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Hi friends, I'm moving from WI to CA. Going to tow a Uhaul trailer packed with all my stuff.

I could fit pretty much everything in a 5x8 (super tight but works), but the 6x12 would be more comfortable. Not sure about the pros and cons of both.
I know the 6x12 is really heavy and the fact it's bigger may be inconvenient as well for such a long drive, but it has the hydraulic brake, which def a pro, I guess.

What do you guys recommend? 5x8, no brakes, smaller and lighter, super packed, or 6x12 heavier and bigger, with brake, little more roomy?
Towing with 2016 JK Unlimited with 3" lift and 35 tires.

Thanks all!
 

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Don't do what I did!!!

I had to help a friend move at the last minute. Luckily it was only 280 miles away but I was way overloaded and it was snowing as we went to Aspen Colorado taking mountain roads because the 3.8 doesn't like I-70 even without a trailer. I lived to tell about it; but, I will never do that again! The 6x12 trailer was packed to the back door.

Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Vehicle Car
 
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Sounds like you best Tread Lightly with the 5 x 8.
 
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Most people are leaving California.

You have plenty of power for either, it's about control - handling, braking, etc. I had a Tahoe, which had power to pull, but t felt somewhat like a mouse controlling an elephant. Move to a Ram diesel with a trailer with sway controller - world of difference. I'd go smaller and thin out what you don't absolutely need to move. That way you'll enjoy the drive as well. Assuming you have HP, freeways are generally pretty easy.
 

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Dual vs single axle and the weight difference. 5x8 will be a lot easier especially if it gets windy.
 
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You have a hard top correct? Just making sure because the U-Haul by me (they said it was corporate policy) wouldn't rent me a trailer because my JKU had a soft top. Ended up having to borrow my mom's Equinox to move a couch and countertop. Just to give you a heads up just in case. Smaller would probably be better but you could probably get away with bigger if push comes to shove.
 
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Hi friends, I'm moving from WI to CA. Going to tow a Uhaul trailer packed with all my stuff.

I could fit pretty much everything in a 5x8 (super tight but works), but the 6x12 would be more comfortable. Not sure about the pros and cons of both.
I know the 6x12 is really heavy and the fact it's bigger may be inconvenient as well for such a long drive, but it has the hydraulic brake, which def a pro, I guess.

What do you guys recommend? 5x8, no brakes, smaller and lighter, super packed, or 6x12 heavier and bigger, with brake, little more roomy?
Towing with 2016 JK Unlimited with 3" lift and 35 tires.

Thanks all!
I dunno... I would probably go 6x12 because it has its own brakes. Once you get the 5x8 all loaded up, its going to be pretty hard to stop with just the jeep brakes alone. Trailer brakes are also better when trying to control a sudden "wag the dog" situation. I would much sooner take a trailer WITH brakes any time of the day as opposed to one without. You will do slower speeds because of the added weight, though.

There are surge brakes on that trailer too, which are pretty self-supporting. No real special connections or attention is required to make them work. Also, although longer trailers take a little more room, they are easier and more controllable to back up.

Maybe it's just me but if the 6x12 (loaded) doesn't throw you over the legal tow rating, I personally would take that.
 

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Hi friends, I'm moving from WI to CA. Going to tow a Uhaul trailer packed with all my stuff.

I could fit pretty much everything in a 5x8 (super tight but works), but the 6x12 would be more comfortable. Not sure about the pros and cons of both.
I know the 6x12 is really heavy and the fact it's bigger may be inconvenient as well for such a long drive, but it has the hydraulic brake, which def a pro, I guess.

What do you guys recommend? 5x8, no brakes, smaller and lighter, super packed, or 6x12 heavier and bigger, with brake, little more roomy?
Towing with 2016 JK Unlimited with 3" lift and 35 tires.

Thanks all!
If you can get the GVW of the trailer, then figure out what your going to be hauling, you can do the math

Jeep GVW - Trailer GVW = how much junk you can take with you.

Normally I'm keep the FULL trailer TOTAL: weight below 3500lbs.

As a side note, I'd also ask for a discount for taking the tailer to CA, there's a shortage of trailers in CA since everyone is moving out of there.
 

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I would have to agree with (cough, cough) Bob. I would rather have a trailer with brakes. As long as the total weight is within what you can tow, I would rather have brakes. And a tandem axle trailer should be more stable and tow better. The only drawback is weight, it will be slower and burn more fuel.
What gears do you have with those 35's? If it is properly geared for 35's (4.56 or 4.88 gears) you should be fine towing up to 3,500 lbs. If you are running 3.21 or 3.73 gears you are going to struggle to tow anything and probably should exceed 2,000 lbs.
 

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U-haul adjusts their rates depending on the demand at either end. Their rate going to CA should be fairly cheap, the rate coming from CA will be very high. They do this to encourage the rentals. If the OP takes the trailer to CA that is one less than U-haul will have to load on a truck and take to CA. That's why you occasionally see trailers loaded with U-hauls on the highway.

Not sure I would like to do either. The frontal area on both is going to be rough. Your pulling a brick through the air with another brick.

I had a very mean haul 47 years ago when I was going to graduate school. I was moving out of my house in Dallas and had put it on the market. I had some furniture but was going into a small trailer in a trailer park near Texas A&M University. (My second time having graduated in '65). So I had furniture and a good sized refrigerator. I rented a U-Haul 6x14 and pulling it with a '71 Buick. I was doing fine tooling down I-45 at 55, until a large trailer truck passed me at about 75 and the suction pulled the back of the trailer around on me. All I could see in the side mirror was orange. Fortunately I knew not to hit the brakes, but put my foot down on the accelerator to pull out of it. Once I had it settled down I slowed back down. Got to my parents house in Houston and gave them the refrigerator and put some of the furniture in storage at my sisters house. The bed and other stuff was going with me. I found out later that the 14 footers were known for this and U-Haul later cut the back two feet off of them to convert them to 6x12s.

I know all the dual axle U-Hauls have the inertia brakes.

You might want to look into the cost of renting a U-haul truck and car hauler. Put all your stuff in the truck and the Jeep on the car hauler. Yes, it will cost more, but the lack of wear on your Jeep may make it worth while. You will also probably get better fuel mileage. (Especially if the U-Haul trucks have diesels).
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks guys for the very good tips and information here! The JK hitch rating is 3,500 lbs. According the UHaul website, because the 6x12 is heavier, I'd be allowed to load 1,580 lbs max, while 1,800 lbs with the 5x8. I have no idea how much my load would be though, I mean it's a 1 bedroom apartment, the heaviest thing is a queen mattress+bed and the rest is boxes. NO clue how much the weight is, maybe 1,200 lbs?
 

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It's not the size of the box or the number of the boxes, but what is in the box. I have some old movers boxes out in my storage shed that I can barely pick up. The are full, to the top from side to side with books and LP records. They easily weigh 100 pounds. Put dishes in a box (wrapped of course) and it will be heavy. The weight of a mattress and box springs depends on the size. I would say a Queen mattress would be around 100 pounds and the box springs around 70 - although it's been years since I picked one up. They are also bulky and hard to pick up.

I used to own a 5x8 that I pulled all over the place. I bought it in Virginia in 1990 and moved stuff from there to Georgia, then from Georgia to Texas to give to relatives and then some furniture I bought there back to Georgia. I used it to move from town out into the country and used it for Scouts a lot. I finally sold it to a friend. It never crossed my mind to pull it with anything other than my pickups even though during that time I had 3 different Jeeps, even with trailer hitches.

You can get a lot of stuff in a 5x8, including a lot of weight. Another thing to think seriously about are the Rockies. Your route will take you through Denver and on I-70 and up and through the Ike. The Eisenhower tunnel is a little over 11,000 feet but that's an improvement over the old route which is the alternative for hazardous cargo that goes through Loveland pass at 11,992 feet. The video channel The Fast Lane (based in Denver) uses the grade up to the tunnel to test the towing capacity both up the grade and down the grade maintaining 45 up and not exceeding 45 down. They measure the number of downshifts and brake applications. I don't think you have to worry about the down grade as the long steep grade is on the East side of the tunnel. I tried to find a posted video of a Jeep JK or JL towing a trailer up the Ike (they load the trailer so the weight of the trailer and load is at the maximum capacity of the vehicle. I could find several videos of the Gladiator (which has a 7,000 pound towing capacity) but none of a JK or JL.

Using Madison to LA, it was right at 2000 miles going though Denver and only 2100 miles going through Kansas City and Albuquerque and missing the steep grades in Colorado.
 
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Personally, I would rent one of their moving vans and tow your Jeep out with it. I wouldn't trust the Jeeps brakes on some of the mountain passes you'll have to navigate if you haven't upgraded to a big brake kit. I don't care what the manual says the factory Jeep is capable of. It might cost more, but at least you know that you'll be able to come to a stop if needed.
 

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So... question... does your JKU have a brake controller? There is no advantage to trailer brakes if you don't. It sounds like you will be close to 3500lbs with either one. That's not something you will enjoy pulling with 35's and a lift for that distance. But, if you stick to the big roads where you can do 55 and not get run off the road, you can manage. If you expect any winter conditions that changes the equation a lot...
 

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OP won't need a trailer brake controller since the UHaul trailers have surge brakes.

I moved from Little Rock, AR to Dallas, TX several years ago. I used a 6x12 UHaul. At the time, my JKU was running a 2" mopar lift, 255/80R17 KM2s, and Mopar BBK. I'm not exactly sure how much weight I put in the trailer, but it was definitely pushing 3,500 lbs gross trailer weight and probably closer to 4,000 lbs. I was too lazy to take it to the scales. I had all my garage tools, jack stands, extra parts, roof rack, "light" rifle safe, etc. The drive from Little Rock to Dallas is flat. No issues braking (big brake kit plus trailer surge brakes). I could definitely tell the trailer was back there though. I probably could have had a little more tongue weight. Passing semis I could feel the slightest hint of wobble. There was one section of highway that had a huge hole/crack in the pavement. I hit it going at speed and felt the Jeep "hop" laterally a bit. Almost like bump steer. The traction control light flashed and I could hear the ABS activating briefly. By the time I checked the review mirror, everything had stabilized. I think it was the trailer sway control kicking in. I never felt out of control, but the Jeep was definitely reacting before things got out of hand.

If you get a 6x12, I would weigh everything once you have it packed and make sure you have the appropriate tongue weight. Last but not least, take it slow on the highway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's not the size of the box or the number of the boxes, but what is in the box. I have some old movers boxes out in my storage shed that I can barely pick up. The are full, to the top from side to side with books and LP records. They easily weigh 100 pounds. Put dishes in a box (wrapped of course) and it will be heavy. The weight of a mattress and box springs depends on the size. I would say a Queen mattress would be around 100 pounds and the box springs around 70 - although it's been years since I picked one up. They are also bulky and hard to pick up.

I used to own a 5x8 that I pulled all over the place. I bought it in Virginia in 1990 and moved stuff from there to Georgia, then from Georgia to Texas to give to relatives and then some furniture I bought there back to Georgia. I used it to move from town out into the country and used it for Scouts a lot. I finally sold it to a friend. It never crossed my mind to pull it with anything other than my pickups even though during that time I had 3 different Jeeps, even with trailer hitches.

You can get a lot of stuff in a 5x8, including a lot of weight. Another thing to think seriously about are the Rockies. Your route will take you through Denver and on I-70 and up and through the Ike. The Eisenhower tunnel is a little over 11,000 feet but that's an improvement over the old route which is the alternative for hazardous cargo that goes through Loveland pass at 11,992 feet. The video channel The Fast Lane (based in Denver) uses the grade up to the tunnel to test the towing capacity both up the grade and down the grade maintaining 45 up and not exceeding 45 down. They measure the number of downshifts and brake applications. I don't think you have to worry about the down grade as the long steep grade is on the East side of the tunnel. I tried to find a posted video of a Jeep JK or JL towing a trailer up the Ike (they load the trailer so the weight of the trailer and load is at the maximum capacity of the vehicle. I could find several videos of the Gladiator (which has a 7,000 pound towing capacity) but none of a JK or JL.

Using Madison to LA, it was right at 2000 miles going though Denver and only 2100 miles going through Kansas City and Albuquerque and missing the steep grades in Colorado.
Thank you all the details! I did take that same route when I drove here, from LA to MKE, my JK was packed but no trailer and it was a smooth drive indeed. Now it's a different story with the heavy load in the back. Another option I was considering is the route that goes through Wyoming, Salt Lake City etc, but I assume that's not flat either. I've been monitoring the weather conditions in CO as well, it doesn't seem too bad for now so that's good.
The 5x8 seems very manageable, today I went to check out the 6x12 and man that's a beast, so long and wide. I think I feel more comfortable with the 5x8 tbh. The boxes weight an average of 25/30 lbs (they are not super full because I also need to carry them around), so I think overall I should't go above 1,100 lbs.
 

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Many, many years ago, I moved from CA to New Orleans, and towed a 5x8 trailer behind my 4x4 Chevy Luv pickup. Stupidly knew nothing about Eisenhower Pass, but quickly learned what I was up against. Was in low range and 1st gear for about an hour, going no more than 10 mph. Surprised that I made it.
 
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