EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Hoping I do this right!  (Read 5925 times)

sheltiefan

  • Posts: 3
Hoping I do this right!
« on: August 18, 2005, 09:51:30 PM »
I have a GC Laredo.  Class III hitch.  I am going to get an older trailer, 1986 Tauras by Terry.  Dry weight 3925.  Length 23 foot.  8 ft wide, 8' and some inches high. 
 I pack light, mainly just some shelties, and their crates,  clothes and some food.  I usually get water when I arrive at the destination.   
I have checked everything in the book for the Jeep. and the trailer is falling under the limits.  But I want to make sure I am ok.  I plan to have the engine gone over to make sure the cooling system and everything is right. 
I wondered if anyone else had input on the GC. 
I do the towing about 6 times a year, eastern mountains, (no not the Rockies!)  I mostly go within a days drive, but a couple times I will take a 2-3 days in driving.  I usually only drive at most 6 hours a day.  (Leg cramping/problems) 
Just want to make sure I do things the right way!! 
Also what does 64 ft2 or less frontal area mean???  I was confused by this term! 

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 61413
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2005, 11:39:11 AM »
"Frontal area" refers to the front surface of the trailer, the part that has to "push" through the air as it is towed down the road.  64 square feet (ft2) of frontal area refers to the size of that area.  Is this number given as part of the description of the trailer or as a limit on the GC's towing ability?

The front of any moving vehicle acts as a huge plow that pushes through the air.  The larger the area, the more air will be moved, which means more power required to move it.  This is most often called wind resistance.  Streamlining of the front end can help a bit, but basically it is the size of the area that counts.  Also, the faster you go, the more the "wind resistance" there will be, with the wind resistance increasing with the SQUARE of the speed. In other words, for any given size of frontal area, if you double your speed you increase your power requrements by a factor of four (the square of 2).

What's the tow rating numbers for your GC?  I confess I am a bit skeptical about towing a 4000 lb trailer with an SUV.  And I hope you bought a weight distributing hitch for it - you need to shift some of that tongue weight forward so the GC's rear end is not overwhelmed by it.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

edjunior

  • ---
  • Posts: 2009
  • Roman Forest, TX
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2005, 12:16:26 PM »
Hey Gary, that's a great description of wind resistance.  I knew what it was, but never had it broken down quite like that before.  Thanks for that.  But the real reason for this response is, you talked about streamlining.  I have seen very few folks towing trailers with those wind deflectors.  Are they just not that good at doing what they're made for, or is there some other reason people don't use them?  Camping world has one that claims to reduce wind resistance by 30%.  I'm thinking that any little bit helps.
Ed.....KF5INW
2011 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

Ned

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 25574
  • Ned and Lorna are former full time RVers
    • Have you seen Rolling Stock?
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2005, 12:22:56 PM »
In fact, the wind resistance varies with the cube of the velocity.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_resistance for an explanation.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7303
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2005, 01:22:19 PM »
I have a GC Laredo.  Class III hitch.  I am going to get an older trailer, 1986 Tauras by Terry.  Dry weight 3925.  Length 23 foot.  8 ft wide, 8' and some inches high. 
 I have checked everything in the book for the Jeep. and the trailer is falling under the limits.  But I want to make sure I am ok.  I plan to have the engine gone over to make sure the cooling system and everything is right. 
I wondered if anyone else had input on the GC. 
I do the towing about 6 times a year, eastern mountains, (no not the Rockies!)  I mostly go within a days drive, but a couple times I will take a 2-3 days in driving.  I usually only drive at most 6 hours a day.  (Leg cramping/problems) 
Just want to make sure I do things the right way!! 

Assuming that the Grand Cherokee you are specifying is a 2005 and has the 4.7  or 5.7 liter V-8 you are well within the 6500/7200 lb towing capacity shown in the Trailer Life ratings with a 3925 lb trailer and a reasonable load.    You will want to use a weight distributing hitch system with some form of anti-sway control.

If your fresh water tanks are ahead of the trailer axles, do not sweat carrying a fresh water load.   A tank so located will allow the water to increase your tongue weight, and in the matter of trailer stability, tongue weight is our friend. :)   If you sweat the idea of buying gas to haul water, then just carry enough for on-the-road toilet and drinking use.

Insofar as wind resistance is concerned a 64 ft2 cross-section is pretty standard for a travel trailer.  Don't bother with spoilers and such.   Just resign yourself to the fact that a strong headwind is going to slow you down, and cause you to downshift if it is strong enough.  But then most good sized hills are going to do the same.   When you are towing you just have to get used to traveling in second or even first.     I do so pulling the big passes out here in the west.   I do notice that as I grind along in 2nd and 1st, damn few folks towing trailers or driving motorhomes are passing me.

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

John From Detroit

  • ---
  • Posts: 19929
  • ^My New Home^
    • Diabetics Forum
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2005, 01:42:08 PM »
If you Jeep has a genuine gear box, the kind you stir with a BIG STICK, disregard this post

However if it has an automatic transmission, You might wish to consider an after market heavy duty transmission oil cooler

That is about the only modification I'd suggest to the jeep... Of course, it may already have a transmission oil cooler factory installed if it came with a class III hitch.   

Espically useful if towing in mountains.

Sounds like you have a good handle on it otherwise.  Drive careful, Check your brakes (both "tractor" (jeep) and trailer)  If you do not have a controller for the trailer brakes in the jeep already Terry Hampton is a friend of mine.. He owns Teknosha Engineering.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

sheltiefan

  • Posts: 3
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2005, 05:46:35 PM »
The jeep I have is a 1999 4.0 6 cyl.  I am having weight distributers and all the safety I can get put on it.  I am one of those safety freaks!   ;)
I usually drive 55 when towing, it lets me feel better in control. 
I was doing the best I could finding a trailer that fell under the requirements in the owners manual.  So...
Thanks for the info on the wind and frontal area.  The numbers I had were in the Jeep manual. 

Jim Dick

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7675
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2005, 06:01:14 PM »
If you do not have a controller for the trailer brakes in the jeep already Terry Hampton is a friend of mine.. He owns Teknosha Engineering.

John,

He won't be if he sees you spelled the name of his company wrong. ;D ;D

Sorry, the devil made me do it. :)
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

edjunior

  • ---
  • Posts: 2009
  • Roman Forest, TX
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2005, 09:47:55 PM »
Well Sheltie, I think as far as numbers go, you will be fine with that setup.  However, with only the 6 cylinder in that Jeep, even the 4.0L, you will find yourself wishing you had a better tow vehicle.  My original tow vehicle for my 26 footer was a Mitsubishi Montero Sport, a 3.0L 6 cylinder.  Just because the manual says you can pull it, doesn't mean it will do so easily.  You won't set any speed records, especially in the mountains, but you will get there.  As soon as you are able, you will really want to upgrade to a heavier, more powerful V8 truck of some kind.
Ed.....KF5INW
2011 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7303
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2005, 10:48:02 PM »
The jeep I have is a 1999 4.0 6 cyl.  I am having weight distributers and all the safety I can get put on it.  I am one of those safety freaks!   ;)

According to the 1999 TL Ratings, the Cherokee/Grand Cherokee with the 4.0L I-6 has a tow weight rating of 5000# -- with an auto transmission, trailer towing package, and a weight distributing hitch with a trailer  tongue weight of less than 750#.   You are still under the wire with your 3925# trailer.   You are wise to keep your payloads down.   
« Last Edit: August 20, 2005, 12:46:29 PM by Carl Lundquist »
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 61413
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2005, 09:14:52 AM »
All the reasonably scientific studies (done with fifth wheels behind pick-ups) on those wind deflectors have conculded they do little to improve fuel mileage. That doesn't mean there is no combination of tow vhicle and trailer that would benefit from them, but the chances that it will do much for any particular rig apparently are slim.   A one size fits all solution just doesn't work well when it comes to aerodynamics - you have to put the rig in a wind tunnel to see how the air flows and then tailor the solution for it.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

trazoe

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2005, 04:00:52 PM »
We tow our 2005 22 foot Trailer Cruiser with our 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0L I-6.  We too are safety freaks and made sure that we were well below weight, length and frontal area requirements.  We just got back from a 2 week trip out west a couple of days ago.  It was our first big test for our Jeep, other than towing in-state before (and towing a pop-up for 5 years).  I can now honestly say that I LOVE my Jeep and it towed SO well.  I was a bit nervous because of everyone pushing for big trucks and V-8s.  Not saying that we won't go that route someday, but first things first.  My Jeep has got another 5 years and 50,000 miles left in her!!!!  Black Hills, Estes Park, no problem!!!!

The key is knowing your limits, both sizewise and speedwise (we happily cruise along at 55-60 MPH) and having the proper hitch, weight bars and sway control.  I can't imagine that your Grand Cherokee will be much different!!!  Happy camping!   :)

Ron

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 18087
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2005, 04:26:07 PM »
Glad to hear you had an enjoyable trip and that your Jeep GC preformed well for you.  Thanks for sharing that.

Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 61413
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2005, 08:49:41 AM »
Quote
The key is knowing your limits, both sizewise and speedwise ... and having the proper hitch, weight bars and sway control.  I

Well said!   Thanks for your insight, trazoe.

The inline 6 cylinder in your Cherokee is a strong running engine with plenty of torque. An excellent towing engine and probably better than many mid-size V8's.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

N Smock

  • ---
  • Posts: 246
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2005, 07:41:45 AM »
  Not saying that we won't go that route someday, but first things first.  My Jeep has got another 5 years and 50,000 miles left in her!!!!  Black Hills, Estes Park, no problem!!!!



You might want to discoonet the trailer when going to Estes. The road is very senic but not one I would like to be pulling a trailer on. Just my comments after driving it in a retal car. I liked it less than Pikes Peak which was a white knuckle job.


Nelson

trazoe

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Hoping I do this right!
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2005, 07:40:34 PM »
Aw, come on!   ;) What's wrong with 34 up to Estes Park?  Sure it is a bit curvy but at least you can't fall off!  You are in a river canyon.  We didn't have any trouble and I think it is quite common for RVers to tow up there.  You could take the other way, 36, but we took that in and out a few times without our trailer and I found that road to be more nerve-racking than 34 from Loveland.  It's all personal preference, of course.  Never driven up Pikes Peak, always have taken the cog, so I don't know what the road is like.

I can understand why there weren't any RVs or motorhomes up on Trail Ridge Road though..... 

 

Hosted by Over The Network