NEW BUDGET TOW VEHICLE, THE NEW JEEP, A WHOLE NEW JEEP

 
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject: NEW BUDGET TOW VEHICLE, THE NEW JEEP, A WHOLE NEW JEEP Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker,

In all fairness, this is a whole NEW Jeep, since Fiat bought them out, I am suitably impressed. This is not a spontaneous venture here, we have been testing and towing with it for 12 months, before I am offering this R&D report..

While it does not look it, it is very nearly the size and capability of the 200 Series. Now why not just get a 200 Series? This new Jeep with most of the same features and capability, comes in about $30,000 less. I mean it is about 160 mm shorter, but it is actually 45mm longer in the wheelbase than the 200 Series. With a V-6 diesel, for those on a bit of a budget, this is an impressive alternative to the 200 Series Landcruiser..

I have ridden in it, and it does impress... One of my Staff, Peter T. has towed an 20' Bushtracker for a year now, and this is his summary report:

********************
I have been driving a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee for twelve months and I am extremely pleased with everything it does.
Firstly it is a very comfortable vehicle for day to day driving and feels more like a very capable car than a 4WD. Quiet, smooth and acceleration that is beyond its class.

Towing our 20 Bushtracker has been major surprise and the ability of this vehicle to make an easy and stress free job of it is a revelation. At Christmas time we achieved around 15.5 lites/hundred. Since then I have added a tuning module and towing both a 17 and 20 BT to the Toowoomba Caravan Show three weeks ago I achieved 13 litres/hundred. Day to day is between 8 and 9 l/h

The engine is a very capable Italian V6 Diesel and is in fact the exact engine being used in the new Dodge 1500 RAM. Maserati are also using it in their new diesel coupe. For an interesting essay on the engine have a look at the following link. Banks Tuning in the US are developing the engine for Military use and this makes for very interesting reading.

http://www.dieselpowermag.com/tech/1208dp_banks_vm_motori_630t_v6_diesel_engine/

Jeep has had a chequered history but since Fiat bought Chrysler in 2009 things have changed and the WK2 Grand Cherokee is a new vehicle from the ground up.

I have carried a few mods on the Jeep which I can expand on should anyone be interested but off the shelf it has a range of luxury features not found in many vehicles. And remember I have the poverty pack. The Limited has some extra features that can be worthwhile although things like air suspension etc can be optioned in the Laredo.

**********************************

I mean that for a smaller van, 18'-20', and still have a comfortable round town vehicle, this certainly rivals the Landcruiser but at only $55,000 it is a way to save a bit of coin and get the same general result.. Wink

In Your Best Interests, Steven Gibbs, Admin, Bushtracker
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doinitezy



Joined: 07 Jul 2008
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Location: Tingalpa
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:12 am    Post subject: Jeep Reply with quote

Good Morning All
Thanks for the Jeep review Steve & Peter. I keep hearing excellent feedback about this new unit.
Our 2007 BT is 19' & always fully loaded to max 3.5tonne. Currently have a LC100 Series but will need to replace eventually. The reduced load carrying capacity of the 200 series compared with the 100 (Around 100kg) does not suit so I have been waiting patiently for the 300 series to appear, which can't be too far away.
What mods have been made to the Jeep to enhance off-road & towing capabilities e.g. Our 100 series has 2 extra batteries, steel bull-bar & an ARB suspension upgrade with 400kg rear springs to reduce rear end 'sag' when towing off-road without WDH. I consider a level towing attitude to be essential for safety (steering/braking).
Could you also please advise if there is a Jeep agent whom you would recommend in or close to Brisbane.
PS The new look BT interior colour option looks great. My wife & I love the timber look but when we upgrade one day, who knows what colour scheme we'll choose ? Strength & serviceability is most important to us.
Cheers & have a great day
Greg
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SawtellBT



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
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Location: Toormina
State:: NSW
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:56 am    Post subject: Towing With Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 CRD Reply with quote

Good Morning Steve and Peter T,
I am taking delivery of a new Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo this week, and would be grateful of your thoughts on what gear to tow in with the 8-speed auto.
Rick
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Rick & Leone

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Peter Thomson



Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Posts: 105
Location: Sippy Downs
State:: Queensland
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rick & Leone,

While I can't comment on the 8 speed gearbox from experience (mine is 5 speed) the thing is to identify which gear give a final drive ratio of 1:1.

In mine I tow in 4th Sport mode and this locks the torque converter and gives the best economy plus there is no hunting for a lower gear when a hill comes up.

I have just completed 3 weeks away with our van reasonably well loaded and initially with 5 water tanks full. The average fuel usage was 14.5l/100km although this did include about 100km without the van.

I hope that this helps.

Regards,

Pete
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SawtellBT



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:09 pm    Post subject: Towing With Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 CRD Reply with quote

Peter,
Thanks for taking the time to reply. Will probably try 6th gear and see how it goes from there. Trial & Error.
Rick
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Rick & Leone

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cadent



Joined: 23 Nov 2012
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Location: Nth Brisbane
State:: QLD
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[img]http://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/ZF8.html[/img]

Gear 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R (RWD) R (AWD)
Ratio 4.71 3.14 2.10 1.67 1.29 1.00 0.84 0.67 2.65 3.06 7.03

6th gear is the one Rick. A gear below 1:1 is an engine torque multiplier, and a gear above 1:1 it is a torque reducer..hence the lower available torque and generated heat when under demand/load in an over drive gear.
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SawtellBT



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
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Location: Toormina
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew & Pam,
Thank you very much for supplying that information, much appreciated.
Rick
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Rick & Leone

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IanQld



Joined: 29 Jan 2015
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Location: Maleny
State:: Qld
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:07 pm    Post subject: 3.0L WK 2 Jeep Grand cherokee overland Reply with quote

Hi Steven
Gather you're the man at Bushtracker.

I'm soon to buy the 8 speed Overland Diesel as a recreational and tow vehicle for your Bushtracker 21 ft van. Which I also I tend to buy after meeting with a happy and informed Bushtracker owner recently.
This Jeep model has the Air Suspension. So I'm wanting some guidance on tow ball weight issues and effect on suspension and what hitch etc I may need.
Your customer had a Landcruiser where he had beefed up the rear suspension.
Lastly as it's rated as a 3.5T tow capacity I gather this is enough for this twin axel van?

Regards
Ian



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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Ian,

Look, it is my job to try and look after you, to return something of value to the Bushtracker Community with my 50 years of experience in this kind of travel..

Now you did not give a year of the 21'. Because so many people add on bits and pieces over the years, it is very easy to go over your limits with a 21'. For the past many years, we have been pulling people back from that threshold, and if you Ordered new from us we would be steering you towards a lighter gear list for 21' and the Landcruiser sized vehicle. I have no idea what year you are talking about, or how much they have added on to it. From new, we would limit the extremes of gear, and coach you to save sort of 100 kg by going to a large Lithium battery system and a few other tricks like that.

My best advice? Go fill up the water tanks and take it to a weighbridge. Drive your vehicle just off the scales, then get a weight hooked up and then unhooked from your vehicle (or theirs)... If you say I won't travel with all tanks full, then realize that with all your personal goods and tools and toys and chairs and so on aboard it will be about the same load if you counted on only two tanks full. Who knows what they have added on over the years. Since you are obviously up on the upper limits, go weigh it, then you will know where you stand. Figure you could run with all but two tanks empty in civilization and only fill up on the frontier before you go out bush. At least then you are operating in full knowledge of what you need to do..

On your Tow Vehicle, it looks good, specs are good, give us a report on how the latest innovations and transmission is working and how effective it is. We have no experience with the new release...

WELCOME TO THE FORUM, POST NUMBER 1 !

on the road... Ranger
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kez and sandy



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Brisbane
State:: Queensland
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:24 am    Post subject: Jeep Reply with quote

Hi Ian
I towed my 20ft Bushtracker with a Grand Cherokee with air suspension across the centre of Australia, to Marblebar, down to Geraldton, up the coast of WA, over the Gibb River Rd, through NT, NQ and back to Brisbane.

I have a Hayman Reece tow hitch, do not use the bars at all, and find the Jeep tows the van without a problem.

When parking the van, I raise the Jeep one height, unhook the van, lower the Jeep and then drive away. Having a bad back problem, I find it very easy to unhitch, but I have a 20ftvan not a 21ft.

Happy travels with your Jeep and Bushtracker. If you would like to contact me my email is outback4us@gmail.com.
Kez.
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Les and Pam



Joined: 20 Mar 2008
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Location: Calwell
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kez

I too have a Grand Cherokee diesel. First time out last week towing the BT. To my surprise though every time it saw a reasonable size hill the temp gauge nudged the red and it seemed the engine de powered. Did you have temp issues over west? Only 26deg when I was towing. The dealer is telling me this is normal and not to worry until the gauge nudges the H!

Les
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow,
26 degrees close to the red line?

I would be concerned about that for sure... Lately I have been out in 38-39 degrees. If it is close to being a drama at 26 degrees, you are potentially handicapped in really hot weather. I would definitely suggest you pursue this out the end of the matter, more passes (thicker) radiator, what ever it takes... Hmmmmm don't like the sound of that. The hotter things get, the more (faster) they wear and so on..

On the road with the Ranger
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kez and sandy



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
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Location: Brisbane
State:: Queensland
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:55 pm    Post subject: Jeep Grand Cherokee Reply with quote

Hi Les and Pam
Our Jeep is a 2012 model Grand Cherokee Laredo with air suspension, bullbar, long range fuel tank totalling 168 lts and a 5 speed gearbox.

We did not have any over heating problems on the WA trip. Our van when fully loaded weighs in at 3.7 t with all 5 tanks full.

On a trip to Warwick, the Jeep did get hot going up Cunninghams Gap but not that hot to be a problem. I have heard that the new model with the 8 speed gearbox does have a problem with overheating on hills. Looking at the grill on the 2013 models, they seem to have smaller openings for air flow than the previous models. Maybe that's why they get hotter.

The Jeep dealer should have heard about the problem by now and should have an answer for you.

Happy travelling,
Kez.
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