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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-28-2013 04:57 PM
DBoat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dextreme View Post
Why do you think you need a bungie on the steering wheel? The Jeep will just follow along and naturally steer with the tow vehicle as needed in corners....could be why you were getting some side to side movement/sway: Jeep was fighting the tow vehicle.

Take it for a test drive without anything on the steering wheel and make sure its unlocked.
I was always told to do this a long time ago.. I will give it a try.. Thanks!
10-28-2013 01:34 PM
Dextreme Why do you think you need a bungie on the steering wheel? The Jeep will just follow along and naturally steer with the tow vehicle as needed in corners....could be why you were getting some side to side movement/sway: Jeep was fighting the tow vehicle.

Take it for a test drive without anything on the steering wheel and make sure its unlocked.
10-28-2013 01:26 PM
DBoat Ok, finally flat towed my Jeep this last weekend for the first time. Went about 300 miles each way. Tow vehicle is a 2011 Ford Explorer with the stock 3.5L V6. Tow capacity is 5000 lbs. The tow bar is almost horizonal when towing. I use an adj height hitch. I also use a bungee cord to keep the sterring wheel straight.
I could tow between 60-65 at best. If I went faster, the incidence of getting some side to side movement in the Jeep increased. I will say that because the hitch is a two piece affair, one piece to go into the receiver and another to go up and down to change the height, makes the entire unit a bit looser than a one piece. I am wondering if I can tighten this up a bit to minimimize the side to side issue. Also, is a tight bungee good enough for the steering wheel or is there another/better solution?
I plan on towing the Jeep, an '05 LJ, to Moab from Dallas next year but am thinking of using the pickup truck, reg cab F150, as it might tow better than the Explorer. Not a lot of zoom in the suv.
Thoughts anyone?
Dana
11-28-2012 01:33 PM
Dextreme
Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Pavement View Post
Interesting thread. We towed our TJ over 85,000 miles over the years and have some pretty stong opinions about brakes and tow bars.

The folks that use the rather inexpensive A frame type tow bars without brakes have the best chance, and I mean chance. Telescoping tow bars will fail quickly if you don't have brakes to help keep the stress off the bar. Angle of the tow bar between the vehicles is critical to safe towing no matter what. What if, Heaven forbid, your vehicle breaks away... do you have a breakaway brake system?

The reason people don't use these systems is cost. Guys don't think twice about thowing a couple grand into wheels and tires and another grand into a lift, but to get the rig to and from the trail they figure "I don't even feel it back there" so it must be safe.

Think of it like this, would you rather get hit in the face by a baseball that is just tossed at you, or a MLB fastball? According to the "I don't need a brake" mentality, they should feel the same. It is, after all, the same ball, isn't it?

Here is an article about the physics of a towed vehicle. Though this happens to relate to the issue with a much larger vehicle towing something without brakes, consider what happens when you can't stop in time. I hope you will take the time to read it.

I'm well aware of the arguments against using a brake system, but the bottom line of every argument I've read is cost. Nobody has ever stated that a supplemental brake system won't help stop quicker in a panic situation.

Clickey...
I think that is a great article for flat towing behind an RV. But behind my Dodge Dually, I am content on using safety chains when towing my Jeep, utility trailers, small boats, etc....with no supplemental brake system. In fact, I don't I think I can put brakes my my little jetski trailer.
11-28-2012 01:33 PM
RedRubicon I agree with Steve305, I have a 12500 lb MH that has disc brakes front and rear so it stops very well. When I tow my 4200 lb Jeep it makes a big difference in stopping with the SMI brake system turned on you can actualy feel the extra pull from the rear.
11-28-2012 12:44 PM
Steve305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Pavement View Post
I'm well aware of the arguments against using a brake system, but the bottom line of every argument I've read is cost.

Clickey...
Not only the cost factor ... but also the "ignorance" factor. And before anyone gets their panties wadded up, ignorance is NOT the same as dumb or stupid.

Most folks haven't been bitten yet so they think they are safe. As an example: I have owned and towed boats for the last 35 years. I've never been in an accident while towing. But a few years ago I bought my first bass boat that had trailer brakes. "WOW" is not an ample description. And I can assure you that from this day forward, I will never tow another trailer, boat, vehicle, or anything else that has any weight to it without the trailer having brakes. Unless you've actually experienced the difference, you have no idea of the benefits.
11-28-2012 12:01 PM
Off Pavement Interesting thread. We towed our TJ over 85,000 miles over the years and have some pretty stong opinions about brakes and tow bars.

The folks that use the rather inexpensive A frame type tow bars without brakes have the best chance, and I mean chance. Telescoping tow bars will fail quickly if you don't have brakes to help keep the stress off the bar. Angle of the tow bar between the vehicles is critical to safe towing no matter what. What if, Heaven forbid, your vehicle breaks away... do you have a breakaway brake system?

The reason people don't use these systems is cost. Guys don't think twice about thowing a couple grand into wheels and tires and another grand into a lift, but to get the rig to and from the trail they figure "I don't even feel it back there" so it must be safe.

Think of it like this, would you rather get hit in the face by a baseball that is just tossed at you, or a MLB fastball? According to the "I don't need a brake" mentality, they should feel the same. It is, after all, the same ball, isn't it?

Here is an article about the physics of a towed vehicle. Though this happens to relate to the issue with a much larger vehicle towing something without brakes, consider what happens when you can't stop in time. I hope you will take the time to read it.

I'm well aware of the arguments against using a brake system, but the bottom line of every argument I've read is cost. Nobody has ever stated that a supplemental brake system won't help stop quicker in a panic situation.

Clickey...
10-30-2012 09:28 PM
Terol I just set my '05 L J to tow behind a motorhome we just bought. I went with a Roadmaster Falcon tow bar & base plates for the Jeep. Had the local RV shop install the brackets and they did the wiring using diodes in the tail lights. Could have done it myself, probably taken all day. They had it done in less than 3 hours.
05-21-2012 12:13 PM
Dextreme
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_Zoner View Post
I set my lighting up on my yj today like this. Took a little doing to get the wiring ran but works great!

Thanks for the idea!

Craig
Sweet! Yeah, I personally thought it was a fun project once I got the wiring routed from front to back, but it was not too bad.
05-21-2012 12:10 PM
Dextreme I think those are all good things to consider. In my particular case, my truck weighs 8000lbs and when I tow my TJ, I don't even know its back there...even when I hit the truck brakes hard, the truck stops it all as if the Jeep wasn't even back there.

I'd like to see Mythbusters test your "polevault" theory.
05-21-2012 02:00 AM
Molaker The need for brakes has been discussed, but I'd like to add a little. A Jeep weighs roughly 3000-3700 lbs. depending on the model. Maybe more if you have it lifted and larger tires. But, let's just say 3300 lbs for a round number. Now a typical 4 WD Suburban weighs in around 5000 lbs - weight closely distributed between front and rear axles or about 2500 lbs on ea. In an emergency stop without aux brakes in the towed vehicle, you'll have more weight pushing against the rear of the Suburban than what is holding it down. Now if the emergency stop is not perfectly straight, a part of the towed vehicle's weight becomes a side-push and can easily cause a jack-knife. Get that towed vehicle switching ends with the towing vehicle and it's time to eject.

Another problem some folks don't consider is the angle of the tow bar between the towing vehicle (TV) and the towed. If it angles down from the towed vehicle more than 3-4 inches, in an emergency stop, the towed vehicle can almost pole vault into the TV. If it angles up, it tends to lift the rear end of the TV and can dive under.

Granted, these are extreme conditions, but if it happens to you, you might not fare well in court. Just sayin'
05-20-2012 09:20 PM
DevilDogDoc I'll be dragging my rig back down to the desert next weekend, have the towbar in the garage ready to go. I bought some lights from oreillys with the magnet mount, a little more than the ones from HF but after all the bad reviews I read I didn't want to chance them being doa so I spent the fifty up front. Now I just wait for the mount points that are being made for me to arrive and I will be golden!!
05-20-2012 08:55 PM
AZ_Zoner I set my lighting up on my yj today like this. Took a little doing to get the wiring ran but works great!

Thanks for the idea!

Craig
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dextreme View Post
Got the Tow bar on over the weekend



So I got the tail lights done (dedicated 1157 bulbs)...still gotta run the wires to the front.

Before


Added 1157 socket and ground to the metal plate. (The rubber is a piece of fuel line to protect the wires)



Installed and ready for me to route wires to the front of the Jeep.

02-19-2012 11:46 AM
jpnca
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dextreme View Post

Oh, and the funny thing is the people were confused at 4-way intersections....they thought the Jeep should wait it's turn (not realizing it was attached).
Just wait til they try to merge between the 2 in traffic
02-19-2012 09:38 AM
hambubba My jeep came with a bumper-mounted jack for trailer lights, and the flat cable is run into the back with the lights. You have me curious as to how it's wired up. I need to check the internal on the lights, but it might be a setup that just requires the battery to be disconnected. I have nothing to tow it with, so I've never looked.
02-19-2012 08:03 AM
Grindstonedan I just completed this wiring project with great success, using Roadmaster sockets, which have a ground wire, I had the light divider "punched" as in the earlier photo and then fish taped the trailer wire harness through the left frame...... this type of project was my first..... and was truly helped by the information on this forum... thank you to all for their input and the great photos.....
02-14-2012 09:40 PM
50Johnbob and when I need my 4 wheeler & the Jeep I use this method,
02-14-2012 09:37 PM
50Johnbob When I just need the Jeep I tow it like this,
02-14-2012 02:51 PM
Coastiejeep ^They look like a Crosby Grab Hooks
02-14-2012 10:39 AM
Dextreme Those anchors look like a good way to do it. Let me know if you ever find how who makes them or what they are officially called.
02-14-2012 10:27 AM
TXST8tj These are those anchors I was talking about. They are pretty cool, but no idea who makes them.





02-13-2012 03:41 PM
TXST8tj Yours is almost the exact same tow bar as mine.

Mine came with some safety cable 'anchor points' that slip into the hole on each side of the framerails. It's a pretty swift setup. I'm not sure who they are made by though.
I'll have to post some pics of it.
02-13-2012 03:31 PM
blue6tj Very Cool,I'll have to do the same, if I ever flat tow.
02-13-2012 03:16 PM
Dextreme
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXST8tj View Post
Like Dextreme, I am looking for something less that requires storage. I also like the idea that if I was stranded on the highway (or where ever) and my wife came out to get me, all she would need to grab from the garage would be the actual tow bar.
Yep, that was my same thinking.

This was the bar I bought (Haul Master):
http://www.harborfreight.com/5000-lb...bar-94696.html
I did upgrade the 4 mounting bolts to Grade 8. (~$10)
02-13-2012 03:10 PM
TXST8tj Not trying to hi-jack, just wanted to insert my flat tow gear here.

My buddy's TJ came with a tow bar setup. He swapped to tube bumpers and didn't have use for the setup, so he gave it to me.
I have been using the magnetic light kit from Harbor Freight, but am in the process of something permanent. Like Dextreme, I am looking for something less that requires storage. I also like the idea that if I was stranded on the highway (or where ever) and my wife came out to get me, all she would need to grab from the garage would be the actual tow bar.

I honestly have not put many miles behind the Suburban, but I am ready when needed.

Hidden Hitch #63180 - $142.99
Hidden Hitch 63180 - Hidden Hitch Adjustable 5,000lb Tow Bar - Quadratec








Harbor Freight #67455 - $19.99
12 Volt Magnetic Towing Light Kit










I am doing something a little more primative than you did with yours. Instead of installing new/dedicated bulbs in the stock housings, I am installing small flush mount lights in the rear bumper.

I bought a 25ft trailer wiring kit from HF to run from the back lights, along the frame rail, and terminate somewhere around the front grille. From there, I'll just run the short 5ft harness to the hook-up on the Suburban.
When I get a new rear bumper, I'll have to figure something else out, but it seemed like an easy/cheap enough way to go for now.

The benefit is that I won't have to worry about storing the magnetic lights, or adding extra straps to them to make-up for the weakness of the magnets, and other than the tow bar, everything will be on the vehicle when needed.
02-13-2012 02:43 PM
Dextreme
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abnmarine View Post
For towing behind an RV, would your setup be just as good as a Blue Ox towbar and baseplate?

I don't know...I do know that my complete setup cost about $150 for everything (bar and electrical) and its rated to tow 5000lbs. The base BlueOx univeral bar is like $275 and its rated for 5000lbs....maybe it has better quality steel and hardware, not sure.
02-13-2012 02:33 PM
Abnmarine For towing behind an RV, would your setup be just as good as a Blue Ox towbar and baseplate?
02-13-2012 02:07 PM
shipjim
Flat tow

Quote:
Originally Posted by 50Johnbob View Post
You have to leave the key in the ignition, once you turn the key to the first position it won't come out, at least mine didn't. That's kinda neat, I towed the Jeep more than 2500 miles & added zero miles to the odometer.
I tow mine from Houston to Steamboat Springs every year. Use the magnetic lights and a removeable tow bar which I store in our condo.

Just make sure you go to the first click on the key or the wheels won't round corners, if you go two clicks then you learn how to bump start the jeep.
02-13-2012 02:02 PM
Dextreme Finally got it all hooked up this weekend and gave it a test tow. All went well. Barely knew the Jeep was back there....even when hitting the brakes (used to towing my 18K lbs toyhauler).

Oh, and the funny thing is the people were confused at 4-way intersections....they thought the Jeep should wait it's turn (not realizing it was attached).







02-03-2012 10:14 PM
shipjim I flat tow mine from Houston to Colorado and back every summer. No problems, put key on first click, I use magnetic lights and tow with an Aspen 5.7hemi.
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