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Old 05-15-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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Towing a Pop-Up Trailer

Hey Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience in towing a popup trailer for camping. I have a 2004 Sport 6cyl 5speed manual transmission.

I haven't installed a hitch yet but I have been hinting around to my gf (soon to be wife) that we would do more camping. Obviously she didn't like the idea of sleeping in a tent so I thought about towing a small popup. Hahah let's see how she takes that!

Anywho, any advice would be appreciated. I'm not sure what type of hitch to order but of course as always I'm up for suggestions.

Thanks again all!

Vin

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Old 05-15-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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I tow a pop up with my 2005 wrangler. Automatic 6 cyl. I do have trailer brakes for it which makes it a lot easier and safer to stop. My advice get a hitch that attached to frame and just take your time. Slow and easy wins the race as they say.

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Old 05-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #3
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Curious how much weight/how big a pop-up you can tow with a 6-banger Jeep. While I do have another vehicle capable of towing I would much prefer using the Jeep but I didn't think it could tow very much and especially not a camper.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
Knows a couple things...

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I tow a Fleetwood Taos pop-up trailer all over SOCAL, up and down the mountains and out to our local deserts. The key is to keep in mind the 4.0L TJ's maximum safe tow limit is 2,000 lbs. That's a very realistic upper weight limit too, that's not some unrealistically low limit from some Wash. DC safety weenie. If your tent trailer, loaded, can stay at or under 2,000 lbs. and your Jeep is properly geared, it nearly tows it like it wasn't even there... fairly easily.

The 2,000 lb. max safe tow limit for the Wrangler TJ isn't from its engine power or braking power, afterall the Cherokee with the same engine and brakes had a 5,000 lb. max safe tow limit. The reason for the Wrangler's lower 2,000 lb. limit is its short wheelbase. Anything heavier than that would push the Jeep around, especially during an emergency maneuver. You'd quickly learn the reason for the phrase 'The tail wagging the dog'.

There are a number of pop-ups that weigh under 2,000 lbs. fully loaded and many are really nice. What you won't typically find in that lighter weight category are forced air heaters, heated showers, etc. but you can survive nicely without them... I know I certainly do. Mine came with a propane stove, a sink with water you pump by hand, and enough room (technically) to sleep six very good friends. The only thing I have added was an electric pump for the water. In reality, it gets a little crowded with even 3 adults.

Regarding a receiver hitch, that depends on if you offroad or not. If you don't do much offroading, a bolt-on hitch like from U-Haul works fine... but they hang low under the rear bumper so they drag when you're offroad. I prefer bumpers with integrated receiver hitches that are at bumper level and not just welded on under the bumper. They are more than strong enough for a tent trailer and they give sufficent clearance for offroading.

This is my Fleetwood Taos and the two Wranglers I have towed it all over with.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:37 AM   #5
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I have almost the same question. I'm looking at buying the Jayco Baja 12E. The dry weight is around 3,000 pounds but it's max capacity is 4,500 pounds. I haves 2012 JKU 4 door and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts. When towing with the JKU I would limit the cargo to almost nothing (and little or no water, etc). Plus if I want to go far I have a 3/4 ton Chevy Diesel that would handle it (with a quad on it) with no problem.

Is the 3,000 dry weight too close to max for decent towing?
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:48 AM   #6
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The max tow limit for the JKU is 3500lbs so i'd just keep it under that.. 3000lbs you should be fine.. For help with towing things like electric brakes on the trailer help alot
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:29 AM   #7
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Thanks Jerry for yet again providing all the information a person could ever need. You are indeed THE MAN!

I was looking at a similar Fleetwood to yours on Craigslist so it's good to know if we decide to pull the trigger that 2k is the max rating.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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towing in Tennessee

I live in Florida and I have a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited..6 cylinder.. six speed manual. I am going to Tennessee and would like to pull my camper.. it is a 1996 Coleman Fleetwood and weighs 3000 dry from what I can find online. I just need to get across the mountains to my campsite. I have read on here about crossing the Rocky Mountains but not the Smokys.I do not have electric breaks... do you think I could make it safely without damaging my jeep?? I have a lift and large tires if that makes any difference. I don't know if I am posting in the correct spot... New at this.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khbeank View Post
I live in Florida and I have a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited..6 cylinder.. six speed manual. I am going to Tennessee and would like to pull my camper.. it is a 1996 Coleman Fleetwood and weighs 3000 dry from what I can find online. I just need to get across the mountains to my campsite. I have read on here about crossing the Rocky Mountains but not the Smokys.I do not have electric breaks... do you think I could make it safely without damaging my jeep?? I have a lift and large tires if that makes any difference. I don't know if I am posting in the correct spot... New at this.
I would definitely not pull a 3000# trailer with a Jeep (lj or not) without brakes...especially in the mountains.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:53 PM   #10
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Jerry is the man.... I tow a Starcraft pop-up at just over 2k lbs. I hav a '05 LJ which is rated for more tow weight due to longer wheel base. No pics available but I've set up next door to Jerry before in Socal. If you run across him make sure you bring single malt scotch. Oh Jerry would tease m about my bolt on hitch but that thing probably saved my gas tank several times..... Figure you loss some departure ngle but i'd rather drag that across a rock than something else.

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