Towing a Travel Trailer -

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post #1 of 7 Old 01-22-2007, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Towing a Travel Trailer

Looking for any firsthand knowledge from anyone about towing a liteweight travel trailer with a suitably equipped XJ, ie{Tranny cooler, auto tranny, brake controller}. I have an older, well a 2000 23 foot Tahoe which weighs 3600 dry, but I think even thats too much for the XJ. I was wondering if anyone out there ever pulled one of the newer liteweight or hybrid travel trailers such as a Trail-Cruiser or Zeppelin that weight under 3000. I hate to get rid of the Tahoe since its paid for, but I am not sure the XJ is up to pulling that sort of weight.

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post #2 of 7 Old 01-22-2007, 11:31 PM
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The XJ is rated for 5000lbs with a class III hitch and brake controller, so your 3600lb trailer will be just fine behind the jeep. I've had a lot more then that behind mine and it does fine. Camp on buddy

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post #3 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 06:27 AM
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Towing is not just the weight but length and height of the trailer and the wheel base and center of gravity of the tow vehicle. Although the weight may be fine, the Jeep is light and higher off the ground and the trailer may make the combination unstable in cross winds and when being passed by larger vehicles. If you need to tow a travel trailer, be sure to get the very best hitch and sway control you can buy. Equilizer brand is good, a Reese Dual cam is good too and of course the Hensley (but at $3000 it should be). After all of that be sure that it is set up perfectly. A 23' trailer is very very big for an XJ regardless of the weight and remember when you pack it full of food, water, clothes, beer etc, the weight will be much closer to 5000 than you may think. Also recheck the dry weight, TT manufactures usually give the dry weight with out any accessories like the A/C, battery, LP tanks etc... There is usually a sticker on the inside (usually in or around the kitchen) which has a more accurate weight.

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 08:55 AM
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Make sure you change the rearend lube to a heavyer weight, for towing, or you will burn up the bearings, it's in the book, use a 140wt.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 08:56 AM
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I used to tow this with my XJ, on 35's with 4.56's, trans cooler and temp gauge, trailer brake controller, and weight-distributing hitch. It was about 2500# "dry" according to the specs. It was a 2002 (maybe '03) Starcraft Antigua 195. Length was about 20' or so.

It was a fairly big trailer, but with the WD hitch and trailer brakes it towed fairly well. Your trailer is 1000# heavier, which is going to make a big difference, but my rig easily has a couple hundred pounds of aftermarket steel on it, which ups my GCVW.

Properly equipped I think your XJ could do it, but assuming it's fairly hilly around Seattle, that's going to cause you problems. My rig really strained on hills, and that was just the hill country of east TX... which aren't much of hills. We only towed it a few times a year though (one of the reasons we eventually sold the camper), so it wasn't like I was towing it on a regular basis. If you're going to be towing a camper that size regularly, you need need something that's going to be able to handle the weight better, or get a smaller/lighter camper.

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post #6 of 7 Old 01-23-2007, 10:08 AM
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I used to have the same Antigua. I don't know about the current Tahoe models, but a quick comparison. The Antigua is 9' tall, current Taho models are minimum of 11'8. Antigua dry hitch weight is 359 lbs, lightest tahoe 775 for their 19'4" model, this is in addition to the weight diference. There are significant differences in the two.

The Antigua is a small trailer designed for SUV's and Mini Vans (pulled mine with an 01' Windstar with ease). I don't know much about the Tahoe, but it sounds like it could be MUCH larger than the Antigua which would make it much more dificult to pull safely.

Only thing I would suggest would be to give it a test pull to see how it behaves. You could always use the hitch for another vehicle / trailer should the combination not work well for you. Always be safe first, it makes camping much more enjoyable.

2001 Cherokee Limited Patriot Blue *Stock* NP242 4.0 ABS Hidden Hitch, Factory Tow Hooks, Michelin X-Radial
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-25-2007, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info everyone, I have been leaning towards getting a smaller travel trailer, such as the Starcraft Antigua, especially those types of hybrids where the weight is much less a factor than my current trailer. I think I will weigh my current trailer first, double check the tongue weight and perhaps go on a short trip to see how things go. Again thanks everyone for their input.
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