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Roger S 03-23-2007 12:04 PM

2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 and a 20' Safari?
These forums are great and very helpful. I posted this question in one of the other threads, but thought I better open it to a larger audience. Anyone have input or suggestions on towing a new 20' Safari behing a Jeep V8 Grand Cherokee (w/class IV)? We do plan to install load-levelers. We've been pulling a Casita with no problems and are now planning to join all of you lucky ones in the Airstream family! Thanks in advance for the valuable input!! Roger

Silvertwinkie 03-23-2007 02:11 PM

I think that it will tow it, particularly with a V8, I am a bit concerned about the wheelbase on the GC. IMHO, it's more geared toward a 16' with that wheel base than a 20'. I towed a 19' with a 118" wheelbase and it was fine, but I think the GC is less than that and you're a bit bigger than my 19' was...not much, but an increase nonetheless. My gut says sure, but with some reservations.

Condoluminum 03-23-2007 03:47 PM

Think Anti-Sway...
The Jeep's engine has enough power to make the combo go, even uphill...

They suspension has enough strength (with weight distribution) to hold the tongue load...

The wheelbase is on the edge of being long enough... You really should make sure you have well adjusted Equalizer or other well regarded brand of anti-sway technology hitch, and also probably need to check the tongue weight and trailer loads from time to time as well to avoid tail-heavy trailer... Others will probably suggest you can't do it, but I feel it is possible as long as you keep speeds down (that is not a combo to go 75 mph..) and be very alert to possible sway conditions and practice use of trailer brakes to help reduce sway...

(We towed light 24' Nomad for several years behind std Ford Bronco, so I learned much about anti-sway values...)

2airishuman 03-23-2007 05:30 PM

jimmickle 03-23-2007 07:26 PM

Having towed a 2002 25 ft Safari ss for five years behind a 1999 Grand Cherokee 4.7 V8, I believe that you will have no problems except posssibly the tires. If they are P (passsenger) you will likely find the sidewalls too soft, leading to sway. I did. As soon as I changed to BFG LT (light truck) load range D, the combo handled like a dream. Hitch was a Reese dual cam with 800# bars.

Road Ruler 03-23-2007 08:09 PM

I'm not a Jeep kinda guy and confess to not knowing a thing about them.

I do however have a test report from the November 2000 issue of Trailer Life Mag.

They tested a 2000 Grand with a 25' Sportsman Lite TT weighing 5,700lbs which included full water and propane. Some of the highlights of the article were.....

the typical Jeep SUV makes a good tow partner for the Sportsmen 25' TT.

firm but compliant ride

4 wheel ABS brakes gave secure stopping confidence

stability was excellent


Also.... A well known towing specialist once wrote about this generation of Grand....

I have generally found that the Grand Cherokee is one vehicle that tows much better than its specifications would suggest. A 107" wheelbase combined with live axles front and rear should not tow well at all, yet they don't do to bad.

I find the 4.7 to be a great engine,

Most Grands came with 225/70Rx16". This is the best size for towiing.

Hope this helps. Let me know if there are any other questions. The article is a few pages long.

Tim A. 03-23-2007 11:07 PM

We have towed a 2002 19' Bambi with a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 V8 and with a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 V8. Both have had a Class IV factory hitch. There have been no problems with either as to power, tires, or anything related to performance. We started out with a Hensley hitch and, as I have written in other threads, there have been NO problems with sway. The Hensley's weight distribution system has also functioned perfectly. So the question of the towing vehicle's short wheelbase can obviously be easily taken care of. Of course, the Hensley is expensive.

Roger S 03-23-2007 11:44 PM

Thanks to all for the supportive information.

Jim: your 25' Safari is double-axle whereas the new 20' is single. Other than UHauls, I've not experienced twin axle on a house trailer. Any thoughts on what that ride/tow difference might be?

Thanks again to all...

Fyrzowt 03-24-2007 12:52 AM


Originally Posted by Roger S
Thanks to all for the supportive information.

Jim: your 25' Safari is double-axle whereas the new 20' is single. Other than UHauls, I've not experienced twin axle on a house trailer. Any thoughts on what that ride/tow difference might be?

Thanks again to all...

Hi Roger from up here in Templeton.
I towed a 25' Safari for a few years, and now tow a single axle 21'. Both were (are) very stable on the road, I don't notice a huge difference in them other than the 21' is lighter and easier up hills. There is a small difference in backing up as well, the angles are a little different - nothing major though.

jimmickle 03-24-2007 07:52 AM

Prior to the 25 ft Safari, we had a 1999 19 ft Bambi. Single axle. It was fine on the GC with P tires. The added mass of the 25 required stiffer tires to be stable. Don't know of any problems/differences related to single vs dual axle. The length difference makes backing a bit different, but that is just length related.

Roger S 04-15-2007 04:04 PM

Just wanted to follow up on my original post. We took ownership of our new 20' Safari two weeks ago and found our Grand Cherokee (V8) to be just fine. No problem handling or with sway. Sufficient power for average hills. Mileage on the flats appears to be about 14mpg. I did add auxillary transmission cooler several months back just because I thought it couldn't hurt. Dealer let me test-tow it first (sans load levelers) and it was while it handled well, it was obvious that load levelers were called for(which we did get). We're satisfied with the combination and greatly appreciate everyone's input. Thx. RogerS

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