ShadowsPapa

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Hopefully no one will jump in with their perennial "the diesel would do better" stuff - please no.
This is about my real-world experience finally towing a real load over a distance and some long hills (I80 between Des Moines and the Mississippi and back again.

Trailer -with spare tire, straps, tool box and some simple emergency supplies (for in case I lose a bearing, etc.) comes in at 1600.

My car - I thought it was 3200. I did more research and found that to be the base model 4 cyl car. Mine is a 6, loaded Sport, and comes in closer to 3276 with the I6 and T5, Sport spoiler, etc. I'll call it 3300 since I've learned what people report an SX4 as weighing is incorrectly based off the base model 4 cyl.

That means 1600 plus 3300 for a total of 4900 pounds tow load.

I weighed the tongue with the trailer setting level like it would when connected and got a tongue weight of 520 pounds.

Aluma says their ALL aluminum trailer should have a tongue weight of 10 to 12% That means mine should be running between 490 and 588. I'm running just shy of 11% tongue weight.

I have the Overland. Those are geared at 3.73:1 and it has the 8 speed automatic. They are rated to tow 6,000 pounds and the payload on mine is something around 1060 give or take.
So my tongue weight took about half of my payload. That means I'm down to about 540. Take away for the bumper and winch I put on - I'll call it 150 total to cover the added equipment on my truck. I still have roughly 400 left.

Not a biggy - I travel light - sleeping bag, tent, cooler, all of my gear isn't more than about 100 pounds.

I was running some experiments with my truck just for kicks. It runs GREAT, no pinging at all, no rough idle, it simply runs. Unloaded I think it hunts too much and towing my trailer empty was a disaster a year ago. I was concerned. It was horrible, 11 mpg, it sucked pulling just 1600 pounds.
My tires are General A/TX about the same diameter as the stock Dueller tires, but are obviously wider and an A/T tread and not H/T tread. I aired them up for the load.

I wanted to play around with it and ran some 89 octane. After most of the tank had run through I noticed the engine sound was different - intake area and exhaust all sounded different. Makes sense if the valve lift and timing also changed. I usually run the really cheap stuff in my truck, 87, not usually "top tier", just whatever I can get.

I figured for the trip and towing I'd go into town and find some top tier gas. I went to a Quiktrip and filled it with their 91 10%.

The first thing I noticed on the trip over was that it really ran the low gears and RPM was way up in the 4,xxx range a few times. As the trip progresses I saw that change a bit and is seldom went over about 3200-3300 rpm (I tried to run 65).

I seldom saw 8th gear except on down hill areas. It spent most of the time in 7th. 5th and 6th were common on hills but it really didn't hammer the engine as much as the LS in my Silverado did. Shifting smoothed out and it got into a routine. I'd say most of the trip was in the 2200-2300 rpm range or so. Again, tried to stick to 65 mph.

I stopped a couple of times just to check the tires and everything - they weren't hot, barely warm to the touch. If I had to guess, I'd say maybe 100 degrees or so??

I made it all the way with a bit over 100 miles left on the tank. The truck showed 13.8 mpg average.
There was a shell station not far from the events, so on the way back I stopped there and filled up with their 91.

The FilIUp app on my phone said I did 13.94 mpg average but I may not have pulled the trigger the same so perhaps I could have gotten a couple of tenths more in it (gas was expensive in IL)
In other words, looks like I really did get a good 13.8 mpg running 65 on I80 with the hills and all hauling 5900 pounds behind me.

Coming back the mpg was about 13.7 average - maybe the wind was different, who knows. It was warmer outside - about 90 degrees part of the way back where on the way over was very early AM and it was COOL. So the difference could be ambient air temp. Difference was likely 20 degrees.

It seemed to have plenty of power. I never felt it suffered for power. It didn't hunt or shift any more often or any worse than my Silverado - perhaps a bit less. It was in the 2,xxx rpm area a lot and to me that's fine. It's like it learned on the trip over.

In short, it had the power to pull, it didn't hunt badly, yes - I only saw 8th gear maybe a handful of times but who cares - it got better mpg than my Silverado. I'd have been happy if all it did was the same or matched that Chevy towing. Not the totally planted feeling a slightly wider or heavier truck would have but honestly, I'm not sure 4.10 gears would have made any real difference. The automatic compensated and kept the engine where it was needing to be. Taking off, yes, it would have mattered. I was happy with how the transmission acted after it had pulled a while. I was glad to see it didn't push the RPM up too often - it did get up to about 5,000 rpm once as I was trying to get back on I80 on a ramp that was short and up a hill (tons of truck traffic). Otherwise it was mostly 22-2300 and 32-3300 rpm. I suspect the 8 speed vs. my Chevy's 6 speed made the difference there.

First thing my wife asked when I got back in last night- "how did it tow"? I said fine. She said "so getting the Overland wasn't a bad thing after-all then, was it". Nope.

Bigger tires may have not been a good thing - that's one reason I bought these A/T tires in the same diameter - to keep the final RPM to road speed ratio the same (it was rated with the 32.2" tires to tow 6,000 - it was figured with this RPM to road speed ratio so I wanted to stick with that)

This is direct from the Iowa DOT - it doesn't take into account the grades on the Iowa side of the river or some others in that area:

The steepest grade was located between Jasper County Road F-48 (Baxter exit) and Newton. There is 1800’ of tangent grade at 3.9946%(as built). The next steepest grade is near the rest areas near Grinnell at 3.4%. There are several other widely scattered locations of 3% grade.


I measured several times, it always settled to 520 pounds tongue weight.

20210909_134320.jpg


I stopped at a rest stop to stretch my legs (LOVE THE Hooke Road DEAD PEDAL!) and to check the looks of the tires, feel the sidewalls, trailer bearing area, car straps, etc. - all was fine.

20210910_063711_HDR.jpg


Oh, mine wasn't the only Gladiator there! They hauled that Gremlin over from a town only 30 minutes south of us.

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I'm glad I'm only 5'8" A taller person would have had their feet sticking out over the tail gate but it worked out ok for me. I took a ratchet and TORX bit to remove the tonneau cover before putting the tent up. Made a huge difference and those covers come off in under 5 minutes - less if you hurry.

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And back home again, ready to unload -

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Parking my trailer in a tight spot without running into my neighbors stuff or over the wall is a piece of cake with a JT and a front receiver................

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Any Jeep owners with power needs can always consider something like this, I guess........... you may end up having to cut the hood, though. There's a clearance issue.

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MrJeep

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Awesome report. Love the pics.
I'm surprised the aluma is that heavy. When I was looking at them I thought I was going to save at least 500# of trailer weight but it seems only 200# less that the 18ft Heavy Hauler I'm borrowing for our annual trip to the Catskills next week (I'll post some pics here).

I don't have a tongue weight gauge but went with the spring rate formula. The two rear springs seem to have a spring rate of 360#/in combined (my 180# dropped the hitch 1/2 inch) so I moved the TJ on the trailer until I got about 2" of drop of the hitch so a little less than the 750 max. It looks very level and test towed like a dream, much better than the trailer I usually rent.

Your reported gas mileage is almost exactly what I get every time I tow the TJ, for some reason I expect it to be better with this lighter, much nicer trailer. Will let you know.
 
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ShadowsPapa

ShadowsPapa

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Awesome report. Love the pics.
I'm surprised the aluma is that heavy. When I was looking at them I thought I was going to save at least 500# of trailer weight but it seems only 200# less that the 18ft Heavy Hauler I'm borrowing for our annual trip to the Catskills next week (I'll post some pics here).

I don't have a tongue weight gauge but went with the spring rate formula. The two rear springs seem to have a spring rate of 360#/in combined (my 180# dropped the hitch 1/2 inch) so I moved the TJ on the trailer until I got about 2" of drop of the hitch so a little less than the 750 max. It looks very level and test towed like a dream, much better than the trailer I usually rent.

Your reported gas mileage is almost exactly what I get every time I tow the TJ, for some reason I expect it to be better with this lighter, much nicer trailer. Will let you know.
My 18' PJ was about 2200 pounds I believe.
The aluma is 1500 without the spare, spare holder, or tool box. I added 100 for the spare, spare bracket, tool box (which if probably 10 pounds tops) straps, wrenches, etc. I'm likely actually under 1600 pounds.
Also - the aluma is possibly heavier than imagined because of the two hydraulic cylinders, etc. to control the tilt action. I bet the hydraulics add 50+ pounds vs. a non-tilt trailer.

I measured the truck without trailer center of wheel to bottom of rear fender loaded and unloaded. The trailer dropped the truck 1.75" at the rear axle (more at the hitch obviously) I have my notes outside as far as how much it dropped the truck.

I didn't get this good a mpg with my Chevy - it did mid 11s until I hit Illinois then could hit 13. (Il is flat compared to Iowa)
 

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Shadows Papa, when you had the earlier tow with empty trailer were you running the Rubicon takeoffs? If so did that really mess with the engine settings for shift points and cause your problems? I’m glad it towed so well….Jack
 

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Good to know. I have an all steel tilting car hauler, but I never bothered to weigh it when I had my 3/4 ton diesel. I'm curious how my rubi would do hauling my Corvette on the hauler, but it sounds like it has a chance of working.
 

MrJeep

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Good to know. I have an all steel tilting car hauler, but I never bothered to weigh it when I had my 3/4 ton diesel. I'm curious how my rubi would do hauling my Corvette on the hauler, but it sounds like it has a chance of working.
It would do great. There isn't a Corvette ever built that weighed more than a TJ (former multiple Corvette and TJ owner). The tilt trailers are usually only 100-200# heavier.
 

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Your experiences were pretty similar to mine. The fuel economy of the Gladiator was substantially better than that of towing with the Ram, enough so that it is very worthy of being mentioned. I too felt that the RPM's on the Gladiator were pretty high while towing. Granted, the little Penstar doesn't start making power until the RPM's get up there so that does make sense. I have the 4:10's and there was no struggle to get the whole thing moving from a full stop. The ascents for me were quite a bit more than the 3.6 degree grades you travelled.

I am curious of you checked your transmission and engine temps when you were really working it? If so, do you recall what they were?

Pretty sure that towing and payload capacity do not include the weight the driver and/or occupants. You need to add that to your total weight calculations.
 
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ShadowsPapa

ShadowsPapa

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It would do great. There isn't a Corvette ever built that weighed more than a TJ (former multiple Corvette and TJ owner). The tilt trailers are usually only 100-200# heavier.
In this case, apparently less difference -
Mine is the 8218Tilt listed here - (1500 pounds)
https://www.alumaklm.com/8200-tilt-tandem-utility-trailers

The non-tilt 8218 is listed at 1425 pounds so only 75 pounds difference.


I am curious of you checked your transmission and engine temps when you were really working it? If so, do you recall what they were?
Hey, thanks for the reminder - Was going to post that...........
engine coolant ranged from about 197-205
Transmission hit 205 a couple of times but was generally between 195-200
Oil temp was about 205 much of the time.
I did leave the "off-road pages" up with the gauges showing especially on the hills, going up or down hills when it downshifted to 4th and back, that sort of thing. I wanted to watch things when it was under more of a load. When I left to come back it was about 87-90 degrees (evening so temps were dropping) and it didn't seem to make a difference. Coming back coolant, transmission and so on all ran the same temps as going over in the early AM when it was cooler out.

Corvette - depends on year! About the same as an Eagle in the 70s, heaver these days, I'm sure.

I guess to keep it Jeep - LOL ->

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20210911_143503_HDR.jpg
 
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ShadowsPapa

ShadowsPapa

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Shadows Papa, when you had the earlier tow with empty trailer were you running the Rubicon takeoffs? If so did that really mess with the engine settings for shift points and cause your problems? I’m glad it towed so well….Jack
The tires I am running now - the General A/TX tires, are roughly the same diameter as the stock Overland tires at 32.2"
When I towed my trailer empty - it was to pick up signs and to get the Rubicon tires/wheels. So I was actually running the stock Bridgestone Duellers on the truck at that time.
I put on the Rubicon tires/wheels shortly after getting back with them.
So thinking about it - the truck was totally stock at that time.
 
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ShadowsPapa

ShadowsPapa

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Pretty sure that towing and payload capacity do not include the weight the driver and/or occupants. You need to add that to your total weight calculations.
That's what I used to think - until I saw Ford's calculations and charts/specs, and saw where Jeep allowed "150 pounds for driver" - and another payload chart allowed "300 for driver and 1 passenger".
I've tried and tried to settle it in my own mind if nothing else, but everything I find SO FAR says they include a driver (Jeep) and Ford includes 1 driver and 1 passenger.
HUH?
Either way, if you add 200 for me - I'm still ok. Now I'd not be able to go to a swap meet and buy an engine at 550 pounds and haul it back in the back of the truck. I'd probably have to move the car back a bit and put the engine on the trailer. I'd still be under 6,000 towing (not by as much) and would be ok on payload, but be close to my max on both.



----------------------------------
Ford now will use the common "base curb weight" for its baseline in calculating the payload. In the U.S., that's the weight of a vehicle with all fluids and normal equipment, ready to go, as it sits "at the curb," but no cargo or passengers. Some countries add the average weight of a driver to the curb weight.

-------------------------------

Towing - Before You Buy - Ram Trucks
http://m.mideast.ramtrucks.com › towing_guide › befor...

Don't let the term "light duty" fool you – a Ram 1500 can handle quite a bit. ... Driver weight of 150 pounds is included in the payload calculation.
 

Pypes

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The car is gorgeous, the truck, well! That goes without saying. I am curious about the tent manufacturer and model. I really like that setup.

And, hey, thanks for the great post. I needed that today.
 
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ShadowsPapa

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The car is gorgeous, the truck, well! That goes without saying. I am curious about the tent manufacturer and model. I really like that setup.

And, hey, thanks for the great post. I needed that today.
The "tall bed" version fits the Gladiator -
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5CQ4FO

Here's the link that will have pics and a video -
https://www.quadratec.com/p/rightline-gear-4x4/gladiator-truck-tent-gladiator-jt

There's a lot going on under that little car............ rust-free, over 193,000 miles on it, the only thing I have not yet totally gone through the front differential. Otherwise I gutted it and redid everything else. The only thing I didn't personally do was spray the red and clear coat. I hauled it to a painter to do that, glass out, primed and blocked and final primer, on trailer with the doors tied closed with straps as all latches and handles and glass and strikers - all removed. (and all latches and strikers for the doors, hood and hatch were replaced with NOS (new, old stock) when I got it back)

I guess it's a Jeep in a way - 94 ZJ 4.0 engine, and AMC used a lot of what they learned on these for the unibody Jeeps they made (Cherokee, etc.)
 
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