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Old 08-06-2016, 08:52 PM   #1
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Tow on a trailer or as a TOAD

I have a 2015 Wrangler Unlimited with 35's on it. I want to tow it with the RV when on trips.

I believe I have two options:

1) Get a tow bar (have no idea which one to buy) and tow as a TOAD. This would cause wear and tear on the larger oversized tires and put more stress on the Jeep.

2) Buy a flatbad trailer that can handle the Jeep. This would save wear and tear on the oversized tires and less stress on the Jeep. It would also be less complicated to hook up and go. Off course you then need to possibly off load and park the trailer somewhere when in a park which at times could be an issue.

Not interested in one of those sling type deals with the front tires off the ground.

Anybody else think like this? Why did you make your decision the way you did?

I don't know the price of a good tow bar but I can get a steel deck dove tail 20 foot by 102 buggy hauler 6 lug axles list price for $5285 + tax and doc fees.

Advice?

Thank you
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:59 PM   #2
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What are you towing it with? You can buy a lot of Jeep tires for $5300. You can't tow a Jeep on a dolly (sling type deals) without removing the rear driveshaft. If you go the tow bar route, you'll also need a supplemental braking system.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:03 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have modified your Jeep somewhat with 35s and all?

Do you have an after-market front bumper?

If so, it may have tow hooks that can be converted to connection points for a tow bar. If it does, you just saved the expense of buying and installing a base plate. Now, all you need is the tow bar, a brake system and lights.

I bought a base plate, tow bar/brake system and wiring harness for less than $1400 and self installed. You are about $200 ahead if you can use your bumper.

That's a lot cheaper than buying that trailer.

However, one thing you gain with a trailer besides saving wear and tear is the ability to back up. You can't go in reverse with a Jeep in tow four down with most of the tow bars out there.

Other than that, I like the convenience of towing four down. I can hook and unhook in less than five minutes each. I don't have to back up the MH to the Jeep like I would with a trailer. The Jeep only has to be within a foot and I can hook it up. It can even be off center a little when hooking is done.

I've pulled trailers and boats. I've never trailered a car. From what I've seen though, towing four down has got to be easier. Hooking up the trailer might be easier if your are dead on when you back up to it. But then you have to drive the Jeep up onto the thing. Then you have to strap the Jeep down. That's a lot of steps.

I have seen folks at campgrounds drop a tow vehicle off of a tow dolly in the campground. Then, they had to disconnect the dolly and hook it to the toad just to move it to the storage area. The MH wasn't maneuverable enough to move the dolly to storage. I could imagine a similar problem with a trailer. Many camp sites are not big enough for MH, trailer (or dolly) and toad.

By the way, I think Wranglers cannot be pulled on a dolly. Its either all four down or all four on a trailer. You already said you weren't interested in that method anyway, though.

Unhooking the Jeep is easy. We have done it just to drive to dinner where our MH couldn't go.

My equipment:

Currie Enterprises baseplate with Blue Ox tabs

Ready Brute Elite tow bar and brake combination with Blue Ox Clevis connectors

Jeep wiring harness to activate brake lights etc., when MH lights come on.

Good luck on your decision
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:46 AM   #4
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I'd put it on a trailer along with an ATV, a gas tank, and a tool box.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:27 AM   #5
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Not even considering a dolly regardless if it would work or not. The trailer also would allow me to possibly put a Harley or something else on as well.

I would be pulling with the 2013 Excursion 33A I have. I have pulled a 24 foot enclosed trailer before loaded with a few bikes and gear. It will handle the flatbed with the jeep.

Yes, you can buy a lot of tires for the price of the trailer for sure. I do not have an after market front bumper. I do have a 3" lift as well as the tires. My spare tire carrier is also after market but that's it. It is a 2015 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. Does everything we need it to do as is so I don't really see us modifying anymore but.....lol

I need to check out the pricing on the Blue Ox and have numbers in front of me before making my decision. Anybody have a good source for this product?

Just wondering what the different opinions are on this in real life conditions.

Thanks for the input so far.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:31 AM   #6
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4 down flat towing a modified jeep works very well. I have done it with multiple jeeps for many years. Tire wear or wear and tear gas never been a problem or major consideration for me.

Tow from the bumper. Wire up the taillights or get a set of magnetic lights. Simple, reliable, and cost effective tow bar and brake system is the NSA ReadyBrute system.

No way I want to have to handle, park, maintain, etc. A trailer.

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Old 08-07-2016, 09:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excursion 33 View Post
Not even considering a dolly regardless if it would work or not. The trailer also would allow me to possibly put a Harley or something else on as well.

I would be pulling with the 2013 Excursion 33A I have. I have pulled a 24 foot enclosed trailer before loaded with a few bikes and gear. It will handle the flatbed with the jeep.

Yes, you can buy a lot of tires for the price of the trailer for sure. I do not have an after market front bumper. I do have a 3" lift as well as the tires. My spare tire carrier is also after market but that's it. It is a 2015 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. Does everything we need it to do as is so I don't really see us modifying anymore but.....lol

I need to check out the pricing on the Blue Ox and have numbers in front of me before making my decision. Anybody have a good source for this product?

Just wondering what the different opinions are on this in real life conditions.

Thanks for the input so far.
I am currently towing my Jeep behind my motorhome. The Jeep has a 3.5 inch lift with 35 inch tires. A friend has been towing his Jeep on a trailer and will be setting his Jeep to be towed 4 down. His reason is that it takes more time and effort to place and tie down the Jeep on the trailer than just hooking it up. He has also found that some RV parks will charge you an additional nightly fee for the trailer or they will require you to store the trailer in their storage yard for an additional fee.

I recently replaced my factory bumper with an aftermarket bumper and will no longer need my base plate. It is a Blue Ox base plate with the pins and safety cables. Blue Ox base plates new will cost about $400.

I will be placing my Blue Ox base plate on the market any day now. Here is a picture (not great) of my Jeep with the attached towing hardware.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
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Forgot the picture. Hopefully this works.

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Old 08-07-2016, 11:03 AM   #9
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We added a RockHard winch capable bumper to our stock height 2014 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara so we could have the (optional at slight extra cost) mounts for our Blue OX Aventa LX tow bar bolt through the bumper and right into the frame of the jeep, while using the "D" ring loops on the Rockhard bumper for the locations to clip in our Blue Ox safety cables. Rockhard was the only manufacturer we found that had this connection combination. They do offer mounts for other tow bar makes and models that mount to the same bumper and through bolt to the Jeep frame. The bumper is available fabed from aluminum too if weight is a consideration and you have time to wait for a special order.

We had the dealer install the MOPAR #8221156AB wiring harness which connects to the motorhome. This harness is warrantied by the factory and is guaranteed not to create feedback or other issues with your Jeep's wiring/computer system. The flat rate price from the dealer to install it was inexpensive enough that I didn't want to do the work myself. There is a therad here that shows photos of the install a member of this forum did himself.

irv2.com/forums/f85/mopar-wiring-harness-196373-2.html#post1999444

If you expect to tow a boat or utility trailer with brakes behind your Jeep, Mopar offers a 7 pin wiring harness for that too. Part # 82210214AB plugs into the Jeep wiring near the drivers side tail light and runs wires to under the dash as well as a connector at the back bumper.

We had to get a 6" riser receiver bar with a 12" length to connect our tow bar into. Due to the lift kit and larger tires on your Jeep, you will likely need an 8" to 10" riser bar on your receiver ball mount bar. You may want to get one with a double receiver tube so you can mount a bicycle carrier from it as well as being able to tow the Jeep.

We slid the Blue Ox screen/fabric rock protector onto our receiver bar, and just unroll it back to the bumper when towing to keep rocks from hitting our Jeep. Two years of towing and no rock chips or windshield damage yet.

We installed the SMI Air ForceOne braking system and are happy with it.

We too find that it is a quick process to connect the Jeep for towing "4 down" using this system, and have found that it would be a pain to carry the Jeep on a trailer, as most RV park sites don't have room to store it. Also, unless you get an all aluminum trailer, the Jeep likely does not have the tongue weight carry capacity to allow you to move an enclosed trailer using the Jeep as a tow vehicle, even for short distances.

We got a lot of valuable help from members here while choosing our equipment. You will tailor your solution to your own needs, but this is what has worked well for us. Best wishes for putting together a successful set up.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:10 AM   #10
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I tow my 82 CJ7 with 35" tires all the time, with a tow bar 4 wheels down without any problems

I do not believe you put anymore stress on the Jeep towing it than driving it.


As others have said, you can buy a couple of set of tires for the trailer you would have to buy
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:23 PM   #11
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For me, it would depend on how often and how far you plan on towing.

We've towed on all fours, a lifted Bronco II and lifted Cherokee, both with smaller 31 inch tires. Never a problem but, like you, i would hate the thought of putting excess wear on the drivetrain and those more expensive tires.

Will throw this into the equation. Although we always made it home ok, there was a time or two while wheeling in Colorado, that we had minor problems with something or other on the rigs. Was able to make repairs and keep going but those times did cause me to think, what if something major breaks that makes flat towing impossible. A trailer could be a life saver.
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:55 PM   #12
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I also tow a jeep 4 down,for easy tow light wiring bought a boat trailer light wire kit $8 one end has flat plug,plugged into rear of jeep where hitch and trailer plug,then ran wire up fram rail to front bumper connected wire to back of female plug of blue ox tow plate kit.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:00 PM   #13
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Excursion 33,
Well, like many of the responders here, we've towed jeeps, eight different ones to be exact, for well over 30 + years, all over the western U.S. and more. We've always towed them flat with no trailers or dollies. We've NEVER had to find a place to stow a trailer or dolly at a campground/RV spot. I have done all the work on setting up all the Jeeps, towing, lights, tow bars, brakes, and a whole lot more.

If you'd like a tad bit of advice, here's what I'd do if I were you. First, you've stated what you've done to the jeep so far in mods, good. But, I'd do one more. I'd simply install a nice, NOT THE BEST OR THE BADDEST aftermarket front bumper. There's two primary reasons.

1. While your normal approach for off roading MAY be moderate/mild terrain/trails/fire roads/ etc., you may encounter, even once, something you may get stuck in. If you have a travel companion with another jeep in front, it will be nicer to have an aftermarket bumper with what's called "recovery" tabs (points) on the front to attach to. Just some info here.

2. As has been suggested, those recovery tabs (points) can also be used for attaching a tow bar to. And it does not matter what brand, who made it, what make etc. of tow bar. All of them have adapters for off road front bumper recovery points. Tieing in a tow bar to those is much nicer than bolting on an additional base plate to the stock front bumper/frame.

Not only that but, if you choose the aftermarket front bumper, and recovery tabs as attachment points for your tow bar, you'll have increased ground clearance in the front end due to not having that base plate system up there.

Now, as for "tire wear" due to towing your Jeep. Well, in all reality, speaking from over 30+ years of experience, there is NONE! You're not talking about towing your Jeep through obstacle courses all over the world. You're talking about simply towing it on basic paved roads. Even with a slight lift and a correct alignment, your Jeeps front tires will show pretty much ZERO additional tire wear, even with 35s. Done it with those for zillions of miles and years, no additional wear. It's really not even a concern.

Just about the only advantage of using a trailer is, YOU GET TO BACK UP, if and when you need to. Other than that one advantage, you now have to purchase it, store it, find a place for it when you're setting up camp, go retrieve it from where ever it's stored when you decide to depart camp, load the Jeep on to it, tie it down and, do all of it again, at your next camp spot, providing there is SOME PLACE for you to store it, at your next spot.

You asked for advice and thoughts. Buy a medium priced front aftermarket bumper with recovery points attached/welded on. Adapt your tow bar to them, don't worry about "tire wear", go camping.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:26 PM   #14
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Our 2013 JKU is stock. We have 42,000 miles on the original tires and another 18,000 towing on those same tires.

I did 5-tire rotations for the first 25,000 miles. Then a screw in one tire prompted me to plug it and leave it as the spare only. I went with 4-tire rotations after that.

There is some tread left, just some. Right now they would pass inspection but not for long. This fall we will replace the tires going into winter.

I have not assessed the front suspension parts to see if I have unusual wear. Jeeps are made to take on tough terrain. I don't think it is aging too fast for me to be concerned for sure.

Don't let longevity or premature tire wear make the decision for you. Those two factors should be minimal towards your decision. I think you should make your decision on the other factors.
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