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My Towing Recommendations

28127 Views 43 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Dbax
Many people have asked about what to use while towing. Below I will provide links for the items I personally use and would recommend whole heartedly without hesitation. I used to own an RV repair facility where we installed towing equipment and towed trailer for clients.

Make sure when towing to increase air pressure in your tires a little to help take the bounce out of your ride. If you have a 7 foot wide trailer like mine mirror extensions aren't really needed IF you adjust your mirrors so that the inside edge of the mirror can BARELY see the body of the Cherokee. Please when towing keep it under 65 even in 65+ MPH zones like here in Texas. While the cherokee CAN tow that fast I can't recommend it. Weight distribution hitches are required by FCA when towing 3500lbs or more. Personally I'd say if your tongue weight is 250lbs or more it's better safe than sorry. Also, if you are towing a single axle trailer I would go as far as to say anti-sway is a must. Please avoid anti-sway systems you have to disconnect before you backup, it's an accident waiting to happen. If you tow often and you have a 2016 I don't know if this is on 2015's, go into the uconnect and turn OFF the automatic mirror tilt. The setting that points your mirrors down when you put it into reverse.

I want to point out, IF you find yourself in a situation where the trailer is swaying badly you have a few options. Put your foot to the floor and accelerate, trailer weight will determine if this'll work. You can also use the lever on your brake controller and apply the brakes with that, that'll apply the brakes on JUST the trailer causing it to drag bringing it straight. Last and not least will be to simply ease up off the gas and coast. Trust the jeep if you have the factory tow system, the factory anti-sway works beautifully. Whatever you do during sway do NOT hit the brakes, this can and will cause you to swerve off the highway often causing a rollover.

Always pack your trailer tongue heavy, this helps prevent sway. Also if you put it in sport mode that helps hold gears however it turns on the 4wd system. If you find you need to force the transmission into a lower gear, it IS possible. You take the selector lever and move it to the left into the manual mode. Once there, push the selector lever forward and hold it there, this will cause the transmission to shift into the lowest gear available and stay there. You may have to hold it for a few seconds as it takes it sweet time to downshift.

Also, one last tidbit. Make sure you stop by the dealer and pick up a few extra charge line fuses. They are 30 amp fuses and retail for about 9$ a piece. After blowing mine I replaced it with a 40amp which the wiring in the jeep can handle.

If ANYONE has any questions about towing, please contact me directly and I'll answer them personally. Also, if you are having trouble with your trailer you are also welcome to contact me personally. If you are local to me I'll even help out in person.

The information provided in this thread is of my own opinion and is in no way required or associated with JCC in any way. Please follow all of your local laws when towing and most of all slow down and leave yourself plenty of space.

Weight Distribution Hitch WITH Anti-Sway I have: https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distribution/Reese/RP66086.html

This is the weight distribution hitch with anti-sway I would recommend due to clearance issues: https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distribution/Reese/RP66082.html

This is the brake controller I would recommend: https://www.etrailer.com/multi-prod...kee&hhyear=2016&vehicleid=201633041&hunter=bc

These are the airbags I would recommend: https://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Suspension/Air-Lift/AL60751.html

This would be for shear ease of use to be able to make adjustments on the fly and not have to keep checking to see if the airbags are still inflated: https://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Suspension/Air-Lift/AL25850.html

From @Rojhan: It's a lot cheaper to buy (good!) safety equipment than to recover from the effects of any kind of accident. There are few things in life scarier than having your trailer "wag the dog"; the trailer does whatever it's going to do and you and the tow vehicle are just along for the ride. Don't spend $40K on a vehicle and $30K on a trailer and turn right around and think that ~$500 for the proper tow setup is expensive...

Something else to do is, at least once, go to a truck scale and weigh the various combinations of tow vehicle and trailer: http://www.learntorv.com/2013/05/how...l-trailer.html. *KNOW* what your weights are. Clothes, tents, etc. aren't very heavy but you may be amazed at how much it all adds up to when you are fully loaded.

Get a tongue scale: https://www.amazon.com/Sherline-LM-1...dp/B007REJTGI/ so you know exactly what your current load will be on the vehicle.

Physics is a harsh mistress that doesn't cut you any slack. Keep in mind that you are likely upwards of 8,500lbs of combined weight when you are towing. The vehicle is going to handle differently. Stopping distance is going to be affected, even with trailer brakes. Other drivers are "blind" to larger vehicles and seem to think they can all stop on a dime. Give yourself plenty of room to maneuver. That includes reducing speed, if necessary. Plenty of videos on Youtube of RV/trailer/truck accidents; when they go south, they go south *really* quick. The best response is to prevent, not react.

Keep an eye on tire inflation and wear on both the trailer and the KL. Same rationale; you are in a much more precarious balance of forces when towing. It takes a lot less to upset the balance and have bad things happen.

Don't take the listed tow capacity of the KL as an attempt at a high score or take it just as "bah, FCA is just being paranoid." Exceeding the GVWR/GCWR is a recipe for disaster; human, insurance, civil, and criminal. If you want to tow something bigger than the tow vehicle is spec'd for, get a tow vehicle with more capacity. Helper springs, air bags, etc. help control the ride and the loading, but they do NOT *add* capacity.

Adding an additional resource: http://changingears.com/rv-sec-tow-v...derstand.shtml

Short version: "Don't exceed any individual rating, even if the total is within limits. Actual weighing with a scale is the only way to know your numbers for sure. Don't trust printed or spoken information."

GVW: Gross Vehicle Weight
Your "all-in" weight. Vehicle/Trailer. People. Contents. Fluids. Everything.

GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
The max allowed GVW.

GCW: Gross Combination Weight
Total all-in weight of both towing vehicle and towed (trailer).

GCWR: Gross Combination Weight Rating
The max allowed GCW

GAW: Gross Axle Weight
Measured on each axle; the actual weight each axle is supporting.

The max allowed GAW.

Tongue Weight
The amount of weight transferred from the trailer and supported by the hitch. Should be 10-12% of trailer weight.
Too light or too heavy and vehicle/trailer handling will be affected.
A weight-distributing hitch transfers the same amount of weight to the vehicle, but the lever action moves some of the weight to the front axle rather than "all" on the rear axle. A WDH is also significantly heavier than a drawbar and needs to be part of your tongue weight calculation.

Curb Weight: "Unladen" vehicle weight.
Total vehicle weight with standard options/equipment, fluids, fuel, etc. No people or cargo.

Dry Weight: Similar to Curb weight, but without fluids, batteries, propane, accessories. etc. "Fresh from the factory without any dealer prep." Rarely used, other than by RV sellers to tell you "Sure, your car can handle that! (as long as you don't bring any water or personal items with you or actually want it to be useful. )" :p

Cargo weight:
All the extra stuff you add, including people.

Once you add a trailer, you are going to affect GAW, GVW and GCW. Tongue weight will transfer from the trailer to the vehicle. Note, you can have a negative tongue weight if poorly loaded. This will actually lift the rear of the tow vehicle.
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Super noob question as I've never towed anything in my life. We have the tow package on our '19 3.2L Cherokee Altitude. I assume I still need to purchase the brake controller? I wasn't sure if that's included as part of the tow package but I don't see anything in the documentation which would lead me to believe there already is one. Wife and I are looking at purchasing a teardrop next year so doing some homework in advance.
Yes, you will need a brake controller for even the smallest teardrop. Not a huge expense, and an easy install...😎
Awesome. Assuming the one mentioned in the OP of the thread is more than good enough to do the trick?
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