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Thread: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV

  1. #1
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    Default Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    A good couple I work with have an RV (big / class A?) and they're looking for a Wrangler that will get towed behind. I'm posting this up for them as they are looking for recommendations - what years / motors / issues to look for and what years / motors / issues to stay away from.

    Two adults and two dogs (medium to large). Their initial thought is 2-door and removing the back seat for space for the dogs.

    The soft top / hard top question is on the table and my thought is - how about the hard top that has the easily removable panels at the front. I guess some soft tops have the option of folding back the front portion too. A hard top won't get removed on the road (though a soft top might). The removable panels would likely get removed fairly frequently as they're quick and easy. Does anyone have experience with the fold-back soft tops or removable panel hard tops?

    As to features to look for - I'd heartily put a rear locker onto the list as perhaps the first (and maybe only) offroad option to have - even before a winch - what years/models have this stock?

    Thoughts / comments please! They're looking to purchase now (vs spring).

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    if you are talking about the freedom panels on the JK wranglers lots of us have em. They are ok and are fairly easy on off. Store fine in the back vertically with a strap.

    2012 JKs had a warped head issue but rather than issuing a recall they gave original owners 150k mile warranty on their engines. My 2012 now has 90k on it and no sign of any engine trouble.
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  3. The Following Member Says Thanks to Tom For This Post:

    Jim (September 17th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    Jim previously posted:
    " Does anyone have experience with the fold-back soft tops or removable panel hard tops?
    Thoughts / comments please! They're looking to purchase now (vs spring)."

    My soft top has the fold back section over the front seats. It works well for us. For hard tops, you can replace the removable hard top panels with a folding soft top -- https://www.quadratec.com/p/bestop/5...hoCJhkQAvD_BwE

    The link above eliminates the need to remove and store the bulky panels.

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    Jim (September 17th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    Many people say to stay away from the JKs with the 3.8L motor, '07-11 due to lack of power. Personally I have not had any issues but I have a Rubi with 4.10 gears. There was a year or two that had issues of left of casting sand in the newer 3.6L motors but that should have been figured out by now by current owners.

    '05 TJs have a known issue with the distributor shaft bearings. Other than that TJs are pretty bullet proof. Personally I wouldn't buy a TJ with a D35 rear end.

    The JKs "07- present have the removable front panels on the hard top from the factory. The also have the fold back option for the front of the soft top. For TJs (98-06) both of those options only exist with aftermarket tops. There is also an aftermarket soft front section that replaces the hard panels on the JKs, very convenient and easy to use.

    I'd put bumpers and winch ahead of a rear locker.

  7. The Following Member Says Thanks to newracer For This Post:

    Jim (September 17th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    newracer previously posted:
    "'05 TJs have a known issue with the distributor shaft bearings. Other than that TJs are pretty bullet proof. Personally I wouldn't buy a TJ with a D35 rear end."

    I own an '05 TJU. Haven't heard of this before, but there's a lot I don't know. Should I be concerned with the TJU?

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    Sans the 2 door comment, this one would check a lot of boxes:
         

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    Getaklu previously posted:
    "Sans the 2 door comment, this one would check a lot of boxes:"

    are you looking to sell....?
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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    open_circuit previously posted:
    "I own an '05 TJU. Haven't heard of this before, but there's a lot I don't know. Should I be concerned with the TJU?"

    Google OPDA. Here's a good thread to start with.

    https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/...hange-mine.80/

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    Brian previously posted:
    "Google OPDA. Here's a good thread to start with.

    https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/...hange-mine.80/"

    I wasn't sure if this was the same issue. I have heard of this one, thanks. It looks like my Jeep was serviced under recall E05 in March 2005 for this. I don't know if they did anything besides inspect it, though.

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "are you looking to sell....?"

    Never hurts to test the water as they say.

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    Getaklu previously posted:
    "Never hurts to test the water as they say."

    Post up some stats - they're monitoring the thread.

    If you wish to list an asking price - post it or send it via PM to me. Should it move forward we'll get contact info exchanged.

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon. Dick Cepek wheels, 315/70/17 (@34.5) tires. 3.6 engine, 6 speed, about 27050 miles. 5:13 gears for a very respectable crawl ratio. Metalcloak 3.5 Game Changer lift, metal fenders, rails and rocker armor, Adams double cardon front shaft. AEV frame mount spare tire/high lift jack carrier with 10 gallon spare gas tank. Warn Zeon 10S winch. Leather seats, front heated, locking storage under both front. Not a mall vehicle so it does have a few scars as expected.

    I probably missed something, but those are the basics. Questions.

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    open_circuit previously posted:
    "I own an '05 TJU. Haven't heard of this before, but there's a lot I don't know. Should I be concerned with the TJU?"

    Brian previously posted:
    "Google OPDA. Here's a good thread to start with.

    https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/...hange-mine.80/"


    open_circuit previously posted:
    "I wasn't sure if this was the same issue. I have heard of this one, thanks. It looks like my Jeep was serviced under recall E05 in March 2005 for this. I don't know if they did anything besides inspect it, though."


    That is the issue I was thinking of, I was mistaken that it was the distributor shaft.

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    I'm pretty sure I had that issue with my old '06. Somewhere around here I have the little helical drive gear. Luckily it made quite a racket before it chewed up the gear teeth on the cam too bad.

    Do these folks have experience with the whole "toad" routine? Tow bars, some sort of brake system will be required to stay legal, brake lights, backing up is apparently difficult to impossible. I'd like to be able to flat-tow my '99 with my hot-tub-palace at some point. A lot of folks seem to get by with those brake-buddy setups but I'm not sure if 'm sold on the concept of those yet. The telescoping tow bars seem to make hooking up much easier. I could imagine that would be difficult with a rigid bar, but the rigid ones are much much less expensive.

    I think a previous owner used to flat-tow my '99. It came to me with tow bar brackets on the bumper. Not sure if this was a fender-bender or an issue while towing, but one bracket was hit hard enough to perforate partially through the stock front bumper. Also, my keys just pop out of the ignition when the jeep is running. It occurred to me that may have been intentional to keep the steering unlocked without having to tow it around with a key in the ignition. It doesn't really help with theft prevention though as unless you turn the ignition all the way off which requires the key, you can start it with a screw driver.

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    I don't know if they have towed a vehicle before. I don't see it as being a show stopper for'm.

    As for keys falling out of the ignition - that brings me back to high school. I worked for the hardware store down the street. One day I was asked to make some delivery, using the very old car of one of the owners (much like me [function over form] - a WAY OLD car). Driving down the road the ignition key (with somewhat heavy amount of other stuff on the keychain) fell to the floor. My thought - crap - the steering wheel is going to lock and I'm going to crash (didn't want that to happen to someone else's car in my care). I was able to fumble and get it reinserted. Steering wheel never locked. A comment upon returning the keys - something to the effect - oh, that happens. One of those things in life that you recall exactly where it was.

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    Trevor? previously posted:
    "Do these folks have experience with the whole "toad" routine? Tow bars, some sort of brake system will be required to stay legal, brake lights, backing up is apparently difficult to impossible. I'd like to be able to flat-tow my '99 with my hot-tub-palace at some point. A lot of folks seem to get by with those brake-buddy setups but I'm not sure if 'm sold on the concept of those yet. The telescoping tow bars seem to make hooking up much easier. I could imagine that would be difficult with a rigid bar, but the rigid ones are much much less expensive."

    I flat tow my cj quite a lot - a lot more than I originally planned, but going to Moab and to the Rubicon is so much fun! I flat tow it with a 2010 toyota tacoma. Its a rigid tow bar with brackets mounted to the front bumper/crossmember, no brake buddy or anything - all braking is done by the tacoma. I do have a manual in the taco, so its pretty easy to manage in the mountains with downshifting. I don't have to deal with the steering column lock or anything (old manual steering), so not sure about that, but it tows pretty darn easy as long as the front end alignment is good on the jeep and the tow bar is square. A slightly bigger tow rig (v8) would help going up I-70 mountains etc, and a full size truck would probably be a bit safer, and brake a bit better, but honestly, the tacoma stops the jeep better than the jeep can stop itself at those speeds...on open good highway, I can do 65 no problem - 70 starts to feel a bit iffy with the small truck. It is true that backing one up on flat tow is essentially impossible other than short straight reversing when absolutely necessary. The only other thing to keep in mind is the driveshaft....my front hubs unlock, so only the wheels turn, but on the back, the hub is part of the axle and thus the rear diff turns when towing (and it can get hot with 4.88 gears spinning at highway speeds - another reason to keep it at 60-65). For short tows, I just put the transfer case in neutral (my rear driveshaft is powered through the transfer case - even when in 2wd). For long tows, I disconnect the driveshaft at the rear differential - 4 bolts, takes about 5 mins. I was initially hesitant to flat tow, but my small truck can't pull a jeep on a trailer, so it was essentially my only options (tow dolly works as well), but its turned out to be easy peasy.
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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    I think the threshold in CO for trailers needing brakes is 3000lbs.... not sure if curb weight or GVWR would apply. In Utah I think they have a requirement about being able to stop in a certain distance, and not a weight requirement specifically. In MA I think I saw the weight threshold for brakes is 10,000lbs... so of course its different everywhere. I suspect a CJ5 would be legit in many places, but a heavier YJ or TJ may need brakes. I also believe its one of those things that is unlikely to get someone a ticket alone, but would probably give an insurance company an out if one was involved in an accident. Jim's friend may want to take the time to research that side of things.

    Aside from that, I bet my van has enough braking on its own but I'd still probably need a system for the jeep to stay legal. Its really the "breakaway" braking that seems most valuable to me from a safety perspective. Axle/brake wise the van is basically an F250 with 14.2 or 14.3 inch rotors and the V10 puts a lot of torque down. Gears are a little tall and for a few reasons i'll probably regear from 4.11 to 4.56. Maybe class A's are thought out a bit more than older class C's... I had one of those that was probably too heavy to stop safely on its own without the extra weight of a jeep, but coming down I70 in what's essentially a greyhound bus maybe brakes on the Jeep would make it a bit less concerning.

    I do wish there was a reasonably simple option for "Toad" brakes similar to electric brakes on a trailer. It seems like most of the permanently installed options are not really all that weatherproof (I leave the TJ open to the elements most of the time). I kinda wish someone made bracket to run a set of electric trailer brake calipers one the rear axle in addition to a set of regular calipers. Kind of like how some drifting handbrake setups are configured with seperate sets of calipers on one rotor. There's probably some reason that would be more trouble than its worth.

    The magnetic trailer lights are a simple option for brake lights and turn signals. There are elaborate setups for getting the jeeps lights to work while towed. I think I read something about someone putting a second set of bulbs in their jeep tail light housings and wiring them up as trailer lights as a simple, clean option.

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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    Its up to each to decide how 'legal' they want to be....its good to know what is 'legally' required and informed even if one chooses to not conform. Most people I know pulling jeeps behind motorhomes don't use any kind of additional braking...In my case, pulling a 50 year old jeep over the mountains with my Tacoma and no trailer brakes is still safer than driving the jeep at highway speeds. In other words, I would rather people drive safe and prudent based on their specific set-up than follow the rules and drive recklessly.
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    Default Re: Help finding a Wrangler to tow behind an RV



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    " I would rather people drive safe and prudent based on their specific set-up than follow the rules and drive recklessly."

    A very good point. It wasn't my intent to try and say what's right or wrong, more to just blurt out all of the things I have been looking into for setting up this kind of thing for myself. I suppose that is tinted by what's important to me and that unlikely to be the same for each of us. One could spend a lot of time and money on a fancy braking system but that doesn't make up for a good set of safety chains*, or having some crazy angle on their tow bar, or flying down I-70 at 85mph while looking at their phone.

    Also, don't trust my figures... the specific weights and such. I'd recommend anyone who's interested look these things up themselves.

    * on the safety chain subject.... on a TJ you can thread a length of chain through the tube that makes up the front crossmember from one side of the frame to the other. One big loop and a good set of hooks and that thing is not going to pop off... regardless if the towbar fails at either end.

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