Jeep Wrangler, Short Wheelbase, for Towing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2008, 09:16 AM   #1
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I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler, Sahara, with their famous in-line 6 cylinder engine and 5-speed transmission and I do not wish to part with it. It lists tow capacity of 2,ooo lbs.

My quandary is, I wish to buy a scamp or Casita travel trailer and would much prefer a 16' but somehow feel that a 13' would be safer.

So, is anyone out there with experience towing with a Wrangler. Scamp says (by telephone) that I can, Casita says it is iffy so I am looking for first-hand advice...or second-hand even.

Thanks for considering it.
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:38 PM   #2
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John....
There is someone out here in just the last two weeks bought a brand new 16'casita and tows it with a 6cyl jeep wrangler and even posted pictures and they said it drove real good...... even in the rain. If I can find the post i will put it here.
Joe

Update; found the link and it was from fakehipbob and you could probably pm him and get all the info you need..... It was post #21: http://www.casitaclub.com/forums/index.php...ost&p=98458

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Old 08-24-2008, 02:32 PM   #3
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My son went to rent a trailer at UHaul with his Wrangler and they would not rent him one because they said the vehicle did not meet their requirements to pull a trailer.

He went to a different UHaul place and rented a trailer.

A trailer can really whip a short wheelbase around so I recommend that you do not exceed the manufactures recommendations. Trailer weight and Total weight when towing. I for one would certainly want electric brakes on the trailer because they can be most helpful when you see the trailer trying to pass the tow vehicle and to help control sway.
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Old 08-24-2008, 02:42 PM   #4
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Here's a post about Jeeps from May
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:21 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2000 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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John....
There is someone out here in just the last two weeks bought a brand new 16'casita and tows it with a 6cyl jeep wrangler and even posted pictures and they said it drove real good...... even in the rain. If I can find the post i will put it here.
Joe
Joe...
If you find it, please post it please.

From all the info offered it confirms that a 13' is very doable, but since I would be in it a long time, I thought a 16' model with toilet & shower would be more comfortable. Otherwise, I'll forgo comfort for safety. My jeep is not the best option but I just like it...plus it is PAID FOR!
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:31 PM   #6
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I tow a 13" Play Pac with my 94 Wrangler. I have brakes. They did make a difference. I don't go fast. I don't take chances and I love the combo. My Jeep's paid for, too.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:48 PM   #7
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Joe...
If you find it, please post it please.

From all the info offered it confirms that a 13' is very doable, but since I would be in it a long time, I thought a 16' model with toilet & shower would be more comfortable. Otherwise, I'll forgo comfort for safety. My jeep is not the best option but I just like it...plus it is PAID FOR!
John.... I found it and posted it above in my original post to you and then again here. He should be able to answer some of your questions.
Joe


http://www.casitaclub.com/forums/index.php...amp;#entry98458
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:04 PM   #8
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Trailer: Casita 16 ft Spirit Deluxe
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I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler, Sahara, with their famous in-line 6 cylinder engine and 5-speed transmission and I do not wish to part with it. It lists tow capacity of 2,ooo lbs.

My quandary is, I wish to buy a scamp or Casita travel trailer and would much prefer a 16' but somehow feel that a 13' would be safer.

So, is anyone out there with experience towing with a Wrangler. Scamp says (by telephone) that I can, Casita says it is iffy so I am looking for first-hand advice...or second-hand even.

Thanks for considering it.
I tow a 2001 16' Casita Spirit Deluxe with a 2007 Jeep Liberty (2wd). I don't know if the Wrangler is a shorter wheel base than the Liberty. I use an anti-sway bar and drive between 55 and 60 max. I know some people drive faster but that is my comfort zone. I have had no problem but felt with the length of vehicle that the 16' was the maximum that would be comfortable. I know others will have differing opinions and this is just my opinion. A 13' might have been "safer" but I saw so many people on the Casita forums with Libertys and 16' Casitas that I felt that would be okay for me. Of course if Casita says that it is iffy, I would much more respect their opinion than mine.
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:48 PM   #9
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If Jeep says 2000 lbs, then you are really sticking your neck out to exceed that -- The short WB gives the trailer a lot of sway leverage over the jeep to move the front end when you don't want it to be moved. I believe the Jeep Liberty has a longer WB, though I am not sure of that.

Even within the 2000 lb limit (which pretty much limits the choice to 13' eggs) I would be scrupulous about getting the weight balances right and keeping them right, including the weights in the Jeep.

I would also use as short a ball mount bar as possible to keep the overhang (ball to rear axle) as short as possible (long overhang gives sway advantage to trailer). I would also get trailer brakes because, aside from the usual reasons to have brakes, you may find yourself NEEDING to apply them to get your rig out of a moving mess...

Short WB, esp ones with high COG, have a bad enough reputation all on their own without sticking a trailer on the back, esp one that exceeds jeep's recommendations.

Also, I would take jeep owners' recommendations with a grain of salt as owners seem to be very proud of what their buggies can do -- The problem is we don't hear from the folks who did have major problems.

I recall talking to a camp host who wanted to get a Boler 13 to pull with his Samurai -- I tried to explain tow geometry to him but all he could do was repeat how the Samurai did such a good job of pulling stumps from the beach -- Stump power isn't going to help much when a fundamental sway imbalance rears it's ugly head (I'm NOT talking about the momentary sway one gets from a passing truck, but REAL sway).

I had an experience with a Dodge half-ton pickup (tow rating 2,000 lbs) being yanked all over a gravel road by my Scamp 13 -- Had to go to the opposing lane to recover -- No doubt whatsoever in my mind that if it had been a shorter WB, like a Wrangler, the whole rig would have been in the ditch.

It is my experience that when someone whose job it is to sell something to you recommends that you not buy it, that recommendation is worthy of serious consideration.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
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Trailer: Casita 16 ft Spirit Deluxe
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I use the anti-sway bar and electric brakes. The towing capacity for the Liberty is within the range for my 16' Casita. I don't off road or pull stumps but do like the fact that my car is paid for and did take into consideration the safety of pulling 16' as opposed to 17'

As originally stated, I think if Casita does not recommend that you pull at 16 footer with that vehicle you should strongly consider their recommendation.
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:52 AM   #11
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Trailer: 2000 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler, Sahara, with their famous in-line 6 cylinder engine and 5-speed transmission and I do not wish to part with it. It lists tow capacity of 2,ooo lbs.

My quandary is, I wish to buy a scamp or Casita travel trailer and would much prefer a 16' but somehow feel that a 13' would be safer.

So, is anyone out there with experience towing with a Wrangler. Scamp says (by telephone) that I can, Casita says it is iffy so I am looking for first-hand advice...or second-hand even.

Thanks for considering it.
I am sorry but I erred. Casita DID NOT say it was iffy to pull a 16' trailer with my wrangler. I just called them back and the salesman with whom I spoke, most definitely said I could, even though it was on the top side of my tow capacity.

I have spoken with so many of late about this topic that my mind must have wandered a little, gotten a little confused, perhaps because of this darn grey hair I now have...well, at least I still have it, grey as it is
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:49 PM   #12
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I am sorry but I erred. Casita DID NOT say it was iffy to pull a 16' trailer with my wrangler. I just called them back and the salesman with whom I spoke, most definitely said I could, even though it was on the top side of my tow capacity.
Ahh, now we are back to REAL salesmen -- The DRY weight of a 16' whatever might be barely below the top side of your tow capacity (Casita 16' deluxe is already exceeding your capacity) but when you get some propane in the tanks and some water in the tank and some food in the fridge and some bedding and clothing, etc., you will be OVER the top side of the tow capacity... Will the salesman be there to help tow you out of the ditch?
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:34 PM   #13
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My quandary is, I wish to buy a scamp or Casita travel trailer and would much prefer a 16' but somehow feel that a 13' would be safer.

So, is anyone out there with experience towing with a Wrangler. Scamp says (by telephone) that I can, Casita says it is iffy so I am looking for first-hand advice...or second-hand even.

I use to tow a 21' Mastercraft X-star boat with a Dual Axle Trailer - with a 97 Wrangler - the boat/Trailer was over 3,250 lbs with full gear and fuel. I didn't go very fast, max speed being 55mph - but it did the job.

Being a fan of Wranglers, and owning 3 of them, I don't think it would be a problem towing a 16' Scamp...
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #14
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The rule of thumb is to not exceed 75% of the vehicle towing capacity.

People exceed posted limits on a daily basis and some even live to tell about it.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
The rule of thumb is to not exceed 75% of the vehicle towing capacity.

People exceed posted limits on a daily basis and some even live to tell about it.
Agreed, but if one makes a habit of it, one is challenging statistics, and I for one am not going to encourage people to "Go for it!" when it comes to exceeding the manufacturer's stated limits.

Some of the folks who exceeded the limits once too often may not be around to tell us about it.

Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances...
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:32 PM   #16
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I had a PM but am not sure if it referred to a thread or not, so I'll stick it here because it's of interest

################
Question:

Why not tow a '13? It weighs #1000, has trailer brakes and is under the towing limit set by the manufacturer and DOT. As far as I'm concerned, a '13 is perfect for a smaller vehicle like an Element or any other light car. The tranny cooler is a prudent option if you are going to trailer it in the mountains. As for overdrive, look in the Element owners manual and it explicitly states that in hilly terrain take it out of overdrive and continue towing. When I leave it in overdrive I have no problems, I'm just following the owners manual. So my question stands, "why not tow a '13?"

Answer:

If a loaded 13' weighed only 1,000 lbs (dry) I might agree with you, but they don't and likely never did -- The Scamp brochure weights are way off (read the Casita specs on a 13') -- They put a 2,200 lb axle under them for a reason -- You aren't going to be towing a dry trailer...

I have a 91S13' -- It has the foam icebox, not a refrigerator -- It doesn't have a toilet (except my porta-potti), it doesn't have a hot water heater, it doesn't have gray or black tanks, it doesn't have oven (just range top), it doesn't have a converter and it only has a ten-pound LP tank instead of the usual 20-lb and it doesn't have air conditioning or the regular RV furnace. It does have a vent-free heater, a fantastical fan and a spare wheel/tire. That's a pretty basic unit.

The actual scale weight, loaded for the road (IOW, what I really tow) is 1,750 lbs on the axle and another 250 lbs tongue weight and that was before I added the brakes and brake drums to it.

The tongue label on my Scamp says axle weight is 950 lbs -- I don't for a moment believe that I have nearly doubled the weight of the trailer with food, LP, water and clothes.

Here's the way tow capacity is calculated -- The engineers set a total capacity weight, after consulting with the marketing guys, called the Gross Combined Weight Restriction (GCWR; which should be in your owner's manual) -- From that they subtract the curb weight (usually vehicle, driver and fuel -- Maybe some cargo), then subtract extras (like hitch receiver, trans cooler, other after-market, etc.), then subtract cargo and passengers and trailer tongue weight) and the remainder is available for trailer axle weight -- The max tow weight is often calculated using no passengers, no cargo, 10% of trailer for TW (sort of a circular figure) and minimal hitch weight.

Reportedly, for trucks the curb weight presumes no cargo, but passenger vehicles have greater allowance for passengers/cargo so that may need to be taken into account.

So, what YOU need to do, rather than listen to other folks who may be proud of their bravery and their experience so far and there brave-element or VW or whatever, and just haven't managed to get into the right situation at the wrong time, is find out your GCWR and take your Element to a scale and get the curb weight -- Then you can start subtracting for the cargo, passengers and hitch equipment and see what's left for actual trailer.

Based on my numbers, it looks like you will already have exceeded the stated tow capacity by 250 lbs even if the Element was empty and there was no tongue weight.

The reason I may seem harsh on this subject is that I had my Scamp yank my half-ton full-size Dodge pickup all over a road in BC and I was darned lucky there was no one in the oncoming lane -- My truck was rated for 2,000 lbs TC.

There are three parts to towing, getting it moving (power and driveline), stopping it (brakes, relative weights of egg and TV) and steering (tow geometry -- Wheelbase, overhang, tongue length, trailer overhang, towing suspension, TV weight balance and correct tongue weight.

The above is why it may not be a good idea to tow a 13', much less a 16/17'.

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Old 11-12-2008, 01:09 PM   #17
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Trailer: 2000 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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Thank you all for everyone's kind help with my jeep and "which" Casita decision. I now own one. I opted for a 16 footer!

At the very end of last month I drove my Jeep Wrangler from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, to a very nice, small town just north of Montgomery, Alabama, called Coosada and purchased a 'new-to-me", 2000 Casita, 16' Spirit Deluxe, from a fine young lady there. The local RV dealer, Clark's RV, hooked up a new plug to my Jeep to match the Casita's, installed a brake controller for the Casita brakes and put a sway bar extension on my hitch so I could use the sway bar that came with my 'new' Casita. I was excited but very, very tired.

I had been driving since 0400 that morning to get to Coosada around noonish and while the drive was long, my overall purchase experience could not have been more pleasant. The Casita was just as the young lady said, pristine on the inside but showing some signs of wear on the outside from always being parked under the elements. And, almost everything worked, which was a plus. The folks at Clark's RV were professional and quite reasonable as I was expecting a much higher bill than what I was charged for the work they did. I would recommend them highly if anyone finds themselves near Montgomery and need any work at all done on their trailer.

I was tired that afternoon from the drive and all the stress and excitement of my new ownership when everything was finally hooked up to my Jeep but quite nervous too. I had read more than just a little negativity on these forums from some who had cautioned against towing a package so close to, or exceeding, the maximum rating of my tow vehicle. But, I had also been able to locate and communicate with two who already did in fact tow 16 foot Casitas with their Jeep Wranglers so, I suspected, but was not completely convinced, that I could too. When I pulled out of Clark RV's parking lot that afternoon with my new Casita following firmly behind me, to say that I was 'white-knuckled' would be a considerable understatement.

But, I soon found that I had no problems towing at all. In the beginning I never let my speed exceed 55 MPH. Then, As I slowly gained more confidence, I let it creep up to 60 MPH and occasionally to 65 even. On the I-10 expressway I even nudged it to 70 MPH on a few occasions when I let my mind wander but always immediately backed off to average my speed somewhere in the 60's, between 60 and 65, which is where i felt safer. The jeep's motor pulled it nicely and I never needed shifting much out of 5th gear on the rolling hills of southern Alabama. And, not once did it even hint at swaying, even when I was passed by tractor and trailers speeding past me in the rain that evening.

I was most pleasantly surprised with my gas consumption, too. The Jeep is known for it's horrible mileage per gallon and i averaged exactly 16.6 miles for each of them up to the point where i picked up my Casita and then a surprising 14.8 miles for each with towing it behind me. I expected considerably worse. That meant, for each 1000 miles of towing the Casita would in the future cost me just an additional 7.3 gallons more of gas. Now, that is not a bad trade-off for hauling one's home with them. Of course, I did not have my additional 300 pounds or so of personal gear I will later carry or water in the holding tank, but it did have a full propane tank. Even if i lose a full 2 MPG instead of the 1.8, I will still be quite happy! I must add that I do not know what the Casita weighs, but it is a deluxe version so I am guessing at 1650-1700 or so.

The bottom line, from my experience, is that my Jeep Wrangler is indeed up to the task of pulling THIS 16' Spirit Deluxe, made in the tender year of 2000. Now, I know it will struggle some going up and over the Rocky Mountains on at least two occasions northwestward this summer on the drive to Alaska, but I am now convinced that not only is it a doable adventure but a fairly safe one as well, so long as I always maintain my vigilance. But, that is something we all need to maintain anyway, no matter what our tow vehicle is, right? I do wonder, though, just how much 'slop' is built into each vehicle's published tow capacity, especially in this country of easy and all to often frivolous lawsuits. My Jeep's tow capacity is much higher in Europe, for instance, than the 2000 pounds it is listed at here in the USA.

I am happy with my decision. If you can believe it, am even happy waxing off almost nine years of accumulated oxidation from the 'egglet' and putting the shine back into it!
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:07 PM   #18
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The bottom line, from my experience, is that my Jeep Wrangler is indeed up to the task of pulling THIS 16' Spirit Deluxe...

My Jeep's tow capacity is much higher in Europe, for instance, than the 2000 pounds it is listed at here in the USA.
I take it from the above you are counseling others to tow over the manufacturers limits with a short-wheelbased vehicle?

I sure hope your TV is also up to the task of stopping and steering while towing under adverse conditions, but I doubt that it will be.

Don't forget to release the tension on your friction anti-sway bars under slippery road conditions..
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:31 PM   #19
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I tow a 16' scamp with a 2005 Jeep Wrangler.
Seattle to Arizona and back twice with no problems.
Be careful about loading and speed.
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:22 AM   #20
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Trailer: 2000 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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I take it from the above you are counseling others to tow over the manufacturers limits with a short-wheelbased vehicle?

I sure hope your TV is also up to the task of stopping and steering while towing under adverse conditions, but I doubt that it will be.

Don't forget to release the tension on your friction anti-sway bars under slippery road conditions..
\
Pete:
I underlined THIS in my thread above specifically to indicate that the combination works for me, and obviously not that I was suggesting that others do so or even counseling others to do so.

We all must make our own decisions and we are all responsible for our own actions. What I tried to carefully, and tactfully, suggest was that we should evaluate the "nay" opinions, as well as the "yea" opinions of others on any subject and take each with the very same "grain of salt". I know that I am likely pushing the envelope a bit in this endeavor but I just wanted to say that it was not an impossible task, as was offered by some. In fact, my experience is that I cannot even consider it reckless. Just my knowing the limitation likely will go a long way towards making me a much more cautious driver than I might be otherwise, for instance, pulling with something like a Hummer. I just like my Jeep. I do not want another vehicle. And, I wanted a 16 footer. It is a marriage that seems to work for me. I am certainly not counseling it for everyone else!...Unless, of course, you wish the same combination for yourself!
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