Jeep Grand Cherokee? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-07-2018, 07:10 PM   #1
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Name: Craig
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Jeep Grand Cherokee?

I am planning to order a 21 foot Escape and will need a new tow vehicle. The tow also needs to fit in a smallish garage. I am wondering about experiences you may have had with a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:56 PM   #2
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I have a friend that has towed many miles pulling a car trailer with his 4 door Wrangler on it. It was such a great tow vehicle that after 10 years and 150K miles, the bought a brand new one. Both had the Hemi V8, but another friend of ours just purchased one with the diesel option (same motor and transmission as the RAM 1500 diesel) and they tow a very large sticky tandem axle trailer with ease.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:09 AM   #3
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There are multiple considerations, involving tongue weight, passengers, cargo, and how many Big Gulps are on board.

This video addresses all the issues fairly simply, and completely. It is also one of the better RV channels on YouTube. ...About to set out for Alaska.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:32 AM   #4
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I love my hemi in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The inverter in the tow package comes in handy too. Like when you are Boondocking and you forget you have no coffee beans ground up. Just plug ‘er in and grind away.
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:27 AM   #5
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 ft SD
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I tow a Casita 17ft SD with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The engine is the 4.7 and the vehicle has a tow package with a tow/haul button which locks out the high gear. I also use an Eqil-iz-er weight distribution hitch. My normal operating range is 6,000 ft and above, engine power gets a little short above 11,000 ft. The hitch locks the vehicle and the trailer together which is great when towing in a 60 mph cross wind.
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Old 05-08-2018, 01:22 PM   #6
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I have been towing an Escape 19 2015 with a Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 with the V-6 engine and tow package. I have been over the Sierra Nevada mountains with no problems. As recommended by Chrysler, I always use an equalizer hitch. I have solar on the trailer and with the Jeep feeding 12v, the batteries (2 6-volt) are fully charged when I arrive.

By the way, I have 50,000 miles on the Jeep with no maintenance problems.
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Old 05-08-2018, 02:14 PM   #7
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Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig McC View Post
I am planning to order a 21 foot Escape and will need a new tow vehicle. The tow also needs to fit in a smallish garage. I am wondering about experiences you may have had with a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Thanks!
Craig,

We picked our JGC for towing an Escape 21, and also for the same criteria of fitting it in the garage. Our tow ratings are 7,200 / 720 lbs.

Our highly-optioned Escape came in at 3,735 lbs dry, which allows for 1,031 lbs CCC and 28 gallons of water to reach the GVWR of 5,000 lbs. It turns out that the Escape 21's rated tongue weight is listed as being up to 699 lbs (as converted from 318 KG metric). I suspect that large storage area under the front bed and the exterior cargo box on the A-frame could easily lead to some excessive tongue weight if the loading is not properly managed.

I posted my quibbles with the Jeep on this forum recently, (post #7 of the thread linked below), with a primary focus on the onboard nav/entertainment system's annoyances, and the interior trim quality being a step down from my previous Passat and Q5 (yeah, too-bad, so-sad, first-world problems).

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...gon-83772.html

I must also acknowledge the competent ride, confident handling, good seats, quiet cabin, and many other positives. Another plus for the Jeep was a full-size spare. It's not the same size tire as the tires on the four corners, but a slightly narrower tire with the same load rating at a slightly higher service pressure. As many vehicles are using limited service tires, collapsible spares, and even cans of sealant instead of a spare, this was an important factor for us.

We went all-in with an Outlander with the 5.7 V8. The V8 option includes heavier brakes. We additionally found one with a less-commonly-available "Off-Road Adventure II" package:
18-Inch x 8-Inch Satin Silver Aluminum Wheels
265/60R18 BSW All Season All Terrain Tires
Electronic Rear Limited-Slip Differential
Normal Duty Suspension
Quadra-Drive II® 4WD System
Selec-Speed™ Control
Front Suspension Skid Plate
Fuel Tank Skid Plate Shield
Transfer Case Skid Plate
Underbody Skid Plate
"Trail Rated" Badge
At $1,095 list price for the package, I'm hoping that trail-rated badge is going to really impress somebody somewhere someday.

To date we've only towed home from Chilliwack, but that experience included snow on northerly part of the trip and wet freeways for most of the rest. It felt extremely confident overall; I've no doubt this will be a competent combination for our planned extended travels. I just haven't proved it yet.

The JGC's tow ratings vary widely depending on how they are equipped, so choose wisely.
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Old 05-08-2018, 02:39 PM   #8
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I have had a JGC 5.9 limited and used it to tow a 24 ft stick trailer with a full tank of fresh water. It would pull a house down if it had to. We had no issues with the weight of the trailer or towing uphill with that. When it was about 12 years old things started going on it so we bought a new 2011 JGC 6 cylinder. We are still pulling the same stick trailer with it but it doesn't have enough power for mountain towing. With our 17 ft Boler we sailed through the Rockies. No issues. We have an integrated hitch and use stabilizer bars for the stick trailer, but not the Boler. We have electric brakes on both and no issues there either.

Due to my husband's hobby of restoring old cars, my new Jeep has never seen the inside of the garage.
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Old 05-08-2018, 03:22 PM   #9
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Towing ratings do vary. My 2014 JGC with the V-6 (not the same V-6 as earlier models) has a towing rating of 6200 lbs and 620 lbs hitch weight, and it was happy to tow over Donner Pass and Tioga Pass.
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Old 05-08-2018, 05:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glass House View Post
I love my hemi in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The inverter in the tow package comes in handy too. Like when you are Boondocking and you forget you have no coffee beans ground up. Just plug ‘er in and grind away.


I travel nowhere without ...
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Old 05-08-2018, 05:32 PM   #11
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One less thing to bring along if you have an inverter in your tow vehicle. 🤗
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:15 PM   #12
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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that the only grinder I bring. its packed in the cabinet above the stove right next to my Aeropress
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:05 PM   #13
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A V6 JGC with the 8 speed transmission would do ok but the hemi V8 would make you happier. With the older trannies I would say go V8 for sure. I researched the GC a lot and almost bought one, but I found a good deal on my Lexus that I could not pass up.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
Craig,

We picked our JGC for towing an Escape 21, and also for the same criteria of fitting it in the garage. Our tow ratings are 7,200 / 720 lbs.

Our highly-optioned Escape came in at 3,735 lbs dry, which allows for 1,031 lbs CCC and 28 gallons of water to reach the GVWR of 5,000 lbs. It turns out that the Escape 21's rated tongue weight is listed as being up to 699 lbs (as converted from 318 KG metric). I suspect that large storage area under the front bed and the exterior cargo box on the A-frame could easily lead to some excessive tongue weight if the loading is not properly managed.
Our trailer's tongue weight as delivered was 405 lbs with two empty 20-lb propane cylinders on the A-frame. This compares to the 360 lbs noted in the Escape web site specifications. The optional tongue box probably accounts for a lot of the difference. I swapped-in our 11-lb cylinders, one partly full and one currently empty, and the tongue weight was 400 lbs even.

These figures are as measured with a 1,000-lb capacity Sherline tongue weight scale.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:19 PM   #15
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Are you using a weight distribution hitch and / or sway bars?
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:31 PM   #16
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Name: Mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig McC View Post
Are you using a weight distribution hitch and / or sway bars?
Craig,

Assuming you mean me, nope, well actually sort of. We came home from Escape with a "strongly recommended" sway bar and I didn't care for it, though I'll probably give it another chance now that it's paid for. It howled and smelled like burning brakes and generally made a nuisance of itself. Perhaps it wasn't adjusted properly when they put it on. I quickly loosened it up to where it was probably not functioning much at all.

We used to tow a Casita with a Q5 through some very windy conditions in the Columbia River Gorge and through the Cascade Mountain grades, etc. We ran successfully without a WDH or sway bar. I am hoping to repeat that experience and travel without the additional equipment on this combination too.

I'll be evaluating our experience as we go along here, starting with a trip next week.

The Jeep manual offers the following, though "heavier loads" and "heavier Tongue Weights" do not seem to be strictly defined.

Weight-Distributing Hitch
A weight-distributing system works by applying leverage
through spring (load) bars. They are typically used for
heavier loads to distribute trailer tongue weight to the tow
vehicle’s front axle and the trailer axle(s). When used in
accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, it provides
for a more level ride, offering more consistent steering and
brake control thereby enhancing towing safety. The addition
of a friction/hydraulic sway control also dampens
sway caused by traffic and crosswinds and contributes
positively to tow vehicle and trailer stability. Trailer sway
control and a weight distributing (load equalizing) hitch
are recommended for heavier Tongue Weights (TW) and
may be required depending on vehicle and trailer
configuration/loading to comply with Gross Axle Weight
Rating (GAWR) requirements.
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Old 03-28-2020, 04:01 PM   #17
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The E21 will be around 4000-4200# loaded so 600# on tongue is optimal for sway reasons. You can fill the fresh tank in the rear to help with that number. My 2014 E21 was 500/3800 and my 2019 is 625 tw. Have not weighed the trailer yet but have the Sherline scale. I installed Firestone air bags in my Ram 1500 to keep my truck level when hooked up, no w/d set up.
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Old 03-28-2020, 05:11 PM   #18
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my heavily optioned E21 runs not much more than 450 lbs tongue weight, depending on how carefully I load it. I try and not put much stuff in the back, and transport the heavy stuff under the front bed..

if I have a couple chunky bicycles on a hitch rack on the back of it, it can get *under* 400 lbs tongue pretty easily, adding a full tank of water (which is in the rear), it gets slightly twitchy but my tug is so rock solid heavy, its never even hinted at swaying.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:08 PM   #19
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Trailer: Escape 19
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Pulling my 19' Escape with a 2009 JGC Laredo V8. Pulls like a champ up and down mountains without any extra devises.
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