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2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering renting a travel trailer this summer. My Jeep is rated at being able to tow 6200 pounds I believe.
What do I need to do that? It has the hitch//whatever, and both wiring ports, just not the mount and ball.
View attachment 4148633
Is a brake controller "REQUIRED"? If so, at what trailer weight? I have driven towing before, but not my own vehicle, a GMC Envoy towing a race car box trailer, I'm sure was way less than 6000, probably under 4000.
Also, if anyone can provide a good site to teach me about travel trailers in general (hook ups, tanks, day to day stuff...) that would be great as well. I'd love to get a small sailboat with trailer, but that would be very light weight, and I'd never think about it, but a nice bigger travel trailer is a whole other thing.
 

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The rental place may be able to also provide a weight distribution hitch, which would be mandatory in that weight range.

A brake controller is also mandatory, probably would need to be purchased as it's connected into the Jeep under the dash. There are Bluetooth controllers, but I know nothing about them.

I pulled our 4000lb camper to Maine this week with my 2 row Overland, v6. Went very well. The Jeep settled right in on 6th gear @2500 rpm. Downshifted quietly to 5th as needed @3200 rpm. Kept it under 65 the whole way. Got 12.6mpg over 350 miles, mostly highway w rolling hills. Extremely smooth ride, zero sway, zero dolphining.

Only "issue" was higher rpms with hard-ish starts - like from a tollbooth. Jeep seems to want to shift a bit too late in the lower gears, would get to 3500-4000 rpm. I was able to assist using the paddle shifter to get into 2nd or 3rd a bit sooner. Jeep seemed comfortable powerwise at the lower rpm from the manual gear change.

50yds to the beach!
Wheel Tire Land vehicle Sky Vehicle
 

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2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude 4x4
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You would need a hitch and (more likely than not) a weight distribution system and sway control. You will probably want to have a brake controller installed. I would consider joining a camping forum and ask your question there. A good one to try is Camper Community.

Happy Camping!!!
 
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I know it's cliché, but always check your owner's manual for all the max ratings. Owner's Manual No one wants to hear about it, many will argue it, but there's a reason the frontal area is listed in the specs (y)
For most Jeeps the trailer size will be limited more by it than by the weight. (40 sq ft is about a 6.5'h x 6'w)

I've pasted a few things from your owner's manual below:

Font Parallel Rectangle Number Pattern




Rectangle Font Parallel Circle Number


Head Eye Human body Font Sky



Font Screenshot Publication Parallel Document
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all so far, great info!
Also, more info, I am looking to ease my wife into travelling other than via airplane. She cannot stand the possibility of getting stranded on some unknown stretch of highway with no exits for miles, that you cannot get to if something happens. And possibly renting a travel trailer, and going to one of the many nice spots near a lake in central PA is a possibility. I would want to tow something that 90% of people would easily classify as "very nice" to be in for a couple days, nothing "roughing it". A/C, working toilet, shower all a must. I assume I would go somewhere with hook-ups at first, so no need for generator I wouldn't think.
For 2 people, what would be a nice size to be looking into as a way into this type of travel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not sure why it double posted, so, EDIT...

Also, anything/anywhere good to start looking for rental trailers?
 

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Brake controller is absolutely required for a trailer that has electric brakes; most states and provinces require trailer brakes above 3000 lbs. Jeep usually requires a Weight Distribution Hitch for trailers above 3500 lbs. That figure may be different for the WL...check the manual for the specifications. In theory, the WDH should come with the trailer since a WDH has to be physically installed to the trailer for the connections of the torsion bars/chains.
 
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I would want to tow something that 90% of people would easily classify as "very nice" to be in for a couple days, nothing "roughing it". A/C, working toilet, shower all a must.
The majority of places we camp provide 15A power, no sewer. That means no AC (needs 30A) and having to dump tanks every 4 days depending your usage. We use a small "honey wagon" to cart waste to the dump station, easy enough but far from glamorous. ;)

There are many campers from many mfrs in range of the rpod posted above. Perfect for the 2 of us and the dog. Probably not hitting that 90% approval rating, but works for us. Larger more premium campers with slide outs, etc. would be way way out of the towing range of your jeep.
The guy in the nearby spot to us this week is pulling his monster 5th wheel w a Chevy HD 2500 diesel.

I don't think we'd go any larger than what we have now without another vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The majority of places we camp provide 15A power, no sewer. That means no AC (needs 30A) and having to dump tanks every 4 days depending your usage. We use a small "honey wagon" to cart waste to the dump station, easy enough but far from glamorous. ;)

There are many campers from many mfrs in range of the rpod posted above. Perfect for the 2 of us and the dog. Probably not hitting that 90% approval rating, but works for us. Larger more premium campers with slide outs, etc. would be way way out of the towing range of your jeep.
The guy in the nearby spot to us this week is pulling his monster 5th wheel w a Chevy HD 2500 diesel.

I don't think we'd go any larger than what we have now without another vehicle.
My sister has a 5th wheel and they had a Ford Super Duty, seriously nice rig. (until the truck caught fire in the interior overnite in the driveway!)
Checking the manual, it has a Class IV hitch, and on my Jeep, specs are
Rectangle Font Parallel Screenshot Circle

And I found this as well, sounds like a controller is in my future!

Font Number Rectangle Magenta Pattern
 

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On the trailer brakes, it's not just a vehicle specification, but also a legal one. The legal definition is state/province specific and may be more or less than the vehicle spec. The lowest number should always prevail.
 

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Not sure what part of the country you're in, but I found this real quick here in Southern California on www.rvshare.com.


You will definitely need a brake controller installed in your Jeep. I personally wouldn't tow anything like this without a weight distribution system. Also, your tow rating is only part of what you need to watch; the other part is tongue weight, and the GVWR of your Jeep. Max tow rating assumes an empty vehicle (full of fluids, and with a driver). Cargo carrying capacity of the tow vehicle includes what you put in the Jeep, and the tongue weight of what you're towing. A good rule of thumb is to stay about 75-80% of max tow rating (so, if the max tow rating is 6200 lbs, keep the loaded trailer weight under 4650 lbs). This would give you a tongue weight about 500-550 lbs, which will be pushing the GVWR of your Jeep once you get your family, and everything else inside the Jeep.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not sure what part of the country you're in, but I found this real quick here in Southern California on www.rvshare.com.


You will definitely need a brake controller installed in your Jeep. I personally wouldn't tow anything like this without a weight distribution system. Also, your tow rating is only part of what you need to watch; the other part is tongue weight, and the GVWR of your Jeep. Max tow rating assumes an empty vehicle (full of fluids, and with a driver). Cargo carrying capacity of the tow vehicle includes what you put in the Jeep, and the tongue weight of what you're towing. A good rule of thumb is to stay about 75-80% of max tow rating (so, if the max tow rating is 6200 lbs, keep the loaded trailer weight under 4650 lbs). This would give you a tongue weight about 500-550 lbs, which will be pushing the GVWR of your Jeep once you get your family, and everything else inside the Jeep.

Keith
OK, brake controller research now!
And yes, I know about tongue weights, max weights,GCVW, just interested on what I need to get before I even think about renting something.
Odds are there won't be much in the Jeep or the trailer other than the 2 of us, and some bedding/clothes. We'd pickup food and stuff on site.
Looks like in PA if I can read between the legal lines in the code, that brakes are required over 3000 pounds, but it is worded funky. I'm sure a local trailer place could help as well, I just want to know before I show up, just so I have a slight clue going in.
 

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OK, brake controller research now!
And yes, I know about tongue weights, max weights,GCVW, just interested on what I need to get before I even think about renting something.
Odds are there won't be much in the Jeep or the trailer other than the 2 of us, and some bedding/clothes. We'd pickup food and stuff on site.
Looks like in PA if I can read between the legal lines in the code, that brakes are required over 3000 pounds, but it is worded funky. I'm sure a local trailer place could help as well, I just want to know before I show up, just so I have a slight clue going in.
Doesn't really matter what the rules say....for your safety, and the safety of those around you, you need to have trailer brakes when towing something like this. For your little boat trailer, probably not; although, most boat trailers that have brakes use a surge brake, since the typical electric trailer brake shouldn't be immersed in water. A surge brake doesn't require a brake controller, it is triggered by the momentum of the trailer pushing on the hitch when the tow vehicle slows down.

Re: brake controller, I've used a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller for over 20 years, starting with a 2000 Dodge Durango, through 3 Nissan Armadas, and now with my GC. Cheap (less than $100), easy to install (hardest part is figuring out where Jeep put the end of the harness under the dash), and very effective. Also remember that if you don't have the pigtail that goes between the Jeep and the controller, you'll need to buy one. They are about $20. www.etrailer.com is a good source for these items, and their prices are usually pretty reasonable as well.

Keith
 
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I use the Prodigy P2 brake controller. As noted above, locating the connector was the hardest part of the install from my 2011 Limited into my 2022 Overland. :)

Just today I got an email from eTrailers about a wireless brake controller, runs via a phone app. Curt Echo. Might be worth looking into.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would have a really hard time trusting something like a brake controller to a phone app.
The bluetooth is interface to your phone, just for controlling/adjusting/monitoring it. It is still wired into the brake pedal and the car, just no buttons/display on it. I like that idea, it doesn't have to be knocking around your knees.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Doesn't really matter what the rules say....for your safety, and the safety of those around you, you need to have trailer brakes when towing something like this. For your little boat trailer, probably not; although, most boat trailers that have brakes use a surge brake, since the typical electric trailer brake shouldn't be immersed in water. A surge brake doesn't require a brake controller, it is triggered by the momentum of the trailer pushing on the hitch when the tow vehicle slows down.

Re: brake controller, I've used a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller for over 20 years, starting with a 2000 Dodge Durango, through 3 Nissan Armadas, and now with my GC. Cheap (less than $100), easy to install (hardest part is figuring out where Jeep put the end of the harness under the dash), and very effective. Also remember that if you don't have the pigtail that goes between the Jeep and the controller, you'll need to buy one. They are about $20. www.etrailer.com is a good source for these items, and their prices are usually pretty reasonable as well.

Keith
Thanks, I do remember using a trailer decades ago with the surge brakes. It was a super sketchy thing that held a yard of concrete we towed with our 1972 Dodge van to our house when we did front steps. Only about 3-4 miles, but all that weight, and super short trailer length. Totally forgot about that until you mentioned it.
 
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