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Discussion Starter #1
I have never towed a trailer for any considerable distance before
and I’m getting ready for my road trip to MD to pick up a garden
tractor (about 1,100 lbs with deck ) I will be towing a U-Haul 6 x 12
open trailer, tandem axles, hydraulic surge brakes. Trailer alone
weighs about 1,500 lbs so total package comes in around 2,600 lbs.

I have 2 options for tow vehicles:
My brothers Lexus LX470 curb weight 5,590 lbs towing capacity 5,000 lbs.
Wife’s Jeep Grand Cherokee curb weight 4,094 lbs towing capacity 6,500 lbs.

I figured my brothers Lexus was better because it weighed 1,500 lbs more
than the Jeep, but looking at the Mfg’s towing capacity I’m confused.
How could the heavier Lexus have a lower towing capacity than the lighter
Jeep. Which one should I use. (233 miles each way).

Any towing tips, I’ve read the on line U-Haul towing manual.
 

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The lexus might have a lower tow capacity because overall it's only designed to pull a certain amount of weight and being the truck is heavy it leaves less available for the trailer. Do either vehicles have a hitch and trailer harness already or do plan on having uhaul install it. You will need to adjust your driving habits, signal lane chages well in advance, give yourself plenty of room to make lane changes and remember even with brakes on the trailer the weight will be pushing you from behind. Allow plenty of distance to the car in front of you and remember when someone else is trying to change lanes as you are passing they may not realize you are pulling a trailer and will have a tendency to swing into your lane as they see the end of your truck start to pass them, the same may happen at intersections with limited sight distances blow your horn to warn others. Make sure you have adequate straps and check them during the trip to be sure they haven't loosened up from the weight shifting. Also you want the tractor as far forward in the trailer as possible to keep the weight stabile. As for which vehicle, depends, either will work fine but who is likely to complain about something in the future. If there are repairs needed later will it be because "you towed that tractor with my car!"
 

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I'd go with the heavier vehicle, although I think you will be fine with either one. Towing capacity probably has to do with drivetrain and/or frame structure.
 

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Good advice from sixchows. Also, remember to make wider turns so your trailer doesn't clip something. You don't have to "white knuckle" the entire drive, but don't forget about what you are pulling behind you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Would you trust those flat yellow nylon ratchet straps ?
I have several rated at 1 ton.

What do you use as a safe towing speed with your trailer ?

Both vehicles now have class 3 hitches on them. I leaning toward
the heavier truck. After 2 years of cutting his lawn and plowing his
snow, if he complains afterwards, I'll torch the truck!
 

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Yeah the straps should fine just be sure they don't have a tendency to work themselves loose. I used 4 of those red straps in the pic with the trailer when I picked up both the 69 and the 66. The way you see it is how I brought it back just unhooked from my tahoe and hooked it up to the 67. When I picked up the last one I was going about 65-70 mph at times. The speed limit on rte 80 is 65 so until I could move to the right I had to at least keep up. You know if the limit is 65 everyone is doing 90.
Probably easier to deal with your brother than sleep on the couch:D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
sixchows...

I looked at your picture again. I can see that you have the tractor
up against the front of the trailer and how you used the straps.
I also see a Bag of Something, did you add that for additional
front weight while towing or put it on after you got home ?
 

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No the bag of sand was something that I had left by the driveway and I just tossed it on there to bring to the back.
I also use the straps to pull in opposite directions this way they tend to stay tighter.
 

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Just one more thing... avoid the tendency to be constantly looking in the mirror rather than paying attention to the road in front. Don't worry chances are nothing wiil fall off. Just make sure you pack anything that looks like it could come off inside the truck.
 

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I have used my enclosed 6 x 12 trailer with my Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 with the identical class 4 rating of 6500 towing limit with no problems at all, even went to ohio in it 14 hours to a special race track....I go to New hampsire often as well...
Electric brake booster is suggested, but I undertsand this is a rental? plenty of power and stability when the Jeep is set up correctly....my weight load was more as well.....my tractor is more weight and its fine with a 16-17 ft trailer (borrowed)

Duc
 

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second picture

Oh I forgot to add 6,500 lbs is a class 4 for tow rating that does not include vehicle weight, so the combined is 10,500...and I'm 100 % certain my Jeep has a class 4 hitch....Class III is less than 6,500 lbs...
 

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I think the Grand has a higher tow rating due to the bigger V8 & lighter weight, compared to the heavier Lexus with the smaller V8.

I'd use the Jeep, if something does "go south" due to towing (as unlikely as that is) it'll be much cheaper to fix than the Lexus. Toyota places a premium on their new vehicle parts. (That's why I drive an old 4Runner - easy to fix & the parts are pretty cheap now. :D )
 

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Cat, I tow alot, 2 different sytle trailers a 10,000 pound 5th wheel and my 2,300 pound car trailer. They both take only one main consideration and that is the fact that you are towing something.
One consideration is the most important in my eyes is the fact that you are much longer in distance and to remember that you do have to swing wider. I have always found the car trailer is easier to see the back of it as I can actually see the back of the trailer. The 5th wheel is easier to tow as it places the hitch load directly over the rear axle.
The second most important thing is and I will always do this is only drive at 60 MPH with a trailer on the hgiways(I do not care if you call me a slug). The 2 reasons for only going 60 is 1 the combination is easier to control in sidewinds and the second, I conserve fuel.
Both of my Dodge Rams are set up to tow these loads and easily do it (a V-10 and diesel).
personelly I would perfer the Grand Cherokee for the tow job as it is lighter and will be slightly easier to manuver around.
 

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A lot of facters come into play with a tow rating. Weight, motor, tranny, and rear end streangh, where the hitch mounts, etc. Eather would tow your load easy. The Jeep being more "truck like" I bet woould be more stable. But eather would work fine. Oh and towing 400miles, is the same as 40 miles. You need all the same stuff. I used to tow about 2000 pound load every weekend from Schenectady NY to Cape Cod Ma. After a wile, you forget it's there.
 

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I have never driven the Lexus, but I have the Jeep. I think The Jeep has a nice low end. I coworker pulls a 23 foot boat with one and he says it never misses a beat. By the way, where in MD are you headed?
 

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Just a thought, may be you rent a uhaul trailer in berlin pa and then drop it off on long island rather than pulling it empty one way
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys for all your replies.

I am going to use the Lexus truck. It has an adjustable suspension,
you can vary the ride from something that feels like a sponge all the
way to something that feels like it has no springs and rides on solid
rubber tires. The manual says to set it to the stiffest setting for towing.

The other factor I used is tow vehicle weight, I gotta believe the heaver
the tow vehicle is compared to the trailer and load, the better off you are.
Plus the Lexus truck wheel base is longer, and wheel track is wider.
Overall it is a heaver, wider, longer vehicle compared to the trailer than
the Jeep is.

Carm…
The tractor is in White Hall MD

sixchows…
Have you ever dealt with U-hall ? I can’t believe these people don’t have
any real trailer competition. I called 3 different dealers and got 3 different
stories regarding “Closed Trailers” and you’re lucky if they answer the phone.
I did a Google search on them to see if I could get more info on-line.
The complaints are mind boggling. They seem to be notorious for not
having the trailer you reserved, when you get there. I really wanted to
do what you suggested but I’d really be screwed if that happened when
I got to the U-Haul in MD. The dealer near me has about a dozen 6x12’s
I see them sitting there every weekend. He even said they only usually
rent 2 or 3 on weekends. So I prepaid the rental to make absolutely certain
I’ll have a trailer Saturday evening.
 

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White Hall is a about 20 mins North of me, and about 15 mins south of where my tractors are!
 

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The last time I went to uhaul they wanted $3/mile on a truck rental. Went to a place down the road from them same trucks only green instead of orange, $1/mile.
 
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