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Old 02-26-2015, 12:32 PM   #1
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Question 4-Down vs Trailer

So we are in the planning stages of going Full-Time and have a 2014 Jeep Wrangler JK with a 4-inch lift and 35" tires. What are the pro's and con's of towing either 4-down or on a trailer? Approximate cost of a good tow-bar with installation and brake system? I know with a trailer you alleviate the wear and tear on the Jeep, but what do you do with the trailer once you get to your campground? We'd be towing with a Winnebago 42GD. Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-26-2015, 12:51 PM   #2
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You have one of the most popular 4 down towed vehicles out there. Why would you put up with the hassle of a trailer? No, just hook it up and go.

Paul, Kathy, and Tux a 4 month Mini Schnauzer
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 42 LH, 2013 Honda CRV
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:04 PM   #3
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Personally, I would NEVER have a tow dolly or trailer! JMHO
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:15 PM   #4
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Well that's what we're leaning towards. Just a tow-bar, hook-up and go. We've seen many people towing their Jeeps on a trailer also, so I was wondering if there was maybe some advantage to towing with trailer that we were missing.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:20 PM   #5
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I four down tow my 12 with the same lift and tires as you. Other than wear and tear, the only other advantage is if you break something 'wheeling, you have a means to get it home. For me, it's not worth the hassle of a trailer.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:29 PM   #6
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The hassle of handling, parking, loading/unloading, etc. a trailer far exceeds the simplicity of flat towing. IMHO.

Some have a heavily modified jeep and/or do difficult level off-roading where damage is likely. A trailer reduces wear on such a jeep and provides a way to get it home in case of a breakdown.

We have a moderately modified keep as it appears you do, and therefore sumise you also at most do moderate difficulty trails. So my comments above do not apply to you or myself.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:33 PM   #7
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4-Down vs Trailer

3 years 4-down and over 40K miles toading my JK. I get my rock chips on off-road trails!
Tire wear has not been detectable. Replaced them at 42K on the odometer and the toading miles makes about 80K miles total. None of my toads had tire issues from towing.
Dave and Nola, RVM1
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:11 PM   #8
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I use a trailer only because I don't want/cant flat tow my wife's Mustang GT or my 07 F250 4x4 (it is automatic 4x4) four down AND do not want to purchase another vehicle. I do not have any problem loading or unloading and I can back my trailer anywhere any distance. That being said, IF I had your toad I would flat tow it. It would cost the same to rig it up to flat tow as it would to buy a car hauler trailer and tie downs.
The only cons I have heard about flat tows are 1, you can't back up and, 2, buying expensive tires as compared to trailer tires. If you plan your gas stops etc. there is no need to back up IF someone does not block you in, the tire thing? well I'm not so sure on that.
Charlie & Diane Amato
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Old 02-26-2015, 04:06 PM   #9
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I (and many others) use a trailer for our Jeep because we do the off-road thing to the point of breaking something. With a trailer all we need to do is get it back to the trailer to get it home. There are some in our club that think the trailer is too much work and have ended up spending as much as $4500 in repairs to get their Jeep towable to get it home.
I do both, the LJ goes on the trailer and the Grand is flat towed. I like using the trailer more than flat towing. As for where to park the trailer when camping, I had to disconnect the trailer once in 10 years, the rest of the time I got a long site and left it hooked up. You just need to plan ahead.
2012 Monaco Knight 36 PFT
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
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Old 02-26-2015, 04:13 PM   #10
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I really don't believe it is worth worrying about wear and tear from towing a vehicle as long as it's a vehicle approved for 4 down towing by the manufacturer. The miles towed behind a motorhome are going to be very few compared to the overall miles on the vehicle from use for the majority of people out there. And most of the miles while being towed are going to be while going straight down the highway so unless your wheel alignment is off or you really like to travel on the back road twisties you shouldn't have any problems. And if the alignment is off, well you'd get tire wear no matter what while towing or driving. Same thoughts about mileage accumulating, it's nice to be able to pull a fuse and avoid the miles adding up, but again for most people I think the difference isn't going to make much of a difference with the overall accumulation of miles. JMHO
Steve & Nancy
2005 Itasca Sunrise 33', W20 Chassis, Ultrapower, Henderson Trac Bar
2012 Chevy Captiva Sport AWD, ReadyBrute Elite Tow Bar, Blue Ox Base Plate, Protect-A-Tow
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:17 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for your input. I was trying to weigh the difference in cost but I think it pretty much evens out, whether flat towing or a trailer. We don't do any extreme off-roading, but some of the trails can be difficult enough to need our winch. I'm not too worried about damaging the Jeep and trying to get it to a shop. We try to stay off the trails where damage is likely to occur. So I'm thinking it makes more sense to just pull it 4-down with a tow-bar. Hook-up and go. Again, thanks everyone for the input!

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