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ronrad 04-17-2013 11:00 AM

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I had my first experience towing with my 12 last night.

As you can see from the picture I'm basically towing at the recommended limit. The boat is a 28' trimaran. It's built to be quite light so it's light for its size. the trailer is also all aluminum again to keep weight down

I have a lot of experience towing. I have towed this boat previously from Seattle to los Angeles a couple of times and back and forth to.Miami once. I also have about 10 trips across the country towing a smaller boat trailer behind my eurovan camper and numerous trips towing a 1500 lb motorcycle trailer with 3 x 500 lb motorcycles on it behind the same van

For the big boat I've used a 2001 f250 diesel, a 2005 sprinter, and a 98 ford ranger. The big boat all up should come in between 3500 and 4000 lbs all up however it has a lot of windage and a lot of leverage on the tow vehicle

Yesterday I hooked it up to the jku for the first time. My jku is a 12 with max tow and 3.73 and I have replaced the shocks with Bilstein hd and the wheels and tires with 17x9 265 Duratrac on a wider offset

My springs are 18/58 stock

Overall I thought the towing with the big boat was ok for the short trip I did, which included a 10 mile section of freeway but I would not like towing that setup in poor weather or on a long trip

I think that heavier springs on the back would help some.

The good:

Startup torque off the line was great. Braking was quite reasonable. It could quite reasonably pull 60 mph on the freeway. That's the max I tried last night

The bad:
I needed to downshift at least two gears on any hill on the freeway to sustain comparable speed to without the trailer. For example on the grade on 405 coming to my exit I normally hold 65 mph in 6th but think about shifting to 5th. With the boat last night I needed to be in at least 4th to hold 60 and it was more comfortable in third at about 3800 rpm or so. However there was definitely power to move against grade and head wind it just took a lot of revs. On the level I felt the engine was 5th at 60

The rig also moved around a moderate amount. Not an issue on the strait and flat but I definitely took it quite cautiously on curvy tighter sections with construction

In comparison previous experience

F250 much.more stable and much more relaxed pulling.power on the freeway. That said I felt like the jku did respectable accelerating the boat
No.comparison on tow rig stability and braking. F250 is way better no.question
Sprinter braking and stability out do the jku. Engine pretty comparable for overall pulling capability but in a very different way
Ranger the jku was way better in every area. Much more stable at speed better brakes better engine
Eurovan. I've only used my eurovan to tow the big boat short distances. The eurovan weighs 5500 lbs and has the wheelbase of a suburban with a tow rating of 5000 lbs. However it is way underpowered. The jku was considerably better at engine and braking. The eurovan is somewhat more stable and doesn't get pushed around quite as much as the jku did

I also can see why a ripp supercharger would be an awesome mod for me if I end up towing my smaller trailer with the jeep for any long distance. Oh I also did a small trip with that trailer yesterday and the jeep handled it like a champ. Basically towed it wasn't even there so for anyone looking at towing 1500 to 2000 lbs I'd say that's nothing to even think twice about
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