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Old 11-09-2009, 09:58 AM   #1
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Default Towing with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (4dr)

Ok let me first say that we didn't buy this vehicle specifically to tow, I know its not the best tow vehicle choice. That said, we did buy the factory tow kit that has some upgrades not only to the hardware but also offers some software sway protection. We traded our F150 in on the Jeep and don't plan to purchase another tow vehicle until Spring. If possible we'd like to do some short close-by one-nighters.

We have a 2007 189FBS and its right at the stated tow limit of 3,500 lbs /18ft length. The tanks will be empty, we generally don't use the plumbing on short trips.

The wheelbase on the Jeep 4 door is longer than the 2dr obviously and though not ideal, seems from my limited experience that it would be enough barring the worst conditions (high winds etc.) In which case we would just pull over. The wheelbase is 116".

So here's my question: For short trips (ie 20 miles), are we pushing our luck? If we try it around town first, is that enough to get a feel for whether its going to be ok? I've never towed anything close to the tow limit before, so I'm a bit of a newby on this subject.

Thanks for any info, feel free to call me crazy if that's where we're at

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Old 11-09-2009, 02:30 PM   #2
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Wow, the rule of thumb I've always heard is not to tow more than 75% of the vehicles rated towing capacity. In this case you are right at the limit with the trailer completely empty. And from what I've read the published weights tend to be on the low side. Even if the tanks are empty don't forget any of the gear you have on board, tools, propane, batteries, food, etc will add weight as well.

I would be a little concerned about what happens in an emergency, like having to make a panic stop or swerve to avoid a hazard.

At the very least if I'd recommend getting the trailer weighed so you know for sure what the trailer weighs if you haven't already.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:17 PM   #3
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I agree with LJAZ 100%, hitch up the trailer and head to a truck stop in your area that has a scale and see how much the Jeep AND trailer weigh and compare that to the Jeep's Gross Combined Weight Rating. I don't know if you have read my post...

http://www.funfinderclub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=268

I have a DS230 that weighs over 500lbs more than the advertised weight, luckily truck and trailer are still 500lbs below the max combined rating. The advertised weight does NOT include the A/C unit, battery, filled propane tanks, awning, spare tire, and a few other things. If you are at the max with the advertised weight, you can bet you are currently over the limit.

On the other side of the argument, modern vehicles are rated conservatively, there is a margin of safety to ensure longevity and safety, but the rub is if you are in an accident and the police find you're pulling more than the rated weight, you can be held liable for any damage/injuries incurred in said accident.

If you want to use the trailer, see what it weighs, then decide what works for you.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:40 PM   #4
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Yeah I had read your post and a few others similar to it. I figured the posted weight is not trustworthy.

I've read dozens of forum posts and like anything else, you know how it is, everyone has an opinion ranging from 'no way' to 'no problem' . I know the extras have to be factored in, I also figured there's a significant lawyer factor rolled into the posted tow capacity of the jeep. Around here its not uncommon to see a jeep pulling another jeep on a flatbed trailer. I've also seen posts on similar sites where people are pulling trailers of similar, maybe slightly less weight with no problem.

The Unlimited is also known for being under-powered for such a heavy vehicle so I'm not sure I want to put that much stress on the motor until its broken in... which will be Spring anyway.

Maybe I'll tow it over to a gravel place nearby and weight my setup. A few miles will give me a feel for whether I even want to try it further anyway.

thank you both for your input.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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Yup, we all gots our opinions!!! You might find she tows pretty good and for short hauls it will work for you. I've had my set up over loaded a couple times and I just adjusted driving style and had no problems. In fact we just came back from Missouri getting my son after he graduated Basic Training at Ft Leonard Wood. We were traveling with my in-laws on the way home when my father-in-law's Ford developed engine trouble. We had 590 miles left and we had to get home for work so we loaded our son, his battle buddy, 7 army duffles, 4 army back packs stuffed to the max into our truck and trailer and headed home. I know we were over loaded by close to 1000lbs. Common sense is the biggest factor.

Good Luck!!
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:05 AM   #6
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I'll pipe in here and give my opinion...
When I weighed my trailer back in spring empty but as delivered I came in just under 3600lbs. but I don't have a slide. I know that on some of our week long trips I have been fairly close (if not over) my TV's limits. But I know that my Acadia always weighs more than the trailer. I have had no issues, but I also drive defensively and don't win races in the mountains.

Back to your situation. I'm assuming you have WD hitch and sway device of some sort. What is the terrain like between your house and the campsite? North Colorado, I would assume lots of mountains. If there's no large grades you have to climb or descend, your probably ok as long as you know you limits and drive appropriately. If there is a large grade, I would wait til spring.

but that's just me.

BTW nice Rubi..Once we upgrade trailers and TV's, that's what will be sitting in my garage.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:00 AM   #7
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Default tow vehicles jeep wrangler

I would like to add my 2 cents.

my rig is the same as jb_bb and it is near 4,000lbs loaded.So you have to be heavyer with the slide.
You would be ok until murphys law kicks in.
What happens when you blow out a rear tire?
I have a 4wd 150 and at 20,000 had a blow out due to a defective tire,so it happens.

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Old 07-20-2010, 03:47 PM   #8
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i know this is a old topic but ill throw my 2 cents in.
i have towed my 160x (3100lb empty) with my 2 door 07 rubicon, it got the job done but i wouldnt go on the highway and the furterest we went was prob 30 miles or so.
now since then ive traded the 2 door in on a 4 door rubi and holy crap what a difference, even with the under powered 3.8 its way better than my 2 door, now i did get the superchips flashpaq and it made a big difference. id say your fine for short distances.
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