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Old 10-07-2003, 10:44 AM   #1
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Question newbie that owns a Jeep!

Hello all - i am so excited that I found this forum. Let me tell you a little about myself and ask a question too.

I just bought a 69 Overlander and truly love it. I have a 96 Jeep with an I-6 that I am so confident in, I really want to keep it to pull my A/S. From all my research, my truck should pull it fine. I am wondering if a weight distribution hitch will put some of the trailer weight on the Jeep since I have a sizable amt of weight from the combined calcs in the Jeep that won't be used. I will be traveling alone with my dogs and will only have about 300 lbs in the jeep. The combined weight is 8897lbs.

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-07-2003, 11:01 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

Quote:
From all my research, my truck should pull it fine.
You may find it helpful to perform a search of earlier threads using the keywords "Jeep" & "towing". You will find a wealth of "real life" information from several folks who have tried similar set-ups.

IMHO, I don't think your Jeep is an adequate tow vehicle for an Overlander...we had one and had trouble with our 19' GlobeTrotter even with the weight distribution hitch. Not only is the Jeep underpowered for the task, the short wheel base is not advisable. Add any elevation issues and you won't be a happy camper! Sorry....

Shari
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Old 10-07-2003, 11:11 AM   #3
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Although I know first hand that the I-6 you speak of is a very good engine, I have to agree with Shari, it has no place in front of your Overlander.

Not knowing what the gross vehicle weight of your '69, I am unsure that even if you had the V8 that I'd suggest towing with it either. Besides it not cooling as good as the Dodge (with the same engine(s) ), the wheelbase is just too short.

Can you do it? Sure. Would I, most likely not.

For more info, I would do as Shari suggests as she is totally right...this issue has been discussed at length in several previous threads. You'll find some great info and opinions there too.

Eric
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Old 10-07-2003, 11:18 AM   #4
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Jeeps and Airstreams

Welcome to the Forum!

There are a number of prior threads regarding the suitability of towing Airstreams with Jeeps. It's worth the search.

I think the consensus has been that 6 cylinder Jeeps are only suitable for towing the LIGHTEST trailers. This usually means they are limited to towing the older, shorter Airstreams.

I tow my 22' (3300 lb) FC with a 2002 6 cyl Grand Cherokee. It does fine on the flats, but it struggles in the mountains.

The Reese weight distribution and dual cam sway control made a WORLD of difference in the handling of this duo. It cut down the sway, and the "porpoising" effect.

I'm a big fan of Jeeps, but I think that yours would be inadequate for towing your 27' Overlander.
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Old 10-07-2003, 02:29 PM   #5
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Do a search on my numerous threads... I ended up blowing up my GC with a 6 cylinder... while it did ok with my '04 SS - I got nabbed by altitude... engine still runs fine - just lost a lower ball bearing or something.... the good news is that I think I may drop one of those new Hemi's in it as I have found out it is almost a direct bolt-on (engine mounts at least....) who am I kidding lol I personally have to vote nay on it.....
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Old 10-07-2003, 02:55 PM   #6
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Jody,

You know as I posted my comments, I was hoping that you'd have shared your exp with your Jeep. I know you've modded the heck out if it too, so it was not your typical Jeep, but more of a GC on steriods!

At any rate, I think your case pretty much to me speaks volumes to the question better than anyone out there.

Eric
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Old 10-07-2003, 03:06 PM   #7
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I concur with all the advice above.
I had a '99 with the i-6 and agree it's a workhorse.I now have a '01 G.C. with the 4.7 l. V-8 and consider it just adequet for the job of pulling my 4000# Safari.
Like 'Twinkie says - you CAN do it -but, there will be that time when you'll need the extra pedal to get out of a bad situation-and trust me the old I-6 just won't be there for you!
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Old 10-07-2003, 04:04 PM   #8
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Keep in mind that V6 most 90-98 years can only tow about 4500 lbs stock (Officially DC states 5500). DC typically over-rates their towing capacities by 500 - 1000 lbs depending on the yr / model. If you are dead set - you can do it...

1. ABSOLUTELY have the weight distribution set-up. It will prevent rear coil sag and keep the weight on the unibody frame instead of all your suspension components.

2. Upgrade your air intake with either a Turbo City or K&N. It will set your air intake back behind the engine - where it is cooler and ram more air into the system. Approximately 8-12 hp can be achieved.

3. Upgrade from the stock shocks that DC goes with to either Heavy duty Monroes, Bilsteins or Ranchos.

4. Have your dealer install the brake controller unless you are absolutely positive that the shop you take it to - knows GCs... numerous issues on make and model with GCs that if improperly wired will end up short circuiting your PCM. A GC will not be able to stop it on stock discs.... when towing with a GC add 35ft for additional "have to stop now" distance (approximately 8 ft for each 1000lbs in tow)

5. Get slightly wider tires if possible to improve your stance.

Just some tips if you do decide. But all in all the improvements listed will not dramtically improve or suddenly make a I6 capable for towing... but regardless are decent things to consider if you are dead set on using the I6 for towing. I am hoping for karma.
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Old 10-07-2003, 04:48 PM   #9
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I have a 96 Jeep with an I-6 that I am so confident in, I really want to keep it to pull my A/S.

The 4.0/4.2 engine has a lot of torque to get you moving, unfortunately, it doesn't have enough horsepower to move you easily at highway speeds. I had a truck with a 4.0 engine that would not go over 58 mph with my 20' Argosy behind. And that on the tabletop-flat terrain of Florida.
The Cherokke and Wrangler both have short wheelbases, which have been found to be a challenge to tow a long trailer with. The trailer tries to push you from side to side, and a longer wheelbase vehicle will help counter that.
If you have to use the Jeep, an equalizing hitch and an anti-sway system of some description is absolutely mandatory. Without it, once you do get up to highway speed, and a tractor-trailer passes you, the turbulence will give you an "E coupon" ride.
Anybody else want to expand on this?
Congratulations on your Airstream purchase, and welcome to the forums!
Terry
(in Florida)
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Old 10-07-2003, 04:52 PM   #10
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Thanks all for your advice - especially you Jody. I have been on Ebay all afternoon pricing suburbans!

I live in GA and guess until I can swing a bigger tow vehicle, I won't be visiting my brother in CO anytime in the near future but will be staying in the SE on flatland. LOL I am also looking for a price range in changing the gear ratio. That looks like it will help as well. I bought my A/S for what looks like a really good price, less than I was willing to pay so I have some extra to either soup up the Jeep or trade up if it really looks imperative - and yes I am about there. It is just a bit pricey to find even a used truck in this area. I had hoped to stay with what I know instead of risking buying someone else's troubles.
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Old 10-07-2003, 04:59 PM   #11
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DC typically over-rates their towing capacities by 500 - 1000 lbs depending on the yr / model


I also had hoped the opposite was true and that I really had maybe 5500 true towing capacity!!!!
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Old 10-07-2003, 05:46 PM   #12
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Hello! I am also a newbie and have a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the high output V8 and 17" rims. I am looking at Airstreams in the 22-24' range (leaning towards 24). I plan on using swaybars and load levelers... (and staying well within weight limits)

I have read most of what was posted about Jeeps - it sounds like 24' would be the max I would consider towing. Even so, am I asking for trouble when well equipped on the Jeep? ...anyones advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 10-07-2003, 06:17 PM   #13
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I think so. I would only tow between 16 and 19' with a GC. I have a heavily modded out Impala SS and I have to say, I am even flinching at going 25'.

Towing more than 4000lbs with a GC can be done, but I wouldn't do it. I am almost, even with my wheelbase and a 5.7L V8 still having second thoughts myself. So I would vote not to use the GC......

Eric
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