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Old 02-14-2014, 03:24 PM   #1
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2005 Sport - Towing Question

I want to drive my 2005 trail rated, Sport from Indiana to Rapid City, South Dakota this summer for a paleontology dig with my daughter... pulling a new pop-up camper that is dry weight 1400#. Is this safe?? I'm getting mixed answers from non-Jeep owners... everything from issues with the straight 6 transmission to issues with the short wheel base.
Is it reasonable to make that trip? Uphill there and downhill on the way back... without any expected issues?
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Single mom

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Old 02-14-2014, 03:36 PM   #2
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Jeep Wranglers with the 4.0L 6 engine have a max tow rating of 2000 pounds. Normally tow ratings are figured with a 156 pound driver (no passengers and no extra gear). Anything over that whether in the tow vehicle or extras in the trailer should be added to the weight of the trailer (No one ever pulls a trailer with its dry weight). There are two problems with towing heavier weights with a Wrangler. The first is brakes; the Wrangler's brakes are made to stop the stock Wrangler and not additional weight pushing it down a hill. The second is it's short wheel base. It is kind of like the tail wagging the dog if you have to panic stop.

Have people hauled trailers of that weight across country with a Jeep? Most definitely. It's within the tow rating although the owners manual recommends having trailer brakes. Would I do it?...Only as a last resort.

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Old 02-14-2014, 03:50 PM   #3
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Thank you, Dennis.
Add in me and my 10 year old daughter... and now we're at 1400 + 250. No one wants us to bring out of state firewood, so we can cross that off. Cooler and camping gear... another 100-ish. Trailer brakes are built in on the 2014 pop-up camper... so this is still a maybe.
Plan B: Pack the big tent and usual camping gear for SD trip. Tow the camper locally only.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgottschallfrederick View Post
Thank you, Dennis.
Add in me and my 10 year old daughter... and now we're at 1400 + 250. No one wants us to bring out of state firewood, so we can cross that off. Cooler and camping gear... another 100-ish. Trailer brakes are built in on the 2014 pop-up camper... so this is still a maybe.
Plan B: Pack the big tent and usual camping gear for SD trip. Tow the camper locally only.
If you decide to do it, and you have the automatic transmission, it would be a good idea to add a supplemental transmission cooler, and make sure you have a trailer brake controller installed on your Jeep.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:22 PM   #5
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With trailer brakes, it should be doable. The drivetrain is up to the task as the same drivetrain is used in longer wheelbase Jeep vehicles with much higher tow ratings. The short wheelbase is the problem.

If your Sport is the long wheelbase version, that's even better.

For towing, Jeep recommends changing the rear differential lube to 75w-140.

As stated above, adding a trans cooler for an auto is advisable.

You can download a copy of the owner's manual at jeep.com. It has the towing specs and recommendations.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:26 PM   #6
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Might want to consider keeping tranny out of overdrive if doing heavy towing
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:47 PM   #7
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good rule of thumb you never want to exceed 85% of the tow rating...
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:06 AM   #8
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All good advice. Thanks, guys!

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