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Old 10-19-2015, 03:07 PM   #41
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21 tow vehicle

P.S. We use the Anderson hitch and are very happy with it after using a number of other WDH,s.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:41 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by crnelson View Post
Thanks, I think we have decided on the JGC Overland, now to decide whether we want V6 or V8....many think the V8 is over kill, we seem to have a hard time deciding this one and we are excited about the car....will prob sell my forester...we were looking at durangos and they are tanks...happy to have choices!
The current (model year 2011 and up) Durango and Grand Cherokee are based on the same platform, meaning that they use basically the same suspension, share complete drivetrains (engine and transmission), and have at least some structure in common. These are unibody vehicles with four-wheel independent suspension and a traditional (longitudinal) drivetrain layout.

They are essentially the same width, but the Durango sits a little higher; the "tank" description may result from the taller overall height, the longer/higher hood line, or the substantially longer wheelbase. I assume that the Durango is a very capable trailer tug (if you get one that doesn't suffer Chrysler fall-apart-itis), but it is as long as my minivan (Toyota Sienna) which may not suit some drivers.

If you like this platform, and have money to burn, it is also used under the Mercedes GLE-class (formerly known as the ML), although with completely unrelated engines, transmissions, interiors, and body details. The ML/GLE has the same wheelbase as the Grand Cherokee, not that of the longer Durango.
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:47 PM   #43
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Jeep reliability

Brian, ditto the reliability comment. The latest consumer reports just released, show Jeep, Chrysler, Fiat to have the lowest reliability ratings. IHO reliability should be at the top of the purchase check list in particular when towing a trailer, in front of fuel economy.
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:53 PM   #44
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reliability

I always questioned Consumers since the days of very early VW, 1950/1967 even though I have subscribed up to now. Now I guess we are one of the luckiest of new vehicle owners, a Jeep GC for 5 years and a Fiat for 4 years with no problems and I will probably replace the GC next year when it hits 95,000 miles and my wife says the Fiat convert is forever unless someone on a telephone takes it out.
Lucky Jack
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:06 PM   #45
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Reliability

Once in a while, Consumer Reports publishes a 10 year or longer history of reliability, which in the past has shown most countries including the USA improving their reliability by about the same percentage, but a few Japanese manufacturer's started with a lead and have maintained it.

Since we found only one vehicle that we liked, that got excellent reviews as a really nice vehicle, and met our towing requirements with lots of margin; I used the above to argue that even if the JGC is near the bottom today in reliability, it is much more reliable than cars I grew up with. So my hope is that AZJack isn't one of the luckiest, but that he and I hope we, are NOT among the few who are unlucky!

Time will tell.
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:42 PM   #46
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To be fair to Chrysler, they can build very reliable vehicles, and I know people who have had Chryslers for many years with no issues. They do tend to have inconsistent quality, so many of us know people with anecdotal evidence of what can only reasonably be called "lemons". My suggestion if buying from Chrysler is to watch for problems, and sell the vehicle while still under full warranty if it proves problematic; if it makes it a couple of years without issues, you probably have a good one.

I have disregarded Consumer Reports as a source of automotive expertise since a series of blunders years ago. They may know washing machines, but not cars. Collecting statistics may be different - it isn't important to understand the technology for that.

I agree that cars are continually improving, but they are also getting more complex, so there is more to go wrong. In my opinion, Chrysler's issue is inconsistency, so even if the average is very good, a lemon is still a problem. Of course, a good one is really good.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:04 AM   #47
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I really cannot be fair to Chrysler. I have owned 3 of them in my life and all three were "lemons." One of them was the worst vehicle I ever owned. The other two were consistent, that is, consistently having one problem or another. I will never own another one; I have been burned enough times already.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:57 AM   #48
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Hmmm....thought we had a conclusion and now back to drawing board...where do you do your car research on line??....the JGC has everything we want in a car and it seems they have some reliability issues...big problem if we buy a used lemon....the only chrysler we had was a mini van and we bought it used with a warranty(we never buy) and we had a lemon. We have been toyota/subaru buyers used and new with good luck...lexus gx460 or........yikes...
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:42 AM   #49
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Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel with 21- user feedback

We have a 2014 Grand Cherokee Summit with the eco-diesel. We have put about 10K miles on it since picking up our 21 in June of this year for a total of 17K miles. Most of these miles were towing since we were on the road most of the summer.

The positive:
The Jeep has plenty of power on the highway and on most mountain grades. Going into the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 (a steep, long grade), I did have to slow down to about 50 miles an hour but that has been rare.
The Jeep is very comfortable on and off road. Handles well off road when not towing. Easy to drive/ park in the city. I never liked driving my Suburban or fullsize pickup in the downtown areas.
I get 20 MPG around town and 30 MPG on the highway when not towing, I get around 16 - 18 MPG when towing the 21 including mountains and freeways. I do limit my speed to 70 MPH, even when the speed limit is higher. Usually, I stay with the truck speed limits.
We have the Anderson hitch and I have driven through wind, rain and thunderstorms with no problems from the trailer behavior.
The Summit package includes the trailer towing including with anti-sway logic, the air suspension and paddle shifters. The air suspension can cause some humorous situations when the Jeep "decides" to change heights when we are hitching or unhitching the trailer but I think it helps to give us a well controlled ride. The paddle shifters are great in the mountains when you want to use downshifting to save your brakes.
The safety/ driver assist features make driving much less tiring. The accomodative cruise control is great when following other vehicles on the highway since you don't have to keep overriding the cruise control to stay at an even distance
The HID computer controlled headlights improve vision tremendously at night and help you spot that elk that is just about to jump in front of you (in Yellowstone)
.
The negative:
The Jeep doesn't have towing mirrors available, so you have to get extension mirrors to see properly behind you. It also doesn't have the break controller built in like on many trucks, so you have to have a separate unit added in.

The diesel has some scary behaviors that make it look like it is going to overheat on long grades especially in hot weather and Jeep has not put all the relevant temperature information in the digital dashboard to help with towing even though it would be very easy to do. Instead the Jeep has a digital version of an analog display temperature gauge which does not have any numbers on it and the "danger" zone can be reached even without overheating. Check out dieseljeep.com for extensive discussion of this. We decided to rely on the fact that the engine will slow itself down if it is really going to overheat. We have driven a lot of mountain passes and it hasn't yet.

So, for our money, we like the Jeep and for the first time ever bought an extended warranty to try to mitigate the reliability issues. When the six years are up, we can decide if we need to let it go.

I am sure you will enjoy what you get. I hope these notes give you some help with choosing.,
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:52 AM   #50
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A good comprehensive report. Thank you.
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:23 AM   #51
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Yes, good report.

I looked at and drove a Ram 1500 with the 3.0L Eco Diesel. I never got to tow with it, though reports are that it does fine, and gets great fuel economy. However, it felt kinda sluggish, and the finer details with instrumentation, fit and finish, and overall comfort seemed to be lacking. Not sure when Ram did the last upgrade on the 1500, but I think it is due.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:55 AM   #52
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Yes, big thanks, this is so helpful. did you get V-6 or V-8?
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:21 AM   #53
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Jim, I hear the next dodge generation is supposed to be 2017.

Sluggish, I guess thats on the gearing and ~250hp?
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:26 AM   #54
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Jim, I hear the next dodge generation is supposed to be 2017.

Sluggish, I guess thats on the gearing and ~250hp?
Lots of new stuff coming out in 2017. Ford is redoing the Super Duty to have way more towing capacity. Oh yeah, and the Bronco is coming back too.

I think the Ram just felt sluggish compared to the snapiness of the EcoBoost Fords which I drove first.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:45 AM   #55
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We have a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with V-6 which we use to tow our Escape 19. We have about 23,000 miles on it. We towed our Escape 19 about 5274 miles so far since picking it up in May (but who's counting?). We have been over the Rockies with our prior trailer, a 17 foot Aristocrat vintage trailer, and over the Sierra Nevada twice with the Escape and just returned from a trip to Bryce and Zion National Parks. I have been pleased with the towing. We get about 25 mpg on the highway without the trailer, and about 18 in the city. With the trailer, we get 16-17 mpg all the time. It's 16 when we go over the mountains, and 17 the rest of the time. We had one problem with it when we first got it with the rear liftgate and the dealer fixed it. Other than that, the only problem we have is that the infotainment system seems to lose some settings on occasion, but that's it so far. We also bought an extended service contract as we plan to keep it for 10 years. A particular positive is the 8 speed transmission. Its control is smart enough to realize that you are headed down a hill and it will downshift to help maintain your speed. I was driving down the Grapevine into the central valley of CA two days ago, and I had it on cruise control, and it was maintaining a speed of about 60-65 going down the steep grade into the valley. We usually travel at 60-62 mph. The speed started to increase so I applied the brakes which disengaged the speed control. The transmission continued to maintain the low gear so that the engine did most of the braking and I had to only occasionally apply brakes to keep the speed below 65 mph. It was like speed control but it wasn't engaged. I have experienced this before and I consider it a great feature of the transmission. I have also used the paddle shifters to downshift on occasion as needed and that also works fine.

In all, we are pleased with the JGC and look forward to many towing miles. This is not the first Chrysler we have had, as we had minivans for almost 30 years before getting the JGC for the extra towing capacity, rated at 6200 pounds vs. 3800 on the last minivan. Our experience with minivans was generally positive except for transmissions which seemed to go out around 80,000 miles. We are hoping that the new 8 speed transmission which was designed by a German company is superior to the usual Chrysler product. I would not hesitate to buy another JGC.

In towing through the mountains, we usually maintain a speed of at least 50 as we try to not force the engine over 4000 rpm. Its performance has exceeded my expectation. We debated getting the V-6 or V-8 and ended up with opting for the better mileage of the V-6 all the time vs. better towing performance when towing uphill. We are not sorry at all that we got the V-6. Of course, an Escape 21 would be more to pull than an Escape 19 but I can't say how much difference it would make.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:10 PM   #56
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Hello, we are in Placerville and in the east bay Alameda. I would really like to visit you and see what your Escape looks like. Thus far we have only seen pictures.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:26 PM   #57
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We live in Placerville and we have a Escape 21! You're more than welcome to come see ours. We are just off Cedar Ravine... Currently we are in Seaside, Or with it for the long MLK weekend... My cell is 707-339-2362 if interested...
Gary
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:49 AM   #58
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that's great. I drive down that road all the time going to the town. I am on ladies Valley rd off bucks bar. I would very much like to meet and have coffee with you guys. Let me know when your back in town. What made you decide to buy the escape 21. I am sure you did a lot of research. Was it price, construction quality, size, I would think all of the above ;-)
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:46 AM   #59
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U don't need the stabilizers arn't needed most if the times as the Escape are very stable UNLESS it's very windy and u will be glad u have them!
Gary
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:51 AM   #60
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Well, we had a Casita 17. Loved that trailer and its quality built. Too small so we bought a stick built 25' trailer that we watched deteriorate every time we used it! Started leaking and wasn't as easy to pull! We had sold our casita for more than we paid for it (as a multiple sailboat owner I know how to maintain fiberglass to new condition). So the larger Escapes with the same quality build (if not better!) sold us on the Escape ( especially reading the forums!!). I'll shoot u a note when we get back... Sure we know many of the same people!
Gary Coverdale
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