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Discussion Starter #1
With more of us building our JK's & JKU's up, we may find ourselves going from daily driver, to only driving to the trails and wheeling our heeps, to trailering them to the trails - and thus some of us thought it might good to start a new thread to discuss trailers to haul our JK's & JKU's.

I'm in the planning/research stage - my 2012 JKU is currently on stock axles and 35's - with the plan to upgrade to the Mopar Dana 60's and most likely 40's the idea of hauling rather than driving it to the more distant trails is in the offing. Just last month, I drove the heep 1,200 miles in 22 hours from AR to Moab - doable, but tiring (not to mention wear on the vehicle/tires) That kind of road trip is something I won't be doing if it's on 40's - so the research has begun on trailers.

Car haulers, buggy haulers, flat beds, goosenecks, steel, aluminum, drive-over fenders, removable fenders, leaf springs, torsion bar, dove tail, tilting, single or dual axle brakes, wood deck, steel deck, aluminum deck, wheel size, bed width, bed length, brands, tongue weight, balancing, tie downs, personal experiences, facts and figures, etc, etc.

Discuss.
 

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With more of us building our JK's & JKU's up, we may find ourselves going from daily driver, to only driving to the trails and wheeling our heeps, to trailering them to the trails - and thus some of us thought it might good to start a new thread to discuss trailers to haul our JK's & JKU's.

I'm in the planning/research stage - my 2012 JKU is currently on stock axles and 35's - with the plan to upgrade to the Mopar Dana 60's and most likely 40's the idea of hauling rather than driving it to the more distant trails is in the offing. Just last month, I drove the heep 1,200 miles in 22 hours from AR to Moab - doable, but tiring (not to mention wear on the vehicle/tires) That kind of road trip is something I won't be doing if it's on 40's - so the research has begun on trailers.

Car haulers, buggy haulers, flat beds, goosenecks, steel, aluminum, drive-over fenders, removable fenders, leaf springs, torsion bar, dove tail, tilting, single or dual axle brakes, wood deck, steel deck, aluminum deck, wheel size, bed width, bed length, brands, tongue weight, balancing, tie downs, personal experiences, facts and figures, etc, etc.

Discuss.
I'm with you Breeze Man, I put up vote/request for a tow rig section to be added, got the support from Stube, then nothing but crickets!

I'm in the same boat as you, not a DD, setting on tons and 40's. While it's fun to drive on short trips, long ones aren't. i just bought a 36 foot PJ Low Pro goose neck flatbed, 102 wide, wood deck, torsion tube and winch mount. It will due until I have a living quarter car hauler built...but that will be a few years. I also plan to use the trailer to haul airplane projects.

Depending on what I will be hauling, I use chains or Mac's tie downs. The tow vehicle is an older Ford F-550.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dang, that's quite the heavy duty trailer and tow rig!

I'm hoping to get by with lighter - 1/2 ton pickup and my preference would be to go aluminum, but while the weight is about 1/2 of a comparable steel trailer, the price is about double. There are fewer choices when it comes to aluminum and width is more of an issue as most appear to around the 82" mark (or narrower) and I wouldn't expect the fenders to be strong enough to drive-over, so when the JKU goes on D60's the stance will be over 82". I'd also prefer wheels outside the bed in order to keep the load lower, but it does limit how wide the bed can be.

Some have strong opinions about aluminum. Even though you can get dual #5,200 torsion axles, some worry about welds and metal fatigue when you put a #6,000+ JKU on it. I'd love to hear from those here with first hand experience. I've had a couple Aluma brand aluminum motorcycle trailers, and my father both Aluma and Featherlight utility and snowmobile trailers, without a stitch of problems, but hauling a jeep or buggy is much different.

Steel buggy/car haulers are a good value, but an 18' x 102" are about #3,000 which when you add a #6-7,000 JKU on it, that's a lot of tail wagging a 1/2 ton dog. Could look to go into a 3/4 or 1-ton tow vehicle, but less comfortable as a daily driver, since that's what it will be 95% of the time.

Of course from a cost perspective, steel wins out and is pretty proven for strength (assuming you buy a reputable brand) since even sloppy MIG welds are pretty strong.

Hopefully others will chime in with their experiences and points of view. Pics of trailers/rigs would be helpful for us researching and trying to make smart decisions that work best for our individual situations.
 

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While the 550 would suck as a DD, I have confidence pulling that heavier trailer with my 7000 pound jeep. I know I have plenty of brakes for panic stops when some asshole cuts in front and slams on the brakes, as well as stopping in the hills. Ask me how I know, I'm going to order a dash cam just in case! I got one hell of a deal on the truck, couldn't pass it up.

I would have no problem with an aluminum trailer that is built for the weight your going to haul, but most bumper pulls are not. Fenders will be an issue, but you can always reinforce them! If you can afford to move up to a 3/4 ton truck, I think you will be happier and safer! Better tranny, running gear and brakes. I also think, depending on the year, you'll find the ride won't be much different.

Have fun doing the research, I know I have.
 

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When I was researching trailers for my Jeep(TJ), I was looking at the aluminum trailers due to the weight savings since I would be towing with a Yukon XL Denali, which has a slightly lower rated towing capacity than a 1/2 ton truck. As stated above, aluminum trailers do suffer from fatigue cracks from normal use, even with a lighter load, but the biggest disadvantage of the AL trailers is the width is just too narrow for a built Jeep. In the end I bought a 20' PJ buggy hauler http://www.pjtrailers.com/detail.cfm?ID=B5 with 5200lb axles and brakes on both. While I would love to have a diesel truck to tow with, the Denali does just fine pulling the trailer, the biggest difference in towing was when I added the weight distribution hitch.

In the end for me, the width of the PJ, the durability of the steel and cost far outweighed the relatively small weight savings from the aluminum trailer. Another advantage to the steel trailer is the ease if welding tie downs to the trailer anywhere you want them.
 

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Love my new PJ buggy hauler. High quality, stout as hell.



 

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Discussion Starter #7
Fguy - when you are loaded up are you maxing out or over your GVWR and GCWR on your Denali?

While the 1/2 ton p/u's towing rating run from 6k to 10k depending on the drivetrain, but I'm concerned that it would be a bit of a heavy tail wagging a light dog I've been looking into 3/4 ton to provide a better matched frame, drivetrain, suspension, etc to a #10,000 trailer and Jeep. It would be safer to go with a 3/4 ton tow vehicle, but the much more expensive initial outlay for the truck vs spending 3k more for a AL trailer that would help get the overall weight more in line with what a 1/2 ton truck can safely tow.

Good point about being able to weld rings (as well as repair any weak or broken welds) with a MIG. Most of us don't have the equipment or skills to TIG weld aluminum. It is a valid consideration as steel is more "user friendly"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've read on Pirate4x4 that some of the PJ's are build in Mexico and some were complaining that the build/weld quality wasn't up to standards. Now that could be some "gotta be american or it's no good" attitude, or valid differences in quality. Nothing on the PJ site talks about Mexico having a manufacturing site - just TX and OH.

When shopping/researching the PJ's did you compare to others? What is your impression of what some have said about the build quality?
 

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I've read on Pirate4x4 that some of the PJ's are build in Mexico and some were complaining that the build/weld quality wasn't up to standards. Now that could be some "gotta be american or it's no good" attitude, or valid differences in quality. Nothing on the PJ site talks about Mexico having a manufacturing site - just TX and OH.

When shopping/researching the PJ's did you compare to others? What is your impression of what some have said about the build quality?
The B5 5" channel buggy haulers are made in Mexico and have had complaints of questionable build quality (surprise!). I have the B6 6" channel hauler which is made in Texas. Reeks quality.

I've had a Big Tex, and the PJ is far superior.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The B5 5" channel buggy haulers are made in Mexico and have had complaints of questionable build quality (surprise!). I have the B6 6" channel hauler which is made in Texas. Reeks quality.

I've had a Big Tex, and the PJ is far superior.
Good to know.

I've read that the double leaf spring set up can be a bit rougher riding when empty over the torsion type suspension. Not that the ride when empty is that big of a deal, but can't always believe what you read on the inteweb. Are you running the #7000 axles?
 

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Fguy - when you are loaded up are you maxing out or over your GVWR and GCWR on your Denali?

While the 1/2 ton p/u's towing rating run from 6k to 10k depending on the drivetrain, but I'm concerned that it would be a bit of a heavy tail wagging a light dog I've been looking into 3/4 ton to provide a better matched frame, drivetrain, suspension, etc to a #10,000 trailer and Jeep. It would be safer to go with a 3/4 ton tow vehicle, but the much more expensive initial outlay for the truck vs spending 3k more for a AL trailer that would help get the overall weight more in line with what a 1/2 ton truck can safely tow.

Good point about being able to weld rings (as well as repair any weak or broken welds) with a MIG. Most of us don't have the equipment or skills to TIG weld aluminum. It is a valid consideration as steel is more "user friendly"
Max trailer weight for my Denali is 7900lbs, which just the Jeep on my trailer is over 8,000, plus whatever else I cram in the Jeep. I haven't put the entire setup on a scale when loaded though to see what everything weighs loaded.

As I said, the biggest difference in pulling my trailer came when I put the weight distribution hitch on. I went from the rear air ride compressor hating life and having a decent amount of squatting in the rear and the typical nose high ride, to the entire truck squatting down about 3/4" in the rear and 1/4" in the front.
 

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Good to know.

I've read that the double leaf spring set up can be a bit rougher riding when empty over the torsion type suspension. Not that the ride when empty is that big of a deal, but can't always believe what you read on the inteweb. Are you running the #7000 axles?
One of the original selling points to the torsion axles was smoother ride. Another was that each wheel absorbs irregularities independently -- another contributor to smoother ride.

The caveat there is that with torsion axles its more critical that you have the trailer level exactly because the axles do not transfer the load through a linkage like your typical tandem or triple axle leaf spring setup. If the trailer is unlevel, the lower end will potentially overload that axle.

Another advantage to torsion is that it's easier to build a very low trailer than with leaves -- not that that's a big issue for this application, but it's another area where they shine.

Personally, I like mechanical things (read that, "simple," and "easy to find replacements"), so for me, the leaves are a better option. I'm not hauling eggs (or princesses), so a little rougher ride is not that big a deal. You may find that leaves are cheaper than torsion axles as well, but that may also depend on the maker.
 

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Are you running the #7000 axles?
Yes. GVWR is 14,000lb. The trailer itself weighs 3650lbs. I'm guessing around 9500lbs with the Jeep loaded (haven't weighed the Jeep yet). I personally wouldn't try to tow this set up with a half-ton truck, even if the truck is rated for this load. I like a heavier truck, and all the beefed up components of a 3/4 or 1 ton.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes. GVWR is 14,000lb. The trailer itself weighs 3650lbs. I'm guessing around 9500lbs with the Jeep loaded (haven't weighed the Jeep yet). I personally wouldn't try to tow this set up with a half-ton truck, even if the truck is rated for this load. I like a heavier truck, and all the beefed up components of a 3/4 or 1 ton.
Good information. Thanks!

With a beefed up JKU and a 18'+ steel trailer, it pushes the total up into that "you can tow with a 1/2 ton, but you really shouldn't" territory, thus, my interest in aluminum as that would potentially give you enough weight savings to keep me in a 1/2 ton tow rig. There's a big step in initial cost when looking at a 3/4 ton vs a 1/2 ton, but the beefier capabilities of a 3/4 ton is certainly a big consideration.
 

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In the equivalent sized featherlite trailer to my PJ, but not having the 102" deck width and drive over fenders, I would only be saving roughly 1200lbs, and while it is still a weight savings, for me I just couldn't justify the additional cost.

Plus, being a wood deck, I can lay down on the deck to strap my Jeep down and not melt skin off after its been baking in the sun all day.
 

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In the equivalent sized featherlite trailer to my PJ, but not having the 102" deck width and drive over fenders, I would only be saving roughly 1200lbs, and while it is still a weight savings, for me I just couldn't justify the additional cost.

Plus, being a wood deck, I can lay down on the deck to strap my Jeep down and not melt skin off after its been baking in the sun all day.
http://www.fthr.com/products/car-trailers/bumper-pull/3110-car-trailer They say the 20ft trailer is 102" and has removable fenders.
 

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I've had two PJ Buggy Haulers in the B5 (5" channel) variation. One was a straight deck 20' and the other was a wood deck with steel dovetail 20'. Both of them pulled really, really rough when empty. I was towing with a 14 Ram 2500 CTD. Loaded they are amazing, but I need something that will tow smoothish down the road when empty too. I tend to find "good deals" that always require me to drag an empty trailer 3 - 4 hours down the highway. LOL

Now you have me curious about stepping up to a 6" channel.
 

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Love my new PJ buggy hauler. High quality, stout as hell....
As I have told you before on another thread, nice trailer,truck and Jeep, Ron!
Speaking of the Jeep , -& plz note that I do NOT wish to derail or hijack the thread at all - did not know you had beastly axles on yer rig, Ron; what housing/axle is that peeking-out there?
 

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I am towing my JKU weighing 5600 lbs confirmed when I had it weighed on a 20 ft C5 PJ trailer. I chose the upgraded channels, they moved the distance of the 5" channels closer together by I think 6 inches. I have 5200lb axles with brakes on both axles. The 2 foot dovetail is nice for loading and unloading, plus my JKU sits just on the flat deck for the proper tongue weight. I really like the trailer a lot.

Now my tow vehicle. I have a 2014 Ford F150 Ecoboost. I added some Firestone Ride Rite Air Bags because of the rear squat and they work well. The truck has plenty of power, the gas mileage sucks and you can't do much in the hills. I don't feel uncomfortable towing the Jeep, but I am looking at 1 ton trucks for my future endeavors. You can tow with a 1/2 ton, but like everyone has said previously it is not ideal. I will say that as a Daily Driving pickup I am not impressed with the Ecoboost. Ford boasted unbelievable gas mileage numbers and they are just that, unbelievable. I average 15 mpg in town, 17 mpg strictly highway at 70 mph, and 9-10 mpg at 65 mph when I tow anything from my UTV on a 14ft trailer or my JKU on my 20ft trailer. So my recommendation would be to get a strong trailer, and get the biggest truck that you are comfortable with.

After towing my Jeep for the past year I have started planning for my towing future. I really like towing my Jeep to off road events because of the piece of mind that if I break I still get home. My future trailer will be a gooseneck, hopefully low deck, place a travel trailer of some kind on the front so I am completely self sufficient, towing with a 1 ton pickup. A diesel 1 ton daily driving is close to the same gas mileage that I am getting in my 1/2 ton currently.
 

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I've had two PJ Buggy Haulers in the B5 (5" channel) variation. One was a straight deck 20' and the other was a wood deck with steel dovetail 20'. Both of them pulled really, really rough when empty. I was towing with a 14 Ram 2500 CTD. Loaded they are amazing, but I need something that will tow smoothish down the road when empty too. I tend to find "good deals" that always require me to drag an empty trailer 3 - 4 hours down the highway. LOL

Now you have me curious about stepping up to a 6" channel.

You having trailer ADD now Marcus?

Let me know if you decide to get rid of your current trailer, as I'll be in the market in the coming months. Could also sweeten the pot with a PSC 2 dr Delphi steering box . . . .


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