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Len1304,

I noticed that you mounted the brake controller on the compartment door under the dash. How does that work for you. I also have the P3 and was planning on mounting it more to center, but I also have an under-dash holster that I like to use as well, so that door was another thought. Do you find that you hit it with your knee when you get in and out?

Jim
 

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Len1304,

I noticed that you mounted the brake controller on the compartment door under the dash. How does that work for you. I also have the P3 and was planning on mounting it more to center, but I also have an under-dash holster that I like to use as well, so that door was another thought. Do you find that you hit it with your knee when you get in and out?

Jim


I've got my seat set so that when the ignition turns off it slides back. That helps greatly not hit it. But when I'm hooking up a trailer or I'm getting in and out while the engine is running I do find myself hitting it from time to time. I'm 5' 7" tall and about 220. The problem with more in the center or to the right is the knee airbag located under the steering wheel. If you screw into that plastic you could accidentally detonate the airbag or tear it. Also in the event of a collision whatever is mounted to that plastic can become a bullet. So I'd recommend against mounting it in the center. Personally I would have liked it in the center console on on the dash where it's easy to get to, but with where it's at its easy. And it comes with everything you need to just pop it off really quick. It's all quick disconnect anyways.


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Len1304,

I noticed that you mounted the brake controller on the compartment door under the dash. How does that work for you. I also have the P3 and was planning on mounting it more to center, but I also have an under-dash holster that I like to use as well, so that door was another thought. Do you find that you hit it with your knee when you get in and out?

Jim
I'll throw in my .02 here too. I have it in the same spot as Len1304, I'm 6' and 220lbs, don't have the luxury of auto seats. I have only hit it once...It hurt like heck, and haven't done it since.

Like what was mentioned, with the amount of air bags in these, it's almost the best spot. And it's easy to get to the factory plug as well from there.
 
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I didn't think about the airbag, but thanks for pointing that out. I'm 6'1" and don't have the easy exit seats, and have been driving an F-150 for the past 4 years. The smaller vehicle is still an adjustment, but I'll get used to it. Thanks, Jim.
 

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We recently returned from a 7500 km trip to Yukon and back. We tow a Aero lite travel trailer that weighs 3200 pounds fully loaded. The Jeep performed beautifully. We do not have a equalizer hitch nor a sway control unit. Our tongue weight is 400 pounds. We did not have any problems even in strong wind conditions. Except for two days towing into a strong headwind we averaged 15 liters/ 100 kms. We used to tow a 12,000 pound fifth wheel trailer with a F350 diesel. We really like the compactness of our new to us trailer and Jeep combo. We also appreciate the much better fuel economy. However I do miss the massive torque of a nicely modified diesel engine.
 

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I didn't think about the airbag, but thanks for pointing that out. I'm 6'1" and don't have the easy exit seats, and have been driving an F-150 for the past 4 years. The smaller vehicle is still an adjustment, but I'll get used to it. Thanks, Jim.


No problem Jim. I'm happy to help. Thanks @ptrudel.


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Adding an additional resource: http://changingears.com/rv-sec-tow-vehicles-understand.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.

GAWR:
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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@Rojhan, dry weight is also without batteries, water, propane or accessories. Dry weight is typically the weight of the of the trailer as it ships from the factory before the dealer does any prep.


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@Rojhan, dry weight is also without batteries, water, propane or accessories. Dry weight is typically the weight of the of the trailer as it ships from the factory before the dealer does any prep.

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Good call. Edited post to put it in the same place.
 

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Thank you for sharing your expertise with us.

The wife and I retired this year and purchased a 2016 Cherokee V6 4wd Limited edition with the tow package with the intention of purchasing a travel trailer to realize a shared dream of camping along the Pacific Coast and probably beyond. After much research and dealer visits, we set our sights on Gulfstream's Vista Cruiser 19erd. With the options we want, the 19erd has an UVW of 3300 lbs, a GVWR of 4150 lbs, and a hitch weight of 380 lbs. All within the limits of our Cherokee.

However, while doing research and reading your article/post, I read the following: "A WDH is also significantly heavier than a drawbar and needs to be part of your tongue weight calculation." Doh! After reading your recommendations, I am committed to purchase and install everything; I want all the safety and prevention I can get. But when I look at your recommended WDH on trailer.com, I see a shipping weight of over 100 lbs. If I add that to the listed tongue weight of the 19erd, we will be 30 lbs over the Cherokee's 450 lb max. Please tell me that we can work out a WDH with a sway prevention feature and remain within the Cherokee towing limits.

One thought is, since the going in tongue weight of the 19erd is well over 10% of the GVWR, is it possible to load the trailer in a way that the weight of the WDH can be offset so the tongue weight can be maintained below 450 lbs?

Are there any other solutions you can recommend other than buying a different TT? We've looked long and hard to find a TT with a walk around bed, an interior height that doesn't require hunching over (I'm a tall one), and a dinette that can sleep a couple of grandkids in sleeping bags; all within reasonable Cherokee weight limits. The 19erd is uniquely qualified in this regard... or at least we hope it is.

Thanks again for providing such a valuable service to this community.
 

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Thank you for sharing your expertise with us.

The wife and I retired this year and purchased a 2016 Cherokee V6 4wd Limited edition with the tow package with the intention of purchasing a travel trailer to realize a shared dream of camping along the Pacific Coast and probably beyond. After much research and dealer visits, we set our sights on Gulfstream's Vista Cruiser 19erd. With the options we want, the 19erd has an UVW of 3300 lbs, a GVWR of 4150 lbs, and a hitch weight of 380 lbs. All within the limits of our Cherokee.

However, while doing research and reading your article/post, I read the following: "A WDH is also significantly heavier than a drawbar and needs to be part of your tongue weight calculation." Doh! After reading your recommendations, I am committed to purchase and install everything; I want all the safety and prevention I can get. But when I look at your recommended WDH on trailer.com, I see a shipping weight of over 100 lbs. If I add that to the listed tongue weight of the 19erd, we will be 30 lbs over the Cherokee's 450 lb max. Please tell me that we can work out a WDH with a sway prevention feature and remain within the Cherokee towing limits.

One thought is, since the going in tongue weight of the 19erd is well over 10% of the GVWR, is it possible to load the trailer in a way that the weight of the WDH can be offset so the tongue weight can be maintained below 450 lbs?

Are there any other solutions you can recommend other than buying a different TT? We've looked long and hard to find a TT with a walk around bed, an interior height that doesn't require hunching over (I'm a tall one), and a dinette that can sleep a couple of grandkids in sleeping bags; all within reasonable Cherokee weight limits. The 19erd is uniquely qualified in this regard... or at least we hope it is.

Thanks again for providing such a valuable service to this community.
10-12% (up to 15% depending on where you look/ask) of GVW on the tongue is normal. Showing 380lbs listed tongue on a 3,300 trailer sounds like "they" split the difference and also put a little bit of slop inthe calculation to support wet weight (with water/fluids) rather than just dry weight. A little bit front-to-back or vice versa difference in loading the trailer can dramatically shift the actual tongue weight.

The range of weight on the tongue is both for vehicle capability (not overloading suspension) as well as trailer handling. Too light and too heavy both affect handling, but the sweet spot is going to depend on both the towed vehicle and the towing vehicle. You might find out that in your particular case 300, 350, or 400lbs on the *trailer tongue* is what works best for you.

Also, nature of the beast, WDH is going to alter the weight distribution (hence the name :)). Using some made up numbers, a 5,000lb trailer with a 500lb tongue weight, and a 100lb WDH might "shift" 150lbs forward so you have 150lbs on the front axle and 450lbs on the rear axle. In that case, you'd have "less weight" on the tongue, but still be over max towing weight.

WDH doesn't give you any additional GVWR or GCVWR, but it does alter how weight is distributed, mostly so you aren't squatting the rear and lifting the front, but also so you don't overload the rear GAWR.

Note that a Class-III hitch is generally rated for 6,000/600lbs "weight carrying" (normal towing) and 10,000/1,000lbs weight distributing. Class-IV gives you 10,000/1,000lbs weight carrying and 14,000/1400lbs weight distributing. You'll, of course, break something on the Jeep long before you get to the point of breaking the hitch. :)

Max towing weight and max tongue weight are just simplications of GAWR, GCVWR, GVWR, and hitch capacity. If you max out the trailer to 4,150lbs and add a 100lb WDH, you are still less than 4,500lbs towing and the WDH is going to shift some weight to the front keeping your tongue and rear axle weight under control.

Poor phrasing and clarity on my post. The hitch IS heavier, and it DOES add weight to the tongue. But, it lets you move that weight around.
 

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Thank you for sharing your expertise with us.



The wife and I retired this year and purchased a 2016 Cherokee V6 4wd Limited edition with the tow package with the intention of purchasing a travel trailer to realize a shared dream of camping along the Pacific Coast and probably beyond. After much research and dealer visits, we set our sights on Gulfstream's Vista Cruiser 19erd. With the options we want, the 19erd has an UVW of 3300 lbs, a GVWR of 4150 lbs, and a hitch weight of 380 lbs. All within the limits of our Cherokee.



However, while doing research and reading your article/post, I read the following: "A WDH is also significantly heavier than a drawbar and needs to be part of your tongue weight calculation." Doh! After reading your recommendations, I am committed to purchase and install everything; I want all the safety and prevention I can get. But when I look at your recommended WDH on trailer.com, I see a shipping weight of over 100 lbs. If I add that to the listed tongue weight of the 19erd, we will be 30 lbs over the Cherokee's 450 lb max. Please tell me that we can work out a WDH with a sway prevention feature and remain within the Cherokee towing limits.



One thought is, since the going in tongue weight of the 19erd is well over 10% of the GVWR, is it possible to load the trailer in a way that the weight of the WDH can be offset so the tongue weight can be maintained below 450 lbs?



Are there any other solutions you can recommend other than buying a different TT? We've looked long and hard to find a TT with a walk around bed, an interior height that doesn't require hunching over (I'm a tall one), and a dinette that can sleep a couple of grandkids in sleeping bags; all within reasonable Cherokee weight limits. The 19erd is uniquely qualified in this regard... or at least we hope it is.



Thanks again for providing such a valuable service to this community.


You should be just fine in the case of the tongue weight. I figure I'm pushing close to 500lbs of tongue weight before the hitch because of all the weight I've added. In addition I haul a power hair which is 550lbs before you calculate the hanging weight. So the hitch can handle it. To help, you install the WDH and airbags. All this helps shift the weight to the front axle and back onto the trailer axles, making the tongue "feel" lighter.


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I didn't notice anything in this thread about trailer brake requirements. Here's one reference for the US. https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/trailer-brakes/

There is a similar list for the provinces on Canada on the tab at top of page.
 

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Thank you. Ill set a reminder in my phone to add it to the post.


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I didn't notice, at first, the similar list for the provinces. There is a list for Canada on the tab at top of that same page ... edited my post accordingly.

Dealers will be quick to tell buyers about how high a towing capability is without mentioning that, pretty much everywhere, trailer brakes are required. Most states in the US require trailer to have brakes if it's 3000# or more. Many have more stringent limits and if a trip takes one thru one of those, even the 2000# trailers will need their own brakes.
 

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The most helpful post ever for someone trying to figure out which (first) TT to buy.
Thanks @Len1304
 

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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.
 

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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...😎
 
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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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