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Old 01-19-2010, 03:17 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle & 67 Overlander compatability

We are somewhat new to the forums and airstreams and are considering buying a 67 Overlander but I need some help determining if our tow vehicle is sufficient.
We have a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd. (4 x 4) with a 5.7 Hemi
According to the documents with our TV, we have 7200# trailer weight and 720 # tongue weight capacity. (GVW is 6150)

Since we've always used our giant Dodge truck to tow our horse trailer and '73 Terry trailer, this issue hasn't come up.
But I'd like to ask the members here to help me out in determining if we can indeed safely tow the 67 Overlander with the Jeep.

Per the pdf file at Airstream.com the hitch weight is 450 lbs. and the total weight is 4180 lbs.
Please consider that I'm a neophyte where towing and airstreams are concerned and can use the sage advise of the group here.
Any tips or kernels of education you can help me with will be greatly appreciated!
thanks!
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
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Generally, a longer wheelbase, soft-riding vehicle would be ideal for your trailer. We used a long wheel base Chevy van, and a long bed, extended-cab F250 to tow our Overlander. The truck did much better towing it than the van, by virtue of the long wheelbase. What giant Dodge truck do you have? A Ram 1500, long bed would probably do very well towing the Overlander, generally speaking.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:29 PM   #3
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It's a lot of trailer for a Grand Cherokee.

If I did it I would be sure of:
- the trailer's actual weight as equipped and loaded
- the proper operation of the trailer braking system
- the proper installation and adjustment of a sway-control, weight-distributing hitch
- tire condition and pressure

I'd really be cautious about higher speeds and any conditions that might lead to poor traction.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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Thank you Terry. The truck is a Ram 2500 Magnum. However, it's been relegated as the farm/work truck (leaks, stinks and is full of hay most of the time) and wouldn't be very pleasant on a long haul.
Buying a new TV is not in our future so we need to make sure that the AS we buy is compatible with our TV. We also have a nice 99 Dodge Durango SLT that our teenager has laid claim to but we can repo it if need be and if it were more compatible.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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Thank you Jammer, all very good info! And very much appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:38 PM   #6
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Woops, sorry for the duplicate post. My internet had a hiccup.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:26 PM   #7
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The Jeep has lots of potential but you won't get the most out of it unless it and the trailer are connected optimally.

If you go with something like a Hensley or Pro Pride connection system Trailer Sway Control Hitch Guaranteed to Eliminate Trailer Sway - ProPride 3P I think you will find it an enjoyable towing experience. They are pricey but a lot less than trading the Jeep in on something else that you may not want to drive.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:56 PM   #8
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My 2 cents ;O)

Even though the weight and the power seem hunky dory the length and width is another concideration. One way to look at it is take a 10 lb bag of sugar and hold in your hand, now hold it 3 feet away and tell me when you scream uncle (multiplies force by 3X?. If an rig get's squirrely for some reason, a swerve, blowout, pothole (must have dual cam anti-sway or Hensley arrow hitch) you will be holding onto 4800lbs or more wagging away down the highway trying to make you swap ends, or worse, flip the rig. A longer and wider vehicle will offset possible pants changing, or a shorter dual axle trailer (22 to 24).
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:29 PM   #9
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Road Ruler & arcamedies Thank you for your input. That Hensley hitch is spendy! Any recommendations of other less expensive brands/models?
Arcamedies, are you saying that my TV proposal with this size airstream is possible but that it just mandates an anti-sway hitch?

We're also considering a 70's model Safari in the same price range however we just are not crazy about the non-wood laminated finish in the interior. It's not a deal breaker but, gee whiz, I sure do love the wood inside the '67.

I really appreciate the input here!! I really don't want to wag away down the highway!
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:44 PM   #10
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Take a look at the threads over in the hitching section of the forum on the haha (Hensley Arrow Hitch Apparatus) and PPPPP (ProPride Pivot Point Projection hitch). They are the only two hitches that incorporate this design. I'm planning on getting a ppppp real soon now.

There are other sway control hitches to consider which use friction bars or cams. These don't work as well; whether the difference between a cam-based hitch and a haha or ppppp is significant or worth the $$$ is a topic endlessly debated here.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:58 PM   #11
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The '67 Overlander is a 26' trailer. Not that long, really, and fairly light.

From a power perspective, the Grand Cherokee has plenty. I wouldn't worry about hitch weight either.

Stability is the only concern that really needs to be addressed in this case. The wheelbase is not overly long (109.5"). However, the rear overhang is short, and the tires are either 60 or 65 series - both of these factors are in your favour. It has a live rear axle, and a higher centre of gravity than a car, which count against it. On balance, it's probably one of the better SUVs for towing. I believe that you can make it work very well.

Personally, I'd would start with a conventional weight distributing hitch with two friction sway controls, and focus on getting the setup truly right. If you're not confident about that, a Hensley or ProPride would be great. They're expensive, but still a lot less than the loss you will take trading vehicles.

FWIW, I tow a 1975 Overlander, with an Eaz-Lift hitch (1000 lb bars) with a tow vehicle that has a 107" wheelbase, and I don't have any stability concerns as long as the hitch tension is correct.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:48 PM   #12
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Thanks AlbertF! Looks like I need to do some hitch homework and make a decision as to which one works best for our set up/budget.

We can always get the girl home using the big stinky truck (90 miles) and work on the hitch etc while we fix'er up inside.

Thanks again everyone who commented and please, if someone has more to add, please do!
Thanks!
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