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 > Help: Towing A Jeep First Time

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DallasSteve

Texas

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Posted: 09/01/20 11:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2020 Jeep Wrangler and it is hooked up behind my motorhome to tow for the first time. I am going through the steps in the owners manual. I shifted the transfer case into Neutral. The dashboard says the transfer case is in Neutral. Then I started the car. They say to shift into Reverse and see if it moves. I think it did move a little. Then to shift into Drive and see if it moves. When I shift into Drive I get a light grinding noise. Now I'm in panic mode. I'm trying to call the dealer. Do you know what I should do next? Did I just break my new Jeep?





mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 09/05/20 08:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The transfer case, when in Neutral, will make a little noise when the transmission is in gear with the engine running. That is normal. Any gear grinding noise is not normal. It may mean that regardless of what the computer says, the T-case is not fully in Neutral. This could possibly be a linkage problem.
IMO, you should take it to the dealer and show a mechanic what is going on; set the parking brake, put the T-case in neutral, and with the engine running put the tranny in Drive, let the mechanic (technician) listen to the noise you are hearing. Insist on a mechanic, not the service department counter clerk!
It is quite likely you will find that the noise is nothing to worry about.


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travisc

Pacific NW

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Posted: 09/05/20 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Test your light, park lights on rv and flashers on rv should do the toad lights pull the pin on the breakaway switch make sure it/activates your braking system think if you need remote tpms for the Jeep that has temperature too.


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DallasSteve

Texas

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Posted: 09/05/20 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the replies. The dealer called me and I also got a useful reply on a Jeep forum. The reader said that if the door is open the vehicle will try to shift into Park. I had the door open when I hear that light grinding noise. I tried again with the door closed and everything seems to work as designed. I have been able to tow the Jeep several hours on several days and I haven't heard the grinding noise any more.

I did make one bad mistake and I added an item to my checklist. When I was unhooking the Jeep I did not set the parking brake. When I unhooked the hitch pin the Jeep rolled into the RV and damaged some trim. It could've been a lot worse. Now I have that on my checklist.

mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 09/05/20 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I unhook my Jeep from the motorhome, the first thing I do is unlock the doors, put the transfer case back in High Range, and the transmission in First Gear. THEN, and only then, will I unhook the towbar.
I don't even use the parking brake when hooking up. Connect the towbar, put the transfer case in Neutral, the transmission in 6th gear, set the ignition switch, and lock the doors. I never have to worry about not releasing the parking brake, because it isn't set to begin with!
It works for me, you do what is right for you.

DallasSteve

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Posted: 09/05/20 11:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mowermech wrote:

When I unhook my Jeep from the motorhome, the first thing I do is unlock the doors, put the transfer case back in High Range, and the transmission in First Gear. THEN, and only then, will I unhook the towbar.
I don't even use the parking brake when hooking up. Connect the towbar, put the transfer case in Neutral, the transmission in 6th gear, set the ignition switch, and lock the doors. I never have to worry about not releasing the parking brake, because it isn't set to begin with!
It works for me, you do what is right for you.

That sounds like a good plan. I'm also concerned I might forget the parking brake and tow the Jeep with the brake on. My parking brake seems to be very strong so I would probably notice, but you never know.

georgelesley

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Posted: 09/06/20 05:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DallasSteve wrote:

mowermech wrote:

When I unhook my Jeep from the motorhome, the first thing I do is unlock the doors, put the transfer case back in High Range, and the transmission in First Gear. THEN, and only then, will I unhook the towbar.
I don't even use the parking brake when hooking up. Connect the towbar, put the transfer case in Neutral, the transmission in 6th gear, set the ignition switch, and lock the doors. I never have to worry about not releasing the parking brake, because it isn't set to begin with!
It works for me, you do what is right for you.

That sounds like a good plan. I'm also concerned I might forget the parking brake and tow the Jeep with the brake on. My parking brake seems to be very strong so I would probably notice, but you never know.


We do the same. Hook up to tow bar first, then do prep for towing Jeep. No need to use parking brake.that way. Also on our 2019 Cherokee the owners manual is wrong on procedure. It says to shift into park with engine running then turn off engine. Doing it that way will cause some gear clash. I shut off engine first, then shift to park, no gear clash. I got that tip from the Jeep forum.

We also do a final check to be sure all four wheels are turning when we do our lite check. DW pulls forward a few feet while I watch the toad tires and check the tow bar is locked. Last month after camping I inadvertently had the door open when setting the Jeep up for towing. Yep, the rear wheels did not turn when we did our check. First time in five years of towing a car that ever happened. I guess that is why we check it every time.


George & Lesley
2014 Itasca Sunova 33C, 2019 Jeep Cherokee Lattitude Plus toad, Demco/SMI towing system

rjstractor

Maple Valley, WA

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Posted: 09/06/20 08:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DallasSteve wrote:

mowermech wrote:

When I unhook my Jeep from the motorhome, the first thing I do is unlock the doors, put the transfer case back in High Range, and the transmission in First Gear. THEN, and only then, will I unhook the towbar.
I don't even use the parking brake when hooking up. Connect the towbar, put the transfer case in Neutral, the transmission in 6th gear, set the ignition switch, and lock the doors. I never have to worry about not releasing the parking brake, because it isn't set to begin with!
It works for me, you do what is right for you.

That sounds like a good plan. I'm also concerned I might forget the parking brake and tow the Jeep with the brake on. My parking brake seems to be very strong so I would probably notice, but you never know.


I towed a 1988 Dodge Colt Vista AWD wagon (a crossover way before they were cool) almost 100 miles with the parking brake on-once. I did not feel it since I didn't have the brake on hard, but those drums were sure hot! As you (and I) have found, a missed or wrong step when connecting or disconnecting a toad can be expensive, disastrous or both. A procedure where you do it exactly the same every single time eliminates this. If it helps, have a partner go through it with you, as long as said partner won't distract you. You don't want to stop and do something else in the middle of the procedure. I started with mine written down, and as I got used to doing it I could run through it in my mind as I performed the steps. When I was done I would mentally run through the list again. After that one incident I never had a single problem hooking or unhooking.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 09/08/20 03:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DallasSteve wrote:


That sounds like a good plan. I'm also concerned I might forget the parking brake and tow the Jeep with the brake on. My parking brake seems to be very strong so I would probably notice, but you never know.


Be careful. I sense a TON of apprehension in every post of yours.

On another note, not sure who "they" are, but NEVER try to shift a transmission out of park or neutral while the t-case is in neutral and engine running.
If Auto Park was trying to grind the trans into park with the door open that is a horrible feature.
You can disable auto park a few ways. 1 tuner to remove the feature. 2. Just have the drivers seat belt buckled (it will override autopark if you open the door in gear). 3. Unplug the door power connection (like you're removing the doors). 4. It is automatically disabled when in 4 lo.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

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