Originally Posted by wkincaid428
I own a 2012 Jeep Patriot Latitude 4x4 with the 2.4L Automatic engine. I have a few questions about the tow capacity which I haven't been able to get a good answer from my dealer or Jeep on.
1. Is the Freedom Drive II package REQUIRED to have a 2000lb towing capacity?
2. I do not have Freedom Drive II. If I get the Trailer Tow Package upgrade, does my tow capacity go up to 2000lbs?
3. Is the 2000lb tow capacity strictly just the trailer weight and its contents? Or is it the combined weight of the vehicle contents, trailer, and trailer contents?
4. Do they have anything figured in to the 2000lb towing capacity? For example, do they assume the weight of 1-2 adults in the vehicle therefore that weight is excluded from the 2000lb towing capacity?
5. Can you explain max. payload vs max tow capacity?
Thanks in advance for any help!
1) - If you don't have FDII then FDII is irrelevant to the discussion. Let's concentrate on what you do have which is an FDI.
2) - All you need to tow 2000lbs is to add the oil cooler kit that is offered through MOPAR at the dealer. It takes coolant and runs it through hoses to an adapter plate that attaches to your motor where the oil filter goes( the OF will screw onto the cooler after install )to cool the oil and thus the motor. The cooler kit is model specific but your local dealer can order you the right one.
NOTE - unless you are at least somewhat mechanically inclined, with at least a medium skill level on DIY things like this, I would let the dealer or an independent mechanic shop install the cooler kit. You want it installed right plus it will be messy( coolant drain ). Should cost you about $300 or a little less for the kit installed even at a dealer( was $275 for me ).
DON'T get the MOPAR hitch and wiring. It is too expensive, it is hard(er) to install( wiring ), and the hitch is a class II that only has a 1.25" receiver. Get an aftermarket class III hitch. While the class III doesn't increase tow capacity on a Patriot over the MOPAR class II hitch it is a more rugged hitch overall plus it will use a 2" receiver that has more options for you.
You may want to have the hitch installed, regardless of what one you get( MOPAR or aftermarket ), as you will have to have the rear bumper fascia( black plastic lower trim part )cut to allow the hitch to be exposed. Also, while the hitch can be installed in the yard using a jack and stands from your back it is much easier on a lift. I gladly paid my body guy $100 to do it. Well worth it. The end result was neat and factory appearing as well( i.e. cut out ).
For wiring get the Drawtite T-ONE harness kit. Super easy to install and works just fine. There is even a power source hidden at the back that is already fused off the fuse box( it is where the OEM trailer harness hooks )that you can tap into and not have to run wires to the front at all. I did mine that way back in 2011 when I got my Pat and it is still working just fine.
I actually got my hitch and wiring off e-bay. It was a Reese hitch( same as Drawtite )w/ the T-ONE wiring harness. It was $160 shipped. There are a TON of similar deals on E-Bay right now. Many brands. Prices range from low $130's( doesn't include shipping )to about $180( with shipping ). The most widely offered kit seems to be using Curt hitches and wiring. Curt hitches are fine but I don't like their wiring as much as the Drawtitie T-ONE. IMO look for a kit with the T-ONE kit. The Curt one will work just fine too though.
NOTE - avoid the kits that have the standard ball mount with them. You need a ball mount that has more rise than the ones they include unless your trailer sits about 2" off the ground. Get the hitch and wiring kit only. After it is installed get your ball mount so that it is the right height for your trailer. This is crucial for towing safety, proper load balance, and proper tongue weight. The trailer needs to sit flat and level not be nose down or nose up( a little nose down is ok ).
3) - the 2000lbs means the combined weight of the trailer itself, whatever is on it( i.e., boat, motorcycle, snowmobile, etc... ), and whatever gear may be in whatever is on the trailer. I will use my boat as an example for you....
Trailer Weight: 410 lbs
Boat Weight: 638lbs
Motor Weight: 225lbs
Duck Blind Weight: 100lbs
Gear Weight( battery, gas tank, tools, oars, decoys, fishing gear, etc... ): 300lbs +/-
Total = 1673 lbs
That is how you figure the weight. It is everything being towed added up. Also the approx. 1700lbs I tow is definitely pushing the limit. I towed a 1900lbs boat setup to a kids fishing derby for a sponsor and I definitely knew it was back there. The 2000lbs max capacity is a real max # not some made up one. Don't exceed it.
4) - 2 adults in the vehicle and a little gear is not going to really impact max towing capacity. However, don't have 5 adults and the cargo area loaded to the roof with 800-900lbs either. If you max out the payload( see #5 below )it does mean you should back off on what you are towing.
5) - Max Towing Capacity is just that, it is the maximum combined weight you can tow on the trailer( including the weight of the trailer ). Max Payload Capacity is referring the maximum combined weight you can haul inside the vehicle in the cargo area which technically includes the weight of people but that is seldom figured in by folks. Max Payload on a Patriot varies by engine size, trans it is equipped with, and if FWD or 4WD. Anywhere from 1130lbs to 1320lbs.
Hope this helps you out.