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Old 04-20-2021, 11:42 AM   #1
RubyCJ
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Jeep Gladiator Truck Towing

Well we decided to sell our Avalanche and 3500 DRW and get a destination trailer on property in an RV park. Our long trips are done as we enjoy stationary snowbirding now.
Family back home still weekend camps in the summer and the wife wants to join in. So, we have a Jeep truck and are looking at trailers. Now I know the Jeep Truck is light duty even with the max towing package (which it has). But our camping days are limited and just don't want to go big again. Weekend short trip outings 3 - 4 times a summer.

Well I started looking at trailers with 4,000 GVWR max weight and 20 feet long as a starting point.
Found a few that will make reasonable weekenders so here are the specs on truck and trailer. Any experience with this set-up?
Thanks for the input.

Truck: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport S
3.6 V6 automatic 8 speed, 4.10 axle ratio
Max Tow package
GVWR on door sticker: 6,250#
Cargo Max on sticker: 1,527#
GAWR Rear: 3,750#
GAWR Front: 3,100#
Passengers (2): 350#
Cargo & Hitch :200#

Camper:
GVWR: 3,944#
Hitch (assume dry): 444#
Dry Weight: 3,012#
Cargo: 732#
Length: 21'
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:08 PM   #2
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A couple of things that SHOULD enter the equation but seldom do:

1. The Jeep Gladiator Sport package has a "long travel suspension system" engineered for off road use over bumpy roads and in off road use. It's not "ideally suited" to provide the "firm on-road stability" required for heavy trailer towing....

2. That will lead to "vulnerabilities" in towing something with a large, flat sidewall and/or a large frontal area....

It's not that the Jeep "lacks the numbers" or "lacks the horsepower/engine strength" to pull a 4500 pound "box style" trailer, it's that the "chassis/suspension doesn't have the "on-road rigidity" to keep a heavy load "in line behind the hitch".... That vehicle would be an ideal candidate to tow a trailer with a ski boat weighing 4500 pounds or a couple of jet ski's on a trailer weighing 5000 pounds.... That's not the same situation as towing a "big square box that magnifies every bump in the road and every passing truck or sidewind"...

If I remember what I read last year, the frontal area on the Gladiator series was limited to "less than 40 sqft. On a trailer that's 8' wide and 10' tall, the Gladiator is only rated at half the trailer's frontal area... You're going to have some pretty significant issues towing at highway speeds and especially if you're facing any headwinds. It won't be a "pleasant experience" to tow across Kansas or in other places where there's any significant headwind or cross wind.....
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:45 PM   #3
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If I remember what I read last year, the frontal area on the Gladiator series was limited to "less than 40 sqft. On a trailer that's 8' wide and 10' tall, the Gladiator is only rated at half the trailer's frontal area..

Thank you John, I have not seen that number before. One of the trailers looked at is a Wolf Pup 16FQ that has a 7' wide and overall 10.5' tall, with a rather large radius from front to the roof. Not sure how that translates to the 40 ft2 frontal area though.
Good information to consider during my decision making, thanks
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:02 PM   #4
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Ruby, the frontal area of your 'Pup' would be 74.4square feet, still about double the 40 square feet. Your call.
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:20 PM   #5
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I’ve been shopping for Jeep’s with my daughter , we looked at the gladiator and the unlimited wrangler. We are building a teardrop trailer for her and her fiancť.
I was thinking it’s suitable for a teardrop trailer.
And I believe it’s 4000 max towing on the jeep gladiator? Your not leaving much with a 3944 trailer correct me if I’m wrong
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasin1 View Post
Iíve been shopping for Jeepís with my daughter , we looked at the gladiator and the unlimited wrangler. We are building a teardrop trailer for her and her fiancť.
I was thinking itís suitable for a teardrop trailer.
And I believe itís 4000 max towing on the jeep gladiator? Your not leaving much with a 3944 trailer correct me if Iím wrong
Jasin1, The tow rating on the Gladiator depends on the model and axle ratio. My Sport S has the max towing package which has the 4.10 gears. Tow rating about 6700#
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RubyCJ View Post
Jasin1, The tow rating on the Gladiator depends on the model and axle ratio. My Sport S has the max towing package which has the 4.10 gears. Tow rating about 6700#
My mistake
Iíve been looking at so many different vehicles lately...I guess it was the wrangler unlimited...by the way the mopar soft black fabric style tonneau cover looks really sharp on the gladiator beds
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:01 PM   #8
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I followed a new jeep like that down I95 yeaterday a.m. I was impressed (being sarcastic) by the amount of flex in the bed of the truck. Every litte bumb it hit the bed would twist and I could see it vibrate. The fat offroad tires made it look unstable to me at 70 mph. I could'nt imagine pulling anything larger than a popup or an R pod at the most with it.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:05 PM   #9
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To my thinking the Gladiator would want to be treated "lightly" as far as putting a tow load on it; particularly trying to control it with the suspension. Back in the day a dedicated 4x4 was sprung and shocked to jar your teeth out when hitting obstacles....but they did not sag, sway or shift around. Nowadays a "4x4" is a soft sprung vehicle (non "truck") that has some sort of mechanism to make 4 wheels turn, in some circumstance.

Jeeps are Jeeps and I've owned several but not a Gladiator. All mine were older with a 2001 Grand Cherokee Overland being the newest, a 1983 CJ7 being the last. I have driven lots of the newer ones and rented them as well. I've not come across one that had a suspension that I would strap an RV of any size to.

Going back to the observation John made previously; is that suspension made for "comfort" while 4x4ing? If so it's not going to be good for towing. Much like a Raptor, they can tailor a vehicle to do certain things well and fail dismally at others that they should be OK at. If it were me I would definitely put it through some tests to find out what kind of support and control, or not, the suspension has. Then there is that 3.6 () and the frontal area issue.....
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Old 04-20-2021, 05:44 PM   #10
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If it were me I would definitely put it through some tests to find out what kind of support and control, or not, the suspension has. Then there is that 3.6 () and the frontal area issue.....
Great idea !
My daughter has an older 24 foot trailer and I'll try a little spin around with it. It will definitely be heavier than the 4,000# Wolf Pup.
Guess I better find a good brake controller. Suggestions?
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Old 04-20-2021, 05:55 PM   #11
sourdough
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Originally Posted by RubyCJ View Post
Great idea !
My daughter has an older 24 foot trailer and I'll try a little spin around with it. It will definitely be heavier than the 4,000# Wolf Pup.
Guess I better find a good brake controller. Suggestions?

For me Tekonsha makes the best after market brake controllers. I've owned the P3 and Prodigy; both were great. My last few trucks have come with OE brake controllers. Remember, IMO if the truck doesn't come with the option of an OE brake controller....it wasn't really meant for that.
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Old 04-20-2021, 07:03 PM   #12
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My Wrangler Unlimited had a payload of 800lbs with a tow rating of 3500lbs. I figured with the possible tongue weight of a 3500 lb trailer at 400+ lbs one of us would have to stay home or catch a ride with someone else. With those weights it definitely wasn't designed as a tow vehicle, off road vehicle YES!
My son was considering a Gladiator to tow his boat, but after some calculations determined that it was best designed as a off road vehicle rather than a tow vehicle.
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Old 04-20-2021, 07:40 PM   #13
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For me Tekonsha makes the best after market brake controllers. I've owned the P3 and Prodigy; both were great. My last few trucks have come with OE brake controllers. Remember, IMO if the truck doesn't come with the option of an OE brake controller....it wasn't really meant for that.
Thanks for the info, I was looking at the P2 Prodigy.
Jeep does have the optional factory brake controller but is out of stock with no promise delivery date.
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