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Old 03-16-2014, 05:11 PM   #1
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Up in coming move from VA to Cali

I just traded in my old trusty WJ last month for a 2014 JKU. It's equipped with 3.21s/Auto and I installed a Rugged Ridge Tow Hitch on it. This August my wife and I will be PCSing to California from Virginia. We also have a Hyundai Elantra which I hope to tow to Cali.

I figure I've got 2 options:

1. Buy a Tandem Axle trailer off Craigslist and haul the Elantra amongst other house hold goods (Large gun safe that will be dropped off in Mo). Navy pays by weight, but car and trailer don't count. Sell trailer when I get to SD.

2. Rent car dolly, sell safe and tow car.

I'd love to do the tandem axle, but I'm not sure what the JK can handle, especially with 3.21s. We plan on making our way though Colorado and Utah for some vacation along the way, so I'll be towing at some altitude, but can stop and drive the car during those times if needed. Any input from those that have towed heavy loads in their JK would be appreciated.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:24 PM   #2
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Don't think the jk w/3.21 should tow anything that heavy... Reason it did not come with a hitch and the tow pkgs come with gears to handle towing...

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Old 03-16-2014, 05:26 PM   #3
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What year is your Elentra, stick/auto, 2/4 door and how much does your safe weigh? I think both the 2 door and 4 door are alittle under-rated on towing capacities.

My 2013 Subaru Outback is rated at 2700lbs with 173hp 4cylinder engine CVT in USA, in Australia its more like 3500.

The JK 4 Door can tow more than 3500lbs just on engine and wheelbase alone, as long as the hitch you installed can manage that weight or more...

The major mountains in Colorado could prove challenging, especially if you drive the Ike Gauntlet, so any major sustained elevation, get in the slow lane and don't push it but as has been mentioned you got the granny gears and they aren't ideal for towing, though many pickups come with these kind of gears.

I had a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado with tow pack, 3.42 gears, 315hp, rated to tow 9800lbs, but I would never tow that much with that setup.

So back to your question from a frame, engine, wheelbase standpoint I am sure it can do it, body on frame not unibody like my outback, the gears aren't ideal but you just have to slow down for grades and it can be done, assuming the Elentra is around 2500lbs, your safe if its 1000lbs along with the dolly/trailer add on, you can figure out where you are going to be over/under.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:34 PM   #4
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Car's a 2013, so it's just under 3k. Safe is about 450lbs, I planned on using the car for storage, so It would be loaded with personal items we don't want the shippers to move like photos, computers, fragile items etc.

Once we get to Cali, I'm going with a PR60 up front, 3.5" lift, 35s and steeper gears. That's why didn't pay extra for the tow package. Now I wish I would have...
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:46 AM   #5
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They used to ship one vehicle. Has this changed? If they still do, then ship the car, drive the jeep. If you can do it this way you may get away with towing one of those U-Haul enclosed trailers for your stuff. If this has changed you may want to contract a private hauler for the Elantra. Am thinking the Jeep is going to have a tough time with all that weight going up some of the grades you will experiencing on your trip out here.
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