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Old 08-11-2014, 11:12 PM   #1
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No WDH or Anti-sway bars for 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

I have purchase a new 2014 JGC, 4 X 2, 3.7L to tow 2015 Camplite 21-BHS, which will be used by me, hubby and 2 dogs traveling lightly. Do not expect to have enough in there to go over 5,000 lbs., will probably be closer to 4,500 lbs., so long as I don't go crazy shopping...

The tow capacity of JGC is 6,500 lbs. according to the plate on the driver door. Here is where I need some input from experienced drivers. Several employees at the car dealershidealership said not to use WDH or anti-sway bars as this would defeat the technology that was built into the JGC with the factory-installed tow package. They asked wasn't the technology the reason I went for the Jeep? 2 of these employees use their Jeeps as tow vehicles.

I expect to take delivery of my camper next month, as the factory is building it for me so I can get exactly what I want. I have some time to think about this. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dog lover View Post
I have purchase a new 2014 JGC, 4 X 2, 3.7L to tow 2015 Camplite 21-BHS, which will be used by me, hubby and 2 dogs traveling lightly. Do not expect to have enough in there to go over 5,000 lbs., will probably be closer to 4,500 lbs., so long as I don't go crazy shopping...
The tow capacity of JGC is 6,500 lbs. according to the plate on the driver door. Here is where I need some input from experienced drivers. Several employees at the car dealershidealership said not to use WDH or anti-sway bars as this would defeat the technology that was built into the JGC with the factory-installed tow package. They asked wasn't the technology the reason I went for the Jeep? 2 of these employees use their Jeeps as tow vehicles.
I expect to take delivery of my camper next month, as the factory is building it for me so I can get exactly what I want. I have some time to think about this. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:44 AM   #3
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Get the WDH hitch. Nothing, not even air bags, helps distribute weight like the hitch does. Now, some tow vehicles have anti sway technology in the differential, but I would still get a hitch with sway control because then you have an extra line of defense.

Jeep Grand Cherokee
Weight distributing hitch
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:45 AM   #4
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JGC-Jeep Grand Cherokee
WDH-weight distrbution hitch

Just check the trailer hitch it will have a sticker on it that will tell you if the hitch can be used with a WDH.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #5
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I did not know that there would be a sticker like that on the hitch. I will check it, thanks.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:26 PM   #6
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They asked wasn't the technology the reason I went for the Jeep?
Sales hype from overly-aggressive salesman. Ignore what they say and read your Owner's Guide and the stickers/labels on your Jeep. Then have an open mind as you compute the numbers.

My 2012 Ford has the same sort of automagic sway control built in that your Jeep has, and it was available in Fords for a few years before my 2012 was built. So MOPAR is not the only manufacturer of tow vehicles that has electronic sway control built into some of their new vehicles. However, the electronic sway control is not nearly as effective as the real thing that's included in the better weight-distributing hitch (WDH) systems, such as the Reese Strait-Line, the Husky CenterLine or the Equal-I-Zer. For one of my trailers I use a Reese Strait-Line dual-cam trunnion bar WD hitch, plus the tow vehicle includes that electronic sway control gizmo your Jeep salesman is so proud of. I've towed thousands of miles with that combo, and it works great.

Most manufacturer's of tow vehicles say a WDH is required for any tongue weight over 500 pounds or any trailer weight over 5,000 pounds. But experienced old-timers like me will tell that you want a WDH for any trailer with tongue weight over about 200 pounds. Plus, if your trailer grosses 4,500 pounds, then with the average of 12.5% tongue weight, your tongue is going to weigh over 500 pounds.

So ignore your salesman and install a good WDH for that trailer.

Quote:
The tow capacity of JGC is 6,500 lbs. according to the plate on the driver door.
That's another number you can ignore, and compute your own accurate number. The "tow rating" assumes an empty tow vehicle with nothing in it but a skinny driver. But you won't be towing with an empty Jeep. So to determine your real world tow rating, fill the Jeep with everything and everybody that will be in it when towing, including the head of your WD hitch. Go to a truck stop that has a certified automated truck (CAT) scale, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded Jeep. Subtract that weight from the GCWR of your Jeep and the answer is your real-world tow rating.

The GCWR is probably not included anywhere on your truck. It should be in the Owner's Guide, though.

But even the real world tow rating ignores the payload capacity of your Jeep. Subtract the weight of your wet and loaded Jeep from the GVWR of the Jeep and the answer is the max hitch weight you can have without overloading the suspension and brakes of your Jeep. If that max hitch weight is less than about 500 pounds, then your Jeep will probably be overloaded when on the road with that trailer in tow.

Rule of thumb: An SUV can either haul an SUV full of people and stuff, or tow a heavy trailer, but not both at the same time without being overloaded.

After all is said and done and you are on the road with your wet and loaded trailer ready to camp, then stop at a truck stop with a CAT scale, fill up with gas, and weigh the wet and loaded rig again. Compare the gross weight of the rig to the GCWR of your Jeep. Add the weights on the front and rear Jeep axles, and compare that total to the GVWR of the Jeep. If you don't exceed either the GCWR or the GVWR of the Jeep, then you're good to go.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:30 PM   #7
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SmokeyWren, appreciate your post. I will look for GCWR. I already found the max tongue weight for my Jeep - 640 lbs. Doesn't make sense with max tow capacity 6, 500 lbs when tongue weight is supposed to be 12 - 15 % of the weight of the trailer. Hubby and I have been going back and forth between dealership advice and what I read here.

I was hoping to hear from someone who is towing right now with a new JGC. I have a friend who told me he towed 2 snowmobiles on a car carrier with 2014 JGC and no WDH or anti-sway with no problems in hilly southern indiana. No idea how much weight he was hauling.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:21 AM   #8
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You should use WD and sway control. Hopefully, your tongue weight will be below 640 lb and WD is not explicitly prohibited by the manufacturer. Electronic stability program is a great thing, it may save lives if trailer starts to sway for whatever reason, it works by braking TV wheels selectively and applying trailer brakes in the same time, kills the sway in a split second. But it is not designed for comfortable towing.
My hitch receiver was reinforced by Canam up to 1200lb, which makes it compatible with WD and allows to take full advantage of ML towing capacity (my Passport is close to 6000lb), while providing near fifth wheel stability and comfort.
Towing a small trailer or boat is not even close to pulling a travel trailer; you will deal with front aerodynamic resistance and side sway due to wind and passing vehicles, and the weight is much heavier
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