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Old 06-06-2004, 01:36 PM   #1
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Towing with a Grand Cherokee-V8

Hi! We've got a 2004 Grand Cherokee V8 (5.2L) and looking at purchasing a 25' Safari. Any one have any thoughts about the Cherokee as a tow vehicle? According to the specs, the Jeep should not have a problem pulling the trailer.


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Old 06-06-2004, 01:42 PM   #2
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Nice vehicle! We towed the tt in the sig. with our 2000 Jeep GC for about 700 miles and got the Expedition.

Our Jeep is/was not rated as great as yours is.....we have the 4.7L V8 and the tow capacity is 6500 lbs..... went in to buy a Safari and Brenda (it is all her fault) got in the wrong trailer and wanted "that one". Anyway we were overloaded and the Jeep dealer said that they could not honor our guarantee if we continued the "over-loading".

The only problem I had besides lack of power was the fact the the Jeep is narrow and even the McKesh mirrors extended fully were still just a wee bit short of what I like in order to see behind.....did many "crazy Ivans".

Kistler & Brenda

2002 Classic 25'
2003 Expedition EB 5.4L, AWD, AdvanceTrac Class IV hitch pkg. Reese dual cam/Prodigy
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Old 06-06-2004, 02:33 PM   #3
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Thanks - uh, made a mistake, we've got the 4.7L High Output (265 HP at 5200 rpm). The specs say it will pull up to a 6500 lbs in trailer weight. We're having the power steering, oil, etc. coolers installed.
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Old 06-06-2004, 02:44 PM   #4
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You will still be OK you have more horsepower than I....the 2000 4.7L was not high output.....think that added at least 25 hp.

The Safari weighs I said, my wife got loose and into the wrong trailer....she likes mirrors and shlock.

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Old 06-06-2004, 05:41 PM   #5
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We went through alot when we towed with our Jeep now we have a Suburban. If I had to do it all again I would have kept the Jeep and outfitted it with a Hensley hitch. Stability was our only worry.
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Old 06-06-2004, 06:02 PM   #6
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Jeep GC as tow vehicle

Hi folks. We've got the '04 V8 HO Jeep GC for towing out 22' '59 Flying Cloud. The Airstream is just under 4000#s and the Jeep has plenty of power, even going through the hill country. We plan on pulling it into Colorado this summer. The Jeep came with a factory power steering cooler, but we have no aftermarket cooling devices. What exactly do you plan on adding to your Jeep? Did it come with the class IV tow package when you bought it?

One interesting note - our power steering pump had a leak and ran dry, but was under warranty. They replaced it and I've had no problems since then.

Since the wheelbase is short, I would be hesitant to tow anything that weighs more than the Jeep itself - you don't want the tail wagging the dog. I'm not sure I would be comfortable towing at 25' trailer which weighs more than the Jeep. Do you know the weight of the trailer?
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Old 06-06-2004, 08:16 PM   #7
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I would not tow a 25' Safari with a Jeep GC. For starters, the SUV has a small wheelbase. Second, it's a unibody SUV. The Safari has a hitch weight in excess of 700 lbs. Even with weight distribution, it's is still going to tax that SUV beyond what it should do.

A forum member worked for Chrysler back in the day, and his comments were that the Dodge version was better suited for towing than the Jeep.

I will say this...I have the equiv of a 1/2 ton truck in my body on frame sedan and it does tow well, but I sure know the Safari is back there and in the wind, it sure isn't nice towing. The GC would be worse, no question being that it has a much higher center of gravity.

Personally, if I were to tow a new Airstream with a GC, I would tow no more than 19' Bambi as it can get upwards of 4,600lbs loaded.

I reminds me of the old saying just cause it can do it, doesn't mean that it should do it.

Of course, if it were between a GC and an Intrepid, well, I'd take the GC.
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Old 06-06-2004, 09:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MikeW
Hi! We've got a 2004 Grand Cherokee V8 (5.2L) and looking at purchasing a 25' Safari. Any one have any thoughts about the Cherokee as a tow vehicle? According to the specs, the Jeep should not have a problem pulling the trailer.


These are specs I found on the 'net for the Grand Cherokee:

Curb Weight: 3995 lbs.
Gross Weight: 5200 lbs.

Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 8 Base Engine Size: 4.7 liters
Base Engine Type: V8 Horsepower: 265 hp
Max Horsepower: 5200 rpm Torque: 325 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 3600 rpm Maximum Payload: 1100 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity: 6500 lbs.

And these are from the Airstream website:

Safari Trailer MODEL - 25' W




OK, lets start with the Max allowable payload of the Jeep.

Specs say 1100 lbs, but subtract the max allowable from the curb weight you get about 1200 lbs. That’s 1200 lbs total, no people, no dogs, no beer, no gear.

From the 1200 lbs, subtract the weight of two people. The FAA allows 170 lbs per person, so we'll assume that - so we subtract 340 lbs for people (more or less -- WAY more in our case).

Now, we have 1200 lbs - 340 lbs = 860 lbs total load available.

From the Airstream specs, they call for an unloaded hitch weight of 680 lbs.

So, 860 lbs left after two people, less 680 lbs of hitch weight = 180 lbs for everything else.

I assume you will want a weight equalizing hitch - weight EQUALIZING hitch.
An equalizing hitch does not make weight magically disappear. It transfers some weight from the rear tow vehicle wheels to the front wheels, and a bit to the trailer wheels. But it does it at a price. There are considerable forces - both static and dynamic - that are induced on both the tow vehicle frame and the trailer frame. Think about how the weight is transferred with an equalizing hitch - it is all transferred through the frame - and in opposite directions that a tow hitch (dead weight) is designed for.

I would guess that a good weight equalizing hitch with a decent safety chain (6,000 lbs test MINIMUM), would be in the neighborhood of 100 lbs.

So, from above - with NOTHING ELSE in the Jeep (or the trailer), we had 180 lbs of load left. Subtract the weight of a good equalizing hitch, and you have only 80 lbs left for camping gear, adult beverages (got to have those), dogs, tools, friends, and kids. With none of the above in the GC, you are already dangerously close to the territory of negative numbers.

Using real numbers in a real world situation, a 6500 lb trailer would require a MINIMUM of 10% of the total weight on the tongue - 650 lbs.

Do the math on the payload of the Jeep, and you will see that a 6500 lb trailer is really not a realistic tow for the vehicle. Some Forum members suggest downgrading ANY tow vehicle by 20% to 30% (70% to 80% of max rated capacity) to estabilish a "margin of safety" or, said otherwise, a "comfort zone" for peace of mind.

Mike, don't want to rain on your parade, but you have asked a question that brings a lot of passion to the surface here on the Forums. There are others that are active that would just as vigorously defend towing a 25' Safari with your Grand Cherokee.

Remember, the "add ons" for towing (Power Steering Cooler, extra Tranny Cooler, etc.) are designed to minimize problems, not increase total carrying or towing capacity. The actual "towability" limiting factor of any vehicle usually remains unknown to us (non-Auto Industry) laymen. It might be the engine, the transmission, the rear end, brakes, wheel base, steering design, tires, cooling, or any other individual part of the vehicle. A Tow Rating is more about controlling a trailer rather than straight line acceleration. Think of it this way, in an emergency situation, which would you rather have under you, a 500 HP drag racer or a 500 HP Over the Road Truck? Extreme examples, but when your belt deep in stopping, avoiding, and controlling, I would suspect that just about the only thing goes through your mind is "I wish I had more”......brakes, stability, direction control, wheel base, mass -- take your pick.

On the engine specs for the Jeep; Max HP at 5200 RPM and max torque at 3600 rpm. Man, that engine will be screamin' at those speeds, and require a generous dose of 2nd gear to maintain the HP and torque rating at speed.

OK, I'm off my soapbox for now, the final decision to tow or not to tow rests entirely on the driver. You are "pilot in command" of your vehicle. Just remember that the design engineers put tow limits on vehicles for valid reasons, the numbers are not "best guesses" or assigned capriciously.

Also, remember this, the sales people, (both Trailer and Tow Vehicle), will tell you anything you want to hear to make a sale, but probably will not stand behind you in court or at a service bay after a failure has been determined to be caused, wholly or in part, by an inappropriate tow vehicle.

Welcome to the Forums, practically any question asked will probably be answered; sometimes it's just not the answer you want to hear.

Good luck on your decision, lots of great help here, good people with a load of experience -- and sometimes differing opinions.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 06-07-2004, 12:01 AM   #9
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"Ditto" Dennis...especially at altitude. We had a Jeep, we now have a Yukon and our GT doesn't come close to weighing what a 25-footer will.

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Old 06-07-2004, 02:22 PM   #10
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I have three years expeience towing a 2002 25ft Safari C with the 4.7L Grand Cherokee. The loaded trailer weighs about 6500#, which is 200# over GVW rating. With tools and 450 # of passengers, we are 1000# over the 10,500 GCW rating for the Grand Cherokee. With a Reese Dual Cam and load range D LT Goodrich tires on the Jeep, it tows great. I keep Amsoil lube in the entire drivetrain abnd have had no problem with three round trips to Florida from Michigan, plus International in 2002. I run in third gear at about 65 mph, and the torque converter seldom unlocks. Overall towing mileage is 10-11 depending on grades and speeds. The 6%+ grades on I-64 going to Michigan from Virginia did make me go down to second gear, but was still able to maintain 55 or so without trouble. The load range B P-metric tires that come on the Jeep have to go. The sidewalls are just too soft for stability.
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Old 06-07-2004, 02:54 PM   #11
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JimMickle, just being nosey since I no longer tow with our Jeep GC, but what do/did you do for mirrors?

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Old 06-07-2004, 03:21 PM   #12
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I use the McKesh mirrors. Stock, they wouldn't go out far enough. Since they wouldn't help with longer arms, I went to a local Aluminum supplier and got some 6061T6 bar stock of the correct size. Since I knew that others would have the same problem, I made some extra's. They are about 6" longer than the stock 9". Contact me at if you are interested. Even without using the entire length, they go out far enough to see the sides of a widebody. No problem with vibration. They do a great job.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:02 PM   #13
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The 2004 Jeep is a 4.7L 8V......?
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:36 PM   #14
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You might also want to search for forum member Jim Flowers - he's been towing trailers with Jeeps for as long as anybody - I believe he has probably put a total about 1 million miles on various Jeeps, if not more.

He overtook us near Kitchener/Waterloo two weekends ago and we ended up meeting at the Provincial Park we were both heading to where I got to take a look at his beautiful rig - a 25' towed by a silver GC.

He's the man to talk to for real-life high mileage advice.

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