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Unread 08-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
smccollamjr
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Flat Tow or Dollie??

I may be going to the Jeep Jamboree in Aspen, CO next year. Due to the lack of space in the TJ for wife, kids, luggage, tools, and spare parts, I'll probably be towing it. Here are my specs:
Tow Rig: 1/2 ton Crew Cab 4x4 Silverado. 5.3 w/ 3.42 gears
Jeep: '00 TJ, 33s, winch, bumpers, TT, ~3" lift
I know a trailer is best, but I'd have to buy or rent one so I'm considering flat towing or using a Dolly. Facts about flat towing:
- No tongue weight
- Only towing weight of Jeep
- Would need a "brake buddy" to activate the Jeep brakes when stopping
- Would probably disconnect both drive shafts while towing
- If Jeep breaks, could rent a trailer to get it home
- Wear on all 4 tires. May tow with street tires and haul trail tires.
Facts about using a dolly
- Minimal tongue weight
- Only slightly more weight than flat towing
- Dolly has surge brakes (I assume)
- Would only need to disconnect 1 drive shaft
- Would only need to change/haul two tires
- If Jeep breaks I may can swap the dolly for a trailer if I rent it. If I borrow/buy a dolly I could be screwed if I can't haul it home on the dolly.
Anything I"m missing?

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Unread 08-28-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
wilson1010
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Sunbelt rentals in Charleston will be happy to rent you an equipment trailer for about $130 per week. Are you going to buy a dolly? Any idea how much a good one costs?

Your TJ weighs 3500 pounds, 1700 for the Sunbelt trailer Total 5200 pounds. Your Silverado has what 10000 towing capacity? What am I missing? Why would you want to do either flat or dolly? Lots of things can go wrong on the trails that makes either one of them a problem.

Wouldn't it be ugly to be out in Aspen with a broken rear axle, a tow dolly and a truck full of family?
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Unread 08-28-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
MPond
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I flat tow my LJ everywhere. Looking at your list, there's no reason to disconnect the drive shafts for flat towing if you have the factory transfer case.

But you do if you're going to use a dolly.

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Unread 09-03-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
AllTerrainJK
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I have a 3yro 18ft car hauler that I haven't used since I bought my Ready Brute towbar this spring. It's a great setup with aux and breakaway brake systems. Takes literally 2min to hook/unhook.

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Unread 09-03-2013, 06:30 AM   #5
99_TJ_Wyoming
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A few things to consider. Flat towing on anything but stock tires makes as much drag and resistance as pulling a full trailer with the Jeep on it, so your mileage will be worse flat towing than with a trailer, I have a few thousand miles both ways, I've watched the numbers. Jeep, in the owners manual suggests NOT using a tow dolly, that if one end must be lifted the other end must be put on a dolly as well. To flat tow you don't need to remove the drive line, in fact Jeep recommends not removing it at all, you put the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in Park or 1st gear, then tow, if your set on using a tow dolly then the driveline needs to be removed. From experience I can tell you it's almost as affordable to just rent the trailer, by the time you sort out the lights and the tow bar and the safety chains it's cheaper to rent a trailer. I ended up buying and rebuilding a trailer, I have about $800 total invested in it, cheaper than a good set of tow tires with rims.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 06:55 AM   #6
AllTerrainJK
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If only towing once or twice I would also rent/borrow a trailer. I get the same mileage hauling with 1500lbs trailer as I do flat towing with 35x12.5s. Biggest differance is hookup time and a lot of campgrounds don't have provisions for a 32ft MH, 22ft (overall) trailer, and Jeep (when not loaded). As far as tire wear its not very often I go cross country. Most wheeling trips are 300mi round trips.

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Unread 09-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
smccollamjr
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Thanks for the info. I guess I'm down to either flat towing or obtaining a trailer. I have a set of 31" ATs, so if I flat tow I'll probably put those on.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 09:53 PM   #8
99_TJ_Wyoming
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Just so your not too surprised, I had an F-350 dually, 460 & 5spd stick, I got around 18-20 just driving it, pulling my 33' Dutchman 5th wheel, I got 12-13, flat-towing my Jeep, 3" lift with 31"s, I got 9 mpg.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 11:50 PM   #9
MPond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99_TJ_Wyoming
Just so your not too surprised, I had an F-350 dually, 460 & 5spd stick, I got around 18-20 just driving it, pulling my 33' Dutchman 5th wheel, I got 12-13, flat-towing my Jeep, 3" lift with 31"s, I got 9 mpg.
That's odd... I flat tow my LJ with 4.5" of lift on 33" Mud Terrains behind my 2500 Suburban and don't get bad mileage at all. It's a little better than towing my 25' boat. Certainly no worse.

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Unread 09-07-2013, 08:36 PM   #10
smccollamjr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99_TJ_Wyoming
Just so your not too surprised, I had an F-350 dually, 460 & 5spd stick, I got around 18-20 just driving it, pulling my 33' Dutchman 5th wheel, I got 12-13, flat-towing my Jeep, 3" lift with 31"s, I got 9 mpg.
Surprises me too. First of all I'm surprised your getting that good of gas mileage with an f350 gasser. Second, the TJ is lighter and has much less wind resistance than the 5'er.
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Unread 09-08-2013, 01:19 AM   #11
99_TJ_Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smccollamjr View Post
Surprises me too. First of all I'm surprised your getting that good of gas mileage with an f350 gasser. Second, the TJ is lighter and has much less wind resistance than the 5'er.
Less wind resistance yes, but a ton more rolling resistance in the 33"-12.5"s.
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