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Jeep plowing/towing tips

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by Detroitdan, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Hi there, just looking for some tips. I want to tow a 16' 2 axle landscape trailer with a walk behind mower and a few tools, only a few hundred pounds at best, plus the weight of the trailer. My 3500 is killing me in fuel, would like to park it and get either a CJ or an older Wrangler to tow it with and bomb around in. I also thought I'd throw a plow on it as a backup/cleanup rig, I have a couple driveways that are tough with my extended cab dually with a Blizzard 810, would be a blast in a little rig. I'm thinking an I6 would be better, but a 4 cyl would probably still do the job okay. Unfortunately a lot of the older stuff has v8s in them, and that defeats the purpose as far as fuel mileage. Not that the carbureted I6 is great on gas. I would probably add a couple inches of shackle lift to clear 31-32s. 33s look good but I think they'd cut into my towing and plowing ability too much. What do you think?
    I'd love to put a Blizzard 720 on it, but to be honest I'll most likely be shopping for used cheap stuff, so beggars cant be choosers. I know the personal snowplows arent much good for commercial use, but it cant be much worse than the Meyers that seems to be the most common plow I've noticed on Jeeps around here. Anyway, I like the Blizz then the Fisher and Sno-way, but I'm sure any plow I put on the front will move some snow. Like they say, the snow doesnt know the difference. So basically I'm looking for input on what to consider as far as tow capacity, tires that will work for plowing and towing, and anything else you can think of. I have a lot of experience towing and plowing, just never tried to do either with something so small.
    Thanks, Dan
  2. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    Be aware Jeep's towing capacities are pretty low from what I remember.....
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Amen Brother, way to much weight for a wrangler or CJ. Jeep themselves say 2000lbs gross trailer 200lbs tongue weight. it'd be the tail wagging the dog.

    good little driveway plow rig though
  4. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    What they said the weight will be over what a Wrangler should pull, you could however get an older Cherokee and the fuel injected 4.0 the towing capacity you'll need and be able to hang a plow and end up with around 17-20MPG normal driving and around 14-15MPG with the trailer.
  5. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Well, the motor isnt a problem, I'm leaning toward a CJ-7 with a 4.2, but either that or the 4.0 Wrangler has enough power. The short wheelbase kills the stability, but my trailer is long and sits on two axles which cuts down on the swaying. I cant seem to find the specs on my trailer anywhere, but I'm sure it weighs less than 1500 lbs, and my mower and gear cant be 300-400 more. I'm pretty sure if I move the mower back over the wheels and balance it better, I should be fine. I should mention that all my driving is back roads, 35-45 mph at best. I know how bad the Jeeps are on the highway, but fortunately I wont need to drive it or tow with it on the highway anyway. A friend has a newer TJ with 33s and he tows a large pop-up with no trouble, I think it's GVW is probably 2990 because it doesnt have trailer brakes. So I've pretty much talked myself into trying it, now all I need is to sell my old car so I can start trying to buy a Jeep. I've thought about the Cherokee, they are a dime a dozen but I just dont care for them.
    Thanks for all your input.
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Careful not to get the trailer tongue weight to light. Too little tongue weight is worse then too much. You're aware from the git go with too much, too little sneaks up on you. Easy way to jackknife when turning, There's no guidance to the trailer. It's just floating along, so it keeps going straight. Then you brake, your front end drops the rear wheels get a little light the trailer pushes...Jackknife.
    I picked up a 1,900lb Boat/trailer combo from a dealer and it about wrecked a 2500 Dodge Ram. It was twisting and turning on the concrete seams in the road. Stopped, moved the winch post forward 4 inches, towed like a sweetheart.
    Sometimes business is about sacrifices, you'd be better off which the 4.0 Cherokee. better tow vehicle. you can improve it's looks with a lift kit, some rims and tires.
  7. bnrhuffman

    bnrhuffman Member
    Messages: 83

    You will be pushing the envelope towing 2900lbs with any of the short wheelbase Jeeps. Not only is the wheelbase an issue but the brakes arent designed to stop that much weight. Then just to make things worse, you want to add bigger tires for more rolling mass and a shackle lift to make it even less stable.
    My suggestion is to stick with 31 or smaller tires and dont get the longer shackles. Go with an Add a leaf kit. It will ride rougher but will handle the trailer load as well as a plow better.
  8. bnrhuffman

    bnrhuffman Member
    Messages: 83

    EDIT: I misread the weights you are talking about towing. Upon closer reading, it looks like you dont plan to exceed 2000lbs. thats more like it. I still think a AAL is a better option than shackles though. You should be fine to tow 2000lbs. You stll need to respect it though as that is close to a SWB Jeeps limit.
  9. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Right, it's gonna be under 2000 and my trailer has brakes. and no highway driving, probably never hit 45 mph with the local stuff I do. Was never a big fan of shackle lifts, especially the homemade junk, but I put a fancy set on my buddies Wrangler and they were real nice, cross braced and welded so they had no side to side flex. But I'm sure you're right, spring lift would be better.
    BTW anyone know what an average CJ/Wrangler weighs?
  10. Donny O.

    Donny O. Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    jeeps don't get much better fuel economy than your truck probably....but the other benifits you talked about might be worth while....size etc. i get about 12-14MPG in my jeep.
  11. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    In the past I towed a 6x12 trailer with 4 foot walls full of mulch with one of my jeeps . Even in low gear it had NO acceleration. Took forever to get going. Brakes didn't do much so had to drive slow. If I got going about 45mph the jeep would start shaking like crazy.

    FYI it was a I-6 4.0L 35" tires