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The Jeep Compass is a popular crossover SUV with several trim packages, four-wheel-drive capabilities, and off-roading capabilities. But what if you need to tow it behind a motorhome or U-Haul? Can it be flat towed, or does it need to be put on a trailer? We have researched for you on whether or not the Jeep Compass can be flat towed.
Unfortunately, the Jeep Compass cannot be flat towed. It can be towed if it is put onto a trailer, but all four tires need to be on the trailer. Since the Jeep Compass has characteristics such as front-wheel-drive, part all-wheel-drive, and electronic transmission, there can be complications when attempting to flat tow.
Flat towing a vehicle is definitely more convenient, considering you don’t need to own or rent a trailer to transport it. However, the Jeep Compass is one of many vehicles on the market that can’t be flat towed. Read on as we discuss why you can’t flat tow the Jeep Compass. In addition, we will discuss Jeep models that are capable of being flat towed.
Why Can’t A Jeep Compass Be Flat Towed?
You may have heard that a Jeep is a good option if you need a vehicle that can be flat towed behind a motorhome or moving truck. What you may not have been told is that not all Jeeps can be flat towed, like the Jeep Compass, for example. What makes the Jeep Compass different from other vehicles that you can transport this way?
You can purchase the Jeep Compass with either a front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. Both of these types of drivetrains can’t be flat towed because of the risk of damages. The Compass also has an automatic transmission, and because the transmissions are electric, they do not have the proper lubrication in order to be flat towed.
Nonetheless, there are other options for towing the Compass. For the front-wheel-drive trims, they can be put onto a dolly trailer. This type of trailer only requires the front two tires to be off of the ground. The four-wheel-drive Compasses need to be put onto a trailer where all four tires are off of the ground.
It is always recommended to read the owner’s manual on your vehicle and the vehicle you are using to tow before hitting the road. Read on as we discuss what could happen to a Jeep Compass if it is flat towed.
What Would Happen If You Tried To Flat Tow A Jeep Compass?
If you don’t have a trailer or dolly to use for towing your Compass, we highly recommend renting or borrow one. Flat towing is more convenient, but taking the easy route could cost way more in repairs than the cost of renting a trailer.
Since the Jeep Compass has an automatic transmission, it can not be flat towed. Automatic transmissions only have lubrication when the vehicle is running. If the wheels are turning without lubrication, then dry metal on metal is bad news making it likely that damages will occur. The chances of ruining the transmission and drivetrain are considerably high.
Reach out to your local U-Haul for a quote on their automotive transport trailers.
What Jeeps Can Be Flat Towed?
The Jeep Compass is a no-go when it comes to flat towing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options. Jeep currently has five models that can be flat towed. Keep in mind that each of these vehicles has certain criteria for flat towing. Read on as we discuss each of these Jeep models.
The Jeep Wrangler has been one of the most popular Jeeps to flat tow over the years. Its durable four-wheel-drive and roomy cabin make it a good choice for bringing along for a camping trip.
The Jeep Wrangler is a bigger SUV, so check the max towing capacity for your motorhome to ensure it has the power. Most Class-C motorhomes can handle the weight of the Wrangler. Don’t put extra equipment or luggage in it before towing to lighten up the load.
Every trim package of the Jeep Gladiator can be flat towed. However, there are specific instructions for towing this vehicle. Carefully read your owner’s manual before flat towing because some of the trim packages have requirements, such as installing a specific tow package to the front frame.
The Gladiator is a truck-like vehicle and has a heavy body. It is ideal for towing with a Class-C or Class-A motorhome. Like the Wrangler, you won’t want to add any extra weight to the Gladiator. It is better to store luggage and gear within your RV or motorhome.
The Jeep Patriot is similar to the Jeep Compass in size but has more of a square body style. Unlike the Compass, the Patriot four-wheel-drive trims can be flat towed. However, like the Gladiator, the Patriot has specific instructions for flat towing. Not following the instructions properly could cause damages to the vehicle.
Even though the Patriot was discontinued in 2017, it is still a good vehicle of choice for towing behind a motorhome. It has efficient gas mileage but has enough clearance for off-road adventures. You might also be able to save yourself some money versus buying a new vehicle.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee by far one of the most popular models Jeep offers. Its smooth ride, off-road capabilities, and spacious cabin make it a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts and daily commuters.
The Grand Cherokee can be flat towed but only for specific trim packages. This is limited to trim levels that have Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II. Follow the steps for flat towing the Grand Cherokee because improper set-up could void the factory warranty.
If you are on a lower budget for a vehicle that can be flat towed, then the Jeep Liberty is worth looking at. The Liberty was discontinued in 2012, so there is a good chance you can find one for under $10,000.
The Jeep Liberty does have some specific instructions for flat towing. First, the front-wheel-drive trims can only be flat towed when the drive shaft is removed. Secondly, if you want to flat-tow a 4WD model of the Jeep Liberty, the transfer case must be shifted into Neutral (N), and the transmission must be placed in Park (P).
The Liberty is a size in-between the Wrangler and Patriot, so it has plenty of room and gets decent gas mileage. If you are going to look into buying a used Jeep Liberty, then it is always good to check the CarFax before making any decisions. The CarFax will break down the vehicle’s history, including accidents, number of owners, maintenance, and repairs.
What Is The Difference Between Flat Towing, Dolly Towing, And Trailer Towing?
While they all serve the same purpose, there are significant differences between flat towing, dolly towing, and trailer towing. Flat towing is the only type of towing where all four vehicle tires are on the ground. Vehicles that can be flat towed are usually rear-wheel drives with manual transmissions. There is the exception of some automatic transmission vehicles that can be flat towed. This is usually done by removing a specific part on the vehicle, such as a driveshaft.
Dolly towing and trailer towing can tow a majority of vehicles. Using a dolly trailer is less expensive to rent and a lighter option. This is a good choice for consumers who own a front-wheel-drive vehicle.
On the other hand, trailer towing requires all four of the tires to be off of the ground. This ensures that vehicles that have an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive system won’t get damaged during transport. Flat towing will also give less wear and tear on your vehicle tires and lower the risk of your vehicle hitting an object.
In Conclusion: Should You Flat Tow A Jeep?
If you see flat towing as an easier option for towing your Jeep, then just be sure you follow the owner’s manual during setup. Not having the extra weight of a trailer or dolly can also help save on fuel mileage. On the downside, flat towing is like driving your vehicle but without the engine running. The tires, suspension, and other parts still endure wear and tear over time. These are things to consider before getting a vehicle that can be flat towed.
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