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dirtdad 04-13-2013 11:25 AM

towing with patriot
I have a 2013 with 2.4, and freedom drive I, no low range. I want a hitch receiver mainly for a bike rack, but might like to tow a small utility trailer, maybe even a small tent trailer. My manual says I can tow 1000 lbs. and if I had a Freedom Drive II, I could tow 2,000 lbs. so it appears the chassis and brakes can handle 2,000. I believe when you get Freedom Drive II, you get an extra cooler, and that is available from the dealer, is that all that differs between 1,000 and 2,000 lbs.?

aroundincircles 04-13-2013 01:08 PM

Yes, that is the only difference from everything I have read.

NHPATRIOT 04-13-2013 02:51 PM

Yup, the oil cooler is the difference for the 1000 vs 2000 tow capacity. At least with the 2.4L. As I recall the 2.0L is 1000 period.

Do yourself a favor and get an aftermarket Class III hitch w/ 2" receiver vs the MOPAR one w/ the 1 1/4" receiver. Better and more rugged hitch plus there are more accessories available and for less money vs stuff for the 1 1/4".

I got a Reese Class III hitch that came with a Draw-Tite T-ONE wiring harness as a kit( new items not used )for just $160 shipped off E-Bay when I rigged my 2011 Patriot up. Might be a little more $$$ now but I bet you can get a similar package there for say $180'ish.

Wmillonig 04-14-2013 05:16 AM

I'm sure there is more avail for 2" receivers, but there is a good selection for 1 1/4 " too. Some of the bike racks I saw are actually 1 1/4 in receivers with a 2" adapter on it. I went with a Class II instead of a Class III as I felt it looked more proportional to size of the Jeep, although they do seem to cost a little more. I also found the 2.4L to tow quite well, all things considering. Enjoy your new ride!

Gramps 04-14-2013 05:59 AM

More info that you may find useful:

IRSmart 04-15-2013 07:32 AM


Originally Posted by NHPATRIOT (Post 15291170)
Do yourself a favor and get an aftermarket Class III hitch w/ 2" receiver vs the MOPAR one w/ the 1 1/4" receiver. Better and more rugged hitch plus there are more accessories available and for less money vs stuff for the 1 1/4".

the part about more accessories is true, and something i considered when choosing a hitch. but i was mainly going to use mine for my bike rack, and most hitch racks are compatable with both size hitch receivers (they just come with a sleeve reducer for a 2" hitch). i decided on the mopar hitch because it sat up higher and had more of an OEM look since you have to trim the bumper cover to make it work. since my car was rear ended and my dealership was the one ordering the new parts, i simply intercepted the new bumper cover, trimmed it up while it was off the car with my dremmel, and then sent it down to the body shop to be installed. i think it looks a lot nicer than the aftermarket ones that hang down, although it would be nice if it was a 2" hitch, even if the hitch could hold more than the car could.

here's the thread i made on it a while back:

NHPATRIOT 04-15-2013 01:42 PM

My aftermarket class III doesn't hang below the rear bumper fascia. It is lower than the MOPAR one but still covered.

IRSmart 04-16-2013 11:28 AM


Originally Posted by NHPATRIOT (Post 15299684)
My aftermarket class III doesn't hang below the rear bumper fascia. It is lower than the MOPAR one but still covered.

hmm...i like that. had i seen that one when i was deciding which one to buy, i'd probably have gone that route. oh well...

dirtdad 04-17-2013 11:24 AM

Hi NH Patriot. What brand hitch do you have?

NHPATRIOT 04-17-2013 12:49 PM

It's a Reese Class III. Draw-Tite would be the same thing. Got it off E-Bay with a Draw-Tite T-ONE wiring harness as a kit( new parts )for $160 shipped. I have seen similar kits on there recently but they are up a bit to like $180 shipped.

Here is one...

I had the hitch installed by my body guy and while he was doing it I had him cut the fascia wider than called for. I had him sort of mirror the cut out like you have for the MOPAR htich just doesn't go as high up. The directions call for just cutting the fascia barely wide enough for it to slip around the receiver tube. I prefered a wider cut to make it easier to hook/unhook the chains, take out/put in a locking hitch pin, etc... I fiind it easier with the larger opening around that area.

dirtdad 04-17-2013 05:15 PM

Thanks for the link. I found the same thing with the draw bar and ball for 199.28 with free shipping, so I went ahead and ordered that. I will post after I install it, probably a week or 2 away.

NHPATRIOT 04-18-2013 07:48 AM

I meant to mention they have kits with the ball mount too and I was actually going to advise against that. Those kits usually have a standard 2" drop/1" rise ball mount. Unless you have a very low to the ground trailer tongue chances are you will need a different ball mount that you can flip with a lot of rise to it or you can also go with the adjustable height ones. The hitch sits pretty low.

To have my boat trailer sit properly( level ) I had to get a ball mount with a 4" rise( think it is actually 3.75 and called 4" but can't remember exact ). Otherwise the trailer sat with the tongue nose down using a regular 2D/1R ball mount like most of those kits on E-Bay come with which you don't want. You don't want nose up either( this is worse than tongue down ). Needs to be level or as close as you can get it. Slightly low is ok but I do not ever like high.

Hopefully the ball mount will work but make sure you level the trailer when attached to the vehicle properly. This photo shows my boat trailer on my Patriot. You can see it is nice and level...

Also, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this Draw-Tite locking anti rattle hitch pin( needs a hitch with the dual holes like Draw-Tite and Reese to work though - what brand is your hitch? )...

It keeps your ball mount safe from theft( very common item stolen )but it also keeps it from rattling and clunking around while towing. Ball mounts these days fit very sloppy in the receiver tube and they make a ton of noise while towing. In a high end or large SUV, or a full size truck, you won't really hear or notice it much but in a small suv/cuv like the Patriot without a lot of sound deadening and such you hear everything. Trust me, get the product in the link. Works great! Just be sure and keep the lock cylinder lubed with something( white lithium silicone, teflon, etc... whatever you like ).

This is the one I use and it works great!

dirtdad 04-18-2013 02:35 PM

The hitch I ordered is a Reese Pro Series, so it sounds like your style of hitch pin would work. I will never be towing anything beyond maybe 800 lbs. We have 2 other vehicles that we use for must of our towing, one is a 96 Grand Cherokee with the 5.2 V8, and full time 4WD, the other is a 2004 Dodge Dakota 4.7 V8, 2WD. Both have the factory tow package. I am interested in mainly using the hitch for a bike rack, but might purchase a small utility trailer to pick up firewood with, and maybe build a rack into the utility trailer to carry 4 kayaks. You are absolutely right that I jumped the gun in buying the draw bar and ball, but felt it was cheap enough that I would buy it, mostly as an extra one to have around, maybe leave at our cabin. I have several others with different drops. Again, thanks for your help.

dirtdad 04-18-2013 02:36 PM

Forgot that I wanted to tell you that your Patriot looks right at home towing that boat, and with the lake in the back ground.

dirtdad 05-02-2013 09:21 PM

Installed my hitch today, it was pretty easy once I disconnected the muffler from the 2 hangers (just press out of the rubber hangers). It would have been easier with a 2nd person, but with a floor jack it worked out O.K. I had a hard time torquing the bolts, as I could not get a straight path for my wrench, but I am sure they are plenty tight, I also used loctite. Had to trim the fascia, but it looks good. My Jeep has the tow hook, and in order to reinstall it, I had to enlarge the holes to 5/8". I could not find a drill that would work, I think it is hardened, but with some patience I was able to enlarge the holes using a Dremel and a small grinding bit. It took a couple of hours, on and off. It was tedious, but it worked.
Next I need to install the wiring and order and install the oil cooler.

The time now is 04:24 PM.

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