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Old 09-22-2014, 11:21 PM   #1
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Towing with a Jeep Grand Cherokee

I just purchased a new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 with a 5.7 liter hemi and the trailer tow group IV giving it a tow rating of 7200 lbs. I am looking to buy a new Lance 2295 travel trailer with a GVWR of 6000 lbs. Being that I live in Colorado this should be enough of a margin according to the dealer. When I was researching a tow vehicle I went by all the towing info in the Jeep brochure. One thing it stated is that the frontal area of the trailer should be a maximum of 64 sq. ft. I contacted Lance and they said that the trailer has a frontal area of 64 sq. ft. so everything should be fine until I looked in the owners manual and it states that the frontal area of the trailer should be a maximum of 55 sq. ft. Now I have a problem. In one place Jeep says 64 sq. ft. & in another place it says 55 sq. ft. I called them and they weren't sure then they said 55 sq. ft. Did I make an expensive mistake or am I worrying too much about frontal area when the tow rating is fine? Is there anyone out there towing with a Grand Cherokee and a standard 8' wide trailer that can tell me how there towing experiences are going? I hope I didn't make a mistake. I tried to look at everything. It seems Jeep can't make up their minds which way to go. Any help & advice would be much appreciated.

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Old 09-23-2014, 06:49 AM   #2
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Don't panic yet. The only time the front surface area comes into play is on the freeway at speed. If your Jeep is rated GCWR, GVR, etc. within specs, it will do OK. What you get at freeway speeds is wind resistance. It goes up with the square of the speed. If it doesn't overheat your Jeep, it's probably OK. If you are towing, the speed limit is 55 (here in CA), so you are not likely to get a huge wind drag. If you plan to do 65-80, well that's another issue.
I would try it and keep an eye on the temp. gage and the power performance.

2004 Tiffin Allegro 27.5 ft. P32 18,000 lb GVW. 8.1 liter. Workhorse chassis built May 2002. 21,000 miles. 2012 Jeep Liberty Toad. RVi2 brake unit.
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:02 AM   #3
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Full Monte is correct. The biggest difference will be in what mileage you get. The Hemi is not exactly a high MPG vehicle to start with, but the resistance at higher speeds will just make it a bit worse. I wouldn't worry about overheating as the cooling system is larger. Just keep an eye on temps on a long upgrade..

Best of luck and Happy Trails!!
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi, Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy. TST 507 TPMS
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:09 PM   #4
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I have thought of the day I might scale back in size. The Jeep GC would be on the list. I would try to find something with a sleek fiberglass front cap and be <5500 UVW. Those grades on the divide can eat away any margin for weight.
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