ANOTHER Towing Thread (Sorry, Not Sorry)

JLdream

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First off before everyone gets mad at me for not researching other threads first, I cannot tell you how many different threads I've read through. Not just skimmed through, but read everything. I've found some very helpful information throughout all of them, but really just wanted to get my specific situation out there and pick your brains. So here we go:

Some specs for you guys so you know what rig setup I'm dealing with:
2018 JLU Sport | Dana 30/35, gear ratio 3.45 | NO TOWING PACKAGE | 37s w 3in lift (let's stick to the issue at hand: Towing. Yes I have 37s with a sport and dana 30s lol upgrades/precautions will be taken before towing, basically the whole reason for this thread.)

What will be towed:
small travel trailer DRY WEIGHT: 2900/270 | trailer brakes equipped | 2021 JAY FLIGHT SLX 7 195RB (if you want the exact model for reference, 95% of use will be RV hookups and not boondocking filling fresh/grey/black)

Main Concerns/Upgrades I'm looking into and would like feedback on:

- WDH Hitch: This one isn't too difficult to determine what to go with, just some opinions on what you've used. Compare and contrast! Also on a side note, anyone run into issues with the spare tire hitting the tongue jack while towing (especially with me having 37x12.50s) Any hacks for getting the tail gate open far enough to lift the glass without a spare delete?

- Class II Mopar vs Class III Aftermarket Hitch Receiver: First off, I know that using a class III doesn't increase towing capacity and really isn't going to benefit anything other than the fact that they are rated for higher weights and will be more sturdy. Yes, the wrangler hitch receivers mount on a cross section so a class III isn't going to strengthen that section, but I feel that a class III is just a peace of mind sort of deal. I've read that the Curt Class III has a model for the JL, but the mopar 7/4pin connection bracket will not fit on it. Does anyone know if Curt has fixed this issue? Any other input on this section would be great, leaning towards the Class II Mopar, but just wanted to learn some more about Class III as well.

- Towing package install: I've seen very mixed feedback in other threads (any feedback is appreciated).
Is it really that difficult to install yourself? Any good links for install videos out there?
Are there any good, trusted wiring kits other than Mopar that you have used?
Do you need to have the auxiliary button for towing installed?
Have you found that it is cheaper to have installed at a dealer or through a local shop (I'm in Utah so we have tons of options for jeep specific shops).
I've seen some people say yes and no to needing the battery and alternator upgraded, input?

- Brake controller: open for all feedback haven't really looked into which model to go with yet. What's the price for install at a shop/dealer in comparison to the price/time it takes to do it yourself. Links to install videos that you like are definitely welcomed.

- Air Bags in Rear Springs: Totally don't mind throwing these bad boys onto the rig, used em on my RAM1500 they worked great.
Any issues with them when off-roading that you've ran into?
With the trailer specs I have listed in combination with the WDH do you think they'd really be necessary?

- Upgraded Gears (battle between 4.88 and 5.13 at the moment)
So I'm leaning towards the 5.13s, let me know if you think otherwise. I definitely will be going up from here (eventually 40's along with beefier axles AFTER retirement from a towing rig). What would you think would be the pros and cons of each with my setup while towing? I don't really care for gas mileage its a jeep lol. More worried about keeping engine, transmission temps down (which the JL does great I've never had an issue scaling mountains at highway speeds with 37s and 3.45s).

- Teraflex big brake kit: I think this is definitely a must trailer or not. Those 37s definitely put some strain on the brakes. I worked at Teraflex for a minute so their brake kit is one that I'm most familiar with. Any recommendations on other brake kits?? Will there be much more strain on the brakes currently if I'm using a brake controller? Would it be better to upgrade the trailer brakes instead?

- Steering Upgrades: The team that leads it all! I have a King SS and Rancho Adjustable Track Bar. I'm thinking it would be safe to go ahead and upgrade tie rod and drag link as well and considering upgrading ball joints, possibly ball joint deletes. I've definitely noticed some wear on the stock parts with the 37s. Recommendations for these? Yeti HD definitely has my attention, but so does the price tag lol.

I think that about sums everything up that I'm wanting more information on. Thank you to whoever decides to embark on the journey and read this lengthy post. If there are any other upgrades I'm missing and would like to bring my attention please do! Again thank you, and happy jeeping :)





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BDinTX

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Any chance you could be talked out of it? I pulled a 24 ft 2 axle cargo trailer that was probably similar in weight with a 3/4 ton diesel using a WD hitch. When being passed by a semi their “bow wave” would first push the nose of my truck away towards the ditch, or concrete wall. When it got a little further forwards that pressure was on the pivot point (the hitch) and it would force the nose of my truck towards the semi. It was nerve racking and obviously not safe. The fix was to upgrade the truck to a 1 ton dually. Bottom line - a Jeep will never be a good tow vehicle and the size of the trailer is something to be considered along with the weight. Which by the way, adds up very quickly when you start throwing clothes, food, and other essentials in the trailer.
 
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JLdream

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Any chance you could be talked out of it? I pulled a 24 ft 2 axle cargo trailer that was probably similar in weight with a 3/4 ton diesel using a WD hitch. When being passed by a semi their “bow wave” would first push the nose of my truck away towards the ditch, or concrete wall. When it got a little further forwards that pressure was on the pivot point (the hitch) and it would force the nose of my truck towards the semi. It was nerve racking and obviously not safe. The fix was to upgrade the truck to a 1 ton dually. Bottom line - a Jeep will never be a good tow vehicle and the size of the trailer is something to be considered along with the weight. Which by the way, adds up very quickly when you start throwing clothes, food, and other essentials in the trailer.
Interesting to see that you had such a bad problem with that. I've towed tons of trailers in different sizes and shapes from boats to cargo trailers to campers totaling thousands of miles using trucks and SUVs both smaller and larger than a 3/4 ton and haven't ever had a terrible reaction to semis passing. Also important to note that there are weight distribution (equalizer) hitches, anti-sway hitches and anti-sway/equalizer combos. I usually sit at 55mph max when towing (as should everyone towing anything IMO) not too worried about that with the jeep, simple solution is to slow down a bit while the semi passes, and climb back up to 55. Being familiar with the bow wave effect as well as your tow vehicle gives you an advantage during those situations. Thanks for the feedback :)
 

SecondTJ

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Didn’t mention anything about payload. How much weight do you expect to carry?

I would hit a cat scale to see what your curb weight currently sits at with a full tank of gas. Then subtract that from your GVWR. The weight of those 37’s is going to hurt
 

MtCamper

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You know you really shouldn't tow that with a JLU that's been lifted and with 37s. If you insist, make sure you install a class 3 hitch that is firmly attached to your frame. This is necessary for proper weight distribution. I recommend a Blue Ox WDH because they have less noise and built in sway control. Make sure you hitch weight is 12-15% of your loaded trailer weight. Any less will be unstable. Your specs of 2900# dry weight and only 270 hitch weight make me uncomfortable to start with. IMHO the manufacturer is relying on the battery and propane tank weight to get you to the 10% MINIMUM hitch weight. The only way to properly set this up is to load the trailer and weigh it. You can't afford any errors due to being on the edge of possible to start with. Prodigy brake controller and pack your wheel bearings by hand so you can check the brake drums. It's common to find grease on the drums due to over greasing of bearing buddies. Believe me, you'll need all the brake action you can get. Odds are you are going to be a hazard to navigation going up hill with that load and your 3.45/37s combo. Make sure you use turn outs on the two lanes and your flashers on the steep hills on the four lanes. Avoid SLC, the traffic with that setup will eat your lunch.

You will probably need to relocate your spare. A WDH may put the ball far enough aft to hook up, but you will probably get a strike when backing or maybe going forward in a tight turn. Don't use a hitch extender to place the hitch further aft. That will only make the rig more unstable. . You will need a 7 pin plug in. Up to you who does the install but it is really easy to screw up the electrics on a JL. No need for a battery/alternator change unless you go with the recommended Genesis Dual. You will likely need air bags to level out the rig. Don't think you will be able to do it with just a WDH. Don't forget to set it up with the Jeep loaded inside too. You can easily add hundreds of pounds.

After you get everything all loaded up to head to Moab, swing by the local Cat scale and get you total GVW. You are going to find you are way over what Jeep says. Hint: you can travel with only a couple of gallons of water and fill the tank when you get to where you are going.

Good luck, I think you are going to need it.
 
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wolfdog

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With your Jeep I think stopping should be the "stopping"! That's a big concern with JLU's probably! Along as above proper tongue weight.

Go Jeep
 

FrostySerb

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I know this is not what you want to hear ... But I don't believe (Even with the mods) the jeep will make a decent tow vehicle. This is based on experience and is also why I sold my JKUR for a new ram 2500 4 years ago. It can be done, but it is absolutely exhausting, unsafe and not fun.

Towing a 17ft hybrid trailer weighing approx 3,300 pounds loaded up with 35s and a leveling kit was brutal. That was with 4.10s and 35s so Regearing would 100% have to be done, going up an incline even with gears, the jeep will be screaming.
See the below pic. This setup was more difficult to tow than my current 35ft TT.

I would suggest that you dont invest any of that moeny into making your jeep tow better as it will not be money well spent (IMO).

8F9807F8-DB23-4A70-AAFB-2B3751BC7002.jpeg


8F179BBD-3345-40C7-8AEE-EFDD82816238.jpeg
 
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JLdream

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Didn’t mention anything about payload. How much weight do you expect to carry?

I would hit a cat scale to see what your curb weight currently sits at with a full tank of gas. Then subtract that from your GVWR. The weight of those 37’s is going to hurt
Thanks for the input. I plan on traveling very light (almost no cargo in the jeep, not filling tanks in trailer, etc). Yeah the 37s are about 80lbs a piece lol. will definitely head over to the cat scale before embarking on a trip. I expect to be below weight limits. majority of the towing will be on back roads and scenic routes to avoid highway speeds/traffic
 

Arterius2

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With all that trouble you are facing I think the easiest route would be to stop by your favorite Jeep dealer and trade in for a Gladiator.
 
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JLdream

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I know this is not what you want to hear ... But I don't believe (Even with the mods) the jeep will make a decent tow vehicle. This is based on experience and is also why I sold my JKUR for a new ram 2500 4 years ago. It can be done, but it is absolutely exhausting, unsafe and not fun.

Towing a 17ft hybrid trailer weighing approx 3,300 pounds loaded up with 35s and a leveling kit was brutal. That was with 4.10s and 35s so Regearing would 100% have to be done, going up an incline even with gears, the jeep will be screaming.
See the below pic. This setup was more difficult to tow than my current 35ft TT.

I would suggest that you dont invest any of that moeny into making your jeep tow better as it will not be money well spent (IMO).

8F9807F8-DB23-4A70-AAFB-2B3751BC7002.jpeg


8F179BBD-3345-40C7-8AEE-EFDD82816238.jpeg
funny you. rough up the jk as a towing vehicle. everyone I've spoken to and everything I've read about hasn't had the best experience towing with it. on the other hand the jl is a different story. handles towing much better especially when navigating through mountain highways. majority if the modifications are beneficial to offroading whether or not I use it to tow. and if I do get another vehicle for towing I'll still need wdh, airbags, etc so money spent on the items isn't isn't issue for me. thanks for the input I really like your setup in those pics looks like a good time!
 
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JLdream

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With all that trouble you are facing I think the easiest route would be to stop by your favorite Jeep dealer and trade in for a Gladiator.
please don't tempt me LOL! my brother has the gladiator and it's such a beautiful piece of machinery. I just can't get rid of my rig though. it's like having a sick child, can't just trade it in, gotta work with it and figure out a solution. we're soul bonded lol. happy jeeping to ya :)
 

Arterius2

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please don't tempt me LOL! my brother has the gladiator and it's such a beautiful piece of machinery. I just can't get rid of my rig though. it's like having a sick child, can't just trade it in, gotta work with it and figure out a solution. we're should bonded lol. happy jeeping to ya :)
Well at least half if not most of your aftermarket mods are transferable to the JT.
I'm facing similar issues and this is the route I'll probably be taking as well.
 

Nomod

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I was considering towing a Geo Pro 15TB with my '18 JLUS, 3.6, auto, stock, but decided against it. Too close to limits and, from what I've read, JLs simply aren't great tow vehicles unless the load is low and light.
 
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JLdream

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I was considering towing a Geo Pro 15TB with my '18 JLUS, 3.6, auto, stock, but decided against it. Too close to limits and, from what I've read, JLs simply aren't great tow vehicles unless the load is low and light.
I checked out the geopro as well. badass unit for sure. but definitely too heavy. I think the dryweight was around 3200lbs
 

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