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samur eye
February 16th, 2011, 07:24 PM
What is the secret to safe and secure flat towing? I want to tow my Cj behind my GMC 2500 and would like to hear from others about their experiences. A few years ago I flat towed the same CJ to Moab from the Springs behind an F350 and felt lots of push from the CJ. The open roads of western Colorado and into Utah were fine but the mountains on I70 really tried my nerves. (at least going downhill) Whats your setup? Any advice?

Chris Halvorson
February 16th, 2011, 09:07 PM
There is just no good way to flat tow and not experience the push feeling unless the tow vehicle is a huge class a motorhome...LOL.
Dec. 31 of last year got a little sporty. My family and a friend went up to divide to wheel the gulches ..... and it was hell diving up, and on the way back it was like a drifting contest. Not fun to say the least.
I would save your money for a trailer. You save money on fuel, wear and tear on your rig, and it is nice to have the brakes when needed.

Mobcore911
February 16th, 2011, 09:15 PM
Honestly, depends on how much you CJ weighs, My samurai is ~2500 lbs and behind my K30 it ABSOLUTELY doesn't exist being flat towed. climbing, braking, cornering, icy/snowy roads, I noticed Zero foul behavior. Infact I towed it to Southern CA and back last easter and did 80 MPH the whole way and got 15-17 MPG.

Chris Halvorson
February 16th, 2011, 09:42 PM
My TJ doesn't act that way (feel like nothing is behind me), but it's weight is double your sami. I drive a similar sized rig with the same motor:shrug:. I just came down to the conclusion that a trailer is the way to go, just this time I got the trailer that will last me a few years.
Points to bring up:
-What if you break a: leaf spring mount, knuckle, axle...etc. Flat towing does nothing to help you out. I have experienced this several times and it never works in your favor if you don't have a trailer. I can think of 3 times this past 4 months alone before I got my trailer when I needed one...or did really long days on the trail.

To each their own.

Big Dave
February 16th, 2011, 09:43 PM
I would save your money for a trailer. You save money on fuel, wear and tear on your rig, and it is nice to have the brakes when needed.

x2

oleblue
February 16th, 2011, 10:07 PM
I flat tow my CJ-5 behind a 4400lb Nissan Xterra. The only issue I had was going down hill and needing to hit the brakes hard. So I just do my best to go slower down hill using the gears to slow me down way ahead of time and just tap the brakes as needed.

Never a big issue.

Did have a small scare once going through south park, wind. Because the towing vehicle is not very heavy either a good side wind kind of got me once, but never out of any kind of control.

cmd11
February 17th, 2011, 06:32 AM
I used to flat tow my old CJ back in the day (it was on 35s at the time). I even flat towed to the rubicon.

I bought a trailer after that trip. Yes the trailer adds to your GCW and slows you down going up hill, but having brakes for the down hills and 1000% better control makes it worth it. Plus, if you do break, you can get your rig home.

daveshan
February 17th, 2011, 08:52 AM
I always trailered the TJ but decided to set the XJ up for flat towing. Even with a tow rig that weighs in at 8k lbs and has the brake upgrade Ford did in '05 I wasn't happy with how it stopped, add in the camper (3000lbs) and I'd be (IMO) unsafe. I looked into options on RV.net and came up with a few.

BrakeBuddy
(http://www.adventurerv.net/brake-buddy-camper-towing-braking-system-p-109.html)
Blue OX (http://www.jcwhitney.com/patriot-braking-system/p2023698.jcwx)

And several others that I didn't have bookmarks for.

And a comparison of different systems (http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/13200019.cfm) from RV.net


Pricing is right up there with a used trailer in most cases but the convenience of not having to deal with a trailer getting into some remote mountain camp sites will be worth it.

Funny thing is CO law requires brakes on all axles with a trailer but has no laws on brakes for towed vehicles that I can find. But given the safety boost a braking system adds to flat towing I'm hitting craigslist hoping to find a used one.

Chris Halvorson
February 17th, 2011, 09:54 AM
For those prices, couldn't agree more Dave. Who wants to wear out 300.00 each tires anyway? I still get better fuel economy towing the trailer than: Flat towing & driving.

Steve
February 17th, 2011, 10:03 AM
I flat towed the EB for a couple of years behind a Class C RV and a F150. First, it's very important that you keep the tow bar as flat as possible. It's also very important that the rig is aligned to specs or it won't like following, especially around tight turns/corners.

I never had much problem flat towing behind the RV, except that it's impossible to back up more than a few feet so you have to plan ahead in parking lots, etc. Behind the F150 was another story. It definitely pushed the truck when braking or going downhill and was not fun at all on gravel roads. The last time I flat towed was a trip to Holy Cross with the F150. The EB literally pushed the truck off the road into a ditch on a tight curve on the gravel road. Fortunately there was no damage to either vehicle. I bought a used trailer after that trip and won't be flat towing ever again.

daveshan
February 17th, 2011, 12:02 PM
Who wants to wear out 300.00 each tires anyway?

That's exactly why I never considered flat towing the TJ (35" Creepy Crawlers) now it's even more out of the question since installing an Atlas.

The XJ is a totally different build. It's purpose is DD, club camping trips up to the mountains and mild Moab trails. It's a simple little rig with 31" ATs no lockers (yet) it should make the mild trails fun again.

cheepin
February 19th, 2011, 07:21 PM
That's exactly why I never considered flat towing the TJ (35" Creepy Crawlers) now it's even more out of the question since installing an Atlas.

The XJ is a totally different build. It's purpose is DD, club camping trips up to the mountains and mild Moab trails. It's a simple little rig with 31" ATs no lockers (yet) it should make the mild trails fun again.

Why does it matter that you have an Atlas?I always pulled the rear DS anyways when I used to flat tow my old CJ.And believe you always should.Why keep the added drag of the driveline on.

daveshan
February 19th, 2011, 07:39 PM
Why does it matter that you have an Atlas?I always pulled the rear DS anyways when I used to flat tow my old CJ.And believe you always should.Why keep the added drag of the driveline on.

You'd have to pull both shafts to flat tow an Atlas, then you'd still have tires that cost $425+ each wearing away. Plus I would want the trailer to haul the carcass home just in case.

Even with the XJ I can't see the point in crawling under there to remove shafts just to save a tiny bit of rolling resistance. U-joints go 100k street miles easy, the tires are responsible for 99% of the rolling resistance, wind drag and the additional 4k lbs are responsible for much more fuel use. I doubt removing the driveshafts would save $1.00 on the 150 mile trip to Moab, let alone up the hill to the La Platas.

Dogbreath650
February 21st, 2011, 04:11 PM
I'm trying to also decide between flat tow and trailer for this summer. As my LJ weighs in close to 5K lbs if I trailer I would want to get one with 10K rated axles and I'm not seeing any of those for much under $2,500 used in decent condition. Getting a tow bar, lights and a brake buddy off ebay I can be on the road for around $1000. The other thing that is driving me toward a flat tow system is that I don't have anywhere to store a trailer, I'd have to pay to store it a couple miles from the house which would be a PITA.

I'm towing witn a 8,000 lb Excursion so I wouldn't think I would have any problems with the Jeep pushing me around.

I think having a brake system like a brake buddy is the key to safe towing and if you shop around for a used one it isn't too expensive.

The big down side to flat towing I think is like somebody stated earlier in that there are things that could break on the trail that would prevent you from flat towing home. I have a couple contingency plans for that so I'll deal with that when/if it happens...

Chris Halvorson
February 23rd, 2011, 06:20 PM
If you want to test out a tow bar, you are more than welcome to borrow mine with the lights to find out of you like it, before dropping a grand. You are also free to test out my 10k trailer to help you make an educated decision.