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Old 08-15-2017, 03:55 PM   #1
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Grand Cherokee Jeep Towing Wolf Pup?

Hello all,

I'm really new to this whole RV'ing experience. I never did it growing up but with a young child, the wife and I are looking to branch into this area of adventure. We are about a year or more away from getting started but will be renting a couple trailers to see what works for us. Currently, we are interested in the 18TO Wolf Pup which has a GVWR of 5,000 and a dry weight of almost 3,800. The hitch weight it 437 lbs. The trailer is 22 feet.

I am thinking of buying a more recent Grand Cherokee Jeep to tow which shows a max towing of 6,200. Is this feasible? Would only be my wife, myself, and our young one. I wouldn't expect much in terms of loading.

I've seen things like GVCWR and axel weight rating and I've googled but been unable to find those specifications and so forth. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:23 PM   #2
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First of all, welcome to the forums!

I have no personal experience at all with the Grand Cherokee as a tow vehicle, but I have heard good things about them, as long as the tow rating is not exceeded. The newer Grand Cherokees offer either the 3.6 V6 Pentastar or the 5.7 V8 Hemi. Since you're referencing a 6,200 pound tow rating, I'm assuming you're looking at the 3.6 V6. Either way, I do think that properly configured, the Grand Cherokee will be a perfectly adequate tow vehicle for a Wolf Pup 18TO, with a properly set up weight distribution hitch and sway control.

However, pay attention to the payload of the Jeep. Most Grand Cherokees I could find online have payloads listed between 1,100 and 1,300 pounds. Trailer tongue weight is typically 10-15% of a trailer's weight, so plan on approximately 500-650 pounds of tongue weight, which must be subtracted from your payload number. As you can see, the tongue weight will eat up about half your payload. This may or may not be a problem depending on how many people and how much gear you're planning on bringing. A driver and fuel are USUALLY included in payload calculations, so you don't need to subtract those from the number.

Bottom line there is that you want to pay attention to payload and tow rating. I think the payload capacity of the Jeep is doable in this situation, but you will need to be careful as to how much cargo you bring with you. If you can put some things you want to bring in the trailer instead of in/on the Jeep, this will help things too.

The axle weight ratings and GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) can be found on the inside driver's door jamb of the vehicle you are interested in.

Hopefully I haven't confused you or put you off from the wonderful world of RVing! It really is, in my humble opinion, the best way to travel, and once I experienced it, I never wanted to travel any other way. The most important tip for new RVers that I have:
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:48 PM   #3
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You should be fine towing that size trailer. My only suggestion is a good hitch for sway. Get a hitch with built in sway control. E4 OR Anderson lots of good hitches. The hitches with the brake side control are cheaper but you get what you pay for. Big trucks will move the single axle trailers real bad with out a good hitch. Maybe some people can suggest some more hitches for you.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:03 PM   #4
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Another concern is frontal area jeeps range from 40 to 64 max frontal area of the trailer
Having towed with a dodge nitro the closer to the max frontal area I get the bigger dog the thing becomes even with an empty trailer it sucks
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:11 PM   #5
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You are going to be very close on weight and if you enjoy camping and decide you want a larger trailer (which no one does ). You will need to get a larger vehicle. If you do go with the Jeep, be sure to add an aux transmission cooler. Jeep transmissions do not like heat.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:54 AM   #6
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No, you need a diesel dually with airbags minimum to tow that..
Just thought id say it before someone else throws it out there!
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:18 AM   #7
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We currently tow our Wildwood with a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Payload is 1050 for our limited. Towing isn't an issue except for hills. Mostly have to puddle shift to control power and the short wheelbase doesn't help. So far we have only traveled in the Midwest but would like to venture out further and just don't feel comfortable with the jeep. This is our first year and bought the trailer to fit what we could tow. Currently looking for new tv. If its just you and the dw, i would suggest a larger tow vehicle, we have already talked about upgrading trailer I next year or 2.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:47 AM   #8
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Can you post your specs on the Wildwood?
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:05 PM   #9
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If you are thinking of going to a newer jeep, you should at least go with the 5.7l hemi engine and factory tow package. that has a tow capacity of 7200 lbs and the hitch limit of 720 lbs and will be less of an issue for the trailer you are considering. You still will have to watch cargo capacity in the jeep. I tow a heavier longer trailer (gvwr 6200 lbs and 25 feet long) with the Durango and have the 5.7l hemi engine and we do not have any towing or stopping issues, even through the Rockies.
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mboyd182 View Post
Can you post your specs on the Wildwood?
Dry 4208 hitch 523 GVWR is 6300 off the top of my head. Never been close to that loaded we are never more than 5k. Mostly extended weekend campers. We have the factory package.
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:49 PM   #11
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We towed a Rockwood Roo 19 with a Jeep GC, 6 cylinder. That is about the same size as your Pup, maybe a little heavier. Didn't do to badly, but mostly flat land. I don't think it would do well in hills and mountains. We then upgraded (as everyone warns you about) to a Roo 21DK, just a little heavier. We decided to upgrade tow vehicle. Now have a 2016 GMC Canyon with Duramax diesel. 7700 lbs towing and longer wheelbase. I do agree that the GC with with either the Hemi or Diesel would tow better...
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:09 PM   #12
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We are new this year to RVing, and just got back from 13 weeks across the country towing a Rockwood Mini Lite 2104S with a 2014 JGC diesel, with a 7,400 lb tow rating. Overall, it did fine and I'll be doing more with the same setup. Had to manage engine temp at times (some combo of slowing down, a/c off for a few minutes, paddle-shift) when on steep, long hills but I got used to watching the temp climb to the edge of the red zone and never threw a message or code. I really liked the torque of the diesel and got great mileage. I also liked that there's a Jeep dealer in just about every town across the country.
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:52 PM   #13
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Don't want to scare you, but my folks towed their trailer from VA to Alaska with their '90s something Grand Cherokee whereupon they rolled. Car & trailer were total losses but folks and dog were unscathed but scared.

A talk with a fishing buddy who owned a Chevy store led him to opine that the wheelbase was too short to resist the trailer's torsion. Were it me, I'd look at a truck with plenty of capacity. You will find that the trailers shrink over the years.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by CurtPutnam View Post
Don't want to scare you, but my folks towed their trailer from VA to Alaska with their '90s something Grand Cherokee whereupon they rolled. Car & trailer were total losses but folks and dog were unscathed but scared.

A talk with a fishing buddy who owned a Chevy store led him to opine that the wheelbase was too short to resist the trailer's torsion. Were it me, I'd look at a truck with plenty of capacity. You will find that the trailers shrink over the years.
How long was the trailer? That has some bearing on your story.
Yes, there is a TV wheelbase and camper length relationship, and the shorter wheelbase vehicles should not tow long trailers. But SUVs are very capable towing vehicles when properly matched/set up. Proper set up also applies to trucks, anybody towing with any tow vehicle needs to understand all the factors involved so they stay safe.

Too bad the RV dealer just looks at the tow capacity and says "yep, you can tow that".....
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:52 AM   #15
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We tow a 2016 Coachmen Apex 249RBS with a 2015 3.6L JGC w/ 8-speed auto, tow pkg, Reese WDH & anti-sway bar. The UVW if the TT is 4730 lbs & I think the hitch weight is 470 lbs. It is just two of us, a 16 lb dog and two (light) bikes. We travel w/ average provisions & have toured from SC to MI without any towing issues (> 6K miles & 12 mpg ave). Sure, it doesn't love the Great Smoky Mtns, but what TV does? (We've gone through them three times on Route 40.) Just take it easy & stay out of the passing lane!
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:07 AM   #16
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We are new this year to RVing, and just got back from 13 weeks across the country towing a Rockwood Mini Lite 2104S with a 2014 JGC diesel, with a 7,400 lb tow rating. Overall, it did fine and I'll be doing more with the same setup. Had to manage engine temp at times (some combo of slowing down, a/c off for a few minutes, paddle-shift) when on steep, long hills but I got used to watching the temp climb to the edge of the red zone and never threw a message or code. I really liked the torque of the diesel and got great mileage. I also liked that there's a Jeep dealer in just about every town across the country.
Here is an actual members experience. Most dealers or car enthusiasts will tell you that "watching the temp climb to the edge of the red zone and never threw a message or code." is not good for the long term health of the vehicle. I towed a motorcycle trailer with two large HD's about 1000 miles a few years ago and had to manage temps during the successful trip a month later backed out of driveway and GC would not move. New trans required .
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:40 AM   #17
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don't quite understand the engine temp problem that jackconn mentioned - with the tow rating his JGC has, I would think it should not do this. Granted, i don't have the diesel JGC, I have the 5.7L Hemi in the Durango with a 7200 lbs tow rating. We just finished towing all through Colorado, through the Eisenhower tunnel down to the grand canyon and home through the Smokey Mountains. We are towing a 6200 lb GVRW hybrid camper (actual weight 5800 lbs). Our engine temp never got anywhere near the red zone - in fact it stayed just under the halfway mark, which is where it is when I am not towing.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:28 AM   #18
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The best thing about having a full-height camper (versus a popup) is that you can put everything in the trailer, and have pretty much just people in the tow vehicle. No need for heavy coolers, luggage, etc in the tow vehicle. Keep this in mind for discussions about payload. People will be evenly distributed between front and rear axles, leaving the main concerns being the tongue weight (you need to estimate), and the weight of the WDH (75-100lbs).
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GalsofEscape View Post
don't quite understand the engine temp problem that jackconn mentioned - with the tow rating his JGC has, I would think it should not do this. Granted, i don't have the diesel JGC, I have the 5.7L Hemi in the Durango with a 7200 lbs tow rating. We just finished towing all through Colorado, through the Eisenhower tunnel down to the grand canyon and home through the Smokey Mountains. We are towing a 6200 lb GVRW hybrid camper (actual weight 5800 lbs). Our engine temp never got anywhere near the red zone - in fact it stayed just under the halfway mark, which is where it is when I am not towing.
I'm willing to bet it's about frontal area of the camper. 64 Sq feet isn't a lot that's right around an 8 foot tall camper
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:31 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by GalsofEscape View Post
don't quite understand the engine temp problem that jackconn mentioned - with the tow rating his JGC has, I would think it should not do this. Granted, i don't have the diesel JGC, I have the 5.7L Hemi in the Durango with a 7200 lbs tow rating. We just finished towing all through Colorado, through the Eisenhower tunnel down to the grand canyon and home through the Smokey Mountains. We are towing a 6200 lb GVRW hybrid camper (actual weight 5800 lbs). Our engine temp never got anywhere near the red zone - in fact it stayed just under the halfway mark, which is where it is when I am not towing.
The JGC and Ram 1500 Ecodiesel have the same heat build problem on long heavy hauls. The intercooler (some call it charge air cooler) is in front of the A/C condenser and in front of the radiator. When the turbo diesel is working hard, lots of heat is generated to be dissipated by the intercooler which is now passing heated air to the radiator. The engine controls will de-fuel the engine if temps get too high. One contributor on the Ram 1500 forum has over 300,000 miles towing/delivering camper trailers for a living. So I don't think these high temps on occasion will significantly harm these little diesels.
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