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Old 08-14-2018, 10:49 PM   #1
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THOR #10220
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport

Hello All, I finally found what I thought would be a good “toad” for my Thor Vegas. It is the vehicle mentioned on the title above. It has a manual 5 speed transmission and an “On Command” 4WD switch on the console between the front seats. I was already to sign the papers at the dealer when I found the owners manual in the glove compartment and found the page about towing this vehicle. It stated that the vehicle could not be towed with all four wheels down! This goes against all that I’ve read about sticking with a manual transmission vehicle to tow with all 4 wheels down. Any thoughts out there on this dilemma? Ray
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:58 PM   #2
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You need a vehicle that will allow you to put the transfer case into neutral for the 4WD models. Some of the Jeeps with the electronic drive switch won't let the transfer case be put into neutral (they are either 2WD or 4WD only.) Always check the owners manual under the "Recreational Towing" heading for what the manufacturer says.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:14 AM   #3
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THOR #10220
2008 Jeep Patriot

Thanks jp, I downloaded the owners manual for the 2008 Jeep Patriot Sport and (under towing the vehicle) they say that it can be towed 4 down if it has a manual transaxle. I’m assuming that the manual transmission and manual transaxle are one and the same. There is an “On Demand” 4WD switch down between the front seats that I presume must not be activated when towing so that the rear wheels remain without power and not in the 4WD mode. Am I thinking about this correctly? Ray
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:00 AM   #4
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Motorhome Magazine has a downloadable dinghy guide by model year that you should check. In the 2008 issue, the Jeep listings don't include Patriot.

There are manual transmission vehicles you can't tow, and there are automatics that can be towed. I would go there first, then check the manual for the vehicle you are considering.

By the way, we tow a Mazda Miata, which Mazda and the guide says that you can't. We have been towing Miatas for years without problems caused by towing. .
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:33 AM   #5
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Thanks Mr. Sunshine

I did download the owners manual and from what I read the Jeep is flat towable with its manual transaxle. The On Demand switch would have to stay in the off mode for towing to free up the rear wheels to rotate independently from the drive shaft. I will be asking the mechanics about this when I take my rig in for service tomorrow. I used to drive a Miata and loved it. Your a Lucky Guy! Ray
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:50 AM   #6
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I just looked at the 2008 Jeep Patriot manual and you are correct in that it says any manual transaxle vehicle can be flat towed. However, it doesn't have a lot of caveats or specific information on HOW to prepare to flat tow (the manuals normally list all of the steps involved) but it does say the Manual Transaxle vehicles can be flat towed if in Neutral and the ignition key is in the ACC position, which would unlock the steering wheel. Be advised, this WILL run down the battery after a period of time since the steering will use electric power. There is also normally a statement about making sure the parking brake is released (yes, common sense but it isn't there) so I would be a little hesitant about believing the manual, especially with all of the 4WD variants and the potential to lock the transfer case accidentally.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:47 PM   #7
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Still a twinge of doubt!

JB, Thanks for looking at the owners manual and seeing the same thing I see. I will be talking with a few more service guys about this. The switch between the front seats must be for the transfer case. It is always in the off position and should stay there as it is not a button that can accidentally pushed but a T shaped pull switch. It’s looking better about signing the papers on this Jeep. Ray
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:30 PM   #8
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THOR #10823
A manual transfer case will have a separate lever to shift from 4Hi, 4Lo, NEUTRAL and
2wd. As well as the usual transmission shifter. My understanding is without the manual transfer case shifter it is not 4 down towable.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang46555 View Post
A manual transfer case will have a separate lever to shift from 4Hi, 4Lo, NEUTRAL and
2wd. As well as the usual transmission shifter. My understanding is without the manual transfer case shifter it is not 4 down towable.
That is pretty much what I was thinking. Reading about the "T handle" it appears to be to switch to what most would call All Wheel Drive and not 4WD. Basically it is either 2WD or 4WD, no neutral position so the gears in the transfer case can spin freely.

With that said, I just bought a 2013 Ford Fiesta that can be either dolly towed or towed 4 down. I was shocked by that but that is what the owners manual says! Needless to say, I will be dolly towing only because I don't have the equipment for 4 down towing.
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:35 AM   #10
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John, It's all about the driveline lubing itself without the engine turning it. Ford transmissions were ok to flat tow up until around 2015 then they redesigned it and flat towing became impossible. Same with Jeeps, a transfer case model can be shifted into neutral but the newer "electronic" shift is really just a 2wd or all wheel drive selection not the classic 4wd.
Progress for the average owner I suppose but headaches for RVer's
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang46555 View Post
John, It's all about the driveline lubing itself without the engine turning it. Ford transmissions were ok to flat tow up until around 2015 then they redesigned it and flat towing became impossible. Same with Jeeps, a transfer case model can be shifted into neutral but the newer "electronic" shift is really just a 2wd or all wheel drive selection not the classic 4wd.
Progress for the average owner I suppose but headaches for RVer's
Yup, I agree with everything that you said (especially the last part about the headaches!)
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