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Thread: Towing Advice

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    Default Towing Advice



    I'm buying Chris' trailer and plan to tow it, atleast for the time being, with my LJ. It's rated for 3500 lbs, the trailer is about 2700 dry and has brakes. It's right at the 85% safety margin I've read about, so it seems like weight-wise it's acceptable, if not ideal. Long term I'll consider a tow rig, but it's the Jeep for now.

    What would be the absolute safest setup for me? Nothing is off the table, Jeep or trailer upgrades. I'm not saying money is no object, it certainly is (especially after surprising my wife with a trailer!) but I'd rather have a little debt than a big accident.

    Thank you!!

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    Paul, a brake controller is a must as it activates the trailer brakes, a weight-distributing hitch helps a lot to by redistributing the weight on the tongue. The good news is the trailer has the connections already. You'd just need the hitch and bars reducing the cost considerably. Better yet, if I find I don't need it for my new trailer we can work something out the the parts you'll need. Mine doesn't have the anti-sway bar but I've found it's not needed on this light of a trailer.

    The only additional thought is reducing stress on the tranny by not using OD if you have an automatic to keep it from hunting for the right gear going over the hills. With a manual it's smart to use a lower gear.
    ___________
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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    X2 w/ chris! now learn the trailer (get into the axles keep them GREASED nothing worse than losing a wheel ANYWHERE, BRAKES make sure you get a 2nd set on stand by(if you have) i use the trailer brakes ALOT (10-25%) brake setting , look into your truck gearing , BIG tranny cooler-if auto, always take tranny out of OD (what chris said) BEST WISHES

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    My jeep is manual, and I'll be taking it slow and careful! I have no doubt its well maintained, but I'll go through it anyway and check GREASE and BRAKES!

    What am I missing...

    Brake controller
    Weight distributing hitch
    anti sway bar
    spare brake kit
    spare hub kit

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    That is the bulk of it. Congrats! I am sure you won't be disappointed. The brakes will be very nice to have. Wish mine had them.

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    What do you have done to the jeep? What size tires and what gears?

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    The Jeep is a 2006 Unlimited, 4.0 6 speed, 2.5" lift, 1" body lift, 33x12.50 duratracs, truetracs f/r, 3:73 diffs. First gear is 4:30 or so. I've towed small trailers easily, I'm not too worried, just want the safest setup. Chris is selling me his WDH, I'll add a sway bar and a controller.

    While looking into towing with a wrangler I found a thread where a guy in Germany says the TJ is rated for 4400 lbs there, but you have to take a class / road test for anything over 1800 lbs and the speed limit is 50 mph while towing. It gets pretty bitchy, one guy doesn't agree with Germany... http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/to...-my-tj-415467/

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    Pretty entertaining. The guy from Germany was pretty nice about what the wrangler was speced at in Germany. The two guys from the USA not so nice.

    You may find that 33's and 3.73 gears are not a good combo for towing. It won't make it a safety issue but you may have to go slower.

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    I hesitantly say the 3:73s are going to be OK because of the low first gear, but I won't know until I actually try it. I didn't really use 1st gear with 31s, 33s are just right for regular use, but adding around 3000lbs will surely change something. My real concern is I-70 to Moab, both going up the big hills and coming down them. We're looking for good places to take it that aren't too far to test it out. It's all really wait and see, but I'm optimistic.

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    You can always do a haul to Idaho Springs - two large hills that will be a good, close test.

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    That's almost the deep end of the pool, if I can get to Idaho Springs without my brown pants it should be academic from there.

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    Just change the rear tires back to 31's when you are towing up/down hills.

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    I've got a brake controller Pete gave me for free and I have no plans for. It's yours if you want it!

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    So the gear set wont be friendly to towing.
    4:10 is the right set.
    I have to '04 tj 4.0 and the 5 speed nv3550 so we have the same 1st gear.
    We are running 33's and 4:10 gears the first gear is stupid at mosttimes but the highway 5th gear is able to pull the truck around. I have ad a small trailer 2100#'s with my tools on it.
    Tool box shipping weight is 490#'s and the few thousand pounds of tools and we are quickly in to the 4000 lb range. The jeep did pull them around town no issues. The pulls I have done up 285 with a pair of quads and honda 250 were totaly 3rd gear and the right lane.

    Now your trailer is 85% of the raited tow for the wrangler.
    This leaves you little room for putting gear and such on it.
    7 day desert trip you need 65 gallons of water for 2 people.
    7lbs a gallon and bam you are overweight.
    7x65=455
    now add your gear food tools all the stuff you need for a trip of that size.
    say 1500 total pounds of gear and the trailer curb weight and now your jeep is not enough.

    Sorry to be negative about your plans but the TJ is not that heavy and trailering is a huge deal.
    I am a DOT certified mechanic so I see some scarry things for sure.
    The fed has changed te combined weight that requires a CDL add a trailer and at 11,000# and now you have to have the truck DOT inspected carry a log book and stop at the PORT.
    Hell my service truck even with it being mine and for private use, any travel over 100 miles and bam DOT log book and a CDL.
    All this is due to the many fly by night dudes that haul a skid steer on a small flat bed behind a 3/4ton truck.....its all the combined weight look at the spec for COMBINED TOTAL WEIGHT RATE this is the all important number.
    if the curb weight of the jeep trail and all gear is over that you are to small and need a bigger truck.

    You are headed in the right direction with the WDH as it makes the truck use the front end as well.
    And the break controler is huge. Tune it as you drive as you will load it different all the time.
    One piont be suee the trailer sits level, if the tounge is high or low you will draw attention from state patrol. Some states have ticket laws for this condition. Its all about loading it evenly.
    Tie dows are a regulated deal as well. Bigger is always better.
    1500# dirt bike requires 4-500 lb straps!
    Is the break system set up with a break-a-way?? This is DOT required. The saftey thing is the cheep part the battery for it is not so much. But as it will stop you trailer should it ever get away the fact is if is a fraction of the cost it could be.
    Tires-so many people use car tires on a trailer.....please dont!
    Trailers are set up very differently. Tires heat up different and load very differently.
    This is one area that small trailer usres think they save money.
    a set of used car tires $50 cool good price....tell you toss one at 55mph dont know it as its on the trailer and you pull this for 50 plus miles tell someone honks at you....
    now the wheel is trashed your stuck 100 miles from some place to fix it and bam $250 later you get back on the road just to blow the other side in a day or so....
    Use the right tires.....they are built tk handle the strees the street s will put them through.

    My 2 cents....

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    dieseldoc previously posted:
    "7 day desert trip you need 65 gallons of water for 2 people.
    7lbs a gallon and bam you are overweight.
    7x65=455"

    That is why when we have done extended trips through Utah, and needed large amounts of water, we typically take the containers empty from Denver, and fill up at our last hotel stay. Typically we hotel in Green River, so it is close to where we hit the dirt. Avoids carrying un-needed weight over I-70.

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    Yup. Always the way to it. We even stop in the last major city for food. We keep weight down and food keeps better that way.

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    He has the WDH, new trailer tires and the breakaway so those are taken care of. Paul's WDH is adjustable for hitch height so that's something he probably needs to adjust since I'm sure his Jeep sits differently than my 4Runner. They key is just making sure it's level when hitched, correct?
    ___________
    Chris in Florida

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    Yes. The WDH will help that a ton but pay attention to how the weight is front to back.
    Good to hear its all set up with good tires the break a way and hitch.
    The jeep sits lower than the 4runner so the slide in part of the jeep side might need flipped over.
    Thhe breaks on the jeep an not known for being realy good so lots of space in front of you is always good.

  28. The Following Member Says Thanks to dieseldoc For This Post:

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    Double post.

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    Default Re: Towing Advice



    dieseldoc previously posted:
    "So the gear set wont be friendly to towing.
    4:10 is the right set.
    I have to '04 tj 4.0 and the 5 speed nv3550 so we have the same 1st gear.
    We are running 33's and 4:10 gears the first gear is stupid at mosttimes but the highway 5th gear is able to pull the truck around. I have ad a small trailer 2100#'s with my tools on it.
    Tool box shipping weight is 490#'s and the few thousand pounds of tools and we are quickly in to the 4000 lb range. The jeep did pull them around town no issues. The pulls I have done up 285 with a pair of quads and honda 250 were totaly 3rd gear and the right lane.

    Now your trailer is 85% of the raited tow for the wrangler.
    This leaves you little room for putting gear and such on it.
    7 day desert trip you need 65 gallons of water for 2 people.
    7lbs a gallon and bam you are overweight.
    7x65=455
    now add your gear food tools all the stuff you need for a trip of that size.
    say 1500 total pounds of gear and the trailer curb weight and now your jeep is not enough.

    Sorry to be negative about your plans but the TJ is not that heavy and trailering is a huge deal.
    I am a DOT certified mechanic so I see some scarry things for sure.
    The fed has changed te combined weight that requires a CDL add a trailer and at 11,000# and now you have to have the truck DOT inspected carry a log book and stop at the PORT.
    Hell my service truck even with it being mine and for private use, any travel over 100 miles and bam DOT log book and a CDL.
    All this is due to the many fly by night dudes that haul a skid steer on a small flat bed behind a 3/4ton truck.....its all the combined weight look at the spec for COMBINED TOTAL WEIGHT RATE this is the all important number.
    if the curb weight of the jeep trail and all gear is over that you are to small and need a bigger truck.

    You are headed in the right direction with the WDH as it makes the truck use the front end as well.
    And the break controler is huge. Tune it as you drive as you will load it different all the time.
    One piont be suee the trailer sits level, if the tounge is high or low you will draw attention from state patrol. Some states have ticket laws for this condition. Its all about loading it evenly.
    Tie dows are a regulated deal as well. Bigger is always better.
    1500# dirt bike requires 4-500 lb straps!
    Is the break system set up with a break-a-way?? This is DOT required. The saftey thing is the cheep part the battery for it is not so much. But as it will stop you trailer should it ever get away the fact is if is a fraction of the cost it could be.
    Tires-so many people use car tires on a trailer.....please dont!
    Trailers are set up very differently. Tires heat up different and load very differently.
    This is one area that small trailer usres think they save money.
    a set of used car tires $50 cool good price....tell you toss one at 55mph dont know it as its on the trailer and you pull this for 50 plus miles tell someone honks at you....
    now the wheel is trashed your stuck 100 miles from some place to fix it and bam $250 later you get back on the road just to blow the other side in a day or so....
    Use the right tires.....they are built tk handle the strees the street s will put them through.

    My 2 cents...."

    90% of this post is wrong and please don't listen to it. I am not going to pick it apart piece by piece but I do agree with the thought of 3.73's aren't geared low enough. It's not a safety issue so that's something you will learn through trial and error. Beyond that enjoy your camper and don't let your camper scare the cap out of you. Towing is simple and easy. It's not something that needs to be over thought.

  31. The Following Member Says Thanks to gm4x4lover For This Post:

    Paul (March 29th, 2015)

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