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Jeep Cherokee as tow vehicle

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Happy Tripping View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Happy Tripping Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Jeep Cherokee as tow vehicle
    Posted: 23 Jan 2016 at 1:17pm
Hello.

We have been very happy with our Jeep Grand Cherokee as a tow vehicle (7400 lb capacity), but need to 'downsize'. Any comments on the Jeep Cherokee (4500 lbs capacity) are appreciated. 

We are planning a cross country trip thru the mountains to California in May.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pilot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2016 at 4:54pm
I have pulled my 177 with my F150 (V8 Triton motor) and I loose about 3 miles a gallon. That truck only gets about 16 mpg with no trailer. I have also pulled my pod with my 2014 Explorer. In Mi. with generally flat terrain I was getting 12 mpg. and it did a fine job. A considerable decrease from the 23 mpg that we usually get. The truck pulled the pod with ease through the mountains of WV. I don't think the Explorer would have done very well. Just my experience.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GLBCamper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2016 at 5:49pm
I know many will chime in on this with lots of various stats, but I personally think that the easiest thing to do is to take the tow vehicle's rated tow capacity and divide it in half for a reasonable "real world" tow capacity.

For example, my Tacoma is rated for 6500lbs. I try to keep my loaded trailer weight around 3250lbs. or less for a minimally comfortable tow experience. I get 14mpg not towing and 11mpg towing (high altitude with hills.)

I don't think a vehicle rated that low would be advisable, but I'm sure others would disagree.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pilot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2016 at 5:53pm
I think that is pretty good advice.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote john in idaho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2016 at 6:53pm
Personnally, the longer wheelbase of the grand cherokee would be important.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ToolmanJohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2016 at 9:41pm
I agree with the advice of only towing half of actual tow capacity of the vehicle.  Works out better for the tow vehicle and safety. 

 As far as tow vehicle weight, it only matters in emergency steering. The R-Pod has it's own braking system, and if you have a good well dialed in brake controller, and appropriate sway control, then the weight of the R-Pod only counts against you when turning and hard braking. A heavier tow vehicle will resist jack knife better.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tars Tarkas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2016 at 12:52pm
Originally posted by ToolmanJohn

I agree with the advice of only towing half of actual tow capacity of the vehicle.  Works out better for the tow vehicle and safety. 

 As far as tow vehicle weight, it only matters in emergency steering. The R-Pod has it's own braking system, and if you have a good well dialed in brake controller, and appropriate sway control, then the weight of the R-Pod only counts against you when turning and hard braking. A heavier tow vehicle will resist jack knife better.


Half the rated towing capacity is nice but overkill, in opinion.  A comfortable margin of maybe a thousand pounds (still, that's arbitrary) is my rule of thumb.  If your tow capacity is 5000 lbs, try to keep your trailer under 4000, etc.  Again, that's not a hard rule.  There are a lot of factors that come into play.

I must be misunderstanding something about tow weight only mattering in emergency steering.  You aren't saying that I can tow a 5000 lb trailer across the Rockies as easily as I can a 2000 lb trailer, are you, as long as I don't get into any emergency steering situations??

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ToolmanJohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2016 at 4:23pm
You can tow a 5000 pound travel trailer across the Rockies as easily as a 2000 pound trailer, it depends on your tow vehicle.

In a emergency (RAIN, 50 mph, turning, SUDDEN EMERGENCY BRAKING=Jacknife!!) , which is better, a lighter tow vehicle, or a heavier one??? Which would you choose , a Grand Cherokee, or a Cherokee? One is a lot lighter than the other. Tail wagging the dog situation.

 The OP was "downsizing" the tow vehicle. There are other considerations besides "can it tow 2000-5000 pounds" through the Rockies.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Happy Tripping Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2016 at 9:34pm
As usual, I asked the right question in the wrong way.

Our V8 Grand Cherokee (360 hp & 390 lb-ft torque) towed our 171 as if it wasn't there on our last trip to California. My wife has mild vision problems and so we are downsizing. The Cherokee has 270 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, which I believe is adequate but nothing like the V8 of course. However the Cherokee also has a built-in sway control that acts thru the brakes to head off problems. 

Has anyone had experience with the Cherokee and it's V6 with this sway control??
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2016 at 10:38pm
Not with a Cherokee, but with a 2016 Ford Escape SE with factory tow package and 2L Ecoboost 4 cyl. engine. It is rated at 3,500 lbs. We recently completed our first big trip (North Carolina to Nevada and Arizona and return) with no problems, even when we did have what could be termed as an emergency braking situation.

We were turning on to an off ramp at high speed, not knowing it was a tight loop. I hit the brakes hard. Between the trailer's brakes and the stability control teamed with a good 4-way sway control hitch, we had no problem with this maneuver.

We are closer to the maximum towing capacity with our Escape than you would be with the Cherokee. I don't think you would have any problems. The Escape's engine is rated at 240 hp and 270 lb-ft torque, which seems to be the exact opposite of the Cherokee's specs. However, those specs require use of premium gasoline, which is what Ford recommends when towing.

Do expect a significant difference in mileage between towing and not towing. We certainly did.
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