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Old 08-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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Any towing experts out there? Need help.

I'm going to be moving to Colorado in around 3-4 months and I'm planning on renting a U-Haul trailer, filling it up with all my stuff and simply making the 25 hour drive from NJ all the way to my new place. This is my only moving option, I can't afford anything else like having my car shipped and taking a plane or anything of the sort. Thing is, my TJ doesn't even have a hitch, and I don't know the first thing about towing anything. It's a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and it's lifted. For such a long drive, and since i'm going to be hauling everything I own in that trailer, I'd like it all to be as secure and safe as possible. Any advice on what hitch I need to buy and tools needed to install it, along with any other advice you have to offer is highly appreciated.

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Old 08-07-2013, 06:48 PM   #2
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The first thing you need to realize is the maximum towing capacity for a TJ is 2000 pounds...that means trailer and contents. U-Haul trailers are typically on the heavy side anyway. Towing heavy loads with a short wheelbase Jeep is not safe. Kind of like the tail wagging the dog. You would probably be better off renting a U-haul truck and load it up and tow the Jeep behind it.

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Old 08-07-2013, 06:48 PM   #3
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I'm sure others will chime in shortly but the TJ doesn't have much towing capacity and I've heard (may not be correct?) that U-Haul will not rent a trailer to be towed by a Wrangler due to the limited towing capacity and braking issues. You might want to check with U-Haul and see if they'll rent the trailer, then what the trailer weighs to make sure the empty trailer is within your tow limits then guesstimate what all your stuff weighs. It adds up fast. Maybe rent a U-haul box truck and flat tow the Wrangler behind?

What he said ^^
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:59 PM   #4
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:19 PM   #5
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Rent the truck and tow the TJ. You'll pay for the truck with what you save on gas.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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I moved from VA to El Paso and back to VA again a year later. My advice would be rent a uhaul truck and either get a flat bed trailer for the jeep or flat tow it as has been mentioned.

You will save a lot of hassle and gas money.

On my way out to TX i drove my YJ and the gas price was more than when i rented the uhaul and towed it back on a trailer.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:20 PM   #7
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If your Rubicon is a soft top, U-Haul won't rent a trailer to you, I'd start calling around now to find a trailer rental shop that doesn't have that short-sighted restriction. If your Rubicon has the hard top, you're good to go with U-Haul.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:05 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, glad I asked here first before just going out and doing it. Yeah, I checked with U-Haul and they won't rent me a trailer since my Rubicon's a soft top. I don't have a whole lot of stuff, I think renting a full size truck would be kind of overdoing it. Although definitely something i'll keep in mind. I'm not taking any furniture at all, just a couple boxes. I would probably be able to take it all with no need for a trailer if I had something like a minivan instead of my TJ.

Say I were to find a different rental company and a light enough trailer so my total would be well under 2,000 pounds. Could you guys help me with the equipment I'd need to purchase? Would there be any issues with the fact that my TJ is lifted?

I may just end up getting rid of some stuff and driving with whatever I can stuff into the backseat, or I may just get a roof rack. Like I said, I don't have that much stuff at all. I wanna explore all options though. Thanks for the help, guys!
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:00 AM   #9
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I dont know if im the only one wondering this or not but what does the soft top vs hard top have to do with towing a trailer from uhaul? Why is that a restriction for them?
Sorry to hijack.. Im just quite curious.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Searyu View Post
Thanks guys, glad I asked here first before just going out and doing it. Yeah, I checked with U-Haul and they won't rent me a trailer since my Rubicon's a soft top. I don't have a whole lot of stuff, I think renting a full size truck would be kind of overdoing it. Although definitely something i'll keep in mind. I'm not taking any furniture at all, just a couple boxes. I would probably be able to take it all with no need for a trailer if I had something like a minivan instead of my TJ.

Say I were to find a different rental company and a light enough trailer so my total would be well under 2,000 pounds. Could you guys help me with the equipment I'd need to purchase? Would there be any issues with the fact that my TJ is lifted?

I may just end up getting rid of some stuff and driving with whatever I can stuff into the backseat, or I may just get a roof rack. Like I said, I don't have that much stuff at all. I wanna explore all options though. Thanks for the help, guys!
you can get bolt on receiver hitches from etrailer for somewhere around $150 that are easy installs. They also have plug and play type trailer wiring kits. If you just have a few boxes, maybe they would fit on one of those harbor freights racks that stick in the receiver mount, then you could just tarp it. I think they're only about $50 on sale.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thgr8alex View Post
I dont know if im the only one wondering this or not but what does the soft top vs hard top have to do with towing a trailer from uhaul? Why is that a restriction for them?
Sorry to hijack.. Im just quite curious.
It's not the soft top as much as it is U-Haul protecting themselves in this sue-happy world we live in. You'd be surprised at the number of people that have never towed anything in their lives who rent a U-Haul trailer. Ignorance and just plain stupidity make for a bad combination.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:55 AM   #12
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Get a bolt on hitch and a receiver cargo holder
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:16 AM   #13
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Like these

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Old 08-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #14
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Or...if you have too much stuff for a cargo rack, think about renting a cargo van or pick up and pulling a rented car trailer with it to put your Jeep on.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:09 AM   #15
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If the OP is only hauling a few boxes literally he can get both a roof rack(Body Armor makes the best one rated at 350/1000lbs carrying capacity)and a rear cargo tray. Both can be had for less than 500 bucks. How much would renting of a trailer cross country cost? Add that into the offset.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:54 PM   #16
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I'm moving from Nashville Tennessee to Denver Colorado on Tuesday. I have a 05 wrangler sport. I got the 5X8 trailer rented from Uhaul. The jeep can safely tow the 5X8 full.. As long as you don't drive like an Idiot. It just depends on what all your carrying. I have towed a 2000 pontiac grand prix from Indiana to Tennesse on a dolly with 0 issues. As well as tow my 16' popup camper from Nashville to saginaw bay Michigan. A jeep can pull alot more than most think. BUT, it's not safe unless you have experience towing.

Hope this helps some..
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thgr8alex View Post
I dont know if im the only one wondering this or not but what does the soft top vs hard top have to do with towing a trailer from uhaul? Why is that a restriction for them?
Sorry to hijack.. Im just quite curious.
its just the misguided policy they have ... because a hardtop wrangler is any safer than a softop wrangler ....
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:08 PM   #18
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I'm moving from Nashville Tennessee to Denver Colorado on Tuesday. I have a 05 wrangler sport. I got the 5X8 trailer rented from Uhaul. The jeep can safely tow the 5X8 full.. As long as you don't drive like an Idiot. It just depends on what all your carrying. I have towed a 2000 pontiac grand prix from Indiana to Tennesse on a dolly with 0 issues. As well as tow my 16' popup camper from Nashville to saginaw bay Michigan. A jeep can pull alot more than most think. BUT, it's not safe unless you have experience towing.

Hope this helps some..
it may be true that YOU can tow more with YOUR wrangler than is recommended by Chrysler, but please don't recommend doing this to other people.


I agree that you can tow more than the manfaturer recommends but its still not advisable nor recommended to someone who dosnt even know what to buy in order to tow the trailer.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:15 PM   #19
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A jeep can pull alot more than most think. BUT, it's not safe unless you have experience towing.
it's not the towing that's the problem, it's the stopping part that will get you.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:18 PM   #20
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it's not the towing that's the problem, it's the stopping part that will get you.
precisely, tj towing capacity is severly limited by its braking power, suspension, and the wheelbase
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:25 PM   #21
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Yes, the stopping is the problem. Thats why I put on there BUT, it's not safe unless you have experience towing. Obviously he is not experienced in towing. I have towed up to 5000lbs with my jeep. But I also had electic break control installed in my wrangler. I have been towing for years. Unless someone has experience, they shouldn't tow anything! but hey.. What do i know. LOL..
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:52 PM   #22
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I'd go roof rack and hitch rack if all you are moving is some boxes. you could prolly get away with just the roof rack! Good Luck!
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:55 PM   #23
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... Unless someone has experience, they shouldn't tow anything! ...
If you NEVER tow anything, you will NEVER gain the experience of towing. Everyone that has towed, had to start somewhere.

I guess it's like that old catch 22 -
You can't get the job, because you don't have the experience.
But you won't be able to get the experience, until you get the job.

Maybe the golden rule of towing should be -
If you have never towed anything before, you should start out towing something small & lightweight, before moving onto heavier or long haul towing tasks.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:03 PM   #24
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Yes, the stopping is the problem. Thats why I put on there BUT, it's not safe unless you have experience towing. Obviously he is not experienced in towing. I have towed up to 5000lbs with my jeep. But I also had electic break control installed in my wrangler. I have been towing for years. Unless someone has experience, they shouldn't tow anything! but hey.. What do i know. LOL..
That's all well and good EXCEPT that you can't control what someone
else does. All it takes is someone cutting you off, a kid darting out in front of you, or anything else that forces you to brake hard and/or swerve, and your jeep will be upside down sitting next to your wrecked trailer. If you're lucky, you won't kill anyone.....All it takes is once.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:33 PM   #25
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ID:	283449 I was having the same problem so bought a little trailer the jeep is on the goose because I blew my tcase ... That was because my front driveshaft locked up at highway speeds and grenaded my tcase
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:43 PM   #26
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:51 PM   #27
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Is shipping some of your stuff an option? Get ups to quote a shipping cost on what won't fit in the jeep. I agree that he needs experience and has to start somewhere but that is not a trip for beginners.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:41 PM   #28
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You could probably buy a harbor freight trailer for the cost of renting one to go that far. Then you'd have a trailer you could either keep or sell when you get there. Look at craigslist and the for sale section for a hitch. After installing an aftermarket bumper my hitch no longer fits. I haven't even tried selling it because there are several on craigs listed for cheap that have been on there for months. If you were closer $20 could have gotten you mine.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:50 PM   #29
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I personally wouldn't even want to drive my jeep that far to begin with. I'd rent a van or truck and trailer the Jeep. Save the wear and tear on the Jeep and probably get better gas mileage while you are at it.

ETA.....Heck if you can fit all your stuff in your jeep, look into having the whole thing shipped. And buy a plane ticket.

I hate driving cross country
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:02 PM   #30
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I have a 2002 jeep wrangler lifted on 33's and I tow it to California every year and I just have a heavy duty tow bar and it tracks fine no sway.

I also rented a uhaul one year and they seem to do great but there on the expensive side if your going long distance.

Good luck.

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