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jas9191 01-31-2012 07:37 PM

Towing Small Utility Trailer, Good Idea?
I am thinking about buying a Wrangler. I have always liked them but recently my girlfriend got an 87 and its killing me to drive around an automatic honda accord while she drives around the stick lol. Besides that I need different vehicle for work. I am a carpenter but do all sorts of construction work on the side. I'm wondering if a wrangler would be decent for towing around a small 6-8 foot flat utility trailer with plywood, lumber, tools etc. I will be driving on mostly flat ground with a few small hills here and there. I would prefer a 4 cyl for the gas but a 6 is not out of the question. I've read that most older jeeps have a towing capacity of 2000 lbs but with that being said has anyone towed anything with a jeep other than an unlimited? I don't have the funds for an unlimited and I would actually prefer a 15yr or older jeep. Thanks for reading!

wwch99tj 01-31-2012 08:01 PM

The 4 and 6cyl don't really get any different gas milage
I have a 4x8 trailer I haul mulch and have moved with it and once hauled a bunch of split rail fence (which was not fun the trailer didn't have enough tongue weight) I usually don't haul too many heavy loads

TeeJayy 01-31-2012 08:23 PM

imho, if your gonna tow a trailer get a 6cyl

jp2611 01-31-2012 08:30 PM

def a I6 would be the way to go IMHO--unless you want new (er) JK/ body style.

I wouldn't be afraid to tow a small flat trailer with a TJ as long as you are not hauling bags of rock concrete etc.

I have seen on the road and heard of people pulling 17' bass boats but I don't have the stones for that.

Martinez_Coins 01-31-2012 08:46 PM

I tow a 5*8 utility trailer with my 2001 TJ, and donít have any problems. I do have the I6, I have not driven the I4 but I have heard they lack any power so I donít think I would try to tow with one.

98tj.steven 01-31-2012 10:08 PM

I tow a 5x8 trAiler with 2-3 dirt bikes. Jeep handles fine with them.

Towed the trailer loaded with soda and water bottle cases once. Dont know the weight but my headlights were pointed wAyy up!
That was pretty scAry but it was only for a couple miles..

You should be fine for what you r doing.

jas9191 01-31-2012 10:12 PM

Thanks for the thoughts. Martinez and wwch99tj, both of you mentioned towing a small utility trailer, wwch99tj with mulch in his. Have either of you ever carried loads of lumber/plywood or anything else that would weigh over 500 lbs? I'm not mulch savvy so idk how much a large load tends to weigh.

Clodhopper 01-31-2012 10:12 PM

I have a trailer made out of an old Datsun rear end that I tow behind my '06 Rubicon. About the heaviest load that I haul is horse feed which weighs about 5 or 6 hundred pounds per load. I wouldn't want to go over that weight for fear of overloading the trailer or the jeep. Most of the time you can't tell the trailer is behind the jeep except when stopping, then you notice it (I don't have trailer brakes). I keep hearing that you can tow up to 2000 pounds behind a TJ but I wouldn't want to without trailer brakes, my little trailer with the small loads I carry definitely increase my stopping distance considerably.

Timberwolf 01-31-2012 11:08 PM

trying to tow with a 4cyl will eat more gas than the 6

if you are going to tow constantly, you may want to consider a longer wheelbase like a cherokee

00tj2 01-31-2012 11:16 PM

you can tow 2000 lbs with a 6cyl tj... the jeep can handle way more than that... i wouldn't suggest going over the weight that the jeep is rated for but there is no reason you can't tow the max weight unless you don't know how to drive with a trailer... if you do then you will be just fine.

idiot magnet 01-31-2012 11:40 PM

I used to tow a 4x8 trailer with my 4cyl YJ all the time. Loaded it with mulch, wood, shingles, loads to the dump, camping gear, axles and whatever else I needed to haul with it.
Be careful how you load it and spread the load out correctly. I have an LJ now and it is 10 times better at towing than the 4 cyl YJ was. The 4 cyl tranny is weak as well. Don't buy the 4 cyl with an automatic!
The 2 mpg less with the 6 cyl LJ is well worth it or any 6 cyl YJ or TJ.

wwch99tj 02-01-2012 06:36 AM


Originally Posted by jas9191
Thanks for the thoughts. Martinez and wwch99tj, both of you mentioned towing a small utility trailer, wwch99tj with mulch in his. Have either of you ever carried loads of lumber/plywood or anything else that would weigh over 500 lbs? I'm not mulch savvy so idk how much a large load tends to weigh.

I've hauled split rail fence but couldn't get enough tongue weight so the trailer wagged behind the Jeep if I went over 40-45.
So whatever you load make sure you get enough tongue weight, the ideal tongue weight is 10% of the load.
By the way my jeep has the 4cyl and had no problem towing the split rail fence. I basically had about 80 11' 4x4's on the trailer

jas9191 02-01-2012 03:51 PM

Thanks everyone!

computeruser 02-01-2012 06:33 PM

A TJ with the 4.0L will tow things just fine. Auto tows better than manual, owing to the lack of a good low first gear in the manual trans; add a trans cooler to the automatic, though.

I regularly pull a 5x8 utility trailer and the TJ handles it just fine up to and beyond GVWR. Highway speeds are fine, there is never a lack of power, and handling is good and safe so long as load balance is appropriate. I also tow chippers with some regularity, a Vermeer at 2000lbs and a Bandit at about 2500lbs.

jas9191 02-01-2012 09:19 PM

Wow computeruser. Pretty much made my mind up. My girlfriends getting more and more upset at the idea of me getting one but I really want one. They're such versatile vehicles and with a wrangler and a trailer I can have the best of both worlds. I just got a trade offer for my honda accord. really nice '98 ford f150 with <100k so if this trade goes through it might be a while...but one of these days im gonna snag one. Thanks

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