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Old    PLR (dbdb)      Join Date: Oct 2005       09-30-2010, 1:46 PM Reply   
Guys,
I am considering an 07-09 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 3.7. Before everyone starts telling me to look at a F250, I only tow a total of 4 miles per year. About 2 miles to the ramp in spring and 2 miles home in fall. The boat sits on a shore station all summer and the dealer is across the street from me (literally across the street and they will come to my dock to fix small things). My question is this; is the Jeep with the 3.7 capable of pulling a 20-21 foot boat out of the water? (The ramp is pretty clean, and concrete) Has anyone had any experience with one?

My situation is as follows;

I am selling my 09 Jetta TDI, my boat and my two snowmobiles. That should leave me with around 50-55 to spend on a car and boat. I could get a jeep with the 3.7, less than 20k miles, for less than 20K. That would leave me 30-35 + maybe some extra to spend on a boat. I commute about 350 highway miles per week, and I would like near 20mpg (the jeep barely gets this).
Old    Bruizza (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       09-30-2010, 1:48 PM Reply   
3.7 or 5.7? 3.7 seems awfully small.
Old    PLR (dbdb)      Join Date: Oct 2005       09-30-2010, 1:58 PM Reply   
3.7. I know the 5.7 wouldn't have any problems pulling a boat out of the water.
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       09-30-2010, 2:12 PM Reply   
It will pull it out of the water. Worse comes to worse, put the thing in 4-lo and it will creep out. I would recommend the V-8 for longer distances, but if you tow a grand total of 4 miles a year, go for the V-6. I would definately recommend the factory installed towing package. The 3.7 is actually limited to 3500 lbs per Jeep, but at your distances I wouldnt be concerned.
Old    SamIngram            09-30-2010, 2:33 PM Reply   
Have you thought about a F250? Or a Kodiak Van?



Without kidding around, can you get the 4.7L? I had the 4.7L in my old truck and it did the job on flat land easy enough...
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       09-30-2010, 2:42 PM Reply   
I had the 3.7 in a Dodge Nitro & pulled a Malibu Vride with it a few times. As long as you don't want to go very far, very fast or up any super big hills, it will do the job. But there is no way in hell you will ever get 20 mpg, even not towing the boat, unless it's downhill with a tail wind.

You will need an equalizer & brakes on your trailer.
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       09-30-2010, 2:54 PM Reply   
I dont think he needs an equalizing hitch for that weight based on the distance. Brakes for sure though.
Old     (saberworks)      Join Date: Sep 2010       09-30-2010, 2:59 PM Reply   
I think you should be careful when backing down a hill (including the boat launch). I used to have a "regular" jeep cherokee with 4.0L 6 and backing down a hill, my mc prostar 190 would literally pull the jeep down the hill with all my brakes locked up. It depends on how steep the hill is and whether it's wet, but be careful!
Old    Ben R (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       09-30-2010, 4:55 PM Reply   
I can pull my 18 foot io with my ford escape which has a 3.0 and thats about 30 miles round trip. You will be fine
Old    Noah Ward (NoahSS)      Join Date: Apr 2010       09-30-2010, 6:29 PM Reply   
I have the 3.8 in my jeep jk wrangler and I tow my 19ft mc ss with it pretty easy. Not fast and i have the manual so I can downshift but it gets the job done. If the grand cherokee has 4 wheel drive I would say it would do the job just fine!
Old    John Bauer (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       09-30-2010, 6:34 PM Reply   
Sure, 2 miles isn't far enough that you'd need to be safe.....
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       09-30-2010, 6:38 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyb View Post
Sure, 2 miles isn't far enough that you'd need to be safe.....
Need to be safe? Oh do tell how this isnt safe?

The vehicle itself is rated up to 7300lbs with the larger V-8. So if it has the grunt to pull it out of the water (which it will) and the same braking system, how is this unsafe for 2 miles?
Old    Ian Ashton (ian_ashton)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-30-2010, 7:45 PM Reply   
I towed s friends Yahma 23' several times when I had a 3.7L Grand Cherokee. Fuel efficiency blew, and it wouldn't set any land speed records, but it easily got the job done.

If you shop right you should be able to get a 4.7 in that price range - I just bought one for $10k, but with more miles.
Old    Ryan Pinto (rpinto)      Join Date: Jan 2010       09-30-2010, 9:17 PM Reply   
I had a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and pulled my 2004 Malibu Wakesetter Direct Drive Just fine. I now upgraded to a 2010 Axis A22 and had to upgrade my tow vehicle to a 08 F-150 The Axis was significantly heavier than the wakesetter so in my opinion it really depends greatly on how heavy the boat is that you are towing. Even at the short distance I would pay attention to your boat weight because you don't want the boat pulling you down the ramp as well.
Old    KStateAlumni (bbeach)      Join Date: Jul 2002       10-01-2010, 6:39 AM Reply   
YES... i used to put my prostar 190 in and out on a very steep ramp using a 4cyl Wrangler... sure you had to use 4 wheel drive but thats whats it there for... I would tow the boat a quarter mile to the ramp and back with it all the time, never had to go over 25mph though. Go slow you'll be fine. OR go buy an HD Diesel! haha

Last edited by bbeach; 10-01-2010 at 6:42 AM. Reason: error
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       10-01-2010, 7:08 AM Reply   
With that little bit of towing it sounds like you should just make friends with someone with a 1/2+ ton truck and not even be concerned with the tow capacity of your own vehicle.
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       10-01-2010, 7:17 AM Reply   
Also, my vote is to forget spending $20k on a really nice used car. Get a cheaper car/truck and spend the cash on the boat! I'd prefer to deal with less luxury driving around and getting work done and then have the nicer boat for the me/family/friends fun time.

A few months back I got an '04 Dodge Hemi Quad Cab with 47k miles in great shape for $10k even. It tows the piss out of my 23' MaserCraft and can get 20 MPG highway too (Not while towing, that's more like 12-13 MPG @ 65 MPH). It's actually really nice to have all that space too but I don't like parking it because I haven't quite gotten comfortable with the dimensions yet.

BTW, to actually give my 2 cents on your original question I'd bet that the 3.7L could pull a 21' boat out of the water on a well setup ramp without much drama. If it's 4x4 with low range I'm 100% certain it will be able to pull it out on most ramps.

Last edited by Jeff; 10-01-2010 at 7:22 AM.
Old    PLR (dbdb)      Join Date: Oct 2005       10-01-2010, 8:43 AM Reply   
Thanks for chiming in guys. The ramp is private, not very steep, and almost always dry. I have actually gone 5 seasons without towing it myself. Friends or family with a more than capable tow vehicle have always been around to help out. I haven't even owned a vehicle with a hitch for almost 3 years. I need to get rid of my car, and I was hoping to get a vechicle that would make sense as a daily driver but still be able to tow two miles if I had to. All of the jeeps I am looking at are 4wd. The difference between the 3.7 V6 and 4.7 V8 (from what I can tell) is about 4k asking price and about 5mpg (19mpg vs 15mpg). Driving 18k miles per year, it would be a difference of about $750 in fuel for the 4.7 vs the 3.7. I am hoping to keep whatever I buy for about 4 years so the total difference in purchase and cost of ownership would be about 7k. If I didn't need to spend that extra money, I'd have 4k more to spend on a boat and the $750 (or 250 gallons) fuel bill per year extra for the V8 vs V6 would be close to the amount of fuel I'd use in the boat in a year.
Old    Ian Ashton (ian_ashton)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-01-2010, 10:26 AM Reply   
I've owned both, and the 3.7 is absolutely worse on gas mileage than the 4.7.
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-01-2010, 10:38 AM Reply   
Your grandma couldn't get 19 mpg out of the 3.7 I owned. In fact, my Avalanche with the 5.3 gets better mileage.

The Jeep does have a good 4wd setup though.... the Quadratrac is about the best. The Nitro didn't even have low range.

Last edited by bill_airjunky; 10-01-2010 at 10:44 AM.
Old    PLR (dbdb)      Join Date: Oct 2005       10-01-2010, 10:45 AM Reply   
Do you guys know what kind of MPG you were getting out of the 3.7 or the 4.7 (Ian)? If I can't get 18-20 then I need to start looking at something else.
Old    PLR (dbdb)      Join Date: Oct 2005       10-01-2010, 10:52 AM Reply   
Fuel Economy 17 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy
Estimated max. distance per tank of gas 464.2 miles

That is what is listed for the 07 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.7L 4wd and why I was considering it. My driving is about 90% highway.
Old    Ian Ashton (ian_ashton)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-01-2010, 5:28 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbdb View Post
Do you guys know what kind of MPG you were getting out of the 3.7 or the 4.7 (Ian)? If I can't get 18-20 then I need to start looking at something else.
I got 16-17 freeway on my 3.7l, and I get 19-21 freeway with my 4.7l.

The 3.7 is so underpowered I feel like it burns more gas to get the job done, lol
Old    Bwake (bwake)      Join Date: Sep 2009       10-04-2010, 2:50 PM Reply   
I tow my Sanger V210 with a 2.8litre Diesel Turbo 2 tonne SUV which is pretty common here in New Zealand. I tow it regularly over hills and although its not fast i really dont care as boat towing is probably 5% of the vehicles use. This should be of key consideration.

Having towed similar boats with a 3.0 Petrol engine a 3.7 will be more than adequate. Anyone that tells you you need a 5.0 litre + engine to tow a boat is really being unrealistic. Sure it will tow it better, but for the amount of use, its probably ideal.
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-04-2010, 3:51 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by ian_ashton View Post
I got 16-17 freeway on my 3.7l, and I get 19-21 freeway with my 4.7l.

The 3.7 is so underpowered I feel like it burns more gas to get the job done, lol
The 5.3 in my Avalanche gets 16 or 17 mpg...... & easily 20 doing 60 mph on the freeway. It goes down pretty quick over that though.

I agree that the 3.7 is underpowered for a rig the size of the Cherokee.

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