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Old 09-25-2017, 09:16 PM   #1
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Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 Tow Ratings

Most midsized SUVs advertise a tow rating of 5000 pounds. The Grand Cherokee spec with a V8, 4WD and the tow package has a tow rating of 7200 pounds. Brakes, transmission, electronics, frame? It is not obvious to me.

What chassis or driveline enhancements make the Grand Cherokee significantly better at towing? A comparable horsepower and torque Ford Explorer Ecoboost can tow 5000 pounds. I'm not sure I believe the Jeep marketing number. I wonder if it is confirmed and in compliance with the recent SAE towing test J-2807.

David
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Most midsized SUVs advertise a tow rating of 5000 pounds. The Grand Cherokee spec with a V8, 4WD and the tow package has a tow rating of 7200 pounds. Brakes, transmission, electronics, frame? It is not obvious to me.

What chassis or driveline enhancements make the Grand Cherokee significantly better at towing? A comparable horsepower and torque Ford Explorer Ecoboost can tow 5000 pounds. I'm not sure I believe the Jeep marketing number. I wonder if it is confirmed and in compliance with the recent SAE towing test J-2807.
What makes you think that it can't? My similarly sized Cayenne has a tow rating of 7,700 lbs and we towed 20,000 miles over the past year without issue. Over the Colorado mountains down through Baja and then Alaska and back and we had ad great time
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:37 PM   #3
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I don't know how Chrysler came up with 7,200 tow rating, the V6 has a 6,200 tow rating. I can only think that the difference is the V8 compared to the Ecoboost in the Ford. You would have to compare chassis and brake specs to get a better idea. I am very comfortable my 2014 Durango V8 and 8 speed transmission.

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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Most midsized SUVs advertise a tow rating of 5000 pounds. The Grand Cherokee spec with a V8, 4WD and the tow package has a tow rating of 7200 pounds. Brakes, transmission, electronics, frame? It is not obvious to me.

What chassis or driveline enhancements make the Grand Cherokee significantly better at towing? A comparable horsepower and torque Ford Explorer Ecoboost can tow 5000 pounds. I'm not sure I believe the Jeep marketing number. I wonder if it is confirmed and in compliance with the recent SAE towing test J-2807.

David
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Most midsized SUVs advertise a tow rating of 5000 pounds. The Grand Cherokee spec with a V8, 4WD and the tow package has a tow rating of 7200 pounds. Brakes, transmission, electronics, frame? It is not obvious to me.

What chassis or driveline enhancements make the Grand Cherokee significantly better at towing? A comparable horsepower and torque Ford Explorer Ecoboost can tow 5000 pounds. I'm not sure I believe the Jeep marketing number. I wonder if it is confirmed and in compliance with the recent SAE towing test J-2807.

David
The explorer is a front wheel drive, six cylinder car. The Grand Cherokee is a Hemi V8 powered, all wheel drive SUV on basically a Benz chassis. There is no comparison. The increased tow rating on the V8 is because of the increased horsepower you get over the Pentastar V6.
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:08 AM   #5
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North American vs. European Tow Ratings

In North America the typical tongue weight of a trailer is 10% to 15% of the loaded weight of the trailer. This is to help make the trailer more stable at typical North American tow speeds.

In a tow vehicle, the weak point, from an engineering standpoint is usually the hitch receiver - they often aren't strong enough to support more than 500 lbs., thus the maximum tow weight is calculated by the manufacturer as 5,000 lbs.

If you compare the ratings with the European model, you will often see that the tow ratings of an identical vehicle (or even smaller tow vehicles) are usually much higher because the tongue weights in Europe are typically no more than 250 lbs. (no matter the weight of the trailer) thus the weaker hitch receiver can take the weight and they don't use weight distribution. Europeans also need enhanced driver's licences to tow larger rigs, they drive at much lower speeds and shorter distances.

You might find these article interesting:
"This is Why You Need a Big Truck To Tow Things in America"
"It isn't just trucks and SUVs that can tow - The Globe and Mail"
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:29 AM   #6
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.......snip
"In a tow vehicle, the weak point, from an engineering standpoint is usually the hitch receiver - they often aren't strong enough to support more than 500 lbs., thus the maximum tow weight is calculated by the manufacturer as 5,000 lbs."

^
X2

The first "upgrade" we did when getting the Burb, was replacing a poorly designed hitch. ("welds, rust, weakness"}

OEM III 'round bar' to Reese Tow Beast V.

The OEM had a very hard time transferring enough weight due to the very short moment arms, the Reese no problem, with considerably less WD tension.

Bob
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Most midsized SUVs advertise a tow rating of 5000 pounds. The Grand Cherokee spec with a V8, 4WD and the tow package has a tow rating of 7200 pounds. Brakes, transmission, electronics, frame? It is not obvious to me.

What chassis or driveline enhancements make the Grand Cherokee significantly better at towing? A comparable horsepower and torque Ford Explorer Ecoboost can tow 5000 pounds. I'm not sure I believe the Jeep marketing number. I wonder if it is confirmed and in compliance with the recent SAE towing test J-2807.

David
I first towed with a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 with a 7200# rating. We drove up in our Jeep, and asked the dealer what we could tow...he sold us a 28 foot CCD Intl with a GVWR of 7300#. Yeah, we could tow it off the lot, get W/D to do its thing, and on the flat highway it was fine. In the early days of trailer ownership, we had very little extra stuff in the rig, and we were prob no more than about 7300#.

BAD MOVE as the engine would overheat on way up hill to Yosemite, and we were lucky to get to our destination after a prolonged cool down period.

I got a 2005 Dodge Durango with 5.7L Hemi, and towed up the same hill, the coolant temp never moved (truck was inadequate in payload, and has been replaced with 3/4 Ton Yukon). My concern would be that the 5.7L Jeep may not have the cooling capacity to avoid engine overheat.

Moral, as an engineer, margin is required in real life conditions. You need to have 20% margin to the stated tow capacity to cover pulling power, cooling, braking and keep track of the tongue weight contribution to payload.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Most midsized SUVs advertise a tow rating of 5000 pounds. The Grand Cherokee spec with a V8, 4WD and the tow package has a tow rating of 7200 pounds. Brakes, transmission, electronics, frame? It is not obvious to me.

What chassis or driveline enhancements make the Grand Cherokee significantly better at towing? A comparable horsepower and torque Ford Explorer Ecoboost can tow 5000 pounds. I'm not sure I believe the Jeep marketing number. I wonder if it is confirmed and in compliance with the recent SAE towing test J-2807.

David
We have towed our 23 FB (typically measured at 5,500 lbs on. CAT scale before each trip) with our 2014 Grand Cherokee 3.0 L Eco diesel (8 speed transmission, Mercedes Benz Chassis) about 35,000 miles in 3 years, including several trips across the Continental Divide in various locations and the "Grapevine" in SoCal.

We have had no difficulty whatsoever with sway or maintaining speed up hill. Braking is terrific (I had a panic stop yesterday on I-65 near Louisville while driving about 60 mph between two semi trucks. The truck behind me drove onto the median to avoid rear ending me. I stopped cleanly without any sway whatsoever with distance to spare. The brakes and brake controller did their job.

We do have the tow package option on the GC. It does get into the warm range going up the Grapevine when the ambient temp is above 75 or so. But it quickly cools and never exceeds acceptable operating temperature for water, oil, or transmission.

Payload is the biggest downside - 1,050 lbs. We are close to that on every trip.

We love the GC as our daily driver (91,000 miles on it in 3-1/2 years) and when unhitched in rough terrain.

All that said, I will eventually get a truck to increase payload capacity.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:22 PM   #9
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Thank you folks for your very good responses. I'm starting to understand how tow ratings come about. I forgot about the hitch design, thank you Mr. Cross. Just because it says CAT IV, don't mean it is the best receiver in town.

Thank you Adventure for the European way of doing things. That tongue weight does play a big roll for sure.

And those who commented on the marginal heat rejection capabilities of the Jeep can cause some anxious moments. Interesting the Durango, which has very similar drivelines and chassis, stays cooler. Maybe that stylish front end of the Jeep makes a difference. Since I live in Colorado, going up steep grades will be a matter of course.

I have not found the important Gross Combined Weight Rating for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The vehicle weighs about 4900 pounds and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is 6200 pounds. I saw in one of the spec listings that cargo carrying was about 1000 pounds. Put 600 pounds tongue weight on the rear bumper and our two butts in the seats, their ain't much left for our beagle. Sorry beagle, you're staying home.

Anyone seen J2807 test verification of Jeep's claimed 7200 pound tow rating? I've seen it on pick up trucks, but not on SUVs.

Thanks,

David
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:55 AM   #10
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J2807 won't tell you anything worth knowing past maybe a cross check of identical competing brand models.

The automakers don't test the majority of vehicles. A Low number number is assigned.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:05 AM   #11
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I got a 2005 Dodge Durango with 5.7L Hemi, and towed up the same hill, the coolant temp never moved (truck was inadequate in payload, and has been replaced with 3/4 Ton Yukon). My concern would be that the 5.7L Jeep may not have the cooling capacity to avoid engine overheat.
I forgot to mention the tow capacity of my Durango was upwards of 9000#, which was further helped by choosing the 3.92 instead of the normal 3.55 axle ratio. It was a beast, but short on payload.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:35 AM   #12
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Maybe the 05 Durango was more truck like than "crossover" like. And certainly the rear axle ratio helps out. My friend and I laugh at the feasibility of pulling an Airstream up a 7% grade with a bicycle. It could be done, it would take a year to get to the top. It's all in the transmission.

I've learned the Grand Cherokee, current generation, was based on the Mercedes GL350 platform. This happened when Mercedes owned Chrysler. Many people like there Mercedes SUVs for mid sized trailer towing, especially the diesel option.

That Mercedes platform may be a factor in the increased tow rating for the Grand Cherokee. My Jeep dealer "sales consultant" made mention that the vehicle is more comfortable towing 5000 pounds than 7000 pounds. Further, tongue weight would consume more than half the payload capacity with me, my wife, and my dog the rest of it.

David
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:48 AM   #13
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Maybe the 05 Durango was more truck like than "crossover" like. And certainly the rear axle ratio helps out. My friend and I laugh at the feasibility of pulling an Airstream up a 7% grade with a bicycle. It could be done, it would take a year to get to the top. It's all in the transmission.

I've learned the Grand Cherokee, current generation, was based on the Mercedes GL350 platform. This happened when Mercedes owned Chrysler. Many people like there Mercedes SUVs for mid sized trailer towing, especially the diesel option.

That Mercedes platform may be a factor in the increased tow rating for the Grand Cherokee. My Jeep dealer "sales consultant" made mention that the vehicle is more comfortable towing 5000 pounds than 7000 pounds. Further, tongue weight would consume more than half the payload capacity with me, my wife, and my dog the rest of it.

David
Your sales consultant wouldn't know how to distinguish between trailer types, much less TT types. There are 4000-lb loaded trailers harder to pull then an 8k AS. Weight is barely important once at speed. It's shape and stability that matter.

Neither of your trailers has significant TW. Which is not specifically a payload issue. What matters is best WD.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:29 PM   #14
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mines a diesel not a hemi but they have the same capacity. Built in load level air ride, big brakes and an 8spd make towing amazing. plus getting 15-16 mpg while doing it too.
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