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Old 07-18-2021, 10:50 AM   #1
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Can I? 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/ 2022 Grand Design Imagine XLS 17MKE

Hello fellow RV'ers! I am planning on buying a 2022 Grand Design Imagine XLS 17MKE TT. It is 22' long and I will be towing it long term around the country with my 2015 Jeep Grand Limited.

Cherokee specs:
3.6L 6 cylinders engine and is 4WD.
Horsepower: 290@6400 rpm
Torque: 260 lbft @ 4800 rpm
Towing capability of 6200 lbs.
GAWR Front 3200 lbs
GAWR Rear 3700 lbs
GVWR 6500 lbs.

Here are the specs. on the Grand Design Imagine XLS 17MKE TT:

https://www.rvcountry.com/product/ne...mke-1471273-29

Hitch Weight: 480 lbs
Dry Weight: 4674 lbs
Cargo Weight Capacity: 1721 lbs
External Height: 10' 10"

It will be 2 adults in the Jeep and my estimate of 100 lbs of cargo . I am estimating 1000 lbs of cargo in the 17MKE TT. The cargo includes 2 propane tanks and 2 batteries, 2 mountain bikes and associated gear (150lbs), and clothing/supplies for 2 adults. I intend on installing a WDH from the dealer's inventory


Q1. Can my JGC tow this 17MKE within safety parameters? I believe it will be able to handle the tow on flat ground but I'm mostly interested in being able to make it up and over mountain passes.


This will be my first travel trailer so I know very little and am reaching out for any and all advice I can get. Please feel free to also comment on the Grand Design Imagine XLS 17MKE whether good or bad. Thanks beforehand.
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:18 AM   #2
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1st off
Trailer Dry weight 4674 Plus Cargo Capacity 1721 ====6395
*over Jeeps MAX Tow Rating

Dry hitch 480 is based on dry trailer weight of 4674====10% tongue weight ratio

6395 GVWR at 10% ration====640 WET tongue weight

Along with Trailer length of 22' Plus

15' Jeep is NOT a good tow platform for towing that weight/length of trailer

Ever look at Pop-Ups??
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:38 AM   #3
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Can you? Sure.
Should you? Maybe, maybe not. (me, I wouldn't)
Will it perform well on mountain passes? Well, with 260ftlb torque, probably not so much. Fuel mileage will be in the toilet and you're right on the edge of capacity. Remember, advertised towing capacities are calculated with a perfect weight balance, and a minimum of 10% wiggle room, and also include braking safely. IMHO, a properly equipped 1/2 ton pickup would be a better choice as a "minimum" tow vehicle. A friend has a 24' Grand Design Imagine he now tows with a one ton GMC Duramax. His prior 3/4 ton 6.0 GMC gasser didn't perform well at all. Sure, it did the job, but fuel mileage sucked. His fully loaded GD is closer to 6k.
BTW, he loves his Grand Design. I've gotta admit, it's a very nice trailer.
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:27 PM   #4
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@Old-Biscuit,
Thanks for the reply!! I had no intentions of loading the TT anywhere near it's limit. I intend to keep gear limited to 1000 lbs. That said, I haven't seen any information online that talks about how to determine any TT length "best practices" (if 22' is too long)

@Alpine36,
Thanks for the info!! I had sort of the same feeling about can/should I do this. I have real concerns about the JGC V-6's ability to pull the weight up any inclines which we'd definitely come across on our cross country excursion. Unfortunately, buying a new tow vehicle isn't in the budget for right now.

Two other potential TT we're looking at are:
https://rv.campingworld.com/rvdetail...30k-FRV1870967

Dry Weight: 4503lbs (I'd have the same concerns about my engine's capabilities)
Length 22.75'

https://rv.campingworld.com/rvdetail...30k-FRV1922324

Dry Weight: 3846lbs (Seems much more reasonable to ask of my engine)
Length 20.58'
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:39 PM   #5
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IF you decide to tow anything with the Grand Cherokee, have the rear end checked out for the input bearing preload. My son owns an auto repair shop and that is one of the jeep weak points.
Good luck on your decision and happy camping!
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:42 PM   #6
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No. The 3.6 won’t be able to handle it. Get one with the hemi.
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:42 PM   #7
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Here is a wheelbase to total trailer length chart.

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Old 07-18-2021, 02:18 PM   #8
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Probably not.
The payload rating for the Jeep will most likely be the limiting factor.
My RAM 1500 and PCW 18RBS works out like this:
Max Payload = 1570
WDH = 75
Tongue Weight = 630 (Measured, Trailer 3500 dry and GVWR = 5000)
People = 220
Misc = 100
Total = 1025
Leaves about 550 to add generator and anything else the wife wants to add to the rear seat or bed.
When we were shopping I really wanted a model like the 16ft Coleman you linked to. In the end we opted for the 18ft because of the price. I really like the idea of recliners but we really use the u shaped dinette and table a lot so it is hard to imagine being with it.
Good luck.
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massparanoia View Post
No. The 3.6 wonít be able to handle it. Get one with the hemi.

I've got a GC with a 5.7 Hemi, lots of power but it is still light (and short) when trying to tow a trailer.

I've towed a tandem flat bed loaded with wood taking it to a kiln and back. Total weight was under the tow capacity but it was still a challenge, trailer started to fish tail going down a long grade, I was well under the speed limit, not sure why it started but it was a ride, I let up on the gas and let it slow down.

I'd never use it for a long term tow vehicle for a large trailer close to the capacity.
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:11 PM   #10
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On to the next one...

Thanks to everyone for the help so far. I've been talked down from the ledge on buying it but it was pretty damn nice. One of the other TTs that was offered as a lot lower in weight is the 2021 Forest River RV IBEX 19QBS

https://www.rvcountry.com/product/ne...qbs-1322033-29

Length 23 ft
Hitch Weight 395 lbs
Gross Weight 4795 lbs
Dry Weight 3774 lbs
Cargo Weight 1021 lbs

I understand it is a bit on the long side according to that chart @tuffr2 posted above.(although I'm not exactly sure how that affects things yet) but I'm basically running out of available options lol!
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Old 07-19-2021, 04:41 AM   #11
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My story - I tried towing a 26.5' travel trailer with a vehicle with a wheelbase of 122". I had terrible sway and could not keep up with the 65mph speed limit. It was tte tail wagging the dog. I switched to a vehicle with a 145" wheelbase. This vehicle controlled the trailer a lot better. I had no sway at 72 mph. No affect from semi trucks either.

Now the longer wheelbase vehicle was also heavier but I give the wheelbase 75% credit and the heavier vehicle 25% of the credit for controlling that trailer.

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Old 07-19-2021, 06:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarrion View Post

I understand it is a bit on the long side according to that chart @tuffr2 posted above.(although I'm not exactly sure how that affects things yet) but I'm basically running out of available options lol!
You may want to take a peek at the Winnebago Micro Mini line. 7í wide makes it much easier to tow. Weights and measures similar to what you just posted. B+ build quality. Iíve had no warranty issues. Just some small stuff I was able to fix myself.

My TV has similar specs to your GC, and I have no problems at all towing my Micro Mini with a 3.6L gas. However my wheelbase is 128Ē, so that may make a difference. That said, Iím right at the limit on RAWR, and payload. You didnít mention if you have factory trailer brake controller. This is a must, or suitable add-on. Also, at your wheelbase, a top-notch WDH with built-in sway control.
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Old 07-23-2021, 11:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post

Now the longer wheelbase vehicle was also heavier but I give the wheelbase 75% credit and the heavier vehicle 25% of the credit for controlling that trailer.
Thanks for the info on your experiences! My hope is that since I'm only a foot over on the TV wheelbase/TT chart you posted above. JGC has a 118' wheelbase which. Purchasing another TV is not an option for us financially.
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Old 07-23-2021, 11:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Marine359 View Post
You may want to take a peek at the Winnebago Micro Mini line. 7í wide makes it much easier to tow. Weights and measures similar to what you just posted. B+ build quality. Iíve had no warranty issues. Just some small stuff I was able to fix myself.

My TV has similar specs to your GC, and I have no problems at all towing my Micro Mini with a 3.6L gas. However my wheelbase is 128Ē, so that may make a difference. That said, Iím right at the limit on RAWR, and payload. You didnít mention if you have factory trailer brake controller. This is a must, or suitable add-on. Also, at your wheelbase, a top-notch WDH with built-in sway control.
Thanks for the info!! I just sent the info to my dealer to see if they have access to get any of those models. Do you mind stating which floorplan you have? It looks like I would have at least 2-3 different choices based only on weight/length. GREAT HELP @jacwjames
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