I just bought a 2003 Jeep Wrangler, I was looking for some information about pulling a bass boat with my jeep. Any ideas, suggestions, before I attempt to do this?? The boat is not that large and I pull it with a mini van before this. But since my Jeep is so squirrely I need to know what other jeep owners have done or any advice!
i would def check the weight of boat and trailer. you can go you a truck stop and use the cat scale $9 first way $1 re-weight. weight the jeep then jeep and boat for exact weight. i would not recommend pulling anything to big with a jeep there just not made for it. to light to short of wheel base and not enough power, small boat or small trailer is fine but no 20+ft trailers lol
93 ZJ 7in long arm 36s trail beast
90 YJ 2in lift 33s h/t & h/d 4.2 auto - hers
89 YJ Sahara stock h/t & h/d 4.2 auto - mine
I pulled my neighbor's jetskis with my YJ a few months back. I think they are close to 2000 pounds with the trailer. Seemed to pull just fine but I never got over 45 and I didn't have to make any quick stops.
Denis A. Baldwin
1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
This has been discussed a few times on the Forum.....I say that not to tell you to "search the threads" but so that you know where my info comes from.
The LJ's from the TJ years can tow more than the standard TJs. TJs are rated to tow 2000#S. Its is not that they don't have the power, it is more the short wheel base, light weight. I THINK most Bass boats and trailers are over the 2K by quite a bit.
All that being said, I have seen and there are people here on the Forum who regularly pull Bass boats and bigger with their TJs.
So short answer yes you can, but do you think you should.
It is not the getting started, it is the stopping/ controlling it at speed that is the issue with a TJ.
The first issue (not in order of importance) is power/weight ratio. This is pretty much dependent on how fast you want to go and the terrain. If you have an automatic, it is very limiting because you can not get the rpms right for the load. If you have the 6 cyl it isn't so bad. If you have the 4 cyl then you definitely need the manual to be able to control the rpms and get them up in the 3500-4000 range when pulling hard.
The second issue is the braking. Typically boat trailers do not have electric brakes. That is a critical issue because of the light weight of the Wrangler and the brakes are just not oversized to handle extra stopping. To get a boat trailer with electric brakes means it is going to be a quite large boat and probably a tandem axle.
The 3rd one is an issue of the short wheelbase. When you try to stop in a straight line the issue is purely one of how well the braking area and traction performs. This correlates directly to the stopping distance. This can be compensated for somewhat by allowing more distance, slowing down, etc.
However, there is a more critical item. When you try a panic stop, you are probably in a crisis situation and there is a probability that you are going to have some change in direction. That means that the towed unit is going to be pushing sideways on the vehicle. The short wheel base now is critical and with the light weight, it pushes the rear end sideways.
This can be compensated for with sway control on the hitch. However, the boat trailers are not conduciive to that with the single long tongue and no A frame. It can be done, but it requires a custom hitch set up to compensate and control the sway.
Wiithout the sway, I wouldn't pull anything longer than the tow vehicle and no more than 50% of the weight. With the proper setup I have towed a 29' self contrained trailer on 600+ mile trips with my 94 Wrangler with a 4 cyl and at normal 70-75 mph interstate speed. It is a matter of control and the hitch is the critical element in controlling sway.