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Towing A 2014 Jeep Cherokee

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I am about to purchase this vehicle to be towed behind my motorhome.

There is discussion in the Forum regarding complications and bugs with some of the older vehicles.

Anyone have success (or trouble) with the 2014 Jeep Cherokee?

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There is a long thread in the Towing Section of the forum discussing the problems associated with towing the Jeep GRAND Cherokee. I would make sure there are differences in the transfer cases of the Jeep Cherokee and the GRAND Cherokee.

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We have just begun towing a 2015 Cherokee Trailhawk. Used Blue Ox baseplates with an Aladdin Towbar. Also used the Blue Ox diode kit for the lights. Since our MH has separate Turn and Stop lights, I installed Roadmaster HiLite 3 wire to 2 wire Stop and Turn converter.

The baseplate install on the Cherokee is significantly more involved than the install on the wrangler. You need to remove the front fascia and bumper from the Cherokee and be able to cut some fairly thick steel that is part of the bumper mount. I am pretty skilled and have the right tools and the job still took about 5 hours. Of course part of that was me being extra careful not to scratch my wife's brand new car that had less than 250 miles on it. :unsure:

At this point we have only towed about 100 miles but it seems to work extremely well. Cherokee tracks good and seems to be less impacted by cross winds and trucks passing on the interstate than the wrangler was. Shifting the transfer case in and out of neutral takes some practice but once you learn how it works seamlessly.

A couple of additional items. Not all Cherokees can be towed 4 down. Only the ones with the 2 speed transfer case can be towed with all 4 wheels on the ground. That means it must have either Active Drive 2 or Active Drive Lock (Trailhawk model only). Cherokees with Active Drive 1 can only be towed on a trailer (all wheels off the ground).

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While I apologize for the off-topic post, we just made the first LONG tow with our 2012 Liberty (new to us). Left Tucson on Tuesday and arrived in Detroit on Sunday (today). Never disconnected, just towed city to city and arrived 2200 miles later to an easy transfer case connection and quick start. Life is good! Now, since it's due to snow later this week I may find I like my 4X4 Jeep even more!

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We are looking at a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 for a TOAD. I am just wondering if there has been anyone with recent experience or new experience with the new "smaller" Cherokees ? I understand you have to go with the Trailhawk to get the manual transfer case with neutral. I have a Falcon II tow bar, but would likely have some professionally hook up the electrical and tow attachments. Are there any challenges with installation? Is the new Cherokee a good choice? Am I crazy to buy a new vehicle to tow? Should I expect a lot of wear and tear behind the coach? We have a 2008 Tiffin Pheaton if that matters. We just want to make the right choice in a tow vehicle and we will likely use it as second/third car when not in tow. Any insights?

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Providing an update. We now have almost 2000 miles on our 2015 Cherokee Trailhawk with about 500 miles towing. So far we are extremely pleased with the choice of the Cherokee as a toad. It tracks well and is easily pulled by our 2003 Winnebago Journey DL with 300hp Cummins. The car is also much more comfortable than our previous Wrangler and is replacing both the Wrangler and my wife's Ford Escape as her primary ride. We had hoped for somewhat better gas mileage, we are getting around 20 mpg in town. Also the auto stop start function takes some getting used to.

As I said in my earlier post, the install is more complex than the Wrangler but probably no more difficult than other vehicles that require removal of the front fascia to install the base plates. You do need the proper tools to do it yourself but any good shop will certainly be equipped for the job.

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We have "toad" a '14 Cherokee Limited with Active Drive II for over 10k miles since purchase in Nov '13 with no major problems. Roadmaster All Terrain and Stay-n-Play brakes behind a '13 Dutch Star.

Did all the install myself, including electrical. Thanks to Roadmaster for the online help on occasion. There are no heavy structural members behind the fascia, just an aluminum bar. The install went smoothly except for a bit of head scratching with the electrical when tapping into existing brake light circuits and such.

The only noticeable issue we have is that the MH exhaust kicks up road rubber, which deposits on the exhaust system under the Jeep and then burns off the first few miles after a tow, resulting in a hot rubber smell that dissipates soon. Caused us a bit of concern the first few times!

Great car to tow and comfortable for two people and the dog. It has gone off road with four people and two dogs and has performed flawlessly, towing as if it is not even there.

Good choice for a toad!

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I towed a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited with Active Drive II 4 wheel drive behind 2014 Tiffin Allegro Bus. I have towed this Vehicle over 6,000 miles and have experience the problems in Tech Talk April 2015 edition "Cherokee Limited towing". The problem I have experience while driving the Allegro Bus is:

When traveling down the road at moderate speed if the right rear wheels drop off the road onto the shoulder that is a few inches below the road height and you bring the coach back onto the road the unit rocks back and forth (left to right) and will not stop until you come to a complete stop. If you speed up the rocking becomes more violently. You can only drive a few feet with this condition. This happen twice last year and just recently on March 7 & 8 in Oregon on a highway that had long ruts made by Semi-Trucks. The coach started rocking back and forth even though the road smoothed out after a few 100 yards. I had to come to a complete stop to stop the rocking then start off slowly and build speed.

The Tech Talk article mentions that the Jeep Cherokee is at fault. Tiffin said to check the shocks, alignment, etc. I took my RV and Jeep to Kaiser Brake and Alignment in Eugene, OR. Kaiser found that the Allegro Bus Front Toe was not the same from left to right and aligned them both to 1/16". They made some changes to the caster and camber added shims to bring the tolerances closer together. They said that the Motorhome was probably not the cause for the back and forth movement and took a look at my tow car (2014 Jeep Cherokee). They did not have the alignment specification for this vehicle, something we owners need to get. The Jeep Cherokee is primary a front wheel drive vehicle. Kaiser noticed some light scrubbing on the front tires on the outside edge. They checked the toe and found it to be off. They adjusted both the left and right toe to -1/32" and front camber to -1/2 degree. Since these alignments have been made I have driven the two vehicles together only about 400 miles with no problems. I am leaving this week for Louisiana and will have more information is any concerning this problem.

For the tow bar I use Blue Ox BX7445 Class IV 10,000 lbs rating. Along with Blue Ox BX1135 base plates, and wired the jeep using 4 didoes. All worked performed by myself well the wife told me which lights were on when I was checking the wiring.

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We've had our 2015 Trailhawk for just over a month, absolutly no issues towing behind our Bounder. Like others have stated, the entire front facia is removed and cut on both sides to install base plates, not a job most would want to tackle. I installed Demco base plates in just under 4 hours. Now if only my wife will let me take it off road like we do with our Wrangler!

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Safety Alert: 2014/15 Jeep Cherokee owners who are dinghy (flat) towing. I now know of at least 5 other folks who are experiencing severe wobbling (swaying, shaking, etc.) while towing these vehicles with the Active II Drive (which are meant to be flat towed).

Here is my story: We purchased our Jeep Cherokee Limited in late April 2014 and started towing it around May 1, 2014 behind our Allegro Bus. We were replacing a 2009 Liberty that we had towed for 5 years with no problems over thousands of miles. This is the reason we stayed with the Jeep product.

We made a trip from Dallas to Yellowstone and back, to the Smoky Mountains and back (2 times) and a couple other short trips while towing the Cherokee with no problem except that pesky electronic parking brake that I still think comes on at times when it should not! Cost us a pair of rear tires already after my wife and I both looked to make sure it was off before hitting the road, but somehow it came on.

On a trip in Colorado in late September 2014 we hit a rough spot on the edge of a two lane paved road and the bus started shaking so bad I thought the front end had fallen out from under the bus. I stopped as soon as possible to check it out (fortunately no traffic). Found nothing wrong. Started up again and it still wanted to shake so I checked the towing apparatus and all was locked and good. Noticed the Jeep front wheels were slightly turned to the left. I straightened them and we went on with no problem the rest of that trip. Had another incident later on a local trip. Had to completely stop and start over.

Took it to the Jeep dealer. They checked front and rear alignment, etc. and found nothing wrong. I think they said they made slight adjustments. It has happened now about 5 to 7 times. These have all been at speeds of 45 mph or less. We cannot always duplicate the problem by driving over the same spot. You never know just when it will happen so the dealer has said there is nothing they can do since they cannot duplicate the problem. Basically to them it is not a problem if they cannot find anything and they cannot duplicate it. Like one person said in another forum while discussing this problem with his Jeep Cherokee, he did want to have to take his mechanic on a 1000 mile vacation trip just to try to get it to happen. This man checked everything on his motor, changed tire on his, changed or checked all his towing equipment, etc., Jeep alignments and it still wobbled when he hit rough spots! It is the Jeep!!

Since those of us who dinghy tow are a very small percentage of all the 2014/15 Cherokees sold, Jeep will probably not put much effort into this matter until there are enough accidents and injuries/deaths to bring notice. Please lets not wait to start an action to bring this to their attention. I can only imagine what will happen if this were to happen to someone while traveling on an interstate at a high rate of speed. I know how difficult it is to control the motor home at a slower speed when it happens.

This FMCA forum and others gives us an opportunity to get the word out to others who may be having the same issues. I have already met two others on the road who have the same problem and have found at least three more on forums (see the one above). I understand that some of you may not have this issue, but I suspect there are many others that are. Please start talking to other 2014/15 Jeep Cherokee owners who are flat/dinghy towing their Cherokees about this problem. If you or anyone else is having a problem we need to start a contact list so we can collectively get something done before someone gets killed. I am talking to everyone I see at a campground that may be towing a Cherokee and leave them my information or get theirs in the event they are having or will have a problem with what some call the death wobble.

I now tow a 2014 Silverado 4WD. We do not trust our 2014 Cherokee. I maybe just fine for everyday driving, but that is not the reason we purchased it. I hope you can get my contact information or leave me yours through this forum if you are having this issue.

Richard

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I have towed my 2014 Limited for the past year over some pretty rough roads and have not experienced any wobbling or shaking.

Regarding the electric parking brake, that should be disabled for anyone towing a Cherokee. Here is the procedure:

Go to Controls -> Settings -> Safety and Driving Assistance -> Electric Park Brake -> Auto Park Brake - uncheck this function

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I, too have experienced this rocking problem.

After towing the Jeep initially symptom free for 8,000 miles, I had this happen.

The Jeep goes out of control, rocking the MH back and forth.

This has happened three times under different circumstances.

It happens with different brands of motor homes, different chassis (front gas or diesel pusher), different tow bar systems, different braking systems.

The only constant seems to be that they are towing Jeep Cherokees.

I have logged a complaint with the U.S. D.O.T.

I encourage others who have experienced this to do the same.

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I am seeing more and more folks having the problem with the "wobble" when it hits the side of the road, go over a RR track at an angle, hit a rough spot in the road, etc. Not everyone has seen the problem, but when it happens to you, you WILL know it and be upset. It is the Cherokee, not the other equipment.

We now tow a 4WD Silverado since we cannot trust our 2014 Cherokee Limited to tow safely! When we return from this trip, I will be back at the dealer/Chrysler trying to get something done about all the money we have spent on a vehicle we cannot tow.

Think about it before you purchase one. It is a shame since these should be great vehicles for dinghy towing. Never had a problem with our Liberty.

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SBrodecki,

Would you please give me a call (214-912-9072) or email (richnors@flash.net) so I can continue to build a list of folks who are having this problem. I am working with Chrysler customer service on getting them to understand this is not just me or my equipment, etc. I need as much information as possible to pass along to them. They say that since they cannot duplicate the problem in the shop, they cannot fix the problem. As we know, they will never duplicate the problem unless they want to tow it for a few thousand miles. Our transmission has now quite working! They just towed it off today. This Jeep has less than 10000 miles. Any way If you will, I would like all the information possible to send to Chrysler so we can get something done or use the Lemon law or something to get our money back.

Thanks, Richard Norsworthy

I towed a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited with Active Drive II 4 wheel drive behind 2014 Tiffin Allegro Bus. I have towed this Vehicle over 6,000 miles and have experience the problems in Tech Talk April 2015 edition "Cherokee Limited towing". The problem I have experience while driving the Allegro Bus is:

When traveling down the road at moderate speed if the right rear wheels drop off the road onto the shoulder that is a few inches below the road height and you bring the coach back onto the road the unit rocks back and forth (left to right) and will not stop until you come to a complete stop. If you speed up the rocking becomes more violently. You can only drive a few feet with this condition. This happen twice last year and just recently on March 7 & 8 in Oregon on a highway that had long ruts made by Semi-Trucks. The coach started rocking back and forth even though the road smoothed out after a few 100 yards. I had to come to a complete stop to stop the rocking then start off slowly and build speed.

The Tech Talk article mentions that the Jeep Cherokee is at fault. Tiffin said to check the shocks, alignment, etc. I took my RV and Jeep to Kaiser Brake and Alignment in Eugene, OR. Kaiser found that the Allegro Bus Front Toe was not the same from left to right and aligned them both to 1/16". They made some changes to the caster and camber added shims to bring the tolerances closer together. They said that the Motorhome was probably not the cause for the back and forth movement and took a look at my tow car (2014 Jeep Cherokee). They did not have the alignment specification for this vehicle, something we owners need to get. The Jeep Cherokee is primary a front wheel drive vehicle. Kaiser noticed some light scrubbing on the front tires on the outside edge. They checked the toe and found it to be off. They adjusted both the left and right toe to -1/32" and front camber to -1/2 degree. Since these alignments have been made I have driven the two vehicles together only about 400 miles with no problems. I am leaving this week for Louisiana and will have more information is any concerning this problem.

For the tow bar I use Blue Ox BX7445 Class IV 10,000 lbs rating. Along with Blue Ox BX1135 base plates, and wired the jeep using 4 didoes. All worked performed by myself well the wife told me which lights were on when I was checking the wiring.

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I, too, have recently experienced violent shaking of my 2014 Jeep Cherokee being flat towed behind my 2013 Phaeton with the Roadmaster all-terrain package. It has happened twice on the same day. Very scary situation. This after several thousand miles of trouble-free towing.

The first time was over an uneven patch of repaired road. The second occurrence just happened out of the blue. I had to bring the rig to a complete stop to eliminate the rocking motion of the Jeep, which was clearly visible to me in the rear view camera. The only way to prove this major problem is to somehow figure out a way to record it when it occurs.

Jeep dealer won't acknowledge the problem. Roadmaster tech suggests attaching bungie cord from steering wheel to seat bracket with enough tension to allow the wheels to turn but also to keep the steering wheel centered. It's a shame to have to do stuff like this on an expensive car. I believe the problem is with the Jeep.

If it happens again, I will definitely sell the vehicle to avoid putting my family in such a dangerous situation. Dealer says they need to be able to duplicate the problem. Enough owners have had this problem and their separate complaints have duplicated the problem many times over.

Jeep needs to look into this immediately before it causes multiple serious accidents.

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I have a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, bought it for flat towing. I have a Roadmaster Stowmaster towbar, it weighs a ton, made of steel, hitch at proper height. I've had no problems.

I had a 2000 Jeep Wrangler before the Cherokee and a 2011 Buick Regal, both towed great. Had a Saturn before all of them, only had one incident, made a right turn off interstate ramp, Saturn dropped off the pavement. When it came back on the wheels were cocked to the left and wouldn't come back until I got out and straighten them. Hope I don't develop problems with the Cherokee, I'll trade it in fast if I do.

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OK, heres my tale,

I have a 2014 Latitude V6 with Active Drive II. While towing behind my motorhome on a 5000 mile trip last summer I experienced a severe side to side shaking in the front wheels of the Jeep about 7 times. Extremely intermittent, and difficult to diagnose at first (is it motorhome, towing setup, or the Jeep itself causing this?). Lots of moving parts here, but I am closing in on the answer.

The shaking is severe. I can feel it A LOT way up in the front of the motorhome. First time I thought the drive axle in the motorhome had come loose from the frame on one side! When it happens I stop immediately, of course, and inspect everything. Nothing appears wrong. This seems to occur when one of the front wheels on the Jeep goes over some raised area in the road (once when I took a tight right turn and the Jeep went over a curb, once after going over some white 1" high markers in the road) or perhaps a rutted place (once railroad tracks at an angle), but it is so intermittent it's hard to be sure of the cause, and I cannot reproduce it. It does seem to happen at lower speeds, seldom over 35MPH thank goodness.
At considerable expense I've had the motorhome thoroughly checked (first thought was it was the bushings in the track bar) and there is no problem there. I've replaced the tow bar and checked the geometry - no problem there. New tires and balance on the Jeep. Still no help.

Now I find I'm not alone. Another person wrote to a motorhoming magazine and he has had the same thing occurring. I suspect there are more to come.

Now, what's going on? Could this be related to the half shaft problems or other front steering things showing up on the KLs? Mine drives perfectly - no shake shimmy or anything EXCEPT this potentially dangerous thing when towing.

UPDATE - as shows above there are a lot more than just one having this... I am trying to put together an email list so we can coordinate our efforts and maybe get Chrysler to address this and find a fix. One other person with the problem has a video of it occurring, and gave me permission to post it. It can be found at https://youtu.be/UNmkr4dL1OE

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I've been following this thread on all the RV forums and it seems that folks with Jeep Latitude's and Liberty's are having the wobbling problems. Any Trailhawk folks having the same problem?

I hope I don't have to go through the flat wheel towing fiasco again. I had to fight with GM in 2011 with the Chevy Cruze situation when they advertised they were towable 4 wheels down and then came out 2 months later and said if towed 4 wheels down it would void the warranty, took 6 weeks to get my money back.

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I tow the 2014 Cherokee Limited behind a 45 foot 2012 Monaco and have experienced this totally frightening rocking at least 15 times. We are looking to trade off the Jeep right now. I WILL NOT TOW again. Last time it went into the rocking motion I was doing 55 MPH on a freeway with no place to get over. Don't know what I would do if on a bridge!

Has anyone received any assistance or solution from Jeep? This needs to be recognized and corrected before someone dies.

Steve

onefuzzyandk@yahoo.com

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  • Crash:No
  • Fire:No
  • Number of Injuries:
  • Number of Deaths:
Manufacturer: Chrysler (FCA US LLC)
Vehicle Identification No. (VIN): 1C4PJMCS9EW...
SUMMARY:

ON 10/18/2015, WHILE FLAT TOWING MY 2014 JEEP CHEROKEE AT APPROXIMATELY 60 MPH ON I-5 NEAR SAN CLEMENTE, CA BEHIND OUR RV, WE SUDDENLY EXPERIENCED A VIOLENT SIDE TO SIDE SWERVING SENSATION. WHILE WORKING TO CONTROL THE RV, I VIEWED VIA THE REAR CAMERA, THE CHEROKEE ROCKING SIDE TO SIDE, VIOLENTLY SHAKING THE RV. THE 2014 JEEP CHEROKEE IS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO BE FLAT TOWED BEHIND THE RV, AND WAS CONNECTED TO THE RV WITH A BLUE-OX TOWING SYSTEM. I HAD PREVIOUSLY TOWED THE JEEP CHEROKEE APPROXIMATELY 14,000 MILES PRIOR TO THIS EVENT WITH NO PROBLEMS. THE VIOLENT SWAYING CONTINUED THROUGH THE BRAKING PROCESS, AND DID NOT CEASE UNTIL THE VEHICLE CAME TO A COMPLETE STOP. AFTER STOPPING ON I-5, A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION DID NOT IDENTIFY AN OBVIOUS CAUSE SUCH AS A FLAT/SOFT TIRE ON THE RV OR JEEP, LOOSE OR DAMAGED TOW BAR. I SLOWLY EXITED THE INTERSTATE AND PARKED IN A SAFE LOCATION FOR A CLOSER INSPECTION. TURNING THE JEEP'S IGNITION TO "ON" WITHOUT STARTING, I NOTICED MY CHECK ENGINE LIGHT AND ELECTRONIC STABILITYCONTROL LIGHT WERE ILLUMINATED. AFTER CHECKING VARIOUS RV FORUMS, I DISCOVERED THAT OTHERS WITH 2014 JEEP CHEROKEES HAD EXPERIENCED THE SAME ISSUE WHICH SEEMS TO RESOLVE ITSELF AFTER STOPPING THE VEHICLE. I CONTINUED ON MY JOURNEY WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL PROBLEMS AND THE WARNING LIGHTS ON MY DASH RESET WITHIN A DAY OR SO. IT APPEARS TO BE A UNIQUE PROBLEM TO 2014 JEEP CHEROKEES ACCORDING TO VARIOUS RV FORUMS. MY 2014 JEEP CHEROKEE IS EQUIPPED WITH THE ACTIVE DRIVE II TRANSMISSION SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR FLAT TOWING BEHIND MY RV.

Above is a copy of my report filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration regarding my event flat towing my 2014 Jeep Cherokee. I had previously towed this vehicle nearly 14000 miles before experiencing this phenomenon. Is there any site with Jeep to register our concerns, or should we just contact the local dealership?

Dennis

dennisdoody@hotmail.com

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