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Old 11-08-2011, 09:40 PM   #1
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Enough vehicle?

Want to tow a Keystone 245 RB with a 5.7 V8 HEMI in a Chrysler Aspen. Not equipped with the factory tow package, but seems like it should do the trick. Any thoughts? Concerns?
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:46 PM   #2
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In your Aspen owner manual it should tell you towing capacity for your vehicle.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:07 PM   #3
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For a newbie like me this is a bit overwhelming....Manual states towing capacity is 8900 lbs. But doesn't mention use of the tow package in relation to that figure. TT comes in at 4500 LBS. Tongue weight of 445 lbs. Aspen is about 5000. GCWR is 12,500. Axle ratio is 3.55. with a GAWR of 3714. GVWR is 6350. Aspen also has a tow setting which holds lower gears for a bit longer when hitched up, plus electronic sway control. I've got a Class IV hitch installed. I'm assuming I'll be needing a weight distributing hitch assembly and an additional sway controller?
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlipF18 View Post
For a newbie like me this is a bit overwhelming....Manual states towing capacity is 8900 lbs. But doesn't mention use of the tow package in relation to that figure. TT comes in at 4500 LBS. Tongue weight of 445 lbs. Aspen is about 5000. GCWR is 12,500. Axle ratio is 3.55. with a GAWR of 3714. GVWR is 6350. Aspen also has a tow setting which holds lower gears for a bit longer when hitched up, plus electronic sway control. I've got a Class IV hitch installed. I'm assuming I'll be needing a weight distributing hitch assembly and an additional sway controller?
I'm sorry but your numbers don't add up. If the Aspen weighs in at 5000 and you take that away from GCVW, your left with 7500 for passengers cargo and trailer.If you load the Aspen to GVWR, your left with 6150 for the trailer. Is the TT weight you gave a dry weight or GVWR ? Re-read the manual with regard to trailer towing capacity, I think you will find that in order to tow max trailer weight the tow vehicle must be empty, only the driver, and his weight is stated at 160 or so pounds. You should also find out every item in the factory trailer tow package, i.e. bigger trans cooler,lower gear ratio,( 3.91?),bigger radiator. If you investigate fully , I think you'll find that the 8900 lb. trailer requires the factory tow package with a 3.91 gear and comes with a GCVW of14000, or so.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SlipF18 View Post
For a newbie like me this is a bit overwhelming....Manual states towing capacity is 8900 lbs. But doesn't mention use of the tow package in relation to that figure. TT comes in at 4500 LBS. Tongue weight of 445 lbs. Aspen is about 5000. GCWR is 12,500. Axle ratio is 3.55. with a GAWR of 3714. GVWR is 6350. Aspen also has a tow setting which holds lower gears for a bit longer when hitched up, plus electronic sway control. I've got a Class IV hitch installed. I'm assuming I'll be needing a weight distributing hitch assembly and an additional sway controller?
Yes, you'll be fine as long as you equip the vehicle for towing. The tow package is not magic, it is a number of options that are preinstalled at the factory. The Aspen, as I understand it, only had one type of transmission, and controls it electronically for towing with the tow button. The tow package did not come with a different transmission. From the numbers you have given, I do believe you'd be ok and adding the weight distribution hitch/sway control will give you an added safety margin.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the good information and your time. See ya out there!
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:50 PM   #7
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The tow package did not come with a different transmission.
But I'll wager the tow package includes enhanced transmission cooling. In addition to a lower (higher numerical) axle ratio, tow packages may include enhanced engine cooling, lube oil coolers, transmission coolers, etc.

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Old 11-10-2011, 08:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlipF18 View Post
towing capacity is 8900 lbs.
Subtract around 1,000 pounds from that and you'll have a realistic tow rating. So your trailer should never gross more than about 7,900 pounds. Since you say it weighs only 4,500 pounds, then you're good to go.

Quote:
TT comes in at 4500 LBS.
Aspen is about 5000.
GCWR is 12,500.
The GCWR is an indicator of how fast you'll be able to drag the trailer up an interstate mountain pass without burning something up. Your GCW of 9,500 is way below the 12,500 GCWR, so your rig has plenty of power for that trailer.

Quote:
Axle ratio is 3.55.
GAWR of 3714.
GVWR is 6350.
Axle ratio is one of the factors Chrysler uses to determine the GCWR of the tow vehicle. Other than that, it's not important.

GAWR doesn't matter as long as you never exceed the GVWR of the Tow Vehicle.

With a GVWR of 6350 and a wet and loaded weight of 5,000, that leaves 1,350 pounds for max hitch weight. So you could drag a tag trailer that puts you up against the GCWR without exceeding the GVWR of the TV.

But that's assuming your 5,000 number is accurate. I'll bet it's not. Do you have a CAT scale ticket that shows the wet and loaded TV with driver and passenger(s) and a full tank of gas weighs only 5,000 pounds?

Quote:
I'm assuming I'll be needing a weight distributing hitch assembly and an additional sway controller?
With a wet and loaded trailer weight of only 4,500 pounds, you maybe could get by without a weight distributing hitch. Most experts say 5,000 pounds trailer weight is the magic number for definitely requiring a weight-distributing hitch. But I'm one of those that believes any trailer over about 3,000 pounds needs a weight-distributing hitch and sway control.

About that missing trailer tow pkg. The main thing you need to add is an oil-to-air tranny cooler. A bolt-on fix would be to order the tranny cooler that comes with the trailer towing pkg on your Aspen. In addition, I would not feel comfortable towing a 4,500 pound trailer with that TV unless I also had a tranny temp gauge - with the sender in the tranny pan. Keep an eye on that gauge when towing, and never allow more than 225° tranny temp. If you ever see over about 210°, then you need more tranny cooling capacity.

I also like to have an engine oil cooler on my tow vehicles. You can add one reasonably easy by buying a "sandwich" adapter that goes between the oil filter and the oil filter housing, then run the lines to an oil-to-air heat exchanger (cooler) mounted in front of the radiator, or anywhere under the SUV. Here's one adapter:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/FLX-3961/
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