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Towing A 2014 Jeep Cherokee

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Hi Folks, I have to reply to the forum on towing a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited. After reading all the input from members it finally

shows me that I am not alone with problem of a terrible wobble from my Jeep. For the first few times this happened we thought that the front end of the 2014 Tiffin Allegro RED was the problem, but after having it checked over no issues were found with the coach, at the time we had only 5000+/- miles on the coach and had been towing a 2012 CRV with no problems at all.

Until I found all this information on this forum I still was not sure if it was the Jeep or the towbar assy, which is a Blue Ox and had been perfect on the Honda. We towed the Jeep to Montana from Maryland in May this year and had the experience two times out and two times coming back, having to completely stop to stop the wobble, but as was noted by someone else

in a previous article I was able to see the car rolling side to side in my rear camera the last time it occurred, so it was then apparent that the front wheels were steering back and forth causing the movement to be transmitted to the coach.

We do carry two Kayaks on Thule Hullivator racks, and that does add some weight to the car. I briefly thought that might be the cause of the wobble, but many notes here have changed my mind on that. Just this morning I had the 2014 Jeep Limited to the dealership where I purchased it last February, to have some recall programs fixed, and asked if any one knew about this problem. A gentleman who was working there said he had heard about it. I mentioned that I was thinking about changing the tires from Continental Procontacts to Firestone Destinations as they might help the problem.

The gentleman said not to do that but to increase the air pressure to 50# in all the tires before towing as that would make the

car trac better and stop the rolling, and that Firestone would not support doing that, but Continental would. I have not done that as we haven't towed recently and will not be for some time. The car handles perfectly when driven with never a wobble, but obviously the wobbles have taken a toll on the front tires as they are scuffed badly when this occurs.

As I am not a computer expert I'm not sure how to add this to the forum items. My e-mail is degroodtralph@yahoo.com.

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Hi, We are new to FMCA and RV'ing in general. We also have a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit that we would like to tow behind our new to us RV. I dont trust myself enough to take the front end off of our Jeep! Does anyone have recommendations as to a good place (hopefully California), to get a complete tow set up and installation?

Thanks in Advance for any advice!

Kirby And Marilyn Dixon

2000 American Eagle and Jeep

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We towed a 2015 Trailhawk over 10,000 miles last summer no problems. Made a "cheat" sheet to take it in & out of neutral the instructions in manual are not the best. Not happy to hear about transmission problems.

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Hello all! New to this site but after reading about the Cherokee "Death Wobble" problem I became real interested in joining in on the discussion. This last November I bought a 2015 Cherokee Limited (Active Drive II) with plans to flat tow behind our MH. Have since purchased all the Roadmaster gear to install on the Cherokee but have decided to wait until I have any info regarding a fix for this problem. Honestly, loosing control of my MH while towing the Cherokee scares the !%X? out of me! Chrysler says that they are aware of the possible problem but that I would need to start with the Jeep dealer for their diagnostics on my problem. I explained to Chrysler that there will not be a problem to diagnose unless the conditions for the wobble are encountered. They said nothing they can do without dealer input. I called the dealer I bought the vehicle form and spoke with the service manager. He told me that he was unaware of the problem but would investigate and get back to me. Yesterday I called Roadmaster to see what they knew about the problem, after all they manufacture and sell tow gear for the Cherokee and could be liable for an accident as a result of towing. I was told by Roadmaster Technical Support that Chrysler has been working on a fix for about eight months now with no solution. Before I sell or trade-in this Cherokee with all of 550 miles on it has anyone received an update from Chrysler on a fix? Thanks in advance for any input.

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We have a 2015 Jeep Trail Hawk which is caught up in the "harness war" that is going on with the electronic steering on 2014-2016 vehicles causing the Jeep to sway from side to side and wobble feeling like your motorhome back end is coming off.

We happened to hear of this 3-4 weeks ago through FB page and have been trying to get Fiat Chrysler association (FCA) to respond to us as the customer service kept saying no,,,,,, no service bulletin is out and there was one both in February 24,2016 # 08-022-16 and again in March 17,2016 # 08-029-16 as well as the Jeep dealers had not been notified.

Looks like the issue might have been identified in September 2015. Never was notified by Jeep of the issue at all and we tow most of the year and specifically bought this vehicle per owners manual that it was good to go. Finally heard back from Jeep today ( Mike Fairo) after 6-8 calls to FCA and we are "in the system" and supposedly might have the part in May-ish.

Would be great as we leave for 6 months again if it is in fact installed at that time. Sounds like the members of FMCA are on a list as we had a case number assigned to us. I know that they have been installed in Harrietsburg, MS, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and one was being installed this afternoon in Sherman, TX.

I've even called the local Austin TX dealers and they said there are NO parts available per their computers and are stumped at how some parts are being delivered. Jeep clearly says in the revised owners manual ( never got one of these sent to us with the update): DO NOT tow these vehicles until the harness is installed. Hopefully they will clear this up and we can go back to conserving both the gas and mileage costs driving 2 vehicles as well as improve the safety and reduced risk of injury to others as well as to our RVs.

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Pam,

This sound like the same thing that happened with Norcold. They advertised in every RV magazine "If your refrigerator Serial number fall between XXXX and XXXXXXXXXXXXX SHUT OFF THE UNIT AND CALL 1-800-ohmygosh". They would then set you send your recall kit to XYZ dealer. Nothing would happen till you contacted them. (they also said you would receive a $50.00 Gift card for your troubles, I don't know anyone that got the card)

So it sound that your call to FCA did the job.

Are you'll members of a Chapter? We are members of Lone Star Chapter and have 5 Rallies each year. All of our Rallies tend to be through the center of Texas, from Durant, Ok to Rockport, TX.

We will be in Rusk at the KOA April 21-24 and in Palacios at Serendipity RV Park in May 19-23 [bobbie and I are Assistant Wagon Masters]. Love to have you and anyone else that would like to come and join us. Just PM me and I will have the information sent to you.

Hope you get the Jeep fixed and ready to go soon.

Herman

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We now have over 50 folks on our list that have had serious problems with flat towing the 2014-16 Jeep Cherokees. FCA has finally decided that the Cherokee is the problem and not the towing equipment or something we are doing. They have decided that the issue is the electronic steering. Since the power is off while towing, it will not always straighten back to the center position.

They have finally come up with a wiring harness system that will allow the electronic steering to keep the tracking centered after hitting a rough spot in the road, etc. At least that is the hope! Several on our list of owners now have their harness installed and so far have not reported a problem, but it is early in the process. If you want on the list let us know.

If it has not happened to you, it will. Please get the wiring harness installed before this causes you to have a serious accident. Please contact (EMAIL OWNER REQUEST EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED) to get on the list to get the harness and get it installed.

Personally I would not purchase one until I found out whether this will work or not. Also, the new Grand Cherokees now have electronic steering. Wonder what is going to happen with them!

FMCA has provided great support once we got enough folks complaining and my wife and I posted the video of what happens. Good luck to everyone and be safe!

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Hi Folks, Ralphs here, and we do tow a 2014 Jeep Cherokee limited, we use all Blue Ox tow gear and a RVbrake for the car. Every thing we have has been towed for some time, out to Montana last summer and back and forth to FL., and ready to head for Mt again in a month but this time we have the Jeep modified with the wiring harness that controls the steering damper to avoid the wobble that has happened to us seven times. The job was done in Fl. at Palm Chrysler Jeep and took about 3 hrs as they had not done one before.

The folks at Fiat Chrysler were very good to work with, always called back, obviously were concerned about getting the problem fixed. I had jumped on the FMCA band wagon, and I am very glad I did as they have done some fine work getting Chrysler involved with the problem. The people at Palm dealership in Punta Gorda Fl. were on board, with contact coming from the service manager to me.

My contact at Chrysler never failed to call back and was really good at getting the parts sent to my dealership. Since this mod. was done, I have only towed 450 miles so may have to wait a bit longer to be sure it is working, but I feel quite a bit more secure now when we are towing.

The mod comes with one item that is different than the original instruction and that is the need to place a fuse in a holder by the battery before you tow, but after you have done all the standard instructions in the manual. Then when you stop for an overnight

you should remove the fuse to avoid battery drain, and then reinstall it before you tow again in the morning. Also an aside is the use of a battery charger powered by the coach to insure the car battery does not go down while towing. I had installed one from RVBrake company while I was towing a Honda CRV, and didn't want to pull fuses every time we started out. Works well and I power it from the tail light feed on the coach plug, as I always run with the lights on for safety.

I am grateful to Fiat Chrysler for the way they have handled the problem and to the FMCA for chasing the issue for all the members who do tow these new generation of Jeeps.

The car is really nice to drive and is a joy to tow .

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Thanks to FMCA Forum, I'm scheduled for the "Death Wobble" fix. A call to FCA Consumer line yesterday, and the fortunate connection with Jennifer, who knew exactly what I was talking about, resulted in a return call today from FCA, telling me that sufficient parts are expected by the end of April. I've been assured that I will receive a call verifying my then-current location, and that the installation will be completed at no charge to me. Both reps from FCA were very courteous and helpful. I don't want to be skeptical, because the "Death Wobble" is certainly an attention-getter, and I want it fixed asap!

Anyway, it appears that help is on the way.

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Well, just got back from a 5000 mile round trip, on all sorts of rough and smooth roads. I have a 2014 Jeep cherokee trailhawk. I did not encounter any "death wobbles" going down the road. I did miss a turn off to a RV campground and had to go down where I could turn around with my 40ft MH and Jeep. In doing so the jeep dropped off the road shoulder and when I pulled around to go back to the campground entrance the Jeep was starting to wobble. I slowed down and it stopped and I went on.

I've had no other problems, it follows me perfectly. I also keep a cheat sheet in glove box to aid me putting the trans. in and out of towing mode.

My hitch on the motor home is aligned very well with the tow bar on the jeep which is a road master stow master 7000, very heavy, in fact, it is getting heavier or I am getting weaker!

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We had the fix installed in Florida in March and have towed 1400 miles since installed and it works!!  Not one wobble over some of the worst roads I can remember, every one would have caused the wobble before, but Cherokee follows right with us, and no problems. 

I hope everyone with the Cherokees will have the fix installed as soon as possible so they can enjoy the Jeep as we are now. 

It is a great car, tows as it should, thanks to FMCA folks who pressed Chrysler to get the fix.

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I have a 2014 Jeep Cherokee "Trailhawk" that I have towed about 18,000 miles. I experienced the wobbling last summer, on a trip to Alaska. The roads were frost heaved and somewhat irregular when this happened. It has never happened on smooth, interstate type roads.

More disturbing is that, while having the Jeep serviced, the technician noticed that the weld on the structural beam, where the Blue Ox baseplate attaches, was completely sheared. After complaining to FCA and service shopping around, I finally got my original dealer to agree to replace the beam under warranty. When I brought it in they discovered addition broken welds in other frame components. My Jeep has been in the shop for three days, basically getting a new front frame installed. I should be noted that the structural beam replacements are made of steel, not aluminum like the originals.

If you have towed a Jeep Cherokee, go to a service center to have it checked for broken welds in the frame. You cannot tell the frame is broken when towing or when driving, only an inspection will identify this problem. Both Blue Ox and Jeep are aware of these problems. Blue Ox redesigned the baseplate and sent me a new one, although they won't commit to paying for the install. The wiring kit to power the steering while towing is still not available, but jeep says this week, (we'll see).

This is potentially a real safety issue and probably warrants a recall, but, so far, Jeep seems to want to keep it quiet. My dealer alluded that this is not an uncommon problem.

Hope this info is helpful.

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Important information for owners of 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokees who flat tow that vehicle behind a motorhome:

 

Owners of 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokees should begin receiving notices about updated flat-towing procedures from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US (FCA) starting today, April 22, a company official told Family Motor Coaching magazine. The notifications will be sent via U.S. mail. Cherokee owners in Canada also will be notified by mail “in due course,” according to an FCA official. The notifications will include revised towing procedures, which also appear in updated online user guides and owners manuals. The user guides and owners manuals can be accessed at www.jeep.com/en/owners/manuals/.

 

Once customers receive notification from FCA, they may contact their certified Jeep dealer to have a Mopar flat-tow wiring kit installed. The wiring kit is designed to resolve a problem that sometimes occurs when 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokees are towed four wheels down behind a motorhome. Owners have reported that under certain operating conditions — such as traveling bumpy or poorly maintained roads — the Cherokee sometimes wobbles significantly, raising safety concerns. The only way to stop the wobble, owners have said, is to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

 

The cost of the wiring kit (parts and labor) is approximately $218, FCA said.

 FCA officials said that the wobble occurs because the vehicle’s electronic power steering system is inactive while the Cherokee is being flat towed with the ignition in the “off” position. As a result, the vehicle does not benefit from the system’s function.

 

The flat-tow wiring kit already has been made available to some Cherokee owners. An FCA statement said: “FCA US has begun providing service to certain customers who advised the company of this issue before a solution was developed. That solution is now available for all in the retail environment. Going forward, customers intent on flat towing are urged to follow the revised user guide instructions and contact their dealers.”

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Many thanks to all who have reported this wobble problem.  I've been looking for a vehicle that I can both tow and is easy for seniors to enter and exit.  The Cherokee appeared to be a prime candidate to replace my Wrangler, but thanks to all of you, I'll be looking elsewhere.

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Glad to see FCA is owning up to the problem, but I am not paying $218. for them to fix the problem. Mine has never wobbled except turning around on a secondary road and the Jeep dropped off the blacktop and when coming back on it started. It has been a good flat towing vehicle.

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I am in Canada and we just received the notice last Friday (April 29).  It does not say we have to pay - but it does not say they won't be charging us.

We took delivery in Nov 2013.   I noticed one comment in another forum that seemed to imply that this problem was created AFTER a change was made to the steering system.  

We have only towed 2014 Limited ADII  for 1500 miles and have not experienced the problem.    Does anyone know if, in fact, there was a change to the steering system and whether or not the flat tow wiring kit will be necessary for early models?  

We traded a 2011 Ford Escape because of the constant axe over our head with the frequently reported transmission burnouts.    I almost went for an Edge but decided Ford did not deserve the business (they too over the Lube Pump for the Escape from Remco and the dealer quoted us $6000) and went for the  Cherokee.   No I wonder if that was a big mistake.  We have had the differential and a half shaft replaced because it would not engage 4WD when the transmission fluid was warm.  

 

Thanks

GR

Edited by Grandriver
spelling error

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11 hours ago, retiredblade said:

Glad to see FCA is owning up to the problem, but I am not paying $218. for them to fix the problem. Mine has never wobbled except turning around on a secondary road and the Jeep dropped off the blacktop and when coming back on it started. It has been a good flat towing vehicle.

I took the Cherokee in for the R39 recall today.   They had the parts when we were home from Florida in December but over a 10 day period they could not find an opening to do it (amazing that a car dealership service department is staring to look like an RV dealer service department).  The Cherokee has been parked in our garage while we were in Florida over the winter.   Anyway, I enquired about S13.  The dealer could not tell me with any certainty who pays. They suggested I call FCA.  

 

I called FCA Canada and got the runaround I expected.  They cannot tell or will not tell me if there was a steering change after ours was built.  All they would say is that you were sent a card that should go in your manual - full stop.   Now, it is pretty clear that if one tows without this modification and there is a accident, FCA will say look - it says on the addendum to the manual that you should have this flat tow wiring kit installed.  Wonderful.   IMO they should be paying for the kit AND should be doing or covering the cost of the power connection from the motorhome to the battery.   What do you folks think?

 

GR

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GR,

Yes, an "opinion question".

So, my opinion is that they should do the update kit for the Jeep to make it safe to tow. It was represented that it WAS safe to tow when purchased.

 

But, many newer models require a charge line from coach to toad, particularly those with electric auxiliary brakes.  IMO, this is not FCA's responsibility.

Here is how to do it:

In-line fuse at both coach chassis battery and toad battery. 8 gauge wire from each battery to either separate plug or incorporate it into a toad plug with more prongs.

You will also run an 8 gauge wire from coach chassis ground to toad battery negative.  Can use a heavy gauge separate 2 wire connector or as mentioned above incorporate it into a male/female toad plug with more prongs.

If you often dry camp and sometimes do not disconnect the toad electrical connection, the above set up can continue to drain chassis battery. An easy modification is to use a 40 amp relay (under $10 at any auto parts house). Come off the chassis battery, through the in-line fuse to the relay.  Use an ignition hot source to close the relay to send power to the toad.  Now, it will only charge when the coach ignition is on.

If you do it yourself, total cost should be under $25.

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On 5/2/2016 at 1:20 PM, Grandriver said:

I am in Canada and we just received the notice last Friday (April 29).  It does not say we have to pay - but it does not say they won't be charging us.

We took delivery in Nov 2013.   I noticed one comment in another forum that seemed to imply that this problem was created AFTER a change was made to the steering system.  

We have only towed 2014 Limited ADII  for 1500 miles and have not experienced the problem.    Does anyone know if, in fact, there was a change to the steering system and whether or not the flat tow wiring kit will be necessary for early models?  

We traded a 2011 Ford Escape because of the constant axe over our head with the frequently reported transmission burnouts.    I almost went for an Edge but decided Ford did not deserve the business (they too over the Lube Pump for the Escape from Remco and the dealer quoted us $6000) and went for the  Cherokee.   No I wonder if that was a big mistake.  We have had the differential and a half shaft replaced because it would not engage 4WD when the transmission fluid was warm.  

 

Thanks

GR

A Fiat Chrysler US spokesman says the company recommends that the accessory kit be installed on all 2014-2016 4x4 Jeep Cherokees that will be flat towed.    

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4 hours ago, FMCANationalOffice said:

A Fiat Chrysler US spokesman says the company recommends that the accessory kit be installed on all 2014-2016 4x4 Jeep Cherokees that will be flat towed.    

I realize what they said but what I've found over 50 years of dealing with the D3 is that their left hand often doesn't know what their right hand is doing.  From what we can see, what FCA did is mail this notice to at least every buyer of a Cherokee with Active Drive II.   My sales guy has ALL the emails stored from my purchase where I made it very clear I was buying a vehicle that can be towed flat and which has a transfer case.  I wanted something with no towing problems and NO need to connect a power line.   That is what was held out to us and he will support it.   Wolfe, that is why I disagree with you opinion.  I don't care if other vehicles require a power connection - I bought something what was not supposed to require such connection.  (BTW I know of and respect your RV knowledge Wolfe having been a very early member of the CAT forum about a decade ago.  In fact, I relied on your opinions more than any others.  I was the guy who found out from the CAT reps at the Tampa show that one of their fellows monitored our forum.   That is when I "outed him" and that worked well since it was great having a CAT employee in the group.  So far back now I can't remember his name.)

There are other issues to be considered as well.  How about someone in Florida who has a summer vacation all planned an many payments made. He is taking I-10 and then working his way north visiting places like San Antonio, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Yellowstone then back via Moab, Durango, etc.   He and his wife will be gone from June 1 to July 31.   They have made a lot of deposits, many not refundable without a loss.  They have plans to meet family members from the west coast.    Now, this scenario is hypothetical but keep in mind RVers have and are planning all kinds of summer activities.  How the devil is one to plan when you don't know if you can tow your Cherokee because they can't tell you when you are going to get the flat tow wiring kit.   We have planned a trip at the end of May.  No hope that our dealer will get the kits since they go to the US first - just like the new Pacifica. So we won't be going and DW isn't very happy.  

Given how long it took FCA to admit it had a problem I think it should NOT be getting off easy.   FCA may not like my view but their attitude and reactions for many months demonstrate why they are struggling and recent articles in the financial pages have suggested they might not be around in a year or two (which I sincerely hope is not the case). I live in the Windsor area and our other vehicle is a Town & Country and they employ a lot of people here (assembling the Caravan, T&C and now Pacifica) and throughout their organization in North America who just don't deserve a repeat of their earlier nightmare.

My nickels worth anyway  (can't say 2 cents with since we got rid of our pennies in Canada). 

GR

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received the following from FCA on the flat towing issue with shakes and wobbles:

 

"Customer may experience vehicle shake while recreational towing/flat towing over rough roads.  If customer is experiencing vehicle shake while recreational towing/flat towing, a Mopar Accessory kit (68321424AB) is available to improve flat tow towing behavior.  Owners may contact their local dealer for purchase and installation.  The Mopar accessory kit 68321424AB provides power to the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system to allow the vehicle to benefit from this system during recreational towing/flat towing.  Otherwise, the EPS system is inactive during recreational towing/flat towing."

I requested this response after receiving a page to insert into my owners manual with no real explanation for the change or if you installed an unidentified wiring harness what it does.  This answer does not address whether the wiring harness also allows for battery charging while towing that the manual says needs to be done.

 

FYI..............rafjef

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I personally like the Demco wiring harness with build in diodes. Pop the tail lights out plug everything in and run the cable to the front. Connect to RV and hit the road.

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On 9/8/2014 at 6:46 PM, Elkhartjim said:

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.

I called the Jeep manufacturer and the model I have is made to tow 2011 Jeep Grand Gherokee Laredo 4 x 4  Trailrated. I have towed it almost 10K miles.

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