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I currently own a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4.7 (235hp) and 3.73 gears. The full tow package is installed for heavy towing which is rated at #6500. The 25 rss looks looks just about right, but at the maximum when fully loaded. I installed a prodigy brake controller for the near future and will get the internet loved Equ-lizer hitch setup. Any comments on the tow vehicle and trailer would be appreciated.

Cheers

JimZ
 

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I'm surprised no one here has answered your question. I personally have a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer with the I6 4.2 Liter engine and 4.10 gears giving a tow capacity of 6200#. I intend to tow a Outback 25RSS with it comes in. I have a Prodigy Brake controller and a Reese Strait Hitch that has the HP Dual Sway Control Cams. I am expecting it to tow fine. I am at the max vehicle wheelbase ratio for trailer length. My wheelbase being 113 inches. And under the max GrossCombinedWeightRating of GCWR 11,000#.

I previously towed a loaded 2500# Starcraft Starburst popup like it wasn't even hooked up to the truck. I expect the new Outback 25RSS to be more of a performance challenge but not at all risky or detrimental to the Tow vehicle or trailer.

Any others towing a 25RSS with a smaller Tow Vehicle? Please give us your input.
 

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There are a bunch of "Rules of Thumb" to watch, some of them were traced back to early articles in Trailer Life, others who knows where they came from. For what its worth here is what I've had in my notes file for some time.

Tongue Weight Rule of Thumb
Tongue weight = 10% to 15% of actual loaded trailer weight.

Trailer Weight Rule of Thumb
Maximum trailer weight being towed...should only be 75% of the weight rating of your tow vehicle. (CGWR being taken into consideration). If factory rating is 5,000 lbs. trailer,... a 3750 lb. trailer weight is recommended, etc. If 7,000 lb. trailer is stated,...a 5250 lbs. trailer weight is recommended, etc.

Weight Distribution Hitch Rule of Thumb.
When tongue weight approaches 350 lbs.,...a weight distribution hitch system is recommended.

Wheel Base Rule of Thumb
A tow vehicle should have a minimum wheel base of 100 inches. A wheel base of 110 inches is recommended for a 20 foot trailer. For every additional foot of trailer length (above 20') add 4 inches to the wheel base. i.e., a 22 foot trailer=118 inches wheel base, a 24 foot trailer=126 inches wheel base. Etc. However, when you get into the larger, full size tow vehicles, such as Surburban's, F-150's, Ram Trucks, etc. this rule relaxes, as these types of vehicles (if properly set up) are capable of towing much larger trailers than this rule would suggest.

Trailer Frontal Area Rule of Thumb
Some manufacturers have established guidelines for the maximum trailer frontal area (square footage) which they recommend for safe towing. I read this in a Ford Motor Company publication I recently acquired at a local dealership. Consult your dealer for specifics regarding your tow vehicle.
 

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Surfing Fool,

Pay particular attention to this line from Y-Guy:

Maximum trailer weight being towed...should only be 75% of the weight rating of your tow vehicle.

If you are at the max weight (are you including people in the truck too?) you run a pretty good risk of damaging your tow vehicle. Towing at the max (or even near the max) is not advised.

Randy
 

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Vehicle tow weights are so confusing... everyone has an opinion and statistics, then the vehicle manufacturers list "tow capacities" which one would assume meant the capacatiy at which a tow vehicle would begin to have performance issues (in my line of work we always over estimate when performance issues will arise because there are those who will always push it to the limit). So if we shouldn't tow more than 75% of the tow capacity because we might damange the tow vehicle then why didn't the vehicle manufacturers reduce the tow weights (not expecting anyone to really know this)?

I know this a controversial topic and one that sparks heated debate in other forums. I am just still bewildered by the complexity of it when I would think it an easy thing, tow capacity is 5,000 pounds, don't go over it or your vehicle will be strained.

I remember the day (ok, not really but I do remember it on tv reruns) when people pulled Airstreams with their wood-paneled station wagons. Albeit these often had V8s but was the structure of the vehicle really as sound as let's say a Trail Blazer or similar new vehicle? And those old Airstreams had to weigh a ton compared to today's ultra-lites.

Not meaning to get into a debate, just bewildered by the disconnect between auto manufacturer, dealer, and RV dealers...

Kim
 

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Yeah Kim, this is a tough one. Here is my experience:

A few years back I went to look at a used 30’ TT that an older couple had to sell due to health reasons. I asked what he was towing it with and he pointed to a big Ford Crown Vic sitting in his driveway. I could not believe it and he proceeded to tell me that he never had any issues towing it. I also have a friend that was towing a 25’ TT with one of the old larger Ford Broncos and he lost the entire rig in an accident due to sway that got out of control. No one was hurt thank God and all he had was a friction bar to control sway.

I spent hours trying to determine if my TV could handle the 28rss and everyone told me that I should be fine. The TT dealer said I would be okay. The car dealer said I would be okay as well. I even had friends that work at the plant where my old TV was made talk with the engineers and they gave me the green light. So I made the deal and bought the 28rss. Then I found the on-line forums and started getting all of the numbers for towing and I started doing the math and I discovered that I had nowhere near the TV I should have. I also fell well short of the wheelbase rule that you see posted in the forums.

Just as you are now, I was confused, and even a bit upset that everyone gave me the green light. Once I started towing the rig it did not take very long to realize that the calculations I did proved to be correct and my TV was not adequate. I was also very worried about putting my family and other families in danger if my TT got out of control because my TV was undersized and underpowered.

My guess is that the dealers are so focused on making the sale that they are willing to give you advice that is, not necessarily wrong, but border line in my opinion. My old TV did pull the Outback just as they said it would so they can go on to the next sale and sleep good at night. In the end I had to move to bigger TV when I was not in the financial position I wanted to be in when I did.

My advice to anyone who is looking at a new TT is to listen to the advice of those in the forums who have experience towing TT’s. They know as much as anyone as to what size TT your TV can handle. It can be hard at times in the other forums because there are a lot of folks that think they have the best TV in the world and everyone else is an idiot. But if you look hard enough you can tell the ones who are trying to give you good solid advice. Of course, this forum does not have any of that chest beating going on and the advice here seems to be from the heart and from a genuine concern to help others, and that is really refreshing.

As you can see, this topic hit home to me. Anyway, I will get down now and I am sorry I was so long winded.

See you on the road and around the campfire.

 

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I'll jump in here and relay our experience too.

We almost lost the trailer we had before this one due to sway. We were towing a 28 foot coachmen ultralight with our yukon and almost lost control when two semi's whizzed by. The first one got us swaying and the second one almost finished us off. The only way we were saved was I reached down and applied the trailer brakes manually and was able to get it under control. I had read that somewhere and had my wits about me enough to do it and it worked.

The thing is, we were within all the weight ratings, I had had the rig weighed. I was also using a properly tuned up dual cam system. The problem I believe was a combination of a short wheelbase tv and "P" rated tires.

That was on a friday, we traded for our outback on monday and lost 3k in the process, but safety is worth it to us. We've never looked back. I had read all the info on the forums about wheelbase ratios, etc. and didn't really believe it, I think I believed nothing wouldn't happen to us and those wheelbase guidelines were perhaps outdated. I'm here to tell you, a long trailer can overpower a short, softly suspended truck easier than one might think.

Our outback/yukon combo is very close to the recommended wheelbase ratio and it is a much better handling rig.

Mike
 

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Ok, now for my two cents, or at least my speculations on these subjects. Your TV may very well be able to tow the maximum weight specified in the owners manual. What you will notice is that there is no reference to trailer length in the Chevy/Jeep/Ford/Dodge manuals.

The longer a trailer is, the more leverage it has on the TV. This is the root cause of the "Tail wagging the Dog" syndrom, or trailer sway that we have all read about, and hopefully only a few of us have experienced (usually requires a change of underware at the minimum).

There are a many different ways to correct and or prevent this (with the emphasis on prevention.)

If you already have a TV, and trading up is not an issue, then use the wheelbase ratio calulations already mentioned on this page. If you don't have the TV yet, then pick your TT/TV on what you can afford, keeping those ratios in mind.

If you already have both the TV, and the TT, then there are two things you can do that will improve the way the vehicle handles while towing. First, get a high quality sway control and weight distributing hitch. Single Friction sway bars should not be used with a trailer over 24' in length. (recommendation from Husky) If you are using a friction bar, check your manufactures recommendations for setting up two friction bars, or change to a different sway set up.

Another way is too move the pivot point (ball and coupler) as close the rear axle of the TV as possible. Use a shorter hitch bar. This can also be done with a Pull Rite hitch (actually places the pivot point just aft of the axle), or the Hensley Arrow hitch, which, through linkages, causes the trailer to perform like the pivot point was at the rear axle. Both of these options come with a price though, $1700 and $2800 respectively.

Your could also go with a fifth wheel, which places the pivot point above the rear axle. Of course then you are looking at a full size pickup truck for your tow, in the 3/4 to 1 ton range.

So, to summerize, your Jeep may be able to tow 6500#, but if the length of the trailer is too long, it won't matter. The only way to know if your Jeep will tow the trailer in question is to give it a try, or speak to someone who has.

Well, I've said my piece. Good luck with your search.

Tim
 

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I have equal-i-zer hitch on my truck. When first installed, I needed supplied "levers" to get bars up onto the trailer tongue. Towards the end of last year I noticed that I could put the bars onto the tongue without the lever. Is there some sort of adjustment that needs to e made to the hitch? If so, does anybody know what?
 

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It is great to have a forum of people who aren't so judgmental regarding TVs. When I first started looking at TTs I focused completely on weight and almost made a bad decision buying a 26 foot TT that was only 3800#. Instead we bought the 21RS which weighs a little more but is certainly shorter.

OK, so with that I don't have a signature posted because I've seen in other forums how badly some people get criticized over their choices. We have a Toyota Tacoma 4WD V6 with a tow rating of 5,000#. We've upgraded to the best weight distributors, sway control, tranny cooler and if we don't have enough hp a supercharger. Yes, the weight is getting close and we will be over the 75% that someone else listed but under the tow capacity. We'll never tow water or waste, we'll travel light and we may not be able to drive fast. The only thing that would worry me is the tail wagging the dog but we think were ok.

We know others towing longer TTs with the Tacoma just fine. And we may find out when the TT gets here that its a dog and an awful ride. We live in a great location and have every type of campground within an hour or two. We may never pull the camper further than that which is also why we decided to make this decision. Get the most camper statistically possible.

So if we were going to pull it through the mountains or long road trips... I'm sure we'd want a different TV but for local weekend trips and backyard camping... I think we'll be ok.

So I guess to add to the confusion I think we should also factor in the usage of the TT, the location of the owner and the terrain. Does that make sense?

I'll be glad to see how it handles and put my mind at ease. Someday I'd love to have one of those 30 foot DoubleTree fifth wheels with a fireplace and not even know its back there but until then we'll see how it goes.

Thanks everyone!!!

Kim
 

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Kim as for the 75% rule, well I'm not one that follows it that close either, fully loaded now I am near my limit, but my Av tows everything just fine. The rules of thumb are guides, but it really comes down to common sense, the manufacturer limits and your towing conditions. I've read all the rules of thumb, some I agree with others I still wonder where they came from. Unfortunately there are sales people and buyers that ignore common sense in order to make a sale or fulfill their dreams. I think your Tacoma and a 21' will do just fine, the V6 will probably be working very hard so keep a good eye on your gauges and if you can avoid the big mountains.

Happy Camping
 

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Surfingfool said:
I currently own a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4.7 (235hp) and 3.73 gears. The full tow package is installed for heavy towing which is rated at #6500. The 25 rss looks looks just about right, but at the maximum when fully loaded. I installed a prodigy brake controller for the near future and will get the internet loved Equ-lizer hitch setup. Any comments on the tow vehicle and trailer would be appreciated.

Cheers

JimZ
[snapback]120[/snapback]​
 

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I am new to the forum and just purchased a 26rs from a GSA auction. I trusted that my 99 Grand Cherokee tow ratings were correct and have had no major issues so far. I do plan to upgrade at some point since the engine runs hotter going up hills etc.. and I am concerned about burning out the Cherokee faster. Sway is no problem with my friction sway control bar. Weight distributing hitch is a must have. At some point I would like to travel out west and the 4.7L v8 will most likely run too hot in the desert mountains. The only time I was white nuckled was when I forgot to tighten the lever on the sway control bar
. Even then the sway was minimal.

Hope this helps others since I noticed your original post was quite some time ago.

-Mark I.
 

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Surfingfool said:
I currently own a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4.7 (235hp) and 3.73 gears. The full tow package is installed for heavy towing which is rated at #6500. The 25 rss looks looks just about right, but at the maximum when fully loaded. I installed a prodigy brake controller for the near future and will get the internet loved Equ-lizer hitch setup. Any comments on the tow vehicle and trailer would be appreciated.

Cheers

JimZ
[snapback]120[/snapback]​
I have a 97 Grand Cherokee, with 5.3 V8 and tow package. When we bougth a new 21RS a couple of weeks ago, I determined on the 20 mile trip home that the Jeep was marginal at best for towing the 21. On fairly level ground, engine temps were elevated 30* over normal, even at modest speeds. Next purchase was a 3/4 ton Suburban, which is gross overkill, but at least I know it will tow the trailer safely.
 

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I tow a 25RSS with a 2003 Jeep Cherokee 4.7 high output V8 and tow package and would not recommend it as a long term solution if you have other options. There is more to the combination than just pulling the trailer.

The Jeep will certainly pull the trailer quite easily. I also have an equalizer and prodigy brake controller to help. Bottom line is physics come into play and avoiding a dangerous amount of sway is unavoidable given the trailer vehicle combination. 95% of the time you'll be fine, however, I guarantee you'll have a couple trucks pass by or crosswind situations that will certainly remind you of the "tail wagging the dog" combination you have.

Do I think everyone needs a truck with dual rear-end and deisel, certainly not. I find several drive too fast and are just as dangerous a combination with their driving too due to their overconfidence with the towing capabilities. However, comparing apples to apples more wheel base will make for a safer ride for you.

I love the Jeep, but the more I use it to pull the more I realize the danger in the combination. I tow quite a bit.

I am looking for another vehicle (used) to pull with...

My 2 cents. I wish you luck and safety in no matter what your choice.

-Rick
 

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djd1023 said:
I have equal-i-zer hitch on my truck. When first installed, I needed supplied "levers" to get bars up onto the trailer tongue. Towards the end of last year I noticed that I could put the bars onto the tongue without the lever. Is there some sort of adjustment that needs to e made to the hitch? If so, does anybody know what?
[snapback]3238[/snapback]​
Could just be that you are raising your tongue jack higher than before. The spring arms are easier to put in place the higher you raise the tongue jack. The only adjustments needed as far as I know would have to do with the weight distribution equalizing ability of the hitch or the leveling ability of the hitch head. If you go to www.equalizerhitch.com & click on support, you can download the instruction literature if your dealer didn't give it to you.
 

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Here's a few truisms: Anything can tow anything if its probably set up. The best tow vehicle is a 500hp Peterbuilt. The best consumer tv is a crew cab dually. A well set up Equalizer/Reese/roll of bailing wire will tow anything okay.

Shucks, I don't know. If you think you may not have enough truck, you probably don't. I wouldn't be too concerned with horsepower, but rather wheelbase, suspension and tires- I don't care if I go slowly up hills, but I want to be straight and steady no matter what. For what its worth, we have a Hensley, and swear by it. They say it can make up for a bunch of TV sins, and I believe it.

Finally, just to be a total wet blanket, here's how we learned about sway: We Crashed

Peace out.

Kevin P.
 
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