Byron Bay NSW

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Monday, 15 Jul 2013

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 diesel shows muscular class as heavy hauler

Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 ideal tow tug.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
4x4 ideal tow tug.

At 90kmh with 2640kg behind hooked to our Hayman Reese Heavy Duty drawbar the GoSeeAustralia Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 4x4 5-speed auto diesel impresses.

The second of two Jeeps now in our tow team came of age on a section of the Geelong Ring Road which VicRoads says is - "The steepest (sustained grade) we want to go".

The 5 per cent section of about 2.5km from the end of the Hamilton Highway on ramp to the crest high above the long run down to the Waurn Ponds intersection sorts real 4x4 heavy haulers from the SUV  pack.

With more than 5000km of thoughtful driving to break it in since new the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 4x4 5-speed auto diesel came out of the blocks from a full stop at the Hamilton Highway on ramp lights.

The 5-speed auto box chose third gear and 3000rpm came up on the tacho. 2640kg of GSA Blue Sky Fairhaven Viento caravan snug on its Hayman Reese Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) followed rock-solid on twin-axle track behind. With 550Nm available from 1800rpm the 3 litre six-cylinder diesel Jeep reeled in the long, steep truck buster of a hill. But this climb is a real sleeper.

Securing break-away brake cable is a fiddle
Securing break-away brake cable is a fiddle

There is a pinch just before the Highton-Ceres exit which leaves many trucks breathless. Usually the GSA Holden Colorado auto LT-R VCDi 3 litre 4x4 diesel daul-cab ute is in harness to haul the GSA Blue Sky caravan. At this point, usually, the Colorado is in third at 80kmh. That is no mean feat on this grade with 2640kg in tow.

At the pinch the Jeep showed 90kmh on its digital speed LED, with the rig accelerating under two-third throttle in 4th gear. Kickdown brought big, fat chunks of torque. Diesel grunt levelled the hill and as 106kmh filled the speed read we backed off in recognition of the 100kmh Ring Road limit.

GSA towed an interesting route on the Jeep-Blue Sky evaluation run from the Geelong suburb of Grovedale along the Princes Highway towards Colac and then on fair to moderately good roads to Inverleigh. GSA has camped for a few nights at Inverleigh and it is an interesting, historic experience.

The Historic Town of Inverleigh website compiled by the Inverleigh Progress Association has this to say.

Inverleigh at the junction of the Leigh and Barwon Rivers was proclaimed a town in 1854. Country town Inverleigh, on the Hamilton Highway, Victoria, is 28 km west of Geelong and 87 km from Melbourne. Inverleigh was once home to the Wathaurung tribe whose territory stretched from the Werribee River onto the Western Plains.

There were three clans in particular around the Inverleigh area, the Tooloora,  Wongerrer and the Wudthaurung. The Leigh River or the Yarrowee (as the aboriginals called it) and the Barwon River acted as borders for these clans.

Jeep Quadra Trak 11 copes easily with damp ground
Jeep Quadra Trak 11 copes easily with damp ground

It is said that the first European to arrive in Inverleigh was William Buckley, but the first European known to have visited Inverleigh was the surveyor J.H. Wedge who arrived in 1835, probably naming the Leigh River which runs beside the town after his Tasmanian farm Leighlands.

William Buckley, the Wild White man, was named Murrangurk by the Wathaurung people. He was a giant, variously said to have stood between 6ft 3in and 6ft 7in tall.

Buckley, an escaped convict lived among the Wathaurung people for 32 years before being granted a pardon by Lieutenant -Governor Arthur.

He died in Tasmania in 1856 aged 80 after a fall from his gig at Greenpond near Hobart.

About the 2012 and 2013 GSA Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 4x4 5-speed auto diesels.

The 5-speed auto 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo was  purchased from Bayside Jeep, Frankston, Victoria in March.

Additional features fitted to the two GSA Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredos are:

Leather seating x 1 Jeep (the other has cloth); Off road Adventure Group ll - Fuel tank, transfer case, underbody and front suspension skid plates, Quadra Drive ll 4WD system, rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD), 3.45 axle ratio, 230mm rear axle, The first GSA Jeep uses 265 / 60 R18 All-season tyres, and GSA1 our latest tug has Michelin P265/60 R18 boots on 18 x8-inch polished aluminium wheels.

GSA1 is fitted with a sun roof .

Both GSA Jeeps have Quadra lift Air Suspension. This raises the vehicle up to 104mm higher for a maximum ground clearance of 271mm or lowers the vehicle 38mm for easier entry, exit and loading.

The system also raises the vehicle from back to front to help keep headlights safely focused downward at the road ahead.

Jockey wheel eases WDH set-up
Jockey wheel eases WDH set-up

In towing the GoSee Grand Cherokee Laredos cruise at 95kmh (about 1900rpm).

Loaded the GSA Jayco Sterling 21 footer is 2500kg on weighbridge scales and it loads 270kg on the towball. The latest Hayman Reese anti-sway cams are used with our Jayco Sterling 21 footer.

The heaviest fuel consumption so far towing the Jayco Sterling with the Jeep  is 17 litres per 100km into a strong headwind. The lowest fuel use is 13.2 litres per 100km with a tailwind. Towing between Sydney and Canberra fuel use ranged from 14.2 litres per 100km in the flatter highway running to 14.9 litres per 100km in steep, hilly sections. In flat towing with no wind the Grand Cherokee Laredo returns 14.1 litres per 100km.

Chrysler says that when properly equipped 3,500 kg can be towed with the 3.0-litre CRD diesel engine or 5.7-litre HEMI® petrol engine. A Trailer Sway Control (TSC) feature detects excessive trailer sway and takes action by automatically reducing engine power and applying the right amount of braking to the appropriate wheels to counteract the sway of the trailer.

Chrysler says their Trailer Tow Group of vehicle choices includes a Class IV receiver hitch, trailer tow wiring harness and Trailer Sway Control (TSC). Chrysler says its policy is to only fit heavy duty towbars to its vehicles.

Specifications Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 5-speed auto V6 Turbo diesel.

Displacement 2,987.

Power 177kW at 4000rpm.

Torque 550 at 1800 to 2800rpm.

Compression ratio 16.5:1.

Service interval 10,000km.

Fuel Cycle - (Urban, Extra-Urban, Combined) = 10.3/7.2/8.3.

Transmission: auto 5-speed. Electronic range select, adaptive electronic control, Brake-Pack

Interlock and electronically modulated torque converter.

4WD Quadra-Trac 11 NV245 active full time.

Turning diameter kerb to kerb 11.6.

Fuel tank capacity diesel 93.1 litres.

Kerb weight 3 litre turbo diesel 2,272 - 2,355kg.

Max Gross Vehicle Rating 2,949kg.

Trailer towing capacity 3litre V6 turbo diesel up to 3500kg.

Tongue (towball) load limit 3litre V6 turbo diesel up to 350kg.

Jeep Medium Hayman Reese WDH ready to go
Jeep Medium Hayman Reese WDH ready to go

Chrysler requires a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) for towing loads which exceed 2268-2270kg.

Cargo volume with rear seats down 1554 litres. With seats up 782 litres.

Approach angle ( three settings) 26deg, 25deg, 30deg. Departure angle 24deg, 23 deg, 27 deg.

Breakover angle 19 deg, 18 deg, 23 deg.

Seats 5.

Battery 800amp maintenance free in 3litre V6 diesel.

Body uniframe: all steel sheet metal and structural members welded and bonded into a single unit.

About the Blue Sky Fairhaven Viento caravan: Tare: 2090kg Length: 21ft Gross Combined Mass (GCM) for the whole rig is 5020kg combined with the GSA Holden Colorado auto LT-R VCDi 3 litre 4x4 diesel daul-cab ute. The ball weight fully loaded is 200kg.

With the Blue Sky Fairhaven on the towball the weighbridge reports 2440kg.

With the Blue Sky Fairhaven standing alone on the weighbridge its Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is 2640kg. The caravan's Compliance Plate says the Tare (direct from factory unladen weight) is 2139 kg.

Two adults in the GSA Colorado auto diesel, plus their gear total 275kg. This includes an Engel fridge and its sliding base which weighs 25kg, 20 litres of diesel (20kg), jumper battery (30kg),and tools 15kg.

The Blue Sky Fairhaven has two 90 litre water tanks (180kg) and two 9kg gas bottles. Blue Sky Caravans are custom built with IBIS air-conditioning, a 120watt solar panel and battery pack system, full height pantry, full oven.

GSA Blue Sky camp Inverleigh
GSA Blue Sky camp Inverleigh

Internal Features: Full rear ensuite, 184L 3-way 2 door fridge and freezer, full oven with 3 gas burners and 1 electric element, IBIS reverse cycle airconditioning, internal and external LED lights, under bench pantry, postform benchtops, full height perspex splashback, 2.2kg top load washing machine, deep bowl sink in kitchen, ceramic sink in ensuite, Thetford ceramic toilet in ensuite, queen size bed, CD/DVD/AM/FM Radio, 19 inch LCD television, stainless steel microwave oven, pull out cafe dinette table, piano hinges on all cupboards, grab handle in door way, magazine pouch, 23 litre gas/electric hot water service, Wyngard antenna, Heki hatch or Four Seasons hatch, Camec hatch, sliding ensuite door, under bed storage

External Features: 120 Watt solar panel and battery pack, 4×2 inch supergal chassis, 2 inch riser, 2 1/4 inch rocker suspension, galvanized wheel arches, 2x 95 litre water tanks, 2x 9kg gas bottles, safety mesh on A frame, 4 wheel electric brakes with Breakway system, insulated, 15 inch alloy wheels, checkerplate or Alicomp sides, picnic table, rollout Dometic awning, gas bayonet, external stainless steel grab handles, tap on A-frame.

The GSA Holden Colorado auto LT-R VCDi 3 litre 4x4 diesel daul-cab ute returns 17.5 litre per 100km in give-and-take towing situations. The Holden Colorado Owners manual says maximum axle loadings for the Holden Colorado LT-R auto diesel ute are 1580kg rear axle and 1300kg front axle.

GSA's reliable eight -year-old 4.2 litre diesel Toyota Sahara is also a seriously fuel efficient load shifter.

The Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of the loaded GSA 2005 TD 5-speed auto Toyota Sahara and our company 23ft Jayco Sterling caravan caravan is 6160kg. Average figures for the six cylinder Toyota auto diesel towing across all conditions from Coffs Harbour, NSW, to Coolum, Qld, averages out at 15.2 litre per 100km towing via the Gold Coast.

The GoSee team also has two Jayco Sterling Caravans they are:

GSA Jeep and Jayco Sterling 21ft  on the road
GSA Jeep and Jayco Sterling 21ft on the road

Behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo diesel 4x4 -21 ft Jayco Sterling with slide-outs.

Off the Jayco factory weighbridge (Tare - dry weight). 2387kg. Ball. 149 kg.

Loaded (full tanks and gas bottles) ATM 2640 kg. Ball down weight 272 kg.

Medium Duty Hayman Reese Weight Distribution kit is fitted plus the latest proactive Anti-Sway cams from the Hayman Reese engineers.

Behind the GoSee Toyota Sahara 4 litre five-speed auto Turbo Diesel 100 series -

23 ft Jayco Sterling with slide-outs.

Off factory weighbridge. (Tare - dry weight) 2374 kg. Ball down weight. 167 kg.

Loaded (full tanks and gas bottles) ATM 2700 kg. Ball down weight 302 kg.

All up weight (tow tug and caravan on road with two people and their gear inside the tug) 6160 kg.

Towing aids: New Heavy Duty Hayman Reese Weight Distribution (WDH) kit is fitted plus the latest proactive Anti-Sway cams from the Hayman Reese engineers.

Hayman Reese towing safety aid kits used by GoSee:

Heavy Duty 800 lb suited for 275 – 365 kg ball weight. On Jayco Sterling 23 with Toyota Sahara 100 Series Turbo Diesel 4WD auto tow tug.

Medium Duty 600lb suited for 135 – 275 kg ball weight. Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 auto diesel tow tug. On Jayco Sterling 21 footer. Both Jayco Sterlings have slide-outs.

Medium Duty WDH (up to 275 kg ball weight). On Blue Sky Fairhaven Viento caravan with Holden Colorado auto LT-R VCDi 3 litre 4x4 diesel daul-cab.

Plus two sets of proactive Hayman Reese Dual Cam Sway Controls. Jayco Sterling 23 and 21 footers.

Plus safety chain extender brackets on Jayco Sterling 23.

The GoSee Toyota Sahara 100 series TD and Colorado LT-R are fitted with DPChip to enhance their towing efficiency.

Previous GoSee tow tugs which benefitted from being fitted with DPChip were a GoSee Holden 4WD 3litre Turbo Diesel LX manual Rodeo twin-cab ute and the GoSee Holden Captiva LX 2 litre auto diesel SUV. The DPChip is available for all EFI diesel 4wd's and independently alters both fuel and fuel timing to optimise the entire engine map.

More efficient use of the fuel system and correct fuel timing are important factors not only for achieving the best economy but to control peak exhaust gas temperatures for optimum engine durability.

These Information Articles from the GoSee Free library also relate to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. GoSeeAustralia has two Grand Cherokee Laredo  4x4 3L diesels among its tow tugs.


Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 diesel instills confidence -1st in Go See series on extended Jayco Sterling caravan and tow tug evaluations

GoSee finds limo-like Laredo Grand Cherokee smart gear deserves Jeep owner manual homework

Tailgate Tent socks it to GoSee Jeep GSA1 with easy, spacious, flexible camping options

Fuel cost major travel budget buster for big drinker tow tugs

Value Jeep Grand Cherokee scores unique double award win with Drive Best 4WD of the Year

GoSee office works from Campaspe River bank base camp under solar power


ABC New Inventors win recognises Water Watch ability to catch big $$$$ diesel fuel disasters

For more information contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory


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