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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know towing with a TJ/LJ has been discussed a many times on this forum, but most of my results seem to be about larger and heavier boats.

I wonder if the TJ is capable of towing a 450 lbs. (With gear) sailing sailing dinghy. She is about 15 ft. long. I reckon with a trailer maybe close to 1000 lbs. Let's assume both cases of having trailer brakes and not.

Is the TJ, with its SWB capable of towing such a boat on the highway across a state? If not, is an LJ capable?

The boat in question is a Welsford Navigator.

My plan is to buy a TJ/LJ and begin building the Navigator afterwards, assuming I can tow her across the state if need be.
 

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THE TJ is rated for 2000#. I tow about 800# with mine without issues. I do have Black Magic Brakes.
What no one on here seems to ever mention is tongue weight. The weight at the hitch should be approximately 10 to 15% of the total towing weight. Depending on the length of the vehicle/trailer, single vs tandem axle, tongue weight capacity of hitch, and other factors, this can vary with each vehicle and trailer but is a good starting point. On a light weight rig like yours you can check this with a bathroom scale and a piece of wood to go from the coupler to the scale that approximates the height of your hitch ball.
 

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right depends on the way it rests on the vehicle. not weighted right or pulled from right height and it'll get to fish-tailing at that'd be rough in a TJ
 

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1000 lbs with a tj is fine as long as the tj is lightly loaded...

Put 4 200 lb guys in it and then not so much...

I have towed a 2000 lb boat and didn't feel safe at over 45 mph....
With a jetski on a trailer at about 900 lbs I set the cruise at 65-70
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1000 lbs with a tj is fine as long as the tj is lightly loaded...

Put 4 200 lb guys in it and then not so much...

I have towed a 2000 lb boat and didn't feel safe at over 45 mph....
With a jetski on a trailer at about 900 lbs I set the cruise at 65-70
Good to know. Leaves the TJ as a viable option, instead of just an LJ. I got time to look while I finish saving.
 

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I periodically haul my EZ GO golf cart on a 5' x 10' utility trailer behind my 2003 Rubicon. The Rubicon sets up a bit higher than the average TJ because of the larger tires (LT245/75R16) and wheels (16"). The golf cart weights approximately 1000 pounds. From what you say, your trailer will be about 5' longer but not as heavy, as the typical boat trailer is very light compared to a utility trailer with a decking of 2" thick wood. (2 x 8 or 2 x 6 material). The boat trailer will have a frame narrower than the utility trailer with about as many cross members, with the cradles which are much lighter than the decking.

Boat trailers built for pleasure outboards have a much longer length from the wheels to the hitch because of the typical heavy weight of the motor on the back. If you use that type of trailer design you would have a very heavy tongue weight.

Most of my towing with the Rubicon have been to our local councils two Scout Camps. One is about 25 miles from my home and the other is about 70. The 70 mile drive has about 70 miles of divided highway with 55-70 MPH speed limits. The Rubicon handles it well, but you know the trailer is back there because of the load and wind resistance.

Is this a one time pull, or a pull over for a weekend and then return periodically. That would make a difference, for I have two Jeeps and I know for sure which I would use for a longer haul.

This past spring I pulled the golf cart up to a regional gathering just outside of LaGrange, Ga. about 225 miles from my home. I used the Sahara to tow the cart and hardly knew it was there. I even pulled it up a fairly steep hill to get it to the campsite. Piece of cake with the JKU, the TJ would have done it, but not as easily.

I will be taking the cart out to the closest camp this weekend and will probably use the Chief, not because of the towing, but I have a bunch of other stuff to take out that would not fit in the Rubicon.

The TJ is a great little Jeep, and it will tow a limited amount, but I would not describe it as a great tow vehicle. The JK had more weight, more power and is a good tow vehicle, but the JKU is far superior to either. Even if you don't need the rear seat, the extra hauling space can be a great advantage.

Because my 2015 Sahara had the 3.21 differential gears, it was only rated at 2,000 pounds, but the 2017 Chief with the 3.73 gears is rated at 3,500 pounds.

I keep mentioning the Rubicon and one thing that helps it be an adequate towing vehicle are the 4.10 differential gears which are not available on other TJ modes from the factory. Most other TJs came with 3.07 gears which coupled with the 170 HP doesn't help.

Will it pull the trailer with the boat - yes. Will it be an enjoyable trip - I seriously doubt it. Behind a JKU yes to both.
 

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I periodically haul my EZ GO golf cart on a 5' x 10' utility trailer behind my 2003 Rubicon. The Rubicon sets up a bit higher than the average TJ because of the larger tires (LT245/75R16) and wheels (16"). The golf cart weights approximately 1000 pounds. From what you say, your trailer will be about 5' longer but not as heavy, as the typical boat trailer is very light compared to a utility trailer with a decking of 2" thick wood. (2 x 8 or 2 x 6 material). The boat trailer will have a frame narrower than the utility trailer with about as many cross members, with the cradles which are much lighter than the decking.

Boat trailers built for pleasure outboards have a much longer length from the wheels to the hitch because of the typical heavy weight of the motor on the back. If you use that type of trailer design you would have a very heavy tongue weight.

Most of my towing with the Rubicon have been to our local councils two Scout Camps. One is about 25 miles from my home and the other is about 70. The 70 mile drive has about 70 miles of divided highway with 55-70 MPH speed limits. The Rubicon handles it well, but you know the trailer is back there because of the load and wind resistance.

Is this a one time pull, or a pull over for a weekend and then return periodically. That would make a difference, for I have two Jeeps and I know for sure which I would use for a longer haul.

This past spring I pulled the golf cart up to a regional gathering just outside of LaGrange, Ga. about 225 miles from my home. I used the Sahara to tow the cart and hardly knew it was there. I even pulled it up a fairly steep hill to get it to the campsite. Piece of cake with the JKU, the TJ would have done it, but not as easily.

I will be taking the cart out to the closest camp this weekend and will probably use the Chief, not because of the towing, but I have a bunch of other stuff to take out that would not fit in the Rubicon.

The TJ is a great little Jeep, and it will tow a limited amount, but I would not describe it as a great tow vehicle. The JK had more weight, more power and is a good tow vehicle, but the JKU is far superior to either. Even if you don't need the rear seat, the extra hauling space can be a great advantage.

Because my 2015 Sahara had the 3.21 differential gears, it was only rated at 2,000 pounds, but the 2017 Chief with the 3.73 gears is rated at 3,500 pounds.

I keep mentioning the Rubicon and one thing that helps it be an adequate towing vehicle are the 4.10 differential gears which are not available on other TJ modes from the factory. Most other TJs came with 3.07 gears which coupled with the 170 HP doesn't help.

Will it pull the trailer with the boat - yes. Will it be an enjoyable trip - I seriously doubt it. Behind a JKU yes to both.
My 98 4 banger 5 speed came factory with 4.10s
 

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My 98 4 banger 5 speed came factory with 4.10s
Yes Tj's came with a few different gear ratios...... even the 4.0's
To the OP..... DO NOT buy a TJ with a 4 banger and expect to tow anything very far or very fast! and I do mean anything.
 
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That good advice for anyone planning on using a TJ as a TV, regardless if it has the 4L or 2.5
 

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1000lbs, complete with gear... If your Jeep is a 4.0L, brakes are in good shape, drive careful and leave space between vehicles, I wouldn't think twice about this. We're not talking a horse trailer for Pete's sake
 

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I recently drove coast to coast in my 99 with the 2.5 hauling a Sportster on a motorcycle trailer so the load was in the area of 900 lbs and I did not even know the trailer was back there. Absolutely no problem at all.
 
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