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  #37  
Old 05-08-2017, 10:51 PM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

Hi All, I am new to the forum having just gotten our 2017 JGC Limited 4 x 4 3.6 V6 with a Class IV Tow package. I am very very interested in towing a small TT, looking at #3500-4000 lbs UVW. I am reading everything possible on towing with this car and this seems to be the closest thread with info I am looking for. I am still learning about what we need and want and am curious now about the anti sway bar that other threads talk about. Do we need it with this tow package? I am also looking at the Lance as well as the Winnie Mini 2106DS. Also, my door sticker on the vehicle says 6500, but was tol 6200 max tow. Any and all feedback is NEEDED AND WANTED! By the way, just got our Sexy Beast on Friday and I am loving it!!!!
Thanks so much

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Old 05-09-2017, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoyfulC View Post
Hi All, I am new to the forum having just gotten our 2017 JGC Limited 4 x 4 3.6 V6 with a Class IV Tow package. I am very very interested in towing a small TT, looking at #3500-4000 lbs UVW. I am reading everything possible on towing with this car and this seems to be the closest thread with info I am looking for. I am still learning about what we need and want and am curious now about the anti sway bar that other threads talk about. Do we need it with this tow package? I am also looking at the Lance as well as the Winnie Mini 2106DS. Also, my door sticker on the vehicle says 6500, but was tol 6200 max tow. Any and all feedback is NEEDED AND WANTED! By the way, just got our Sexy Beast on Friday and I am loving it!!!!
Thanks so much
I just started my first season towing a travel trailer as well so I understand where you are coming from! I am towing with an ecodiesel, stated curb weight of 5275 (I think), GVWR of 6800, max tongue weight of 720, max tow of 7200. I am using an equalizer brand hitch with built in sway bars to tow a Jayco Jay Feather 23BHM, dry weight of 5100, GVWR of 6250. I got weighed yesterday at the end of a weekend trip at 5800 for the loaded trailer and 5920 for the loaded Jeep. I had only 520 lbs of tongue weight though and the weight distribution hitch moved 100 lbs of that weight back onto the trailer when hitched up. Without the built in sway control, I probably would have had some sway with my low tongue weight. It was only our third trip so I am still figuring out how to load the trailer to achieve a good tongue weight (last time I was too heavy).

I read somewhere when doing my research that it would be wise choose a trailer with a GVWR no greater than your tow vehicles rating for tow capacity. Also, it seems that many people shoot for an actual trailer weight no greater than 80% of your rating to allow a margin of safety. A good reference for you may be http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml however Jeep hasn't published the GCWR for us so just use GVWR plus tow rating as an assumed GCWR.

I also would like to point out that you need to consider your tow vehicles payload capacity. One RV dealer told me that "the only thing you need to consider is tow rating" and that "a weight distribution hitch puts all the tongue weight back onto the trailer and the tongue weight does not count as payload". Both of those statements being false, I found myself a new RV dealer. For your payload, take the curb weight of your Jeep (go to a CAT scale and get a real weight for $11) and subtract that from your GVWR of 6500. That should tell you how much your passengers, cargo and tongue weight can add up to on your Jeep.

Additionally, the tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailer's weight. Ideally your tongue weight would be right in the middle, so for a 4000 lbs trailer that's about 500 lbs plus the weight of the hitch, about 100 lbs, putting you under the 620 lbs max tongue weight I believe you have.

Hopefully my experience gives you some insight!

PS: I would recommend the equilizer hitch as it's been working great for me (no sway noticed when semis blow past me on the freeway).
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  #39  
Old 05-09-2017, 01:01 AM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

we just picked up a new Lance trailer 1995. Towed from dealer near factory in Lancaster, CA with out 2016 JGC with factory tow, diesel engine. Have weight dist hitch (Andersen) and brake controller, 4x4, off road package. Plenty of power with this engine. Know nothing about the 6 cyl

I am responding to you suggesting a closer look by you at Lance products vs the Winnie product. We looked at both at Pomona RV Show. Did not think Winnie product was well constructed. We went on the Lance factory tour and explored the Lance Owners of America forum. Much quality and innovation in Lance product. Try to understand how each is constructed and witrh what before you decide on which brand. The factory tour of the Lance factory was an eye opener.
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Old 05-09-2017, 08:07 AM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoyfulC View Post
Hi All, I am new to the forum having just gotten our 2017 JGC Limited 4 x 4 3.6 V6 with a Class IV Tow package. I am very very interested in towing a small TT, looking at #3500-4000 lbs UVW. I am reading everything possible on towing with this car and this seems to be the closest thread with info I am looking for. I am still learning about what we need and want and am curious now about the anti sway bar that other threads talk about. Do we need it with this tow package? I am also looking at the Lance as well as the Winnie Mini 2106DS. Also, my door sticker on the vehicle says 6500, but was tol 6200 max tow. Any and all feedback is NEEDED AND WANTED! By the way, just got our Sexy Beast on Friday and I am loving it!!!!
Thanks so much
I just started towing a travel trailer this spring so I know where you are coming from!

I saw another forum recommend this link: Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
Jeep doesn't publish the GCWR for the JGC so I just assumed GVWR + tow rating.

I know many people state that you should not purchase a trailer with a GVWR larger than your tow rating, even if the dry weight is far below your rating. I feel good knowing that my trailer's GVWR is lower than my tow rating. I am towing with an ecodiesel, max tow 7200 lbs, and my trailer's GVWR is 6250 lbs.

The thing that wasn't evident to me until I started looking around was that you need to pay attention to the payload you are adding to your Jeep. The tongue weight adds a lot - 10-15% so shoot for 12.5% of the trailers actual loaded weight. If that puts your trailer at 4000 lbs, that should be 500 lbs of tongue weight added to your Jeep. This counts towards your Jeep's GVWR of 6500. Add that to the weight of you, your passengers, the weight distribution hitch, any cargo, and the curb weight of the Jeep to find out how close you are to the Jeep's GCWR limit of 6500.

I have an equi-i-zer hitch for my Jayco 23BHM and it works great. It is distributing the weight well and when semi tricks blow past me on the freeway I barely feel them moving me and around. I would recommend it. My trailer weighed 5800 lbs this weekend. I am still figuring our how to load it just-right so that I get the desired tongue weight and was a little light on the tongue this weekend at 520 lbs or 9%.
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  #41  
Old 05-09-2017, 08:13 AM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoyfulC View Post
I am still learning about what we need and want and am curious now about the anti sway bar that other threads talk about. Do we need it with this tow package? y Beast on Friday and I am loving it!!!!
Thanks so much
For tongue weights above 350 lbs, Jeep requires a WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch) to insure that the tow vehicle remains stable with both axils loaded properly. Without it, the front end gets light and that can affect steering, braking and overall stability. WDH generally provides additional stabilization for the trailer, too, and camping trailers generally benefit from that additional stability, either natively or with an add-on anti-sway bar to the hitch.

Talk to your RV dealer about the correct setup for your JGC...they will know about this. You will also be needing a brake controller. Your JGC is pre-wired for it, but you still need the device.
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  #42  
Old 05-09-2017, 09:03 AM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

Hello JoyfulC-
I'm have the same situation as you. A 2017 JGC Limited 4X4 with factory tow Class IV tow package. Here's what I can share:


Both of the Travel trailers you mention are towable by the JGC as long as you don't exceed the 6200lb max weight rating of the JGC and keep the hitch weight at or below the rated 620lbs. A WDH is essentially a must. Both have a profile that just fits into the 55 sq ft frontal stated in the JGC owners manual.


1. The Tow rating for the 3.6L Gas V6 is 6200lbs provided you have the FACTORY Class IV Tow Package installed. Without the Class IV factory package you would be limited to 3500lbs due to not having the heavy duty engine cooling and "standard suspension with load leveling".


2. The 6500lb limit shown on the door placard is the maximum loaded weight of the JGC. This includes the curb weight of the vehicle PLUS driver, passengers, cargo in the vehicle AND the Weight Distributing Hitch (which is considered cargo). For most if not all 2016/2017 GJC's the placard stated maximum payload is 1050lbs.


3. The limitations are based on the suspension, engine, transmission, drive train, and maximum axle rating for front and rear axles of the vehicle and tires this is on the TIRE placard.


4. Due to the design and weight loading the maximum tongue or hitch weight for the 3.6L V6 is 620lbs. This should be 10-15% of the full LOADED trailer weight so your loading of the trailer should be allowing for this as it affects stability.


5. Most will recommend a LOADED trailer weight of 75-80% of a vehicle's towing capacity. This should provide satisfactory performance in most situations. Exceptions include frequent mountain pass driving and high altitude driving. Since the 3.6L V6 is "normally aspirated" it will have diminished power as the altitude increases (losing as much as 30-40% of sea-level power at 10,000ft). Normally aspirated V8 engines have what is often considered excess power at sea-level but as altitude increases and performance decreases the power available is reduced to what most consider acceptable. Turbocharged engines continue to produce essentially sea-level power at high altitudes.


6. The JGC has a relatively short wheelbase (compared to a pick-up or extended length SUV) so will be more affected by side winds and buffeting such as a experienced with a passing Semi-tractor/trailer. 22' is probably the best choice for a maximum trailer length for this vehicle. A Weight distributing hitch (WDH) with anti-SWAY features is essentially a must for any travel trailer tow situation. This provides better weight distribution of the load to the tow vehicle front and real axles and less issues from side force wind forces.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:47 AM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

Thank you so much everyone for your information. Keep it coming! I am reading and re-reading all of it. I want to make towing a fun and relaxed experience, so doing everything I can to learn what is safe for my pretty baby is of utmost importance to me. As I take in all this info, I am sure that I will have a few questions.

KRAvcat, have you looked a specific TTs and what are findings? In your info above, you stat that 22' if the best choice for max length. Is that box length only? or including hitch?
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  #44  
Old 05-09-2017, 12:05 PM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

JoyfulC-


If you seek out recommendations for trailer length vs tow vehicle wheelbase you'll find a formula referenced that says for the first 110" of tow vehicle wheelbase, you can tow 20' of travel trailer and for each additional 5" of wheelbase add 1 ft of trailer. This formula was determined some time in the past by an RV group and seems to be the only formula based recommendation I could find. With a 115" (114.8") for the current Grand Cherokee, it suggests a 21' trailer length would be an ideal maximum. Although I can't find if this includes the tongue of the trailer I am taking the conservative approach and assuming it does. Allowing a slight fudge factor, I'm willing to add a foot to the length since current builds mostly have a more aerodynamic front than the more boxy Trailers of the past. I've seen that many JC owners are towing 23'-25' (or more) overall length trailers successfully with a grand Cherokee. Also I've noted that most towing over the 21' overall length are either Hemi powered of have the previously available ECO-Diesel, both of these are stronger (higher torque and beefier transmission) engine/transmission configurations than the 3.6L V6.


I have indeed looked at numerous travel trailers including the Winnebago 2106 and the Lance 1685 and 1995 models as potential next additions to our travels. Both the Winnebago 2106 and Lances are top quality from our viewpoint and offer a good size for us as we are just two and tend to travel light. While I do like the Lance 1995 due to the walk-around bed, the added 2'8" in length does add a fair amount of potential side force with the added 17 sq ft of side area which will likely affect the side force (sway potential) when encountering cross winds or a semi passing you or from the oncoming lane on a 2 lane highway... this will be noticeable but depending on your comfort level when towing would be worth considering.


When choosing the Grand Cherokee we were specifically looking at the Lance 1685 which is wider than the Winnie 2106 and gives a roomier interior which is a big plus for us. The Lance height is lower with a Box height of 6.8' so even though wider, is not as tall as some so frontal area is within spec for the JGC. The 2106 and Lance 1685 and 1995 are tandem axle which makes load balancing a little less sensitive and will add a bit of added lateral stability, as well as a less dramatic situation in the event of a tire failure. We went to a local RV show this past weekend and the Lance 1685 continues to be our favorite.


Many will wisely advise you to not just look at UVW since this does not include added options, Propane, Water in the tanks or what you put into the trailer. For us we came up with the following as our likely loading on a typically optioned out 1685:


Trailer "Dry" weight: 4150 (approx. with options)
Batteries: 90
Propane (2 tanks full) 40
10 gal of Water 75 (enough to flush the toilet while enroute)
Food, clothes, misc 400 (probably more than we would actually need)
A small Generator 50
Total 4805 (77.5% of rated trailer weight with load balanced for 620lb tongue weight provides 12.9% hitch weight - nicely inside the recommended 10-15% hitch weight for stable towing)


For us we could add to the Tow Vehicle the following estimated payload (1050 max rated):


The Tongue weight: 620 lb
Weight Distribution Hitch: 80 lb
Driver and Passenger 300 lb
Snacks and Beverage 20 lb
Total 1020 lb


We could add a 30 lb puppy or three 10 lb kittens and we'd be at max payload for the JC. If we dropped the tongue weight to about 10% we could carry one full sized (150 lb) rear-seat passenger or 2 smaller children.
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  #45  
Old 05-10-2017, 03:55 PM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KR Avcat View Post
Hello JoyfulC-
I'm have the same situation as you. A 2017 JGC Limited 4X4 with factory tow Class IV tow package. Here's what I can share:


6. The JGC has a relatively short wheelbase (compared to a pick-up or extended length SUV) so will be more affected by side winds and buffeting such as a experienced with a passing Semi-tractor/trailer. 22' is probably the best choice for a maximum trailer length for this vehicle. A Weight distributing hitch (WDH) with anti-SWAY features is essentially a must for any travel trailer tow situation. This provides better weight distribution of the load to the tow vehicle front and real axles and less issues from side force wind forces.
I have noticed that while the jeep seems very stable for my 23ft trailer when properly weight distributed at 55/60mph, it begins to get a little more "wiggly" at 65ish+ MPH. I am generally attributing this to the somewhat non-aerodynamic and large shape of my trailer front (angled but flat) that gets more accentuated when speeds increase. Anyone else have similar observations>
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:19 AM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

Amazing information my friends! I do love the Lance, but it may be cost prohibitive after getting the car. I keep looking at options, and now I feel much more educated in the process.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:15 PM
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Re: Towing 20+ foot travel trailer - feedback?

Loading your trailer so most of the weight is in the front will help minimize trailer sway. We towed a 19-ft and 23-ft travel trailer with a 2008 and 2014 Grand Cherokee and used a friction bar sway control device and never had any problem with trailer sway although we never had to tow in very windy conditions.
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