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Old 03-06-2013, 01:29 AM   #1
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Cool Towing Capacity?....

Hey guys, I need some help. I'm looking at buying a 98 TJ jeep wrangler. Here's my question though, I'm also looking to tow a few ATV's with me for camping and play, for my two young sons and I.

So all-in-all I am looking to tow a 250cc Yamaha Raptor, a 90cc Polaris (Maybe an outlaw or something) and a 700 Raptor. I'm thinking all three will need something like a 12ft trailor and probably super close to the 2000lbs towing ability, before diminishing returns, due to specific jeep set up.

Has anyone done something like this, close to or exact?....

Thoughts opinions?

Here's the jeep in question, should help.
Jeep Wrangler | ksl.com

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:58 AM   #2
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Towing with the super short tj wheelbase is pretty sketchy.... I'd be very apprehensive about trying that even if the tj could handle it (an answer I don't know)...

My response is based more on opinion than fact.

Also, the jeep is already pulling some significant extra strain with an extremely heavy set of tires and loads of lift that sacrifice stability as well....... Many more people trailer their jeeps than trailer with a jeep if that says anything

Solution: Dually with an even BIGGER trailer to haul the jeep and the 3 atv's

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Old 03-06-2013, 02:00 AM   #3
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I might be wrong but I THINK the towing capacity for a 6 cyl TJ is 2000#. That being said, between the tire size, godawful aerodynamics, and short wheel base THAT jeep right there would be the absolute very last tow rig I would recommend. I can't imagine what would happen if you got sway with that.

I've only ever flat towed an F-150 with a Jeep so I can really only speak hypothetically.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:46 AM   #4
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The lj has a towing capacity of 3000# I Think? 03-06.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:53 AM   #5
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The TJ is 200 tongue weight/2000 lb trailer weight. I've gotta bass boat sitting in my garage that I'm sketchy about pulling with the jeep. I have no doubt that it would be able to pull it, but the short wheel base is what concerns me. I'm not sure how much of factor the lift and tires would have on the rating either so I stick to the truck when towing.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #6
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I got a 21 foot boat that's made out of 1/4 inch aluminum and has a 350 v8 chevy engine in it and my tj pulls it with no problems and the trailer is homemade out of stainless steel pipe so its a very heavy rig up
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:22 AM   #7
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Best way to do it with a jeep would be an LJ. Sorry to recommend the more expensive option but that is the best way.
I did some googling- raptor 250 wet weight 330lb. 90cc polaris outlaw 274 lb. raptor 700 422 lb. Puts you a little over 1000lb. 12 foot trailer would put you close to/right over the 2000 lb. Throw in the extra weight of the gear and your definetly over. In a stock jeep it wouldnt be as big of a deal, but with them 35s and lift that high it would be unstable for long trips. Lj with a smaller lift and 33s would be what I would want to do if your set on a jeep. Or get a truck and not worry about it...
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:48 AM   #8
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I recently purchased an 18ft sailboat, with boat, trailer, & engine it's around 1500 - 1600 lbs. It was very apparent that I was t towing a load, but frankly it wasn't as bad as I'd feared with the short wheelbase & such...just take it easy, be a very defensive driver, and be "quick to slow". Drove 100 miles to pick up the boat, including city, highway, and freeway driving, no problems at all.

The nice thing about the short wheelbase is a Jeep can be super nimble at the boat launch, it's very easy to back up the trailer. 4.0 Jeep has plenty of grunt launching and retrieving the boat from the ramp, too.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:59 AM   #9
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For the jeep in the link.. as other have stated.. nope... if you want the best of both worlds look for a older XJ cherokee. Can be built to handle most trails and can tow 5000lb with the 4L.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:15 AM   #10
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would the towing be changed at all if the trailer had brakes?
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:57 AM   #11
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would the towing be changed at all if the trailer had brakes?
No. The issue is not of braking ability or engine power, the issue that limits the TJ's safe tow limit to 2000 lbs. is its short wheelbase. The very same engine and brakes in an XJ/Cherokee have a 5K lb. towing ability due strictly to the Cherokee's longer wheelbase.

That it is a SWB vehicle means an oversize/overweight trailer could very quickly teach the driver the meaning of the old "tail wagging the dog" phrase. The shorter the tow vehicle's wheelbase, the easier it is for a trailer to push the vehicle around through curves or emergency maneuvers so as to cause a jacknife.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:52 AM   #12
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No. The issue is not of braking ability or engine power, the issue that limits the TJ's safe tow limit to 2000 lbs. is its short wheelbase. The very same engine and brakes in an XJ/Cherokee have a 5K lb. towing ability due strictly to the Cherokee's longer wheelbase.

That it is a SWB vehicle means an oversize/overweight trailer could very quickly teach the driver the meaning of the old "tail wagging the dog" phrase. The shorter the tow vehicle's wheelbase, the easier it is for a trailer to push the vehicle around through curves or emergency maneuvers so as to cause a jacknife.
X2....I have a 16' Aluminum boat, and boat and trailer weigh in at a little less than a 1000 pounds with a tonque weight of 150. I've pulled it with the Jeep a couple of times and wouldn't do it again unless I had to. As Jerry mentioned, it's mostly the squirreliness (is that a word?) of the short wheelbase Jeep that's the problem.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:03 PM   #13
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Been there and have done it many times. No problem towing. Stopping is the problem. Don't be in a hurry and give yourself lots of space/decision time.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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Some years ago I flat towed my son's disabled Scrambler about 10 miles with a '71 CJ5. Strong V6, plenty of power to pull it. All seemed fine for 9.5 miles.
I took a wide cut at a 90° intersection, at a mere 20 mph and the Scrambler pushed the rear of the ECJ5 almost into a jackknife... only with a quick stab of the accelerator did I avoid damage and regain control.

Although not identical to the OP's situation, it's an example of what can happen when towing something heavy with a light SWB rig.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:49 PM   #15
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Some years ago I flat towed my son's disabled Scrambler about 10 miles with a '71 CJ5. Strong V6, plenty of power to pull it. All seemed fine for 9.5 miles.
I took a wide cut at a 90° intersection, at a mere 20 mph and the Scrambler pushed the rear of the ECJ5 almost into a jackknife... only with a quick stab of the accelerator did I avoid damage and regain control.

Although not identical to the OP's situation, it's an example of what can happen when towing something heavy with a light SWB rig.
Yep. I flat towed my '70 CJ5 behind my '67 CJ5 10 miles round trip once. ONCE.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:02 PM   #16
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Yeah, we tow our motorcycles with our TJ. Just brought an st1100 back from West Virginia up and down hills no problem. routinely our load is usually around 1500.

I have towed cars on 2 wheel car dollies numerous times. You just have to take it slow and slow down BEFORE you come to hills (downward grades that is).

At or under 2000 pounds you'll be fine. With an auto though, I'd probably add a beefier trans cooler.

That being said, ours is not lifted and we only have 31s.

Heaviest thing I've towed was a trencher +trailer. I had envisioned something smaller before i picked it up. But it did ok, just had to downshift to get up hills.

Regarding jack knifing, make sure you've got enough tongue weight when you load. You don't want too much, but too little will get you too.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:32 AM   #17
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Hi,

in germany the 2000'er TJ with the 4.0 engine has a towing capacity of 2000kg (4409 lb)
I drive a TJ 4.0 Sahara Auto Tran (32RH) and haul a camper with 1600kg's (3527lb). No problems so far.... Ok it's a little bit like bullriding but the TJ handels this trailer very well.

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Old 06-06-2013, 09:50 AM   #18
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Hi,

in germany the 2000'er TJ with the 4.0 engine has a towing capacity of 2000kg (4409 lb)
I drive a TJ 4.0 Sahara Auto Tran (32RH) and haul a camper with 1600kg's (3527lb). No problems so far.... Ok it's a little bit like bullriding but the TJ handels this trailer very well.
Why would a 2000 Sahara have a different tow rating in Germany than it would in the U.S.?
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #19
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Why would a 2000 Sahara have a different tow rating in Germany than it would in the U.S.?
German ego?
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:51 PM   #20
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Having the balls to drag the load and the rear suspension to handle the tongue weight is one thing, but may other posters here have hit the same nail on the head..

It's all about control. Being able to steer and stop the load behind you. That typically requires a vehicle with substantial brakes as well as a long enough wheelbase to overcome any oscillations introduced by the trailer.. I have seen far too many cases where the tail wagged the dog right into the ditch or guardrail.

So - just because your Jeep CAN drag something does not mean that you SHOULD drag something.. If you insist on doing it - call your insurance agent first to see if your policy covers operator negligence on the part of the insured.. I'm betting not..
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:19 PM   #21
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Ok it's a little bit like bullriding but the TJ handels this trailer very well.
If it's like bullriding, then the TJ isn't handling the trailer well at all.

That's like saying, "I can jump over this dangerous crevice, my Nike's have good traction".

I've got an LJ rated to tow 3500lbs, and I MIGHT tow that trailer...but I've also installed 48mm Vanco brakes, load leveling airbags in the rear...and I'd still make sure the trailer had electric axle brakes.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #22
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Just drive slow and you will be just fine. Give yourself plenty of time to make any moves. Towing is not hard. People mess up because of speed or quick movements or their cell phone. Drive with your head not your foot and you will be fine.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #23
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I towed around 1000 lbs on my 8 foot trailer last year with my 02' TJ. The Jeep handled okay but got some wobble on the highway. Definitely gotta watch your braking as well. I just tow small things with my TJ anymore. Wouldn't recommend towing anything really heavy.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:21 PM   #24
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Why would a 2000 Sahara have a different tow rating in Germany than it would in the U.S.?
Because in Europe, that extra capacity stipulates that you have trailer brakes and do not go over 55. Sounds a little strange to me, but those are the rules over there.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:18 PM   #25
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No. The issue is not of braking ability or engine power, the issue that limits the TJ's safe tow limit to 2000 lbs. is its short wheelbase. The very same engine and brakes in an XJ/Cherokee have a 5K lb. towing ability due strictly to the Cherokee's longer wheelbase.

That it is a SWB vehicle means an oversize/overweight trailer could very quickly teach the driver the meaning of the old "tail wagging the dog" phrase. The shorter the tow vehicle's wheelbase, the easier it is for a trailer to push the vehicle around through curves or emergency maneuvers so as to cause a jacknife.
Jerry, whats your thoughts on why the LJ's only have a 3,500 lb tow capacity while the shorter wheelbase, unibody, lighter duty rear axle equipped XJ's have a 5k capacity? Maybe because they have the rear leaf spring suspension as opposed to the coils of the LJ's?
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:36 AM   #26
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In europe trailers have an auto-reverse braking system. The max speed with this combi is 62 mph with a special certification.
I drive my TJ with this camper only max 55 mph because the fuel consum is incredible and when there is a bump wave on the road >> bullriding.
Yes, the germans are crazy I think.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:31 AM   #27
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Jerry, whats your thoughts on why the LJ's only have a 3,500 lb tow capacity while the shorter wheelbase, unibody, lighter duty rear axle equipped XJ's have a 5k capacity? Maybe because they have the rear leaf spring suspension as opposed to the coils of the LJ's?
good theory, but lets throw a curve ball into the equation.
the first gen grand cherokees with the same light duty rear axle, unibody frame, etc also have the 5000 lb capacity, even though they have a coil sprung rear suspension
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #28
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good theory, but lets throw a curve ball into the equation.
the first gen grand cherokees with the same light duty rear axle, unibody frame, etc also have the 5000 lb capacity, even though they have a coil sprung rear suspension
I never even thought about the Grands. So why do the LJ's have such a low tow capacity compared to the others? I know they have a low cargo carrying capacity as well but again, why such a difference in capacities between the different models?
Not that I would even consider towing at max capacity.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:43 AM   #29
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Something to consider is the possibility that the European issue vehicles have much more rigorous frame requirements for their MOT certifications. It's entirely possible that the chassis of those Jeeps is structurally better than those sold here in the USA. They had to make changes for right hand drive anyway...
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:45 AM   #30
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Because in Europe, that extra capacity stipulates that you have trailer brakes and do not go over 55. Sounds a little strange to me, but those are the rules over there.
The tow rating is set by the manufacturer. Reminds me of the guy who jumped off the Empire state building. Half way down his buddy leaned out the window and yelled, "How's it going?" He replied, "So far, so good."

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