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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question about towing that I did not find answered using the search function, although I did find a lot of good information. I have a small 5x8 trailer that I use to pull my atv. I have a 2015 JKU Rubicon with 4.10, auto trans. I am wanting to also use a cargo hitch carrier as the atv pretty much takes up the entire trailer. Polaris touring model. I found a cargo hitch carrier that can also be towed from. The manufacturer website says 3000lbs towing limit and 500lb tw limit. I know that the Jeep tw is 350. Since the cargo carrier puts the hitch about 24" further back, will that affect my tow rating or is the 3000lb rating from the manufacturer true? Below is a link to the carrier. I need to find out the actual tongue weight but the trailer is balanced really well with the atv on it, I can fairly easily pick up the tongue when loaded. The cargo carrier will only carry light gear or luggage if the family is with me. Thanks for all of your help!

http://www.bdawgcarriers.com/railed.php#towingStBernard
 

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CalmerThanYouAre
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I wouldn't see it being a problem towing something light like an atv. And you mentioned that the tongue weight isn't too heavy so that's a plus since it's extended back so far.
 

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I'm going out on a limb, here, and say extending the hitch 2' back will only reduce all of the JK's tow ratings.
For example, the tongue weight on the extended hitch will have more leverage over the JK. The rear will squat more, and the front end will be further lightened. This will also increase the load on the JK's rear cross member.

I'd tow only the lightest of loads from a cargo carrier in the JK's receiver.

Otherwise, put the cargo carrier on the front of the trailer frame, and adjust the load for the proper tongue weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was told by one person that if you use an extension then the towing limit is cut by 50%. The cargo basket is pretty much a 24" extension with a basket on top of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm going out on a limb, here, and say extending the hitch 2' back will only reduce all of the JK's tow ratings.
For example, the tongue weight on the extended hitch will have more leverage over the JK. The rear will squat more, and the front end will be further lightened. This will also increase the load on the JK's rear cross member.

I'd tow only the lightest of loads from a cargo carrier in the JK's receiver.

Otherwise, put the cargo carrier on the front of the trailer frame, and adjust the load for the proper tongue weight.
I won't really be able to adjust the load as the atv pretty much takes up the trailer. I can fit a plastic 5 gallon fuel can between the rear tire and gate and that's it. Also putting the cargo carrier on the front of the frame will reduce cornering.

Maybe a larger trailer is the best answer and then invest in a cheaper cargo carrier to use when needed.
 

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Standard rule of thumb is that tongue weight should be about 10% of the trailer weight.

If your JK has a 350# tongue weight rating, then that's a "not-to-exceed" figure, regardless of what your carrier may be rated at.

Connecting your trailer to the rear of the carrier (or using a 24" extension) will move your pivot point further from the Jeep's receiver attachment point, which will . . .

1) increase the twisting moment on the rear crossmember
2) place a greater load on the rear suspension
3) unload the front suspension to a greater degree
4) induce greater sway into the trailer tongue as the Jeep's rear link suspension cycles, causing the hitch point to move from side to side.

That said, your maximum allowable tongue weight with the carrier would be the 350# figure, but honestly you should adjust that lower for the reasons stated above. That may pose a problem for you if you intend to keep your tongue weight at about 10% of the trailer's weight; you may find that by the time you reduce your allowable tongue weight, and then further reduce it by the weight of the carrier and its own load, you can't get your trailer tongue light enough and keep the load proportions on your trailer correct for proper towing. Trailers get really squirrelly when they're light in the tongue (tail heavy).

The suggestion to put the stuff that would be loaded on the carrier on the trailer instead is a good one. If you wouldnt have room to properly turn the trailer with the carrier mounted on the tongue, it would be a better option to lengthen the trailer tongue by the length of the carrier. Your challenge then might be keeping the tongue light enough though.
 

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CalmerThanYouAre
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Load it up and take it for a test drive and see how it behaves.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the info! I have already pulled the trailer loaded as it normally would be. It towed fine. I also took a trip loaded with 4 adults, 1 dog and luggage on a cargo carrier. I did not notice much rear sag but I did get a couple headlight flashes from oncoming traffic. Once my front bumper and winch goes on that should solve that problem as it should weigh down that front end a bit. It should also help if I use a cargo carrier to tow.

I was surprised to still get 14.5 mpg with 4.10 axles and 35" tires down the interstate at 70mph.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I should have also mentioned that I am using an ACE pro series rear bumper with the receiver welded on. It also attaches with 4 bolts. I understand the Jeep tow ratings but this bumper should help with that additional twisting on the cross member since it is welded to the bumper and bolted to the cross member.

I still would never exceed the ratings for the Jeep and will keep the tongue weight as light as possible.

Still maybe a larger trailer, one with a box on the tongue or something of that nature is a better/safer idea.
 

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CalmerThanYouAre
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I should have also mentioned that I am using an ACE pro series rear bumper with the receiver welded on. It also attaches with 4 bolts. I understand the Jeep tow ratings but this bumper should help with that additional twisting on the cross member since it is welded to the bumper and bolted to the cross member.

I still would never exceed the ratings for the Jeep and will keep the tongue weight as light as possible.

Still maybe a larger trailer, one with a box on the tongue or something of that nature is a better/safer idea.
If you can afford it a bigger trailer with room for storage that would be the best option. I wouldn't consider that rack and tow setup if I could afford a larger trailer.

Mask off the different dimensions of potential trailers on your garage floor and load all your stuff within the tape. It'll help you figure what size you'd want.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah the more I think about it that is the option I am going to go with. I can certainly sell my trailer to recoup some cost and then purchase a larger trailer. Now to decide on single or dual axle! :)
 

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Compare the difference in the trailer weights between a single axle and a dual axle. No benefit in dragging around more weight if you can't benefit from the additional capacity the second axle will provide.

Going with a dual axle trailer will most likely decrease the amount of cargo you can tow but increase the trailer capacity. Don't sacrifice your cargo by blowing your load on the trailer weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have decided to not get the cargo carrier for towing and just get a larger trailer. Would a tandem axle trailer not allow more weight to fall on the trailer and less on the tongue being dual axle?
 

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I was surprised to still get 14.5 mpg with 4.10 axles and 35" tires down the interstate at 70mph.

I got better fuel economy with 4.10's and 35's running in 3rd gear (OD off) than I do with 5.38's and 37's trying (key word trying) to maintain OD. Granted I have a 3.8 and 4spd auto so its a bit different that yours. I went from 16mpg in 3rd gear on 35's to 13mpg mostly in OD with 37's.
 

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I have decided to not get the cargo carrier for towing and just get a larger trailer. Would a tandem axle trailer not allow more weight to fall on the trailer and less on the tongue being dual axle?

How much weight do you need to tow? Single axle trailers are rated for around 3,000lb-3,500lb which is the same as the JKU towing capacity.

Your tow vehicle is the limiting factor, not the trailer size or capacity. Regardless of tow vehicle or trailer capacity, you still need and adequate amount of tongue weight to make the load/trailer safe to tow/control.

With tandem axles comes an increase in trailer capacity which also means a stronger trailer design. All of this increases the light weight of the trailer. This means your already pulling more weight before you even start putting your load on the trailer. Your trailer will weigh more but the amount you can safely and comfortable tow with your Jeep has not change. So while the tandem axle trailer has a higher capacity than a single axle trailer, the amount of cargo you can actually tow has decreased.


Getting a slightly longer and slightly wider single axle trailer will keep your curb weight down but will also allow you to better position your load to balance tongue weight.
 

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I bought my JKU without knowing anything about how a Jeep acted when towing a trailer. I have a 24' boat with a tandem wheel trailer That weighs about 5000lbs. and tongue weight is right around 350. Needless to say it pulled it with no problem . This is on pretty much flat land, Now I dont dog on it taking off and give myself plenty of room to stop.

My previous towing vehicle was a 97 Gmc Suburban with the 5.7 . The jeep doesn't act much different that it did. I was impressed!
 
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