Can a Grand Cherokee be Flat Towed?
Flat towing a car is a pretty useful technique. The difficult thing is, not all cars can be flat towed. That brings the question, can a Grand Cherokee Jeep be flat towed, and if so, are there any specifics to keep in mind for flat towing a Grand Cherokee Jeep?
Many Grand Cherokee Jeeps can be flat towed depending on the model. If the model has the Trailhawk trim, 9 Speed, 948TE 4 Wheel-Drive Automatic Active Drive II transmission, the 2 speed PTU, or the Quadra-Trac II or Quadra-Drive II, it can be flat towed.
The whole process can be pretty extensive. It takes a lot of preparation and setup, a lot of parts, having the right parts on hand, and so on. Let’s look into the details to better understand the what, why, and how of flat towing the Grand Cherokee Jeep.
First, What Exactly is Flat Towing?
Essentially, flat towing is a method of towing another vehicle where all four of the towed vehicle’s wheels are on the ground. Flat towing is also referred to as Four-Down Towing, Natural Towing, and Dinghy Towing. Most commonly, flat towing is used to tow a driving vehicle behind a motorhome, RV, or large truck.
There are quite a few perks to flat towing. Compared to other types of towing, it is the fastest way to disconnect from the towing unit. When the towing is finished and/or the towed vehicle is needing to be used, all that needs to happen is the towed vehicle needs to be decoupled. You can also save a lot of garage space since there are only a limited number of parts used, and all of the parts are relatively small in size.
However, despite all of the advantages, it does take a lot of time to initially set up. Not all vehicles can be flat towed, and there can be a decent amount of wear and tear on the vehicle. Overall though, flat towing is incredibly handy and useful!
Source: Lets Tow That
So, Which Grand Cherokee Models are Flat Towable?
Out of the 8 available trims with the Grand Cherokee Jeeps, the Trailhawk, the most popular of the trims, is automatic. With it being automatic, the Grand Cherokee Jeeps with the 9 Speed, 948TE 4 Wheel-Drive Automatic Active Drive II transmission, the 2 speed PTU, or the Quadra-Trac II or Quadra-Drive II, can be flat towed.
As for the Grand Cherokee, the SRT models and the 4×4 models are not able to be towed; however, any of the models that have 4-LO can be flat towed. Also, keep in mind that there may be a specific tow kit or unit necessary for the specific 4-LO Grand Cherokee Jeep model.
Source: RV Travel, Etrailer, and FourWheelTrends
Now, that we know the basics, how do you go about flat towing a Grand Cherokee?
Step #1: Determine What Parts are Necessary to Flat Tow a Grand Cherokee.
Several different parts are needed to flat-tow a Grand Cherokee. Let’s look at the parts and the functions that make them essential for flat towing!
Base Plates: The base plates are what attach to the Grand Cherokee Jeep and the tow bar. Some types of base plates are only compatible with certain makes and models of the Grand Cherokee Jeep.
Tow Bar: Depending on what is needed, get either a hitch mount style tow bar or a coupler tow bar. The coupler tow bar should be used when the Grand Cherokee Jeep will be flat towed by another car or similar vehicle. That is the cheaper way to go but not the best for frequent use.
If the Grand Cherokee Jeep is being mounted to a motor home or an RV, or if the tow bar will be used frequently, the best route is the hitch mount style. A few perks with the hitch mount style tow bar is that it doesn’t need a coupler, and it is sturdier, easier, and more user-friendly.
Base Plate Adapter System: If the base plate and the tow bar are manufactured by different people or companies, a base plate adapter system may be necessary to accommodate for that.
Supplemental Braking System: The supplemental braking system prevents the Grand Cherokee Jeep from crashing into the RV, motor home, car, or any other vehicle that is flat towing it when the vehicle breaks and comes to a stop. This preventative measure also helps with the impact and toll the braking would have on the Grand Jeep Cherokee. This is also called a tow bar braking system.
Stop Light Switch: A stop light switch connects to your RV monitoring system so you are notified when the brakes of your Grand Cherokee Jeep are being used.
Tow Bar Wiring: To be flat towed, the Grand Cherokee Jeep needs to be wired for it. The tow bar wiring makes it so turn signals can be used and seen by other surrounding vehicles, and it also helps the Grand Cherokee Jeep to come to a stop when the flat towing vehicle is stopping.
Safety Cables: Safety cables are pivotal to setting up and maintaining everything so the Grand Jeep Cherokee can be flat towed. The cables can be coiled which helps with keeping the cables from hitting the ground, or it can be straight which is best when there are channels or cable guides in the tow bar.
Charge Line Kit: The charge line kit functions to keep the battery of the Grand Cherokee Jeep charged.
While the tools mentioned above are essential, others aren’t necessary but provide a helping hand and can be worth looking into. The non-essential but beneficial tools are the following:
- High-Low Adapter: The high-low adapter keeps the tow bar even and level. While not required to be able to flat tow a vehicle, it is highly recommended to have a high-low adapter.
- Tow Defender: The tow defender helps protect the tow bar from harm by deflecting potentially harmful objects such as rocks.
- Rock Guard: The rock guard protects from the rock, debris, and other geographic objects that may cause harm.
- Sentry Deflector: The sentry deflector serves to help the Grand Cherokee Jeep keep and maintain its value, or helps protect it from more extensive depreciation.
- Tow Bar Cover: The tow bar cover is an extra protective measure that keeps the tow bar clean and in good condition.
Step #2: Get the Right Kit with the Right Parts.
There are a few different kits offered that work really well for flat towing a Grand Cherokee Jeep with a make or model between the years 2014 and 2018. There are more kits than these, but here are three main kits that are popular and worth considering:
- Complete Package by Roadmaster: Roadmaster’s package comes with the base plate, tow bar, wiring cables and a cover, a braking system, and a stop light switch. There is also the options of adding a high-low adapter, a tow defender, and/or a rock guard to the kit.
- Complete Package by Demco: With Demco, the kit includes the base plates, the tow bar, wiring, the breaking system, the stop light switch, and a charge line kit. If desired, the high-low adapter and/or the sentry deflector can be added to the Demco kit.
- eTrailer Package: The eTrailer package includes the base plates, the tow bar, wiring, the breaking system, the stop light switch, and a charge line kit. As for optional additions, a tow bar cover, a tow bar defender, and/or a high-low adapter can be included upon request.
Step #3: Set Up the Tow Kit.
Putting everything together is quite a process. Typically, the sequence of setting everything up in preparation to flat-tow a Grand Cherokee Jeep will look like this:
- Trim parts such as the spoiler or grille fascia if necessary.
- Remove the tow hooks if applicable and attach the sterling cable anchors.
- Set up the safety cables and tow bar wiring.
- Set up the wiring for the supplemental break system.
- Set up the wiring for the stop light switch and charge line kit.
- Finally, set up any of the additional components available.
Step #4: Check for Stability and Functionality of Components.
This may seem silly and can be labeled as common and logical sense, but there are surprisingly many who don’t check everything after all is said and done. It is incredibly important to check over everything and make sure it is all working properly and in good shape. That will help you avoid many potential problems.
Once all of that is done, you’re ready to flat tow and start toward your destination!