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Unread 06-25-2013, 09:47 AM   #1
smbundy13
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Flat Towing a CJ-7 with my '12 JKUR?

I am thinking about relocating my '84 CJ-7 from my parents' house in Texas to my house in Bama.

my question is this, according to the interwebs, my JKUR has a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs.. the CJ-7 weighs in around 2,700ish..

can I legitamately and safely flat-tow my CJ-7 with my JKUR?

I understand it will be a much slower trip than I usually make but that's no big deal.

thanks for your info.

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Unread 06-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #2
jwmbishop
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I would tow it with a 12JKUR - if you have the tow pack (factory hitch will let you know). Three caveats.

The combo weight and rating is GVWR (tow)+ GVWR(towed) - NOT GVWR+actual weight. So even though that CJ curb is 2700ish I believe its GVWR is around 4150. So you ARE above the max 3500 stated by MFR. No big - just be aware - you crash it could be non covered by insurance. GVWR of JKU 5550 + 4150 is 9700 - well under the 10,001 lbs combined that would make crossing a state line "commercial".

Most states laws require brakes (and some require breakaway) on the towed vehicle if its GVWR exceeds a set amount. In Tx thats 4500 - in Bama thats 3000 GVWR - so lots of wiggle room to be nice to an officer and get only a verbal. MIss is 2000 lbs (plus breakaway) and LA is 3000 (plus breakaway) so there ya gotta be a real sweetheart if pulled over!

without trailer brakes that combo can be a monster if uncontrolled sway (or steer) of the towed veh becomes drastic. take it slower (at or 5 below limit) And allow roughly 1.5 times the stopping distance.and no problem. No running 5-10 over!!!
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Unread 06-25-2013, 10:50 AM   #3
smbundy13
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Hmm... I might have to rethink my strategy.. we have flat towed it before.. upwards of 400 miles but that was behing a 3/4 ton truck... I would hate to have to drive that truck to bama then back to tx then get in the jeep to go back to bama... would make for a long couple of days for sure.

thanks for the info..
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Unread 06-26-2013, 07:45 AM   #4
Rtone1583
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As I understand it, GVWR is the maximum operating weight of a vehicle as designed/specified by the manufacturer and the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) is the maximum allowable (may be stipulated by each state) combined mass of a towing road vehicle, passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle, plus the mass of the trailer and cargo in the trailer.

Here is a link to a document that covers tow ratings for the 2012's, information is on page 7. http://www.google.ae/url?sa=t&rct=j&...48340889,d.dmQ
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Unread 06-26-2013, 08:10 AM   #5
ronjenx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwmbishop View Post

The combo weight and rating is GVWR (tow)+ GVWR(towed) - NOT GVWR+actual weight.
That doesn't make sense to me.
Why would the allowable gross weight of the towed vehicle be a factor rather than the actual weight of the towed vehicle?

That's like saying the JKU can't tow an empty trailer that weighs 800 lbs just because the trailer's allowable gross weight is 4500 lbs.
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Unread 06-26-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
rayder1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjenx

That doesn't make sense to me.
Why would the allowable gross weight of the towed vehicle be a factor rather than the actual weight of the towed vehicle?

That's like saying the JKU can't tow an empty trailer that weighs 800 lbs just because the trailer's allowable gross weight is 4500 lbs.
The post above explains it. GVWR is gross vehicle weight rating. The maximum weight the vehicle is designed to carry on its own axles. It is usually a combination of maximum weight allowed per axle.

GCWR is what truckers go by. It is the maximum weight the vehicle and towed vehicles can be in combination. Per specs. with the max tow package, a 2012 to 2013 JKU may tow up to 3,500 lbs in any state. The caveat here is your 3500 lbs is dependent on how much you are packing in your jeep. For every 100 lbs you put IN your jeep (passengers, luggage, belongings) to have to take that away from your trailer weight, or you'll exceed the GCWR.

Say your trailer is 3500 lbs which is max GCWR with an empty jeep. You bring two Bubba and Bocephus along and they are 300 lbs each....you lose 600 lbs on your trailer max....so now you can tow 2900 lbs.

Lastly is the max hitch weight, which I think on our jeeps is 500 lbs. That means the tongue of the towed vehicle cannot put more than 500 lbs directly on the hitch.

Go take your vehicle combo to a truck scale at a truck stop, pay a few bucks and get an accurate weight. You should be fine if you keep your "inside" payload down.

Don't concern yourself with the weight rating of the towed vehicle....it is not a factor. As long as you don't pack stuff in it.

I worked as a commercial enforcement officer for many years. The only legal concern is what is sitting on the road, not potential weight. It only comes in to play for licensing and registration of vehicles.

Oh yeah....make sure your tags are current on your trailer vehicle, that it has working break-away brakes, lights and turn signals work and your local laws for having trailer brakes functional. My state is 3000 lbs and above for trailer brakes.
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Unread 06-26-2013, 08:46 AM   #7
jwmbishop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtone1583 View Post
As I understand it, GVWR is the maximum operating weight of a vehicle as designed/specified by the manufacturer and the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) is the maximum allowable (may be stipulated by each state) combined mass of a towing road vehicle, passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle, plus the mass of the trailer and cargo in the trailer.

Here is a link to a document that covers tow ratings for the 2012's, information is on page 7. http://www.google.ae/url?sa=t&rct=j&...48340889,d.dmQ
Yes close but under federal law (which kicks in when you cross a state line) .... it's not MASS - it's rating. Some states do allow the use of actual weight in determining application of brake, lic etc laws - to allow an empty trailer to be moved with a lesser vehicle. Feds do not. Its simply RATING.

The GVWR of my truck is 11500 (F250 super) and the gvwr of the trailer is 10,000 lbs (My car hauler which empty curb is 3200) - the cgwr of my combo is 21500 - and crossing a state line it becomes commercial vehicle under Federal code (cgwr over 10,000) - unless one of the exemptions (Ag, RV, personal household goods, commercial tow truck, passenger bus etc) apply. Keep in mind those weight rules are EVEN IF the trailer is empty - the "kick in" point uses rating not actual weight! Actual weight comes into play to determine if exceeded the rating - on top of any possible ticket for not having commercial tags, lic etc..

The exemption only covers the commercial requirements (insurance and registration and possibly driver license) - does NOT exempt from exceeding weight ratings. The max cgwr of my f250 is stated by the oem as 30500 so I am within the weight, as I am recreational/personal I do not have to have commercial ins, reg or license. When cgwr is NOT stated by oem it is determined to be gvwr of tow plus gvwr of towed for purpose of determining if over 10,000. Cross that state line with a cgwr that exceeds the tow veh rating and is over 10,000 lbs you can get a big nasty ticket if none of the exemptions apply! (And of concern - If my Jeep was a race car - and racing is a commercial venture from the promoters part - I would lose the personal goods exemption - due to those sponsorship decals - even IF my racing was strictly hobbyist).

I've had friends with a 6000 lb rated truck (with curb around 5300) towing a 2300 lb (empty) trailer get ticketed for 14,000 lbs with no commercial markings, registration, insurance or DL - even though actual weight was less than 9000 lbs! they were delivering brand new 8,000 lb gvwr trailers from Texas manufacturer to Oklahoma dealer! They can drive it all over Texas no problem, all over OK no problem - but crossing from Texas to OK (or back) it becomes ticket able! Sux - but is what it is!
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Unread 06-26-2013, 08:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjenx View Post
That doesn't make sense to me.
Why would the allowable gross weight of the towed vehicle be a factor rather than the actual weight of the towed vehicle?

That's like saying the JKU can't tow an empty trailer that weighs 800 lbs just because the trailer's allowable gross weight is 4500 lbs.
Not LIKE saying - IS saying. Only a problem when crossing state lines though...
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Unread 06-26-2013, 09:08 AM   #9
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So now we have one saying it is actual weight, and another saying it is weight rating of the towed vehicle.

Since this makes it so there is no net gain in knowledge, can either of you point us in the right direction for some written regulations on this fine point?

We are talking about the JK towing a CJ, (or a trailer of similar weight rating), not anything in the weight range that would involve commercial vehicle ratings.
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Unread 06-26-2013, 09:17 AM   #10
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you can't do it. It will cause a paradox!!!
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Unread 06-26-2013, 10:45 AM   #11
jwmbishop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjenx View Post
So now we have one saying it is actual weight, and another saying it is weight rating of the towed vehicle.

Since this makes it so there is no net gain in knowledge, can either of you point us in the right direction for some written regulations on this fine point?

We are talking about the JK towing a CJ, (or a trailer of similar weight rating), not anything in the weight range that would involve commercial vehicle ratings.
We're not saying two different things. State definitions and federal definitions ARE two different things! So defining any ONE state is easy - its when you visit OTHER states that ya gotta pay attention.

Refer back to my first response - since the combined of the JKUR and CJ is under 10,000 it IS irrelevant to the further points regarding rating as far as fed code is concerned. And as I said - when not crossing state lines the definition regarding weight for brakes IS different. In the OPs situation it could very well trigger the BRAKE requirement - depending on if the two states define by actual or rated in determining their brake requirement and especially if those two states have reciprocation on laws undefined by federal code. Texas uses Gross Rating - if the towed vehicle has a GVWR over 4500 lbs it MUST have brakes operable from the tow vehicle and breakaway braking. and they must be functional even if the actual weight is only 1600. Therefore as long as I have TEXAS tags I'm legal if Trailer is 4300 and towing with a less than 5700 GVWR vehicle and no trailer brakes at all when towing through CAL (that is if combined is still under 10,000!!!!) - who requires brakes at 1500 GVW (actual - not rated)! Cal reciprocates with Tex as long as Fed (which does not apply in this example) is silent. (Georgia law say 3000 gvwR - and does NOT reciprocate with Texas - so there its iffy!

Idaho says UNLADEN weight over 1500 requires brakes

Maryland says:
All trailers with a registered gross weight of at least 10,000 lbs. must be equipped with brakes on all wheels. Trailers not exceeding 3,000 lbs. need not have brakes on all wheels, provided that the total weight of the trailers does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer and the combination of vehicles is capable of complying with braking performance requirements. Registered Gross Weight is defined elsewhere in their code as the GVWR from the registration/title as determined from the manufacturer.

The OP (and anyone who wants to tow) can always then argue reciprocity and talk his way out of any potential ticket as only state definition would apply (we would not come under federal UNLESS combined is over 10,000 and not eligible for an exemption. If over 10,000 I would argue that the CJ is personal and or recreational use property eligible for that exemption...). That highlights the two different things you think we are saying!
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Unread 06-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #12
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@ Jwmbishop

I explained the reality. You are right when it comes to Federal law,GCWR and commercial weights crossing state lines. But you are making a statement that applies to COMMERCIAL VEHICLES AND COMMERCIAL VEHICLE REGISTRATION AND COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LICENSING.

We get it, your friends had issues because they exceeded certain COMMERCIAL VEHICLE maximums. We are talking about towing a passenger vehicle with a passenger vehicle that will not approach weights and lengths that exceed regulation. Even if the combination exceeds GCWR, it cannot be cited because under the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the vehicle is not regulated under Title 49 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulation.

Seriously, I have 30 years experience enforcing commercial and passenger vehicle regulations and there is always someone who knows more because a friend experienced something different. If I were in front of this forum with my6 foot high stack of regulations and rules, there will still be someone who thinks they know something different.

I don't think there's a cop in the country that knows what the applicable code section for exceeding the GCWR in a passenger vehicle, and make it stick without providing proof that the GCWR was exceeded and how it was unsafe.

A jeep towing a jeep is not going to raise an eyebrow. But towing a huge fifth wheel camper or pull trailer gets a lot of attention because many of those are over 10k lbs and exceed certain length regulations....ultimately requiring commercial licensing, registration and weight fees.
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Unread 06-26-2013, 12:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rayder1 View Post
Even if the combination exceeds GCWR, it cannot be cited because under the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the vehicle is not regulated under Title 49 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulation.

Good to know - but again I was talking about the weight that triggers BRAKE requirements. Probably should not have even mentioned the trigger of the weight for commercial. Cross into Texas with a vehicle over 10,000 combined gvwr and YOU WILL get pulled over if it looks like you won't have an exemption and have Tx plates without the fender markings! (like an f350 with even a med enclosed trailer) Especially coming from LA into Houston. Once determined not exempt - THEN the scales come out!


Seriously, I have 30 years experience enforcing commercial and passenger vehicle regulations - What state? I tow all over and would use you for a resource on planning info (via PM of course) should I ever go through your neck of the woods. If I were in front of this forum with my 6 foot high stack of regulations and rules, there will still be someone who thinks they know something different. Not me - once clarified with code I understand case law - relevant of course to the state I am researching!

I don't think there's a cop in the country that knows what the applicable code section for exceeding the GCWR in a passenger vehicle, and make it stick without providing proof that the GCWR was exceeded and how it was unsafe. The top cop in Katy Texas. He knows the GVWR of most trucks and what goes over 10,000 - pulls em over all day and night - especially the plain white ones late on Saturday night that he understands carry race cars! Does he HAVE to make it stick? No. The driver will probably just pay the fine as he does not, can not or will not drive fly or otherwise go through the hassle to fight it. Would YOU fight a ticket of 250.00 in Houston if you live in Arizona and the unrecoverable cost of defense, travel lodging etc would be over 2K before you even have to take the wages lost out of your budget? Only if you ARE commercial and need to protect that licensure! Other than most will just cut the check and ***** about it - and some cops DO take advantage of that. Thats what I refer to as the deputy dick - MOST are not but I plan and think to protect against the one (with over 30 stops in my driving million mile plus history only two were like that - and in 10 stops over the past 12 years in 7 states - I have not gotten a ticket - even when one was very issuable - communication is key lol). I go by - and am simply sharing this with others - most restrictive. Therefore as I tow through and to Cal often - I meet theirs which of course meets MY state and thus every other state I go through - except Colo who does NOT reciprocate - by a breeze.
A jeep towing a jeep is not going to raise an eyebrow. But towing a huge fifth wheel camper or pull trailer gets a lot of attention because many of those are over 10k lbs and exceed certain length regulations....ultimately requiring commercial licensing, registration and weight fees.
A towed dingy in Idaho (anything over 1500 lbs UNLADEN) WILL get a ticket if it does not have brakes. BUT how would PC exist for that flip of the strobes unless the dingy is doors off and can be seen that there is no brake system and the cop knows his Jeeps? SO probably wouldn't. But put that Jeep behind a vehicle that in itself is over the 10,000 lbs without OBVIOUSLY being exempt crossing state lines and you hand PC (to verify exemption) to the enforcer!

Whats the difference between an F250 towing a Jeep just acquired for resale at auction crossing a state line and an F250 towing a Jeep personally owned by the driver? Since anything crossing states line with 10,001 combined or above IS commercial unless an exemption exists - None until the officer pulls him over and asks, and then ones commercial and ones not (and fully agreed a Jeep pulling a Jeep would not PC for weight - well under the 10,000 - I clearly said that in my original post). So follow THAT through - once pulled over with sound PC the next question EITHER WAY is "are there brakes on the towed vehicle that meet state law". That's the only reason I even brought up the commercial thing - to expound on the issues faced towing across state lines.

Not disagreeing with ya! I understand you enforced commercial. The requirement for brakes is NOT completely under that - its state by state! When that gets mixed IN with the commercial regs it gets painful was my point. My goal in sharing is help in the removal of all PC. Not just the end result if PC IS there. I can tell you are one of the ones that I would leave a pull over smiling and thinking what a great guy. Unfortunately - even though 99.9 % are - that o.1%er can really muck up ones financial plans!

Going by most restrictive takes away the worry. Prime example - I operate business in 18 unique cities. As soon as ONE of those cities adopted no smoking policy including signage I applied it to ALL. That way I did not and do not have to keep track of what is or where is legal!

So re-read my original response to OP. It certainly looks as if you and I ARE mostly agreeing.
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Unread 06-26-2013, 01:25 PM   #14
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Okay seriously folks! This is an example of selective reading!!

We already covered the fact that a towed dinghy will need brakes and will need other required equipment.

I am in California and taught FMVSR regulations to commercial officers from every state west of the Mississippi River for 12 years.

And unless the officer has been given the title officially... There is none such a thing as a "Top Cop" unless he or she is the Chief of Police, then it may be okay to say that. But then again, being top cop in a city of 14,000 might not be a stretch.
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Unread 06-26-2013, 01:31 PM   #15
smbundy13
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um... so, now my question is do yall think a JKUR would be able to handle a 16ft flatbed trailer? I dont have a trailer brake hook up in my JK...

I am more concerned with safety than the letter of the law... I dont expect to get ticketed either way... just want to do damage to either vehicle..

so, what do yall think? safe/smart or unsafe/dumb to flat-tow my CJ 550 miles behing by JKUR?

thanks for the plethora of info on GVWR and all that other stuff..
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