Flat towing a Vehicle: Turning my Jeep XJ into a trailer?

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JeeperCreeper
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Flat towing a Vehicle: Turning my Jeep XJ into a trailer?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:08 pm

As the title states, I wanna turn my Daily-Driver 2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ into a temporary trailer.

Within the next 6 months, I will most likely be moving far away from my current area. An example, job depending, will be moving from Appalachia the 4500 miles to Alaska. Currently, my 2001 XJ has about 185k on it, but is in good shape. I want to keep it and take it with me where I go, but I am worried about relying on it for such a huge trip. However, I will probably be buying a newer truck or SUV for my big move.

My solution: Flat towing my Jeep across North America. I will be able to keep my Jeep, as well as fill it with light stuff (like clothes) to free up cargo space in my "tow rig". Plus, it already has the attachments because it was towed behind an RV by the previous owner.

So, my question is, besides all the extra hardware, can I tow flat tow or dinghy tow my Jeep legally across the country? Obviously I will keep it within spec/weight/capacity as required by both vehicles and buy good hardware.

Someone set me straight if I am thinking wrong.
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Re: Flat towing a Vehicle: Turning my Jeep XJ into a trailer

Post by raptor » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:45 am

I have seen RVs towing a "dingy" car in every state I have visited. I think so long as your have it lighted properly for stop, turn and marker light purposes you should be fine. Usual caveats about the tow hitch on both vehicles applies.

I am not sure about Canada. Remember it is not just where you live but the state through which you drive to get there.

I know there are length limitations and depending upon the final loaded weight you may also need some brake considerations.
The Tow Car Braking System
Unless your towed vehicle is under 3,000 lbs, you are likely going to need a braking system in the United States to keep it legal.
http://rvtrippin.com/how-to-tow-a-car-b ... hy-towing/


Just search for "RV dingy car" and you will get a large number of sites with further information.

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Re: Flat towing a Vehicle: Turning my Jeep XJ into a trailer

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:30 pm

Good point, I never thought about Canada... Of course, I'm going to try and bypass Canadia by ferry due to half my gear being illegal to our northern neighbors.

I can find a bunch of good stuff on RVs, but not about regular vehicles. I'm guessing RVs and capable trucks fall under the same legalities?

Since my Jeep weighs about 3500 pounds, I'd like to get surge brakes, but I'm not sure how that would work.

I also wanna know how garbage my turning radius would be with 4 long wheel based wheels in tow compared to a regular tandem trailer.
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Halfapint wrote:There are some exceptions like myself and jeepercreeper.... but we are the forum asshats. We protect our positions with gusto
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Her secondary offense will be nagging.

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Re: Flat towing a Vehicle: Turning my Jeep XJ into a trailer

Post by raptor » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:49 pm

JeeperCreeper wrote:Good point, I never thought about Canada... Of course, I'm going to try and bypass Canadia by ferry due to half my gear being illegal to our northern neighbors.

I can find a bunch of good stuff on RVs, but not about regular vehicles. I'm guessing RVs and capable trucks fall under the same legalities?

Since my Jeep weighs about 3500 pounds, I'd like to get surge brakes, but I'm not sure how that would work.

I also wanna know how garbage my turning radius would be with 4 long wheel based wheels in tow compared to a regular tandem trailer.
I would assume trucks and RVs would be treated the same and form what I have seen it is the length of the combination that is the key to legality.

I am not sure how the brakes would work but if that Jeep was towed by an RV already I suspect that there are ready answers available. Maybe a front wheel dolly type carrier?

The only way to answer the turning radius question is to hook it up and see. I would suggest practicing wide, slow turns before hand though. :clownshoes:


Here is thread. They say a front wheel tow dolly with surge brakes is the way to go. I see these all the time and they solve the lights issue as well.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/towin ... 7-3126985/

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Re: Flat towing a Vehicle: Turning my Jeep XJ into a trailer

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:07 pm

Ugh, I wanted to avoid the cess pool that is JeepForum... Haha
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Halfapint wrote:There are some exceptions like myself and jeepercreeper.... but we are the forum asshats. We protect our positions with gusto
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Re: Flat towing a Vehicle: Turning my Jeep XJ into a trailer

Post by Stercutus » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:31 pm

Yes with proper lights it is 50 state legal. Jeeps are one of the most popular vehicles to be towed with four on the ground. Some states require trailer brakes for tows as low as 1500 pounds (California). This varies widely based on the state. Your best bet would be to go to an RV shop and ask them about the brakes, they have done it many times.

You probably would be better off with a tow dolly but then you are talking more money.
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Re: Flat towing a Vehicle: Turning my Jeep XJ into a trailer

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:54 pm

Yeah I'd like to go as cheap as possible but still be safe. It will basically be a one time trip.

Luckily, Jeeps have the N for neutral setting on the transfer case do it unlocks the entire driveline. With that, I feel like a dolly would be unnecessary... Except for brakes
They see me trollin', they hatin'.... keyboardin' tryna catch me typin' dirty
Halfapint wrote:There are some exceptions like myself and jeepercreeper.... but we are the forum asshats. We protect our positions with gusto
zero11010 wrote:The girlfriend is a good shot with a 10/22.
Her secondary offense will be nagging.

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