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Old    WiscoWakester (wakeboy01)      Join Date: Apr 2009       06-22-2010, 11:50 AM Reply   
Alright so I'm looking for a cheaper 2nd car for towing. Jeep Grand Cherokee seems like it's one of the better fits for my budget. I have a 99 air nautique 2700 lbs dry w/ 1200 lb trailer. I'm thinking the V8 would be best.

Is there a certain tow package I should look for or model?

Or suspension I will need (would that be listed on the Jeep?)

What is the towing capacity of a late 90's Grand Cherokee v8? I've read 5000 lbs.

Pros and cons of towing w/ a Jeep? From limited reading on the forum looks like it is hard to stop / slow down.

Any other feedback would be appreciated. Thanks everyone.
Old    Dwight Kinley (beretta5spd)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-22-2010, 12:36 PM Reply   
I tow with an 01 Grand Cherokee 4.7 v8. I'm pretty sure tow capactiy is 6500 pounds. 99-2004 suspension is pretty much all the same. I'm not sure what the tow capacity pre-99 was. My boat is extremely light (less than 2500 pounds including trailer) and you can still feel it pretty good behind you while towing performance wise. Stopping should be fine if you have trailer brakes working. If not it will take you quite a while. This is not a unit I would use for long distances on a regular basis or to rush up to the lake with. I tow my boat 200 miles round trip every other weekend and it does the job ok.

The Jeeps that come with the tow package have the hitch coming out through a notched rear bumper cover. Aftermarket "hidden hitches" stick out below that. You will want the factory tow package as it comes with a tranny cooler and factory trailer wiring.

Where the jeep really shines is cruising around town without anything in tow. The 99-2004 are one of the best rides IMO of SUV's. If you aren't in a big rush while towing the grand cherokee will suit your needs.
Old    Chris G. (chris4x4gill2)      Join Date: Sep 2009       06-22-2010, 12:53 PM Reply   
you biggest thing will be stopping. Make sure the trailer brakes are working, If you have surge breaks, I would look into upgrading to electric brakes. I would definately make sur eit had a tranny cooler. But those can be added aftermarket as well.
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-22-2010, 2:33 PM Reply   
I have done most of my towing with a 2000 GC, before that I had a '89 Cherokee. The 2000 GC has a V-8 and towing package, and tows awesome. The boat weighed close to 3000lbs, and only had surge brakes. (1999-2004 V-8s have a 6500lb capacity)

The from the factory tow package has a tranny cooler built in. I would recommend finding one with that option. I think the GC while towing accelerates fine, but then again I was used to an old & tired Cherokee with the I-6 and an aftermarket hitch. The one down side I can think of is gas mileage, even though the V-8 is a 4.7 it is hardly fuel efficient. I only get about 17mpg without towing.

As far as years, I would opt for 1999-2004. 2005 was a newer gen with a higher tow capacity, but I still prefer the second gens; especially the interior and paint quality. Pre 1999 vehicles arent bad and with the 5.2 V-8 also have a 6500lb towing capacity, but they are getting quite old now and its harder to find a nice one. Little known fact about the first gen GCs, the vehicle was almost completely designed by AMC before Chrysler bought them.

If you have any specific questions, let me know.

Last edited by MattieK27; 06-22-2010 at 2:36 PM.
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-22-2010, 2:46 PM Reply   
Here is a WJ specific Grand Cherokee towing guide. (2nd gen, 1999-2004)

The I-6 will tow 5000lbs, but if you want decent acceleration go with the V-8. The only real bonus of the I-6 is the engine has a bulletproof design, change the oil and it will run forever...

http://www.wjjeeps.com/trailer.htm
Old    CORY MITCHELL (stang_killa_ss)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-22-2010, 3:22 PM Reply   
i have a 2000 jeep grand cherokee with the 4.7 V8 with tow package.
the 5 speed auto is very nice for keeping the rpms low yet the axle gears of the tow package still give it tons of power. plus you get wireing and tranny cooler with the tow package. i tow a 03 moomba LSV 3400 dry weight plus trailer and gear. the short wheelbase (vs a truck) is also GREAT for getting it out of tight spots at the ramp parking lot. its saved us many times.
i get 9.8 to 10.0 mpg while towing the boat. about a 30 minute drive doing 55-60.
when not towing i get about 13-14 mpg in town going to work and back (15 minutes) i have hit 20 mpg once driving 3 hours highway to dallas.
Old    Shane Miller (hematoma)      Join Date: Jul 2008       06-22-2010, 3:23 PM Reply   
I've towed my boat with 2 different vehicles thus far. 1 2000 Grand Cherokee factory towing package I-6 it towed it alright but the suspension sure sagged down I put air bags on it and that made a huge difference. I stepped up to a 2001 Suburban 5.7 and still have trouble climbing long grades out here in Az. The load on the suspension is minimal. Anyways if I had to do it over I would have found a diesel Excursion or a Burban with a 6 liter.
Old    Taylor Jensen (wakeboardertj)      Join Date: May 2005       06-22-2010, 3:28 PM Reply   
If the road to your lake is relatively flat I'd say you'd be fine, but if you have to go up large windy grades like I do you'll want something a little more powerful. I only tow my vride with my 2002 grand Cherokee v8 to lakes 20 minutes away and even then I hate to put the stress on it and just pull it with the f350.
Old    Jay (ironj32)      Join Date: Jan 2007       06-23-2010, 5:27 AM Reply   
I tow my 2000 XStar (about 3000 lbs), with my 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/ 4.7L V8. It does a fine job. I'll admit that my normal daily towing distance is maybe only 10-30 miles round trip, though, I have done a few 200+ mile trips. It definitely has enough power and torque....you can tow at 70+ mph, no problem (everyone can save their "that's not safe" comments for someone else, lol). I have a single axel trailer with surge brakes. Gas milage is horrible when towing though...between 6-8 mpg, normally.

I think that 3000 lbs on a single axel is about all you'd want to do with a Jeep though. Anything bigger and you're going to be wanting to do atleast a 1/2 ton truck.
Old    Craig Cox (wakedoctor)      Join Date: Dec 2004       06-23-2010, 6:48 AM Reply   
Another + for getting a GC

I tow with an 03 Limited w/ the 4.7 and 4 wheel drive. My area is flat land with some elevation around the lake area but it is a stretch to the Lake we ski at, the farthest is 2 hours. The only down sides I have found with mine is it gets 16 mpg and I have went through a couple of power steering pumps. I told someone the other day if something happened to it I honestly don't know what I could get that would fully replace it. It is small enough to make it in some of the tight parking in downtown areas, but it is big enough I can go home and hook to the boat. When towing I keep it out of O/D and usually set the cruse at 65 mph on back roads and 75 mph on the interstate. The only assistance I have is the surge brakes on the trailer and I added air bags to the rear just to be able to level everything. The ones I have can run up to 30 psi but I have never ran more than 10 psi. The only time I wouldn't recommend this vehicle is if you pulling a boat 22' or bigger, with it being midsize the weight just isn't there to handle the bigger boats comfortably.
Old    WiscoWakester (wakeboy01)      Join Date: Apr 2009       06-23-2010, 7:02 AM Reply   
Hey thanks everyone for the feedback! I really appreciate it.

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