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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I realize manufacturers have gotten very cautious with tow ratings given the amount of sue happy people today, but has anyone actually read the towing portion of their owners manual?

Yes a hemi can tow over 7000lbs, but they also state any load over 3500lbs needs a load leveling hitch. Seriously?

For those that own boats, how much are you towing; and are you using a load leveling hitch? 3500lbs is a pretty small boat, and typically load leveling hitches cannot be used with surge brakes. Since most if not all trailers for boats use surge style brakes, what are you guys doing to get around this?

3500lb limit for a vehicle as big as the WK2 is pretty sad; yes the smaller wheelbase makes it more apt to sway while towing but between the sway control and the autoleveling that comes with the tow package, I am still in disbelief. I don't think the smaller WJ & WK Jeeps had these stipulations.
 

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Waggie
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Tristar, my 11 WK2 handles our circa 6k lb boat up some pretty demanding passes, IMO you are good without the extra doo dads but that is just me.

 

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Tristar, my 11 WK2 handles our circa 6k lb boat up some pretty demanding passes, IMO you are good without the extra doo dads but that is just me.

Great picture! I can't wait to start towing with my Jeep. Thanks for the towing information.
 

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I realize manufacturers have gotten very cautious with tow ratings given the amount of sue happy people today, but has anyone actually read the towing portion of their owners manual?

Yes a hemi can tow over 7000lbs, but they also state any load over 3500lbs needs a load leveling hitch. Seriously?

For those that own boats, how much are you towing; and are you using a load leveling hitch? 3500lbs is a pretty small boat, and typically load leveling hitches cannot be used with surge brakes. Since most if not all trailers for boats use surge style brakes, what are you guys doing to get around this?

3500lb limit for a vehicle as big as the WK2 is pretty sad; yes the smaller wheelbase makes it more apt to sway while towing but between the sway control and the autoleveling that comes with the tow package, I am still in disbelief. I don't think the smaller WJ & WK Jeeps had these stipulations.
I've been towing 4500 LB boat without Load Leveling on my 2002 GC 4.0L and I wish it had load leveling setup. It does have surge breaks. I don't tow it far. If I did tow it far, I would want a load leveling setup. If I recall the 2002 GC did say break assist was needed above a certain weight.

I have used the load leveling system on a 5000+ LB setup and you use Electric Breaks. They actually work quite well and they use the backup lights (available on wiring harness) to disable the breaks. Some surge breaks do that too. I had not thought about the surge break thing w.r.t. load leveling hitch, but you are probably right.

But it towed like it was 2000 LBS.

I plan to do the same with the 2014 and will probably tow this weekend.

I think surge breaks is not legal in some states.
 

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I realize manufacturers have gotten very cautious with tow ratings given the amount of sue happy people today, but has anyone actually read the towing portion of their owners manual?

Yes a hemi can tow over 7000lbs, but they also state any load over 3500lbs needs a load leveling hitch. Seriously?

For those that own boats, how much are you towing; and are you using a load leveling hitch? 3500lbs is a pretty small boat, and typically load leveling hitches cannot be used with surge brakes. Since most if not all trailers for boats use surge style brakes, what are you guys doing to get around this?

3500lb limit for a vehicle as big as the WK2 is pretty sad; yes the smaller wheelbase makes it more apt to sway while towing but between the sway control and the autoleveling that comes with the tow package, I am still in disbelief. I don't think the smaller WJ & WK Jeeps had these stipulations.

I tow all kinds of stuff, way better with a WD / Sway control system.... There are lots out there that are surge compatible.

Link: Equal-i-zer® Hitch - The “American Original” with 4-Point Sway Control™ and Weight Distribution
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I tow all kinds of stuff, way better with a WD / Sway control system.... There are lots out there that are surge compatible.

Link: Equal-i-zer® Hitch - The “American Original” with 4-Point Sway Control™ and Weight Distribution
Good info.

I guess I struggle with the need considering the Jeep has sway control, and air bags in the rear to level the load. I don't tow up steep grades, long distances, and it is only 4700lbs. I also don't exceed 75mph.

Simply put, I would rather not mess around with a $700+ hitch upgrade that needs to be adjusted each time I want to trailer.

Again, thanks for the replies, I look forward to more opinions.
 

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Good info.

I guess I struggle with the need considering the Jeep has sway control, and air bags in the rear to level the load. I don't tow up steep grades, long distances, and it is only 4700lbs. I also don't exceed 75mph.

Simply put, I would rather not mess around with a $700+ hitch upgrade that needs to be adjusted each time I want to trailer.

Again, thanks for the replies, I look forward to more opinions.
A few things....

Sway control on a vehicle uses the abs system to control a severe issue for safety, sway control bars minimize the chance of this happening.

Load leveling suspension will not affect weight distribution for control and steering purposes at all.

I have towed everything from 3000 pounds to 12,000 pounds. If it is in that weight range, is not a fifth wheel and you are going to drive it on the interstate, it needs sway control.

Lots of boats in the ditch towed by people with 3/4 tons who didn't think so.

I set up that exact hitch and test towed with a JGC, Durango and RAM over a period of a month and never adjusted anything on the hitch (7180 pounds loaded and ordered the JGC diesel based on my experiences with it).
 

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anything with wheels
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I tow all kinds of stuff, way better with a WD / Sway control system.... There are lots out there that are surge compatible.

Link: Equal-i-zer® Hitch - The “American Original” with 4-Point Sway Control™ and Weight Distribution
Load leveling and anti-sway on a vehicle is NOT equivalent to a true WD hitch with friction anti-sway. If you have ever experienced a death wobble while towing induced by an sudden evasive maneuver, you would never tow heavy without a WD/anti-sway hitch!

A true WD hitch moves weight off the rear axle to the front, loading the axles more evenly. Heavy springs just prevent squatting which still unweights the front end under a heavy tongue weight.

For those of you that take safe handling while towing seriously, the Hensley Arrow Hitch is the ultimate. It truly eliminates ALL sway without friction bars...but you pay for it.

I tow 14k lbs. on a bumper hitch, which is absurd. I have a specially designed "Pull-Rite" under carriage fifth wheel hitch that is rated at 20k lbs. It eliminates sway and distributes weight on my diesel Excursion. Yes, I almost died in a death wobble before getting my WD hitch.

bd
 

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Reading through the manual, they also say that trailers weighing 1000lbs or more should have their own brakes. In the real world, very few trailers under 3000lbs have their own brakes.

It's clear that the lawyers took over writing the Towing section of the manual. So take it with a grain of salt... :D

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that you don't need sway control or load leveling with certain trailers. It all depends on what you are towing. The picture that they show in the manual when talking about sway control, etc is of a camper trailer. A camper trailer is more apt to act like a wind sail because of it's boxy shape in comparison to towing a boat, which would let the air flow around it.
 

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Reading through the manual, they also say that trailers weighing 1000lbs or more should have their own brakes. In the real world, very few trailers under 3000lbs have their own brakes.
It sounds like common sense to me.

I'm thrilled Jeep makes an SUV still way smaller than a Suburban/Expedition or Full Size Pickup that can handle this kind of weight.

Not many do these days. Many have switched to "Crossovers" that can't handle more than 2000 LBs

It's not about how much it can Pull. It's Stopping distances and Evasive maneuvers that will kill you when towing anything over a few 1000 LBs.
 

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It sounds like common sense to me.

I'm thrilled Jeep makes an SUV still way smaller than a Suburban/Expedition or Full Size Pickup that can handle this kind of weight.

Not many do these days. Many have switched to "Crossovers" that can't handle more than 2000 LBs

It's not about how much it can Pull. It's Stopping distances and Evasive maneuvers that will kill you when towing anything over a few 1000 LBs.
True. In my opinion, most people who are inexperienced at towing will drive as if the trailer isn't there (i.e. normal highway speeds) and will not leave enough stopping distance in front of them. This is usually what gets them in trouble, causing them to make evasive maneuvers that they can't recover from.
 

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Reading through the manual, they also say that trailers weighing 1000lbs or more should have their own brakes. In the real world, very few trailers under 3000lbs have their own brakes.

A camper trailer is more apt to act like a wind sail because of it's boxy shape in comparison to towing a boat, which would let the air flow around it.
-Almost every Tent trailer made now adays has trailer brakes, many with a GVWR well under 3000 pounds.... Further to this, I think you should check State Laws, a few require it by law over 1000 or 1500 pounds, hence most trailer manufacturer don't make them without over 1000 pounds any more would be the closer fact. If your trailer weighs over 1500 pounds and doesn't have brakes on it, don't go to the west coast Towing Laws | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle
-Sway and trailer sidewall are not the only factors, I went from a 19' to a 31' and the new trailer rides much better. Sway problems are often about weight distribution, wheel placement and other factors. Again, I see more people who lost control of their boat trailer than any other recreational towed device.

Load leveling and anti-sway on a vehicle is NOT equivalent to a true WD hitch with friction anti-sway. If you have ever experienced a death wobble while towing induced by an sudden evasive maneuver, you would never tow heavy without a WD/anti-sway hitch!

A true WD hitch moves weight off the rear axle to the front, loading the axles more evenly. Heavy springs just prevent squatting which still unweights the front end under a heavy tongue weight.

bd
Excursion,

I think anyone who is not completely 100% in agreement with you just hasen't actually used a proper system and or has not had the displeasure of having the trailer sway get out of control. (including not being able to make an avoidence manoever due to improper vehicle loading at the front axle).
 

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-Almost every Tent trailer made now adays has trailer brakes, many with a GVWR well under 3000 pounds.... Further to this, I think you should check State Laws, a few require it by law over 1000 or 1500 pounds, hence most trailer manufacturer don't make them without over 1000 pounds any more would be the closer fact. If your trailer weighs over 1500 pounds and doesn't have brakes on it, don't go to the west coast Towing Laws | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle
The page that you pointed to is purely for towing vehicles behind other vehicles (i.e. a car behind a camper trailer). For applicable US boat trailer laws, see here: BoatUS - Trailering Magazine - State Trailering Laws

Most states require boat trailer brakes when the weight exceeds 3000 lbs and have speed limits between 55 and 65. They don't list any requirements for additional safety systems.

Again, I see more people who lost control of their boat trailer than any other recreational towed device.
My guess is that is is because you live in an area, or know people, with high boat ownership. Higher boat ownership means more inexperienced people on the road. Also, just because they have lost control of their vehicle, you don't know what caused them to lose control. It could be due to mechanical problems, driver inexperience, improper trailering (i.e. poor hitch hookup, poor strapping, etc.). The additional trailer safety systems may not have prevented the accidents.

I do agree with certain loads you need additional towing safety systems. That's why it's important to understand your vehicle and trailer limits, make sure the weight distribution is correct for the trailer, understand the law, etc. as you and others have pointed out.

However, with over 30 years of experience towing boats from 1500lbs to 3000lbs, I've never had any problems with loss of control or sway issues. Perhaps it has something to do with me growing up with my dad towing boats. Or, perhaps I've just been lucky ... :D
 

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One thing to also keep in mind. That if you don't follow the recommendations by Jeep (agree with them or not) and you do have an accident you might not be covered by your insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Load leveling, anti sway, etc; yes they all help when towing.

I guess my point was if the WJ had a 6500lb limit with the V8, and didn't require a load leveling hitch until 5000lbs, why would the WK2 need one at 3500lbs? It boggles the mind once you consider the leveling suspension, the longer wheel base, and the sway control that comes with the WK2 and was not on the WJ...
 

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Load leveling, anti sway, etc; yes they all help when towing.

I guess my point was if the WJ had a 6500lb limit with the V8, and didn't require a load leveling hitch until 5000lbs, why would the WK2 need one at 3500lbs? It boggles the mind once you consider the leveling suspension, the longer wheel base, and the sway control that comes with the WK2 and was not on the WJ...
Weight distribution requirements are effected by rear overhand (ball to axle). So wheelbase is only a piece of the puzzle.

Besides, trailers just drive better with proper WD and sway control so at 3500 pounds if you are going on the highway or any distance why not go the safe route?
 

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Waggie
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WD Hitches with anti sway features and those that allow use of brake systems are certainly a good idea, as is anything else that makes towing safer. Most auto and truck companies are recommending their use at thresholds below max tow capacity both because they can add a measure of safety and perhaps avoid lawsuits.

That said, I've never needed one and we have put our WK2 through some relatively strong towing outings with no sway, no light front end, nomsagging on the rear axle, and no sketchy moments. As others have said, safe driving, proper hitch procedures, proper tongue weight, and proper loads are equally critical to safe towing. So is good luck.

As for evasive maneuvers, they should be avoided at all costs in either a JGC, or in a vehicle towing anything. Would a WD hitch help cut down on evasive maneuver occurence, or avoid disaster in the event of needing to do evasive acts? Can't say, but given the heavier load of our boat, I will definitely try one.

Be safe out there.

Berthoud Pass @ 11,306', several times a season.



Beartooth Pass @ 10,947' elevation in the middle of. 1,700 mile roadtrip through Yellowstone and the Tetons



Great Sand Dunes NP

 
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