Towed a 3500 lb Airstream behind a Wrangler with no problems.

High Proof

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I buried this post in another thread but decided it should probably be it's own thread here in the towing section. This is real world experience towing at the limit with an off road vehicle. Should give you some idea of what the Bronco will be able to do.

------------------------------------

We just rented and towed a 16' Airstream Basecamp from Florida to Breckenridge to Ouray, Co and back. The GVWR of the Airstream is 3500 lbs. Dry weight is 2600 lbs. Hitch weight of 410 lbs.

I have a 2015 Wrangler Sahara with a 3" lift and 35s. It has 3:21 gears. With different gears it is rated at 3500 lbs for towing. With the 3:21s it is only rated at 2000 lbs. I'm guessing that is due to the strain on the transmission since the suspension from the factory would be the same.

Clearly the Airstream was pushing, possibly exceeding, the stated limits of the Jeep.

Many will disagree with my conclusions, but here is my real world experience on this trip. The Jeep drove better on the highway. It tracked better with the trailer behind it. On flat ground I could hardly even tell the trailer was there. Acceleration wasn't bad as long as I wasn't in a hurry. Stopping was good.

I had a 7 pin connection installed along with an electronic brake controller. I kept an eye on the transmission temperature. It had a drop hitch with an anti-sway bar. I want to learn more about weight distribution hitches since the trailer did have the Jeep headlights pointing way too high. The one time we drove at night cars going the other way kept flashing at me thinking that I had brights on.

We had a few cases where we had to stop quickly or maneuver quickly due to other drivers. We had heavy winds. We passed and were passed by countless large trucks. The rig always felt stable. In fact, since the Jeep normally wanders and get buffeted on the highway it actually felt more stable and safe with the trailer behind it.

It did "ok" in the mountains. We were a bit better than most of the motorhomes. We even passed a few. The only time it was really bad was when we were stopped for construction outside of Ouray where the road is heading up to the pass. Taking off from a stop in the Jeep with big heavy tires, 3:21 gears, 5 speeds, and a trailer in tow was a challenge. Once the RPMs got high enough all was good, but it took a while to get there.

I personally have a hard time believing that the Bronco, 4 door in particular, cannot quite easily and safely handle right up to the stated limit and somewhat beyond. The better gearing, additional power, and 10 speed auto will make power a non-issue. The Jeep was stable and safe even when I had to react quickly to avoid drivers or animals. I expect the Bronco will be also.

There are of course other issues to consider such as liability if you are towing something above the stated limits and you cause an accident. As far as the capability goes though I will be completely surprised if you can't easily push the max rating.

791297_10222873045044339_1085547007831856770_n-jpg.jpg





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I buried this post in another thread but decided it should probably be it's own thread here in the towing section. This is real world experience towing at the limit with an off road vehicle. Should give you some idea of what the Bronco will be able to do.

------------------------------------

We just rented and towed a 16' Airstream Basecamp from Florida to Breckenridge to Ouray, Co and back. The GVWR of the Airstream is 3500 lbs. Dry weight is 2600 lbs. Hitch weight of 410 lbs.

I have a 2015 Wrangler Sahara with a 3" lift and 35s. It has 3:21 gears. With different gears it is rated at 3500 lbs for towing. With the 3:21s it is only rated at 2000 lbs. I'm guessing that is due to the strain on the transmission since the suspension from the factory would be the same.

Clearly the Airstream was pushing, possibly exceeding, the stated limits of the Jeep.

Many will disagree with my conclusions, but here is my real world experience on this trip. The Jeep drove better on the highway. It tracked better with the trailer behind it. On flat ground I could hardly even tell the trailer was there. Acceleration wasn't bad as long as I wasn't in a hurry. Stopping was good.

I had a 7 pin connection installed along with an electronic brake controller. I kept an eye on the transmission temperature. It had a drop hitch with an anti-sway bar. I want to learn more about weight distribution hitches since the trailer did have the Jeep headlights pointing way too high. The one time we drove at night cars going the other way kept flashing at me thinking that I had brights on.

We had a few cases where we had to stop quickly or maneuver quickly due to other drivers. We had heavy winds. We passed and were passed by countless large trucks. The rig always felt stable. In fact, since the Jeep normally wanders and get buffeted on the highway it actually felt more stable and safe with the trailer behind it.

It did "ok" in the mountains. We were a bit better than most of the motorhomes. We even passed a few. The only time it was really bad was when we were stopped for construction outside of Ouray where the road is heading up to the pass. Taking off from a stop in the Jeep with big heavy tires, 3:21 gears, 5 speeds, and a trailer in tow was a challenge. Once the RPMs got high enough all was good, but it took a while to get there.

I personally have a hard time believing that the Bronco, 4 door in particular, cannot quite easily and safely handle right up to the stated limit and somewhat beyond. The better gearing, additional power, and 10 speed auto will make power a non-issue. The Jeep was stable and safe even when I had to react quickly to avoid drivers or animals. I expect the Bronco will be also.

There are of course other issues to consider such as liability if you are towing something above the stated limits and you cause an accident. As far as the capability goes though I will be completely surprised if you can't easily push the max rating.

791297_10222873045044339_1085547007831856770_n-jpg.jpg
Thanks, that's good info about towing at 3500lb capacity.

I saw this video of a ClassII hitch install on a Wrangler The crossmember on the Jeep looks to be MUCH stouter than what the Bronco has so maybe it can deal with more tongue weight.

I can't travel with something like that Airstream, a teardrop, a popup A-liner style, a Casita. I need 5000lbs tow capacity and 500lbs tongue weight to feel comfortable. And that's not an unreasonable expectation IMO for a 2021 4WD with a Ranger frame and two badass tow engines.

I tow this 1706fb deep into the boonies as a basecamp, 3klbs dry, 310lbs dry tongue weight. More like 4klbs loaded and 400lbs tongue weight for offgrid for a week. I shouldn't have to baby that trailer along with a Bronco when I go offgrid on rough roads for a week.

2017 Winnebago 1706fb Mesquite 2017.3.jpg
 

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Thank you for the real-world experience!

I am going to make a wildly unfounded guess here and say that the Bronco will ride worse with the same setup compared to the stock ride of a Bronco and people will make assumptions that the Bronco can't handle what a Jeep can. I think they will both handle about the same with that type of load, but the Bronco should have better on-road manners normally due to the IFS.
 

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I buried this post in another thread but decided it should probably be it's own thread here in the towing section. This is real world experience towing at the limit with an off road vehicle. Should give you some idea of what the Bronco will be able to do.

------------------------------------

We just rented and towed a 16' Airstream Basecamp from Florida to Breckenridge to Ouray, Co and back. The GVWR of the Airstream is 3500 lbs. Dry weight is 2600 lbs. Hitch weight of 410 lbs.

I have a 2015 Wrangler Sahara with a 3" lift and 35s. It has 3:21 gears. With different gears it is rated at 3500 lbs for towing. With the 3:21s it is only rated at 2000 lbs. I'm guessing that is due to the strain on the transmission since the suspension from the factory would be the same.

Clearly the Airstream was pushing, possibly exceeding, the stated limits of the Jeep.

Many will disagree with my conclusions, but here is my real world experience on this trip. The Jeep drove better on the highway. It tracked better with the trailer behind it. On flat ground I could hardly even tell the trailer was there. Acceleration wasn't bad as long as I wasn't in a hurry. Stopping was good.

I had a 7 pin connection installed along with an electronic brake controller. I kept an eye on the transmission temperature. It had a drop hitch with an anti-sway bar. I want to learn more about weight distribution hitches since the trailer did have the Jeep headlights pointing way too high. The one time we drove at night cars going the other way kept flashing at me thinking that I had brights on.

We had a few cases where we had to stop quickly or maneuver quickly due to other drivers. We had heavy winds. We passed and were passed by countless large trucks. The rig always felt stable. In fact, since the Jeep normally wanders and get buffeted on the highway it actually felt more stable and safe with the trailer behind it.

It did "ok" in the mountains. We were a bit better than most of the motorhomes. We even passed a few. The only time it was really bad was when we were stopped for construction outside of Ouray where the road is heading up to the pass. Taking off from a stop in the Jeep with big heavy tires, 3:21 gears, 5 speeds, and a trailer in tow was a challenge. Once the RPMs got high enough all was good, but it took a while to get there.

I personally have a hard time believing that the Bronco, 4 door in particular, cannot quite easily and safely handle right up to the stated limit and somewhat beyond. The better gearing, additional power, and 10 speed auto will make power a non-issue. The Jeep was stable and safe even when I had to react quickly to avoid drivers or animals. I expect the Bronco will be also.

There are of course other issues to consider such as liability if you are towing something above the stated limits and you cause an accident. As far as the capability goes though I will be completely surprised if you can't easily push the max rating.
Where in Florida can you rent one of these?! What did you think of the Airstream Basecamp?
 
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Where in Florida can you rent one of these?! What did you think of the Airstream Basecamp?
We rented on rvshare.com. This is the one we rented: https://rvshare.com/rvs/details/1032395 We rented for over 2 weeks so the daily rate dropped to something like $85 plus insurance.

The renters were great. They normally tow with a 3" lifted Wrangler on 35s - just like our Jeep! Made it easy because they had the perfect drop hitch for us.

Overall we really enjoyed the Basecamp. We have concluded that it isn't quite perfect for us though. We want a separate sleeping from dinette area. We were also hoping to find a slightly larger bathroom. We're negotiating on a [email protected] 400 Boondock right now. It's a better fit for us.

If you do decide to get a Basecamp be careful with the first year or two. The 2017 model in particular had a lot of problems from the factory. There is a huge thread on it on one of the airstream forums.
 

Cooknn

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We rented on rvshare.com. This is the one we rented: https://rvshare.com/rvs/details/1032395 We rented for over 2 weeks so the daily rate dropped to something like $85 plus insurance.

The renters were great. They normally tow with a 3" lifted Wrangler on 35s - just like our Jeep! Made it easy because they had the perfect drop hitch for us.

Overall we really enjoyed the Basecamp. We have concluded that it isn't quite perfect for us though. We want a separate sleeping from dinette area. We were also hoping to find a slightly larger bathroom. We're negotiating on a [email protected] 400 Boondock right now. It's a better fit for us.

If you do decide to get a Basecamp be careful with the first year or two. The 2017 model in particular had a lot of problems from the factory. There is a huge thread on it on one of the airstream forums.
My wife and I like the [email protected] 400 too. Keep us posted how that goes!
 
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My wife and I like the [email protected] 400 too. Keep us posted how that goes!
We had ruled out the tab 400 at one point because the hitch weight was too much for the Jeep. In 2021 (I think) they moved the axle forward three inches and reduced the hitch weight considerably. Down to 328 or so depending on the model dry weight. I think that will work.
 

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We rented on rvshare.com. This is the one we rented: https://rvshare.com/rvs/details/1032395 We rented for over 2 weeks so the daily rate dropped to something like $85 plus insurance.

The renters were great. They normally tow with a 3" lifted Wrangler on 35s - just like our Jeep! Made it easy because they had the perfect drop hitch for us.

Overall we really enjoyed the Basecamp. We have concluded that it isn't quite perfect for us though. We want a separate sleeping from dinette area. We were also hoping to find a slightly larger bathroom. We're negotiating on a [email protected] 400 Boondock right now. It's a better fit for us.

If you do decide to get a Basecamp be careful with the first year or two. The 2017 model in particular had a lot of problems from the factory. There is a huge thread on it on one of the airstream forums.
I've been looking at the Forest River Salem fsx 167rbk, especially the 2021 since they made the burners flush with the counter and the sofa tables as a single piece instead of trimmed in. Specifically, I'm eying the Murphy Bed option so the bed is put away during the day, providing a sofa and extra floor space. If you haven't checked it out, I definitely recommend it!
 

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I've been looking at the Forest River Salem fsx 167rbk, especially the 2021 since they made the burners flush with the counter and the sofa tables as a single piece instead of trimmed in. Specifically, I'm eying the Murphy Bed option so the bed is put away during the day, providing a sofa and extra floor space. If you haven't checked it out, I definitely recommend it!
That 167rbk shows 385lb tongue weight. Salem FSX 167RBK | Forest River RV - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes (forestriverinc.com)

Bronco ClassII factory hitch is 350lb tongue weight max.
 

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And the UVW is shown at over 3300lbs. Depending on what you have in the Bronco you may be over your tow limit already before even loading it.
Thank you, I'm glad I said something! I've been talking to people about getting a travel trailer and it never occurred to me (and nobody has brought it up) to consider the weight already in the vehicle.
 

Lakelife36

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Thank you, I'm glad I said something! I've been talking to people about getting a travel trailer and it never occurred to me (and nobody has brought it up) to consider the weight already in the vehicle.
You bet. Every vehicle will have a Gross Combined Weight Rating, which is the maximum the vehicle and a trailer it's hauling can weigh together. It includes the vehicle's curb weight, the payload in it, and the loaded trailer weight.

Often on a passenger vehicle the GCWR is the advertised tow rating plus the vehicle curb weight plus a small amount of payload, meant to represent a driver and sometimes a passenger. Rearranging the equation gives TC = GCWR - Curb Weight - Payload in Vehicle. GCWR and Curb Weight are constants, so as you load up the vehicle with payload, your TC goes down.
 

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