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Old 04-06-2013, 08:01 PM   #1
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Looking for a Tow Vehicle for a 19' International Bambi

I just purchased my first Airstream and I'm currently looking for a tow vehicle. I'm leaning towards the the Jeep Grand Cherokee. If anyone has experience with this (2012 or later model) I'd be interested in hearing your insights. Many thanks!
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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Make sure that the tow vehicle's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating(lbs.) is at least 4500 lbs. You'd be best to pad that a bit, maybe go to 5500.

Make sure it has a substantial transmission cooler. Also a Class 3 hitch with a 2 5/16" ball. I'm using a Prodigy 2 brake controller.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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Congrats on your new Airstream

I think that the 2012 Grand Cherokee would make a great tow vehicle. Make sure that it is equipped with the tow package. I would also look at the Dodge Durango. It is a similar vehicle, but has a longer wheelbase. This would make it more stable for towing.

Good Luck, Dan
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:08 PM   #4
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The present Jeep Grand Cherokee is a terrific tow vehicle. We have a 2011 (essentially the same as the 2012) with the 5.7l V8 and use it to tow our 2002 19' Bambi, which is much like, in terms of weight and towing, the trailer you just bought.

This is the third model of Grand Cherokee we have used to tow our trainer, all using a Hensley hitch. Our two former models had shorter wheelbases than the 2011 - 2013 models and, perhaps thanks to the Hensley, we have never noticed any effect of the nominally short wheelbases.

The present Grand Cherokee, at least when equipped with the towing package, has integrated anti-sway. The air suspension is a nice thing to have for towing. It is not, however, a substitute for weight distribution.

Tim
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #5
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I also have a 2012 Grand Cherokee with the V8 and all the bells and whistles. It is a great tow vehicle for my Caravel or Argosy. The Argosy is 4200# with a 720# hitch weight. Tows exceptionally well with the Jeep. The Pentastar V6 is also a very very good engine, and I believe would to your 19' AS just fine, and give you a little better solo milage. Towing milage does not seem to vary much with the 6 or 8, both about 12.5 to 14 mpg. This is my 5th Grand Cherokee, and I have had 6's and 8's. The 2012 that I have is the best of all of them.

Just be sure to get the tow package.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:30 PM   #6
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idroba, what kind of hitch do you use with your cherokee?
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:38 PM   #7
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I have the Andersen hitch, and like it very very much. Unfortunately now Andersen says that the Atwood coupler I just had replaced on the Argosy is not recommended to use with the Andersen.

The Grand Cherokee hitch box is quite high, and I had to have the Andersen drop shank to make my rig level out properly. And that is with new axles on the Argosy and 16' wheels and tires.

My GC has the full air suspension system, which I like too. You do have to know how to turn it off to do the initial setup of any WD hitch system. And the Air Suspension sometimes seems to have a mind of it's own leveling for "cosmetic" reasons. Kind of fun actually.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:00 AM   #8
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Sway Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi Lass View Post
I just purchased my first Airstream and I'm currently looking for a tow vehicle. I'm leaning towards the the Jeep Grand Cherokee. If anyone has experience with this (2012 or later model) I'd be interested in hearing your insights. Many thanks!
Be sure they put on a sway control device. We almost lost one our cherished members on her maiden voyage with her brand new Bambi and Cherokee, the dealer didn't put on a sway bar. She did darn good to regain control.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:04 PM   #9
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Be sure they put on a sway control device. We almost lost one our cherished members on her maiden voyage with her brand new Bambi and Cherokee, the dealer didn't put on a sway bar. She did darn good to regain control.
Was it a Cherokee or Grand Cherokee and what year? By "sway bar," do you mean sway control in its many forms as offered with any number of hitches?

Of course sway control is important and, as a followup to what I posted above, the following is included in the description of the towing package on the Grand Cherokee on the Jeep website:
"The Trailer Tow Group includes ... Trailer Sway Control (TSC)." "Trailer Sway Damping senses trailer sway and takes action by automatically applying the right amount of braking to maintain control."

Tim
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #10
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I have that Trailer Sway Control on my Grand Cherokee. It has never activated as far as I know, but then I have never had any sway control issues with my Reese, my Draw Tight, or my Andersen hitches.

But the Jeep System can only act on the Jeep, not the trailer. Although I am sure it may help things, it is not the final solution to sway issues.

From all my reading here, in many threads, it seems that trailer sway can be a result of many things, or combination of things and there is no one solution. The reports on the Hensley and Pro Pride do seem to indicate that they do truly eliminate sway, I have not had one and have never felt the need for one, but those who have them like them very much.

We do not want to turn this thread into one on sway control, that is for another thread, but right now I am unsure of the value of electronic vehicle sway control on the tow vehicle only. Time will tell I guess.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:58 PM   #11
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Whatever. To me it's the bars that attach to the side of the hitch that have friction to keep the trailer from swaying and skitching and developing into jackknifing the trailer in front of the tow vehicle and rolling the whole lot. Something a new owner might not know about to know the need to get it, no matter what model Truck or Suv she has. It catches experienced drivers, maybe as much as newbies. My 31' went to swaying on I-80 once, with sway bars, on a grooved pavement stretch.
I pm'd Bambi Lass to pm Bam and discus it all direct girl to girl.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #12
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We have a FC19, did not want a 4 door SUV so we got a short bed crew cab pickup. Having the cab separated from the cargo area makes it quieter and the stuff in the back is under cover with a bakflip
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi Lass View Post
I just purchased my first Airstream and I'm currently looking for a tow vehicle. I'm leaning towards the the Jeep Grand Cherokee. If anyone has experience with this (2012 or later model) I'd be interested in hearing your insights. Many thanks!
I you haven't already purchased a truck....I'd highly recommend the 2013 Dodge RAM 1500 5.7L Hemi Crew Cab Outdoorsman. We did the first tow with ours and love it. It's plenty of truck for our Bambi 19. It will tow 8800 pounds.....nice cushion.

It has a built-in brake controller and trailer sway control. Also uses coil springs instead of the leaf springs found on may other pickups. So...Bambi experiences a less harsh ride. Ours came with 20 inch wheels.....not sure if that is an advantage towing.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:27 PM   #14
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Welcome!

Bambi Lass, welcome to the forum!

I'm just new to RV'ing and I'm reading...reading...reading! I too own a Jeep and am very interested in the new 2013 diesel Jeep GC. I'm waiting to hear about it when it comes out and some new users start to do things with it.

Here are a couple of threads that I have found interesting and very helpful:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...el-103068.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ide-57179.html

Enjoy!
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