Towing a Jeep - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-16-2021, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
1Old_Crow
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Towing a Jeep

Okay, I touched on this in a another thread, but didn't really get any feedback(wasn't my thread anyway).
I have flat towed a Jeep(a YJ for about 5 years, the current TJ for almost 5 years)behind my motor home for a lot of miles. The Jeep is properly setup with lights and a supplemental braking system. I tow with the t/case in neutral and the trans in gear. Never had a problem and have only had to unhook twice in all that time to get out of a bad spot.
Now comes a time when I'm considering adding a motorcycle to my stable and I'm looking at options for transporting both vehicles when I move the motor home.

Not really interested in a full trailer. I'll be pushing the towing capacity of my coach with the Jeep and the bike as it is, and the weight of a full trailer big enough to load both the Jeep and the bike would likely put me over the top.

Not interested in one of those hydraulic lift deals. My coach is a gasser and most of those are designed for a diesel pusher. The fact that the frame has been extended by the coach maker makes installation of those almost as expensive as the bike I'm looking at.

I've been looking at a car dolly that has an extended tongue with a ramp to load the bike sideways. Looks like the perfect solution, the weight of the dolly, the Jeep and the bike would still fall under the towing limits of my coach(just barely, but under)and the bike ramp is low enough for an old man to load the bike by himself.

Told you all that to ask this. I have heard that you can cause damage to the transfer case by towing the Jeep with the front wheels on a dolly and the back wheels on the ground. Jeep is a basically stock, '03 TJ Sahara, manual trans. Anybody know for sure, one way or another?


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post #2 of 11 Old 08-16-2021, 08:27 AM
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i would still get a alloy trailer if weights an issue. easy to load the bike and park it up front, lash the jeep at a point for best hitch weight. You have two more axles with brakes. alloy trailer is what 1500+ metal is like 1900+ im guessing. Iknow on my truck when i got ride of my very old and overly heavy trailer and bought the sundowner in alloy. made a difference you can feel. U haul type dollies are not that light, only have surge brakes.

I bumper pulled before the trailer. that tj is about 4500 dry? trailer alloy<>Dolly steel say 1500 bike? depends on it but say 1,000. 8k+-ish.

we tow the jeep long haul 2x a year 1k miles each run few 500 too. and all year for wheeling its used a lot locally . Trails i run no matter where i go , you may not have a roller after. Big gaser would be a PITA for pull power. been there too. but the old diesels i do run are not all that much more power then say a 454 running well. My fuel is way less, way less. but it only turns at the most about 3k rpm( reality is 2500) and that spinning it. where that 454 could pull at 5-6k rpms and suck down fuel at 4 mpg. But i never had a 454 go over 300k miles, luck to get a 100k hard use.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-16-2021, 01:10 PM
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i know on the uhaul sight, it says not to use the tow dolly. i just hauled a tj home last week and had to get the full trailer to do it

the xj is the only jeep left in the driveway
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-16-2021, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, a bunch of what I'm finding now is the front shaft has to be pulled to dolly tow the Jeep.
Gross weight of the Jeep is around 4500, trailer 1500, bike I'm looking at('22 Triumph T120)is about 540, so 6500ish. Hitch on the coach is rated at 5k. That's just too far over the rating for me. I'll stretch it a little, but 1500 is beyond where I feel safe.

I just have to decide if I want to pull the front drive shaft every time I hook up.

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-16-2021, 07:00 PM
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you can only tow 5k? well there is the trouble for sure. that jeep i bet weighs more like 5k with 4.0 hard top ect.and anything in it. Yea this aint going to work.

Need at least 8-10k towing to do what you want in reality. 5k jeep say my trailer being totally alloy still be over no bike. No other stuff. at least on the alloy trailers its as light as it can be and it will stop with 2 axles and brakes on them both on need for extra lights or other stuff. but will be over weight even on a dolly with surge brakes that suck really.

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post #6 of 11 Old 08-21-2021, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Old_Crow View Post
I've been looking at a car dolly that has an extended tongue with a ramp to load the bike sideways. Looks like the perfect solution, the weight of the dolly, the Jeep and the bike would still fall under the towing limits of my coach(just barely, but under)and the bike ramp is low enough for an old man to load the bike by himself.
Told you all that to ask this. I have heard that you can cause damage to the transfer case by towing the Jeep with the front wheels on a dolly and the back wheels on the ground. Jeep is a basically stock, '03 TJ Sahara, manual trans. Anybody know for sure, one way or another?
You will have to remove the rear driveshaft to tow a Wrangler on a dolly. Not a good idea to use a dolly! By far a trailer would be the better way for all 3 vehicles. The bike and the Jeep would ride just fine the RV would have the option of being able to back up if you got into a situation or had to back into a parking spot at a truck stop. AND as mentioned you would have 4 extra braking wheels. I flat tow a LJ behind our MB Sprinter and I have to say it's a pain in the butt not being able to be to back up. GO WITH THE TRAILER...

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post #7 of 11 Old 08-22-2021, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WallyDog1 View Post
You will have to remove the rear driveshaft to tow a Wrangler on a dolly. Not a good idea to use a dolly! By far a trailer would be the better way for all 3 vehicles. The bike and the Jeep would ride just fine the RV would have the option of being able to back up if you got into a situation or had to back into a parking spot at a truck stop. AND as mentioned you would have 4 extra braking wheels. I flat tow a LJ behind our MB Sprinter and I have to say it's a pain in the butt not being able to be to back up. GO WITH THE TRAILER...
Nice name(check my sig )

I just decided I don't need the motorcycle that bad. I'd just be spending money I might need someday for Jeep parts.
That's the trouble with getting old. Think about anything long enough and common sense takes over. Heck, I was even thinking about a permanent place to park the motor home the other day.

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post #8 of 11 Old 08-31-2021, 08:32 AM
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you can only tow 5k? well there is the trouble for sure. that jeep i bet weighs more like 5k with 4.0 hard top ect.and anything in it.
FYI, my 02 tj weighs 4200# hard top/loaded to travel. But, ultimately like he decided, bike + jeep isn't going to work. Not nitpicking, just thought I'd share for anyone who was wondering about the actual weight.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-31-2021, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SeanCucf View Post
FYI, my 02 tj weighs 4200# hard top/loaded to travel. But, ultimately like he decided, bike + jeep isn't going to work. Not nitpicking, just thought I'd share for anyone who was wondering about the actual weight.
I should run my LJ with a factory hard top over the scales at the dump. It's got to weigh more. Just the roof alone has to weigh 350 lbs. We just did 2000 miles with it in tow. It was the first highway pull we did with it. We have a MB 3500 duel tire motor home. It did the job but it was a white knuckle drive. It was like the Jeep was wagging the RV. I drove the whole way! Would not let the wife drive.
Wondering if the Jeep is too heavy. The RV weighs 10,500 lbs It pulled real well just handled like crap! Leaving the Jeep home next trip!

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post #10 of 11 Old 08-31-2021, 01:47 PM
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I have been wondering for years why there is advice to not tow with the front wheels up on a dolly. Conventional wisdom being that the front and rear tcase shafts would not be spinning at the same rate which would damage the tcase.

This is why I (and Blaine Johnson who agrees with me) doubt that it's true. There are too many of us who have been driving around for many years with our front manual hubs unlocked without it damaging the t-case. My front hubs are always unlocked unless I'm on the trail and in 4x4. That gives the same effect to the t-case as having the front wheels up on a dolly would.

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post #11 of 11 Old 09-01-2021, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I have been wondering for years why there is advice to not tow with the front wheels up on a dolly. Conventional wisdom being that the front and rear tcase shafts would not be spinning at the same rate which would damage the tcase.

This is why I (and Blaine Johnson who agrees with me) doubt that it's true. There are too many of us who have been driving around for many years with our front manual hubs unlocked without it damaging the t-case. My front hubs are always unlocked unless I'm on the trail and in 4x4. That gives the same effect to the t-case as having the front wheels up on a dolly would.

I think the locking hubs would be the key here. With the hubs unlocked, the entire drive train between the hubs and the t/case would be free to spin if it wanted to. I'm not entirely convinced that the stock axle lock mechanism on my TJ disconnects everything like locking hubs would.

Much as I enjoyed the thread on the conversion to a locking hub axle, that's a bit more work than I want to do on my Jeep.
Besides if I was to do that conversion, then my shiny, brand new wheels would be obsolete.

I'll just keep telling myself that a 70 year old man doesn't need another motorcycle. Maybe by the time I turn 80 I'll convince myself(been riding since I was 14).

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