Jeep Cherokee as tow vehicle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-13-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
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Name: Michael
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Question Jeep Cherokee as tow vehicle

-Hi. I'm new to the site and new to trailering. My wife and I are looking for something about the size/weight of a Casita 17 ft Deluxe. I'm concerned about the tow vehicle. I want a decent car/truck that won't break the bank on fuel mileage with or without the trailer. But, then, don't we all???

-Is anyone using a 4.0 liter automatic tranny Cherokee as a tow car? Does it have to be a 4x4? What differential ratio do you have? (Jeeps range from 3.08:1 to 4.56:1)

-I have the opportunity to rebuild a Cherokee into just about whatever I want and am eagerly soliciting suggestions.

-Thanks!!!
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:23 AM   #2
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I have pulled my 13'er with my wife's Grand Cherokee, 4.0, auto, 4X4. She gets about 22 mpg and I get about 20 when I drive it that's without the trailer.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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i don;t know the two rating of that car, though my son has one. we tow a 13 foot scamp with our liberty, and other then thinking brakes would be nice on a 17 footer, i would not hesitate to hook up to one.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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Smile Thanks for the information

John & Greg,

-Thanks for the information. The Grand Cherokees are significantly larger than the "regular" Cherokees even though they have the same engine and transmission. Do you know what differential ratio you have?

-I'm not sure about the tow rating for the Cherokees either. Different sites have posted different loads.

-You both mention the Scamp 13; I suspect that these are quite a bit lighter than the Casita 17. I'll have to do more research.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:23 PM   #5
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I tow my 2001 13 Scamp which is slightly over 2,500 lbs(which includes the tongue weight) with a regular 1993 Jeep Cherokee automatic, 4x4, inlne 6, 4.0 litre, rated at 5,000 lbs for towing. No clue what the differential rate is. My Jeep came with the tow package so it has a beefed up radiator & oil cooler and whatever else comes with the package.

My Cherokee tows the Scamp just fine. It does want to go down into 3rd gear on inclines. I live in the foothills of the Sierra's and always leave the Jeep in 3rd gear while towing. I don't think there is a road nearby where I could leave the Jeep in drive. About the only time I put it back in drive is when I'm out on a freeway. Of course not while on I-5 going over the Siskiyou's on the way to Oregon. But then it's not in drive on I-5 going south over the Grapevine towards LA either.

I always think about the 5,000 lbs tow rating. I can't imagine towing anywhere near 5,000 lbs. My Jeep lugs down to 40/45 mph on lots of roads I travel but then we are talking up elevation. If you live in the flat lands of these United States it is another story. From Nebraska through the Great Lakes and back, I marveled at being able to drive in the Drive gear. I even got 19/20 mpg back there. My normal mileage here in the West while towing is 15/17mpg.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:43 PM   #6
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The Cherokee's are all the same size, just different shapes, the Sport is kinda sorta square and the Grand's are a little rounder or pointed at the nose. I have owned both shapes and I prefer the sqaure ones but my wife likes the rounder ones.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:23 PM   #7
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My GC is a little wimpy up hills too, But I'll get there--kind of like the tortise and the hare.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #8
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Exclamation Thanks for the information

Regarding the Cherokee as a tow vehicle: thanks to everyone who has commented on my question. I’ve learned quite a bit so far. It appears that a properly equipped Cherokee will tow 5,000#, in fact, I came across Cherokee ads stating that. Unfortunately the ads also refer to an undefined “tow package” which I have to assume is more than a Class III frame hitch and wiring for lights. I can’t see what they (Jeep) did to the rear suspension: stiffer springs maybe? Different rear end? According to the Allpar site (www.allpar.com) discussing the Cherokee Police package:

“Front and rear springs and shock absorbers were from the Up-Country package; the front and rear sway bars were heavy duty items from the towing package. The cooling system and power steering pump were from the Laredo towing package with air conditioning, and a transmission cooler was standard. The MJ metric-ton Dana 44 rear axle was retained for years, providing the Cherokees with heavier-duty axles than civilian models…” (http://www.allpar.com/squads/police-cars/cherokee.html).

So here we have references to the towing package in general, the Up-Country package, the Laredo towing package and a Dana 44 rear end. It sounds as if virtually everything related to running gear would have to be changed; mucho dinero. Then I also wanted to do “stuff” to the 4.0 to get more power out of it; there are lots of options there.

Oh, well. There’s always that Ford F-150 for sale down the street.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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Joy, how is it that your Scamp 13 weights over 2500 lbs? I think Floyd has posted his Deluxe with every option weighing in around #1750 or so.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissab View Post
Joy, how is it that your Scamp 13 weights over 2500 lbs? I think Floyd has posted his Deluxe with every option weighing in around #1750 or so.
I weighed mine just off the delivery truck at a local grainery and it weighed 1700lbs. Mine is a standard 13 with no bath or water heater but has all the other options, including air & furnace.

I had it weighed a couple of years ago at the Oregon gathering by Frederick and it just over 2500 lbs, with the fresh water tank full. I've added the generator and a box to the tongue. I carry my 55watt solar panel inside. I have a microwave, they are mighty heavy. I have my mountain bike on the back plus it's rack. Then I just have all the other stuff people carry. Other than that I don't know!!!!!

You'd be surprised how much all your stuff weighs if you were to take it all out and weigh it.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:38 AM   #11
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If you look at the Jeep Forums they will tell you that the 4.0 engine has just about been as tweaked as it can go over all of it's years of service by the factory. The Jeep people say that if you want a performance Jeep get the V8 Jeep. The add on gadgets and parts for the 4.0 offer such small advantages that it's not really worth it. If you add a bigger throttle body to get more air into the engine then you have to change the exhaust to get it out of the engine. You can chip the computer and get a practically unnoticeable difference. Just get a V8 Cherokee if you want the power.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVSmith View Post
-Hi. I'm new to the site and new to trailering. My wife and I are looking for something about the size/weight of a Casita 17 ft Deluxe. I'm concerned about the tow vehicle. I want a decent car/truck that won't break the bank on fuel mileage with or without the trailer. But, then, don't we all???

-Is anyone using a 4.0 liter automatic tranny Cherokee as a tow car? Does it have to be a 4x4? What differential ratio do you have? (Jeeps range from 3.08:1 to 4.56:1)

-I have the opportunity to rebuild a Cherokee into just about whatever I want and am eagerly soliciting suggestions.

-Thanks!!!
I say 4.0L, 6CYL, 2WD, 3:55 gear with limited slip.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissab View Post
Joy, how is it that your Scamp 13 weights over 2500 lbs? I think Floyd has posted his Deluxe with every option weighing in around #1750 or so.
That's 1950# stocked and ready to role.

Joy;
Good thing you have over 300# tongue weight, since your axle is rated no more than 2200#.
Melissa may not realize that you pack to go and stay gone!
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:28 PM   #14
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Floyd, why would you want a two wheel drive Jeep? That's like having a boat with no motor.
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