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    Thread: Tell me why this is a terrible idea: towing with the Wrangler

    1. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      09-23-2019 03:34 PM #1
      So my 4dr Wrangler has the factory tow package, and a 3500lbs towing capacilty.

      S2000 weighs about 2700lbs.

      Seems to me I should be able to find a trailer that weighs give or take 1000lbs and tow, yes? U-Haul's car trailer weighs, holy crap, 2200lbs.

      I'm not looking to tow up or down a mountain, just on flat midwestern roads, and it will be in October or November when it's pretty cool here in IL/WI. Most of the ~350 mile trip would be on either large highways or on 2-lane back roads.

      Thoughts? Where does one find a 1000lb car trailer to rent?

      And it's a lease, so if it causes damage 10 years from now where something wears out a year early....don't care.


      Edit: only other things that would be in the Jeep would be me and a small duffel bag of clothes, I wouldn't be hauling hundreds of other pounds in addition.
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

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    3. Senior Member AZGolf's Avatar
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      09-23-2019 03:40 PM #2
      Maybe a tow dolly? I wouldn't use one on a RWD car personally, but if you're not going far and the S2000 doesn't have any specific warnings about towing with the rear wheels on the ground, this might keep you under the weight limit.



      This one here says it weighs 475 pounds, max axle loading of 3000 pounds.

    4. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      09-23-2019 03:46 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by AZGolf View Post
      Maybe a tow dolly? I wouldn't use one on a RWD car personally, but if you're not going far and the S2000 doesn't have any specific warnings about towing with the rear wheels on the ground, this might keep you under the weight limit.



      This one here says it weighs 475 pounds, max axle loading of 3000 pounds.
      Looked into that, owner's manual expressly forbids it and flat tow, seems like others on S2ki considered it and found it wasn't a great option for various reasons, mostly clearance/scraping related.
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

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      09-23-2019 03:48 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      Thoughts? Where does one find a 1000lb car trailer to rent?
      A tow dolly. Even those dollies from UHaul weigh something like 600-800 lbs IIRC. A 1000 lb car trailer would be custom made to a certain size and also most likely aluminum, so you're not going to find one for rent IMO.

      Even my 16' light duty double-axle, no brakes utility trailer weighed over 1200 lbs, and it was too wimpy for real car hauling, though it would have been OK with an S2000.

      The normal reason people don't tow vehicles with a Wrangler is the wheelbase - you probably don't want an 18' trailer pushing around a 95" wheelbase when things get dicey. But maybe you have an Unlimited?
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      09-23-2019 03:50 PM #5
      Having crashed towing with my Jeep..

      Wheel dolly or use another tow vehicle.



      I'd say clearance is the only thing that would be a problem with the dolly and the S2000. There is nothing that is occurring when using a wheel dolly or flat towing that isn't happening to the car when you push the clutch in while moving down the highway.

    7. Member Pnuu's Avatar
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      09-23-2019 03:50 PM #6
      No, you will definitely not find a trailer suitable for towing an S2K that weighs less than 1k lb. The absolute lightest thing possible would be an aluminum flatbed with two 2500lb axles, and those are ~1200 lb ready to roll. Not to mention that nobody rents those out, you'll have to drop $5k on it yourself. Rental dollies and trailers are stupid heavy and stout to handle the abuse of renters who generally have little idea what they're doing.

      When towing wheelbase is your friend; the longer the tow rig the better due to stability. Likewise, the longer the trailer tongue length, the more stability you'll have. A tow dolly is pretty darn unstable, and I wouldn't tow a RWD car on one anyway unless it was a very short distance at lower speeds.

      So if you want to tow an S2K with something rented, just rent the truck and the trailer to have plenty of weight capacity on hand.

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      09-23-2019 03:52 PM #7
      I would (and have) rent a pick up or SUV that already has a trailer hitch installed (and comes w/unlimited miles) then take that vehicle over to the local u-haul and get a trailer. Did it with a 4runner and a dual axle uhaul trailer, worked great...although it may not be totally kosher.
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    9. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      09-23-2019 03:57 PM #8
      Problem with renting a truck is I really wanted the Wrangler at the destination too. I wanted to tow the S2000 up when I go for hunting season; I hunt out of the Wrangler and I store the S2k.

      Oh well, sounds like I need to just make two trips, which sucks, but hey.
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

    10. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      09-23-2019 03:58 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by chris86vw View Post
      Having crashed towing with my Jeep..

      Wheel dolly or use another tow vehicle.



      I'd say clearance is the only thing that would be a problem with the dolly and the S2000. There is nothing that is occurring when using a wheel dolly or flat towing that isn't happening to the car when you push the clutch in while moving down the highway.
      Was your Jeep an unlimited?

      I thought about saying screw it and towing the S2000 with a dolly, but honestly, the rear LSD isn't known for longevity, seems like a silly thing to roll the dice on.
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

    11. 09-23-2019 04:01 PM #10
      Car trailers that are commercially available are going to be dual-axle affairs with lots of steel in them. The manufacturer or rental place wouldn't want to limit their potential market to being able to tow small cars only, and that means the trailer will need a GVWR of at least 5000 lbs and probably more to allow for the weight of the trailer itself. That means dual axle, and that means trailer brakes, and that means serious tow rig to do it legally and safely.

      If the car is driveable, it's probably easier to just drive it. If it's not driveable, perhaps you know someone with a tow truck or can find someone with a tow truck willing to do the trip for an agreed price.

      Maybe someone has built a special-purpose light duty single axle car trailer for light vehicles only but I doubt you'll find such a thing at U-Haul or anywhere comparable.

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      09-23-2019 04:03 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      Was your Jeep an unlimited?

      I thought about saying screw it and towing the S2000 with a dolly, but honestly, the rear LSD isn't known for longevity, seems like a silly thing to roll the dice on.

      No which is part of the issue, short wheel base and less capacity.

      The JLU has a decent wheel base in that sense maybe not too bad, but if you threw the S2000 onto a rental trailer that would just be too far over the limit than I would want to do with a wrangler.



      Whats happening to the LSD when its on a dolly that isn't happening to the LSD when its rolling down the road? But you could also just dolly it rear wheels up, however I bet the nose would rub on everything and wouldn't be worth it.

    13. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      09-23-2019 04:06 PM #12
      Good luck finding that sub-1,000-lb car trailer, which is most likely going to be aluminum. If you find a place that rents aluminum car trailers, send me the link.

      I tow with my Frontier (6,200-lb rating) and I have a 1,500-lb steel trailer with electric brakes and a weight distributing hitch. Even with the trailer brakes, the truck has its limits when it comes to towing that trailer with another vehicle on it. The most I’ve put on it is our 3,500-lb Outback.

      Most of the other car towing setups I see that are as marginal as mine, usually involve an aluminum trailer and a SUV of sorts with a 5,000-lb rating. Those guys are towing race cars that probably weigh the same as a street S2000 (when considering tools, fuel, tires). I’ve seen Pilots, Highlanders, MDX’s doing car trailer duty.

      Given its rating, Wrongler is probably too marginal, even towing on flat terrain. I don’t know why Jeep rates them the way they do, but I’m sure there’s reason for it. I don’t see many (if any) JKU’s pulling car trailers and they’re rated for the same 3,500 lbs.

      With my Frontier, the biggest issue isn’t pulling the weight (even though it is slow) it’s getting it stopped. That’s kind of what I’d consider to be the bare minimum to tow a car trailer on flat terrain. The frame and suspension are beefier than what you get on a Wrangler, but the brakes...I dunno.

    14. Don't be me. Don't be a 'Rick' Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      09-23-2019 04:07 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      Was your Jeep an unlimited?

      I thought about saying screw it and towing the S2000 with a dolly, but honestly, the rear LSD isn't known for longevity, seems like a silly thing to roll the dice on.
      Why can't you back the S2000 onto the dolly and lock the steering wheel at top dead center?
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    15. 09-23-2019 04:22 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      Problem with renting a truck is I really wanted the Wrangler at the destination too.
      That's easy--just get a bigger trailer. And a bigger tow rig, too.

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      09-23-2019 04:38 PM #15
      If you do choose to use a tow dolly, disconnect the driveshaft or else your trans will be cooked by the time you arrive at your destination.

      I was in a similar boat recently. I wanted to tow my Camaro which is way heavier with my wife's Jeep WK2 that doesn't have the tow package, but does have a hitch (which lowers the capacity to around 5200). With the Uhaul trailer, I was just above the limit. I ultimately didn't need to tow it (I found a closer shop that I could limp the car to) but I was ready to rent not just a trailer from Uhaul, but also a pickup to attach to the trailer. The extra $100 or so was worth it for saving the wear and tear on my Jeep.

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      09-23-2019 04:55 PM #16
      Don't tow overweight, simply not worth it if you crash or something and insurance tells you to piss off. Also tow rating doesn't really have much to do with what parts you'll actually break, more to do with stability, braking ability etc.

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      09-23-2019 05:57 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      No, you will definitely not find a trailer suitable for towing an S2K that weighs less than 1k lb. The absolute lightest thing possible would be an aluminum flatbed with two 2500lb axles, and those are ~1200 lb ready to roll. Not to mention that nobody rents those out, you'll have to drop $5k on it yourself. Rental dollies and trailers are stupid heavy and stout to handle the abuse of renters who generally have little idea what they're doing.

      When towing wheelbase is your friend; the longer the tow rig the better due to stability. Likewise, the longer the trailer tongue length, the more stability you'll have. A tow dolly is pretty darn unstable, and I wouldn't tow a RWD car on one anyway unless it was a very short distance at lower speeds.

      So if you want to tow an S2K with something rented, just rent the truck and the trailer to have plenty of weight capacity on hand.
      This trailer would probably fit a S2K and weighs 715lbs in stripped down form:

      https://www.trailex.com/products/pc/...7031-17p43.htm

      However, I doubt you would find one for rent unless it's a private party sort of deal. They aren't cheap to buy either- I've heard around $6-7k (trailers are super annoying in that you can't even get a quote for many models without talking to a dealer). Even then, you'd be right at the tow limit. I'd be comfortable doing that around town, but not for a trip of any length.

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      09-23-2019 05:58 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Cabin Pics View Post
      Why can't you back the S2000 onto the dolly and lock the steering wheel at top dead center?
      You are depending on that steering lock holding for the stability of the trailer. I certainly wouldn't trust it- steering locks are designed to prevent theft, not hold the wheels straight in motion.

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      09-23-2019 06:05 PM #19
      4dr Jeep? It’s fine. Run it.

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      09-23-2019 06:17 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by candy11 View Post
      4dr Jeep? It’s fine. Run it.
      Yeah I think with a four door Jeep and careful driving you'd be fine. S2K is a pretty small/light car. I see cars/suvs towing huge campers all day every day.

      YMMV

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      09-23-2019 06:18 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by AZGolf View Post
      Maybe a tow dolly? I wouldn't use one on a RWD car personally, but if you're not going far and the S2000 doesn't have any specific warnings about towing with the rear wheels on the ground, this might keep you under the weight limit.



      This one here says it weighs 475 pounds, max axle loading of 3000 pounds.
      ive towed my e36 drift car in neutral close to 5,000 miles with the drive wheels down and a welded diff with no issues. unless there is a absolute specific reason you shouldnt dolly the wheels down there should be no issue. if its that big of a scare you can always disconnect the driveshaft. ive also towed it exclusively with my 01 X5 with its 6cyl 5spd. granted it has a 5,000lb rating but i have never had a stability issue due to wheelbase. my cruise speed is usually 70-75mph
      Last edited by freedo84gti; 09-23-2019 at 06:22 PM.
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      09-23-2019 06:21 PM #22
      Did the way tow ratings are given change at some point?

      A WJ Grand Cherokee with the same axles as a regular Wrangler Unlimited (D30/D35), worse brakes, no stability control, less power, and a uni-body was rated for 5,000 pounds with the least powerful engine offered.

      In order to get a Gladiator to tow 7,650 pounds you need to opt for the upgraded axles among other things in the Max Tow package.

      *All that being said I have towed 5,000 pounds with a WJ and it was not a comfortable experience. My dad’s old F150 with the 300-6 was infinitely better at towing that weight.

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      Last edited by CRD99; 09-23-2019 at 06:26 PM.

    24. 09-23-2019 07:12 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by CRD99 View Post
      Did the way tow ratings are given change at some point?
      SAE J2807

      https://jalopnik.com/what-is-sae-j28...cks-1593305929

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      09-23-2019 07:12 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by GoFaster View Post
      Thanks!


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    26. 09-23-2019 07:23 PM #25
      I found an even better article, which specifically talks about the Gladiator's max tow package.

      https://jalopnik.com/the-engineering...ing-1833657453

      TL : DR it's limited by using the same front end sheet metal as the regular Jeep Wrangler JL including the grille housing, and it limits the size of the radiator, which in turn limits what it can do in the uphill test part of that SAE standard. The max tow package includes some subtle changes to address that.

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