I just recently purchased a slightly used 2016 Cherokee Trailhawk V6. I like it very much so far. However, after searching for well over 3 months for one that had the V6, lower mileage, and was within my price category, I was unable to get one with a hitch or the "tow group" installed. The dealership I bought it from said it would be like $1000 to install the "hitch package." After doing a little reading, I assume that this would include the "behind the bumper hitch" and wiring harness, but not necessarily everything that is in the "tow group." I see the Mopar hitch on sale for like $189, and I am guessing the wiring harness isn't all that expensive. So I have a feeling the dealership is trying to gouge me. I went to one local place that said they would install an aftermarket hitch with wiring for like $550, but it wouldn't be completely behind the bumper.
My question is what do I really need, and what is a fair cost to have it installed to meet my needs. I am not planning on heavy towing, but I think I would like to get a flatbed trailer so my wife can buy used furniture and recondition it, and sell it. Also, a pop-up tent might be nice, as well as maybe a small 14-16 boat (not a yacht or anything).
I would feel more confident having someone else install everything, as my auto repair expertise is limited to changing the brakes! Just want to have some ideas.
Actually $1k for that hitch is about the going rate for an OEM install. The Wiring harness done correctly is labor intensive from what I understand. Also the dealer will need to flash the software to add the wiring into the system so it works correctly. Since the hitch sits in mid bumper surround that will likely have to be replaced, as it needs the cut outs for the hitch and wiring receptacles.
There are threads on this forum of members that have done the complete job themselves. A search will find that for you.
Also you need to consider that an OEM hitch will be rated by FCA for this vehicle specifically.
I would avoid anything but an OEM install. Two points to remember with a non OEM install. Under the bumper will look just what it is, an after thought. Wiring is the other issue. connecting it to the vehicle wiring directly is bad. It will work but you will have dim trailer lights and potential problems down the road as the lighting is not designed to handle that extra load.
The way I look at it, for $450 more you will have an OEM install that is tied into the the Jeeps electrical system, and flashed software wise. It will look great going forward.
Also you need to consider that this is a Trail Hawk and as such has certain needs. That is clearance going off road.
Now, officially you are limited to 2,000 towing but The Trail Hawk has the Transmission extra cooling and engine extra cooling built in to the TH package I believe. The axle ratio is important to a point but in my opinion it will impact you more at the upper end. The trans cooling is the most important issue when towing upper limits or in my opinion any limits.
But since your demands are not heavy towing the OEM set up is still the perfect option. The key Tow Group options should all ready be on this vehicle, the extra cooling. So exceeding those limits a bit will not hurt anything in my opinion. Also the wiring tied into the specialized tow relays will give you bright lights 100% of the time, that is an important thing.
Have fun with that Trail Hawk