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Unread 08-23-2014, 11:20 PM   #1
ribeye3
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2001 Cherokee sport classic towing capacity

I'm sure this has been asked but my Google is not cooperating with me tonight.

I am looking at buying a Cherokee to tow my 1500 lb 20 foot pontoon with. It has a longer wheelbase than my wrangler. I prefer the classic look but I may have to get a wj.

What is the towing capacity of the xj with the 4.0.

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Unread 08-24-2014, 09:34 AM   #2
S8NNG8
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Unibodies don't make good towiing rigs for the long haul, pun intended
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Unread 08-24-2014, 10:32 AM   #3
LimeLJ
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Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds with a proper hitch setup, automatic transmission, and automatic transmission cooler. The manual transmission combination is rated for 2,000 pounds.

1,500 pounds with the trailer and gear I would estimate is around 3,000 pounds. That is still out of the territory of needing a weight distributing hitch.

Unibody Jeeps are fine for long haul towing.
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Unread 08-24-2014, 11:05 AM   #4
S8NNG8
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Originally Posted by LimeLJ View Post

Unibody Jeeps are fine for long haul towing.
I guess that is a matter of choice based on whether you care about the all-around longevity of your rig. If I had a unibody that wasn't in as good of shape as mine, I might consider towing something small. But I wouldn't tow anything that is structurally larger than the Jeep. It allows the probabilities of getting blown/pulled off the road to increase dramatically.
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Unread 08-24-2014, 11:50 AM   #5
dmill89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S8NNG8 View Post
I guess that is a matter of choice based on whether you care about the all-around longevity of your rig. If I had a unibody that wasn't in as good of shape as mine, I might consider towing something small. But I wouldn't tow anything that is structurally larger than the Jeep. It allows the probabilities of getting blown/pulled off the road to increase dramatically.
Longevity isn't really an issue, the XJ (and ZJ, WJ, WK, WK2) uni-frame was designed to handle the loads that it is rated for. The "uni-frame" (what AMC called it) on the XJ is not like a standard car uni-body, it is a combination of a uni-body and a ladder-frame with full length main rails and cross-members.

Control is the real issue. With the XJ only weighing around 3,400 lbs. and most coming from the factory with 9" drums in the rear anything much beyond 3,000 lbs. can get a bit "squirrelly" if you aren't careful.

Of course if your uni-frame is rusted to hell towing is not a good idea but as long as it is in good shape towing up to the factory rating (5,000 lbs.) should be a non-issue from a structural standpoint.
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Unread 08-24-2014, 12:13 PM   #6
S8NNG8
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This forum is getting a bit useless for info. Every question I've seen in the last few months have turned into a contradiction of points of view. The impending answer to all issues is "Do as you please."
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Unread 08-24-2014, 10:08 PM   #7
chris87xj
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My ATV on its trailer is about 1500 lbs and I hardly know it's back there.
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Unread 08-25-2014, 04:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S8NNG8 View Post
This forum is getting a bit useless for info. Every question I've seen in the last few months have turned into a contradiction of points of view. The impending answer to all issues is "Do as you please."
Read a few threads, see which members usually have the correct answer. There are many skilled and experienced Jeep owners here. Some people are trying to be helpful, but are simply misinformed.

Drivers not very experienced at towing should err on the side of caution. Loads larger than 3,500-4000 lbs really should have a larger tow vehicle. Braking capability, and control of the load, are the issues when towing large loads with the XJ.

As always, YMMV.
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Unread 08-26-2014, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
Read a few threads, see which members usually have the correct answer. There are many skilled and experienced Jeep owners here. Some people are trying to be helpful, but are simply misinformed.

Drivers not very experienced at towing should err on the side of caution. Loads larger than 3,500-4000 lbs really should have a larger tow vehicle. Braking capability, and control of the load, are the issues when towing large loads with the XJ.

As always, YMMV.
I agree completely. Don't just look at one response. Look at everything as a whole then if you are still unsure look for users that have been around for awhile like Tim here.
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Unread 08-26-2014, 06:37 PM   #10
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Well ok, in light of the above posts, here are my credentials first.

I am a 22 year veteran in the trucking industry, prior to that worked in vehicle modification and custom trailer building, and have owned and pulled good sized trailers with several unibody vehicles, latest being my XJ.

MY 2 cents. Your pontoon will not be an issue for your truck given it is not a rust monster. Do strongly suggest class 3 receiver of your favorite brand. Optional equipment: trans cooler is a good idea. If you are also looking into loading down the truck with gear and don't want the rough ride and expense in replacing the rear springs, look into air ride for the rear.

This is assuming that we are discussing a stock vehicle. My thoughts might change if it is lifted.
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