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Important Towing Information: 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokee

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On 3/7/2017 at 1:54 PM, bobged said:

Yes I am using the RVibrake Towed Battery Charger https://rvibrake.com/products/towed-battery-charger?variant=8804388741  I have received information from other KL owners that have somewhat automated the activation of the wiring kit so the fuse can stay inserted all the time.  As soon as the snow clears and I can get my coach out of the driveway, I'm going to do set mine up in a similar fashion.

This might be a little difficult to explain, but let me try.  The RVi charger has a line that runs from the coach to its charging module.  On a Freightliner chassis that line is ONLY hot when the engine is running.  It then runs to the RVi charger module that monitors the state of charge of the towed vehicle's battery, and adjusts the charging rate from the coach accordingly.  That module also has a diode in it so the towed vehicle's battery cannot backfeed through the module.  This is designed so the towed vehicle battery is not drawn down in case the coach batteries fail.

However this diode also can come into play with the Mopar wiring kit.  I am going to remove the kit's fused wire from the power distribution panel and attach it to the RVi wire between the coach and the RVi module.  This will allow the fuse to remain in the line at all times as it will only be activated when the towed is connected to the coach, and the coach's engine is running.  When the coach engine is shutdown there will be no power to the towed and the fused line in the toad will be deactived.

I will still need to use the switch in the center console, but if I'm just stopping for the night and not starting the Jeep, I can leave it in the up position over night.

I haven't personally tried the above yet, but hopefully will be able to in the coming week.  I'll report back on how my initial testing goes.

I have a new Cherokee with the modification installed.  When the Blue Ox tow plate is being installed, i am having the RVi charger unit also installed.  I'd be interested in hearing if the powering modification described worked as planned.

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I have a 2017 Cherokee Trailhawk with the switch mod installed.  We also have a charge line from the Entegra and that seems to keep the battery fine.  My problem is once the toad is detached from the coach.  Something in the AF1 is killing my battery.  Hard to believe it is the brake light indicator (which is on randomly) but that appears to be the issue. 

Can't find any other reason for the dead battery.

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On 4/5/2017 at 0:40 AM, rhalay said:

I have a 2016 Cherokee, and just got the fix installed by the dealer. They insisted they didn't know anything about the issue; we even explained that we were shown by our sales person how to set it up to tow. After many calls to Jeep Corporate customer service, who then contacted the dealer and set up the service, it was installed at no cost to us.

When checking out at the dealer, the clerk said that he had seen several of these being installed there!

Warning, the battery on the car does die while in tow. We will now look at that issue.

We went through all the same routine from the dealership and even Jeep corporate.  We finally got our wiring harness installed and added a battery charger (powered through the #6 pin of the umbilical cord from the coach).  

So...  we're set up with an AirForce1 braking system and RoadMaster tow on our '17 Jeep Cherokee Limited.  The cost of all this and the aggravation not only in making sure we have all necessary components to tow but more so, in the steps required to hitch up and unhitch, make me regret selling our '98 Wrangler.  All we had to do to tow it was wire the lights/brakes and hook it up (using BlueOx).  Because of it's weight, we didn't need an auxiliary braking system...  hitching & unhitching was easy-peasy...

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On 1/22/2016 at 10:18 AM, FMCANationalOffice said:

This is John Johnston, associate editor at Family Motor Coaching magazine. I contacted an official at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) about the above questions. Apparently there was an internal misunderstanding at FCA regarding when the Jeep Customer Assistance Center would start taking questions about the wobble issue. But that has been straightened out, according to the FCA spokesman, and FCA product specialists are now available to take questions at (877) 426-5337. (877-IAMJEEP). As for what Jeep Cherokee owners are supposed to do until the modification is made, this is the Fiat Chrysler response: "All owners will receive updated instructions starting next month. These instructions supersede any previously communicated information -- including that which is currently in customer hands. FCA US apologizes for any inconvenience." I asked for clarification on when next month the updated instructions will be available. The FCA spokesman's response: Late February. "But be assured our supplier is indeed tooling up." If anyone calls the Jeep Customer Assistance Center about the wobble issue and finds that the FCA rep doesn't know what you're talking about, let me know, either by posting here or emailing me at jjohnston@fmca.com.

John, if you're still monitoring this topic could you perhaps contact the folks at FCA to see if they are still pursuing this issue with the latest Cherokees and Grand Cherokees? We bought a new '17 Grand Cherokee Trail Hawk last October and started towing it this past spring. We've had the wobble problem at least a half dozen times since. At first I thought we had developed a problem with our Allegro Bus until I started researching the problem. I'll try calling FCA Customer Assistance tomorrow.

Thanks for your help with this!

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We just purchased a 2018 Jeep Cherokee Trail Hawk two weeks ago.  In the process of getting set up to have the tow bar plates and wiring installed we were told we needed to get the flat tow wiring kit.  Sure would have been nice for them to tell us when we bought the vehicle.  We even had the January 2017 FMCA magazine with us while checking out what could and could not be flat towed.  Some were a real pain having to pull fuses.  We decided on the Cherokee and now found out there is another costly step before we can tow.  If Jeep knows it's an issue why are they not installing the fix on the vehicles?  I've been reading thru all the comments and have not seen anyone address the 2018 model yet.

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On 9/10/2017 at 6:42 AM, nelsons1948 said:

this is the Fiat Chrysler response: "All owners will receive updated instructions starting next month. These instructions supersede any previously communicated information -- including that which is currently in customer hands. FCA US apologizes for any inconvenience." I asked for clarification on when next month the updated instructions will be available. The FCA spokesman's response: Late February. "But be assured our supplier is indeed tooling up." If anyone calls the Jeep Customer Assistance Center about the wobble issue and finds that the FCA rep doesn't know what you're talking about, let me know, either by posting here or emailing me at jjohnston@fmca.com.

We have never received squat from Fiat (surprise??).  We did add the wiring harness and battery charger, go through 16 steps to prepare for tow and detach from tow (that's 16 times two).  Had we known of this issue, we would have gone with another vehicle or kept our '98 Wrangler...  This is on top of other issues with this Jeep and poor workmanship...  

 

Fiat has indeed bought Jeep and made it a...  uh, a fiatsco...  remember the K cars...?

 

Revisited.

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On 3/7/2017 at 0:54 PM, bobged said:

Yes I am using the RVibrake Towed Battery Charger https://rvibrake.com/products/towed-battery-charger?variant=8804388741  I have received information from other KL owners that have somewhat automated the activation of the wiring kit so the fuse can stay inserted all the time.  As soon as the snow clears and I can get my coach out of the driveway, I'm going to do set mine up in a similar fashion.

This might be a little difficult to explain, but let me try.  The RVi charger has a line that runs from the coach to its charging module.  On a Freightliner chassis that line is ONLY hot when the engine is running.  It then runs to the RVi charger module that monitors the state of charge of the towed vehicle's battery, and adjusts the charging rate from the coach accordingly.  That module also has a diode in it so the towed vehicle's battery cannot backfeed through the module.  This is designed so the towed vehicle battery is not drawn down in case the coach batteries fail.

However this diode also can come into play with the Mopar wiring kit.  I am going to remove the kit's fused wire from the power distribution panel and attach it to the RVi wire between the coach and the RVi module.  This will allow the fuse to remain in the line at all times as it will only be activated when the towed is connected to the coach, and the coach's engine is running.  When the coach engine is shutdown there will be no power to the towed and the fused line in the toad will be deactived.

I will still need to use the switch in the center console, but if I'm just stopping for the night and not starting the Jeep, I can leave it in the up position over night.

I haven't personally tried the above yet, but hopefully will be able to in the coming week.  I'll report back on how my initial testing goes.

Did you ever do this?   How did it turn out?   Does it work?

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In reference to MARCRV post of Apr 20, 2016, I have just had my 2014 Cherokee repaired at a reputable body shop.  They found that the welds on the aluminum frames on both sides of the jeep had been completely broken off.  Anyone towing a jeep Cherokee needs to take it to a dealer for repair.  It is only a matter of time before these jeeps begin breaking loose from being towed and crashing into something.  My guess is that had I been going 200 miles instead of 40, I would no longer have a jeep Cherokee.

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On 9/7/2016 at 2:46 PM, kdrv said:

I have experienced the wobble in with my Cherokee Trail Hawk too.  I am using  SMI AirforceOne controller with the wiring kit that provides power to the towed vehicle with the ignition off.  The Jeep dealerships that I have contacted to make the modification are hesitant to make it because they are unfamiliar with the SMI.  Is there anyone there with this configuration that has been successful?

I too have the SMI AirForce One and I have never had a problem with the kit.  I towed my 2014 Cherokee for 2 years with the death wobble occasionally and then I had to pay to have the modification installed.  I have not had any wobble in the past year so the mod does work.  I have towed the Cherokee for about 12,000 since the mod was installed.  I have even towed my Cherokee for 3 straight days and it started right up when I disconnected from the coach.  However, the aluminum frame that the tow bar base plate attaches to, has completely broken off after 39,000 miles of towing and has also completely ruined my Blue Ox Aventa tow bar.

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When I had my first Wobble event with my 2017 Grand Cherokee I felt that it could cause damage to the mounting points and in the back of mind I didn't think it would safe to tow it  long term.  I felt strong enough that I went out purchased a 2017 Wrangler to replace it as a toad.

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Our 2015 Jeep Latitude was one of the first tow vehicles to receive the wiring harness thanks to the assistance of John Johnston and FMCA. The Jeep towed well for about 15,000 miles until we were on the 405 fwy in LA during heavy traffic going 55 mph when the wobble happened again.  The fix apparently isn’t sufficient or permanent.  The Jeep is unsafe to tow and we are once again seeking a solution.  

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We purchase a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and just recently encountered the wobble problem. We have never received any notice from FCA or anyone regarding this problem. We took it into the dealer and they knew nothing about it. They had to research it and the told us we would have to pay for it at over $700.00. I told them no way, this is a jeep problem and jeep must pay for it. They said they would contact Jeep and see if they would pay for it. We took it in for this problem on March 17, 2018. To this date May 7th we still don't have an answer and I have called the service adviser several times to get answers. Anyone have any ideas of what to do or where to go to get this taken care of.

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Just had the wire harness installed on our 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

Now I have to take six additional steps to tow this vehicle. One is to open the hood and put a fuse in. This is not what I was sold and I did not buy it to have to do such ridiculous things.

If you make a mistake while doing it, it will cause system faults which will take more time and steps to clear the faults. Some of the faults will take multiple steps to clear.

Not a happy camper right now.

Going to send a letter to Jeep and contact a lawyer. Keep you posted.

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zara.

Jeep is Dodge and Dodge is Fiat and Daimler!  2 International Companies...who you plan on suing and where?  International courts are in Holland, only in America is there such a thing as a Lawsuit. 

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Hello Gary, the frame plates are broken on my 2015 Cherokee.  You had a body shop repair them, did FCA do anything for you?  I had the wobble twice on the way to Alaska, very violently, and now am sure it was this that caused the frame damage. 

I am curious how many others have had frame damage, have any Jeeps broken free when towing?

Glen Hermanson     Abbotsford, BC  

Edited by glenandmarty@gmail.com
Add more info and questions.

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On ‎1‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 1:33 PM, FMCANationalOffice said:

Fiat Chrysler today (January 20, 2016) released the following information exclusively to Family Motor Coaching magazine.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC (FCA) has announced plans for resolving a problem that sometimes occurs when 2014-16 Jeep Cherokees are towed four wheels down behind a motorhome.

FCA released a statement in response to inquiries by Family Motor Coaching magazine and concerns of a number of Jeep owners who reported problems when flat towing their Cherokees. The owners reported that the vehicle sometimes wobbles significantly, raising safety concerns. The wobble reportedly has occurred at slow speeds and at highway speeds, and has happened with a variety of motorhomes and towing systems. The only way to stop the wobble, owners have said, is to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

The FCA statement said: “Under certain operating conditions, such as traveling excessively bumpy or poorly maintained roads, the flat-towed vehicle may not consistently track in line with the tow vehicle.” The cause, according to the statement: “The vehicle’s Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system is inactive while the vehicle is being flat-towed with the ignition in the ‘off’ position. Accordingly, the vehicle does not benefit from the system’s function.”

A Jeep official said the company knows of several dozen Cherokee owners who have experienced the problem. For those owners, FCA will “provide a complimentary jumper wire harness and switch to ensure the vehicle’s EPS system has power to function while it is being flat-towed. These components have been engineered and validated by FCA US LLC and will be made available to all customers through MOPAR, as early as January 29. In addition, all Cherokee owners will be contacted directly by FCA US and provided with updated instructions for flat-towing. These instructions supersede all previous instructions. Also, the vehicle’s online owners manual will be updated.”

Family Motor Coaching brought the problem to the attention of Fiat Chrysler in September 2015 after an FMCA member contacted the magazine and provided a link to a video showing a Cherokee wobbling as it was being towed behind a motorhome. FCA assigned engineers and technicians to investigate and resolve the problem.

For more information, Cherokee owners can call the Jeep Customer Assistance Center at (877) 426-5337.

I recently purchased a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee to tow behind my motorhome. After reading a number of older 2016 posts regarding what's been described at the "death wobble" and the parts needed to fix this issue, a Mopar Flat Tow Wiring Kit, I can't find any reference to this part or any recent posts about this issue. I'm going to call the Jeep Customer Assistance Center, but can you provide me with the latest about this issue. I haven't  tried to flat tow my Grand Cherokee as I am concerned I may damage it. Thanks.

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14 hours ago, wworsham said:

I recently purchased a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee to tow behind my motorhome. After reading a number of older 2016 posts regarding what's been described at the "death wobble" and the parts needed to fix this issue, a Mopar Flat Tow Wiring Kit, I can't find any reference to this part or any recent posts about this issue. I'm going to call the Jeep Customer Assistance Center, but can you provide me with the latest about this issue. I haven't  tried to flat tow my Grand Cherokee as I am concerned I may damage it. Thanks.

The Mopar Flat Tow Wiring Kit was designed specifically for 2014-2018 Jeep Cherokee only, NOT Grand Cherokee. 

Grand Cherokee Quadra-Trac II/Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive models can be flat towed, according to the owners manual. In 2017, FMCA heard from several Grand Cherokee owners who said they had experienced the wobble when flat towing the vehicle. That information was forwarded to Fiat Chrysler. In November 2017, a Fiat Chrysler spokesman told FMCA that the company had completed an internal assessment and found that Grand Cherokee could be flat towed without issue. Since then, FMCA has heard from other Grand Cherokee owners who say they have experienced the wobble. In all, we know of 22 owners of 2016-2018 Grand Cherokee models who have reported the wobble (and all but one own 2016 and 2017 models). It's important to note that this number is small in comparison to all Grand Cherokees being flat towed, but for those who are impacted, the situation is of great concern. 

If anyone experiences the wobble while flat towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee, please contact me at jjohnston@fmca.com and I will forward the information to Fiat Chrysler. 

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I have a question about the Mopar Flat Tow Wiring Kit operation. Mine was installed a couple of weeks and the use of a cover on the toggle switch puzzles me. If you are towing, you're supposed to move the switch up, but doesn't the cover move the switch back down if you close it?

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