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I have a 2016 Cherokee North V6 with tow package and trailer brake controller. Have a starcraft pop up camper and the Jeep tows it just fine even through the mountains, except for gas mileage suffers to be expected. We are considering purchasing an r pod and I am wondering if if anyone has experience towing one of these with a cherokee v6. The rpod would be about 2800 lbs dry and I would guess about 600lbs or so cargo. I have read through some of the threads about towing and some things to consider would be the "frontal" area for wind resistance and possible of adding sway control to the trialer hitch.

Thanks for your input.
 

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I have a 2016 Cherokee North V6 with tow package and trailer brake controller. Have a starcraft pop up camper and the Jeep tows it just fine even through the mountains, except for gas mileage suffers to be expected. We are considering purchasing an r pod and I am wondering if if anyone has experience towing one of these with a cherokee v6. The rpod would be about 2800 lbs dry and I would guess about 600lbs or so cargo. I have read through some of the threads about towing and some things to consider would be the "frontal" area for wind resistance and possible of adding sway control to the trialer hitch.

Thanks for your input.
You'd be surprised of how much extra weight you will have on top of the dry weight. I'm not sure how much water those will carry, but I'd say at least 30 gallons, and that's just shy of 300# in just the water supply. Looks like a nice little camper though. Best rule of thumb, I'd add at least 800# on top of the dry weight for a unit in the ultralight class to be safe. Water being almost 8 1/2 lbs per gallon is the biggest extra weight factor.
 

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Looks like that camper has a total weight of 3832 lbs.
That will need a hitch weight (12-15% of loaded weight) of between 460-490 lbs. The Cherokee has a 450 lb. limit.
Each lb. of cargo weight you put in the Jeep will reduce the 4500 lb max tow weight rating. Cherokee has around a 900 max weight limit so determine how much cargo and people are in the jeep and downrate the 4500lb. rating by that amount. The tongue weight of 460 lbs. is considered cargo in the jeep so you lose half of your jeep cargo rating at the get-go. If you have more than 2 people in the jeep you won't be able to carry much cargo.

No matter how you approach the calculation I have determined that the max trailer weight (loaded) is around 3200 lb. for safe towing. Yes you can tow more than that physically and people do but it isn't safe for all driving conditions and will require weight distribution hitches, which I avoid.

If you get a trailer you should weight the car and trailer and hitch weight on a CAT scale at a truck stop. Great info to make decisions.

I think the r-pod is a bit heavy for safe towing.
Two examples I found for safe towing are the Jayco 154BH (or 145) and the MiniMax teardrop.

Camper dealers don't know much about safe tow ratings I found out so I would not trust their judgement.
Find max trailer weight calculators on the internet and you will have your eyes opened.

I tow a Jayco 154BH and it pulls smoothly without a weight dist. hitch or sway bar, just hooked to ball.
 

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This is the calculator I used. It is very detailed for input and is the best one I have found:

Here is a printout of the final calculations for a 2019 Cherokee V6 with factory tow package:
211338
 

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The other topic the OP brought up was Frontal Area.

According to the Owner's Manual:

Frontal Area
The frontal area is the maximum height multiplied by the maximum width of the front of a trailer.

Seems pretty straight forward, but in reality, it's a pretty mushy topic. I won't get into the effects of aerodyamics or what "Frontal Area" really means. A quick web search will give you enough info to fry your brain - little if any consistency.

According to the 2016 Owner's Manual (and 2020 too), the total Frontal Area for the 3.2L w/tow package is precisely 39.44 sq ft. FCA didn't bother rounding that figure.

Here's a pretty good thread about Frontal Area...

 

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Here is a spreadsheet I made with the frontal area calculated as the projected area of the trailer box only.
The second column is an adjustment I made to de-rate the max tow rating of the jeep as the frontal area increases.
211347
 
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