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biggie 02-21-2011 07:34 PM

Towing with a TJ
Hi from Winona, MN. I'm a long time Jeeper, first time Wrangler owner. I've had FSJ's for a long time, (still have three) CJ's, ( have 2 46's) a '98 GC, and two Liberty's plus other parts rigs over the years. We bought a nice '99 4.0 5 spd Sport last summer and enjoy the heck out out it. I managed to get hit last fall and replaced the stock axles with a pair of Rubicon units along with a SYE. So I think we're good to go for most of our wheeling. I do have question. We are buying a '16 Scamp camper this spring. It's a single axle, fiberglass trailer with electric brakes. Empty weight is 1750. We'd be less than 2500 gross. Any opinions on towing it with a TJ? I have a 3" spring lift, stock control arms and 33's. We also have an '08 Liberty and an '81 Cherokee. But we'd like to take the camper and have the offroad capability of the Wrangler. Travel would be mostly in MN and WI so trips wouldn't be that long.

Phil05LJ 02-21-2011 08:35 PM

That sounds like a lot of weight to tow with such a short wheelbase. I think 2000lbs is the max for a TJ. Seems to me like the camper would want to push your TJ instead of you towing it which is hard on the trans and if you get any cross winds it would be all over the road, especially being lifted. I would tow the camper with the Liberty and have someone follow in the TJ.

Ecker786 02-21-2011 08:54 PM

I towed a fully packed uhaul trailer 2500 miles across the country with my 05 TJ 6spd. Im guessing it had a similar weight maybe a little more and no electronic brakes. I had absolutely no problems and actually hardly noticed it was there. Your going to have that advise angainst pulling your trailer with the tj, but if you have any concerns at all throw some electronic brakes on it, and I would feel more than comfortable towing it.

CapnDean 02-21-2011 09:02 PM

With the 4.10 gear ratio you ought to be okay in the gearing department. As is always the case with SWB towing...pulling is not the problem, stopping is. Let's face it, TJ's aren't exactly famous for towing capability.

WVRUBI 02-21-2011 09:33 PM

My god id hate to drive it in a wind storm!

swamp jeep 02-21-2011 09:54 PM

I have a stock 06 tj with a six speed. I pull an utility trailer ( roughly a 1000 lbs loaded) with no problem, but when it rains I can not stop unless it is in 4wd. One time it pushed me through a light. Luckily there was no traffic. I recommend the trailer brakes.
Good luck

computeruser 02-21-2011 10:07 PM

You can, but you shouldn't. After thousands of towing miles with a YJ and TJ, I can assure you that that much weight works the hell out of the tow vehicle, especially when wet or windy or anything other than absolutely ideal conditions.

Phil05LJ 02-21-2011 10:22 PM

Towing a uhaul trailer is one thing but a camper has huge tall sides. One good gust could be bad. Just a thought, a pop-up camper would be a reasonable choice to tow safely. They have some nice ones out there and they extend out much longer than 16 feet, have pull out sides and they may even be a little cheaper?.

biggie 02-22-2011 08:10 AM

Thanks for the input. there are some campgrounds that we like that are close by. It will give a chance to do some testing. Yes I do have traileer brakes. I would think that power and gearing or not really issues. The stability at cruise is what I'm worried about most. I'l post my own comments once we have a chance to check it out.

Jerry Bransford 02-22-2011 10:49 AM

Just make sure your trailer has no less than 10% of its total loaded weight on the hitch ball (tongue weight) but no more than 15%. I always go for 10%. Less than that and the trailer will sway on the highway. :)

KawiMonsterSahara 02-22-2011 11:12 AM

this is great info... :popcorn:

downloading it all into my brain housing group

biggie 02-22-2011 01:13 PM

Camper specs say 165# with dry camper, which is about 9 1/2%. I've also got the equalizer bar hitch set up from our previous camper. Besides spreading the load on the Jeep front to rear, I'm thinking, (hoping), It will reduce the tendency to sway.

Jerry Bransford 02-22-2011 01:32 PM

Sway is nearly always the result of not having enough tongue weight. Sometimes all it takes to cure sway is to move a couple boxes closer to the front of the trailer which adds tongue weight. :)

jeepnovice 02-23-2011 10:41 AM

I once towed my 20' bowrider a couple miles to the boat launch. My stock TJ had no problems pulling and the stopping was an issue but is was only a short drive. The scary thing was when I backed my boat down the ramp and the weight of the boat almost pulled my jeep in with it. If I had to guess, as I don't have the manual, I would say my boat and trailer weighs 3500 lbs or so. From now on my jeep only tows my waverunners.

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