Towing with a Jeep CJ, YJ, TJ, LC FJ-40, LR SIII 80? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-14-2007, 10:23 PM   #1
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Name: Jack
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We have towed our 13' Scamp from Key West to Michigan's Upper Peninsula with our little four-banger Jeep Wrangler. It has performed exceptionally well. Gets about 18.5 MPG running on the interstate which ain't too shabby. To say that this is a fun combination would be an understatement!

Hello Ted,

I've been "lurking" here and have been hoping to find someone using a Wrangler for the tow! Having just found this site I'm quite excited about getting an "egg" ..... and as I will be pulling it with my Rubicon Unlimited with the "big six" I am quite happy to see your post...it gives me great comfort that your setup works well! With my longer wheelbase I could probably go with a 16 footer.... but in all honesty I think a 13' would be perfect for my dog and I.

Here's a pic of my Jeep.... the Dodge truck and giant camper in the background have been sold.... just too much of a "pita" to deal with.... not to mention that I am a Jeep kind of guy!

Anyway.... just happy to see someone tugging with a Jeep! Happy Trails!

Jack



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Old 02-16-2007, 10:05 PM   #2
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Trailer: 13 ft Scamp 2005
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Hi Jack,
I need to get a new pic up because we have added a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X 4 door to the stable. Towed the scamp to Florida in January and it tows great. We still have the original Wrangler too. I was very uncertain when we first got our Scamp and how the jeep would pull. There is not a lot of info on Jeeps pulling campers. I have seen more than one post that claims a Wrangler is an unacceptable TV. It may not be the best tow out there but it is the funnest! Just pay attention to what you are doing and you will be fine. The biggest thing to get used to is the pointing, staring, and chuckles you get when you pull into the campground. People just seem to be fascinated with the combination.

Ted
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:21 AM   #3
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Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
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I was reading a couple of posts in "Show Us Your Rigs" about folks towing FG trailers with short-wheelbase Jeeps.

Short wheelbase Jeeps, Land Cruiser FJ-40s, Land Rovers SII & SIII 80" and the Defender 90s, and IH Scouts (all flavors except maybe the Traveller) are a challenge to tow with, and we seem to have regular questions from folks about how well they actually do.

Thinking back to the Dark Ages when ships were made of wood and men of steel, I had a '79 CJ-7 Golden Eagle that I pulled a '78 Scamp 13 all over SoCal with. I'll have to see if I can dig up some old photos somewhere and post them... One of my friends bought my Danish Combi-Camp back in the '80s and actually towed it with his Suzuki Samurai (we called the Samurai the "Spontaneous Rollover Vehicle" or "SRV" because of it's alleged propensity to roll over, even when parked, off, and unattended. )

I certainly wouldn't tow an FGRV today with a short wheelbase 4WD, knowing what I know now... but I did it successfully (that means without crashing or causing serious injury ) and I know that others are doing it with the current crop of Jeeps as well.

If you are currently or have towed with a short-wheelbase 4WD, how about sharing your thoughts and experiences here? Let us know what issues you've had. What are the specific safety concerns that you've had to overcome? What equipment modifications have you made for stability? Had any close calls? Have you experienced any issues at all?

I think it would help all of you with some insights about the experiences others have had, and would most certainly be useful to folks who are considering towing with such a vehicle!

Roger
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:33 AM   #4
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I looked up what appears to be the smallest current Jeep, the Wrangler, and it has a wheelbase of 95.4". My Element had a WB of 101.4", and we had nothing but positive experiences towing our Scamp 13' over 20,000 miles. Well, almost, we did go several miles on a washboard road and that was pretty miserable!
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:39 AM   #5
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Trailer: 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel Dlx / 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4
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I towed my 13 with a Suzuki Grand Vitarga.. i think the wheel base is 104.. with no problems.. i wouldnt go over pulling anything longer tho.....
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:36 AM   #6
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The original 1955 CJ-5 had a wheelbase of 81". With the addition of the AMC in-line 258 cu. in. six cylinder in 1976, the CJ-5 grew to 83". When the CJ-7 was introduced, it had a wheelbase of 93", and the Scrambler (I had the first year model, an '81) had a wheelbase of 103". The last Jeep I had was the Scrambler. REAL Jeeps have round headlights... and it wasn't too many years later that Chrysler and square headlights happened.

There's a pretty significant difference between towing with an 80" wheelbase and a 104" wheelbase.

I think the latest offering, the four-door Unlimited is interesting, and if they ever offer it in a diesel, I may be interested.

Roger
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:44 AM   #7
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I didn't intend to hijack the thread away from Jeeps, but had no idea what wheelbases Jeeps had, so thought I would throw in the current model info vs. the Element.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:16 AM   #8
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Um, Doing something for a long time without problems is not a real good arguement.
I rode a motorcycle without brakes all over Chicago for a year when I was 16 ( yes in the snow too).
It didn't seem like a bad idea until one day I almost T-boned a car.
I don't think I would try it today.

I've had my say, I'll go to my room now like Gina said to do.
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:57 AM   #9
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I didn't intend to hijack the thread away from Jeeps, but had no idea what wheelbases Jeeps had, so thought I would throw in the current model info vs. the Element.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Not a problem, Patrick. I think the Element experience is relevant, but I thought a resource for the really short wheelbase folks might be in order.

Roger
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:00 AM   #10
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Um, Doing something for a long time without problems is not a real good arguement.
Pete, of all of the things I've been accused of over the years, genius usually isn't high on that list. After all, I tow with a Kubota BX1850 with a 52" wheelbase! You'll notice, however, the roll-over-protection-system (ROPS) cage!

Despite that I won't tow with a short-wheelbase Jeep again either, I know that there are folks out there who do, and others considering it. I think it appropriate that they share their experiences, good and bad.

Roger
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:14 AM   #11
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I have an '05 Rubicon Unlimited Wrangler. (dubbed the LJ) It has a wheel base of 103" which is just 1" shorter than the Liberty. It is also heavier than the regular jeep at around 4000#. Tow rating is 3500" but I wouldn't want to get that heavy. This rig is much more stable than the regular jeeps!
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:50 PM   #12
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Hi Folks...thought I'd add my 2 cents worth (CDN) to this.....
I towed my 13' Boler for 4 years using my '02 JEEP TJ (Canadian version of the Wrangler). I had modifications of a 4" lift as well as 33" tires on it. All in all, it made it to Alaska as well as 2 trips down to the Oregon FG Rally from the Canadian Arctic and I have never experienced any problem or issues with it. (my Jeep had a 6cyl, 4 liter engine)
In thinking back, I did make sure I did not overload my Boler and as I was only one person travelling, I didn't pack much heavy stuff.
My only incident was in a small town in Washington State when I had to go from 35mph to zero in about 30 feet. (This was due to my 'rubbernecking' when I should have been paying attention. The Jeep 'chattered' quite a bit but I made it to a stop with about 2 1/2 inches to spare from the bumper in front of me, and a little bit sideways! That was a long and embarassing red light to wait for!
All in all, I was conservative in my driving habits and found towing the 13' not a bit of a problem.
I have since traded in my little tank and now have a Jeep Commander....(it was an ageing thing)
The Commander has one Oregon FG Rally under its belt and it was a pure dream pulling the Boler with it.
In closing, I actually do miss my Wrangler (TJ) and would not hesitate to pull a 13' with it in the future.
Jamie
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Old 02-17-2007, 06:09 PM   #13
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We bought our 13' Scamp in October of 2005 and have towed approximately 7,500 miles with our 1999 Jeep Wrangler 4 Cylinder. We have been very happy with the performance. I normally run between 60 and 65 on the interstate. I always maintain proper distances between the vehicle in front. Obviously, as with any vehicle, you need to pay attention and allow room to stop. I have also driven this combination over the mountains between Tennessee and North Carolina on I40. I had to run in 3rd and 4th gear at times but it handled it.

It may not work for everyone but I am perfectly comfortable towing with my little Jeep.

We bought a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4 door recently and towed with it to Florida in January. It towed like a dream. It is rated for 3,500 # towing because of the extended wheelbase. It will now be our primary TV but we still have the other and will use it from time to time as well.

Ted
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Old 02-17-2007, 06:20 PM   #14
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Jamie and Ted,

Do either of you have brakes on your trailer? I think I will opt for them if and when I ever get one of these little trailers.

Ted, how do you like your '07??

Thanks, Jack
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