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Upcoming long-haul tow, what considerations should I take?

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Old 06-11-2017, 02:02 AM   #1
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Question Upcoming long-haul tow, what considerations should I take?

So, I am about to be moving back home from Denver CO back to the gulf coast of Florida. My route is going to be Denver to Peoria IL for an overnight stay, and then driving as far as I really can (probably somewhere around Atlanta), then down to Tarpon Springs, FL. Rough estimate is 2100 miles total.

I have no doubt that the Jeep will be fine on the trip, but I will also be towing roughly 3000lbs in a uhaul 6x12 trailer that has surge brakes. Its basically all highway, and the Jeep should be about +500 lbs without fuel and driver (though I only weigh 120lbs so not that much ballast ). I have an 8.8 with rear discs, and Powerstop Z36 Extreme “truck and tow” brake pads on all 4 rotors, GG friction rating. I also checked the Class 3 hitch and all the bolts - everything feels good and structurally sound (same with the XJ unibody).

Anyways, what considerations would you all take? My rig is in excellent condition – new gears (4.88’s), 33” tires that have about 10k mile tread left (I may replace them before leaving, undecided on that because I would be going up to 35” tires which just adds another change right before the trip).

I am about to throw some HD motor and trans mounts in (StinkyFab), and an ignition system tune up (though I don't really need it, just plugs and cap + rotor, wires are still in good condition). All fluids are completely fresh including coolant. Cooling system is mostly new as of 2 years ago, no overheating issues at all. I will also have all my tools with me and do have many spare parts but mostly trail items (no water pump or hoses, pulleys, etc.).

I need a drop hitch still, but need to drive by a uhaul to take a quick measurement because I don’t know how much of a drop I need.

Other than that…would you guys be worried? Right now I am not that worried (maybe because I am still dealing with the whirlwind of getting rid of my stuff and packing). Will probably be sticking to 65mph or slower which is about 2800rpm – a little high but my fuel consumption isn’t that bad when unloaded. I have zero qualms about truckers being pissed about having to overtake me nor anyone else. Throw on the hazards and cruise

The only thing I am actually worried about is the rear leaf springs, which have lift blocks though I have never had issues with them. I was going to get new rear leafs but unfortunately my budget is pretty low right now. All the hardware is brand new though (u-bolts, etc) as of 2,000 miles though and all grade 8.
That, and my AX-15 - but I just put Redline MT-90 in it so hopefully it will be OK (no clutch slip ever, even off road or in thick clay/mud)

Anyways, any advice would be greatly welcomed. I have towed quite a lot, but never that long of a distance (and mostly cars on flatbed trailers to be honest). I was planning on renting the trailer for the day to get some stuff cleared out of the house so I will have at least a quick test run with it before I really hook up and head out of town. And identify any major safety issues or other concerns

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Old 06-11-2017, 02:45 AM   #2
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it appears to be mechanically sound - take it slow and steady. maybe drive of a night to increase progress and decrease stress.
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:08 AM   #3
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Yeah, I usually prefer driving at night - might do that from IL to Atlanta and down to FL especially (I hate Florida drivers for the most part) (leave around 6 PM or so, few hrs of daylight but hopefully as the bulk of the traffic dies down).

Cooler temps too

EDIT:
And what do you guys think about new tires? 35's will get my RPM's down just a touch (and my 33's are probably worn down to about 32" right now anyways), but I don't want to make too many changes with my trip this close (end of next week)
I think 35's will fit without rubbing on the street (I plan to cut the rear fenders when I get home)

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Old 06-11-2017, 06:34 AM   #4
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Why not skip the moving trailer and get a pods,Its this https://www.pods.com/ The wear and tear on your jeep the extra weight is gonna kill your gas mileage and thats a long drive.I'd rather pay for a pods and drive my jeep there.
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Old 06-11-2017, 03:00 PM   #5
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If it's automatic may want to put a trans cooler on it that's the only thing I can think of besides taking plenty of tools and tire plug kit
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:38 AM   #6
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Forgot I made this thread, lol

It has a manual trans, fresh MT-90 fluid (like, as of last week roughly)

I have a 100 pack of tire plugs I bought, so enough to last a lifetime, lol.
I priced out a Pods and it is going to be over $1400 all said and done, which is kind of pricy. A u-haul trailer is only $850-ish, and a uHaul or Budget truck is going to be north of 1800 not including fuel.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:37 AM   #7
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How about a front sway bar?
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:05 AM   #8
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How much fuel is it gonna take you tho ?Towing that much weight whatever you get interstate mileage cut it in half and your probably in the ball park.
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Old 06-15-2017, 02:31 AM   #9
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Front sway bar is attached, unfortunately no rear sway bar with the 8.8 but I havent noticed a difference.

I am going to do a "pre-flight" this weekend, changing the spark plugs, cap and rotor, motor and trans mounts, chassis lube. Also checking all suspension bolts, steering bolts, etc.

The Jeep is in good shape, rides a bit rough but actually much better when its loaded down with gear. The only thing I am worried about really is sway on the highway - I am going to load the trailer and take it for a test drive to make sure it is loaded properly, anything that needs to be tied down more, and also because of the new-ish gears (supposed to tow for an hour or so then stop and cool). Though I have about 2500 miles on the new gears.

I just sold my 2 mustangs (though I got much lower than I was hoping) so I might go ahead and get new tires for peace of mind. I don't carry a spare and rely on the "toughness" of the tires to resist puncture.


Also, I am going to pull the front driveshaft out because the slip splines are past their prime, and I do get a bit of vibration at higher (75+ mph) speeds. Not going to be going that fast, but I figure it is better than dealing with vibration or having to pull out the tools at a rest stop and pull the shaft. The LSD in the rear (new clutches) should help me with any weird slippery situations where the open diff would spin.

Still need to take the time to go to Uhaul and measure everything up. 4 wheel parts has all different sizes of drop hitches in stock so that shouldn't be a big issue.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:42 AM   #10
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sounds like you are going to be fine , if your old tires are in good shape i would not change them till you get there wear out the old ones first (run a lil extra air in them for the load and better mpg) it seems like you have a good plan , Good luck
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:51 AM   #11
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I've been towing heavy with my jeep lately. Only thing I could advise is give yourself a ton of stopping room and don't get greedy with your speed.

I get 15mpg with a 1800 lb camper as long as I stay under 70. I'm on 31's and stock gears with an automatic. Just down shift a lot.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:37 AM   #12
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Your good with just the front sway bar. Towed a dual axle w/surge brake U-Haul loaded with furniture. Started out w/o the front bar connected. Wasn't long before I hooked it up. Good after that.
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:41 PM   #13
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Yup, I will be leaving a few bus-lengths between me and anything in front of me. People can F-off and go around (might tape a sign indicating that to the trailer ). Manual trans makes slowing fairly drama free though, especially with the A/C on.

I just pulled the trigger on some General Grabber X3's - pretty new tires on the market so not that many reviews - but the price is right, they run true to the sidewall specs (actually a 35"), and most importantly they were cheap, on sale, and had a $70 rebate. Install scheduled for Saturday if everything goes well.

Ended up getting a set of 4 for just under $800 including tax and shipping. I already sold my old tires for $200 so it's not a terrible cost, and it will bring my highway RPM down right where it needs to be. If they rub in the rear I am just going to pull the stock flares off, I was planning on cutting the rear fenders when I got back to FL and finally have a garage/workshop!
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:43 PM   #14
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The few sets that we've sold, the customers weren't too thrilled with the x3....granted, these guys wheel all over, but both said they were under their expectations. I was thjnking of throwing a set on to try them out.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:55 PM   #15
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I do alot of highway driving (95%) and less wheeling than most (5%). As long as I can air them down to about 10psi offroad, I am usually pretty happy.

Mud, sand, and some small rocks are all I will be dealing with in FL, and I would have gone for the AT2's again but they sucked in the mud.
Most of the alternatives were $200 more for the set. The KM2's and Cooper STT Pro's I was looking at were just under $1000 for the set. I got out for under $800 (not including mounting + balancing obviously).
Worth a shot at least, I'll do a review once I put them through their paces after a long road trip and will probably go wheeling the weekend after I get back to FL (Croom offroad park, one of my favorite places to wheel!)

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