Towing Capabilities? - Jeep Compass Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-05-2018, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Towing Capabilities?

I have a 2017 Trailhawk with the factory hitch installed.

The Owners Manual says the vehicle has a 2000 lb towing capacity, with a 200 lb tongue weight.

Is anyone towing anything, and if so, what?

I'm looking at hauling an 800 lb motorcycle, so does that mean the trailer weight can't exceed 1200 lbs?

Any adverse effects, other than reduced fuel economy? Braking?

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post #2 of 8 Old 07-05-2018, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10-64 View Post
I have a 2017 Trailhawk with the factory hitch installed.

The Owners Manual says the vehicle has a 2000 lb towing capacity, with a 200 lb tongue weight.

Is anyone towing anything, and if so, what?

I'm looking at hauling an 800 lb motorcycle, so does that mean the trailer weight can't exceed 1200 lbs?

Any adverse effects, other than reduced fuel economy? Braking?

I have yet to tow anything we got the hitch mainly for the use of a hitch bike rack. So I can't speak for how it tows but with a heavier load I think I would use manual mode so you can do 1st gear starts. I have found wheeling up some of the forestry mountain roads 2nd is just to high of a gear to run in on the bigger climbs. 1st feels better and helps with transmission temps.

As for the tow rating they are alway including total weight so yes you have to include the weight of the trailer in how much weight your pulling.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-06-2018, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10-64 View Post
I have a 2017 Trailhawk with the factory hitch installed.

The Owners Manual says the vehicle has a 2000 lb towing capacity, with a 200 lb tongue weight.

Is anyone towing anything, and if so, what?

I'm looking at hauling an 800 lb motorcycle, so does that mean the trailer weight can't exceed 1200 lbs?

Any adverse effects, other than reduced fuel economy? Braking?
I pull a Harley Davidson Fat Boy on a Kendon trailer with no issues and all I'm using is a FWD Sport. Keep a safe distance between vehicles, don't be in a hurry, Just use common sense and you'll be fine.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-06-2018, 02:06 PM
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These things will tow any motorcycle all day, I don't care how big.

I have pulled LOTS of weight with mine, they seem to be severely under-rated in their stated towing capacity and I suspect that has more to do with not outshining other vehicles in the lineup or some cost involved with testing and certifying for a higher weight class. I've had a big ugly fiberglass inboard-motor boat that by itself was easily 2000 lbs full of fuel and coolers and lake stuff, then 4 passengers and all their lake gear crammed in the cabin. I can't really pick up the tongue of that trailer, maybe more because of no good way to grip it but the rear end of the Jeep hardly even squatted and there was no problem towing everything to the lake, no issues pulling the boat back out of the lake even with some water in the bottom. Averaged 22 MPG towing it out there.

I have also pulled home a trailer with over 2000 lbs of dirt in it without any issue and still pretty good highway MPGs. Pulling heavy things, especially on flat ground, is definitely not the bottleneck for this vehicle. Braking capacity maybe, I plan to get a brake controller eventually because that boat does have electric brakes I'd like to use.

The manual does state that manual shifting is recommended when towing significant weight, it can help prevent it from shifting too frequently between the various highway overdrive gears and avoid lugging. Mine seems to be able to detect a load and stay in lower gears most of the time anyways, ie it preferred 7th gear when hauling the dirt on a stretch of road it would normally be in 8th, but still manual mode will allow you to downshift sooner to climb a hill coming up and things like that.

One motorcycle should be a piece of cake for it.
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Last edited by arudlang; 07-06-2018 at 05:05 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-06-2018, 03:12 PM
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One yard of black dirt ( how much does a yard of dirt weigh? ), didn't think to snap a picture until after I unhooked it. This load was no problem (like always) but I was in a rush and did not use my anti-rattle place on the receiver and that made it a touch noisy. Everything seems to fit loose in the 2" tube on these things so for any heavy load going more than 30 miles its worth it to bolt on the anti-rattle plate for sure.




A washer, dryer, and upright deep freezer. A cakewalk really.




Can't seem to find any pictures of the big boat, but I may get that out this weekend so perhaps I'll take some then.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-06-2018, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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"Anti-Rattle Plate"???
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-06-2018, 11:44 PM
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Most people do not understand how much goes into a manufacturer assigning tow ratings. They look at suspension,brakes,wheelbase,engine,transmission,di fferentials,tires and overall performance under testing Then they reduce what they discover by x % to create a safety buffer.

I have done a crapload of towing over my long time driving and gotten into a fix or two when first starting out. I will tell you first hand stick close to that tow rating. What seems to feel fine one second can go south in the next second and if you don't have enough vehicle to get it back straight your in trouble. I have also burned up a transmission that was not up to the task even though the engine made a heavy trailer feel light. Just too many things to go wrong and some can get you and or others killed!

With this 9sp auto I would set the info center to display trans temp and watch it if pulling anything more than around 800lbs.

Best of luck!
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-09-2018, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10-64
"Anti-Rattle Plate"???
Trailer Hitches Tightener Stabilizer Cross Clamp No Wobble

Thats what I call it, based on the title of the amazon listing they don't really know what to call it either but if your ball mount or cargo/bicycle rack rattles around loosely in your receiver tube this is the cheap thing to cure it for sure. I'd say its basically required if you have looseness in this area and you plan to pull anything heavy whatsoever.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Jacobs
With this 9sp auto I would set the info center to display trans temp and watch it if pulling anything more than around 800lbs.
This is what I do, but so far has been really boring/nothing to watch, temps all run about the same as usual. Maybe because my heaviest tows are usually not more than 20 miles so far.


I used my brother's boat this weekend, big ugly thing that it is. 1967 Larson All-American, let me tell you this is one heavy boat! Old-school fiberglass construction, 20 gallon fuel tank in the bow, inboard car engine (bigger than the Jeep's!), hefty stern drive with hydraulic trim and all that good stuff, six seater. With trailer and fully laden with fuel and supplies this rig is undoubtedly just a touch over the 2000 lb mark. I do use the manual mode when pulling this thing, I don't know if its 100% necessary but I like to hold each gear longer to stay well within the power band during acceleration and I make sure my flat ground cruise RPMs are 2500, 2000 at the lowest if not fighting any wind on a long stretch. I downshift early for climbing hills and brake as far in advance as possible for stop signs and turns, more for brake longevity than anything because the Jeep seems more than willing to bring it to an abrupt halt if it needs to. Pulling the boat back up out of the lake on a steep, slippery concrete boat launch does not seem to stress it in the slightest, even when the rear tires are all wet from backing in far enough to get the boat back on the trailer. I do pop it in "4x4 lock" when pulling it out obviously. From what we know it would almost certainly be using all four wheels anyways at 1 MPH in manual mode but I just like to be certain.

The highest transmission temp I saw this weekend while towing the boat in 95+ degree weather was 154 F. Interestingly enough, the highest non-towing temp I observed this weekend just driving around locally in the same weather with no trailer was 153 F. The oil of course does not give a number but it stayed right in the center. The coolant did its normal range of 192-198. Like I said I never go very far so maybe things would get warmer if I took it on a cross-state trip or something but 10-20 miles hardly seems to break a sweat.

Max AC was also running full-blast the whole time towing and driving around, this weekend was a scorcher, but it was nice to play in the lake and the Compass made it easy to do.





I obviously only do 1st gear starts, even without trailhawk trim it seems to take manual mode to ensure that because I often pop it back to auto for a long stretch of decel to a stop sign and find it in 2nd when I flip back over to restart. I use gears 2-4 for accel shifting between 3500 and 4500 depending on traffic and get into 5th for steady cruise at 55-60 MPH. I'd maybe be willing to try for some more MPGs in 6th gear if I plugged in my OBDII scanner and could monitor a few more things, mine has a readout for engine load % and something like that or even a vacuum gauge and I think I'd be able to zero in on the best gear for a long highway cruise. Our lighter aluminum boat is half the weight and left out of manual mode the Compass likes to pull that in 6th or even 7th gear I noticed.

I do think there is a sanity limit at some point, the fact that they only rate the stock receiver at 200 lbs worries me a little that they may not have made the receiver and its mounts as beefy as they could have. At/over 2000 lbs and going more than 50 miles I'd be investing in a brake controller and ensuring the trailer had good working corresponding brakes, probably using a scale to make sure the tongue weight is ok. I don't think I would go so far as to hitch up the tandem axle trailer and try to haul my folk's bobcat or anything crazy like that, but I am very comfortable hauling right up to or slightly over the 2000 lb rate as often and as far as I feel like. At some point I will probably buy a small teardrop travel trailer somewhere in that 1500-2000 lb range and do some long-distance adventures, the Compass is definitely up for it.
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