Tow with a Jeep Grand Cherokee or get a new Vehicle? [Ask TFLtruck]

Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel

We often get questions from readers regarding our test procedures and what is coming down the pipeline. We answer as many of them as we can but once in a while an email comes through the server regarding a specific vehicle that can best be answered by readers who have more personal experience with the vehicle. In this case, TFL reader Gary B. is concerned about overloading his Jeep Grand Cherokee’s rear axle while towing. His email reads:

I was watching your video on the 2015 Lincoln Navigator vs the Ike gauntlet and there was a mention about weight distributing hitches and issues with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and I believe something to do with it being a unibody construction. The reason I am asking is I have a 2015 Grand Cherokee Summit with the EcoDiesel engine and I am towing an Airstream 27FB. While I am not having a problem towing I am unable to get the weight off the rear wheels.  I am using a Blue OX sway pro hitch with 1000 lb torsion bars.

The GC alone with my wife and me comes in at 5900 lbs.  3050 lbs front and 2850 rear. The airstream is close to 6400 lbs almost fully loaded for a trip with a tongue weight of about 850lbs. With w/d hitch engaged in the 7th link about 2.5 links showing (about as far as it can go) the GC is at 6650 lbs. 2900 lbs front and 3750 lbs rear. The sticker in the GC shows GVWR of 6800 lbs, GAWR front 3200 lbs and GAWR rear of 3700 lbs. I feel that this is not a safe load on the rear of the GC. First, am I correct in your assumption that there is too much weight on the rear of the GC, and is there a way to fix it? The GC is fully loaded and the air suspension always levels itself also the Airstream is level.

Unfortunately, I had the GC before buying the Airstream so if this can’t be corrected or if I am wrong in my assumptions I guess I am looking at a new tow vehicle. I have looked at a 2015 Navigator (hence watching your video) and feel that is could easily perform the task. I have also looked at the Toyota Sequoia, I like the fit and finish and the extra features but wonder if I will not be pushing the limits of the Sequoia, I would not like to go through this experience again if I can avoid it. Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance for your help.

Please leave your advice for Gary in the comments section below. Should he get a new vehicle with which to tow or can he make it work with the Grand Cherokee? It’d be a shame to ditch the GC EcoDiesel. We recently had one in our fleet and I really enjoyed it. Check out the videos below.

Also, check out the EcoDiesel tow on the Ike Gauntlet extreme towing challenge.

Brian is an engineer by trade but his true passion is anything automotive. He wakes up every morning to search the web for the latest industry news. He enjoys taking his Tacoma 4×4 off-road in the mountains of Colorado where he spends his free time hiking, biking, and snowboarding with his wife and dogs near their Rocky Mountain home.