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Old 01-27-2020, 05:41 AM   #1
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tow vehicle

I have a 2013 Jayco Ultralite 23B hybrid. I have been towing it with a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the 5.7L engine. I am looking for new tow vehicle. I am told that I can tow this camper with a 3.6 6 cylinder. I don't tow very far or very often. Three times a year at most and maybe 20 miles on backroads and county roads. Not on any interstates. I am not sure if I will be happy with the 6 cylinder after having the v8 hemi all these years. Anyone have experience towing this camper with a v6? Being an ultralite the camper tow weight is around 4-5,000 lbs. They say the v6 can tow up to 6200 pounds if the car has factory tow pkg.

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Old 01-27-2020, 07:06 AM   #2
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My concern is the stopping and any sudden emergency maneuvers you may need. Light engine usually means lighter frame and brakes.

If you tend to push the speed while towing then the smaller engine will frustrate you. But once you have that mass moving it will tend to keep moving. You can pull a freight train with a four cylinder once you get it moving.

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Old 01-27-2020, 10:25 AM   #3
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A friend of mine towed a 17 SLX Baja with his minivan. Same 3.6 Pentastar engine. It did the job fine, but it runs high RPMs to do it. That engine makes most of its power up top vs the 5.7 which has hundreds of ft/lbs down low.

I have both engines in my rigs. My truck is the 5.7 and my Jeep has the 3.6. The 3.6 has plenty of power if you are willing to stomp on it. If you are only towing short distances I think you'll be fine. You can always upgrade your brake rotors if you need a bit more stopping power. Factory rotors are pretty crap and aftermarket ones are affordable and easy to install.

Also, the 3.6 will be much easier on the wallet for gas mileage when you aren't towing!
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:27 PM   #4
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That's going to be a big drop in HP and torque. In my opinion you're going to hate it. I towed my X20, only 200# lighter than your X23B, with a 4.2L inline 6 in a Chevy Trailblazer. Similar HP and torque specs to the 3.6. It was OK, but not great. Hills and wind forced lots of downshifting. I replaced the Trailblazer due to having lots of miles with the Sierra in my signature. 5.3L V8, night and day difference in towing ability.

That said you aren't towing far or too often. There's a lot to be said for downsizing so it may work for you. Can you ask to test the new vehicle with the trailer as a condition of the sale?
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:37 PM   #5
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We tow a 22bhm with a Subaru ascent, it has a 2.4L turbo 4cyl backed by a CVT. The pentastar has a bit more horsepower but the same torque as our Subaru, it wont win any races but picking up speed hasn't been a problem for us. You are pulling slightly more weight than we are but we haven't had any issues towing or slowing. As long as you set your brake controller up correctly and you are driving like you have 5k lbs ready to push you through the next car then you should be fine. You wont win any races but it is definitely not a painfully slow process. We get to speed pretty easy and can maintain without issues even on what few inclines Florida has to offer.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:23 PM   #6
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You mentioned that you tow with 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7L. What year would be 3.6L? First compare the specs, as the newest 3.6L may not be that much behind with the power / torque vs. 2007 5.7L.

My BMW X5 3L diesel is 265 horsepower and 425 max torque. I towed my 28DSBH to up to 13% grade hills. I am always watching oil/motor/trans temps, but did not have problem with this.

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Old 02-03-2020, 03:42 PM   #7
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The 3.6 started in 2011. Rated at 290 HP and 260 ft/lbs torque. By comparison, the 5.7s run anywhere from 350 to 400 HP depending on year and trim, and 390 or more ft/lbs torque.

While the numbers are both suitable for towing, there are differences in ability to deliver that power. The 3.6 is revvy and max power is achieved high in the RPM range.

In my opinion (and I have both engines) it is a trade off. Better gas mileage can be achieved daily in the 3.6, but for towing, I'm not even considering using my Jeep. The truck with the 5.7 is just easier all around and is meant for heavy duty work. Yes, the mileage is a cost, but in the long run wear and tear will be less. So, cost savings.

As for the OP, he is only towing 20 miles or so, so I think the 3.6 would be plenty for that type of work.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:22 PM   #8
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My 3.5L Ecoboost V6 is a towing monster!

I know that's not what you're looking at.

I towed a Jayco x213 for 6 years with a 2010 Chevrolet Traverse 3.6L and it worked fine. I towed through the appalachian mountains with it as well. Not breaking any land speed records, but it was no slouch either. I usually cruised at 63MPH in 4th or 5th gear depending on terrain and wind. We made many great memories with that setup.

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