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Unread 03-21-2010, 08:17 PM   #1
Culchie
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Pulling an RV (weight)

I'm thinking of getting my first Travel Trailer. I need to know what the maximum empty weight trailer I could pull safely. I have a 2003 Jeep GC Laredo with 4.0L power tech I-6, 3.73 axle ratio, P245/70R16 tires. If anyone has experience towing an RV with a GC comparable to mine please share your info. It will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Wayne

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Unread 03-21-2010, 09:04 PM   #2
BAMAJK
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Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ - Trailer towing

This says 5,000 lbs max. I would think anything over 4,000 would be a little hairy. Maybe there's someone here who has more experience with your application. Good Luck!
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Unread 03-22-2010, 02:10 PM   #3
thantos858
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Stick with 5000 and under you will feel it at the max rating. Also when you tow you want to inflate your tires to the max psi it helps with the ride. The 5000 lbs is for a fully loaded trailer which is what you need to car about not empty weight.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 02:45 PM   #4
Culchie
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Thanks guys. Right now I have a class IV hitch with a 2" ball. I understand I would need to get a weight distribution hitch or "equalizer" ? Would that be something that would work with my existing hitch ?
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Unread 03-23-2010, 06:53 AM   #5
USMCredneck
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Yes, a class IV hitch will accept a weight distribution hitch, but make sure your trailer's tongue weight isn't over the rating of the hitch.

As was said before, gross trailer weight (GVWR) is the number to look at, not dry weight. Also, if you will be getting a trailer at or near your jeep's max tow rating, take her to a scale and have her weighed to make sure you will not be over your max combined vehicle weight (GCVWR). Most vehicle weights are given with half a tank of fuel and driver only. Add camping gear, other passengers, etc. and it can add up quickly. If you are in an accident while towing and found to be over your GCVWR, life gets much more interesting with insurance companies and what not.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 08:23 AM   #6
Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Culchie View Post
I'm thinking of getting my first Travel Trailer. I need to know what the maximum empty weight trailer I could pull safely. I have a 2003 Jeep GC Laredo with 4.0L power tech I-6, 3.73 axle ratio, P245/70R16 tires. If anyone has experience towing an RV with a GC comparable to mine please share your info. It will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Wayne
I had an 01 Grand and it was a total POS for towing. It was rated to tow 5k, my trailer loaded was about 3000-3500lbs. Dry it weighs 2700lbs. My TJ towed it better.

I hated it for towing, great vehicle otherwise. It felt like the trailer was pushing or pulling me everywhere I went.

I am sure an equalizer hitch would have helped.

I had the 4.0l and don't expect to spend time in the fast land but don't worry, you won't want to.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 08:28 AM   #7
Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Culchie View Post
Thanks guys. Right now I have a class IV hitch with a 2" ball. I understand I would need to get a weight distribution hitch or "equalizer" ? Would that be something that would work with my existing hitch ?

I think most camper traielrs other than pop ups will need a larger ball, easy change. Get a distribution or equalizer hitch.
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Last edited by Ross; 03-23-2010 at 08:41 AM..
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Unread 03-23-2010, 11:13 AM   #8
Culchie
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Thanks guys. One thing I've heard time and again is to weigh the trailer and vehicle. How am I suppose to do this BEFORE I buy the trailer ??
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Unread 03-23-2010, 11:32 AM   #9
Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Culchie View Post
Thanks guys. One thing I've heard time and again is to weigh the trailer and vehicle. How am I suppose to do this BEFORE I buy the trailer ??
Just think about the extra things you add when you travel. Extra people, luggage, camping gear, fuel, water, etc whether it is in the trailer or your jeep.
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"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." Zig Ziglar
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Unread 03-23-2010, 11:39 AM   #10
USMCredneck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Culchie View Post
Thanks guys. One thing I've heard time and again is to weigh the trailer and vehicle. How am I suppose to do this BEFORE I buy the trailer ??
The trailer's GVWR rating will be the number to use for trailer weight. Like others have said, you aren't worried about the trailer's dry weight because once you get it you will put your gear in it, put water in the tank, etc.

The important things are to make sure the GVWR of the trailer is within your max tow rating and the GVWR of the trailer and the ACTUAL weight of your jeep do not exceed your GCVWR.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 12:03 PM   #11
Ross
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Another thing to look into. When you look at max towing weight is there a disclaimer that says when properly equipped? There could be other options, such as different axles and gearing, oil coolers trans coolers and accessories such as an equalizer hitch needed to achieve this rating. You may need to have the factory tow package to achieve that ability. There may be more than just a hitch that is included with the factory package used to come up with this rating.
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"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." Zig Ziglar
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Unread 03-23-2010, 12:18 PM   #12
Culchie
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Yes, I was wondering if I needed to add coolers to my Jeep. As far as I know, I don't have them. I'm sure this is very important.
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Unread 03-30-2010, 05:12 PM   #13
345jeep
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I-6 will be a dog for pulling a travel trailer due to aerodynamic drag. I'd stick with a pop up with that motor.
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Unread 03-31-2010, 01:30 AM   #14
Culchie
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I've decided to stick with just towing the pop up with my Jeep after reading some of the posts and information I got from Daimler Crysler. Since I don't have the factory tow package, they gave me even lower weight capacities and a 25ft length limit. I guess I will have to look for another tow vehicle. Thanks guys.
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Unread 04-02-2010, 08:09 PM   #15
Md_06Unltd
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The key to towing is being smart about it. AND taking your time.

Amongst the many factors are weight limits, hitch ratings, weight distribution set ups, brake controllers, Load rated tires and gearing.

I have an 06 LJ, rated at 3500lbs. I just purchased a KZ 16C (14" tires). The trailer is dry at 2850 +/-. The tongue weight is 300lbs with propane and battery. I had the dealer install a Reese 600lb weight distribution hitch with dual cam anti sway bars. I also added a quality Prodigy brake controller (with boost). I am running Procomp A/T's which are load rated "E" (up to 80lbs psi).

The LJ will only be towing the trailer occasionally (I have a Commander that will do most of the towing), but I did pick it up from the dealer with the LJ to test it out.

My drive home was approx 40 miles. I traversed two 950 ft mountains with little effort, both up hill and down in 5th gear. One direction up was from just about a standing stop. I took my time and gradually brought it up to speed and it did just fine. On the highway I ran 60mph with no sway or stress on the engine. My gas mileage plummeted (as expected), but I also filled the tank with 89 octane for the extra power.

I was initially thinking of swapping out the rotors for something larger and vented (I may still do this), but overall the LJ handled it just fine. Most of the weekend off road trips I take the trailer to I will be by myself, so I don't have the extra weight of an extra body or two, and additional equip inside the trailer won't exceed 200lbs. The tanks will remain dry until I get to or near the camp site.

I have seen and spoken to others who tow the Jayco 17 C and 17Z models (now axle free) with their Unlimited's and they all reported no problems...but again, the key is tow smart, and take your time.

My biggest problem is mirrors.....when I look in mine, all I see is trailer...so I'll have to work on this.
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