HungryHound

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Hey all!

Just completed a major road trip moving to Utah from Oregon, about 750 miles on the freeway. The entire way I pulled Uhaul's largest trailer, a 6'x12' dual axle with surge brakes. Thought I'd give a quick write-up of my experience.

First, the important part: I did this trip with my 4xe Rubicon. Currently, she has 35x17x12.5 AT3/W's on the stock wheels, stock height. Added LOD's Armorlite rocksliders, Metalcloak front and rear diff skids and track bar, and Rockhard 4x4 front and rear LCA skids. At the start of the trip, she had about 1600 miles on the odometer, at least half of which were electric.

The trailer weighs about 1900lbs empty according to Uhaul's website, and I'm pretty sure I added at least 1000lbs of furniture/clothes, etc to it, so was definitely coming close to the max tow rating.

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Now for the trip: Almost the entire way I was running E-Save or E-Save, Charge. My puppy was riding in the Jeep with me, and it was 95+ every day, so each stop I wanted to use the remote start to keep him cool while I ate/got gas/etc. One time I wasn't was when I figured out I was about 50miles to the next gas station the first day, and my gas only range was not indicating that I was going to make it. So, per the suggestion of very helpful members here, I put it in hybrid with manual shift to engage both gas and electric to stretch my tank out, which worked beautifully. Downside was blowing the nearly full battery I had charged, so I had to use charge mode while driving to make sure the puppy stayed cool. I'll take worse mpg to make sure he's happy :).

For the towing experience itself, this Jeep pulls very well. Merging onto freeways I could definitely feel the trailer, but the turbo kicking in would make sure I had no trouble getting to speed. Adding in any help from the battery and it was a dream. The one questionable spot, which I knew was coming, was Cabbage Hill/Deadman Pass in Eastern Oregon. For those who don't know, this is an about 6% grade climb over 10ish miles. While this would be no trouble normally, pulling a trailer in nearly 100 degree weather makes it a bit more sketchy.

In terms of power, the Jeep had zero trouble. I could easily cruise at 50-55mph up the hill. The entire way I was cycling through the coolant/oil/transmission temps. Coolant saw about 220 degrees max, oil 242 degrees, and transmission about 202 degrees. Once I saw 240 on the oil, I kicked into hybrid mode to take some load off the engine, just to be safe. I probably could've stayed cooler if I didn't power up the hill so quick, but it was a guilty pleasure feeling the Jeep climb up so quick.

However, about 3/4 of the way up, I did get the warning light Rubicon owners hate: Service E-Locker. Seeing that made me very scared, as I knew it was an issue, but shouldn't be showing up this soon in the vehicle life. I slowed down to about 40mph, and pulled off at the rest area at the top of the pass. I powered off the Jeep, took a break, and read through the info here to make sure it wasn't going to strand me in the middle of nowhere. Once I powered back on, it stayed off, and didn't come back the rest of the trip or since. I'm guessing the differential just got too warm climbing the hill and caused the warning light, and once it cooled off it was good to go. I'm still wondering if the Metalcloak rear diff skid may have had an influence on this, and kept heat trapped in.

Other than that, the trip was gorgeous. Once you load this Jeep down with some weight, she drives very comfortably, and never once did I feel the trailer was pushing me around. Did have to watch out for strong crosswinds, this trailer and rig can act like a sail in that situation :CWL:.

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Jeep also had more bugs on the front than I've ever seen. Wasn't helped by the windshield washing buckets at each gas station being empty once I got into Idaho...

Also, MPG was horrible.
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Did a similar trip with a similar load in a 2015 Cherokee Trailhawk v6, and it saw around 18mpg. When I wasn't running charge mode I was seeing about 15mpg according to the dash, about 13.5mpg with it charging. That being said, this was not the use case I bought this for by a long shot. If I did this more than once a year at most, I would have strongly considered the diesel. But my drive to work is 1 mile now, so still very happy with the 4xe.
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deeve

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Good review. Dont feel too bad about the MPG. My JK with 35's and an AEV lift not towing a damn thing got about that MPG.

That Deadman pass is no joke. I get more worried going down it, not so much my rig, but the semi's.

Welcome to Oregon!
 
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aros-can

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Not quite sure why you would do what you did. MPG would’ve seen a good improvement just driving in hybrid mode and letting it do its thing. Gas usage sat idling for 15-30mins is literally negligible.
 
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Wandering_Cascadian

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What kind of fuel economy do you get with the 35's without hauling a trailer?
On the highway I usually see about 20-22 depending on how fast we're moving. Once you get to about 70-75mph range the mpg definitely drops.
 

mackh4x0r

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Very nice. I towed my travel trailer (3400lbs) 3,000 miles down the east coast (key west) back up to Delaware with no issues with my 2021 Rubicon. About halfway through the trip, the Service Axle locker message came on. The dealer is replacing the sensor just waiting for it to come in.

I'm jealous that you got 14 mpg, I got 10mpg at best towing ;)

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MIAZ

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I was sure interested in seeing what kind of mileage the 4xe would do towing, thanks for that information. We were starting to shop for a new Wrangler late last November and that was shortly before 4xe production was about to start and we ended up buying a diesel Ruby in February. We have a 22’ travel trailer and I was wanting better mileage and more hill climbing ability.
I’ve had 5 previous diesels over the years including an 1987 Ford Escort that I think had a Peugeot diesel in it that I forgot about previously. We’ve also had 2 Honda hybrid cars, a ‘08 Civic and a ‘10 Insight and presently have a ‘15 Prius. I absolutely love the mileage that these cars get, might save enough that you can buy Jeeps.
I’m all for electrifying vehicles, that’s what the future will be. I was kind of expecting a bit more mileage out of the 4xe by itself and towing. I’ve not researched it much but the idea of having switches to choose electric or hybrid or gas seems to me the way to go if I’m correct. If that is true, I’d be using the hybrid mode a lot climbing hills and saving that battery power to assist in those climbs. After driving hybrid cars for 13 years and especially the Prius with good instrument readout on cumulative and instant mpg, most people would never suspect that a Prius instant mpg climbing a steep grade can go down to 5-10mpg. Hills really kill mileage and also gas rabbit starts. The Prius though has aerodynamics going for it that the ‘rolling brick’ doesn’t.
Probably because of having the hybrid cars where getting better mileage becomes sort of a game and previous diesels that also do well, I’m tuned into mileage. Being in remote areas with little chance of finding fuel also helps that along.
I hope that you have good luck withe 4xe and continue to give us reports. Our diesel gave us 16mpg towing and has been climbing in solo driving, with an average of 26mpg and lately as high as 30 in good conditions, wind, speed, etc. Click on some of the posts that I’ve replied to for more information that’s too numerous to repeat here. Thanks again for the reports and I’m sure those mpg’s will climb as time goes on. Not trying to tease you with the picture, but my idea of a hybrid/partial electrified Jeep would be a nice uncomplicated 4 cylinder diesel plug-in hybrid, bet it could hit 40mpg’s.

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