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Who has had the problem with front wheel wobble due to the change to an electric steering on 2014-2018 Jeep Cherokee's with the Active Drive II option and had to have the Jeep front tow harness kit installed (kit instructions PDF on this post) on their Jeep Cherokee.

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We have a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that we flat tow behind our class A - no problems but not sure the Grand Cherokee has the same steering system as the Cherokee

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Our 2016 Cherokee was just fine for two years. Then two bad experiences this past fall. Jeep says it needs a flat-tow wiring harness and then a battery charger as the new harness keeps the power steering active during towing.

What type of charger is being used for those that have made the correction?

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On 1/19/2018 at 0:40 PM, C4fdr said:

Who has had the problem with front wheel wobble due to the change to an electric steering on 2014-2018 Jeep Cherokee's with the Active Drive II option and had to have the Jeep front tow harness kit installed (kit instructions PDF on this post) on their Jeep Cherokee.

Local Jeep dealer told us $128 for the harness and 1 hour labor. The noted PDF sure looks like more than an hour?

Doing the research now. My question is what to get for a battery charger as the system needs charging with the new harness when towing?

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12 minutes ago, pwick said:

What type of charger is being used for those that have made the correction?

pwick,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Easiest/most common way to keep the toad battery charged is with a charge line from your coach's chassis battery.

From coach chassis battery: Inline fuse, 8 gauge wire to tow electrical connection, 8 gauge wire from there to toad battery with fuse just before battery (yes, important to have fuse at both ends, since both batteries are "hot". Plus 8 gauge wire from  toad negative to chassis ground on coach.

This will charge the toad battery any time the coach chassis battery is charged (actually, will just insure that the voltage is the same).

If you want to only have the toad battery charged while the coach engine is running, just run this through a relay that is turned on by an ignition hot source in the coach.

 

You do NOT need a separate charger.

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Pwick I towed a 2015 Cherokee with the harness for two years and 15000 miles without a charger and had no problems. If you have a good battery the draw for a days drive is minimal, be sure to turn off system when you are in for the night. We usually unhooked and went out to eat every two or three days.

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This is John Johnston, associate editor at Family Motor Coaching magazine. The following information will be of interest to owners of Jeep Cherokee vehicles (model years 2014 to 2018) who need to obtain the Mopar Flat Tow Wiring Harness. The part is designed to prevent the Cherokee from wobbling when it is flat towed behind a motorhome. It must be installed by an authorized Jeep dealer.

Three Cherokee owners in different parts of the country recently contacted me and said they have had trouble finding a Jeep dealer who can obtain the wiring harness. One owner said he was told by Jeep Customer Service that there is a nationwide back order of 275 units and that the part will not be available until late spring or early summer. Another owner said his dealer told him that the part might not be available until July.

Fiat Chrysler has been vague, at best, about this issue. On Feb. 1, my Fiat Chrysler contact told me there is “adequate supply within the pipeline.” After I pointed out the problems the owners mentioned above were having, on Feb. 5 the same Fiat Chrysler spokesman told me: “Spoke with our folks at Mopar and there does seem to be some delay within the supply chain from the supplier itself.” I asked how long of a delay customers can expect. The response: “Long term, I can’t commit to any firm timeline.”

If you are trying to obtain the Mopar Flat Tow Wiring Kit from a dealer, this information may be helpful:

Part Number: 68321424AB

Technical Service Bulletin: #08-029-16 Rev A

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I have a fundamental problem with the way Fiat/Chrysler has handled this issue.  We have a '16 Grand Cherokee and don't have the death wobble issue so I'm not intimately familiar with the way the manufacturer has handled this.  Here's how I understand it.

  • Jeep sold these vehicles to customers stating that they are flat towable and the same is stated in the owner's manual.
  • Many customers who had purchased the Cherokee claimed of the Death Wobble issue.  Videos online support the claim.
  • Jeep investigates the issue and agrees with the problem.
  • Jeep's fix is that the customer is to purchase a wiring harness and have it installed at the owner's expense.
  • Some dealers are not aware of the need to retro-fit and other dealers claim the harness is not available at this time.  John's post above supports this statement.

To me, enough is enough.  I'm not a proponent of handling issues like this through the legal system but this certainly smells like a class action to me.  Had I spent 10s of thousands of $$s on a vehicle that didn't perform as promised and it was a proven fact that many others had the same issue, I might have a case.

Sorry for the rant......my two cents.

Blake

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We have a 2017 Grand Cherokee and in the last 7,000 miles of towing had the wobble twice.  There is a thread running on IR2 about this issue the Grand Cherokee and there isn't a fix for it but Fiat is working one but the problem is it took them two years to fix the problem in the Cherokee.  The wiring harness you talking goes on just the Cherokee and will not work on the Grand Cherokee.  The second time it accrued it was violent enough that we decided not to tow it 4 down anymore and purchased a 2017 Wrangler to tow 4 down. 

You own the Grand Cherokee you can get the death wobble and Fiat solution is not to tow 4 down but on a trailer with all wheels off the ground and that is the official responds from Fiat to CYA.

 

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CWSWine, were your wobbles at low speed when turning or at higher speed when going straight? What tow bar and base plate do you use? Is your tow bar height level to Jeep?

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They were turning at low speeds one was turning left and one right.  I use all blue ox tow bar and baseplate.  One was with my Cricket golf cart in the back and one without.   My tow bar is as close to perfectly level as I can get it less than 1 inch high. 

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Dennis.

I had heard there were issues with the '17 Grand Cherokee.  Sorry to hear.  Did Jeep change steering control from '16 to '17?

Ours is a '16 purchased new in July of '16.  Odometer has about 3400 miles on it but tires have ~15,000 miles.  Have not experienced the wobble.

Blake

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On 2/6/2018 at 8:53 AM, johnston said:

This is John Johnston, associate editor at Family Motor Coaching magazine. The following information will be of interest to owners of Jeep Cherokee vehicles (model years 2014 to 2018) who need to obtain the Mopar Flat Tow Wiring Harness. The part is designed to prevent the Cherokee from wobbling when it is flat towed behind a motorhome. It must be installed by an authorized Jeep dealer.

Three Cherokee owners in different parts of the country recently contacted me and said they have had trouble finding a Jeep dealer who can obtain the wiring harness. One owner said he was told by Jeep Customer Service that there is a nationwide back order of 275 units and that the part will not be available until late spring or early summer. Another owner said his dealer told him that the part might not be available until July.

Fiat Chrysler has been vague, at best, about this issue. On Feb. 1, my Fiat Chrysler contact told me there is “adequate supply within the pipeline.” After I pointed out the problems the owners mentioned above were having, on Feb. 5 the same Fiat Chrysler spokesman told me: “Spoke with our folks at Mopar and there does seem to be some delay within the supply chain from the supplier itself.” I asked how long of a delay customers can expect. The response: “Long term, I can’t commit to any firm timeline.”

If you are trying to obtain the Mopar Flat Tow Wiring Kit from a dealer, this information may be helpful:

Part Number: 68321424AB

Technical Service Bulletin: #08-029-16 Rev A

Update on the Mopar Flat Tow Wiring Harness, which is for 2014-2018 Jeep Cherokee (NOT Grand Cherokee): 

My contact at Fiat Chrysler told me this week (Feb. 22) that a new part is being produced by a new supplier. He said: "At this point the parts are in transit to MOPAR and will be available for order by dealers shortly (I am guessing in the next week or two). Looks like the part number will stay the same."

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I am new to Class A but went down and bought a 2018 Cherokee Trailhawk in Oct of 2017 because we were told this was a great vehicle to flat tow. As witnessed by these posts, have not been able to tow once. This has been upsetting. We have been told the harness will now be released March 1....

I was not aware I have to charge my battery. I also am not exactly the most mechanical person alive. Is there a charger you can buy? If you only go 200-300 miles a day would it be necessary?

Also because of the harness issue we do not have a towing mechanism yet. We need something simple. Most people have said to go with BlueOx but then I was reading somewhere else about a RoadMaster. Does anyone have thoughts of which one would be best for a rookie?

Thanks in advance!

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kt,

There a number of very good Tow Bars on the market. They all hook up in the same manner. connect the tow bar to the tow vehicle. Hook up the Safety Cables some are straight while some are coiled. Hook up the Electrical cable. Hook up the Safety Brake Away cable. As I said they are all similar.

For my self I will then back up the tow vehicle just to make sure to tow bar is locked in the extended position. I then go through the procedure of putting the transfer case into neutral, release the parking brake and place the shifter into F or R and rev the engine. This will tell me that I am truly in neutral. Turn off the engine, remove the key, fold in the mirrors and lock the doors. I can remove the key because my Silverado doesn't have a steering wheel lock and I have M & G air brakes and do not need power for a compressor.

Herman

 

PS: Just a side note, From all I have heard for Jeep owners here on the Forum, the only Jeep I would consider would be a 2 or 4 door Wrangler. Too many issues with The Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee. Again IMHO (in my humble opinion)

 

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9 minutes ago, hermanmullins said:

 Just a side note, From all I have heard for Jeep owners here on the Forum, the only Jeep I would consider would be a 2 or 4 door Wrangler. Too many issues with The Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee. Again IMHO (in my humble opinion)

Exactly. 

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Thanks Herman. I agree about the Cherokee situation. I got a little overwhelmed with the purchase of the motor home itself and did not do the proper vetting of the tow vehicle. I should have known better as the dealer was pushing it as the only vehicle he had on the lot that was 4 wheels down towable. It’s been 4 months now and we have only been “around the corner” as my wife has to follow me in the Jeep. Not what we had in mind when we decided to get the Class A....

It is beyond irritating...

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Also I am not placing blame on anyone but myself but in all of the magazines that have a “2018 Tow Guide” the Jeep Cherokee is still included on the list. Maybe it should include an asterisk that includes this info so other people don’t drop 50-60 thousand dollars on something they can’t flat tow. Hopefully the harness will come out March 1 and it will also address the “death wobble” I have been reading about. 

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Be aware that the FMCA towing guide reflects what the vehicle manufacturer says about towability four wheels down.  So, it is "tainted".

Some vehicles that are towable from a mechanical standpoint may not be deemed towable by the manufacturer, because corporate lawyers often hold sway over engineers when it comes to striking those that could be towed (from a mechanical standpoint) because of liability or warranty rears.  For many years, the Mazda PU and Ford Ranger were mechanically the same,  yet Mazda never recommended flat towing, while the exact same Ford did.

Heck, for 2018,  some models of Honda Civics are deemed towable, while others that are mechanically exactly the same are not-- likely just a breakdown in corporate communication.

And, sometimes, the engineers have done insufficient testing of flat towabilty-- it represents such a small percent of market, that it is not really subject to the same tough standards.  When was the last time you saw or heard of a Jeep engineer testing a new product by flat towing it behind a motorhome.  And, towing behind a motorhome is different than flat towing behind, say, a PU, as the tow vehicle's overhang leads to very different issues.

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Actually elk you bring up a subject I know nothing about. Would it be a mistake to buy a dolly or something that I would drive my 2 front tires of the Cherokee onto and tow it that way. Someone had told me that was not a good way to go...

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kt,

There are so many ways for you to tow a vehicle. They all have their good and bad points. Tow dolly, trailer, enclosed trailer or a 4x4 vehicle ( however not all 4x4s' are the same).

In your case, if it was me, I would look for a really nice Pre-Owned  small 4x4 crew cab pickup. Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, Ram and + + +. With each of these you have the capability of towing 4 down and being able of exceeding 65 MPH without issues, Seating for 4 + adults, and last but not least you can get a TRUCK and be a cowboy:D at the same time .

There are a number of pre-owned vehicle that are towable 4 down with out  4 wheel drive. An older model of the Honda CRV, a Saturn Vue and the Buick Enclave. All are nice  SUVs and towable 4 down (65 MPH max speed, you can exceed that for a very short distance but not continuous).

Good luck,

Herman 

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