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Old 04-29-2013, 07:34 PM   #1
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Stuff to know before towing my jeep behind an rv

We are taking our first vacation in 15 years and renting an rv and driving to Big Bend then to the Davis Mountains then on up into New Mexico. My husband is thinking that maybe we should tow the jeep behind it. I'm totally fine with it, but I have questions, so I'm staring here.

First off, it's a class C rv, so will it be able to tow the jeep? And what equipment will we need? My manual only says everything needs to be in neutral. Are there speed limitations when towing it? Will it be a major undertaking to get the jeep ready for towing, both time, equipment, and money wise? Any information y'all could share would be appreciated. We are totally new to rv-ing.

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:03 PM   #2
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shell, things to look at first are the towing limits of your Class C and the hitch rating. Many are 5,000 but some are less. I assume you are wanting to do what is called flat towing (all 4 wheels down) and not on a dolly (2 down) or a trailer (no wheels touching). The Jeeps are very well setup for flat towing but you need a few important things and these can add up financially pretty fast.

You will need a
Tow Bar (connects RV to Jeep)
Baseplates (attached to the Jeep then the tow bar attaches to the baseplate)
Brakes (for the Jeep, most states require brakes and its a good idea in general)

Some common tow bars are Demco, RoadMaster, Ready Brute and Blue Ox. In many cases tow bars can be used with different baseplates, each offers some advantages and disadvantages. It's worth reading up all the options before you narrow your list. Most RV dealers will steer you to what they sell and install. Sometimes they sell and install good stuff sometimes its all about the profit margin.

As far as brakes you have stand alone "boxes" like the Brake Buddy which sits between your seat and the brake pedal, these are fairly cheap but they have issues. Personally I like the Ready Brute Elite towbar which has a built in surge braking system.

Here are some websites to get you started

Readybrake RV Tow Bars and RV Surge Braking Systems for Car Towing - NSA RV Products
Blue Ox Products
Demco Towing Products or - demco-products - demco-products
Roadmaster Inc. - Tow Bars, Braking Systems & RV Accessories

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Old 04-29-2013, 10:37 PM   #3
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Y-Guy is right on just make sure you follow owners manual. I installed the Currie Enterprise base plate. 2 things to remember are never back up while towing and only start your turn after you have been moving. In other words don't turn the steering wheel on RV and then start moving you have to give the tow vehicle time to track behind the RV. Also check out iRV2 and Good Sam RV web sights in the towing section
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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All good suggestions above. If you are only going to do this once, the price of setting up the jeep will probably equal or exceed the cost of using rental cars at your destinations.

If you are renting the rv with the intention of trying it out and later purchasing one. Then the cost of setting up the jeep will be amortized over a long period of time.

If it were me, and only taking one trip by rv the rental cars would be the solution. You can cut costs by purchasing used tow equipment, but I'm funny when it comes to towing my vehicles. I want to know the equipment hasn't been abused or strained.

Also don't try to use a dolly!!!!! If you try to tow a jeep two wheels down, you will damage the transfer case. The jeep manual specifically states "NO TOWING TWO WHEELS UP". It's four down or four up (as in trailer) only.

I tow four down and love it, but I own my rv and use it quite often. Therefore the cost of set-up is not a large issue due to the amount of use. You can easily drop over 1K in set-up, and for one trip that goes a long way in car rental.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:23 AM   #5
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Lots of good info for you shell but I will add, disconnect your speedo cable if you are worried about the towing miles showing up on your odo. On my YJ I towed it last Friday and was surprised to see the mileage on my odo, not a big deal to me but it might be to you, know what I mean?

Also, on my 5 speed it was in first gear and the t-case in neutral. And your speed limitations are going to be the different states speed limits for vehicals that are towing. You will need some lights for your Jeep, I use a cheap set of magnetic lights from Harbor Frieght and they do the trick.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jeff_in_rc View Post
Lots of good info for you shell but I will add, disconnect your speedo cable if you are worried about the towing miles showing up on your odo. On my YJ I towed it last Friday and was surprised to see the mileage on my odo, not a big deal to me but it might be to you, know what I mean?

Also, on my 5 speed it was in first gear and the t-case in neutral. And your speed limitations are going to be the different states speed limits for vehicals that are towing. You will need some lights for your Jeep, I use a cheap set of magnetic lights from Harbor Frieght and they do the trick.

Good luck and have fun!
With the xfercase in N, miles won't show up on the ODO...at least it does not on my TJ and I would imagine it would be true for a JK as well.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:20 AM   #7
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With the xfercase in N, miles won't show up on the ODO...at least it does not on my TJ and I would imagine it would be true for a JK as well.
But aren't the TJ's and JK's an electric odo vrs my cable driven odo? At least that is what I remember, but I could be wrong.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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I towed an XJ for 50K miles and none of those ever showed up on the odometer. Also towed a 2011 grand Cherokee for 15K and it never registered towed miles.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:42 PM   #9
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I have to second the idea of renting a car when you get to your location if you are not buying the rv. If you buy new stuff you are well over a grand into tow bar, base plates, installation etc... But if you are going to be an rv owner, go for it. We tow a little Ford Fiesta around (had it before the jeep and it weighs next to nothing.)

If this is a one time trip just have fun with the rv rig. If you are not used to it it can be a bit daunting for a while, even without towing something. But once you are used to driving the weight and bulk of an rv...it is the way to travel.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the info. We have decided not to take the jeep this time around. If we end up buying our own rv, then I'll put all this good info to use.

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