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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering about how big I could go on a lightweight cargo trailer behind my LS JK. I know I have the power for the 9500lb Chevy Silverado rating but the 3500 lb JK rating, not to mention the brakes. I was looking at 7x14' all aluminum with a dry weight of about 1600lbs and a V-nose with electric brakes all four tires. All I plan to carry is 2 dirt bikes 500lbs total and convert it into a camper/toy hauler. I probably won't be over 3000lbs but that's quite a bit of trailer for the wind to catch. I read the front area is limited to 49 sq feet for the JK but once again I have the 5.3LS and 4:88 gears.

I'm gonna upgrade my JK brakes before I plan to tow and I got a 3.5" lift and 35's. I tow a 2400lb 7x12' (closed) tent trailer, probably closer to 3000 by the time we load it up, with no brakes and it tows fine just a little extra stopping distance. About 1000 miles to Moab , can't wait for that SLC stretch of the I-15, scares me every time, Americans drive fast compared to us slow Canadians.

Sean

Just looking for some real world experience with something that big.
 

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I had an 18ft travel trailer 7.5X18 that I used to tow with my 2006 2 door LJ Unlimited, It had larger axles and brakes and I used a weight distribution hitch and electric brake controller. Weight was about 3500lbs fully loaded. I never had any issues under normal driving conditions. The only time I had any issues was when we had high winds and I was coming back from a camping trip. Winds were 40-50mph with gusts to 80+mph... I ended up getting off the freeway and taking the streets home. That was an isolated instance.

Eddie
 

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I had a 2010 JKU with the tow package. I used a SuperChips and added airbags to the rear to help stabilize a JayCo single axle camper. It weighed "wet" at about 3500#.
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Towing it was a disaster. I had a WD hitch. I was an RV trailer transporter for the manufacturer for about 18 months with just under 200K travel trailer tow miles experience.

The 3.8 in no way allowed me to make any speed nearing normal interstate speeds. going up something as easy as an overpass would drop my speed to less than 45 mph and I doubt if I averaged even 5 mpg between northern Illinois and the Florida panhandle and back.

I promptly returned home and traded the JKU for an F150. I still miss that Jeep for the fun we had but it was not and never could bea tow vehicle for anything even remotely heavy.
 

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Bud, how did the trailer "feel" otherwise? I am looking at pulling about 4200 lbs with my JKU, power won't be an issue for me, but I'm curious how the jeep handled otherwise. My trailer is a tandem axle, with brakes, and I have a WDH.
 

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I had a 2010 JKU with the tow package. I used a SuperChips and added airbags to the rear to help stabilize a JayCo single axle camper. It weighed "wet" at about 3500#.
'
Towing it was a disaster. I had a WD hitch. I was an RV trailer transporter for the manufacturer for about 18 months with just under 200K travel trailer tow miles experience.

The 3.8 in no way allowed me to make any speed nearing normal interstate speeds. going up something as easy as an overpass would drop my speed to less than 45 mph and I doubt if I averaged even 5 mpg between northern Illinois and the Florida panhandle and back.

I promptly returned home and traded the JKU for an F150. I still miss that Jeep for the fun we had but it was not and never could bea tow vehicle for anything even remotely heavy.
I tow a similar Jayco with a much better result.

I'm on 33s with 5.38 gears. I set the tuner on tow mode. I have a wdh but no airbags.

I can maintain 65 on rolling hills. Real grades slow me down, but around here we have truck lanes. I go as fast as I can keeping the throttle about 50% as indicated on the scan gauge. I get 9-10 mpg.

I haven't weighed the trailer but I'm sure it's 3500#.

My trailer is a Jayco 165 sport. I lifted it 6" to keep the plumbing from dragging on gravel roads. The lift made no noticeable difference.

I read an engineering Q&A from when the JK was introduced. They mentioned the tow rating was based on engine cooling. I have to agree. If I run grades at over 50% then it starts to warm up even with water wetter. I'm thinking about a hood vent.

That said I think your LS will pull 4500 pounds just fine. Be prepared for all the warnings about death in a giant fireball only to be extinguished by your insurance company urinating on the wreckage because you exceeded 3500#.

By way of qualifying my comments, my last tow rig was an F-350 with a capacity of 19600#, and my trailer was a 40' gooser at 15k with 2 cars in it. I know what stable towing is. I've had several trailers in between 3500 and 15k over the years.

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for all the input. I decided to build my own lighter weight camper/toy hauler. I noticed the lightweight aluminum trailers have tandem 3500 lb axles but are rated for 2200bs payload???

I'm using 2x4" box tubing for the whole frame and 1x2" for the body. I picked up two new 3500lb axles today but got 1250lb springs for a smoother ride and I'm keeping it under 3500lbs loaded. All the steel was about 1000lbs, axles and wheels are about 450lbs according to the shipping weight, and I'm using 0.030 aluminum for sheeting at only 150lbs total, and plywood decking will be about 255lbs. I should come in around 2000-2200lbs dry weight, two motorbikes 500lbs plus all our crap.

I rented a 20' flat deck today to pick up the steel, I towed it with my F150 because I don't have my brake controller installed yet, but my LS has a higher power rating so it gave me a good idea. Empty it felt like it was under 2000lbs but when I asked the owner he said it was 4000lbs dry plus my 1000lbs of steel, no problems on the highway. I still think wind loading will be the biggest factor so I'm building a V-nose and it will sit just a foot over my Jeep at the front and kick up a foot more at the rear half. Got my metal all cut today so welding starts tomorrow.

Thanks again,
Sean
 

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Be sure to show us some pics when you are done!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I got the main flatdeck framed up and started on the box framing, as well the axles,coupler and front jack are mounted so it's a roller now. Still pretty light being just the structure and sits nicely with the tandem axles centered 60% to the rear. I'm gonna round out the slope between the front lower section and the rear. It goes up a foot so the bed can be mounted above the motorbikes, still gotta do the v-nose front and the rest of the cross braces.

Had surgery yesterday to remove my gall bladder so I'm kinda stuck doing nothing for a while, just planning things out for now.

Sean
 

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Trailer looks awesome so far, nice progress. I had my gall bladder out also, it sucks but is better in the end, as I'm sure you lived with the symptoms beforehand. Just make sure not to exert yourself too much...they did just slice into your abdomen after all.
 
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