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Old 11-25-2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jwestman View Post
I stopped into the Jeep dealer this week to ask about a new one. Told him I was pulling a 25 FB with tongue weight of 840 pounds and he told me the Grand Cherokee wouldn't handle it. I have a 06 and have had no luck trying to get rear axle weight even close to where it needs to be and thought the new ones were different. Thinking about an Eco boost 150 now
To help people know what the limit on tongue weight is, the owners' manual for my 2011 Jeep GC gives a maximum of 500 lbs for the 3.6L 6-cylinder model, 740 lbs for the 5.7L V-8 with two-wheel drive and 720 lbs with 4-wheel drive.

The cautionary notes in the manual indicate the need to avoid exceeding the total weight limit of the vehicle.

Tim
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
To help people know what the limit on tongue weight is, the owners' manual for my 2011 Jeep GC gives a maximum of 500 lbs for the 3.6L 6-cylinder model, 740 lbs for the 5.7L V-8 with two-wheel drive and 720 lbs with 4-wheel drive.

The cautionary notes in the manual indicate the need to avoid exceeding the total weight limit of the vehicle.

Tim
I think that is the dead weight limit, not the limit with a WD hitch, which the manual (from memory) requires over those numbers.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:53 PM   #17
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I think that is the dead weight limit, not the limit with a WD hitch, which the manual (from memory) requires over those numbers.
You may be right. My manual does not give that information about a WD hitch and I did check. The manual is not always perfectly clear, but does emphasize not exceeding the total allowed load (passengers plus luggage plus tongue weight) for the entire car and not exceeding the allowed load on the rear axle.

One would think the air suspension would help with the allowed load, but then the manual adds the additional precaution of not exceeding the allowed load on the tires.

It would be interesting to know Andy Thompson's take on this, since he often outfits smaller cars as tow vehicles.

Tim
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
You may be right. My manual does not give that information about a WD hitch and I did check. The manual is not always perfectly clear, but does emphasize not exceeding the total allowed load (passengers plus luggage plus tongue weight) for the entire car and not exceeding the allowed load on the rear axle.

One would think the air suspension would help with the allowed load, but then the manual adds the additional precaution of not exceeding the allowed load on the tires.


Tim
Even the Jeep full paper manual is not very clear on a lot of things, or they are hard to locate. But I believe that the rear axle load is mostly determined by the axle components and the tire and rim limits. The Air Suspension may have the capacity to hold things level, but still you can easily have an overload on other parts.

The thing you have to be very careful with on the Jeep Air Suspension is that it works so well to hold things level, it is easy to not put enough tension on the WD hitch and thus overload the rear and still have the front look right. When you set up your WD hitch with the Air Suspension system, you need to turn the system off (hold both up and down buttons down, doors closed, engine running) and be on a virtually dead level surface to begin with. That is the only way to do the conventional measure the fender well height set up system. Best is to put the rig on the scales, still with the Air Suspension system off, and adjust your hitch that way to be sure you are not overloading the rear axle.

I would also guess that there are many rear axles overloaded on rigs out there, and that the Air Suspension system is not a problem, however it hides problems more than a normal spring system does.

I am wondering how well the new Dodge 1500 pickup trucks which are now available with the same Air Suspension system are going to hold up when they are overloaded with too much gravel, concrete blocks, or wood from wood hauling. Here in the Northwest I see some really scary and unbelievable loads of wood going down the road in half ton pickup trucks.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:48 PM   #19
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:29 PM   #20
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The overall weights are the problem with all choices of tow vehicles - payload, tongue weight/hitch weight and towing weight. The Grand Cherokee, 2011 information is here:

http://m.jeep.com/en/2011/grand_cherokee/capability/towing/


Note how the payload varies from model to model. The 5000 lb limit is on all but the 5.7 Liter Hemi towing package equipped models which then get a Class IV hitch and 7200 lb towing weight; HOWEVER note the payload capacities. Subtract the tongue weights from that and you begin to see the problem with heavier trailers. The Laredo 4x2 5.7 Hemi equipped has the most payload with 1350 lbs. For me, with a 25' AS - the lightest 25' they make/made, I would have 370 lbs for people and cargo in that model and I would be maxed out- following manufacturer specs. I believe that Class IV hitches have a 1000 lb limit on WD hitches. I know mine does as marked.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:53 PM   #21
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Another SUV to consider is the Ford Explorer. It like a twin to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It has a 5000# tow rating. The Ford Exertion may also be of interest. It has a 9200# rating.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:14 PM   #22
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I did not think of the Expedition but that would be a good choice but what a monster. I looked it up- w/towing package, up to 9200 lbs towing and payload of 1630. Basically that is pickup towing capacity in an SUV skin. Oh, there is mention of an EL model too - extra long. Geez, more than I need but hey for an SUV shopper wanting even more space there ya go. Good call Bigventure.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:34 PM   #23
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Another SUV to consider is the Ford Explorer. It like a twin to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It has a 5000# tow rating
Although the present Ford Explorer might look like a twin to the present Jeep Grand Cherokee, it is a different beast. The Explorer is based on the new Taurus platform, which is a passenger car platform. The Jeep is a true SUV with continuing emphasis on the "Utility" part of that designation. It's closest relative (outside of Chrysler products) is the present Mercedes M-Model. They were a joint design at the time Chrysler was owned by Mercedes.

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:11 PM   #24
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Since you asked - we really love our Grand Cherokee. It isn't the model that you are considering, but FWIW, we actually selected our new 2011 FC23FB to best fit our 08 Grand Cherokee Overland Diesel. Actual fully loaded tongue weight is 785 lbs., total trailer is 5673 lbs. The GC handles this beautifully in all conditions with the Equalizer hitch. The full time QuadraDrive II 4WD is awesome off road or in snow. MPG on this current trip from CO to WA was 16.3 measured. We are holding out for the mid-2013 intro of the new GC Diesel with the 8 speed trans,higher torque and all of the improvements from the last generation. There are many possible tow vehicles out there, and I don't disparage any of them, but this one really fits us.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:52 AM   #25
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We have set up several Grand's mostly on 25-34' Airstreams and several on SOB's. It is a very nice robust chassis. As long as you transfer the correct amount of hitch weight to the front wheels you will not be close to overloading it. Interestingly on the Durango the GVWR is 7100 pounds, the chassis is identical to the Jeep which has a GVWR of 6500. On the Durango there is 2000 pounds of load capacity between the dry weight and the GVWR a little more than most half tons.

It actually handles the hitch weight better than most pick up trucks, The overhang is shorter and the front axle is much closer so transfering weight to the front wheels is much easier. As well the body structure is much stronger so you are not trying to overcome the chassis flex. The suspension is also firmer, with independent rear suspension you can have firmer springs without inducing ride harshness. Our F150 is easily the mushiest handling tow vehicle in our fleet. Like most vehicles we do strengthen the hitch receivers on the Jeeps & Durango's.

I like the Durango a little better because it has 5" more wheelbase with only 2" additional rear overhang. The RT model comes with sport suspension and 50 series 20" tires.

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:02 AM   #26
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IMHO I would look for something more substantial to tow a loaded 25 ft with. I tow campers from the manufactures to the dealers and am on the road alot and have witnessed several campers and trailers upside down beside the road trying to tow to much camper/trailer with their tv. From a safety standpoint a larger suv or a truck with a wdh is a better option. JUST REMEMBER BECAUSE YOU CAN PULL IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN CONTROL IT AND STOP IT! Hope this helps. Good Luck
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:12 AM   #27
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JUST REMEMBER BECAUSE YOU CAN PULL IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN CONTROL IT AND STOP IT!
Agreed pandeaddle. Andrew T; the issue I have with what you are saying is that a 31-34' Airstream circa 2000 and newer has a weight of 8800-9800 lbs. That is not good for a vehicle with a 6500 or 7100 pound limitation. The manufacturer limits vehicles for a reason. There is the gross combined weight limit too. When I purchased my truck( it has the towing package, etc and also the factory trailer brake controller which interconnects with the truck's systems for sway,etc). The system is great but I have a 5100 lb trailer with a gross weight of 7000 lbs. The truck's towing capacity is 8100 lbs with a hitch weight of 1000 lbs (WD). Even so, members on here were telling me that because of the final drive ratio or the 4.6L 3V HO engine that I did not have enough truck. Interestingly the 5.0L is only slightly better overall to my engine but I took the advice and looked at it considering the difference. In this case, that is a lot of weight and quite a bit beyond the manufacturer's limits. My father has pulled HEAVY trailers with a 6 cylinder truck down the highway for his company and told me of little to leeway if there was an emergency- it can be done but...

Also, I cannot agree that F150s as a rule are bad tow vehicles. They are designed to tow and with the tow package, just a few years ago, they were unmatched. Class leading this and that. etc. Consider wheelbase. The GC has a wheelbase of 105.9" versus 145.6-156". That is a huge benefit when towing. While I do agree that smaller trailers might be pulled with a GC or durango, their overall specification and safety specs as per the manufacturer state otherwise. That kind of documentation, regardless of alteration, could cause an issue for an owner, a legality concern as well as safety concern for others. If the vehicles were truly able to handle heavier weights with their spring versus leaf suspensions, they would be rated as highly as the Ford's for sure. I do not know what config F150 you have but the ones I looked at configured for towing were stout.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:37 AM   #28
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Pan.... and Rod... Andrew T has written some great articles on the "fine art of towing" as seen here.... RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints & Wagon Masters

He also writes towing articles for the Airstream Life publication.

You can also use this forum's search feature to review some of his post.

This will give you a deeper insight of where he is coming from with his thoughts.

Enjoy.
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