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Old 09-28-2017, 08:11 PM   #1
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Grand Cherokee Towing

Hey everyone!

Just purchased a 2017 grand Cherokee trail hawk V8. Will be purchasing an airstream in the near future. I'm having trouble figuring out what I can actually tow. It seems to me like my biggest limitation will be "Combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed 1050lbs".

I weigh 240lbs and the hitch weight of a flying cloud 23cb is 654lbs.

654lbs + 240lbs = 894lbs

1050lbs - 894lbs = 156lbs. (Aka a smaller than me passenger or some cargo)

I have zero towing experience, and most of the talk about sway bars, and weight distributors do not compute in my mind.

I do know I have a class IV receiver hitch, 7200lbs max tow raiting, load leveling rear suspension. (Not sure if its a factor but it has the quadralift air suspension)

Is there someone I can go to, to get personal assistance and tutorials?

Any help/suggestions in very dumbed down language would be appreciated. Thanks.

-Spence
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:42 PM   #2
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Grand Cherokee is not the greatest choice for a Tow vehicle due to the stated GCVWR. Not a lot of meat left on the bone once you get that trailer tounge on there. A good WD hitch will help some. I had the same proble with my 1500 Silverado. Even though it was more than capable of towing my 23D, by the time I piled me, my wife, two kids,4 bikes, grill, and all our other crap my can't camp without me would be at or over weight. I went to a 3/4 ton 2500 and now I take what I want where I want when I want and am able to let my wife buy what she wants while traveling.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:04 PM   #3
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Hello, welcome, and good luck with your decisions. You will get a lot of varying opinions on here about what you can, cannot, should and should not do. I'm conservative on these matters in that I believe that the specs actually mean something. You will have to read the towing section of your manual to confirm or refute what I'm about to say.

The specified tongue weight may not be accurate for your trailer based on what you load into it and how you load it. In the absence of real data I use 12% of the trailer GVWR. In this case that would be 720#. The max tow rating typically assumes only a driver and a full tank of fuel. No passengers, no cargo. So I would subtract the tongue weight from the max tow to get 6480. The GVWR of the 23CB is 6000# so you are good there. This is typical of "small" TVs in that the limiting factor is TV payload, not towing capacity.

A lot depends on what kind of towing you plan to do. All flatland towing makes the job easier. 8% grades, not so much.

Jeep owners will be able to give you better data.

I used an older F-150 with no Tow/Haul mode and only a 4 speed transmission to tow a 6300# Safari 25. It had a 1240# payload and 8600# towing capacity. It was fine on the flat and in moderate hills but it balked 1 mile from the top of a 6-mile 8# grade in NC. I ended up with a Ram 2500 Diesel and it's a good thing because after two years we decided we wanted a bigger trailer.

Again, welcome and good luck!

Al
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:15 PM   #4
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Grand Cherokee Towing

I donít own one so I canít offer any feedback specific to that configuration but I do know that people definitely tow bigger trailers with that vehicle (see picture I pulled from another thread - 30í international which generates ~900-950# of tongue weight behind that one - theyíve likely reinforced their hitch).

You might send a PM to Rich (Aka Troutboy) on the forum. Good guy and super helpful. He tows a 23í with his Grand Cherokee here in Colorado. He can offer some first hand feedback.

You may also consider calling Andy at CanAm in Ontario - he has experience setting up Grand Cherokeeís for safe towing.

All that being said, on paper, there is no doubt that you are going to at least be at you GVWR - if not over loaded. So you need to decide if you are comfortable with that, or not.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:31 PM   #5
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We tow our 2002 19' Bambi with a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with air suspension, 5.7 l V8 (gas), and the 8 speed transmission. This is the fourth Grand Cherokee we have used to tow the trailer and this version of the GC is absolutely superb for our towing purposes and easily tows the trailer at 65 mph up any interstate highway grade we have encountered. We use a Hensley hitch.

The real question is whether or not you feel the need to load a lot of stuff in your tow vehicle. If so, you would be better off with a pickup. Usually when towing, we have two people, a large dog, and fly fishing gear in the GC.

Tim
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:04 PM   #6
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The 1050 is a generic number based on a fully loaded summit. Weigh the truck at a cat scale with a full tank of gas and subtract that number from the max gross weight to see how much cargo it can carry.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny16 View Post
The 1050 is a generic number based on a fully loaded summit. Weigh the truck at a cat scale with a full tank of gas and subtract that number from the max gross weight to see how much cargo it can carry.
Use a CAT Scale, yes, as individual axle weights are shown. Compare that to axle rating. The difference between that and scale value is the room to work with.

TW is spread over TT and TV via leverage. It isn't a dead weight like cargo. Doesn't act the same. It's the weight of the end of a lever while at rest.

Even with 1k TW, it's less than 400-lbs per TV axle once WD is set.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:28 AM   #8
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I was just going over the same numbers.
We have a GC Overland 5.7 HEMI with factory tow package and just bought a 1987 25' Sovereign.
The pure 7,200 lbs of tow capability made it look easy when comparing with the Sovereign's 5,100 lbs dry weight.
But then you get a 700 lbs hitch weight of the trailer and a 720 lbs hitch weight LIMIT for the Jeep.
The GC owner manual does say that you MUST use a WD hitch for anything above 3,500 lbs and it does say max 1,050 lbs of cargo and occupants.
1,050-220(me)-700-130(my wife)=0.
There is where the WD hitch comes into play.
Guess we need to go to a local CAT scale location to get the actual axle weights.
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:57 PM   #9
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Don't Do It!!

I have been towing my 2014 23D with a 2011 Jeep GC limited with a V8 Hemi.
Rated for 7300lbs of towing. I think the hitch rating was 650Lbs. But the hitch weight for the Airstream was 750lbs+ my Equalizer WD+gear+dog etc
Not the ideal set-up & I paid the price.
For power the GC did great I towed that trailer up all kinds of mountains etc with no real issues. The WD hitch did its job in creating a nice stable ride. But over time the Jeep just began falling apart prematurely for a well maintained vehicle. From brake issues, to gaskets leaks, radiator cracks and finally transmission went out at 127,000.

The vehicle itself was not up to the task, although the engine was.

Don't do it!! Get a pick-up with capacity to tow it.

PS - anyone wanna buy GC fixer upper. I'll give you a great deal!!
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:01 PM   #10
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Hi Edlars. How often did you change the transmission fluid in the Jeep? A Dodge pickup actually had the same transmission.

Andy.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:34 PM   #11
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I have a 2014 Durango with the 5.7 Hemi and the 8 speed transmission. I asked the service department how often to change the transmission fluid and they told me when the check engine light comes on. I have 71,000 miles on the Durango with over 9,000 miles of towing over the past three years. We travel over the western United States in summer.

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Hi Edlars. How often did you change the transmission fluid in the Jeep? A Dodge pickup actually had the same transmission.

Andy.
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:54 AM   #12
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Hi Bill. We do ours every 35 - 50,000 miles depending on what kind of use the vehicle gets. I would think changing it at 71,000 would be a good idea.

Your 8 speed is a ZF transmission. I had one in my last Jaguar which I did at 60,000 miles and it was due when we took the pan off. I did a lot more towing than your Durango.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:02 AM   #13
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Still debating.

Thanks for the opinions. Spoke with the local towing supply store today, and Iím still torn between getting a flying cloud 23cd or a 22 sport.

The 23cb is actually much bigger because itís wider, has much more fresh water capacity and my favorite floor plan. Cons, it is close to my v8 grand cherokee towing limits.

The 22 Sport is decent in size and should be easily towed and 20k cheaper. Cons: the single axel scares me (if one of the two wheels fail, Iím possibly dead)
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:48 AM   #14
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I tow a 25í with my 2012 Durango with no problem. Changed trans fluid at 60k miles.
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