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Unread 04-09-2014, 11:05 PM   #1
WWheeler
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Cost of not having a tow rig?

My Jeep is a second vehicle and not heavily modified. I'm going to keep it street legal for a long time. Unfortunately, good off-road parks are about 300-500 miles away. I'm at a point where I'm looking to trade in my 04 tacoma DD for something else. I could go with a car or move to a full size truck to trailer my Jeep.

What experiences have others had with breaking their Jeeps far from home and having a tow service get it home? I would be with my club, so hopefully we could fix it or put my Jeep on one of their trailers, but I'm thinking worse case scenario.

The difference between the car and truck I'd like is about 13K, and the car gets double the gas mileage. I'm curious how much it would cost each time I needed my Jeep towed. I would only be going that far out of town once or twice a year.

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Unread 04-10-2014, 05:43 AM   #2
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I made a flatbed tow rig with room for two rigs, mine, and the broke one. Many times, I would take a club member's rig or even a stranger's and drop his rig off someplace. I had a full sized winch on the headboard of the bed to pull em up. It really was great fun to do. But, I saw a lot of misery and fear from a guy with a seriously broke rig, stranded somewhere he could not leave it safely (despite off roaders being an excellent bunch of guys, there is not an off road park in the US where you can leave your rig in the weeds for a couple of days without the removable goodies ending up in someone else's truck).
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Unread 04-10-2014, 07:58 AM   #3
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Figure up cost of annual ownership (for DDing) of the two vehicles. Now figure the price difference and the cost of a trailer. Now figure up how much a uhaul truck and trailer would cost for the trips you take. Sometimes, while more annoying, the uhaul route is cheaper. Or it takes many many years before the uHaul catches up to the cost of buying your own setup.
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Unread 04-11-2014, 04:05 PM   #4
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If the only reason you are getting a truck and trailer is to tow your Jeep a couple times a year it's going to be cheaper to rent U-Hauls or a spot on a buddy's trailer. If you go the u-haul route you and another buddy could split the rental and haul one in the truck and another on a trailer.
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Unread 04-15-2014, 02:18 PM   #5
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Unless you tow very regularly it's a waste of money to have a tow vehicle. Pretty much the long and the short of it. Kind of like me living in Wyoming and carrying tidal wave insurance. Your mileage will be worse, your usual initial purchase will be higher, maintenance will be higher, insurance will be higher etc etc etc. So you'll be spending a lot of money every month "just in case" someday you break down.

Best advice I have. Buy a car for a DD, hit CL for an old truck that will do the job that you can pay cash for. I have an old beater f250 for just that reason. It gets driven maybe 6 times a year, besides carrying $10/month in liability insurance doesn't cost me a dime. Best application of $2k I could find. I still want a really nice diesel but common sense rules every time.
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Unread 04-15-2014, 05:34 PM   #6
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If it was about the money, none of us would have an off road rig in the first place.

I have had every manner of tow rig, trailer, flatbed, etc. I think having an interesting and well performing tow rig is part of the fun of the sport. I started out as others have with a series of worn out pickups. Fun to keep them running well. I'd agree that if you are not going very far and towing one rig, you can get an F250 5.4 gasser, and get there and back. But, consider other alternatives. My favorite recommendation right now is the Isuzu NPR flatbed landscapers' rig. But, my old K2500 454 Suburban will tow any rig and trailer with ease. And, it sits most of the year with liability coverage only. You don't have to daily drive some humongous diesel pickup for it to work.

In the end, however, only a diesel rig of some configuration will give you a really pleasurable towing experience.
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Unread 04-15-2014, 09:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. Something I didn't even think about was to check the areas around the offroad parks to see if they have Uhauls around. I can just rent a truck and trailer to tow it back one way. I don't have to rent one for the entire time . Its a lot cheaper that way.

wilson1010, I saw some of your posts about that landscaping rig during my searches. I looked into renting a similar setup from Hertz commercial equipment, but they say you can't take it out of the area. It would have been sweet though. Another issue I didn't mention is I don't have the space to keep a trailer. I think I'll just get a car, use my dad's tacoma when I need it, and rent a full size truck and trailer until I have the space for a dedicated tow setup.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 05:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WWheeler View Post
Thanks for all the replies. Something I didn't even think about was to check the areas around the offroad parks to see if they have Uhauls around. I can just rent a truck and trailer to tow it back one way. I don't have to rent one for the entire time . Its a lot cheaper that way.

wilson1010, I saw some of your posts about that landscaping rig during my searches. I looked into renting a similar setup from Hertz commercial equipment, but they say you can't take it out of the area. It would have been sweet though. Another issue I didn't mention is I don't have the space to keep a trailer. I think I'll just get a car, use my dad's tacoma when I need it, and rent a full size truck and trailer until I have the space for a dedicated tow setup.
This would be the most economical approach. Good luck!
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Unread 04-16-2014, 01:40 PM   #9
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it cost six hours last saturday and fuel. friends tj. the time to go back home get a friend's trailer and truck go back. load it up take it home.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 11:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010
If it was about the money, none of us would have an off road rig in the first place. I have had every manner of tow rig, trailer, flatbed, etc. I think having an interesting and well performing tow rig is part of the fun of the sport. I started out as others have with a series of worn out pickups. Fun to keep them running well. I'd agree that if you are not going very far and towing one rig, you can get an F250 5.4 gasser, and get there and back. But, consider other alternatives. My favorite recommendation right now is the Isuzu NPR flatbed landscapers' rig. But, my old K2500 454 Suburban will tow any rig and trailer with ease. And, it sits most of the year with liability coverage only. You don't have to daily drive some humongous diesel pickup for it to work. In the end, however, only a diesel rig of some configuration will give you a really pleasurable towing experience.
Well said Wilson!

Lately I've been using my Suburban 2500 and trailer most of the time, but I also have a 3500 Duramax dually, and my jeep is also setup with a tow bar. Many different ways to do it. Getting there is half the fun.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 03:53 AM   #11
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Reality is, it doesn't take much to pull/haul a Jeep. My YJ weighs less than 3400lbs, and with trailer, you are well under 6k pounds. Most every 150/1500 will adequately pull 6k pounds with no trouble, and with a set of dual trailer brakes, the experience will be pleasant. You may not be able to run mountain grades at 70mph, but you will be able to keep up with most traffic.
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Unread 04-26-2014, 11:41 AM   #12
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Went by Uhaul today to check out the trailers in person. The straps for the tires are only good for 30inch tires. This fine for me now, but eventually I will have 33s. Has anyone used their own tire nets successfully on Uhaul's trailers? If so, where did you get them?

Here is what the setup looks like on the Uhaul trailer:

Note: this is their smaller trailer. They do have another one that is wider, but the setup on the front is the same on both.



Edit: Here is a video that better shows how it's set up in the front:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZeAqaDpiBU
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Unread 04-26-2014, 03:52 PM   #13
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Hard to tell from that photo - does that trailer have any tie-down points that you could use to the down your axles with your own straps or chains, instead if using tire nets?

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Unread 04-26-2014, 04:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPond View Post
Hard to tell from that photo - does that trailer have any tie-down points that you could use to the down your axles with your own straps or chains, instead if using tire nets?
It didn't see anything. It looks like it was designed around using wheel nets on the front and safety chains for the rear.

I'm thinking I'll just have to find a place that can custom build similar, but larger, straps when the time comes.
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Unread 07-16-2014, 10:51 AM   #15
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Why not get a half ton pickup, I had a 2004 Silverado crew cab that was great. I drove it from central IA to Myrtle Beach and averaged basically 18 mph(17.8 or 17.9 IIRC) the entire way running 80-85 with 4.10s and those are hard to find in a 1500, most had 3.73s and on stock 265s guys get similar mileage, get a tune from Black Bear Performance and that will only go up, they do a great job with there tunes for a mail order tune and its only $200, I was going to go with them after I put 33s on mine but a buddy has one of there tunes and loves it. I towed a 1990 F150 regular cab long box 4x4 on a HEAVY open trailer and still got abo12-13 on the 300 mile trip. If you can live with an extended cab instead of the crew you can save a few thousand. Then on your trips rent a u haul trailer.

Here it is all hooked up, was great hauling my uncles Ford with my Chevy since he is diehard Ford .
That truck was about 5000 pounds just balanced it on the trailer and my truck drove great with it, brakes on the trailer would have be great, not my trailer or they would have been working.
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