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Old 05-06-2014, 08:40 AM
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First long towing trip

We took a trip from St. Louis to Panama City Beach last week. About 1600 miles roundtrip and towing about 1250 lbs., 3 adults, and luggage. The Cherokee got 19.5 mpg on the way down and 21.1 on the return. I didn't use cruise control, but faster downhill and slower uphill. The Cherokee did a great job. It spent a lot of time in 7th gear with occasional downshift or up shifts. On a few large hills, it would hit 5th gear, but pulled hard up the hill. All in all, I was very impressed.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:15 AM
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Re: First long towing trip

Just wondering how much of a break in you did before your first haul?


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Old 05-07-2014, 11:32 AM
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It had 5000 miles on it. Plus, we changed the oil before the trip.
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:49 PM
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Re: First long towing trip

Towing break in:
I know the manual says 500 miles at no more than 50mph. Also no full throttle accelerations etc. during this mileage.
That is to let the gears settle in to the higher load without overheating the gears or burning the trans fluid.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:46 PM
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Re: First long towing trip

My Jeep is the Latitude 4x4, 4.2l, tow package. I am contemplating a trailer purchase, dry weight of 2600# and GVWR of 3500#. Knowing how I load a trailer my estimate is I'll be towing at no more than 3200#. The dry hitch weight is 315# and I estimate my loaded hitch weight won't be over 400#. The trailer height is 9' and width is 7'. It looks like the weights will be ok for the Jeep but I'm wondering about the frontal area the trailer presents. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack1947 View Post
My Jeep is the Latitude 4x4, 4.2l, tow package. I am contemplating a trailer purchase, dry weight of 2600# and GVWR of 3500#. Knowing how I load a trailer my estimate is I'll be towing at no more than 3200#. The dry hitch weight is 315# and I estimate my loaded hitch weight won't be over 400#. The trailer height is 9' and width is 7'. It looks like the weights will be ok for the Jeep but I'm wondering about the frontal area the trailer presents. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
I think short hauls you'd be ok. Longer hauls might be a problem. Sounds like you are thinking about getting an enclosed trailer, so wind drag will be very noticeable. I had about 135 lbs of tongue weight, plus luggage and 3 adults with no noticeable sag on the rear. I also have a V6 model.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:38 AM
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Re: First long towing trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepster910 View Post
Towing break in:
I know the manual says 500 miles at no more than 50mph. Also no full throttle accelerations etc. during this mileage.
That is to let the gears settle in to the higher load without overheating the gears or burning the trans fluid.
Don't worry about the gears. Five hundred miles is a lot more breakin than they get when they are being tested. That would be less than 10 miles and it then goes straight to the capacity of the axle.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:53 AM
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Re: First long towing trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack1947 View Post
My Jeep is the Latitude 4x4, 4.2l, tow package. I am contemplating a trailer purchase, dry weight of 2600# and GVWR of 3500#. Knowing how I load a trailer my estimate is I'll be towing at no more than 3200#. The dry hitch weight is 315# and I estimate my loaded hitch weight won't be over 400#. The trailer height is 9' and width is 7'. It looks like the weights will be ok for the Jeep but I'm wondering about the frontal area the trailer presents. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Dig into the manual on towing specs. There is a max frontal area they allow for the KL Cherokee with V6. exceeding tat will put stress on the system both mechanical and drivability. Those are the design limits.
Just watch the break in.

Your weights look good and if you are at 3200# you have a nice safety margin.
Also your brake controller coupling is left of the steering wheel under the plastic covering over the floor.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:10 AM
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Re: First long towing trip

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Originally Posted by loveracing1988 View Post
Don't worry about the gears. Five hundred miles is a lot more breakin than they get when they are being tested. That would be less than 10 miles and it then goes straight to the capacity of the axle.
Testing is under no load when it is done.
Regular driving load for the first 300 miles is not the problem unless excessive speed/RPMs come into play.

Towing puts load and increased heat into the equation.
Your 300 mile initial break in was to let the gears temper/meld, that is heat up and cool down without over heating.
New gears or gears under load will generate more heat. Thus the Tow break in in addition to the initial 300 mile break in.
The other issue is if you overheat those gears, transmission/axle, you can damage/overheat the fluid. That would not be good for the life of those items.
The engineers put those two break in requirements into the manual for a reason.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:17 AM
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Re: First long towing trip

What do you mean testing is under no load? How exactly would that work?
The only reason they put those on there is liability. If some person buys a new Jeep and pulls off the lot and puts whatever the max towing capacity is right off the bat, and then turns around and drives 95 mph crossed country and has a problem the dealer can point to that in the manual and say it isnt covered. You also aren't taking into account most axles are pre "broken in" from the factory.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:16 AM
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Re: First long towing trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveracing1988 View Post
What do you mean testing is under no load? How exactly would that work?
The only reason they put those on there is liability. If some person buys a new Jeep and pulls off the lot and puts whatever the max towing capacity is right off the bat, and then turns around and drives 95 mph crossed country and has a problem the dealer can point to that in the manual and say it isnt covered. You also aren't taking into account most axles are pre "broken in" from the factory.
First off testing under no load is normal driving if it is done at all.
Load is speed/weight/RPMs. They have a track they can drive on if they do a test.

Axles/transmission gears are not broken in 100%. Thus the break in requirements. A lot shorter these days than years ago. Thus towing break in requirements in addition to the initial break in.
Speed/weight/RPMs all generate heat. On gears, That is Transmission/Axle, damage can occur if excessive even once and you burn the fluid.
Your opinion is fine with me. Its your vehicle. I just choose to follow the break in to the letter as I have with the prior 3 Jeeps with Tow I have owned.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:25 AM
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Re: First long towing trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepster910 View Post
First off testing under no load is normal driving if it is done at all.
Load is speed/weight/RPMs. They have a track they can drive on if they do a test.

Axles/transmission gears are not broken in 100%. Thus the break in requirements. A lot shorter these days than years ago. Thus towing break in requirements in addition to the initial break in.
Speed/weight/RPMs all generate heat. On gears, That is Transmission/Axle, damage can occur if excessive even once and you burn the fluid.
Your opinion is fine with me. Its your vehicle. I just choose to follow the break in to the letter as I have with the prior 3 Jeeps with Tow I have owned.
When I refer to testing, I am talking about R&D. During that everything is subjected to much higher torque than it will ever see in the vehicle, during that the total break in time is around 10 minutes, after that it goes to full torque. That is what I am refering to when I talk about testing.
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