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Old 06-13-2018, 02:34 PM
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Tow bar vs trailer for moving Jeep?

Need to haul Jeep in for gear swap. No big deal but the truck axle snapped and insurance now swapped for awhile.

The van has the tow package and is rated about 6500 pounds tow. But I have a significant Colorado pass to deal with. Jeep plus trailer makes the pass a bit risky.

Whats wrong with just using the tow bar that so many place on their Jeep? The transmission is manual by the way.

Less than ideal but that is still not a bad day for me.

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Old 06-13-2018, 05:05 PM   #2
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For a one time trip, I would rent a trailer. They have brakes, and you can back up.
To flat tow safely over a mountain pass, I would want to have an auxiliary braking system in the Jeep. Braking systems are expensive.

I've flat towed and currently trailer the Jeep.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:12 PM   #3
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You will be far safer w a trailer
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:13 PM
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My trailer is very heavy. Having destroyed an engine and damaged a transmission on that particular mountain pass due to overheating from being too heavy, my greatest concern is the extra ~1600 pounds.

There is a reason for the diesel shop so close to the pass. A large number of people toast their engines and trannies on Colorado passes. Unless you live in a mountainous state, you are unlikely to see something similar.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softdown View Post
My trailer is very heavy. Having destroyed an engine and damaged a transmission on that particular mountain pass due to overheating from being too heavy, my greatest concern is the extra ~1600 pounds.

There is a reason for the diesel shop so close to the pass. A large number of people toast their engines and trannies on Colorado passes. Unless you live in a mountainous state, you are unlikely to see something similar.
What about towing the Jeep on a U-Haul or Ryder/Penske aluminum car trailer? Just a thought.
Yes, I live in WA State, just a few mountains here, and I've driven across Colorado countless times. I think would want to have some auxiliary braking coming down the mountain flat towing an extra 4000 pounds behind a van. If you were traveling on flat ground, you would be mostly fine, except for an emergency stop situation.

Good luck, be safe.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:03 PM
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What about towing the Jeep on a U-Haul or Ryder/Penske aluminum car trailer? Just a thought.
Yes, I live in WA State, just a few mountains here, and I've driven across Colorado countless times. I think would want to have some auxiliary braking coming down the mountain flat towing an extra 4000 pounds behind a van. If you were traveling on flat ground, you would be mostly fine, except for an emergency stop situation.

Good luck, be safe.
It would seem that way. I've trailered hundreds of loads. The pa$$ is the i$$ue. Modern engine$ and tran$mi$$ion$.

The key to safety is usually avoiding traffic and smart, defensive driving. The other car is the risk.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:06 PM   #7
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How far is the trip? I’m assuming its farther than you would want to have it towed... but is there an option to have someone else do it? Tow truck or vehicle transport that would take the risk off your equipment? I’m sure it’s the most expensive option. As someone without a truck or trailer I’ve done it a few times to move cars, then just wrote the check.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:52 AM   #8
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towing your jeep 4 down up the mountain ain't the real problem. without brakes on the jeep, your van brakes will not be enough. without brakes on the jeep, under heavy braking, the tail could wag the dog off the side of the mountain. if your tow vehicle is not capable of towing the jeep on a trailer, I would think about having it hauled. just my 2cents.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:08 AM   #9
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Hold off on the gear swap until you have a reliable vehicle to pull your jeep in. Rent a lighter trailer. Rent a proper truck to pull your trailer (a commercial Enterprise lets you tow). Just a few options. Listening to your vehicle can tell you a lot when traveling. When I had my diesel I installed a trans temp gauge, EGT gauge, and boost gauge. When pulling passes I would watch all carefully, downshifting and getting those RPMs back up would lower EGTs significantly, as well as temps. When your transmission starts to whine (I'll call it a whine), drop it down a gear and get those RPMs up. You may be slower than the traffic around you, but you are pulling a trailer, not racing. Going down is similar. Drop a gear or two and let your engine do the work. You may occasionally have to apply the brakes but you wont ride them. I always shake my head at people traveling here in the CO and WY mountains, Ill stay behind them and their brake lights will not shut off for miles and miles.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:44 AM
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:58 PM   #11
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Flat tow will be fine. I've flat towed my LJ to Moab twice (2,000 miles round trip) behind a half ton pickup with no issues.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:26 AM
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Flat tow will be fine. I've flat towed my LJ to Moab twice (2,000 miles round trip) behind a half ton pickup with no issues.

Seen claims that 35" can get "squirrelly" on a flat tow. I suspect that is more fear based than real world.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:36 AM
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Went for a test run. Feel that the flat tow is easier than the trailer due to less length and weight. The problem is that backing up was problematic. At least on that primitive dirt road. Had to jump in the Jeep and pull the tow vehicle backwards - which was easy to do.

So the problem I see with a flat tow exists if the Jeep is broke and incapable of pulling the tow vehicle backwards. But we never break our Jeeps.............
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:35 PM   #14
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Get a co-driver. Put the jeep on the trailer and pull with the van. When you get to the pass stop at the chain-up area, unload the jeep and have the co-driver drive one vehicle and you drive the other. Stay in the truck lane which is usually 45MPH. Once you get through the pass, load'er back up.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:16 PM   #15
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I flat tow my TJ with a pickup truck from Michigan to Florida and back each winter. Jeeps are very popular for motorhome dingys, and almost always flat towed.

Most all use a braking system. A very popular one is the http://www.readybrake.com which is what I use. It's real simple, and inexpensive.
It's saved my bacon several times when I had to make emergency stops by someone cutting me off, or someone texting drifting across the line.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:16 PM   #16
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I flat tow my TJ with a pickup truck from Michigan to Florida and back each winter. Jeeps are very popular for motorhome dingys, and almost always flat towed.

Most all use a braking system. A very popular one is the http://www.readybrake.com which is what I use. It's real simple, and inexpensive.
It's saved my bacon several times when I had to make emergency stops by someone cutting me off, or someone texting drifting across the line.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:29 PM   #17
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A. pull the axles out from the jeep.
b. Rent a proper tow rig
c. wait.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:38 PM   #18
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Wranglers are probably the most popular "toad" for an RV. BUT, they have braking systems and light connections. As suggested above, you can get a portable brake system that fits into the wheel well and pushes the brake pedal. Some are connected to the tow vehicle's brake system, others are inertially driven.

FWIW, I have an M&G brake system and a Mopar wiring harness on my '18 JKU.

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