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Old 03-19-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
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I plan to tow a boat....

Me and a buddy just picked up a nice 26 footer. I plan to use my 93 I6 to pull her around. I was guessing that the jeeps not made to tow big things, but is there a kit i could buy and weld in to compensate the extra weight and strain on the chassis? If not i'll have to fabricate something, but if there is could someone let me know, thanks.

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Old 03-19-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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max towing is around 2000k.. and the short wheel base of the YJ is not good for towing. How heavy is the boat.

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Old 03-19-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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Yikes even with trailer brakes that boat prob weights more than your rig can handle, I own a 23' and it was a bit much for my old F-150 to tug around. bought a 3/4 ton for that type of business.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:18 PM   #4
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damn. i actually got her pulled about 20 miles from house to house and jeep drove nice no issues. I did however throw her into 4x4 for the trip. But figured i'd have to upgrade the frame a tad.....lol.. MY BAD!!
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:21 PM   #5
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Time for some new plans, but a tow vehicle, your Jeep wont handle it, Sorry.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #6
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Wait.....you did 20 miles on pavement in a YJ, while in 4X mode?

Uh-oh.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:32 PM   #7
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crunch crunch grind grind...
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:38 PM   #8
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That's like pulling a pair of jet skis with a go kart but worse.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:45 PM   #9
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so if i waste time to fab some cross member, and running rails to increase the stamina of my chassis it would be a waste? I mean honestly i dont think the boats that heavy...
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:46 PM   #10
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Back to the drawing board
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:53 PM   #11
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le tme put it with way...the motor can handle the weight no issues. Cherokees with same motor can pull this weight no problems. So that is not where my problem is....i figure its mostly with the chassis, and yes of course the weight of the jeep itself ok. But if i beef up the chassis just to pull the boat maybe 6 miles back and fourth i dont see a problem. I mean im not going to go cross state or anything. that 1st 20 was just a pick up and bring her home...But jeep had no issues at all. was smooth driving shfiting, and pull. Honestly started the pull just letting off the gas, kinda why i dont think boats crazy heavy.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Venture View Post
le tme put it with way...the motor can handle the weight no issues. Cherokees with same motor can pull this weight no problems. So that is not where my problem is....i figure its mostly with the chassis, and yes of course the weight of the jeep itself ok. But if i beef up the chassis just to pull the boat maybe 6 miles back and fourth i dont see a problem. I mean im not going to go cross state or anything. that 1st 20 was just a pick up and bring her home...But jeep had no issues at all. was smooth driving shfiting, and pull. Honestly started the pull just letting off the gas, kinda why i dont think boats crazy heavy.
It's not the engine that is the issue, it is the short wheel base of the Wrangler. The frame is only rated to 2000lbs. Depending on the boat, a 26ft can weigh up to 9k! Driving above 40mph in 4wd is a bad idea. Wranglers were not made to tow heavy weights. A Cherokee can tow more because it HAS A LONGER WHEEL BASE!!!!
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #13
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the difference is 7 inches.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:17 PM   #14
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I pulled a 21ft open fish all the time.....but it was 5 miles max at speeds under 45. No problem.

Highway, or longdistance, or inclement weather, or panic situations is another story altogether.

Not a good idea to engage 4x4 on pavement in a YJ, does evil things to the transfer case.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:41 PM   #15
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Bottom line is do what you feel works best for you. Weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision and be prepared to accept the consequences. Tickets, hazards whatever they may be. If that is all you have to tow with that is all you have.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:40 PM   #16
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the difference is 7 inches.
That 7in gives you double the tow capacity!
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:53 PM   #17
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who knows??? i plan on pulling an 18' glastron 182 with a 305 v8 45 miles to the river this summer with a homemade hitch. just have to take my time,, & the back roads! i've hauled 3-4k#s of firewood without any problems...
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:55 PM   #18
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2,000 lbs tow capacity with 10%- 15% max tongue weight. Drag that sucker down to a scale n check it out. Hell I've seen these yj's tow water pigs. at the very least you'll need sway bar. ok, that's a bit scary.. 26' you say.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:58 PM   #19
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thats what im saying...i should head over to the J yard and scale the boat to see. But yo my YJ's a BEAST!!! I even used her to yank friends outta snow, mudd, and yankes stumps out the ground....with EASE!!!
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:14 AM   #20
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It's not the torque, motor or suspension that gets you in trouble towing w/ a 6 banger YJ.....it's the light weight & short wheelbase.

It can be done, but it can also get hairy real quick in the rain, or if you have to stop quickly from speed.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:27 AM   #21
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main issues

There are several main issues that you need to resolve. Some are inter-related and some are independent.

Power/Torque: The I6 has plenty of torque to handle the boat on normal terrain but will be limited in acceleration. 4WD gives you no advantage unless you are spinning on loose surface or on an extreme grade. I have spun out with the YJ towing my trailer on hard pavement starting up a 10% grade from a stop sign at the bottom.

Weight ratio: The weight ratio of the boat to the Jeep is related to stopping and to side push when decelerating while turning. Also related to capacity of brakes on the boat trailer.

The two main issues for setting up the Jeep to tow that kind of load is in the braking system and in the hitch. If the brakes on the boat won't slide the wheels, or darn near slide them, then you will have stopping issues towing with anything that does not have a gross vehicle weight rating to handle the trailer as well. You will need to check it to see if it will stop within a safe distance. Merely start at a specific speed (50 mph) and measure the stopping distance. Check with regulations to see if it is within safe limit. The Jeep has the same swept area on the brakes as the Cherokee so there is no reason to believe that the Jeep won't stop it as quickly as a Cherokee or similar vehicle. Stopping was never an issue with my trailer but it had ebrakes that could slide the trailer wheels.

Now to the critical part. That is the hitch. The issue with the boat trailer is that they are not set up to use an equalizer hitch on. If it has the "A" frame coming right from the coupler area, it may work. Most have a longer single tongue. You would need to check to see if you can get the lifts situated to use the equalizer bars. If so, then you are in good shape.

Reese makes an equalizer hitch that has a trunnion that works as a sway control. It not only restricts the turning motion but puts significant pressure pushing the vehicle and towed rig back into alighnment. This addresses both the sway and the tongue weight issue. In Austrailia the limit is that the towed unit shall not weigh more than 1.5 times the towing vehicle. They don't address length.

I get a ration of CRAP every time I bring it up, but I use(d) my 94 Wrangler with the 2.5L/5spd to tow my 29' self contained trailer thousands of miles on the freeways and backroads. I could run 70-75 on the interstate and passing semi's was no issue regarding side sway. But that was all in the hitch. I would not even dream of doing it without the Reese with the cam action sway control. Mine, which is 30 years old, is a little different than the current one, but same exact principal.

Also, you will need a top of the line brake controller. The cheaper ones just don't address some of the issues encountered in critical stopping.

The frame of the Wrangler is a totally boxed frame. To say it is inadequate is grossly under rating its design. It is at least comparable to a 1/2 ton pickup that is merely a C channel.

The hitches that you can buy for a Wrangler are not built for an equalizer setup, even though they are class III type. They aren't designed to handle the uplifting torque applied by an equalizer hitch. That is where you will need to beef up. The Colibert Enterprises hitch was the only one I could find that even began to address it. That hitch has a 1/4" side bar that extends from the end of the hitch on the side up to the frame about 9" ahead of the rear crossmember.

Even then it did not fully address the upwards torque and the 1,000 lb bars would deflect the hitch from the frame. I ended up welding a 1.5"x1.5"x1/4" angle iron across the bottom front of the hitch and bolting that into the cross member of the Jeep frame. That made it absolutely solid and handled the torque of the hitch bars without any issue.

There are a number of aspects that most don't take into account when they address towing. Towing something outside the "RECOMMENDATIONS" of the manufacturer are greeted with disdain while raising a vehicle 8" to 10" above design, screwing up the steering, removing design elements such as drag links, etc. are totally OK. Anyway, some of the issues.

The distance from the back axle to the hitch coupler is just as critical as the length between the front and back wheels. On the YJ that is extremely short compared to most vehicles. That is a critical element as it creates much less sideways torque than on a vehicle with a longer distance. The leaf springs on all 4 axles gives the YJ a lot more stability than a vehicle with coil springs on front and/or rear.

All of these factors, and others, play into the capability of a vehicle to handle a towing situation. But, set up right, the YJ can SAFELY handle a trailer far in excess of what is "recommended" by the manufacturer.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:35 AM   #22
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When i had a cj i was pulling a 16 ft flatbed trailer and all i had on it was a car frame with the motor in it all was fine until i was on a paved road and a hill with a stop sign. There was loose gravel on the road or chip and seal but what ever it was. I got to the top and put the brakes on and stoped but then the trailer started pulling me backwards and there was a deep ravine on the left side of the road. The only thing that stoped me from dying that day was one lonly tree that the trailer hit. as soon as that happened i slaped in four low and did not stop for the stop sign again. And i will never pull a heavy load with any jeep again.

its like everybody saying its not that it cant pull it its the things that can happen when you pull it and then you can not prevent it from happening.

But good luck and be carefull
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:52 PM   #23
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sounds like you may have panicked a little. why did you just give it a lil pumping gas to regain traction and start pulling again?

i've towed many heavy things through my driving time and yes i have run into issues but with good skills most can be avoided with out a fatal problem occurring.

I personally have the road mapped out to where there is no hills, or crazy turns, and or traffic issues that will hinder the tow to and from my drop location. And god forbid if some kind of detour is out there i'll just take my chances. honestly speaking tho the boats not that heavy....its a center console open with a 150 motor. trailer is all aluminum.

my main concern was just beefing up the chassis "in case" sh!t happens.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:42 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballistx View Post
There are several main issues that you need to resolve. Some are inter-related and some are independent.

Power/Torque: The I6 has plenty of torque to handle the boat on normal terrain but will be limited in acceleration. 4WD gives you no advantage unless you are spinning on loose surface or on an extreme grade. I have spun out with the YJ towing my trailer on hard pavement starting up a 10% grade from a stop sign at the bottom.

Weight ratio: The weight ratio of the boat to the Jeep is related to stopping and to side push when decelerating while turning. Also related to capacity of brakes on the boat trailer.

The two main issues for setting up the Jeep to tow that kind of load is in the braking system and in the hitch. If the brakes on the boat won't slide the wheels, or darn near slide them, then you will have stopping issues towing with anything that does not have a gross vehicle weight rating to handle the trailer as well. You will need to check it to see if it will stop within a safe distance. Merely start at a specific speed (50 mph) and measure the stopping distance. Check with regulations to see if it is within safe limit. The Jeep has the same swept area on the brakes as the Cherokee so there is no reason to believe that the Jeep won't stop it as quickly as a Cherokee or similar vehicle. Stopping was never an issue with my trailer but it had ebrakes that could slide the trailer wheels.

Now to the critical part. That is the hitch. The issue with the boat trailer is that they are not set up to use an equalizer hitch on. If it has the "A" frame coming right from the coupler area, it may work. Most have a longer single tongue. You would need to check to see if you can get the lifts situated to use the equalizer bars. If so, then you are in good shape.

Reese makes an equalizer hitch that has a trunnion that works as a sway control. It not only restricts the turning motion but puts significant pressure pushing the vehicle and towed rig back into alighnment. This addresses both the sway and the tongue weight issue. In Austrailia the limit is that the towed unit shall not weigh more than 1.5 times the towing vehicle. They don't address length.

I get a ration of CRAP every time I bring it up, but I use(d) my 94 Wrangler with the 2.5L/5spd to tow my 29' self contained trailer thousands of miles on the freeways and backroads. I could run 70-75 on the interstate and passing semi's was no issue regarding side sway. But that was all in the hitch. I would not even dream of doing it without the Reese with the cam action sway control. Mine, which is 30 years old, is a little different than the current one, but same exact principal.

Also, you will need a top of the line brake controller. The cheaper ones just don't address some of the issues encountered in critical stopping.

The frame of the Wrangler is a totally boxed frame. To say it is inadequate is grossly under rating its design. It is at least comparable to a 1/2 ton pickup that is merely a C channel.

The hitches that you can buy for a Wrangler are not built for an equalizer setup, even though they are class III type. They aren't designed to handle the uplifting torque applied by an equalizer hitch. That is where you will need to beef up. The Colibert Enterprises hitch was the only one I could find that even began to address it. That hitch has a 1/4" side bar that extends from the end of the hitch on the side up to the frame about 9" ahead of the rear crossmember.

Even then it did not fully address the upwards torque and the 1,000 lb bars would deflect the hitch from the frame. I ended up welding a 1.5"x1.5"x1/4" angle iron across the bottom front of the hitch and bolting that into the cross member of the Jeep frame. That made it absolutely solid and handled the torque of the hitch bars without any issue.

There are a number of aspects that most don't take into account when they address towing. Towing something outside the "RECOMMENDATIONS" of the manufacturer are greeted with disdain while raising a vehicle 8" to 10" above design, screwing up the steering, removing design elements such as drag links, etc. are totally OK. Anyway, some of the issues.

The distance from the back axle to the hitch coupler is just as critical as the length between the front and back wheels. On the YJ that is extremely short compared to most vehicles. That is a critical element as it creates much less sideways torque than on a vehicle with a longer distance. The leaf springs on all 4 axles gives the YJ a lot more stability than a vehicle with coil springs on front and/or rear.

All of these factors, and others, play into the capability of a vehicle to handle a towing situation. But, set up right, the YJ can SAFELY handle a trailer far in excess of what is "recommended" by the manufacturer.


How much did that 29' self contained trailer weigh?
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #25
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frankly any vehicle can handle way over what is recommended. The manufacturer just does not disclose that information "in case" something bad happens when going that far. They do not want to be held accountable. Have you seen what the original WW2 jeeps were pulling around in the worst terrains back then? Updated tech should be much more suitable now a days.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:32 PM   #26
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weight ?

Never actually weighed it but estimated it was around 5,000 lb.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:32 PM   #27
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Stop the music!! This has become a "non-factual" meaningless conversation based on opinion!!!

I understand what you're trying to do......... short distance; 6 miles to the launch; blah; blah; blah.

You haven't mentioned whether the 26' hull is fiberglass or aluminum and everybody is all up in arms over OEM towing specs etc. I just don't get it. My guess is a 26' fiberglas boat with the trailer damn-near weights twice what the Jeep does. Aluminum would 1.5 times the weight of the Jeep.

If you doing 60 MPH on the highway the boat will control the Jeep on an emergency stop!! And your insurance suddenly becomes NFG!!

If you want to "stretch the rubber band"; go ahead. You're at the limit and just leave it at that.

I say one day you're going to see that there is a down side to what you're doing. Like once the boat is loaded on a wet steep ramp; you can't get the boat/ trailer out of the water.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:44 PM   #28
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:43 PM   #29
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What type of boat is it? If its a pontoon you should be alright but if it's a cabin cruiser or center console then that's a different story. A good resource to see how much a boat weighs is look on NADA. Most of the weight is Listed were the value of the boat is. Also you have to think of engine and trailer weight.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:42 PM   #30
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on the "WET RAMP" issue...i actually winch the boat out of the water since i have the 3rd drop down wheel in the front of the trailer. i have a removable tow hooked winch that does the job with ease. Just block the jeep tires down and get to pulling. Works like a charm.

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