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Thread: Tow Rigs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Phoenix
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    677

    Tow Rigs

    I've been doing some research on towing my WJ. The WJ weighs in at about 5000# with all the mods, 35" tires, heavy duty steering, sliders and skids and 2 steel bumpers.

    The entire set up with trailer weight would be around 7000#.

    Been looking at some half tons, Chevy 5.3 vortec, dodge 5.7 hemi, ford 5.4 tritan. Most are rated to pull from 8500# to 10,000 #.

    Anybody pulling that kind of weight with a half ton set up with a premium tow package. (trailer brakes, trany cooler, gears).

    I don't mind going a little slower, just want to be safe and not over load the rig. Looking at a 16ft trailer, the jeep is 15 ft long. Is that long enough or would an 18 be better. Looking to tow to Moab, Rubicon, and some local trails.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    North phoenix,
    Posts
    3,849

    Re: Tow Rigs

    I pulled my tj, with all the goods on a 18 ft dual axle, tool box, and full set of spare tires, behind my 4.3 litre half ton for years, same truck now pulls a dump trailer for work, so its all in how you drive, and safety gear you put on it.
    Trailer had dual axle brakes, truck was set up with trailering package, although did add a leaf at rear to help out.
    auto with air, never overheated, not even going up sunset in dead of summer, and took the hill at 45 mph, as long as some peckerwood wasn't holding me up, then it was u gly.

    can't win a race, but can dang sure get ya there.
    knock

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Phoenix
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    677

    Re: Tow Rigs

    I have a 02 Tundra 4x4 4.7 but no tow package. I think it would cost to much by the time all the towing upgrades are installed.(gears, hitch, trailer brakes, tranny cooler). Thanks for the info, seems like the chevy 5.3 has the best towing capacity for the half tons.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ahwatukee
    Posts
    6,055

    Re: Tow Rigs

    Half ton will get the job done but you can feel it working the truck. Start smart with how you drive and keep the maintained and you will be fine.

    Of the trucks listed get the 5.3. Give me a ring if you want to chat on this. I used my F150 to tow for a year and half before getting a diesel. I only got the diesel so I could get a cabover and have it and the rig.
    Last edited by Estrada; 12-18-2017 at 06:07 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    South Mountain
    Posts
    9,993

    Re: Tow Rigs

    I tow my YJ (~4k lbs) on an ~1,500 lb 16' dual axle Carson with brakes on one axle behind my Grand Cherokar 5.7 hemi 8 speed with 7,500 tow capacity. The Kar has Class IV towing & HD cooling. So far I've towed 5ish times including up to Payson and back and it's done great. The only drawback I've noticed thus far is the fuel economy which is never better than 10 or 11 mpg when towing even if it's all pretty much flat.

    Scott
    '93 YJ, 4.0, NV4500, Atlas, 35s
    '17 WK2, 5.7, ZF8HP70, NV245, 31s

  6. #6
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    Apr 2014
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    Phoenix
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    677

    Re: Tow Rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by Estrada View Post
    Half ton will get the job done but you can feel it working the truck. Start smart with how you drive and keep the maintained and you will be fine.

    Of the trucks listed get the 5.3. Give me a ring if you want to chat on this. I used my F150 to tow for a year and half before getting a diesel. I only got the diesel so I could get a cabover and have it and the rig.
    Thanks Adam.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Phoenix
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    677

    Re: Tow Rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by TreeKiller View Post
    I tow my YJ (~4k lbs) on an ~1,500 lb 16' dual axle Carson with brakes on one axle behind my Grand Cherokar 5.7 hemi 8 speed with 7,500 tow capacity. The Kar has Class IV towing & HD cooling. So far I've towed 5ish times including up to Payson and back and it's done great. The only drawback I've noticed thus far is the fuel economy which is never better than 10 or 11 mpg when towing even if it's all pretty much flat.

    Scott
    I'm pretty sure I'll be at around 7500# by the time everything is said and done. Dang WJ's are heavy. Love the Cherocar, gotta be fun with the hemi.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    A J U S A
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    5,625

    Re: Tow Rigs

    Why the hell do you want a toe ring?!
    Get Down With the Sickness!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Buckeye, Az.
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    7,952

    Re: Tow Rigs

    No matter how many times you say it, it won't become true. A half ton truck is not a tow rig.

    Doesn't matter what the vehicle is, if you operate it at it's capacity you'll wear it out sooner. If you haven't purchased yet, I'd recommend a 2500 or 250. Your rig and trailer will be at the towing capacity. Then you have tools, spare parts, ice chests, etc. it all adds up.
    Non-College Educated Working Class White Deplorable....

  10. #10
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    Apr 2014
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    677

    Re: Tow Rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by OTR-93YJ View Post
    No matter how many times you say it, it won't become true. A half ton truck is not a tow rig.

    Doesn't matter what the vehicle is, if you operate it at it's capacity you'll wear it out sooner. If you haven't purchased yet, I'd recommend a 2500 or 250. Your rig and trailer will be at the towing capacity. Then you have tools, spare parts, ice chests, etc. it all adds up.
    That is the reason for the thread, trying to rationalize the additional cost of a 250-2500 truck and gas milage for a situation where I would be towing 3 maybe 4 times a year. The WJ even with all the mods will still drive at highway speeds but how do I get home from Moab or where ever if I break something? Point well taken a 2500-250 would be a better towing rig. It would still be 1000 to 1500 under capacity with a half ton.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    East Mesa
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    2,046

    Re: Tow Rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by capsul View Post
    That is the reason for the thread, trying to rationalize the additional cost of a 250-2500 truck and gas milage for a situation where I would be towing 3 maybe 4 times a year. The WJ even with all the mods will still drive at highway speeds but how do I get home from Moab or where ever if I break something? Point well taken a 2500-250 would be a better towing rig. It would still be 1000 to 1500 under capacity with a half ton.
    I've thought about this alot. How much is it to rent a uhaul and car hauler one way. That would be the cost if you had a catastrophic failure in Moab. Alternately there are always shops around wheeling areas like Moab that can usually fix anything that comes along. So you would be out money and time off work if it happened late in the trip. Now think about the failures - it would take an R&P, transmission, Tcase, or engine issue to really cause you to tow home. What is the likelihood of each and weigh that on the cost of owning another vehicle. Most other issues can be fixed before you leave town. My opinion is that you need more reason than a possible failure to justify the cost of a tow rig. If you plan on getting a camper, or going hardcore (not street friendly), or your junk breaks regularly. Otherwise, take the down payment and put it in savings. Use it if you have issues. Better yet, make the payments to yourself anyway. You may go years without needing it and have the cash for a nice truck down the road.
    It's like an LJ... only bigger.

  12. #12
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    Nov 2010
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    Ahwatukee
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    Re: Tow Rigs

    I disagree with what OTR says. A half ton will do the job great for the occasional tow. Try to shop around and get the one with the best tow capacity. Watch closely on how the factory built it to get the right rig. You want factory tow package, correct wheelbase, etc.

    Example: Look at this chart for the new F150
    https://www.ford.com/resources/ford/..._F150_Sep7.pdf

    Varies from 5,000 to 11,300 tow capacity. Your rig and trailer will be prob 7k. I wouldn't shoot for anything rated less than 9k tow capacity. You don't want to be at max capacity when towing. We have some of the worst towing conditions in the country with heat and steep grades, so play it safe.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2011
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    Tempe
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    Re: Tow Rigs

    My 2015 F150 ecoboost with the 3.5L twin turbo engine pulled my yj or my fat heavy jkur around just fine. I pulled it to Moab twice, all around AZ and also a 1800 mile road trip to South Dakota up and through the CO Rockies on my way there and the ecoboost did just fine. I would recommend looking for one of those. Plenty of power to get the job done especially if your only towing 3-4 times a year. Easy to daily drive, easy to park, gets good gas mileage, tons of interior room and they are quick off the line. I would still own my F150 if I hadn't bought an RV. I just needed a little extra pulling power for the heavier load since we pretty much go up to the rim every weekend in the summers. I bumped up to a new F250 and it most certainly gets the job done with the RV but not a huge change with the car hauler. The f150 got the job done just fine. So with that said, look for a new 2015+ F150 ecoboost with the 3.5L in it. Thats the new body style and the new upgraded interior. Great trucks for sure.
    Eric - *2004 Wrangler TJ, Coilovers, 2 Speed Atlas, 37" Pitbull Rockers
    *'08 Silver Rubicon JKU 2.5" lift, 5.13's and 35's

  14. #14
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    Apr 2014
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    Phoenix
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    Re: Tow Rigs

    Thanks for all the info guys! I'm not in a hurry to pull the trigger and will need to find something used with around 60 to 100k. I'm going to keep looking for a while for a sweet deal with all the right equipment. It will be my DD so I will be looking at the half tons, with 200k on my tundra it's time for something with less miles and more power than the 4.7.

  15. #15
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    Nov 2010
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    Re: Tow Rigs

    It also depends on your budget. IMO the 5.3 chevy is a good budget hauler ($10-18k). If your budget is a little higher I recommend the 5.0 F150 (2011+, $18-$25K). You get a nicer interior than the Chevy at that price point. At the $25+ you options open up. This is all from memory from when I was shopping about 18 months ago.

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