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Old 09-28-2018, 08:25 AM   #1
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Anyone towing an R-POD with a Jeep Wrangler JKU?

I currently have a Sunseeker RV and tow my Jeep behind it but have been considering a small trailer to tow behind the Jeep instead. I know the Jeep isn't the best choice for trailer towing and I do plan to stay inside its limits, but I'm love the Jeep and will be keeping it.

If I make the change, the R-POD is at the top of my list. I know there are Wranglers towing them so I am curious how they do in the mountains. Any over heating issues? Are you able to get up and more importantly down the mountains well?

What about 2-lanes through the mountains? I currently stay on highways and interstates with my setup because it is so big. My hope is to get into the country more and make stops at roadside attractions that I just can't do with the RV and Jeep behind it.

Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:10 AM   #2
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We have an Rpod 182g and drag it with our 2015 Rubicon Unlimited with stock size tires, Automatic and 3.73 gears.
I have air bags and a weight distribution hitch. The air bags are probably overkill.
So far so good, but have not done any mountains with it yet. I do not tow faster than 65mph ever..
I recently purchased a SuperChips TD2 tuner to give a small boost in power and to get a “Towing” tune that will help manage the transmission shift points.
We’ll be leaving on a 2500+ mile trip with it on Monday and can tell you more when we get to our winter destination..
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmacklem View Post
I currently have a Sunseeker RV and tow my Jeep behind it but have been considering a small trailer to tow behind the Jeep instead. I know the Jeep isn't the best choice for trailer towing and I do plan to stay inside its limits, but I'm love the Jeep and will be keeping it.

If I make the change, the R-POD is at the top of my list. I know there are Wranglers towing them so I am curious how they do in the mountains. Any over heating issues? Are you able to get up and more importantly down the mountains well?

What about 2-lanes through the mountains? I currently stay on highways and interstates with my setup because it is so big. My hope is to get into the country more and make stops at roadside attractions that I just can't do with the RV and Jeep behind it.

Thanks.
We have a 2014 JKU Sahara and have been towing a 2013 R-Pod 177 for over three years now. We've been from one side of Canada to the other, and just got back from an 8,371 kms trip to Newfoundland. We've towed 'The Pod' with the Jeep for close to 33,000 kms with ZERO problems. Even climbing through the Rockies from Alberta to British Columbia was no problem. The electric braking system works really well, and the Jeep's own descent control adds to good braking. We've never experienced any brake problems. In particular, we have never had brake-fade, even while descending serious hills like Rogers Pass on the Glacier Highway (4,400 ft.). The Jeep JKU is a very capable tower. We have a stabilizer system, which works really well (Equalizer). We keep our speed down to 110 KPH (68 MPH), even on smooth, flat highways. That helps with gas consumption too.

The only change we made to our Pod was to add the factory riser kit. Given some the roads we knew we'd be on, we decided it was a good spend of CAD$120.

The only negative is gas consumption, which ranges from 12 thru' 16 mpg while towing, versus an average of 23 mpg in normal use. But that's an acceptable part of towing.

I hope this is (i) not too late to help, and (ii) helpful...if you haven't figured out what you're doing!

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Old 01-11-2019, 09:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-Foot View Post
We have an Rpod 182g and drag it with our 2015 Rubicon Unlimited with stock size tires, Automatic and 3.73 gears.
I have air bags and a weight distribution hitch. The air bags are probably overkill.
So far so good, but have not done any mountains with it yet. I do not tow faster than 65mph ever..
I recently purchased a SuperChips TD2 tuner to give a small boost in power and to get a “Towing” tune that will help manage the transmission shift points.
We’ll be leaving on a 2500+ mile trip with it on Monday and can tell you more when we get to our winter destination..
Can you tell me more about your towing experience with the 3.73 rear end? Manual says it's limited to 2000lbs, so even an Rpod with some gear in it will be at 3,000. We own a 2015 JKU w/3.73 but I just bought an '02 Avalanche to tow our R-Pod 176T. Would love to do shorter local trips with the JKU.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Motor7 View Post
Can you tell me more about your towing experience with the 3.73 rear end? Manual says it's limited to 2000lbs, so even an Rpod with some gear in it will be at 3,000. We own a 2015 JKU w/3.73 but I just bought an '02 Avalanche to tow our R-Pod 176T. Would love to do shorter local trips with the JKU.
The best towing gas truck I ever owned was my 02 Avalanche 2500 with the 8.1 Vortec engine. If you have that one - you’ll be very happy.
I don’t know how relative my towing experience with the Automatic will be to a Manual transmission but here goes.
I don’t tow any faster than 65 mph and many times only 55-60 mph.
Loaded, I was probably crowding 3500# and had a pretty substantial load of household items and gear inside the Jeep. I did not weigh it. The Jeep did great at altitudes 3500’ and below, even on fairly good hills of up to 6% grade. It will happily maintain 65 mph in 4th gear at 3500’ on level ground. During our trip, there were No heating issues at all. Above 3500’ the Jeep had to labor a bit. Coolant and transmission tems started climbing. At one point the coolant temp was at 240° & trans temp was 205° at about 70° ambient air temp - but - we were climbing an 8% grade steadily from 3500’ to 8500’. I selected 2nd gear and maintained 40 mph. While I could have gone faster, I did not want to push the engine higher than 4000 RPM (which is - I think - where we were at when doing 40 mph). The Jeep was not in the overheat zone on the temp gauge and was running well. There was no oil consumption during our 8 day 2800 mile trip.
In my opinion, gears like 4.10:1 would not offer a great enough leverage advantage to justify the couple thousand dollars they would have cost to have them installed.
One thing I will do differently for our return trip in the spring - I will use 5w30 Mobil1 oil instead of the 5w20 Mobil1. I feel it will offer just a little more protection.
I believe the Rpod 182G to be one of the heaviest and it’s tongue weight (unloaded) is enough to make our Jeep squat. I have installed Airlift Air Bags and carried 35 psi of air in them for the trip. I also have the Equal-i-zer weight distribution hitch with built in sway control. It’s an odd system and required numerous “tuning” sessions to get things balanced out.
I will continue to use the Jeep for towing duty, but have readjusted my expectations of the entire package.
The SuperChips TD2 tuner did bring a better shift strategy to the table, but my “butt-dyno” tells me that horsepower and torque remain unchanged. The ECU I have was one that I bought from an identical Jeep to mine off of eBay. I think the vendor was LKQ Auto out of Texas. SuperChips unlocked the ECU so it could be programmed. I still have the original ECU that I will install should I need to. The Jeep’s odometer is stored in the gauge cluster and not in the ECU in case you’re interested in doing something similar. IE - No broken warranty or odometer tampering laws.

I just have a distrust for tuners in general which is why I keep the original one packaged up in a sealed antistatic bag and flat box under my driver’s seat.

As a side note -
I can’t believe Jeep is certifying their new JT Gladiator pickup truck to tow better than 7000# with no changes to the 3.6 V6 engine. 285 hp at 6400 RPM. Yes better cooling and an 8 speed automatic are great, but you need to wring this engine’s neck to get it to produce the power. Frankly, I don’t like running it over 5500 RPM and even then, only for short stretches.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Big-Foot View Post
The best towing gas truck I ever owned was my 02 Avalanche 2500 with the 8.1 Vortec engine. If you have that one - you’ll be very happy.
I don’t know how relative my towing experience with the Automatic will be to a Manual transmission but here goes.
I don’t tow any faster than 65 mph and many times only 55-60 mph.
Loaded, I was probably crowding 3500# and had a pretty substantial load of household items and gear inside the Jeep. I did not weigh it. The Jeep did great at altitudes 3500’ and below, even on fairly good hills of up to 6% grade. It will happily maintain 65 mph in 4th gear at 3500’ on level ground. During our trip, there were No heating issues at all. Above 3500’ the Jeep had to labor a bit. Coolant and transmission tems started climbing. At one point the coolant temp was at 240° & trans temp was 205° at about 70° ambient air temp - but - we were climbing an 8% grade steadily from 3500’ to 8500’. I selected 2nd gear and maintained 40 mph. While I could have gone faster, I did not want to push the engine higher than 4000 RPM (which is - I think - where we were at when doing 40 mph). The Jeep was not in the overheat zone on the temp gauge and was running well. There was no oil consumption during our 8 day 2800 mile trip.
In my opinion, gears like 4.10:1 would not offer a great enough leverage advantage to justify the couple thousand dollars they would have cost to have them installed.
One thing I will do differently for our return trip in the spring - I will use 5w30 Mobil1 oil instead of the 5w20 Mobil1. I feel it will offer just a little more protection.
I believe the Rpod 182G to be one of the heaviest and it’s tongue weight (unloaded) is enough to make our Jeep squat. I have installed Airlift Air Bags and carried 35 psi of air in them for the trip. I also have the Equal-i-zer weight distribution hitch with built in sway control. It’s an odd system and required numerous “tuning” sessions to get things balanced out.
I will continue to use the Jeep for towing duty, but have readjusted my expectations of the entire package.
The SuperChips TD2 tuner did bring a better shift strategy to the table, but my “butt-dyno” tells me that horsepower and torque remain unchanged. The ECU I have was one that I bought from an identical Jeep to mine off of eBay. I think the vendor was LKQ Auto out of Texas. SuperChips unlocked the ECU so it could be programmed. I still have the original ECU that I will install should I need to. The Jeep’s odometer is stored in the gauge cluster and not in the ECU in case you’re interested in doing something similar. IE - No broken warranty or odometer tampering laws.

I just have a distrust for tuners in general which is why I keep the original one packaged up in a sealed antistatic bag and flat box under my driver’s seat.

As a side note -
I can’t believe Jeep is certifying their new JT Gladiator pickup truck to tow better than 7000# with no changes to the 3.6 V6 engine. 285 hp at 6400 RPM. Yes better cooling and an 8 speed automatic are great, but you need to wring this engine’s neck to get it to produce the power. Frankly, I don’t like running it over 5500 RPM and even then, only for short stretches.
That was a very informative post...thanks! When I said 'manual' I meant Owners manual, so yes I have the same auto tranny as you. I also came to the same re-gear conclusion as you but decided to put that $ into the Avalanche. I love the 8.1, but this one is a 5.3 which should handle the 'pod with no issues. It's a 2002 Z71 one owner w/86K on it and it's pristine. I pick up my new to me 'pod tomorrow, so it won't be long before I hitch it to the JKU for a test run.

I'll update this thread once I sort out all the stuff on y new/used 176T and get it behind the JKU.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:24 PM   #7
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Oh and BTW, in Europe our Jeeps are rated to tow #3500 lbs....food for thought.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:02 PM   #8
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Oh and BTW, in Europe our Jeeps are rated to tow #3500 lbs....food for thought.
Actually, our Jeeps (2015 Unlimited Automatic) are rated for 3500# and the European ones get 3500 Kilograms as I recall.

See attached screen shot of our owners manual page 554...
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