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Towing capacity question


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Hey all,

I am on the verge of getting a new bass boat (tracker Pro 170) and I had some concerns about towing it. I currently drive a 2017 jeep grand cherokee thats tow capacity is 3500lbs. The dry weight of the boat+trailer is a little under 1,900lbs. Obviously that is under capacity, but I worry with a fully loaded vehicle with friends, family, food and gear that I may be pushing the limits of my Jeep. I only plan on taking local trips for now (45 minute drive max) but should I be concerned with this? Any advice helps. Thanks!

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Check your state laws on towing.  I used to tow a 17 foot bass tracker with a 2014 Ford Escape with the same towing capacity as your Cherokee.  It has a package weight of around 2200 lbs.

 

To be legal to tow that in NH, I needed brakes on the trailer as the package weight exceeded some percentage of the axle weight of the escape.  I forget the exact number but is was like 60%.

 

There is more to this than just towing capacity.

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What engine and trim level is your Grand Cherokee?   3500 pounds sounds really low for towing capacity.  I'd suspect a Cherokee (not Grand) to have a towing capacity around that.    Are you sure it's not 3500 kilograms, instead of pounds?  That would be ~7700 pounds towing capacity.   Regardless there should be a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) which is the maximum rated weight for everything.  

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  • Super User

I wouldn’t worry too much about it.  I have a Nitro Z20 that weighs about 4500# and my wife tows it with her Jeep Cherokee Trail hawk.   Towing isn’t the big deal.  Stopping is.

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You sure your tow rating is correct? The wife has a 22 cherokee with the v6 and tow package it's rated 4k lbs. 3500lb seems low for a longer wheelbase vehicle.

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A Cherokee can tow a yacht, I’ve seen it . Especially if it has the in line 6. Give yourself plenty of room to slow and stop and you’re all good. Plenty of power is good but it’s mostly about the guy holding the steering wheel. All the motor has to do is make the wheels roll 

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I have a regular Cherokee, 2015 with towing pkg and it is rated at 4500 lbs.  Tows my 3500 lb high top trailer just fine, but that 8 speed trans shifting all the time drives me nuts !!

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8 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

A Cherokee can tow a yacht, I’ve seen it . Especially if it has the in line 6. Give yourself plenty of room to slow and stop and you’re all good. Plenty of power is good but it’s mostly about the guy holding the steering wheel. All the motor has to do is make the wheels roll 

 

Yep, my buddy used to pull 5th wheel hay trailer with his 2005 Duramax (rated at ~14k). 

 

I think he said rough calculation on the hay trailer, fully loaded, was around 30k. Granted, he was pulling hay from his pasture to farm, on gravel roads...and needed LOTS of room to slow down / stop. 

 

Getting the load going is not the problem...stopping is!

 

My old 2500HD had the 8.1 Big Block. The put the same engine-transmission in medium duty trucks that were rated to pull 35k+ 

 

My truck was rated for 13k. It's suspension, brakes, etc. that determines ratings. 

 

You can pull anything you want...but if you get in an accident...insurance company and lawyers are going to look long and hard at your vehicle, tow rating, trailer, etc., etc.

 

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On 3/17/2024 at 8:05 AM, TnRiver46 said:

A Cherokee can tow a yacht, I’ve seen it . Especially if it has the in line 6. Give yourself plenty of room to slow and stop and you’re all good. Plenty of power is good but it’s mostly about the guy holding the steering wheel. All the motor has to do is make the wheels roll 

Mine wouldn't.  I had a 1991 Cherokee with the 4.0L straight six, and I went through three motors in that thing.  The first blew towing a boat.  Cracked the block suddenly, without warning.  Luckily, it was still under warranty when that happened.  Then about 5 years later, the new motor disintegrated when it overheated towing an empty 5x8 U Haul trailer.   So I replaced it with a motor I pulled from a wrecked Jeep at a scrap yard.  And then that one overheated towing nothing about two years later, so I sold it for scrap and moved on.  That pile was the worst vehicle I ever owned.  

 

Now everyone else I've talked to claims those motors are bulletproof and speak of them in almost reverent tones.  But I didn't have any luck with them.  The one thing it had going for it was it was easy to work on.  And that's probably the only thing I miss about it.  

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Specs. 2017 Grand Cherokee 

 

IMG_2024-03-18-171024.jpeg.3d0d7fc171a0788d2b272823eea30f63.jpeg

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