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Our Jeep KJ Cherokee friends at the EU/UK can now tow with an N46 legal hitch solution.  It would be great to have Paul, Laney and MikeK share their towing experiences with the new Tow-Trust hitch and ball receiver...Let us know your impressions of the hitch for towing and please share details on any additional tow equipment that is either mandatory at the UK or your personal preference for safe towing. 

 

Please note the trailer weight.  Janet Brown shared earlier that the tow capacity of a KJ Cherokee at the UK is ample!  Some, like Janet, tote live cargo, and horse toting is a unique challenge!  We live at horse country in the Far West.  (If you like horses, enjoy my short video on wild horses at northern Nevada!)  I have been around horses and horse trailers since the early 'sixties.

 

Take a peek at my article on towing a Jeep-toting trailer behind the magazine's heavy-duty hauler.  This Dodge Ram 3500 4WD truck with 5.9L Cummins turbo-diesel power has towed trailer weights to 8,500 pounds and is capable of towing far more.  There are devices that I consider essential for trailering safety, experience accumulated over four and a half decades of trailering.  Curious how you approach towing, trailer brakes and controllers, tie-downs and overall trailering safety at the UK.  What's required?  What do you like in the way of additional trailering equipment?  These are useful topics to discuss!

 

I'm also very curious about the KJ Cherokee (our Liberty) diesel engines and their overall performance.  Many KJ owners have the diesel option at the UK and EU.  This is a higher tech, common rail diesel.  It would be valuable to share your insights around these engines and trailering.  Would someone care to start new topic related to turbo-diesel KJ power? 

 

Note: I have considered "swapping" a 2.8L VM Motori KJ Liberty turbo-diesel engine into our 1999 XJ Cherokee (U.S. predecessor model to the KJ Liberty/Cherokee).  The engine would replace a 4.0L inline six gasoline powerplant.  Would I be disappointed?  Totally satisfied with the torque character?  Your thoughts?

 

Let's look forward to a much better KJ Cherokee experience at the U.K. in 2015!  Tow-Trust has certainly changed the course as we turn this discussion toward towing at the U.K./EU and the U.S.  Looking forward to sharing our experiences!

 

Happy New Year to all our friends across the ocean!

 

Moses

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Hi Moses, a little bit of info regarding the 2.8crd engine (not enough to start a topic?) and you may know already.  I remember when I was looking into getting one there are two versions.  They're both 2.8(not the earlier 2.5). One has 146 bhp 266 lb-ft torque the other 161 bhp 295 lb-ft. I don't know what was done to make the difference.

 

Cheers.

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Laney, very interesting!  The U.S. counterpart for your "Cherokee" is the "Liberty".  In 2005-2006, the CRD 2.8L turbo-diesel rated 160 horsepower and the 295 lb-ft torque you describe.  This is at a respectable 3,800 rpm for the horsepower peak.  The quick torque rise of a diesel brings in peak torque by 1,800 rpm!

 

The lower output version you mention could be an exhaust emissions package variation, though the performance figures are closer to the 2002-2003 2.5L turbo-diesel first offered in the U.S. as a "49-State" emissions engine.  That powerplant rated 141 horsepower and 253 lb-ft torque.  I remember this engine on display at Camp Jeep and touted as the Liberty's highly fuel efficient alternative.  It did not meet California emissions requirements and was only available for "Federal" EPA or 49-State sales.  The 2.8L turbo-diesel shows up in 2005 with its higher performance level. 

 

This 2.8L VM Motori engine became a J8 Egyptian military Jeep powerplant in a chassis and body similar to the Jeep JK Wrangler (2007-present).  Many at the U.S. speculated that the package would be a Jeep JK Wrangler option.  Unfortunately, this engine would not meet U.S. emissions demands. It never appeared in the U.S. version of the Jeep JK Wrangler, and the VM Motori 2.8L diesel disappears from U.S. engine options with only limited sales in the Liberty.  Do you know what year UK/EU Cherokee models offered these two diesel engines?  Were diesels a significant portion of the overall sales in your Jeep KJ market?

 

Thanks for the insight, Laney.  Do you have a 2.8L diesel-powered Cherokee?  If so, what do you think of its performance?  The engine output "numbers" look good, especially the torque.  My 1999 XJ Cherokee's 4.0L inline six-cylinder engine rates 190 horsepower at 4750 rpm and 225 lb-ft torque at 3950 rpm.  While this sounds impressive for peak power, the rpm for achieving this horsepower and torque is unrealistic for real world driving conditions.  (At open highway cruise, this engine typically spins around 1900-2100 rpm in overdrive.  This is well below power "peaks".)  By contrast, the 2.8L diesel matches the realistic engine speeds for this vehicle or a later JK Jeep Wrangler.

 

How does your KJ Cherokee perform while towing?

 

Moses

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Hi all

I will being towing shortly with my new tow bar and will give a response to how i get on. I will also look at my 2.5 crd specifications and place them on here.

When the 2.8L CRD came here it was offered with a 6-speed manual box (kj) and also higher in road tax pricing. At the time I was considering to buy one but was put off by the high road tax against my 2.5 road tax at the time.

I remember a face lift model with front and rear bumpers altered along with the indictors. Most of the changes were only minor with the 2.8 engine being the big difference. The market forces changed not long after that with the recession coming and the last cherokee here was the next model which was a bigger vehicle and did not really sell in big numbers as the market here was changing.

The jeep range today is not large and has a new baby jeep in the line up called the Renegade which is powered by 1.4 ,1.6 and 2.0 units. We still have the cherokee and grand cherokee models with the proper jeep wrangler i think on special order.

Here are my Jeep KJ Cherokee details:

Make and Model: Jeep KJ Cherokee Sport 2.5L CRD Engine

Year: 2005

Kerbweight(Kg): 1977

85% (Kg): 1680.45

Towing Capacity (Kg): 2688

Towing Capacity (Lbs): 5925

Today i towed for the first time on the new tow trust bar and found it to be slightly different than my old witter bar .The caravan hitch head was easier to fit on to the tow ball as the length of the bar holding the ball attachment was longer than old tow bar (rear wheel carrier overhang),thus allowing the placement of the caravan head to ball easier. I also noticed on the road that the overall weight at the rear was better due to the bar being positioned outside of the bumper (the older bar was under and inside the bumper(fender). I will do a complete test on a road run when i go on vacation later as I will be traveling on motorways, which throw up all sorts of issues when towing...

I don`t use any weight distributing equipment and only load my vehicles to manufacturer's recommendations. I do have a anti snaking device fitted (incorporated in van) and the caravan has brakes fitted (braked trailer). The weight of the caravan uploaded is 1200kg, which is a good balance with the Jeep.

Cheers, Paul

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Sounds good, a relatively light caravan package with brakes, good for the KJ, safe for towing, Paul!

Your anti-snaking device, is that like our sway control? Is this a friction brake at the tow yoke of the caravan to help prevent whipping? Here's the U.S. Drawtite version of a sway control: http://www.draw-tite...nk0vinEnFq6tMQe. The device is basically an adjustable friction brake that goes between the trailer (van) yoke and the hitch mount, alongside the ball.

Moses

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Hi Moses, the anti snake you use in the U S A is like some of the stablisers used here. This is a friction pad on bar unit attached to the van and vehicle by brackets: http://www.bulldogsecure.com/view/bulldog-200q-anti-snake-stabiliser/9.

Today all new caravans have a AL-KO unit fitted as standard which uses friction pads in the head (no grease on tow ball head) and a sensing unit fitted to the van to adjust either wheel brakes to bring the van back into line.

My van is fitted with the AL-KO system and i have yet to experience a snake action when travelling. I have driven at the legal trailer speeds here on the motorway (60 mph) and the trailer(van) has remained solid , side winds are controlled (large vehicles passing) making the towing feel safe at all times. The alko stabliser set up is excellent and provided you mantain the head friction pads gives you safe anti snake towing within the legal speed limits. I have to say i have never towed above the legal limits but feel sure the set up would cope with it.

Towing since 1978 first car a Lada 1200 with Ci cadet caravan drove to jona groats (SCOTLAND) and back what a first tow experience!

http://www.visitjohnogroats.com/

Cheers Paul

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Paul, the Al-Ko is a very impressive device, a passive (automatic) brake controller that uses the trailer/van's brakes.  Applying just the trailer brakes is a known safety measure when towing, but in the U.S., we must apply this manually by using the electronic brake controller's auxiliary hand/manual brake apply lever.  This of course requires a distractive move, with one hand reaching for a brake controller lever that is typically mounted at the lower ledge of the dash board.  The driving scenario is typically a 6%-8% downgrade with a fully loaded trailer pushing against the tow vehicle and wanting to run over the top of it—euphemistically referred to as "the tail wagging the dog".
 
I've not heard discussion of the Al-Ko device in the U.S., but it should be marketed here.  The automatic application of the trailer's brakes is a major safety advantage.  The concept is clearly proven, and the delivery method is very sensible.  Some quick questions:

 

1) What does this system cost? 

2) Did you install the system yourself?

3) Does the sensor rely on battery current from the tow vehicle? 

4) Is there a battery backup on the van/trailer, too? 

5) If the van/trailer should uncouple (accidentally or in the event of a collision), would the Al-Ko brake system apply the brakes?* 

 

*Your trailer likely has its own brake apply for when/if the van/trailer uncouples from the tow vehicle.  We have that safety feature in the U.S. systems: a battery source on the trailer chassis activates the brakes when a cable connected between the tow vehicle and trailer pulls a pin switch on the trailer. If the tow vehicle and trailer should separate, the cable pulls the pin, and the trailer brakes apply.

 

The size van/trailer illustrated in your Al-Ko video is very practical.  In the UK and elsewhere, the use of camping and lighter trailers has been popular for a long time.  At the U.S., there has been a tendency (obsession?) with bigger travel trailers or RVs, and that trend has gradually yielded to the currently popular "lightweight" trailers.  While the big "fifth wheel" trailer still has a ready market with higher gross weight vehicle truck owners, many of us have our sights set on the lightweights.
 
We will be acquiring a travel trailer and know that 26' is the limit, more likely an RV trailer in the 23' range with a slide-out.  We have a rather stout tow vehicle, the Dodge Ram 3500 4WD.  These trucks have traditionally towed trailers in excess of 12,000 pounds trailer weight (5443.1 kg), though I've never pulled a loaded trailer over 8,500 pounds (3855.5 kg) with our truck.  My wife and I reason that the truck's health and lifespan does not warrant any heavier loads. 
 
Fuel efficiency drives our decision, too.  I can tow 8,000 pounds and get 12-13 mpg (U.S. gallon).  A trailer in the 5,000 pound range would increase fuel efficiency to around 16-17 mpg (U.S. gallon).  Overall weight is the decisive factor.
 
Some questions about a UK "caravan":

 

1) What is the length of your trailer?

2) Do you find the interior space adequate for your kind of travel and overnight stays?  

3) Do you stay where there are hook-ups and is the van "self-contained" if you want to park without hook-ups?

4) What would be the longest (number of days) and furthest trip you might take with the van?

 
Thanks for sharing, this is very interesting, Paul!  The Al-Ko video is very helpful for understanding this safety device.
 
Moses

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Hi moses I have taken note of the questions raised in your last post i will now look into trying to answer them  from uk point of view ,thanks for inviting us over to this forum to continue with a new topic and i look forward to adding to it

 

Cheer Paul

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Hi Moses

 The lenght of my caravan....20ft  9inches and 7ft 6ins wide.The caravan is a 2 berth unit with a end bathroom fitted with shower etc.The interior space is well arranged and allows us enough space to move arround in.The van is fully fitted to run with a hook up provided the batery (115amp )holds out along with the gas bottles.We have stayed on site like this for 5days but normally go on hook ups and hard standing sites.We are intending to travel to europe this year hopefully.This might take us away for moth to 6weeks

dependaent on what we wish to do.We will both be retired then so time is of no concern I have this week had a electric mover fitte to the van to make it easier for us to park or move arround on site ...........https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFVQqzlJgzE....   This will be under test on first run this year.

I will enquire as to the cost of the al-ko system when i visit the caravan show in feb and hopefully they will be there. I did not install the system the caravan came fully fitted at time of purchase as does most new van if not all now The system is powered via the towing vehicle ,when the connection on the van is connected to the vehicle tension is applied onto the rear axles to check and monitor the vans brakes from start up .A green light appears on the A frame cover of the van to inform you alls well and ready to go.The time taken to complete the check(done by on board cpu unit) is seconds and does not stop you from going about other connections ,you just check the light is green before moving off.should  the van uncouple ,then provided the snap saftey  wire line has been put in place(this should always be in place arround the tow ball hitch) then the van would have the brakes applied automatically ( I hope this never happens to me) .Care at all times when towing has to taken and keeping  with in the legal speed limits should keep all safe .Maintain of the car and van are also of high concern to reduce posible problems on the journey.

 

I will report on new mover after first trial on site

 

Cheers Paul

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Very insightful, Paul...Some comments below...Moses

 

Hi Moses

 The lenght of my caravan....20ft  9inches and 7ft 6ins wide.The caravan is a 2 berth unit with a end bathroom fitted with shower etc.The interior space is well arranged and allows us enough space to move arround in.The van is fully fitted to run with a hook up provided the batery (115amp )holds out along with the gas bottles.We have stayed on site like this for 5days but normally go on hook ups and hard standing sites.

 

This is much like the approach we take in the 'States.  20-feet is a good length for two people and looks just right for a KJ Liberty/Cherokee.  I used a "toy hauler" for covering an event in the Mojave Desert (2012 King of the Hammers Ultra4 Race at Johnson Valley), and the camping was strictly "dry", meaning no hook-ups whatsoever, fully self-contained for five days.  I was prudent in the use of the battery/electrics, the trailer had two deep cycle 6-volt RV batteries wired in series for 12V.  That worked out well, I used the onboard generator on day three to top off the battery charge for an hour.  Propane for the stove, water heater and heater, which was floor forced air.  All-in-all, this was a good arrangement, though I slept alongside my Honda XR350R motorcycle (thankfully, no gasoline fumes whatsoever, this arrangement is what a toy hauler typically provides).  The trailer was 26-feet in length and had two lift-up bunks, a kitchen, bath and storage area for the OHVs (off highway vehicles).  Many families use a toy hauler to tote kids, gear and an OHV, either ATVs or dirt motorcycles.

 

We are intending to travel to europe this year hopefully.This might take us away for a month to 6 weeks dependent on what we wish to do.We will both be retired then so time is of no concern I have this week had a electric mover fitte to the van to make it easier for us to park or move arround on site ...........https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFVQqzlJgzE....   This will be under test on first run this year.

 

How fun!  You drive through the "Tunnel" to Europe?

 

I will enquire as to the cost of the al-ko system when i visit the caravan show in feb and hopefully they will be there. I did not install the system the caravan came fully fitted at time of purchase as does most new van if not all now. The system is powered via the towing vehicle, when the connection on the van is connected to the vehicle tension is applied onto the rear axles to check and monitor the van's brakes from start up. A green light appears on the A frame cover of the van to inform you all's well and ready to go.The time taken to complete the check (done by on board cpu unit) is seconds and does not stop you from going about other connections, you just check the light is green before moving off.

 

Good safety backup with the onboard CPU signals.  When you visit AL-KO, please ask if they have a North American market and distribution.  We'll want to share that information.  Also, I'm curious whether there is a limit to the size trailer/caravan that AL-KO will serve?  It would seem not, as the system works with the trailer/caravan's own rated electric brakes.

 

Should  the van uncouple, then provided the snap safety wire line has been put in place (this should always be in place arround the tow ball hitch) then the van would have the brakes applied automatically. (I hope this never happens to me.) .Care at all times when towing has to taken and keeping within the legal speed limits should keep all safe. Maintain of the car and van are also of high concern to reduce posible problems on the journey.

 

Yes, we use that safety cable, too, it is mandatory equipment on trailers with electric brakes.  And I agree: You never want to see the cable need to apply!  Your comment about hooking the safety brake cable properly is important...

 

I will report on new mover after first trial on site

 

Cheers Paul

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Hi Moses

  I will go to europe via ferry crossing depending on which part i wish to go to .I will enqire at the show on the al-ko stand if they are showing no problem .I am loking for touring aboard infomation also and this is where to find the information .I will also need to update my europe needs for travelling (new requirements if any) to keep with in the law,certain things have to be carried (like full set of bulbs etc) Have made a list of what i need to follow up on so i just wait for show now (17th feb)

 

Cheers Paul

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Thanks, Paul.  The ferry ride should be interesting, I trust you won't get sea sick!  The regulations at Europe would be a concern.  In crossing the U.S., we contend with minor differences in state laws.  Though the area you'll cover is less than the U.S., you will experience differences in nationalities and languages!

 

Looking forward to your findings on Al-Ko...I'm sure you will enjoy the show!

 

Moses

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hi Moses

 I have spoken to al-ko at the show and they have given me this site in north america  http://al-kousa.com/811.htm .There is also a video on on the page regarding al-ko , just click the view peoduct at bottom of page.I also visited Tom at  his tow-trust stand at the show and he was very busy and informed me that kj bars we selling well.

  I also went to the jeep stand and mentioned my concerns regarding there after sales sevice and the N46 recall.The rep did take down my concerns and said he would pass    them on .Again now real answer to the problem from chrysler/fiat.I also met 2 Kj owners during the show and they were heading to tow trust to place orders for tow bars having read the topic on the forum so the word is getting out slowley. All in all a very nice day at the show with plenty of general information available.

I will be off end of week for vacation with my new towing set up and will report back on my return

 

 

Cheers Paul

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Hi, Paul...Thanks for the inquiry with Al-Ko.  Great that they are a presence at North America, and well they should be!  Many RV/trailer owners will value the technology.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the show, Paul...Sounds like fun, I'm pleased that Tom and Tow-Trust are doing well...

 

Moses

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Hi moses

I forgot to mention that the al-ko anti snake unit are only available as a pre set up at manufacture of chassis as the unit is intergrated with the axle and chassis.the

complete unit comes with the chassis and axle on a new trailer.you are not able to purchase the set up as a after market add on .All new caravan s here if using a al-ko chassis have the set up on from new (like mine)I am not sure who in the states uses the al-ko chassis on there trailers this might be worth looking at.

 

 Cheers Paul

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Thanks, Paul...You did mention earlier that Al-Ko is factory installed on UK/European caravans...I will look for the Al-Ko on North American market RVs (travel trailers like your caravans)...We have large RV shows locally, and manufacturers display their products.  I will watch for the Al-Ko.  It should be popular and marketable!

 

Moses

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