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Old 04-30-2017, 10:58 AM   #1
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Can you DIY.

Of course I know you can but is it worth the trouble? I have a Thor 2017 Freedom Elite 29FE, want to dingy tow a 2017 Jeep Unlimited Sport. Anyone have any first hand knowledge or suggestions? Is that Ford Triton all they claim and will tow the Jeep up a 6% grade etc...
Thinking about something to remain on the coach. How much trouble is this marriage going to be?
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:07 AM   #2
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Of course I know you can but is it worth the trouble? I have a Thor 2017 Freedom Elite 29FE, want to dingy tow a 2017 Jeep Unlimited Sport. Anyone have any first hand knowledge or suggestions? Is that Ford Triton all they claim and will tow the Jeep up a 6% grade etc...


I know I need something for the motorhome, something for the Jeep, a bar to connect, with brakes and lights connected. DIY or go to professionals?
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:48 AM   #3
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DIY is always dependent on the skills of the Y--everything is DIY if the Y is up to the challenge.

How much DIY are you going to attempt to tackle? Build up the tow-bar from scratch? or simply install it yourself? (I have no experience in either so can't offer any advice there.)

As far as your other question: Yup the V-10 is more than up to the challenge, but its more than that: transmission and rear-axle gearing also come into play (note that the V-10 is in coaches much larger and heavier than yours and those people pull a toad, up hill, both ways).

If you really are concerned about the V-10 and want a bit more power there is always a 5-Star tune it will get you some extra grunt. Then Banks headers, etc. etc.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:57 AM   #4
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DIY is always dependent on the skills of the Y--everything is DIY if the Y is up to the challenge.

How much DIY are you going to attempt to tackle? Build up the tow-bar from scratch? or simply install it yourself? (I have no experience in either so can't offer any advice there.)

As far as your other question: Yup the V-10 is more than up to the challenge, but its more than that: transmission and rear-axle gearing also come into play (note that the V-10 is in coaches much larger and heavier than yours and those people pull a toad, up hill, both ways).

If you really are concerned about the V-10 and want a bit more power there is always a 5-Star tune it will get you some extra grunt. Then Banks headers, etc. etc.


Thanks I was really concerned about the V10 being enough to get the job done. No scratch building. Can I buy some devices on Amazon and attach them myself is more the DIY I am thinking about. Don't want to be removing bumpers, drilling, or other such. I guess my question is can I just bolt on some pieces and make it work and what are those pieces. Of course I understand about having the correct torque on bolts etc.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:03 PM   #5
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The thing with the V-10 is: Its an overhead valve engine it really likes to rev; don't be afraid of that and you'll be fine.

Many people towing 4-down use Blue Ox for a tow bar (like this one (Amazon). Go to the Blue Ox website (I put the link there) they have detailed instructions on how to install the baseplate. You can determine for yourself if you can handle it or not.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:35 PM   #6
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Jamie answered the V10 questions...

For the tow setup - you are looking at installing:
- Lights on Jeep - choice from magnetic add on lights, to wiring/diodes to power existing lights, to adding bulbs/wiring in existing enclosures, to Mopar OEM wiring harness that powers lights from tow harness.
I installed the OEM harness myself on 2010 Wrangler - yes you are removing a fender to route the wiring per their instructions.
- Base plate on Jeep - Roadmaster and BlueOx seem to be the two most popular - The Jeep is a strong chassis - so some are 2 smaller units bolted to existing frame. (some cars require more extensive plates to provide proper connection). Likely need to cut some fascia. I had this done as part of a package, but could have easily done myself.
- Brakes on Jeep - choices of portable units or permanent install. The permanent install can take some time... The deal I got made it not worth my time - so I had it done (Roadmaster Invisibrake).
Portable units are in/out as you need them - and certainly DIY.
- Towbar on Motorhome - should be 'plug and play' assuming proper receiver and wiring harness in place (some have found 'interesting' wiring...) Insuring the correct angle of tow bar and adding any needed adapter (+/- 3 inches from level - My Jeep lines up almost perfectly with back of Hurricane.) Used Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain which allows hookup/disconnect of 'un-aligned' verhicles (angles, etc).

I also added a receiver to the back of the Jeep - the towbar took the bike rack's location... Again thanks to the chassis - a Class 2 receiver is a simple 4-6 bolts and wiring harness taps in the drivers side tail light. Easily a DIY (from Quadratech).

Both Roadmaster and Blue Ox are good products... Shop around. At the time I got the Roadmaster setup for $1000 less than Blue Ox quotes... Good Sams membership got me a deal on installation from CW for the parts I didn't do. Stil certainly $$ involved in setting up the toad - but the Jeep is a great tow...

I hook up the tow bar, connect the umbilical, put the Jeep transfer case in Neutral - and go...
I do notice it back there (3500-4000 pounds) on acceleration - but never notice on stopping. The V10 downshifts a bit more often - but handles it fine... Haven't been in true mountains with it - but many others have with similar rigs.

Your Unlimited is likely a bit heavier - be conscious of your GCWR - gross combined weight rating of RV + Toad... Have things weighed to know where you stand fully loaded.
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Old 04-30-2017, 02:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies if anyone has other suggestions please chime in. I am not going to like the high reving as I am leaving a Duramax and Allison with a 5th wheel that never went over about 18 to 20 on revs. As long as this high reving does not cause unnecessary wear on the engine I should be happy but how high is high reving is subjective. Hate to hear about cutting fascia but guess I will have to do what is necessary. Thank you both greatly. Anyone else? I would love to hear from you.
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Old 04-30-2017, 02:43 PM   #8
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Take a look at Etrailer.com. They sell parts but also install for free. If you are close enough. They are higher in price but they have to be to cover the "free" installation. But the real reason to go to their web site is to take a look at their installation videos. When they do an install they make a video and put it on the site. Might find installation video from start to finish.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:44 PM   #9
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As long as this high reving does not cause unnecessary wear on the engine I should be happy but how high is high reving is subjective.
4500 high enough? Consider that its designed to rev that high. I had an F-250 that we pulled our old 5er with (and a TT before that). It spent its life as my daily driver and our RV puller. When I traded it in on our F-350 it had 138,000 trouble free miles on it--I only ever changed the oil (I don't think I ever changed the plugs on it; still ran great). (We traded it in because I wanted the higher GVWR/GCWR the F-350 brings to be safer pulling the 5er around--at least on paper.) When pulling the 5er the F-250 would frequently rev 4500+ rpms going up the Smokies.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:46 PM   #10
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We ordered the base plate, tow bar and Hopkins wiring harness from Amazon.
Got the brake unit from e-trailer. Everything but the harness was blue ox. Took about a day for me to do everything. Made my own harness between the jeep and MH with misc. parts from the auto parts house and stuff I had on hand. All wiring was run in split tubing and where possible run through the frame.
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Old 04-30-2017, 04:25 PM   #11
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Blue Ox and Roadmaster are great but don't forget Reese as well. I picked up a 5000# tow bar from Amazon for under $100:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
for use with my Sonic. I had to use a base plate but you may be able to bolt the toad brackets directly to your Jeep.
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Old 04-30-2017, 04:47 PM   #12
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On the V10 ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamJanTan View Post
Thanks for the replies if anyone has other suggestions please chime in. I am not going to like the high reving as I am leaving a Duramax and Allison with a 5th wheel that never went over about 18 to 20 on revs. As long as this high reving does not cause unnecessary wear on the engine I should be happy but how high is high reving is subjective. Hate to hear about cutting fascia but guess I will have to do what is necessary. Thank you both greatly. Anyone else? I would love to hear from you.
I have over 160,000 miles on my present V10, and like on most RVs, I expect the engine can outlast the rest of the vehicle. Vehicle age is a greater problem than engine wear in many RV applications. Higher RPMs does cause accelerated wear, but if not significant why worry about it?

In my experience the V10 may be willing to REV to make more power, but it sounds like it doesn't like it at all. Compared to newer engines it's very loud at higher RPMs. The V10 design required a lot of compromises. Its stroke is very long compared to bore size, which helps with low end torque but doesn't help with higher RPMs. It also requires a balance shaft to help smooth vibration a bit, but remains far from ideal. At higher RPMs these out-of-balance forces magnify.

On the bright side the engine makes 260 HP at 3250 RPMs, so unless you are in a hurry, there is no need to take it to 4250 RPMs just to get the maximum 305 HP. And even if you can REV it to 5000 RPMs, what would be the point if you can get the power at lower RPMs?

Your loaded-down motorhome and Jeep could weigh over 18,000 pounds combined, so it probably won't feel fast (at least by my standards). I would just plan on using the 6-speed transmission wisely to limit engine in the 3,000 to 3,500 RPM range as much as practical, and resist the urge to floor it just to climb or accelerate a little faster.
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Old 04-30-2017, 05:02 PM   #13
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DIY is always dependent on the skills of the Y--everything is DIY if the Y is up to the challenge.

.....cut....
Great point. I built a basic tow bar when I was in high school and before studying engineering. It worked great and didn't cost me a penny (used scrap steel from my dad's shop), although in retrospect it was way over built, making it heavy, and strong enough to pull a freight train.

By comparison, building the rail dune buggy it pulled was the greater challenge. Just wish I still had the desire to take on those kinds of DIY projects.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:28 AM   #14
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Well I feel good and I feel bad about the V10. I don't want to be climbing a hill at 45MPH but I also don't want my engine reving to 4250RPM's or higher. If I can get up a 6% grade at 3000 to 3500 RPMs and travel at 55 to 60 MPH I will probably be happy. Thanks for all the advise. Think I will look at Blue Ox and Roadmaster products at etrailer. Love that free installation. Of course I will get a quote from Camping World which is close. Any other suggestions? While I can turn a wrench I don't like to. Unless big money can be saved I had rather have someone else with the bruised knuckles and figuring out what to do when things just don't quite line up. Thanks everyone. Still welcome other suggestions.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:31 AM   #15
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Axis/Vegas Tow/haul button

With the 6 Speed xmsn, do you use your tow/haul feature? I used it on recent trip and it was a great brake saver. Any issues with it's use while pulling toad?
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:58 AM   #16
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People keep talking about a six speed trans. I have 1, 2, 3, 4, and D on my shifter. Am I missing something?
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:00 AM   #17
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People keep talking about a six speed trans. I have 1, 2, 3, 4, and D on my shifter. Am I missing something?
That's the 6 Speed.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:15 AM   #18
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Thank goodness I was beginning to think the salesman pulled a fast one on me. I do have the tow/haul button on the end of my shifter. I assume I use that with a toad correct?
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:29 AM   #19
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Thank goodness I was beginning to think the salesman pulled a fast one on me. I do have the tow/haul button on the end of my shifter. I assume I use that with a toad correct?
Yes: When in Tow/Haul mode the transmission will hold the lower gears longer before upshifting. On older units Tow/Haul mode would also drop a gear when you tap the brake (but I believe that the newer units do that regardless of the tow/haul setting).
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:51 AM   #20
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Yes: When in Tow/Haul mode the transmission will hold the lower gears longer before upshifting. On older units Tow/Haul mode would also drop a gear when you tap the brake (but I believe that the newer units do that regardless of the tow/haul setting).
My 2016 has the tap downshift feature. I think it was built in July '15.
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