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Old 08-26-2007, 09:00 PM   #1
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1986 25' Sovereign
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towing 25' with a 4.L jeep grand

I have a 1986 25' airstream and am curious if anyone has expierence with towing it with a jeep grand cherokee with tow package. Its rated to 6500 and the stream weighs 4900 dry. Thanks for any advice.

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Old 08-26-2007, 09:03 PM   #2
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what is the maximum loaded weight of trailer? how about the Jeep?
going by the 80% rule, 5200# should be the maximum weight you tow.

I know several members tow a 19 with a jeep but nothing bigger.

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Old 08-26-2007, 09:07 PM   #3
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Hello monbro54 - Welcome to the Forums!

The Jeep product have a short wheelbase and 4L is a small engine. Those translate into issues as far as stability and ability. The general answer is 'not enough tow vehicle.' Do a search on Grand Cherokee and you will be able to pick out a number of discussions on this issue.

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Old 08-26-2007, 09:54 PM   #4
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Campcollector used to tow his 19' Bambi with one, and has some very scarey stories about the subject. Just not enough vehicle with a very short wheel base. I would say not a good idea.
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:15 PM   #5
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no way i'd tow that 25' with a grand cherokee, as previously stated, it's not enough of a tow vehicle. i'd recommend spending some time in the towing sub forum and you'll quickly understand why.

*by asking the above question,
i verify that i have already used
the search feature to the best of my ability...
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:34 AM   #6
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I tow a 3500# (wet) Minuet using the Wrangler with the 4.0L six, NV4500 tranny, Prodigy controller, and an Equal-i-zer hitch . Your GC has a longer wheel base and that will help some. I havn't experenced any issues with handling but the 6-7% grades we can find here in Colorado will slow me down to 45 MPH and second gear real quick. Even a slight grade will require shifting out of OD. You may be able to tow the coach but likely will not be happy with the performance. I wouldn't recomend it.

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Old 08-27-2007, 06:41 AM   #7
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. The TV/TT combination that you are proposing is not even close to my towing comfort zone. A short wheel base six cylinder vehicle is not a good match for any heavy trailer.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:41 AM   #8
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Kiss that automatic transmission goodbye, if you're going to tow that trailer. The only good automatic transmission Mopar ever made was the Torqueflite 727. That Grand Cherokee might have a "tow package", but that tranny isn't beefed up from the factory, and Grand Cherokees were notorious for having tranny problems anyway. If you're a Mopar fan, look into getting a good used 1500 with manual transmission to tow. Keep in mind that a lot of the Grand Cherokees also had A/C problems, so if you do decide to tow with it, and it's summertime, consider rolling down your windows.

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Old 08-27-2007, 08:49 AM   #9

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Jeep Tow Vehicle

Our Jeep tow vehicle experience is limited to the 85 Grand Wagoneer 360ci V/8 we used to tow our "63" Safari. Even with that trlr. we were right on the limit, no reserve power, poor mi.etc. Looked pretty good but wasn't a very good t/v.
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AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:37 PM   #10
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GVWR for my '86 corner bed/mid bath is 6800 lbs. I wouldn't tow it with a Jeep Cherokee due to lack of power and short wheelbase. I've had one idiot pull out in front of me and I had to brake hard. The trailer pushed my '01 2500hd ext. cab rear end a little to the left while I steered slightly to the right to avoid him/her by one foot. I layed on the horn the entire time while doing this. I guess this is why my passenger side horn does not work anymore. Gotta get that replaced this weekend. Oh, brakes are much better now with the Tekonsha P3 controller.

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Old 08-27-2007, 10:49 PM   #11
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Here's the bottom line...

I had a 4.7L V8 Dakota Quadcab modified with air injection, computer chip, 180 degree thermostate, catback system. It gave me about 20 more fl lbs of tork. Even with that I always was worring about going up hills, traffic, over heating the motor/tranny, and not being able to use my AC on those hot summer days.

Max speed was 45 with full throttle going up most hills. Oh, I also used synthetic oils all around.
I was always worried about the weight limit. Just too Too much stress when I'd take the 25 AS Safari LS out. Couldn't just load up and be happly on my way. On a trip to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, the exhaust manifold blew going up hwy 121 from the north side.
My tranny was ok but, that probably because I changed out the fluid each year.

So, the bottom line is, do you want to enjoy your trips? or do you want to worry if you're going to blow the engine, tranny, etc? and in your case weight?

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"Better to have more then you need, then need more then you have because you don't have enough!"
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:39 AM   #12
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Get the REAL weight

I recently purchased an 86 25 foot unit - the old one needs a bit more help than I could give it this summer. Anyway, comming home I weighed the trailer and truck - then the truck separately. While the title weight was 4900 lbs the actual weight was 5320 - including about 50 lbs propane. With the trailer loaded - including a full water tank - it was about 6100 lbs.

Years ago I used to tow a 5000 lb 24 foot trailer with a full size station wagon with 120 inch wheelbase and a 6 litre engine. It worked OK but it did slow down on long hills. I currently have a 3/4 ton truck with a diesel - much more enjoyable but I notice that the 86 is about 1000 lb heavier than the 75 model. A bigger issue is brakes - most trailer brakes are not very good even when well maintained. A heavier tow vehicle - with good brakes - makes up for some of that. But, as has been pointed out, you need to be aware of the limitations.

Good luck on whatever you decide.

Whit Nash
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:35 PM   #13
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Did you get the rear twins or the corner bed/mid bath?

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Old 08-28-2007, 10:55 PM   #14
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Monbro, here is a copy of a post of our experience towing a 2005 22' CCD with a 1996 Jeep Cherkoee and full factory towing package that I made to the "Tips for Smaller Truck/Smaller Trailer Combinations" thread. I don't think my reply was appreciated since the original poster considered a Tahoe a small tow vehicle!

Our first Airstream really hit the Smaller Truck/Smaller Trailer Combinations. We towed a 2005 22 ft CCD with our 1996 Jeep Cherokee, 6 cylinder with 5000# factory towing package for the first six months we had the Airstream. We used the Equlaizer hitch and experienced no stability issues with head winds, side winds or bow waves off passing 18 wheelers. I should note that I did have to re-adjust the hitch after driving home the first night from the dealer. They had the ball too high and not enough preload on the weight distribution bars. The Jeep settled in the back while the front came up an inch or so!. After proper adjustment the back settled about 1 1/2 inches, the front 1 inch.

We noticed the lack of power on the steep grades out of the Los Angeles basin on I-15 and I-10 freeways. Both have long upgrades that exceed 20 miles and several thousand feet. We could easily maintain 55 mph but were turning 4000 RPM in second gear. Water temperature stayed about 210 on those steep grades. What would cause a problem was when passing truck traffic would slow everyone down; it was difficult to build speed back up without pulling out in the fast lane and slowing other traffic. We did not have any trouble maintaining the speed limit going into Death Valley from Baker but Jubliee Pass was quite steep and twisty so the 20 MPH speed limit was welcome in our Jeep. That said our neighbors couldn't go more than 20 MPH in their 8.0 liter SOB motorhome either.

The Jeep did very well on our maiden trip to Joshua Tree. We drove about 50 miles in 4 to 6 inches of snow in 4 wheel drive with the Airstream in tow the day we left! We never did tow with this combination in the summer heat having bought a larger tow vehicle in the Spring.

in retrospect, towing the CCD with the Cherokee was very similar to towing travel trailers back in the 60's and 70's; you had to slow down on long steep grades because you didn't have a choice.

What I didn't mention in my original post was that we saw water temperatures as high as 230 degrees going into Joshua Tree on a 70 degree day. The grade was extremely steep and the speed limit 35 MPH so we didn't get much air through the radiator from road speed. We didn't experience any overheating or radiator boil-over but I would not like to repeat those conditions on a 90 to 100 degree day. We still have the Cherokee and now a 25' CCD but we pull it with a Dodge 2500 Ram diesel. I'll go through the Cherokee cooling system, install a larger transmission cooler and use it to tow our 18 footer when is ready to roll.

Don (KD6UVT) & Gail Williams

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