Drive train noise in Jeep Liberty 4x4

going on 80k. I thought the noise I heard on dry pavement was due to worn rear tires but tire change didn't affect the noise. You notice a thumping noise at about 20 mph that increases in frequency and turns into a whine at 45mph. At 60mph the whine is mostly not a problem. I guess it's a bearing somewhere? Any advice? How costly to fix? I do not thing it is a front wheel bearing as turns don't affect the noise. The noise doesn't change with engine rpm, only speed.
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Sounds like a u-joint. They go out. Not expensive and not that hard for a DIY'er. Search for a how-to, there's lot's of them out there.
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Joe Spumolio

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