Jeep Cherokee (KL): Trailer Hitch Classification. Trailer And Tongue Weight. Towing Requirements

Jeep Cherokee (KL) 2014 - 2023 Owners Manual > Starting and operating > Trailer towing > Trailer Hitch Classification. Trailer And Tongue Weight. Towing Requirements

Trailer Hitch Classification

The following chart provides the industry standard for the maximum trailer weight a given trailer hitch class can tow and should be used to assist you in selecting the correct trailer hitch for your intended towing condition.

Trailer Hitch Classification Definitions

Class Max. Trailer Hitch Industry Standards
Class I - Light Duty 2,000 lbs (907 kg)
Class II - Medium Duty 3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
Class III - Heavy Duty 5,000 lbs (2 268 kg)
Class IV - Extra Heavy Duty 10,000 lbs (4 540 kg)
Refer to the "Trailer Towing Weights (Maximum Trailer Weight Ratings)" chart for the Maximum Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) towable for your given drivetrain.
All trailer hitches should be professionally installed on your vehicle.

Trailer Towing Weights (Maximum Trailer Weight Ratings)

Trailer Towing Weights (Maximum Trailer Weight Ratings)

Refer to local laws for maximum trailer towing speeds.

NOTE: The trailer tongue weight must be considered as part of the combined weight of occupants and cargo, and should never exceed the weight referenced on the Tire and Loading Information placard.

Trailer And Tongue Weight

Always load a trailer with 60% to 65% of the weight in the front of the trailer. This places 10% to 15% of the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) on the tow hitch of your vehicle. Loads balanced over the wheels or heavier in the rear can cause the trailer to sway severely side to side which will cause loss of control of the vehicle and trailer.

Failure to load trailers heavier in front is the cause of many trailer collisions.

Never exceed the maximum tongue weight stamped on your bumper or trailer hitch.

Trailer And Tongue Weight

Consider the following items when computing the weight on the rear axle of the vehicle:

  • The tongue weight of the trailer.
  • The weight of any other type of cargo or equipment put in or on your vehicle.
  • The weight of the driver and all passengers.

NOTE: Remember that everything put into or on the trailer adds to the load on your vehicle. Also, additional factory-installed options or dealer-installed options must be considered as part of the total load on your vehicle.

Refer to the "Tire And Loading Information" placard for the maximum combined weight of occupants and cargo for your vehicle.

Towing Requirements

To promote proper break-in of your new vehicle drivetrain components, the following guidelines are recommended:


  • Improper towing can lead to a collision. Follow these guidelines to make your trailer towing as safe as possible:
  • Make certain that the load is secured in the trailer and that it will not shift during travel. When trailering cargo that is not fully secured, dynamic load shifts can occur that may be difficult for the driver to control. You could lose control of your vehicle and have a collision.
  • When hauling cargo, or towing a trailer, do not overload your vehicle or trailer. Overloading can cause a loss of control, poor performance, or damage to brakes, axle, engine, transmission, steering, suspension, chassis structure, or tires.
  • Safety chains must always be used between your vehicle and trailer. Always connect the chains to the frame or hook retainers of the vehicle hitch.

    Cross the chains under the trailer tongue and allow enough slack for turning corners.

  • Vehicles with trailers should not be parked on a grade. When parking, apply the parking brake on the tow vehicle. Put the tow vehicle transmission in PARK. Always, block or chock the trailer wheels.
  • GCWR must not be exceeded.

Total weight must be distributed between the tow vehicle and the trailer such that the following four ratings are not exceeded:




4. Tongue weight rating for the trailer hitch utilized.


  • Do not tow a trailer at all during the first 500 miles (805 km) the new vehicle is driven. The engine, axle or other parts could be damaged.
  • Then, during the first 500 miles (805 km) that a trailer is towed, do not drive over 50 mph (80 km/h) and do not make starts at full throttle. This helps the engine and other parts of the vehicle wear in at the heavier loads.

Towing Requirements - Tires

  • Do not attempt to tow a trailer while using a compact spare tire.
  • Proper tire inflation pressures are essential to the safe and satisfactory operation of your vehicle. Refer to "Tires - General Information" in "Starting And Operating" for proper tire inflation procedures.
  • Check the trailer tires for proper tire inflation pressures before trailer usage.
  • Check for signs of tire wear or visible tire damage before towing a trailer. Refer to "Tires - General Information" in "Starting And Operating" for the proper inspection procedure.
  • When replacing tires, refer to "Tires - General Information" in "Starting And Operating" for the proper tire replacement procedures. Replacing tires with a higher load carrying capacity will not increase the vehicle's GVWR and GAWR limits

Towing Requirements - Trailer Brakes

  • Do not interconnect the hydraulic brake system or vacuum system of your vehicle with that of the trailer.

    This could cause inadequate braking and possible personal injury.

  • An electronically actuated trailer brake controller is required when towing a trailer with electronically actuated brakes. When towing a trailer equipped with a hydraulic surge actuated brake system, an electronic brake controller is not required.
  • Trailer brakes are recommended for trailers over 1,000 lbs (454 kg) and required for trailers in excess of 2,000 lbs (907 kg).


  • Do not connect trailer brakes to your vehicle's hydraulic brake lines. It can overload your brake system and cause it to fail. You might not have brakes when you need them and could have a collision.
  • Towing any trailer will increase your stopping distance. When towing you should allow for additional space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Failure to do so could result in a collision.


If the trailer weighs more than 1,000 lbs (454 kg) loaded, it should have its own brakes and they should be of adequate capacity. Failure to do this could lead to accelerated brake lining wear, higher brake pedal effort, and longer stopping distances.

Towing Requirements - Trailer Lights And Wiring

Whenever you pull a trailer, regardless of the trailer size, stoplights and turn signals on the trailer are required for motoring safety.

The Trailer Tow Package may include a four- and sevenpin wiring harness. Use a factory approved trailer harness and connector.

NOTE: Do not cut or splice wiring into the vehicles wiring harness.

The electrical connections are all complete to the vehicle but you must mate the harness to a trailer connector.

Refer to the following illustrations.

Four-Pin Connector
Four-Pin Connector

1 - Female Pins

2 - Male Pin

3 - Ground

4 - Park

5 - Left Stop/Turn

6 - Right Stop/Turn

Seven-Pin Connector
Seven-Pin Connector

1 - Battery

2 - Backup Lamps

3 - Right Stop/Turn

4 - Electric Brakes

5 - Ground

6 - Left Stop/Turn

7 - Running Lamps

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