We have a Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 with a 7200 lb towing capacity. We want to stay well below that weight but what is the longest trailer anyone has towed with this set-up? Any pros or cons would be appreciated.
Sadly towing capacity is an illusionary number. What usually limits your towing capacity is the payload capacity of your tow vehicle and the Gross combined vehicle weight rating. Both of those numbers are on the vehicle somewhere Usually on a placard by the drivers door. Check door frame etc.
Once we know those numbers then we can give you more info. With a 7200 pound trailer I fear you are over cargo capacity and Combined weight
Towing Capacity is often advertised without the footnotes. That number is for a LIGHTLY OPTIONED base model. It includes a full fuel tank, 2 passengers at 150# each, and NOTHING ELSE. For every pound of options, passengers, cargo or WD hitch above that baseline, the tow capacity is reduced by one pound.
The best method is find the yellow banner placard on the driver door latch post, which states the maximum weight of all passengers and cargo shall not exceed XXXX pounds. That is specific to THAT vehicle and is exactly what it says.
Add together the weight of all passengers, pets, cargo, WD hitch, tools and all other stuff carried in the Jeep. Subtract this from the Payload number from the previous paragraph. What remains is the max hitch weight you can handle. Assuming a 10% hitch wt, multiply that number by 10 for the max GVWR trailer you can handle. A safer assumption of 12.5%, multiply by 8 to get the max GVWR trailer you can handle. Consider any weight below the GVWR as a safety margin.
I believe this will dictate a fairly short trailer.
To answer your question directly, I would suggest a trailer under 25 ft long. You do not want the tail wagging the dog.
Your Jeep just doesn't have a big footprint to help out with TT issues, such as wind. I'd say you would want to stay around 4500 dry weight, and In my opinion, 19 foot or less. Of course it depends on where you will be driving as well.
This is another towing question with no cut & dried answer. Weight is the primary factor, but at some point length begins to gain importance as well. The length factor is trailer wheelbase vs tow vehicle wheel base and it comes into play when side winds get stronger (including passing trucks). Tow vehicle suspension (stiff vs soft) is also a factor.
The trailer "wheelbase" is the distance between the hitch pin/coupler and the axle. For a dual axle trailer, use the midpoint between the axles as the logical axle position. It seems evident that more tow vehicle wheelbase is better. I've seen suggestions that a 110" wheelbase on the tow vehicle is suitable for a max 20 ft trailer, but I can only guess what trailer wheelbase that implies. Probably something like 150"-170"? Trailer axles are typically 2/3-3/4 of the way to the rear.
In his book ?How to Select, Inspect, and Buy an RV? by JD Gallant (of the RV Consumer Group.", Gallant recommends that a ?20 foot trailer needs a tow vehicle with a wheel base of 110 inches, and for each additional foot of trailer length, you need an additional 4 inches of wheel base?. He makes it sound definitive, but he is just one guy with an opinion - RV Consumer Group does not do any testing and has no particular engineering expertise. In other words, just another opinion (as mine is as well).
Supposedly Gallant analyzed trailer accident records to come up with this recommendation, but accident records do not routinely record wheelbase, either tow vehicle or trailer, nor are the trailer lengths more than an approximation. Further, the cause of an accident may or may not be related to trailer length vs tow vehicle - there are many possible factors and more than one can play a role.
Thanks everyone. We are currently considering the Bullet Premier 22RBPR. Shipping weight of 4850 and total length 26'11! The salesman is trying to sell us longer. Up to 29'6" with the dry weight of 5465. I think we are pushing the limit with the smaller one. The last thing I want to do is to end up having to buy a truck!
Does anyone actually have this type of set up with real experience towing?
That 4850 is going to be up near 6000 lbs when loaded.
It appears from what I am finding online that your Cargo capacity is about 1200 pounds.
Under optimum loading your trailer is going to eat up about 600 pounds of capacity but more likely around 650
That leaves 600 pounds for everything else you put on the GC You, your wife the dog etc
Look for the placard on the vehicle that tell you what your cargo capacity is before you make a bad mistake
Do not rely on dry weight unless you are going camping without any clothes, food, sports equipment, Charcoal, propane etc