Towing Capacity of 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 with Trailer Tow Group Package

Question:

Looking for an open car hauler 7K x 18ft to tow a Corvette to Florida. Car weight is 3400 and trailer weight is 2100. Total 5500lbs. When I suggest to trailer dealers that I want to use my weight distribution hitch they all say its not needed because unlike camping trailers the tongue weight is a lot less on an open trailer and you can position the vehicle to distribute the weight. I though I read that the WDH increases capacity. I also read here that my factory hitch is rated for 5K. What do I need to do ??? Thanks

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Expert Reply:

Jeep rates the towing capacity of the 2015 Grand Cherokee with Pentastar V6 and Trailer Tow Group Package as 6200-lbs. The GC with the V8 hemi carries a 7200-lb rating as do the versions equipped with the EcoDiesel V6. So long as your vehicle is rated for at least 6200-lbs you should be fine to tow the Vette and trailer with a combined weight of 5500-lbs.

A vehicle's towing capacity is set by the auto maker and takes into account drivetrain components like the engine, transmission and cooling systems.

The towing capacity for an aftermarket trailer hitch will sometimes increase when a weight distribution hitch is employed. This requires that the hitch safety sticker explicitly states that the hitch is usable with such systems; it will also indicate the resulting higher capacity with a WDH in use. This hitch rating does NOT affect the vehicle's own towing capacity which remains as indicated in the owner's manual. If the Jeep owner's manual says that using a WDH increases towing capacity from the 6200- or 7200-lbs then for that specific vehicle version it does so. But unless Jeep says it increases towing capacity do not presume it does. If the vehicle is rated for 6200-lbs but the hitch is rated for 5000-lbs, then you are limited to 5000-lbs UNLESS the hitch says using a WDH increases the capacity to your required 5500-lb minimum.

You are correct that the nature of a car hauler trailer and its load means that trailer tongue weight (TW) is more variable than that of a travel trailer. What you want to do is load the car and measure your loaded TW using a scale like # 5780 or by one of the other methods shown in the linked article. Include in the TW figure the weight of any cargo behind the Jeep's rear axle. You want to get the TW close to the ideal 12-to-14% of total weight (in this case about 800-lbs). Even if you have a WDH you want to get the loading right first since this will help avoid sway issues.

You also want to ensure that the WDH you have is rated correctly for this TW range. Ideally the WDH will carry a rating such that your actual TW falls in the middle of its range. For example, a system like # EQ37100ET, rated for TW between 600- and 1000-lbs, would be ideal for 800-lbs of TW.

The Jeep will need a trailer brake controller like the Prodigy P3 # 90195 to operate the trailer's brakes. With the Tow Package you will have a factory 7-way socket; in this case all you need to wire the P3 is the adapter part # 3045-P which plugs in between the back of the P3 and the under-dash port on the Grand Cherokee.

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Adam R

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