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Old 06-27-2011, 01:51 PM   #1
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Towing Question - going through mountains

Hey Everyone,

I am quite new here, but have been browsing trying to do all the research I could before going and asking a question, which I don't think is a repeat.

I have previously owned 2 jeeps before (89 YJ and 07 Wrangler), and am looking at getting a new one (2010 with only 2600km). It is in basically new condition, has the heavy duty rear axle, and a tow package on it. From everything I'm reading it is fully capable of towing up to 2000 lbs, but here is where my question comes in.

I will be moving across Canada next summer, requiring an enclosed trailer (weight of 850lbs) and probably about 1000lbs inside the trailer bringing me quite close to the limit of the 2000lbs. If it was flat land I wouldn't be concerned, but I need to go through a lot of mountains to get there.

Has anyone had experience in doing this, should I be concerned about anything? I still have the ability to walk away without buying this jeep and can rent a moving truck, but for the price am quite interested and a one way move is going to cost me thousands.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 06-27-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
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Prior towing experience is an asset in self-evaluation of this kind of question. JKs are sold by the factory as being capable of towing "2000 #". Even with the grades in the wilds of transcontinental Canada, with proper attention to detail I personally would not fret.

Longer times, slower speeds, more fuels...and proper care on driving techniques, etc, this should be enjoyable trip.

IMHO. YMMV.

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Old 06-27-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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I typically tow between 2500 and 3000 lbs behind mine. I realize you mentioned JK and not JKU but the JK has the same engine and this question has more to do with capabilities rather than load limit. With towing I would say that I am glad that I have the standard because I get to decide where in the power band of the engine that I want to be. On my trip from MA to FL last year through some pretty steep grades in CT I had to down shift to 4th to maintain 55 in a 65 zone. But it did maintain 55 and I even passed a few commercial rigs on the grade. I tow with the jeep all over the place on vacation and do it with great care but without hesitation.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:23 PM   #4
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Based on my personal experiences, towing with a variety of tow vehicles, what you describe is no issue.

I saw a similar thread within in the last few weeks and I wish I could credit the author who said it best ---- it's the "whoa-ing" not the towing. Not a physics dude but would envision a trailer absent a braking system (I personally like hydraulic over electric) coupled with caution says - no problems.

A loaded trailer absent a independent braking system, would cause rear to lift, lose traction and jack-knife as front braking engages first.

My heaviest towing was done with my former Tundra but I have towed loads exceeding weight recommendations by a few hundred pounds. The trailer had a hydraulic braking system and what few times I had to apply braking somewhat abruptly, I felt slack off hitch, and had no no issues. Maybe for a little more detail, this was on wet, descending grades. No ice, no fresh rain (e.g., oil slicked roadways).

JK used way more gas - probably got a whopping 10 or 11. This was in foothills in AR and MO.

I was anxious but just drove a little more defensively.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:34 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the responses! I have very little towing experience (although I did a bit with the 89 which wasn't a great idea in the winter) but I am in no rush to get the trip over with so taking my time won't be a problem. I am looking to get to the top of the Rockies the first day, stay in some over priced hotel with a nice view, then down the next day. It's more maintaining control going down the mountains that concerned me but I will make sure to make plenty of stops to sight see and allow the brakes to cool down.

The remainder of the drive will be a breeze as there isn't much I can do wrong through the prairies and the experience in the Rockies should make Northern Ontario much easier. The last time I did this 4400km (2750 mile) trip was in my 300 and did it in just over 2 and a half days, so I can enjoy it much more this time as I didn't get to stop and see anything the first time.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:53 PM   #6
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If it is a really good deal, rent a truck to load and tow the wrangler on a trailer. That way, you don't have to stress the wrangler.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by seadog View Post
If it is a really good deal, rent a truck to load and tow the wrangler on a trailer. That way, you don't have to stress the wrangler.
The reason for getting a vehicle is actually because of the cost to get a one way rental. I just purchased a new cobalt about 6 months ago with intentions of driving it into the ground and having just a cheap car to drive. Things have changed and we will now need to move and a one way rental will be over $3,000. I am going to end up losing less than $3,000 on my trade, and the jeep is selling for nearly $10,000 below new with only 2600km on it.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:33 PM   #8
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What is that like 1000 miles on the Jeep? Sorry I need to brush up on the metric system. Dont use it to often. Sounds like a nice find. However as to towing if the Jeep has 3.21 gearing it will only be rated to tow 1000 lbs. All JK/JKU's come with a Gen 2 D44 rear end. No one JK rear axle is stronger then another in its stock form. Only differences are gearing (3.21, 3.73, 4.11) and if its a rubi then it would have a e-locker.


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Old 06-27-2011, 09:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by XJ Knight View Post
What is that like 1000 miles on the Jeep? Sorry I need to brush up on the metric system. Dont use it to often. Sounds like a nice find. However as to towing if the Jeep has 3.21 gearing it will only be rated to tow 1000 lbs. All JK/JKU's come with a Gen 2 D44 rear end. No one JK rear axle is stronger then another in its stock form. Only differences are gearing (3.21, 3.73, 4.11) and if its a rubi then it would have a e-locker.


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More great info, thanks! I am by no means much of a vehicle guru. I love them, can get my way around them, but getting into which axle is stronger, what to use for this or that, it's still confusing to me and I'm just getting my info from the dealer options report from the factory and it said Dana 44 HD Rear axle so I assumed upgraded.

That being said it also states 3.73 as the rear axle ratio, so I should be fine with the 2000 lbs if I'm understanding correct? As for 2600km, that works out to be just over 1600 miles.

Please feel free to add any other info you have!

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