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Old 11-30-2014, 04:01 PM   #1
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Plano , Texas
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Jeep Grand Cherokee or ??

We just bought our first AS...a 2003 22 foot International. We pulled it from the San Francisco bay area (where purchased) to our home, north of Seattle, with our 2011 V6 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo.

The trailer was empty for the most part with very little water in the fresh water tank and a couple of sleeping bags and clothes for the 2 day return trip.

The Jeep is rated for 5,000 GVWR with a GTW of 500 lbs. My understanding is that the 2003 22 ft International is 4,250 lbs dry (6,000 lbs wet) with a tongue weight of 600 lbs...but GTW likely less when dry, right?

The Jeep did great. We added a P3 braking system before we pulled the trailer. The hitch system included weight distribution and sway bars. The trailer is double axle, unlike the newer 22 footers, which are single axle, from what the dealer told us...which is one reason why we bought the older trailer.

My question is: From what I know and have been told, the Jeep GC Laredo V6 is not the right tow vehicle for the long term. Once we load up the trailer, add the dog, etc. we are likely going to be pushing the 6,000 lbs GVWR listed for the trailer.

So, does everyone feel the newer Jeep GC Limited V8 or above would be a good upgrade or, as the former owner had, should we look at the Toyota Sequoia?...or another SUV brand?? My wife would like to stay with an SUV for the dogs, etc as opposed to a truck.

We realize there will be a wide range of answers but look forward to your input on the best SUV's given the specs for the 22 foot International AS.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:35 PM   #2
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I had a 2011 20' Safari and pulled it with a 2012 Jeep GC 6. It had no problem.

I now have a 2013 25' International and pull it with 2014 Jeep GC diesel.

I love the Jeep GC. There is a guy in this forum pulling a 30 footer with a Jeep GC. He reports no issues.

I think if you took your trailer to the cat scale and adjusted the hitch properly you will be fine. I also think you will find out your trailer is lighter than you think.

The way a cat scale works is they are segmented in 4 sections. You get three separate weights. Front, Rear, & trailer. Then you can adjust your spring bars according to the door sticker on the driver door sill. Around here its $10 for the first weigh and $2 each addition weigh within 24 hours.
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:27 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the new addition to your family.

V8 Jeeps are not inexpensive. Once you step to that price point, there are a lot of other vehicles in that universe.

If you like the Jeep then the V8 version probably that would serve you well with a 22. If you are like me and want to know all the possible options before deciding, then do some reading in the forums regarding tow vehicles and payloads and hitch weights. Learn what these all mean, and how one affects the other. And get your calculator out to add up these different things.

Another point to consider is that vehicles that in previous years may have towed a lot can "look" the same to the naked eye, but have been re-engineered to get better MPG at the expense of towing capacity (in particular going away from body/frame to unibody construction.) So be sure to look at the manufacturer's specs for the exact vehicle you are considering when comparing.

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Old 11-30-2014, 05:42 PM   #4
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I would encourage you to consider the diesel Grand Cherokee. You will appreciate the added torque whenever you go over a mountain. You might also consider the BMW X-5 diesel if your budget can handle it. In either case, make sure you have a properly adjusted WD/AS hitch setup.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:44 PM   #5
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Thank you for the helpful replies. I'll start by actually weighing the vehicle and the trailer as recommended. Of note, from what I have researched, the 2012 Jeep GC Laredo is actually spec'd with a 7,400 GVWR compared to the same 2011 Jeep GC Laredo model. Seems Fiat introduced a more powerful engine from the Daimler Chrysler design the year before.

Our local Les Schwab tire center thought it might be a good idea, if I decided to keep the V6 Jeep GC, to add air bags to the rear coils. We do have oversized tires on our Jeep and the driver side rear tire brushed the wheel well a few times when we hit larger dips at bridge connections, etc. Funny, the passenger rear tire never hit the wheel well (and no, I didn't weigh more than the passenger, my father-in-law ). Upon further inspection, it appears there may be a factory defect in the right rear well where a 2 inch part of the frame is bent inward. Les Shwab thought the tire caused this but how could it? It wouldn't bend it inward...which was a strange comment to me.

Les Schwab seemed most concerned about the suspension/axle design not holding up?...that the tongue weight is what I should be most worried about...indicating the Jeep GC V6 was not designed for this type of trailer hauling. If not, why is it rated for a 5,000 lbs GVWR? I admit I spent way too much time playing sports and too little time in body shop classes growing up to know fully what the right thing is to do.

The thing I know is that the truck pulled the trailer within the 2,000 RPM green zone for the majority of the trip and on a few occasions, when pulling over mountains, we reached 4,000 RPM with 10 to 15 mph drop in speed. I thought that was pretty good...but like I said, I'm not that knowledgeable on all the intangibles that go into pulling trailers and their taxing qualities on the vehicle's engine, transmission, radiator, axles, suspension, etc.

Gas mileage did drop considerably. We averaged 19.9 mph on the trip down to pick up the trailer and we ended the trip back in Washington state at 12.1mph for the haul back.

Not to sound like a worried nanny here...or a bumbling idiot, I simply don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish if it is an absolute that I should look for more capacity. Several of the forum threads I have read seem to push for the "oversize is your friend" advice. The last thing I want is to be stranded somewhere wishing I had upsized instead of taking the chance. But, if the V6 can do the job, then why go to the expense and hassle of another vehicle...
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:40 AM   #6
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I have towed trailers for a few decades now. I am a firm believer of never push the limits of your tow capacity. I did once and ended up with transmission and u-joint issues. Not to mention stability while towing.
I finally stepped up to Diesel power and will never go back to gasoline. I average 13.5 - 14.0 mpg when towing my 30 ft International. The extra torque is appreciated when pulling hills.
I looked at the new Jeep GC diesel at the LA Auto Show last week. It should pull your AS with ease.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:43 PM   #7
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I have a 2012 Grand Cherokee Overland with the Hemi V8, total air suspension (no springs, no shocks, all air) and tow a 2014 20' FC, 5000 # total weight, 700 # tongue weight. Andersen Hitch.

Your 22' is not far from what I have in weight etc.

I average between 12.5 and 14 mpg towing. Plenty of power, extremely stable, very very nice rig altogether.

I can highly recommend the new Grand Cherokee V8 as a good tow vehicle. I have around 32,000 on mine, roughly 2/3 towing. The only repair (warrantee) was the backup camera, otherwise it has been faultless. The air suspension is a bit strange in operation, but has also been without issues and contributes to the exceptionally stable platform.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:04 PM   #8
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I'm towing a 25' with a Dodge Durango Hemi, which is basically an extended Grand Cherokee. I'm very happy with it.
2014 25' Flying Cloud Rear Twin
2019 Ford Expedition Platinum
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:38 PM   #9
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The trouble with air bags, is that they can mask whats really going on with the axle weights on the trailer. In other words they can make it appear that you need little or no weight distribution, when in fact there is not near enough weight on the front axle for proper handling and the rear axle is overloaded although the vehicle looks level. So if you choose to use air bars, be sure to get actual axles weights, before you decide its set up properly.

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Old 12-01-2014, 04:35 PM   #10
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Jeep GC diesel

LOVE, love my Jeep GC diesel. Lots of oomph and so comfy. I can drive and drive with no back pain and it just purrs away on the highway.
TV: 2007 Jeep GC Laredo diesel
Toy: 1995 Jeep YJ
Experience is what you get from not having it when you needed it.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:28 PM   #11
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The information you seek is on the door sticker. It will have the max weight for each axle.

Weight is as I suggested. Adjust the string bars to shift the weight forward. You may have to loosen the hitch head and tilt it back to keep the spring bars level with the a frame. You want 4 or 5 chain links under tension.

You will be surprised that your guessing is off and you will notice a big ride improvement. If you can't get the weights close to what the door sticker has on it then your overloaded and could break an axle.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:27 PM   #12
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Thanks again for all the replies. Terrific information. I'm going to look into the Jeep GC Diesel primarily b/c you all recommend it and as a bonus b/c it does appear to get great gas mileage when not in tow. Appreciate all the insight!!
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