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Old 08-26-2015, 04:58 PM   #1
REZ
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Towing advice

I am towing my brand new Forest River Flagstaff Classic T12TST ('A' frame pop up) with my 2005 Jeep Unlimited. The dry weight of my camper is 2098 pounds. Recently while climbing a steep 4 mile hill my truck over heated just before I crested the hill. Is it better to approach a long grade like that at speed (which I did in this case) and try to maintain or should I stay to the right and slow way down and plod my way over the top? Thanks for any advice you would like to share. Bob
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:30 PM   #2
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Stay in the right lane, slow down, and make sure you are in a gear that allows the engine to rev a bit. A bunch of years ago, I pulled our pop-up several times over the Blue Ridge with 7 & 8% grades with my 1998 Jeep 4 banger. I geared down to 2nd, drove slow, and enjoyed the scenery.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by REZ View Post
I am towing my brand new Forest River Flagstaff Classic T12TST ('A' frame pop up) with my 2005 Jeep Unlimited. The dry weight of my camper is 2098 pounds. Recently while climbing a steep 4 mile hill my truck over heated just before I crested the hill. Is it better to approach a long grade like that at speed (which I did in this case) and try to maintain or should I stay to the right and slow way down and plod my way over the top? Thanks for any advice you would like to share. Bob
I don't think you've given enuff info re your situation/experience.
Dry weight of the camper is meaningless - what did it weigh while you're draggin it down the road - thats whats important. Also what all did you have crammed into you're Jeep?? The actual weight of what your hauling down the road is unknown to any reader.

I've done a lot of towing over my life and the roads north out of Phoenix and west have some hellacious grades for a small unit. In reality I would upgrade no matter what I was towing to at least a real half ton truck. Not any of the Tonka truks on the market but at least a real half ton.

When I'm going thru steep grades I'm ALWAYS in the right lane going slow with flashers on. BUT! I'm dragging my house down the road as I'm a fulltimer and I'm never in a hurry & I don't care if someone else is getting pist off - thats what the other lanes are for - please pass me!!. I never drive my truck over 2800 rpm - will down shift and go slower ......as I want to get as long a life out of my truck as well.

But in those mountains by you get a real truck......

Thanx..........INTJohn
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:21 PM   #4
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Great points John which is why my first trip was exploratory. No extra weight in the trailer (empty) and only myself and a case of water in the Jeep. Getting a vehicle that makes me comfortable while driving (feeling safe) is number one so I am looking into selling and getting a more appropriate vehicle. Last night my mechanic plugged his computer into my Jeep and we drove around. Turns out it is the clutch in the transmission. In second and third gear the clutch is not fully engaging, slipping, and overheating the transmission. The transmission is set to default to 'safe mode' if it surpasses 250 degrees F. I will soon have the transmission fixed and be able to sell it knowing that all is working properly. Thanks for taking the time to answer my post.
Bob
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:53 PM   #5
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Based on these specs Used 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Features & Specs | Edmunds you may be at the limit of what your jeep can tow.

2098 is an empty - no battery, no propane - trailer. Easy to add 1000lbs - so you're 3000, give or take.

tow rating of your jeep is (check you manual for any 'details' that may change it) is 3500lbs - BUT two more figures need to be watched. They get the 3500 with an EMPTY vehicle - no options, 150lb driver, 1/2 tank gas - and take it from the GCWR.

I don't know the GCWR (see your door panel) but on the page above it's likely 8100lbs (4600 jeep and 3500 tow).

So if your trailer ready to go is 3000 and the jeep is REALLY 4600 you have 500lbs left for people/cargo (bikes, food, etc). Not much. And if you have added to your jeep (winch, hitch, oversize tires, lift kit, etc) it may weight more.

And the specs above say your jeep's load capacity is 800lbs. Well, that's just isn't going to be good. You need 10-15% of the trailer's weight as tounge weight on the TV...so 350lbs say.

So you have 450 lbs of capacity left in the jeep...if you're lucky.

YOu should go find something with 5,000 tow rating (or more) and load rating of 1200+ lbs.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:09 AM   #6
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Towing advice

Prof_fate is right on. You need to look at your GCWR and the actual weights of your loaded vehicle and loaded trailer. I concur that you are probably over your limits. Also, do you have a tranny cooler on your Jeep?


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Old 09-01-2015, 04:54 PM   #7
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From one who tows an a-frame (Rockwood A122):

You certainly can manage with the Jeep or most 6 cylinder vehicles rated to tow 3500 lbs. Your max gross weight for the trailer is 3268 lbs, and many of us have actual tow weights in the 2700-2800 lb range (and use 6 cylinder SUVs/minivans as tow vehicles). There isn't a lot of storage room, so if you are reasonable about what you take with you, you can stay within your limits.

We set our a-frame up (Rockwood A122, no "s) up for long weekends for 2-3 (could do 4). Given the limited floor space in an a-frame, you can easily limit yourself to about 500 lbs of stuff (including food and clothing) between the camper and tow vehicle.

just my experiences
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:37 PM   #8
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Get a one ton and don`t worry about your weight. I`m glad I did weather I`m towing 3000 or 13000 pounds It hauls both excellent.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:38 AM   #9
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If a new tow vehicle isn't in your budget, then you need to look at reducing weight, and addressing problem issues. Your RV has minimal wind resistance, and that goes in your favor for towing at your limit. If cooling is your weak area, start shopping for radiator upgrades. Might as well do a transmission cooler while you're at it. It is an expense, but way less than a new vehicle.

Make sure your peripherals are top notch too. Brake controller, trailer brakes, vehicle brakes, anti sway device. Anything you can do to beef up safety, again, because you are at your limit in terms of weight.

These things are always important, of course, but when your vehicle is rated way over what you tow, you don't have to sweat the details quite as much.

If money isn't so much a problem, and you are a Jeep guy, I've read that they are coming out with a new pickup soon. Just sayin'.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:49 AM   #10
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No extra weight in the trailer (empty) and only myself and a case of water in the Jeep.

That's the problem. A case of beer weighs less. Try that next time.

Bruce
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