Jeep Wrangler for towing my Elise? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Jeep Wrangler for towing my Elise?

I'm considering a new DD to occasionally tow the Elise to track events.

Looking at the Wrangler Unlimited (4 door) with tow rating of 3,500lb. I would rent the uhaul option as needed which has a tongue weight of 750lb. thus leaving 2,750 for the Elise which on paper seems to be sufficient. Is this truly sufficient?

Does anyone have any experience with Wranglers as a toe vehicle?

Thanks for any information.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 05:33 PM
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I've towed numerous motorcycles and fourwheelers on various trailers with my two-door Wrangler and it works fine. It isn't fast and doesn't get very good mileage, but it gets the job done. The two-door has a lower tongue weight than the four-door due to the shorter wheelbase, but the shorter tow vehicle to trailer ratio is nice.

There was just a Wrangler thread here somewhere started by SwingLo, but the gist of all of us Wrangler owners' comments was that they are incredibly fun vehicles and something you have to own at some point. My wife and I have put more miles on ours than any other car we've owned. We have put close to 2,000 on it towing pretty Italian motorcycles back from Ohio in the last month, actually.

With that said, I don't know how well an Elise on a U-Haul trailer would work. Those U-Haul trailers are heavy. Are you sure about those numbers? You seem to have something crossed up. Their car haulers are much heavier than 750lbs. What you really want is a nice light aluminum trailer like a Trailex.

Actually, I just looked it up and the U-Haul car trailer weighs 2,210lbs: U-Haul: Equipment specs. The tongue weight of the trailer might be 750lbs (though I don't see that spec listed), but tongue weight and total weight are completely different things. The Jeep is rated for 350lbs of tongue weight, and for pulling a max of 3,500lbs overall. The U-Haul car hauler exceeds the tongue weight, and would only leave 1,285lbs for payload capacity. Not going to work at all, and they wouldn't rent one to you.

Still get the Jeep, but rent a U-Haul pickup to tow the car and trailer to the track.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 05:41 PM
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Not a chance - I have a 2010 4-door Wrangler and it can barely get out of it's own way, let alone tow anything. I have the 3.73 gears on 33" tires.

Either way, there is no trailer/Elige combo that won't exceed the tow spec.

Get a diesel powered domestic or Touareg, the ONLY way to go for race towing.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:05 PM
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I'll chime in.

Just ordered a 2012 JKU Sahara - loaded.

Lots to share and I'll be happy to point you to numerous threads on other forums, but here's the skinny.

The 2012's aren't out yet, however a number of savvy dealers have allowed us to pre-order. The main dealer leading it - specifically Fields Jeep in Northfield, IL - has set the price at 2% below invoice with a Tread Lightly control number ($60 to join).

There's a whole thing where you can track your dates/etc. Some who have ordered are getting late July delivery dates, but realistically mid to late August.

Why is this relevant? The new 2012 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimiteds will have the same Pentastar V6 that's in the rest of the Chrysler/Jeep line. Makes about 80HP more.

So, I decided I wanted to top down (and possible off road) of a 4 door Jeep and waiting on the 2012 with a more efficient/more powerful/more torque/hp engine was a no brainer.

I'd check the Wrangler Forum site for pretty much everything you need to know - basically make a thread about pulling a 2000# vehicle on a flat trailer and see what they say.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Bubble = bursted. Seriously, thanks for clarifying and I now see that a wrangler and uhaul are not a viable option. Perhaps the 2012 and new engine will have 5,000lb. capabilities if I hold out.

And of course one is always allowed to drive track vehicle to the track.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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SwingLo's comments crossed my reply in the mail.

I've been following the Jeep forum and have considered reaching out to Pat in IL for an order at 2% below invoice. Thing of it is I have my current DD ('08 135i) to trade out or private party and I'd rather not add the moving part of a vehicle purchase a time zone away.

I'll sit tight and wait for confirmed tow ratings on the 2012's before I proceed.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 03:44 AM
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Couple things.

First off, one of the guys here in Denver tows his Exige 260 on a 14ft Trailex aluminum trailer with his Wrangler Unlimited. I don't think he tows very far, but he says it works.

Next, I'm off to the Wrangler short-lead press launch next month. I'll let you know how it tows and goes. The Pentastar V6 is a nice unit!

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naloise View Post
I'm considering a new DD to occasionally tow the Elise to track events.

Looking at the Wrangler Unlimited (4 door) with tow rating of 3,500lb. I would rent the uhaul option as needed which has a tongue weight of 750lb. thus leaving 2,750 for the Elise which on paper seems to be sufficient. Is this truly sufficient?

Does anyone have any experience with Wranglers as a toe vehicle?

Thanks for any information.
Max Towing is 3500Lbs

- Elise is 2000lbs (give or take)
- Trailer is *not* 750lbs (which is just the tongue weight). Aluminum trailers like Trailex are 900lbs (and cost $6K). So the uHaul is prolly steel and weights closer to 2000lbs.

So, in the end, you'd end up blowing the max towing capacity by some 500lbs or more. I wouldn't do it.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 01:05 AM
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no tow yet but my 08 manual 6 speed with 35" tires was incapable of going fast , swapped out to 4.88 gears and I can now increase my speed going up hill , regear it if upping tire size
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 10:14 AM
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2012 Wrangler rocks!

Drove the 2012s at the short-lead press launch in Oregon one week ago.

In a word? SA-WEET!

All-new powertrain is a winner. Both the Pentastar V6 and the new 5sp auto trans (though I did hear rumors of a pending 8 speed! Seems incongrous, but rumors are fun.) mate for great power (40% more HP, 10% more tq, and better mpg... up to 21 hwy for two-door non-Rubicon). 6 speed manual trans remains standard.

The 2011 interior upgrades carry over... power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, available touch screen nav and leather!?! Hubbina-wah? Is this a Wrangler I just took an hour-long conference call on my cell phone in? That could be the most poignant realization I had while driving it last week. Admittedly that was with the hardtop Unlimited, but still... impressive.

So, the long and short of it is that it is still as supremely capable off-road as it has ever been, has gobs more power (we drag raced the '12s against the '11s and it was a good ol' fashined ass whuppin'!) and has much-improved on-road civility / NVH levels. I'll buy one (because I can't afford a Raptor) to tow my Elise and / or, eventually, a Formula Ford in an Auto Europe clamshell trailer. Therein lies my one dissapointment. I had assumed the Unlimited would tow more than previous 3,500 lb spec (I was hoping for 5,000 lbs) in conjunction with the new powertrain. While the 2 door's tow rating doubles from 1,000 lbs to 2,000 lbs, the Unlimited remains limited to 3,500 lbs due to wheelbase and CG. Bummed about that, but fired up about the '12 Wrangler nevertheless.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 10:29 AM
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I've had my 2012 Wrangler Unlimited for a couple of weeks now. Haven't towed anything, but it has 285HP vs. 202 in the 2011 and 50 foot # of torque.

It's light years in acceleration vs the 2011 but can't comment on towing as of yet. I'll be flat towing my Mini Moke with it this weekend. We'll see.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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I went with the 2011 as it was priced to sell and had the exact options and colors I wanted. If I get serious with racing the Elise I'll trade out for a proper tow vehicle.

For anyone towing with a wrangler and renting the uhaul trailer make sure you have the hard top. Uhaul will not let you tow with the soft top.

This pic is before I installed the LSS wheels.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Amoroso View Post
I had assumed the Unlimited would tow more than previous 3,500 lb spec (I was hoping for 5,000 lbs) in conjunction with the new powertrain. While the 2 door's tow rating doubles from 1,000 lbs to 2,000 lbs, the Unlimited remains limited to 3,500 lbs due to wheelbase and CG.
I thought the Unlimited was going to offer a "max tow" package with a 5,000# rating. I could be wrong...

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 10:55 AM
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I would think part of the reason why the towing capacity wasn't increased is due being to close to the vehicles weight. I forget what the unlimited weigh, probably 4000 ish lbs...... I wouldn't want to tow something that weighs more then the vehicle I am driving, since it's not something designed to tow.

I have towed our jetski's a few times behind our 08 unlimted which has the towing package. Probably around 2,000 lbs's back there & it drives fine. Like others mentioned the vehicles can't get out of their own way even w/o a trailer, bugs the crap out of my but the wife loves it..... it's her car. I am sure the new motor with 40%+ in HP feels more like the older 4.0L which was quite quick in manual form, a complete dog is auto.....

Like mentioned one of the light race car trailers is your only option......
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naloise View Post
I went with the 2011 as it was priced to sell and had the exact options and colors I wanted. If I get serious with racing the Elise I'll trade out for a proper tow vehicle.

For anyone towing with a wrangler and renting the uhaul trailer make sure you have the hard top. Uhaul will not let you tow with the soft top.

This pic is before I installed the LSS wheels.
And here's mine....
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 01:17 PM
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I'll have to go drive the new powertain now that they're out. My '09 Rubi certainly isn't fast and gets pretty bad mileage - but I got it at "Employee pricing plus plus", which was apparently the cheapest they ever dipped and the tail end of the lifetime powertrain warranty offer. It may not be quick, but it's great nonetheless and Jeep will keep it running for the rest of my natural life .
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 03:34 PM
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I love the fact that so many of us own both a Lotus and a Jeep. Vehicles with character.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 05:19 AM
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All this talk of bad MPG... that's the thing that impresses me the most with our unlimited.....

Wife usually gets 19-20 mpg combined..... & it's been as high as 22 mpg combined
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Amoroso View Post
Drove the 2012s at the short-lead press launch in Oregon one week ago.
In a word? SA-WEET!
What? And you didn't come visit?? I love my Unlimited, but it's anemic...at best. Add all the extras I have and even with a programmer and regeared to 5.33's...not much help.

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viggen View Post
All this talk of bad MPG... that's the thing that impresses me the most with our unlimited.....

Wife usually gets 19-20 mpg combined..... & it's been as high as 22 mpg combined
11.2 mpg here

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