Can You Flat Tow A Jeep Cherokee [By trim levels]

For RV owners, towing a secondary vehicle, a “toad” is part of the normal routine when traveling cross country. While Jeep Wranglers are visibly the most popular choice of “toad” in the RV camping community, the Jeep Cherokee is an equally amazing selection. RV owners know better than anyone about the  importance of having the correct equipment when there are plans in place to bring along a “toad.” Can you flat tow a Jeep Cherokee? We have done the research and have an answer.

The Jeep Cherokee can be flat towed as long as the trim being considered has the ActiveDrive II/2- speed Power Transfer Unit. The 2020 Jeep Cherokee trims that can be flat towed are:

  • Latitude (4×4)
  • Upland
  • Latitude Plus (4×4)
  • Altitude (4×4)
  • Latitude Lux (4×4)
  • Limited (4×4)
  • North Edition
  • Trailhawk
  • High Altitude (4×4)
  • Trailhawk Elite

Deciding how to tow a “toad” is an important choice that can be costly so continue reading for the in’s and out’s of how to best flat tow the Jeep Cherokee correctly the first time around.

A white Jeep Cherokee on a nice parking, Can You Flat Tow A Jeep Cherokee [By trim levels]

What is Flat Towing?

From the get-go, it is important to establish a definition for flat-towing.  Flat towing is when a vehicle is pulled behind a larger load-bearing vehicle with all four wheels on the ground. The towed vehicle has its transmission set to neutral, with the two connected via a specialized tow rig.

While flat towing isn’t particularly popular in the commercial transport industry, its use is prevalent elsewhere. It is most frequently associated as a method used by individuals to tow their own personal property. As we had addressed earlier, flat towing is tremendously popular amongst recreational campers and RV owners. Flat towing can afford those traveling with larger, more cumbersome motorhomes an opportunity to have a compact and maneuverable vehicle available for ‘on-the-go” quick trips. Cherokees perfectly fit the bill for that type of usage.

2020 Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep Cherokee tastefully balances and blends style, technology, and rugged durability. It was designed to handle all-weather and all-terrains, so it is a utilitarian choice for traveling and sightseeing.  As a stand-alone vehicle in the Jeep product line, it consistently ranks highly among the Best-In-Class Compact SUVs, which further solidifies its candidacy as a vehicle to flat tow.

Of the 10 customizable models and trims in the 2020 Cherokee lineup, all 10 can be flat towed,  if they are built with the required style drivetrain. An added and fortunate perk of Jeep ownership is that all Jeep Cherokees are built ready with the needed connections to accommodate the different towing types.  Tow trailer wiring harnesses and Class III hitch receivers are tow features that can be included in all the Cherokee packages. Listed below are the trims that can be flat towed. 

  • Latitude (4×4) 
  • Upland
  • Latitude Plus (4×4)
  • Altitude (4×4)
  • Latitude Lux (4×4)
  • Limited (4×4)
  • North Edition
  • Trailhawk
  • High Altitude (4×4)
  • Trailhawk Elite

It is important to note that the models specified as 4×4 are the models that CAN be flat towed. If the trim is noted to be a 4×4 in parenthesis, there is an FWD version of that vehicle that CANNOT be flat towed. If the vehicle is not a 4×4, then the trim will most likely require a dolly or trailer to tow safely. 

Flat Towing & Alternative Towing

Historically manual and automatic vehicles were flat tow compatible. Newer vehicles are no longer as tow friendly. That is courtesy of the ever-evolving technology incorporated in the builds.  The advanced electronics, gears, and drivetrains may provide superior ride quality but always require more careful considerations when it comes to maintenance and towing. If you improperly flat tow, extensive damage to the transmission is inevitable, among other issues.

When vehicles are flat towed, the drive differential is being forced to actively rotate without any lubrication applied to the components and mechanisms.  This makes us responsible for acquiring equipment that prevents that damage from taking place. Using the proper tow equipment, you can safely transport your vehicle, extend your vehicle’s parts’ longevity, and ensure your vehicle warranties are not voided.  There are arguably only two methods in which we can tow a vehicle behind an RV. The first method involves the use of a trailer or dolly. The second is flat-towing.

Trailers & Dollies

We are all relatively familiar with what a trailer is. Trailers are not all made the same, and there are a host of size and style considerations that ultimately need to be made based upon our specific needs or depending on what kind of RV is being used. When talking about RV towing, we have to focus on the two main trailer types: four up (trailers) and two up (tow dollies).

 Three things are for certain when it comes to trailers. The first is that trailers require a sizable amount of space availability. The second is that trailer ownership is costly. In addition to the acquisition cost, stand-alone trailers are required by law to carry active insurance policies. That factor must be figured into our recurring costs and expenses. Thirdly and perhaps the most critical thing to consider, is the usage. Towing is difficult and requires a level of finesse to navigate safely.

Flat Towing

Flat towing is a revolutionary deviation from the classic ball and hitch towing we are all familiar with. It simplified the process of transporting “toads” for the RV camp folks. Unlike many single structure trailers, a flat tow rig is created by collecting components and attachments. The result is ultimately a safer, stronger, and better-concealed system of towing. 

Necessary Equipment To Flat Tow Jeep Cherokee

To flat-tow your vehicle, we have listed the equipment that will be required. While many brands and manufacturers fabricate high-quality flat tow rig components, one brand repeatedly turned up in the online forums was Roadmaster. Below we have provided some of the most highly rated hardware to implement into your flat tow setup.

The Baseplate

They come in either single solid bars bolted to the vehicle frame’s underside or as two separate mounted components. Standard options are not as costly but show more when not being towed. The low profile models are more costly and less visible when not connected.

RoadMaster Direct Connect Baseplate

Click here to see this on Amazon.

The Tow Bar

These arms interlock with the baseplate. They are only visible when not connected. Some models have removable sections removed to conceal the flat tow rig better.

Falcon Tow Bar

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Safety Cables

Use this to mirror your RV lights so that surrounding traffic is aware of the movements that you will be making from Point A to B.

Roadmaster Diode Wiring Kit

Click here to see this on Amazon.

The Supplemental Braking System

This will assist your RV by distributing the brake load across more points of contact. It improves your distance braking makes your towing safer for those around you on the roads. The combinations of all these components make up the flat tow assembly.

Flat Towable Jeep Models

In addition to the Cherokee, the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, and the Gladiator can all be flat towed. The Roadmaster equipment previously listed should more than likely be cross-compatible between all these models and trims. As a precaution, always consult the owner manual to make sure the equipment is sized correctly.

Can You Flat Tow A Jeep Cherokee Behind A Motorhome?

You will need to verify whether your motorhome has the towing capacity necessary, but if it does, you can flat tow your Cherokee. That information is readily available and listed in the owner’s manual of your RV. Information and recommendations are usually valuable resources that can also be found online. Your local dealership should be capable of guiding your current setup and if it could be improved.

In Closing

Now that you know you can tow your Cherokee, new possibilities of travel will open up. Knowing how to tow and travel with a second vehicle safely will make yours and those around yous experience all the better. Until the next time,  keep safe, keep smart, and keep on rolling. For more travel tips, check out these other VEHQ guides:

Towing Capacity And Trailer Weight – What RV Owners Need To Know

15 Travel Trailer Towing Tips Every Driver Should Know

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