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Later this summer I'll be making the jump to trailering my 2dr JK to the trails.
I've had it with driving my JK long distances. The problem is know very little about trailers and towing.

I plan on picking up an F-250 as the tow rig. I do not know how much my Jeep weighs but it has lots of steel. Full set of rock hard skid plates. Steel front and rear bumpers and steel fender flares.

Do I need an 18 ft. trailer? 10K GVW or is this overkill?
I would like to get educated before walking in to a trailer dealer.

Is there a resource out there where I can read up on how to do it right? Like where to place the Jeep on the trailer. Best way to strap it down. Do i need a Weight distributing hitch and what size.

I'm a bit lost.
 

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Just grab something. What could possibly go wrong???

:D

Buddy and I were planning to trailer his LJ and my JK to Moab (1800 miles) this spring. He wound up bailing on me and I just drove out solo, again. But the research yielded as many questions as it did answers. He has a Ram 2500 diesel and was planning a 5th wheel hitch in the bed. But the trailer choices were wearing us down. Of course, carrying two is more complicated. One thing we discovered -- the JK doesn't fit between a lot of trailer's fenders! Who knew. Met a guy in Moab stopped on the side of the road. He had a TJ and a JK on a borrowed trailer. They'd mounted space-saver spares on the front of the JK but still it was jammed against the fenders and one of the tires had rubbed enough to burst.

So that's all I got -- just make sure you have plenty of width for whatever wide tire setup you have or may have.
 
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Sorry I am not an expert on vehicle trailers, but I have towed large RV's behind my RAM 2500 for years. Good advice above regarding the width. If you go with a traditional rear frame mounted hitch and not a Fifth wheel/Goose neck I recommend the weight distribution, and Anti sway type of hitch. They should not be much more expensive, and can help balance the weight between the trailer and tow vehicle. Also make sure to get a trailer with brakes some are auto inertia or may require a brake controller. You want to be as safe as possible.
 
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I'll chime in on what I have so you can at least have something to go off of. Mine in a 20' deck with 4' boxes up front so I have 16 foot of deck space. My JKU fits perfectly without any over hang. If I was in a bind I could load it on probably 14 feet of deck with the ass end hanging off.

My trailer is over kill since it is a 14k 83" inside the rials equipment trailer. The trailer it self weighs 3400 lbs then there is the boxes with a few hundred pounds of spar parts and chains and such. With my 6200lb jeep I still have 4000+ lbs of wiggle room. That's fine because I love over kill only kickers are that it cost 130 bucks a year in Texas to tag the trailer and it is 102 inches wide if you don't count the tire overhang from the fenders.


If a vehicle is being drug around I don't believe in cheaping out and getting 3700 lb axles, might as well get something with 5200 (or is it 5400?) Axles. That will give you 10400 lbs. Just subtract the trailer weight lets say 2500 and you will know how much you have left to stack on it. In this case it would be 7900lbs. You can get heaver or lighter trailers depending on how much coin you want to spend on it.
 

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What about 4 down Flat towing?

Its a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a trailer. The Odometer does not count miles (at least on the 2010+JKs).

Pros:

-Relatively much cheaper than buying/registering/storing trailer.
-Better tow vehicle MPG.

Cons:

-Wear and tear on JK
-If JK breaks axles or running gear on the trail, could be problematic.

I've flat towed my JKU with my Ram 2500 over 5k miles this year without a problem. (though I'm only running 2" lift, no steel bumpers). My tow bar (demco) is the RV type rated for 8k lbs.

If you do flat tow, I recommend a 2500 truck or bigger. I used to tow it with a 1500 and it got squirrely on me a few times on off ramps.
 

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My JKUR is about 14 ft long. Yours is probably 12 ft and change. 18 ft and 10k is not out of line. Very important is proper weight distribution. Get a Weigh Safe hitch. It has a scale built into it, so you always know your tongue weight. Also get an Air Lift or similar rear suspension air bag system so you can level out the rear of your truck. Oncoming traffic will thank you for not being blinded by your low beams.
 

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Don't know what kind of money you have to spend but a good heavy trailer will cost quite a bit. A little longer trailer would help in the fact you can roll your load a little forward for more hitch weight or back for less. If you get one with a dovetail and have enough tire on your jeep could probably load with out use of ramps. There are so many options on trailer, folding ramps, tilt bed, roll back beds the sky is the limit. Good luck let us know what you get.
 

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If you get one with a dovetail and have enough tire on your jeep could probably load with out use of ramps.
My thought on the subject is if you have to use the ramps to get it on your trailer do you really need to be towing it to the trails in the first place? Only used my ramps one time and that's because the front axle was blown up and would not pull. The deck on the trailer is slightly higher then the bottom of the front bumper, it drags when loading and unloading.

I say this in jest because I see soooooo many folks dragging the ramps out when the deck is a foot off the ground. I mean come on if it can't climb a one foot ledge........
 

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My thought on the subject is if you have to use the ramps to get it on your trailer do you really need to be towing it to the trails in the first place? Only used my ramps one time and that's because the front axle was blown up and would not pull. The deck on the trailer is slightly higher then the bottom of the front bumper, it drags when loading and unloading.

I say this in jest because I see soooooo many folks dragging the ramps out when the deck is a foot off the ground. I mean come on if it can't climb a one foot ledge........
JKU's often hang on the upper LCA mounts in the rear without ramps unless you have a dove tail. I run a JKU on 37's with a MC 4.5" lift but because my trailer does not have a dovetail I use ramps rather than drag loading - just to make sure I don't damage my trailer. I don't care for dovetails because they often become the part of the trailer that drags on uneven terrain when parking at some offroad parks. I have seen trucks come to a halt more than a dozen times because the dovetail digs in. Ramps are also desperately needed when you limp in with a broken Jeep and need to winch it onto the trailer.

I opted for a trailer with 5200# axles with brakes on both axles. The trailer weighs 2600lbs. (20' full width (102") with drive over fenders. By the time I load my JKU with tools, spare parts, cooler,.. I am nearly 5800lbs. That would overload a 7000# trailer with 3500# axles. If I had an accident with an overloaded trailer I could be sued and lose. Also I am not sure my insurance would cover me. I like a trailer with a few feet of extra room so I can position the Jeep effectively for the best tongue weight. If your trailer is too short you may not be able to balance the trailer effectively which can lead to towing problems. Too little tongue weight and your trailer sways like crazy behind you. I also like the extra length and width just incase one of the other vehicles I wheel with breaks. I can fit more vehicle sizes with the extra width and length.
 

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I have a 20-22ft trailer, hauled jeeps, saabs, porsches, Harleys and presently it's loaded up with brush.

Longer is better for the trailer, easier to back up and as others stated having more room on the trailer is a good thing. Gives you more options on where to park the vehicle on the trailer.

I installed brackets on the floor of my trailer so I could go over the axels easily, I am sure your local trailer shop can show you the options. You can also do a more basic metal trailer with wood deck (that's what mine is) or one of the many aluminum trailers which are more setup for just towing a car. Sometimes you can get good deals on used ones, racers that need a bigger trailer or retiring from the sport

I do not think the ant sway/weight distribution hitch is needed. 5th wheels and large trailers need them due to being a huge sale being pulled behind the vehicle when going down the road. A jeep on a non enclosed trailer doesn't have anywhere close to the surface area thus it's not affected by semi's or crosswinds nearly as much.

My trailer does have that dove tail.... at least I think that's what people refer to where the last 2ft or so of the bed is sloped down. The underside is flat thus at least for me it's more about the overhang behind the rear wheels of the trailer that cause scraping and not that the top of the trailer is sloped down.

In regards to flat vs trailer, you can easily get a good amount of money tied up with flat towing. When I setup my 08 JKU for this I had over $3K invested in the parts. Baseplate, tow bar and brake buddy, the brake buddy was the most expensive part.
 

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I plan on picking up an F-250 as the tow rig. I do not know how much my Jeep weighs but it has lots of steel. Full set of rock hard skid plates. Steel front and rear bumpers and steel fender flares.

Do I need an 18 ft. trailer? 10K GVW or is this overkill?
I would like to get educated before walking in to a trailer dealer.

Is there a resource out there where I can read up on how to do it right? Like where to place the Jeep on the trailer. Best way to strap it down. Do i need a Weight distributing hitch and what size.

I'm a bit lost.
I my personal belief is NO, 10K GVW will not be overkill. In fact when it comes to trailers going over or heavier will pay for itself in the long run when it comes to tires, axles, hub temps and most importantly brakes. The length is personal preference, you might want to add a toolbox, maybe it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Strapping it down, you should always load it facing forward. This will place the weight of the Jeep between the trailer axles and tongue, keeping the weight closer the axles. Just look at every single U-Haul trailer, they are about as balanced as trailer can be for car hauling. You can strap the Jeep down with over tire straps or "J Hook" straps into the frame. Either way you'll have to make sure the trailer has appropriate "D-rings" with proper support and/or backing. Me personally, I DO NOT LIKE through the wheel straps because of damage to the wheel and finish. I also prefer using "J Hooks" into the frame, pulling down the suspension a bit to keep the vehicle from bouncing with the trailer and roadway,,, but again this is personal preference.

Lastly, for this size trailer and load weight I do not believe you need a weight distribution hitch. You'll be able to tow with ease using a F-250.

When it comes to trailers know this, you can never have too big of an axle or too big of a wheel/tire. 10K trailers should come with 16" wheels and E-rated tires, I personally wouldn't get anything less knowing what I know now. Heat and weight will kill your tires and hubs, and the tires and hubs are what keep you rolling down the highway keeping those around you safe. And in my opinion those two should never be skimped on. Also, grab one of these for the glove box:

https://www.amazon.com/Infrared-the...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=83NCNN6A8AD80K6RRQE9

Every time you stop for fuel and food check you tread, sidewall and hub temps, each area should all be within a couple degrees of each other, and the minute one is not then something is getting ready to fail. And always carry a spare or two hub and spare tire along with a bottle jack.

Hope all this rambling helps, I do enjoy pulling trailers... I am kind weird that way I guess, also I have a CDL-A and my first job was hauling heavy equipment.

Fellow Jersery guy here as well, born and raised in your area. Have fun!
 
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