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Old 03-14-2012, 12:17 AM   #1
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Gear Ratio vs Towing Capacity

I have a 2010 Jeep Wrangler Sahara (3.8L) with a 3.21 gear ratio. The owners manual states I can tow a trailer weighing up to 1000lbs. I am thinking of buying an off-road camper from Lifetime Products in Utah. The trailer weighs in at 880lbs. If I add a couple of hundred pounds of camping gear, I will be over the 1000lb limit...does anyone know how my Jeep's performance will be affacted? Is it dangerous to go a few pounds beyond this limit? Is it a matter of safety or performance? I don't do rock crawling or hard 4X4'ing but I do alot of travel on tracks and trails on Forest Service Roads in rural BC. I sure would appreciate an answer on this from anyone in the "know". Thank you in advance. jdp

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Old 03-14-2012, 04:20 AM   #2
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:33 AM   #3
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^^^^think his was a Bump.

This is LARGELY personal opinion. IDK what the power is like in the '10 JKs with 3.21. I don't know if you are a "large person" or your S.O. is a "large person"
or if you will be traveling with 3 dogs and kids in the back and enough food and drinks for a family reunion.

There is a vehicle capacity, in addition to the tow rating. IMO if you are under the total vehicle capacity, going over by maybe a couple hundred pounds on towing PROBABLY won't be a big deal. However realize the more weight you put into the trailer the more force it will exert on the hitch and your Jeep. If you can pack inside the Jeep what you want to pack inside the trailer....I would.

I can pull or "get moving" a lot more weight with my TJ than it is designed to tow, but at speed I have felt that the trailer was driving me, instead of me pulling the trailer.

Good Luck!!
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:12 AM   #4
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Welcome! As for towing, the rated capacities are generally what is the maximum safe rating based on the vehicle's ability (i.e. legal range of ability) in most situations. You can usually overload one by 50% or so and still be alright but you'll have a lot harder time fighting insurance companies if you are seriously overloaded and something happens.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by denisbaldwin View Post
Welcome! As for towing, the rated capacities are generally what is the maximum safe rating based on the vehicle's ability (i.e. legal range of ability) in most situations. You can usually overload one by 50% or so and still be alright but you'll have a lot harder time fighting insurance companies if you are seriously overloaded and something happens.
Overload by 50%??? Please don't do that! Stay within 10 to 15% of your capacities and you should be fine.

I don't know of anyone having to fight their insurance company from being overloaded. Please give me some examples?? They'll cover you if you're drunk!!

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hamshog View Post
I don't know of anyone having to fight their insurance company from being overloaded. Please give me some examples??
I can only speak to one example. A few years back, my father was hauling a trailer full of concrete and lawn debris. The loaded rating on the trailer was 5000 pounds and the tow capacity of the truck was 3000 pounds. He had over 8000 pounds of stuff in it. He came around a corner and the extra weight sheered one of the wheels off from the axle. Trailer full of debris came flying out, broke a windshield on another car and wrecked the paint on two other cars in on-coming traffic. He had full coverage Comp/Collision (Allstate) and they refused to cover any of the damage because the state trooper wrote him a ticket for being overloaded and the trailer being unsafe at that weight. He fought it, got a lawyer, etc. and was never able to get the claim processed. He ended up paying for all of the damage out of pocket and the insurance company dropped him anyway.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:00 AM   #8
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Hey Denis,
Being it was family envolved, I'll take your word on it. But it's the "first" time I've ever heard of an Insurance Co. not covering someone who was paid up.

I am glad a Trooper caught him before he did some real damage to someone else!!! That's what I mean by please don't overload by 50% and think it'll work!!! It's too much weight!!

Regards, Hamshog
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:57 AM   #9
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:14 AM   #11
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Thank you everyone for your input to my question. Much to think about. Cheers.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:42 PM   #12
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I got an email answer from the head mechanic at North Shore Off-Road in the City of North Vancouver Canada to my question. He states " As far as the gear ration from 3.21 to 3.73, you would not really even notice the difference. Personally, 3.21 is a stronger gear set. I would try out your set up and go from there. The difference of 300lbs over your rating (of 1000lbs) shouldn't be an issue. Yes we can swap your gears for you, but if you ever plan on putting larger tires on down the road I would do the gear change then."

So there I have it, some one in the 4X4 industrey putting some sense to the gear ration dilemma.

Cheers to all.

Jeff
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:36 PM   #13
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You also have to see what class hitch you have on your Jeep. The one on our 12 Unlimited is a Class II. Watch your tongue weight as well if/when the future trailer is fully loaded. And from another thread, think about an Auxiliary Transmission Cooler. Oh! And a electronic break system(if the trailer is equipped that is) could be helpful as well. Personally, I prefer the 3.73 over the 3.21. But then I am familiar with them and trust them. We had 3.73's in our Super Duty, and she did well as a Tow Pig. Not totally an Apple ---> Apple comparison, but I do trust them.

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Old 04-02-2012, 06:58 AM   #14
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After much nashing of teeth, I decided to up my game. I visited a Chrysler Jeep dealer in Metro Vancouver and purchased a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited that came with the "Max Tow Package" which is rated by Chrysler to tow 3500lbs. My little off-road camper of 880lbs, plus a couple of hundred pounds of camping equipment, my beautiful wife, our dog and a couple of sea kayaks, tow capacity will not be an issue. Chrysler gave me great trade in value for our 2010 Wrangler Sahara 2dr. I verified at Candian Black Book .com for trade-in value and the Chrysler gave me right in the sweet spot between low and high value. I was very happy, it was a "no Bull-S### experience. Thank you all for your responses. I have learned alot about jeeps on Wrangler Forum. Cheers.

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