Sorry if this should be in the technical forum I wasn't sure. I have an 89 XJ, 4.0L Auto., I am wanting to buy a camp trailer but I am not sure what the towing limitations are of my XJ. I know that it is rated for 5,000 lbs and 500 lbs tongue weight but I am not sure how big of a trailer that translates into, if anyone can help me out that would be great. Thanks!
Depends on the trailer. The trailer will be rated for what it needs to pull it, it will have the weight listed, and there are ways to test out the tongue weight.
Im not an expert on the subject, but you might need to post up a trailer you are looking at. The XJ may be rated at 5K lbs, but the general consensus I have seen is the braking system is undersized for that, you probably want to stick to 2-3K.
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Well that's the thing, I haven't found a trailer yet because I don't know what size I should be looking for... since reading you reply, I have found a few in the 18 foot range that say they are around 3000-3200 lbs. I think that is what I should be looking for, am I wrong?
I would even be willing to go smaller but haven't seen any, definitely not a pop-up tho, I want hard walls on it, I had a camper on a pickup but was just a touch too small so I sold the pickup and camper as a package deal. I was also looking at smaller motorhomes but they are more expensive than I am looking for. I don't need anything super fancy. Just something with a full-size bed, a kitchen, bath, and dining table, with heat for me and my old-lady to go camping in. I'm not talking about traveling hundreds of miles here either, most of our favorite camping spots are within 50 miles of home, mostly highway.
As mentioned, braking would be your biggest shortcoming. The 4.0 in itself is capable of some hefty loads, and both tranny options are plenty stout. Sagging and braking would be the concerns. I've towed a pop-up plenty of times, no issues. Any bigger may be different. Jeeps in general don't have a lot of mass to them to be able to handle higher weights. Jetskis, smaller boats, ATVs, popups, and things of the sort are well within acceptable in my opinion. Anything beyond that is fully dependent on your comfort level.
- '99 XJ Sport -
Lifted, Locked, Stiffened
July '13 and '14 COTM - '88 MJ Pioneer -
Build In Progress - '04 Sierra Z71 Crew Cab -
I was in your exact spot a year ago. I ended up getting a 16' toy hauler (no toys, I just like the large door) that is something like 3k+ lbs loaded with a weeks worth of stuff (the cabin is actually about 14'). It's small, but anything bigger and I think it would slow you down too much. If there is any sort of head wind you will slow down. I did 75 with it once behind a semi, just to see if I could (not recommended, at all...). Hills will also slow you down, a lot.
Things I recommend you get:
-85-140 or 75-140 gear oil
-brake controller, could be a cheap one, but get something so you can hit those brakes hard if you need to.
-Sway bar kit for the hitch so the trailer doesn't move you around so much. (I got mine from harbor freight, it works quite well.)
If you really want to, you could get an 18', if its all flat ground, with no wind, cold weather, and a 50mph speed limit. With my 16' in July in AZ, my coolant was a little hotter, but other than that, it did ok, slow, but ok.
Just remember to drive in 3 not D, accelerate and brake slow, keep an eye on your engine temp, and check you engine fluids periodically.
My wife and I looked at some 12' trailers, and they are just way too small...
Thank you, I will look into the things you mentioned. I agree the 12' trailers are small but where we camp they have latrines nearby, we always stay near a ranger station also, so I was thinking I could find one without a bathroom in it or remove the bathroom if it has one, and create a little bit more space that way. I also plan to upgrade in a year or so anyway when I can afford to get another 3/4 ton pickup, my old one also had the fifth wheel hitch in the bed which was nice I only used it for hauling horses and hay tho. But like you said, 50mph is not an issue for me, most of our trips are only 50 miles away anyway, we luckily live real close to the foothills of the Cascade mountains in washington. An hour or hour and a half drive time is no big deal for us, and while we will be climbing most of the way, there aren't any steep hills just one long gradual ascent. So I may luck out and find a 14-16' trailer I will feel comfortable with.
Also, I have found many, many manufacturers of 12-19' trailers that they are calling "ultra-lights" and they are listed at 1600ish lbs for the 12's up to just under 4K for the 19's, they are just so darned expensive new, if I could find a used one of those in my area I'm sure I could manage 14-16'. Luckily my first camping trip of this year won't be until May so I have a little time to look around, wish me luck!
Have you considered renting a trailer? If you plan on getting a 3/4 ton pickup, why not wait until you have the pickup and then get a trailer that matches that? You can fit a nice trailer behind a 3/4 ton pickup ... one that would be matched for what you want.
That way there won't be any trailer compromises that you're going to have to live with for a while when you stop towing it with the XJ.
2000 XJ - 3.5'' Lift & Skinny Mudders.
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The shorter ones are harder to find for a decent price, if at all. However, if you are definitely going to be getting a pickup, I think it would be a better idea to get a trailer that matches the pickup. (I wish mine was the next size up) This may not work for now, but if you can make it work somehow until you get the truck, I think you will be happier.
My wife was adamant about the bathroom, which somewhat makes sense if you're going through all the effort to get a trailer anyway. The communal latrine is not a popular concept with the women folk... Also if you find one to rent now, you will have a better idea of what features you want to look for when you buy one.
Yeah I've been thinking about seeing what I can do to get the pickup sooner, I do miss my old one(2000 F-250 PowerStroke Four-Door Longbed). It came in real handy lol. As far as the latrine issue goes, my girlfriend is a little OCD on that subject... she squats in our own bathroom at home and says she prefers to go outside when she's camping... didn't strike me as very ladylike, but definitely a plus in my book lol.