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Old 08-31-2013, 10:34 AM   #1
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Best way to take a towed vehicle with you?

I'm new to RVing.

I purchased the RV for the purpose of being able to go to drag races and not have to leave the track.

I have the MH set up to tow a 28 foot enclosed trailer that hauls my dragster.

The after thought has come up to use the MH for weekend get a ways. We would like to visit state and national parks.

I have a vintage survivor CJ-7 Jeep I would like to take with us on these get a ways.

The question is what is the best way to do that?

The Jeep is aligned and has 6 degrees of front axle caster, but the wheel does not like to return to neutral by itself when driving.

There are four ways to go so far as I can see;

1) Tow bar, I'm concerned about the short length of the Jeep and the reluctance of the steering in the jeep to return to neutral by itself. I'm afraid it might have bad towing characteristics. The Jeep does have the original Dana 300 transfer case which has a neutral position and the front axle can be locked out so the drive shaft for the front woulds not turn (do I have to remove the drive shaft for the rear axle or is just putting the transfer case in neutral good enough?)I also do not want to expose a historical vehicle to the weather and grim in an open tow behind.

2) Dolly, Most of the above still appies except that the concern of the neural return is eliminated. Backing up becomes a problem with the two pivot points.

3) Open flat bed trailer, I do not think I would even consider this because if I was to buy a trailer I would opt for an enclosed trailer for a number of reasons (protection, winter storage out of the elements for the Jeep, in the summer it is topless in the garage all summer)

4) Enclosed trailer, this eliminates most of the problems with option number one, but I am concerned that some parks might consider it as part of the length of the unit when reserving a spot. I have called a few and they have all said that the length is of the camping unit only and the trailer is considered a second vehicle. With an enclosed trailer I could use it for winter storage of the Jeep, it is protected from the elements, MH is wired and has a 16,000 hitch for pulling a trailer, single pivot can be backed up.

I would like to hear you pros and cons on all the options. Might save me from regret once an option has been chosen (I like option 4)

Thanks
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:15 AM   #2
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Based on your concerns and usage I recommend the enclosed trailer. The overall length issue is dependent on the RV parks you select. I have been towing a open trailer for about 9 years and I pre-select an RV park that has pull though sites long enough to suit me. I have been told to disconnect the trailer once in all that time. Even though the site was long enough their policy didn't allow trailers at your site. There have been very few parks that were back-ins or had short sites where I had to drop the trailer but I knew that going in and there was always parking available for the trailer.
I have done both the tow bar and trailer methods and while the tow bar method is lighter and a little easier and faster to hook/unhook, the trailer's ability to backup and it's protection of the vehicle make driving less stressful.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
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Towing 4 down with a jeep is very popular, not sure why yours doesn't track front wheels. Having a transfer case with neutral is why they are so popular, normally that's all it takes to tow 4 down. Concern about exposure is valid, a toad is exposed to the stuff stirred up in the RV's wake. An enclosed trailer might be best for towing and storage of you vintage Jeep. In most of the campgrounds I've seen, they can accommodate you. You could drop the trailer in a parking spot away from your site, others have room in the campsite. Some might charge for that, but many are O.K. with it. Just call ahead and ask.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:22 AM   #4
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I would repair the jeep to return to center. Then get a good tow bar.


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Old 08-31-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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How about a cheap FWD to drag around instead of your collector's piece?
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:32 AM   #6
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Backing up is going to be a problem with both option 1 and 2. I tow a 2004 Wrangler 4 down, so thinking ahead to avoid the need to back up is necessary. But you eliminate the need to consider the trailer as part of your length.

When towing a trailer with both our motorcycles, I always calculate the trailer length as part of the total length of my rig. I don't mind backing the trailer in, just hate to disconnect it if I don't have to. Never have been asked to park the trailer anywhere but at our spot. Lucky perhaps.

With the open MC trailer and flat tow, dirt/grime is an issue, so you might want to consider the enclosed trailer if the cost difference doesn't bother you.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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Nice Jeep,


1. The length won't be an issue but the Dana 300 can not be flat towed without removing the driveshaft(s). Personally even with lock outs on the front hubs I'd be afraid of the slight drag spinning the shaft enough to turn the un-lubricated bearings.

My XJ had a failure to return to center, was a caster issue, I struck a happy medium between having the CV driveshaft angle perfect and caster and all is well. I'd see if a shop can set things up so it returns properly.

Also I've picked up more damage flat towing the XJ than I ever have open trailering the TJ, rock chips and a cracked windshield. There are things you can do to mitigate this but it's still going to be pretty much out there in the open.

2. Dolly towing will still require removing the rear shaft, plus you have the issues of the dolly to deal with.

3. I open trailer my TJ (35" BFG Krawlers/Atlas II/ARBs F&R, etc. etc. It's pretty much a trail only Jeep and has plenty of dents from the trails. Seeing as how you have a nice survivor I can certainly understand not wanting to do this. Dealing with where to put the trailer can be an issue on the rare occasions I stay at an RV park.

4. For you this sounds like a perfect solution, still have to deal with finding a place to put the trailer at your destination but the Jeep will not get all chipped up from debris off the highway.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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I would get the jeep fixed so it returns to center properly and tow 4 down but, Given the option you have of the race car trailer that is the second recommendation.. As for considering it part of your overall length for site reservations.. .IF the jeep can tow the empty trailer.. They will not..

There are two reasons for length restrictions.

1: The sites are not long enough for a full length RV
2: The turns in the park are "Too tight"

I have seen both cases in my travels (Thankfully the 2nd one by car)

So, Depending on the park what I would do is this.

make your reservation based on the Motor home only

When you get close, Park and take the jeep in for a "look round" In some parks you may need a 2nd site for the trailer, some you can park the trailer either in a "Storage" area or in a parking lot outside the park.

Then drop the trailer and tow it with the jeep to wherever you are going to put it.. And put the RV on site.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Towing 4 down with a jeep is very popular, not sure why yours doesn't track front wheels. Having a transfer case with neutral is why they are so popular, normally that's all it takes to tow 4 down. Concern about exposure is valid, a toad is exposed to the stuff stirred up in the RV's wake. An enclosed trailer might be best for towing and storage of you vintage Jeep. In most of the campgrounds I've seen, they can accommodate you. You could drop the trailer in a parking spot away from your site, others have room in the campsite. Some might charge for that, but many are O.K. with it. Just call ahead and ask.
I have pretty much come to the conclusion I will purchase another enclosed trailer for the Jeep. It will keep it protected, and will be a good place to store it in the winter.

I do not know why it does not return I have replaced all the ball joints, tie rod ends, when the steering box is disconnected and the front wheels off the ground the front wheels turn lock to lock with no resistance. I have put three different steering boxes in including a brand new on (not manufactured) and the steering specs are right on.

Here is the build thread on the jeep front end.

Progress 2011 10 01

Progress 2011 10 25






Quote:
Originally Posted by mfire1339 View Post
I would repair the jeep to return to center. Then get a good tow bar.


Mike
Se the above, I have not been able to figure out why it does not return

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
I would get the jeep fixed so it returns to center properly and tow 4 down but, Given the option you have of the race car trailer that is the second recommendation.. As for considering it part of your overall length for site reservations.. .IF the jeep can tow the empty trailer.. They will not..

There are two reasons for length restrictions.

1: The sites are not long enough for a full length RV
2: The turns in the park are "Too tight"

I have seen both cases in my travels (Thankfully the 2nd one by car)

So, Depending on the park what I would do is this.

make your reservation based on the Motor home only

When you get close, Park and take the jeep in for a "look round" In some parks you may need a 2nd site for the trailer, some you can park the trailer either in a "Storage" area or in a parking lot outside the park.

Then drop the trailer and tow it with the jeep to wherever you are going to put it.. And put the RV on site.
See above on repairing the Jeep.

I cannot use the race car trailer as that is where the dragster is stored when not in use. It is to long anyway (unit is 39 feet, trailer has a 6 foot toung and the box is 28 feet long).

I could put a hitch on the jeep, not sure I want to do that.

I have only called two camping grounds so far, and they have both said they consider the trailer a second vehicle and both places said that that was allowed. I did explain that there was a vehicle in the trailer, not sure they understood that it would be out for local travel.

I have found a company that sells new 8 foot wide sixteen foot long trailers for 3600 New 8.5x16 Enclosed Trailer Cargo V Nose Utility Motorcycle Landscape 18 Hauler in Trailers | eBay Motors but would like to find a high quality used trailer instead.

I do believe that is the way I will be going (towing a trailer with the Jeep inside).
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:28 PM   #10
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Smart choice,
Here's a couple of pictures from Pirate 4x4 of a 300 that was towed a bit too far. The factory limited flat towing to 100 miles or less. That transfer case, unlike the ones in our later Wranglers etc does not have a provision for oiling the output bearings. Towing 4 down runs the risk of an expensive repair.



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Old 09-01-2013, 03:29 PM   #11
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Also, put a tow hitch on the jeep so you can move the trailer around with it.
P.S. Nice jeep.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennLever View Post
I have pretty much come to the conclusion I will purchase another enclosed trailer for the Jeep. It will keep it protected, and will be a good place to store it in the winter.

I have only called two camping grounds so far, and they have both said they consider the trailer a second vehicle and both places said that that was allowed. I did explain that there was a vehicle in the trailer, not sure they understood that it would be out for local travel.

I do believe that is the way I will be going (towing a trailer with the Jeep inside).
The only issue I see is with the RV, enclosed trailer, and the Jeep parked outside, some campground operators will have kittens over your '3 vehicle at a site' violation. Just park the Jeep in the trailer, I guess.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Smart choice,
Here's a couple of pictures from Pirate 4x4 of a 300 that was towed a bit too far. The factory limited flat towing to 100 miles or less. That transfer case, unlike the ones in our later Wranglers etc does not have a provision for oiling the output bearings. Towing 4 down runs the risk of an expensive repair.



I go this responce on a Jeep Forum, I have not yet checked my factory manual

"From the 1980 CJ-7 Factory Service Manual:

Recreational (Flat) Towing

Manual Transmission - D300

1) Ignition to OFF/UNLOCK position to unlock steering wheel
2) Shift Transmission into gear and Transfer Case into Neutral
3) Turn 4x4 hubs to LOCK for axle lubrication."

Flat towing / tow bar /CJ-7 with Dana 300 Transfer case - JeepForum.com
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #14
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You can upgrade the rear axle to full floating ( a bit of a cost) then put locking hubs on the rear and unlock front and rear hubs while towing.
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