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Old 12-02-2020, 12:15 PM   #1
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Newbie question about cargo capacity/ towing setup

First, thanks to all who answered my first post, I have been learning a lot.

My yellow sticker on the Grand Cherokee says cargo capacity is 1050 lbs, a lot lower than I expected. I weighed the vehicle at the CAT scale with just me and a full tank of gas. The GVWR is 6500 on the yellow sticker, the vehicle weighed in at 5060 lbs, so I would expect a cargo capacity of 1440 lbs, right?

I ran thru the towing calculator on the sticky post in this forum (changinggears.com - thank you wakamisamper) and it didn't ask for the payload from the yellow sticker, it asked for actual weights, and the GVWR (and rear axle WR, tow capacity per manufacturer). I came up with a max travel trailer GVW of 3467 lbs., which leaves a 20% margin of safety, and a hitch weight of 520 lbs (15% of GVW). So if I went thru the process correctly, then this is what I should be looking for (or, not to exceed) while shopping for a TT.

Looking for some more experience folks to weigh in and tell me what I need to include that I have done already. Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:28 PM   #2
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GVWR - Actual Weight = Payload available.

It's a little odd that your actual payload is higher than the stated though, it's usually the other way around........

The tongue weight calc should be worst case at 15%, I've personally had 12-15% on our trailers.

The max trailer GVWR is really going to depend on how much "stuff" you plan to carry in the tow vehicle. Don't forget about hitch weight, and in your weight class I'd highly recommend an Anderson No-Sway hitch, this will help you a little on payload.

I would say that you have a little more headspace in the actual tongue weight. If you are going to carry 500 lbs. additional in people and stuff in the TV then you have around 940 lbs of payload remaining (assuming your numbers are correct for payload available).

I'd personally set a max loaded weight of around 4,000 lbs. So your trailer GVWR looks good and conservative. What the calculators don't tell you is what the driving experience will be like. With a relatively light tow vehicle towing a tall box it can become less than fun at times....

We started out pulling a Jayco Hummingbird (3,750 lbs loaded w/ 425 lb. TW) with an FJ Cruiser. It did OK but got pushed around some on the interstate, I definitely would not have gone with any more trailer. Your wheelbase is slightly longer than our old FJ, which helps.

We currently tow a 4,500 lb loaded trailer w/ 675 lb TW with a 3/4-ton (soon to be 1-ton SRW) truck. The towing experience is all good now.
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:59 PM   #3
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What year is your Grand Cherokee? As mentioned 1440 sounds high. You are in half-ton Pickup Truck territory.
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:59 PM   #4
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I have a 2015 Grand Cherokee Laredo. CAT scale shows 5260 with me, full tank of gas and wd hitch tossed in back (per instructions for weighing in the calculator). Gross is same as yours so my measured capacity is 1240 vs the 1050. Looking at the yellow sticker my guess is that the lower rating is due to the tires on the vehicle rather than the suspension/axle limits.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Frogfarmer View Post
I have a 2015 Grand Cherokee Laredo. CAT scale shows 5260 with me, full tank of gas and wd hitch tossed in back (per instructions for weighing in the calculator). Gross is same as yours so my measured capacity is 1240 vs the 1050. Looking at the yellow sticker my guess is that the lower rating is due to the tires on the vehicle rather than the suspension/axle limits.
According to the internet specs.
Towing capacity 3,500 lbs.
Payload 1,180 lbs.
So your math is pretty reasonable.
Based on these numbers I think your limiting factor may actually be your factory hitch. Your vehicle seems capable of more trailer. Not that you should push it. What class hitch is it?
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:45 PM   #6
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Forget the internet specs. 2015 JGC with the V-6 and factory tow package (which I have) gives a max tow capacity of 6200 lbs and a max hitch weight of 620 lbs (From FCA and dealer). Depending on who you believe I am either at 590 lbs hitch weight or 490. Weighing with a hitch scale I come out at 490. My wd adds 100. Some say that hitch weight is the total of the tongue weight plus your wd hitch. Others say the wd is part of the vehicle weight.

I was just letting the OP know that his setup and max cargo is normal for the JGC. The more goodies your vehicle has, the lower the amount of stuff you can carry.

Only drawback to the GC is the V-6 is short on power. Especially when you factor in the frontal area of your trailer. Jeep says 55 sq ft max. My trailer is 64. Try holding a 3 x 3 sheet of plywood in front of you in a 65 mile per hour wind. Yikes. And gas milage suffers big time. Normal for me is 24 highway and 17 in town. Towing drops highway to 12 - 13 at 55 - 65 mph. Won't try to go any faster. Retired...not in a hurry any more.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:41 PM   #7
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Another step.

Check the maximum load rating on the tires.

Check the cat scale slip. Should have the weights on both the front and rear axles.

Might explain the difference. Car tires vs light truck tires.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Frogfarmer View Post
Forget the internet specs. 2015 JGC with the V-6 and factory tow package (which I have) gives a max tow capacity of 6200 lbs and a max hitch weight of 620 lbs (From FCA and dealer). Depending on who you believe I am either at 590 lbs hitch weight or 490. Weighing with a hitch scale I come out at 490. My wd adds 100. Some say that hitch weight is the total of the tongue weight plus your wd hitch. Others say the wd is part of the vehicle weight.

I was just letting the OP know that his setup and max cargo is normal for the JGC. The more goodies your vehicle has, the lower the amount of stuff you can carry.

Only drawback to the GC is the V-6 is short on power. Especially when you factor in the frontal area of your trailer. Jeep says 55 sq ft max. My trailer is 64. Try holding a 3 x 3 sheet of plywood in front of you in a 65 mile per hour wind. Yikes. And gas milage suffers big time. Normal for me is 24 highway and 17 in town. Towing drops highway to 12 - 13 at 55 - 65 mph. Won't try to go any faster. Retired...not in a hurry any more.
Actually I quoted the wrong person. Mea Culpa.

I'm getting old lol
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:27 PM   #9
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My 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited has the factory towing package with Class IV hitch and a stated towing capacity of 6500 lbs.

The yellow sticker shows a payload of 1050 lbs. The tires on the vehicle are as stated on the yellow sticker. 110T would be 2337 lb load rating, and T=118 mph

The CAT Scale showed 2520 on the forward axle, 2540 on the rear axle, with just me in the driver seat, and a full load of fuel. (My other calculations in the original post included weight added for my wife, the dog and cat, some vehicle cargo and two kayaks on the roof rack).
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:43 PM   #10
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Since the Limited has all that bling, that's probably why your payload sticker is so low.
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:44 PM   #11
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It's right there on the sticker. "Combined weithg of occupants and cargo must not exceed 1050 pounds" (or similar, it's hard to read).

That's you, the dogs, the weight on the trailer ball, etc.

Quasi SUVs are not good tow vehicles.

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Old 12-02-2020, 07:10 PM   #12
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Dan, and chuck,
I can see that, but then there's this: the GVWR is 6500 lbs. If the vehicle actually weighs 5060 on the scale, even with all the Limited bling in it, doesn't that mean the vehicle can carry the difference (1440 lbs) as cargo? If not, why the mismatch?
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gac1982 View Post
Dan, and chuck,
I can see that, but then there's this: the GVWR is 6500 lbs. If the vehicle actually weighs 5060 on the scale, even with all the Limited bling in it, doesn't that mean the vehicle can carry the difference (1440 lbs) as cargo? If not, why the mismatch?
You are correct, FCA payload sticker’s are way off on WK2/WD

Correct, GVWR - curb weight is your real payload.

I had the same issue with my Durango. The sticker shows 1,200 lbs but by scale the actual is 1,700 lbs (7100 - 5400)

You’re likely to exceed rear GAWR before exceeding the GVWR
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Old 12-03-2020, 02:01 PM   #14
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I would keep an eye on the RAWR also as a good chunk of weight goes on the rear axle. The cargo capacity sticker could be wrong so check the RAWR and weigh the rear axle to confirm.
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Old 12-03-2020, 02:42 PM   #15
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Gac1982 (OP)-you have already done more planning and calculating than 90% of Travel trailer towers. My suggestion is to take your numbers, get something within those numbers and GO HAVE FUN! While you are enjoying your trips make notes on what works and what doesn’t and also your own tastes and preferences. Please come back and let us know your experiences. Thank you for asking our opinions putting up with us
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Old 12-03-2020, 02:43 PM   #16
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If you look into the history of all this stuff you will be amused. I remember when the f150 was advertised with a #4000 payload. In small print it said, depends on options. You had to know power steering, the bed, tailgate, bumper and the spare tire were options.

Somewhere between the DMV, Manufactures, engineers, and the advertising department is the answer.

Only the lord knows. I would load her up to the GVWR and look. I would expect the suv to not be level and require helper springs of some kind.

Drive slow.

You know. We buy the suv's for the DW. Mine prefers her HD RAM diesel. Girls like big trucks!
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:41 PM   #17
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I want to thank everybody who chimed in on this post, and my first post about the Tracer Air 215. As it turns out, the seller sold the Tracer Air 215 to someone else before I could connect with her to go see it. That's probably for the better based on what I've learned about the actual capabilities of my Jeep Grand Cherokee. I think I'm ready to go find a suitable (lighter than I thought) travel trailer, and I owe a debt of gratitude to you more experience folks who made me look a little deeper. And I will watch the rear axle weight (for the last two posters). Good suggestions all.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:27 PM   #18
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Once you weigh in, the payload sticker is irrelevant

Good luck with your search
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