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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-08-2002, 03:39 PM
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Car Dolly or Car Trailer??

Over the weekend I towed my XJ to New York from Pa to sell it on a car dolly with my ZJ, it did awesome. There was plenty of power, braking was good, and it even pulled 13 mpg up through the mountains in New York. Now I am looking for something to tow my YJ with. There are pro's and con's of both a dolly and a trailer.
Less weight
easier to store
brakes (yes I have a line on one with surge brakes)
have to pull drive shaft to tow
rear axle must be intact to use
no other use
still have wear on rear diff, axles and tires
cannot back up while towing.
many other uses
only need to be able to get Jeep on trailer to get it home
no wear and tear on anything
can back up

more weight
harder to store
more expensive

so what do you guys think, would I be a fool for getting a dolly? With as easy as the ZJ towed the XJ I cant see it having any trouble with the added weight of the trailer, and the trailer will have brakes so that wont be an issue. Just wanted to get a second opinion. Also if any of you know of a trailer or dolly for sale in the PA/NJ/DE/MD area please let me know. I am looking.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-08-2002, 03:48 PM
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Re: Car Dolly or Car Trailer??

I'm very partial to the trailer, simply becasue I will be able to drive my Jeep a little harder w/o the fear of braking something and not being able to get it home.

With a trailer, you can always get your rig home, it takes away that nagging fear you have that your gonna brake an axle and not be able to get me thats worth the trailer by itself,

but you do get more out of the trailer too by using it to move stuff around (your friends included when they decide to move, thats another con [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img])

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-08-2002, 03:50 PM
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Re: Car Dolly or Car Trailer??

As far as fuction per $ goes, I'd definately buy a trailer first. That way you can haul the YJ out trail ridin' and break something and still be able to get it home...

Not to mention all the other stuff you could haul on it.

Just my $.02
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-08-2002, 03:52 PM
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Re: Car Dolly or Car Trailer??

I've seen vehicles towed backward on a dolly. What are the odds that you'll destroy both ends of your Jeep at the same time?
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-08-2002, 04:50 PM
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Re: Car Dolly or Car Trailer??

I've used a dolly pretty extensively. Mainly because the room required to keep a trailer. I've never had an issue with the dolly, and I'll probably use one again. But if I was going to buy one or the'd definately be the trailer. NO discussion. The trailer tows better. Can haul a damaged car NO MATTER WHAT. And the cost really isn't that much more. The trailer is more of a pain when you DON'T need it... but when you DO.... there is no doubt that you can haul it.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-08-2002, 06:38 PM
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Re: Car Dolly or Car Trailer??

I'd get a trailer. They tow beter, they are worth more if/when you sell them, and you can back up with them attached! they really don't cost much more than a tow dolly. Around here a new dolly is around $900 and a decent new trailer (nothin' fancy, but neither is a dolly) with brakes is about $1100 for a 16'.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-08-2002, 07:12 PM
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Re: Car Dolly or Car Trailer??

For all reasons listed I vote trailer...see my attachment, I bought an old U-Haul car trailer. Only problem with these is that the part #'s are all U-Haul number with no cross reference.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2002, 05:00 AM
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Re: Car Dolly or Car Trailer??

[img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] You have really hit a nerve here Jeep Junkman. A while back I was thinking about this very same thing. Tow dollies are OK, and they do store easily, but there are a lot of limitations, as has been pointed out. I finally sat down and let my brain drift "outside the box" and designed a MINIMUM Jeep trailer. I tossed out all the usual ideas about what a trailer should look like and concentrated on FUNCTION. What I ended up with was sort of a tow dolly that went UNDER the Jeep. It was an abbreviated trailer so to speak; two axles with that torflex suspension; a "T" shaped main frame member and two ramp-type runners that went up and over the center axles and which also were the side frames and fenders.[img]images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] The only problem is that I have never had time to BUILD this thing. I got it to the point where I was working on knocking cost and weight out of the design and then other priorities took all my time. Now that I'm "retired"; if there IS such a thing; maybe I'll get back to work on it.[img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Forget dual purpose; forget decks and sides; forget big vee tongues; just think about MOVING a Jeep. My design even used the Jeep tail lamps since the trailer HAD no tail. And for towing empty the fenders had the tail lamps on them.[img]images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] Whacky? Yes. Functional, well, maybe.[img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2002, 07:46 AM
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Re: Car Dolly or Car Trailer??


Everyone here has given you good advie to this point, but they all seem to have forgotten that you're towing with a ZJ!

In my humble opinion (many thousands of miles of towing all sorts of things with all sorts of vehicles) I wouldnt tow a 4000 pound Jeep on a 1500-2000 pound trailer with anything less than a fullsize truck or Suburban/Excusrion type vehicle...Thats a lot of Inertia behind you. A half ton truck would be marginal...with a big V8 and an extended cab you'd probably be ok. After towing much weight for the first time from FL to NJ nonstop with my 2002 Silverado 2500HD crew cab 4x4, I can tell you, there is NO substitute for sheer weight, wheelbase, and muscle when towing.
I sincerely believe you'd be pushing it with a Jeep and trailer, towing with a ZJ, even if it has a V8. At best you've only got a D44 rear, possibly a 35C. My advice is to either stick to the dolly if possible, or get a larger tow vehicle. Just my 2 cents, good luck andlet us know what you decide. Hit meback if you have any questions.

post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-09-2002, 09:02 AM
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Re: Car Dolly or Car Trailer??

My ZJ is rated to tow 7000lbs, so my 4000lb Jeep and a 1500lb trailer is about 1500lbs under the capacity. I had no problems at all towing the XJ, and I also had two buddies with me in the ZJ that probably came close to another 500lbs worth of weight and a full extra set of rims and tires loaded in the back of the XJ that I was towing. It did not rip the ZJ around at all, over all I was VERY impressed with the way it towed, even with no tongue weigh to settle it down. It does have a dana 35 in the rear but it is full time 4wd so the load is split between the front and rear axles at all times, and I am not in any hurry when I am towing, its not like I am doing jack rabbit starts with a load on. Looks like I will be looking for a used trailer and trying to trim as much weigh from it as possible. Definitely not a full deck trailer, just runners (If I want to haul other things I will just throw a sheet of plywood across the runners) I only need a 16 ft trailer. One of you said that you bought a U-haul trailer, where did you find that it, just called a u-haul place and checked to see of they had anything for sale?? CJD, the stripped down car trailer sounds great but I dont trust my design work enough to depend on it to haul my pride and join, now if you would be will to share your design I would be eternally greatful. Thanks for all the input, I would love to hear anyone elses.

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