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Old 10-24-2019, 04:14 PM
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JKU V JT towing question.

I'll admit I know basically nothing about the JT ( or much else to be honest) but have a question. I know part of the JKU's 3500 lbs. tow rating has to do with weight, wheel base etc. I recently pulled my aluminum trailer and ATV to TN from northern Indiana. It did fine with my 3.6 and 3.73's. However I got to thinking, power alone (not trying to stop) I couldn't imagine pulling close to 7,000 lbs with the power of my JKU, especially in the mountains I was in. Talking pulling ability alone will a JT with the same engine and gears pull any better then a JKU set up the same? My trailer and ATV both each weigh under 1,000 lbs and I had no trouble keeping it at 70-75, I'm sure if I had triple that weight it would be a different story. I also haven't looked at all the JT tow ratings, so maybe one with 3.73 gears doesn't have the same tow rating as the lower geared options.

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Old 10-24-2019, 05:32 PM   #2
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I'll admit I know basically nothing about the JT ( or much else to be honest) but have a question. I know part of the JKU's 3500 lbs. tow rating has to do with weight, wheel base etc. I recently pulled my aluminum trailer and ATV to TN from northern Indiana. It did fine with my 3.6 and 3.73's. However I got to thinking, power alone (not trying to stop) I couldn't imagine pulling close to 7,000 lbs with the power of my JKU, especially in the mountains I was in. Talking pulling ability alone will a JT with the same engine and gears pull any better then a JKU set up the same? My trailer and ATV both each weigh under 1,000 lbs and I had no trouble keeping it at 70-75, I'm sure if I had triple that weight it would be a different story. I also haven't looked at all the JT tow ratings, so maybe one with 3.73 gears doesn't have the same tow rating as the lower geared options.
Max towing on JT with 3.73 gears is upto 6,000 lbs depending on trim and transmission. Yes wheelbase is part of the equation but it also has the Ram 1500ís 5-link rear suspension.

I agree though, Iíve pulled about 3,200 lbs (3.6 & 4.10 gears) and it wasnít leisurely. I cannot imagine pulling the advertised weights

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Old 10-24-2019, 05:46 PM   #3
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If you want a rig that isn't slowed down by strapping a bunch of extra weight to it, get something so ridiculously overpowered and low geared that it won't notice the weight (and performance won't pick up once you ditch the trailer). If you want a mid size pickup with a V6, it's going to notice the weight. You can't do anything about that.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:15 PM
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Thanks, I am not interested in anything else, I was just curious if a JT pulling 7,000 pounds would be as miserable as I thought it would be to or there was something different about it I'm not aware of that would cause it to pull better.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:16 PM   #5
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OP - you might find this TFL video of taking a 7,000 pound trailer up the IKE (the grade up to the Eisenhower Tunnel in CO.). As you might figure, going up a steep grade with a 7,000 pound trailer, they could not maintain the speed limit, but it did reasonably well.


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Old 10-26-2019, 10:37 PM
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Nice video, that engine sounded like it was ready to take a nap......On my trip through the hills of TN my gauge showed 16 mpg's but it was calculated at 14.9 which wasn't bad pulling the trailer. I didn't know what to expect when this video started but 4.7 mpg was not good....
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:21 AM   #7
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Yes, but that was only on the upgrade, which is a challenge for most tow vehicles. (Which is why they use it to test them). Don't watch your MPG readout immediatetly after filling up and accelerating away, it will be about the same.

The older computer systems in CDJR vehicles had both instantaneous and average fuel mileage. I used to use the instant readout at times to tell me how the engine was loaded.
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by flyin-lowe View Post
I'll admit I know basically nothing about the JT ( or much else to be honest) but have a question. I know part of the JKU's 3500 lbs. tow rating has to do with weight, wheel base etc. I recently pulled my aluminum trailer and ATV to TN from northern Indiana. It did fine with my 3.6 and 3.73's. However I got to thinking, power alone (not trying to stop) I couldn't imagine pulling close to 7,000 lbs with the power of my JKU, especially in the mountains I was in. Talking pulling ability alone will a JT with the same engine and gears pull any better then a JKU set up the same? My trailer and ATV both each weigh under 1,000 lbs and I had no trouble keeping it at 70-75, I'm sure if I had triple that weight it would be a different story. I also haven't looked at all the JT tow ratings, so maybe one with 3.73 gears doesn't have the same tow rating as the lower geared options.

The Wrangler has a low tow rating because of the frame, suspension, way that the receiver hitch mounts, engine cooling package, etc. There's actually a lot to it. The Gladiator has a frame that is 80% different, totally new rear suspension, larger brakes, more engine cooling, and a host of other changes. In terms of towing, it's a very different machine.

The most I've had behind mine is around 6,300 lbs. It performed just as well as any other 1/2 ton, whether it be midsize or fullsize, that I've used. It maintained 55 MPH with ease, even on 6% grade. It stopped confidently in a rush, and it handled fairly well.

The Gladiator hasn't gotten the credit it deserves since day 1.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:12 AM   #9
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The most I've had behind mine is around 6,300 lbs. It performed just as well as any other 1/2 ton, whether it be midsize or fullsize, that I've used. It maintained 55 MPH with ease, even on 6% grade. It stopped confidently in a rush, and it handled fairly well.

The Gladiator hasn't gotten the credit it deserves since day 1.
Glad to hear they do really well. I am considering getting a Gladiator to to a [email protected] 400 camper which maxes out at 3,900 lbs. I don't want to give up a Jeep but was a little worried if the Gladiator would do it well enough.

I have towed a 25' camper behind a 4.6L V8 Ford F-150. That trailer weight maybe 4,500 lb and the truck did well enough. If I can tow the a [email protected] with the Gladiator with similar performance it would be fine by me. And by performance, I mean 65 mph and maintain a reasonable speed up hills.
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:38 AM   #10
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Basically when Jeep developed the Gladiator, instead of taking a JLU and adding a bed, they took a Ram 1500, narrowed it and put a JLU body on the front.

If I wanted a Gladiator to haul, I would definitely add the HD Towing Package. The list of items includes a HD Alternator, 4.10 gearing, Anti-Lock HD brakes, Class IV hitch, HD Dana 44 wide axles F&R and HD Cooling. The GVW is 6,250 pounds. The tow rating is over 7,000 pounds which means the GCVW is over 13,000 pounds.

It is a truck first and a Jeep second.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:52 AM   #11
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Basically when Jeep developed the Gladiator, instead of taking a JLU and adding a bed, they took a Ram 1500, narrowed it and put a JLU body on the front.
The Gladiator is not a narrowed Ram 1500.

FCA took the Wrangler Unlimited and stretched it, while adding the Ram 1500 rear 5-link suspension to the JLU axle.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:20 AM   #12
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The Gladiator has a truck frame not a wrangler frame. While the frame is different, the developer stated they took a lot of cues from the 1500. Obviously they did not take a 1500 frame and narrow it slightly by cutting it in half as they would not be able to put the JL body front on it.

The frames are similar. The Ram 1500 has a wheel base (4dr) of 140.5" with a track of 68" F and 67.5" R, the Gladiator has a wheelbase of 137.3" and a track of 62.9" (Rubicon has 2" wider axles).

Bottom line, the Gladiator has a truck frame the JLU does not.
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:44 PM   #13
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I had a pair of 2012 JK Rubicon Unlimiteds. I traded one in on a 2020 Gladiator Rubicon because it's time to upgrade and I needed a truck every now and then. Will get a JL Rubicon soon to replace the JK. We also tow our Jeeps behind a motorhome so have them all set up for flat towing.

When it comes to pulling power it's a matter of gearing and weight. Our motorhome has 600 HP and 1,950 ft-lbs of torque. It goes up the pass by the Eisenhower tunnel but we don't set any speed records there either, although its a whole lot better than our last 400 HP motorhome. Maybe the 50,000 lb. weight has a slight bearing on that.

I've pulled equipment, such as brush chippers, stump grinders and small trailers behind our JKUR and it wasn't real comfortable feeling. But hauling the same behind the Gladiator is a big difference. For one thing, the same 3.6 engine was in our JK as in the JT. But the JK had a 5 speed automatic while the 8 speed in the Gladiator makes a huge difference because it lets you stay in the torque curve more often. So it seems more powerful, even with the extra 500 lbs of weight in the JT. Both had 4.10 gearing. I assume the the newer JL with 8 speed would be the same.

The extra wheelbase makes the Gladiator much more stable, as does the new rear suspension. It's now a more comfortable feeling. Going underneath the units I can see that the frame on the Gladiator is much stronger than the Wrangler. The rear frame rails on the Wrangler were easily deformed when I installed a rear bumper that was just a bit too tight for the frame rails and needed to crimp them in a bit. That's never going to happen with a Gladiator.

One really big difference was the brakes. When you have a 7,000 lb. towing capacity you need good brakes and the Gladiator brakes are a huge improvement over the Wrangler.

Obviously the Gladiator is not going to replace a Ram dually with the Cummins diesel but it's not intended to be. If you need a vehicle that can tow 7K every now and then but still be a daily driver that doesn't burn up too much fuel money and require extra wide parking spaces yet is comfortable to drive it's a good choice. When you consider its off-road prowess, towing capability and coolness factor it's a good choice and fills a nice spot between HD full size trucks and lighter vehicles.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:49 PM   #14
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The Gladiator is not a narrowed Ram 1500.

FCA took the Wrangler Unlimited and stretched it, while adding the Ram 1500 rear 5-link suspension to the JLU axle.
No they didn't. The rear is a modified version of the Ram 1500, including the completely new and fully boxed frame rails. The axle is also different from JLU and even the axle tubes are thicker. There's almost nothing from the rear doors backward that is JLU.

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