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Old 12-03-2011, 08:06 PM
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Question 1500 mile drive with trailer

Hi all, looking for some advice. I'm driving my 2012 JKU 6spd Sahara 1500 miles south (I-95) . Ill be towing a Uhaul 5x8. This will be the 14th time making the trip, however my previous vehicle was a F-250, which towed flawlessly.

The trailer weighs 900lbs empty, im estimating i shouldn't have more than 1,500lbs total behind me. I plan on driving nonstop, other than stops for fuel. I have read what the manual has to offer on towing. The Jeep currently has 1k miles on the odometer.

1) while towing on the flats, is it ok to drive in the 6th gear?
2) The manual advised the use of Synthetic Gear and Axle lube (SAE 75W-140) for towing. Is this the same spec oil that comes stock from the factory?
3) Any additional concerns which i may have overlooked?

Thanks again for the help.

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Old 12-03-2011, 08:12 PM   #2
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the tongue weight might be a concern, I have a 2 door that I use for towing, I had to put air shocks on mine to keep from getting a bounce in the suspension and I also wont have to worry about the max tongue weight anymore, I can air them up to 100psi, but 15-20 psi works great for a 150-200lb tongue weight

I never get stuck, just momentarly delayed
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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Though I don"t tow anything I'll answer what I can.
1) With 1,500lbs you might be able to use 6th gear. By might I mean it would depend on you rpm. If your running around 3k rpm put it in 6th and see what happens. If the rpms drop to low say 2k to 25k ( you"ll feel like you just lost some power ) then just leave it in 5th. It would also depend on what size gears are in the jeep.
2) The factory oil is 80W-90. You can drain it out the refill it with 75W-140.
If you"ve never done it, let us know and we"ll tell you how.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:28 PM
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Thanks for the fast replies. Forgot to mention it is equipped with the max tow package 3.73
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:43 PM   #5
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My Ram Hemi 2500 cames with a "tow-haul" button that advises when towing to use it. Whether it locks out overdrive or drops the tranny down a 1/2 gear, I find it's use to be excellent remedy for the too-often low RPM sections.

You will probably read up on the effects of 'too low a gear' ....and why not load it up for a short trial run around your area to make yourself more familiar?

I wouldn't feel using 5th much of the time to be a problem, they designed the rig to tow "3500#".....see what the load does to your RPM and use your judgement.

It is more likely lugging your engine is less beneficial than moving the RPM/power band up a bit by downshifting.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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I would sure hope that it is up for the task. I pulled a 2000 lbs boat with an 86 Chrysler Labarron GTS (2.5 four cylendar) from Montana to Oregon to Michigan. No problems. It was a little slow going over the Continental Divide and Lookout Pass but otherwise fine. The JK should be more capable than a modified K-car.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:47 AM   #7
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It will feel like nothing... I towed my M416 through 300 mi off road and 500 miles on road and it was like it was not even there half the time. You'll be fighting with yourself to keep a reasonable speed, that is, not going too fast. My M416 when fully loaded is about 1500lbs. The JKU can handle that pretty well.
There was a section off road where I took it through deep sand, and kept the speed up quite a bit. The trailer swayed pretty hard due to the terrain and speed, and I ended up slowing down because I didn't want to damage the trailer, but not once worried that the crazy sway was going to hurt the Jeep. It can hold it down pretty well. Anyway, that was a learning experience, first time in deep sand with the jeep and trailer. Realized you don't really need that much speed, but now I know what it can handle.

Point is, for a JKU with Max Tow, 1500lbs is very adequate, and the Jeep will handle it like a champ. You have nothing to worry about. Balance out the load on the trailer as best you can, and that's all you should worry about. I doubt you even have to change those fluids, as once you get that load moving, it takes a lot less effort to keep it moving.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:27 AM   #8
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Last summer we closed up a summer house rental and I towed my skiff with a lot of gear/trash/lawn furnature/wifes crap (I mean important things) pilled in it and a 9,9 Yami 4 stroke on the transom (close to 1000#'s total trailer load) and I didn;t even know it was on the back. And I have 3.21's and a 6spd. At 60mph I pulled about 1700 rpm on the flat highway. Piece of cake.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:58 AM   #9
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260 lb-ft of torque

That should have no problem towing 1500 pounds....epecially with 3.73's.

Report back and let us know how it went.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:15 PM
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Appreciate the replies, i have more confidence making the trip now.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:34 PM   #11
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I'm going to be towing with my 2012 JKU,Auto, 3:73 this weeked to. My work truck is a 2011 F250 PSD. I tow trailers all the time and it does awersome. My last truck was a 2010 F150 and I towed 11,000 lbs with it and it did great. So I know what you are feeling now going from a F250 to a Jeep. My company decided that we could no longer pull personal trailers with our work trucks. My trailer is a 7X12 enclosed but I'm not going anywhere close to how far you are going. My trips is about 250 miles round trip. Good Luck !!
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:20 PM   #12
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1,500 lbs shouldn't be a problem. The one thing that some folks forget about though, is tongue weight. Get some wind pushing sideways on your trailer, and without enough tongue weight, you can be screwed real quick. Ten percent, maybe a bit more, of the load should be vertical load on your hitch. So, if you are pulling a total of 1,500 lbs, then make sure you've got at least 150 lbs of tongue weight. I've used a bathroom scale to check this when setting up to tow a trailer. I've seen folks pull stuff without enough drop in their hitch, (and resultant tongue weight too low) and end up in a high wind, very quickly spun around on the highway, pointed the wrong direction, with their tires peeled off the rims. Very interesting to watch this happen, but not much fun if it happens to you. With a manual transmission, you should be able to run it in high gear on the flats easily. You'll know when it is lugging, and will shift down. Should be easy to notice. An auto is much easier to roast when towing.

But make sure you've got enough tongue weight.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by whitewrangler
2) The manual advised the use of Synthetic Gear and Axle lube (SAE 75W-140) for towing. Is this the same spec oil that comes stock from the factory?
The rear axle should already have 75W-140 in it since it had the factory tow package on it. Those that buy without and add later (including me) have to change our rear gear oil before towing.

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