Jeep Cherokee Sport w tow package - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-24-2015, 11:03 AM   #1
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Jeep Cherokee Sport w tow package

We currently have a Subaru Forester, love it, and would like something similar but that can also tow our on order 19' Escape, which the Forester cannot. The Sport has a tow rating of 5200 pounds (Canada) and is a similar size, configuration as the Forester. Does anyone have any experience, opinions about the Sport, or can suggest a better alternative? All input welcome!
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:10 PM   #2
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The Cherokee's high rating indicates that it is equipped to withstand the work of towing, which means features such as substantial engine and transmission cooling. This latest Cherokee is larger than earlier generations, but it still has only a bit longer wheelbase than a Forester - about the same as a first-generation Highlander. I think I would want a bit longer for stability, but I'm most accustomed to our (significantly longer) van.

Does the high tow rating come with the base engine, or only the optional larger engine? Some people might find it a bit slow climbing long grades with the smaller engine, based on its power level.

In a predecessor model (the original Liberty) the towing rating was similarly high, and I read of people towing with them (in FiberglassRV), but I never got the impression that it would handle a 19-foot trailer weighing up to two tons (loaded) very well.

The other things to check - with any vehicle - include:
  1. hitch weight limit
  2. how much trailer weight capacity is there after accounting for the passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle?
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:46 PM   #3
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Our 02 Liberty is 5000/500 for tow/tongue and works very well for our 15 Escape , but we would not consider it for towing a 19 ft . .....not sure that we would tow a 17ft with it . We did test drive a new Cherokee 2014 in late 2013 and found it to have some issues with response and subsequently talked to our mechanic - who does not recommend it for towing and knew about the response issues . Apparently they need some adjusting - he did not think they would have all the " little issues work out for some time " - that was the one with the 9 speed . Although our Liberty still has very low km ( 150,000) @ 13 yrs now ...it is getting old , but we have decided to wait till someone comes up with something "perfect" ........ so maybe we'll have this Liberty forever ...................
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:55 PM   #4
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We have a 2014 Grand Cherokee with the V6 and 8 speed transmission which is rated for 6200/620 tow/tongue. We pulled a vintage Aristocrat 2600 pound 16 foot trailer with ease over the Sierra and Rocky Mountains, and will be picking up our Escape 19 soon. The Escape 19 weighs about 400 pounds more than the Aristocrat and we expect no problem. I have seen other postings here about the GC and others have been happy with it. Maybe consider a GC just a little larger?
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neamster View Post
The Sport has a tow rating of 5200 pounds (Canada) ...
Where did the 5200 pound value come from? Is it for the 2015 model? Both the brochure offered by Jeep in Canada and the owners manual (same for Canada and the U.S.) show 4500 pounds for the V6 with trailer tow package (2,000 pounds otherwise).

The manual also provides the hitch weight limit, which is 450 pounds.
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:32 PM   #6
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It was the salesman on the lot who gave us the 5,200 lb. towing figure (ahem), and yes, on checking, the brochure we brought home gives a different, and lower, tow rating.
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neamster View Post
It was the salesman on the lot who gave us the 5,200 lb. towing figure (ahem), and yes, on checking, the brochure we brought home gives a different, and lower, tow rating.
Thanks. I thought that the salesman may have provided the GVWR instead of the trailer weight limit, perhaps because he didn't understand the question, or doesn't understand anything about vehicle weight limits, or just picked the wrong number from some source. Since the posted specs and owners manual do not provide the GVWR (or anything else equallying 5200 pounds), I thought that he may have read GVWR from the placard on the driver's door edge or door jamb.

As it turns out, the GVWR is actually 5500 pounds (from the door sticker and the fleet buyer's guide)... so maybe he just picked a number that he found desirable yet plausible out of the air.

A good reminder to disregard almost anything said by sales staff, especially regarding technical information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The other things to check - with any vehicle - include:
  1. hitch weight limit
  2. how much trailer weight capacity is there after accounting for the passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The manual also provides the hitch weight limit, which is 450 pounds.
4500 pounds is still enough for any Escape 19, and whatever the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of the vehicle the trailer will fit within the GCWR when combined with up to 500 pounds of passengers, because the GVWR of the trailer is 4000 pounds. Of course, most people don't travel alone, and multiple people plus other stuff in the tug usually totals more than 500 pounds. As always, everything in the trailer and tug needs to be added up.

Some reasonable guesses:
  • The heaviest version of the Cherokee (the Trailhawk) weighs a bit over 4300 pounds and has the same 4500 tow rating, so if they allowed for a driver the GCWR must be at least 9,000 pounds
  • A Cherokee Sport weighs 4051 pounds, so if it's 4200 pounds with a pile of options, and a reasonable Escape 19' is 3800 pounds loaded, that leaves at least 1,000 pounds for passengers and cargo before hitting GCWR.
  • Using the same Cherokee Sport weight and 450 pound tongue weight, there's 850 pounds left for people and cargo before reaching the GVWR.

It seems like the Cherokee would have the weight capacity and power for an Escape 19', leaving stability and control as the questions.

While searching for the Cherokee's GVWR, I found a post in a Cherokee forum about towing a 4500 pound trailer which was positive... but it was a U-Haul cargo trailer (looks like a 5' x 10') with substantially less trailer length and frontal area than a travel trailer - an Escape 19' would be harder to control and would add more aerodynamic drag.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:25 AM   #8
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Consider a Grand Cherokee

When we ordered an Escape 19, we too considered the new Jeep Cherokee with the V6. Ultimately we went with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. I searched the internet for several months and finally found a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with 27,000 km at a substantial savings over a new one.

So far we are very happy with the Grand Cherokee. It is our only vehicle and is excellent at pulling the Escape 19 that we picked up last week. I really like the 8 speed transmission with paddle shifters which is great for managing hills. I also like the dash display of transmission temperature and oil temperature.

Ours has the V8 and a towing capacity of 7200 lbs. Perhaps its overkill but I like a Tow Vehicle with lots of towing capacity.

The only sad note is that after picking up our new trailer at Escape last Weds we camped at Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park for 3 days. When making a supply trip into town I hit a deer with the Jeep. Today I learned there was a minimum of $4000 damage. Glad I had lots of insurance!
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:18 AM   #9
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speaking of hitting deer on the road, anybody have any faith in these?
http://www.amazon.ca/Custom-Accessor...s=deer+whistle
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:28 AM   #10
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Thank you Brian for your informative and well researched post! It sounds from what you report, we would be okay with the Cherokee Sport, but should probably get the Andersen Hitch for Added stability and control.

On the other hand, David from Kamloops (sorry about the deer) makes a good point about erring on the aside of safety. I think we will test drive both the Cherokee Sport and the Grand Cherokee.
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