicycles or KLR 650 in the back. Easy to spot an RVer, they always walk around with a screwdriver or wrench in one hand!
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