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Jeep'd towed. My Explorer answered!

Well-Known Member
November 12, 2000
Reaction score
City, State
Austin, TeXaS.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Eddie Bauer
--- Note this is a review of my 03 Jeep GC 4x4 tow review. The ending is the only reason why I posted it on here. Makes the Explorer family happy when JEEP vs Ford Towing experience.

As much help as I got on here, I just wanted to share my experience with *I thought would be my new next Tow vehicle* 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Just if anyone has for got. Kev has helped me know a little about my JEEP GC and I just could not accept the 2000lbs rating. But I did stick up to the base plate and went on ahead a dummped $120.00 for a class III hitch and also a $40.00 wire harness. I did not put on a tranny cooler on yet.
But as of last night I installed both items above.

SO let me tell you my first experience.
I was pumped up and open the gate to were my boat is stored at and backing up the "jeep" I ran into a problem. The darn receiver is to low. The to think of it the JEEP has a big old bumper and the hitched itself seems to sit really low. So any ways I back the jeep to my boat and as I crank the trailer jack down. AUH!!! I was to the bottom of the jack (can't go any lower). The jeeps receiver ball was not able to get on the boats receiver to pull the carter pin to move the trailer jack to its up/lock position. Darn it!!! So anyway I pull my trailer receiver off and did a flip to give my receiver a 2" up lift.

As I did it. WOOHOO!! Trailer of the boat was able to make contact with the hitch and ball. I locked the trailer, hooked the chains. Oh wait!!! As I walked to the drivers door... something caught my EYE. Wow... my jeeps rear end sagged about 2+" lower in the rear end (fender wells)and my jeeps front end was higher somewhat. So ok,, my boats heavy on the tongue. Woopies my exploer does it also , but not as much as the jeep did. ;)

Now to test. Put the JEEP in "D" and tuned OD off. Take off and I was like,, hummm that's it? I gun it. No biggie on the accleration. As my all time 4x4 takes traction, nothing to brag about. This jeep is the PITS!!
I was hopeing to see my 190+ hp Jeep take on my boat for a improvement over my 96 Exploder w/ 160HP. Well it didn't. I was not happy nor do I feel comfortable haveing my JEEP ever to pull my boat EVER.
I have to say it guys, I love my jeep (b/c its a JEEP) and it's ONLY powerful for its own good. Don't drag nothing behind these jeeps. I am so upset, my jeep 4x4 looks like a LOWrider when pulling the boat. Then I can feel every move the boat makes with my jeep pulling it. It plain out sucks.
I only drove 10 miles (no hills) and it was not a impovement. As a matter a fact, as I was backing my boat up to my driveway w/ the JEEP I felt the radiator fan kick in, I had never heard it kick in , in this short of time. OMg!!! No hills nothing. I think not even a tranner cooler can save this jeep in for a tow. This is a pitty and I am really ashamed of my 03 JEEP b/c of these issues.

As the wife and I talked, we decided not to EVER use our JEEP to pull our boat. And instead we planned to beff up the rear suspension on my Explorer and maybe some mods to the engine to give it more pep. But in all honesty my JEEP GC 4x4 was not a improvement pulling my boat. Looks like my explorer was going to retire from pulling. Will I guess retirement was decline!!! :) .

The wife and I also are thinking about possibably tradeing it in. Before we had our jeep we had the new 03 Expedition which was one of the main reason why we got rid of it is b/c it was way to big. Now we dicussed it and we feel that we out grown our jeep in size... oh and TOW. LOL.

Sorry for grammer or spelling. It's 1:00am and I am still upset about all this ans still thinking about it.
:gunner: +Jeep = :idn:

We are thinking Chevy Tahoe. I am not a chevy lover in anyway, but it seems like the perfect size SUV for us w/o 3rd row and not as big as the Expedition. I hear many great things about the Tahoe and about 5 friends at my work place has one. I feel it would be a excellent tow rig and size vehicle for us. So we are planning to sell our JEEP. Tahoe or no Tahoe. This jeep just does not tow our boat and I am forced to still use my 120,000 miles Exploder to do it till we get a new rig.
I just wanted you all to hear my Sob story and feel bad for me :D .
I have takin pictures of the jeep and my boat. I don't want to post them b/c I feel it's embarrassing to do so, so I won't.

Now I will go out to my gurage, sit on a bucket and stare at our Jeep little more while our new/ or thought was our future boat puller JEEP laugh at us!!! :c:

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why not a new explorer with v8? it was voted best tow truck for 2004;)

um the expedition and the tahoe are the same size

Do you have similar gear ratios in both the Jeep and the Explorer? If you only had a 2,000lb tow rating, I'm guessing you didn't get the factory tow package and may have a gear ratio ideal for fuel mileage and not towing.

the jeep has 3.73 gears. My X has 4.10's.

Jeep no tow package, but either does my X

Thats sad and pathetic.
We have a 99 gc and we love it.We upsized the tires(265/70r16 at revo's on it now).It handles great now.
It has the 4.0L motor with select trac transfer case.
It can tow 5000 easily with an aftermarket trans cooler.

Now that said i am starting to love my 2000x more.It to has sohc.Man the X always smoke the gc off the line.
And they both have the same gearing(3.55's).
Also i feel so comfy in the X over the gc.
The gc has a little stiff ride with instant response and seems like a more car type ride,while the X has a smooth ride and feels more like luxury vehicle.:D

Hmmm....that's weird. I had a '98 5.9Limited and that thing was awesome!! We actually towed an Accord once and it was sure footed. The suspension barely sagged. The power is always available...but then again it's a 5.9L V8. I could beat many many cars off the line. I loved that thing!

I heard that the 03 gc's are rated at that (2000lbs) because they dont have extra cooling ie. trans cooler installed now unless you get the towing package.

PS. I see we both have the samescreenames here and at JU :D

When towing there is one thing that will always win, and that is having a frame. What kind of hitch did you get for it, was it an aftermarket one that mounts under the rear bumper or is it the jeep factory one that mounts behind the bumper and you have to cut the bumper and install a bezel. If its an aftermarkert one that mounts below the bumper that might be why it was to low.

REAL Jeeps died back in the early 80's.

CJ5's, Wagoneers, Honcho's. Those were Butt kicking, Overkill designed machines. Now we have Grocery carrying 4WD Jeeps.
The work horses are gone.
I still got my '75 CJ5. Tows the heck out of my 20'er.

Even when it had the stock 304 V8.

i've driven a few jeeps myself and i just don't like the feel of them,

although the ones equipped with the V8s and awd are decent, they just don't compare to an Ex or Mountaineer with the V8 AWD

Originally posted by Ak LTD Xplorer
why not a new explorer with v8? it was voted best tow truck for 2004;)

Can't go wrong with the 4.6! That thing will haul ass no matter what!

Guys thanks for the inputs. Really.

I had taken my JEEP and Boat to Magnum trailers and they told me my tongue weight is approx 435 lbs and the boat is about 4200lbs. With this said and down and am over. But what really hit the button is that I found out my gears on the jeep are 3.55's SAD SAD!! I didn't even know it was coming.

a while back I think in Oct "03" I had tested a 03 Explorer XLS w/ the 4.0L and class II hitch w/ my boat and it did a fregging dam find job doing it. Now I think it did have the 3.73's, but if not and the 3.55 .. let me tell you that the 03 X did a way and I mean way better job pulling my boat then my darn JEEP GC.. and another thing my jeep is 4x4 all time w/ select TracII tranny.

The guys at Magnum also said why am I pulling a boat like mine with a JEEP GC. I wonder the same. They told me other had taken their JEEEPs to them for the same issues. I am tomorrow getting rid of my jeep. And getting a real tow vehicle that can do it straight from the manufacture.

BBmoose, I figure I get flamed at JEEP. But I rest asure I am telling the truth. I have no need to lie.

LTD Xplorer ,

If it was my choice I would get a new X, the wife does not want one b/c we already have a X.

The late model Tahoes from 2001 and older were the same size and the Expeditions give and take but the 02 Tahoes are smaller then the Expedition. WHen I had my 03 Expedtion my neighbor had a 02 Surburban and it was about 2' longer then mine. I just simply know by the feel in cargo area. I am not a tall person (over 6') and the Expedition was too big. The Tahoe is not.
I wish Ford would build a just a little smaller Expedition like a new tahoe and then I would be all over it!
Well minue the 4.6L triton. Which I was not really happy with in my03 Expedition pulling my boat , but it did good still... hehehe better then my Ja ja jEEP!!!

Well just wanted to say just because some over at JU are shooting their mouth off(they can talk is cheap:rolleyes: ),but not all jeepers are that way.
Like i said i'm on both boards and own both a jeep gc and a X.
Sorry you are getting ch*t over their.
But i did read several hints that if they dont help you,they may just help someone else if the search over there ever works:D

And by the way PLEASE dont anyone think i am trying to start something on either board.

Goodluck on whatever you decided:)

I have an 01 GC with a 4.0L I was towing a small box trailer with it. Maybe 35-4000lbs. Had the tow package in it, but my 96 XLT with the 4.0L could out pull it easy. I just wish the tranny was stonger in my explorer. Then again i've had the tranny in the GC in for service for shift issues, under warrenty. I have an 2002 F150 7700 series to tow now, i gave up playing these games. I can pull anything i need to with power to spare.