Flat towing, which is also known as ‘dinghy towing’ or ‘four-down towing’ is a method of towing a car with all of the four wheels running on the ground behind a much larger vehicle such as an RV. The tow vehicle remains connected to the larger vehicle with a tow bar and simply follows the larger vehicle.
Jeep Cherokee is one of the most famous models of Jeep and because of its off-roading capabilities, it is an excellent choice for towing behind your RV to explore all the new areas around where you will park your RV. So before taking out the Jeep Cherokee for a trip, attaching it behind the RV, it is important to make sure that your particular vehicle is suitable to be flat towed.
Flat towing can only be performed with certain vehicles especially those which have a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and a manual transmission. Some of the Jeep Cherokee models fulfill these criterias and some do not so users must be careful to make sure that their vehicle is suitable for towing on all four wheels otherwise they run the risk of ruining their transmission.
Are All Jeep Cherokee Models Flat Towable?
All Jeep Cherokee models are not flat towable because there are various models in the Cherokee series that do not have the right trim level for flat towing. Only certain trim levels of the Cherokee are capable of being flat towed behind a larger vehicle like an RV.
This is why it is important to check and make sure that the trim level meets all the criteria for flat towing before deciding to tow your Jeep Cherokee.
What Jeep Cherokee Models Can Be Flat Towed?
A Jeep Cherokee model can be flat towed if it satisfies two criteria’s, which are:
- It has a two-speed PTU or Power Transfer Unit.
- The user manual specifies that it can be flat towed.
Let us go through both of these criterias to properly understand the issues that affect the ability of an RV to flat tow a Jeep Cherokee.
The first criteria is about the trim level which refers to the particular set of configuration on that exact model of the Jeep Cherokee. You can only flat tow a Cherokee with a two-speed PTU. The PTU is an AWD or All Wheel Drive transfer case that allows power to be distributed to all four wheels. Which means that all models that specify 4WD or AWD can be flat towed. It also means that all Cherokee models that have Active Drive 2 can be flat towed.
The second criteria is that it needs to be specified in the user manual if that exact model of Jeep Cherokee can be flat towed or not because even after satisfying the trim level quota, many vehicles lack the ability to be flat towed. So make sure to check and double check to make sure that the Jeep Cherokee you want to flat tow is approved by the manufacturer to be flat towed.
The Jeep Cherokee models that come with four-wheel drive or Active Drive 2 and can be flat towed are:
- High Altitude 4×4
- Limited 4×4
- Latitude Lux 4×4
- Altitude 4×4
- Latitude Plus 4×4
- Latitude 4×4
- Trailhawk Elite
- North Edition
Which Jeep Cherokee Models Can Not Be Flat Towed?
Jeep Cherokee that has a single-speed PTU cannot be flat towed. Single-speed PTU or Active Drive 1, as Jeep calls it, means that your 4WD transfer case does not have a high gear and low gear setting. This indicates that it has no high speed or low speed selection and it is a single speed transfer case.
The process of flat towing a Jeep Cherokee requires towing the vehicle behind a motorhome or an RV while the engine of the car is turned off but the wheels are turning on the road. The vehicles that have automatic transmission or front-wheel drive can be severely damaged during this process as they are not fit for being towed in such a manner. Avoid flat towing your Jeep Cherokee if it has an automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, or a single-speed PTU or Power Transfer Unit.
Jeep Cherokee models that have single-speed PTU or Active Drive 1 cannot be flat towed and doing so can severely harm the transmission system and even the engine of the vehicle.
Do not flat tow your Jeep Cherokee if the user manual clearly prohibits such activity. Transmission systems vary widely in vehicles these days and even if your Jeep Cherokee has a two-speed PTU transfer case, the manufacturer can prohibit such activity with that particular model.
How Can You Flat Tow a Jeep Cherokee?
The first step towards flat towing a Jeep Cherokee is thoroughly reading the instruction manual or the user manual that was provided by the manufacturer with the vehicle. Always carefully go through all of the instructions written in the manual to understand the correct method of flat towing a Jeep Cherokee. The steps to flat tow a Jeep Cherokee are given below.
Step 1: Make sure that the vehicle is at a complete stop and shift the transmission to PARK.
Step 2: Turn off the ignition.
Step 3: Turn the ignition ON but do not start the engine fully.
Step 4: Press and hold the brake and then shift the transmission to NEUTRAL.
Step 5: Press the N (NEUTRAL) button located on the selector switch for four seconds. Lights will blink and then turn off when the shift to NEUTRAL is complete. Release the N button.
Step 6: Start the engine.
Step 7: Release the parking brake and shift to REVERSE
Step 8: Release the brake pedal and test that the vehicle does not move in any direction.
Step 9: Shift the transmission to Neutral, engage the parking brake, and shift the transmission to PARK.
Step 10: Turn the engine off.
Step 11: Attach the vehicle to the tow vehicle. Make sure that the mechanism you are using to connect the vehicles is recommended by the company in the user manual.
Step 12: Turn the ignition ON but keep the engine from fully starting.
Step 13: Press and hold the brake.
Step 14: Release the parking brake, turn the ignition OFF, and then release the brake.
Now your Jeep Cherokee is ready to be flat towed.
How Do I Determine the Towing Capacity of My Jeep Cherokee?
The towing capacity of Jeep Cherokee largely depends on the engine type. The 2.0L turbo I4 engine provides an astonishing 270 HorsePower and can tow up to 4000 pounds or approximately 1800 Kg while the 2.4L engine provides 180 HorsePower and has the capability to tow up to 2000 pounds or approximately 900 Kg. Go through the instruction manual to find out which type of engine is powering your Jeep Cherokee to determine the towing capacity.