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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking at an 18 foot long landscape trailer to carry my Kubota tractor/loader/backhoe on a 275 mile trip (one way) a couple times a year. This wouldn't be a weekly or even monthly trip.

The trailer weighs 1750 lbs, the tractor/loader/backhoe weighs just under 3400 lbs so the total weight is around 5050 lbs. I'm thinking that a WD hitch might be a good idea but not sure if I need it. The 18' trailer is long enough to let me move the tractor forward or backward on the trailer to balance out the weight.

The trailer has electric brakes on both axles so I'll put a brake controller in the FJ as well as a transmission oil cooler.

Any advice, suggestions, horror stories regarding what I'm looking at? Has anyone safely towed this amount of weight with an FJ safely?
 

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Your right on the maximum weight capacity given you haven't added to much extra weight on the Fj like steel bumpers ,sliders etc. but since the trailer has brakes and your installing the controller you should have no issues.

I pulled a 26 foot trailer and my friends mini stock without electric brake system and it tracked well with the car centered on the trailer. I just kept my distance from the traffic up front and coasted to stop lights in heavy traffic.
 

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Its worth the money to get a 7plug ebrake system to have the capability to tow what ever you need. Easy to install a 4&6 plug adapter if needed. Its an older model but I had a Prodigy P2 installed that can control 1-4 axles. Its not top of the line but it isn't at the bottom either
 

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Its going to suck, but as other said it should make it alright....wouldnt want to pull through any mountains or anything, but if its flat(ish) itll be alright given you have the trailer brakes.
 

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I'm on the interstate all the time. I've seen many accidents caused by the trailer out weighing the tow vehicle. It can cause the trailer to start pushing the rear of the fj left and right pretty violently causing a jack knife situation. If you do end up doing this pay close attention to the sway of the FJs rear end and adjust your speed accordingly. Be safe!
 

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I'm on the interstate all the time. I've seen many accidents caused by the trailer out weighing the tow vehicle. It can cause the trailer to start pushing the of the fj left and right pretty violently causing a jack knife situation. If you do end up doing this pay close attention to the sway of the FJs rear end and adjust your speed accordingly. Be safe!
Couldnt agree more. Length is as much of an issue as weight. It's amazing to me how many people you see towing with no apparent thought given to trailer length, brakes, tongue weight (sway issues), GVWR and of course basic towing capacity.

I dont see too many people getting pulled over for unsafe towing issues, so its not take that seriously by law enforcement either.
 

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Couldnt agree more. Length is as much of an issue as weight. It's amazing to me how many people you see towing with no apparent thought given to trailer length, brakes, tongue weight (sway issues), GVWR and of course basic towing capacity.

I dont see too many people getting pulled over for unsafe towing issues, so its not take that seriously by law enforcement either.
Agreed!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks for the input all. I've had a bit of experience pulling a trailer..I used to drive tractor/trailers in my wayward youth so I'm very aware of the tail wagging the dog. I'm sure that the weight limitations on the FJ or any vehicle for that matter, are probably set by engineers to be more towards the conservative side rather than pushing the limits of the vehicle's design. From what I've been reading on the forum it seems that there are people towing a lot more weight than what I'm looking at with their FJs, I was interested in picking everyones brains to see if there was something that I was missing.

#1 - I would NEVER tow a trailer that heavy without brakes. Besides being unsafe it's also illegal in most states.

#2 - Time and distance plus reasonable speeds are your friend. Don't be in a hurry when you're towing, leave a lot of room between you and the vehicles in front and start slowing at a longer distance when you anticipate needing to stop.

What I'm looking at isn't going to be impacted as much by passing traffic such as a tractor trailer as it's a flatbed trailer with a tractor on it. I won't have the big box behind me like a travel trailer so that helps to mitigate the suction and push from TT's going by.

This isn't my photo, but it's the same model as my tractor with the loader and backhoe attached to give you an idea of it's size. It's not a big monster tractor.

 

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is there a good thread for towing basics?

curious about things like;

do you need a trans cooler for any/all towing or just for heavy weight?

do you need to install anything else similar to a trans cooler but for other components?

how do you know which size hitch ball etc?


like I said, I need a "Trailering 101" thread :)
 

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I have had no problems towing various size and type trailers. Being smart about how you drive is really the important factor. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of room on the road.
 

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Regardless of how safe you drive, the real concern is what happens in an emergency braking situation. The FJ is not designed to pull that much weight on a long trailer. Even with trailer brakes it is an unsafe scenario. Better to use a truck designed to haul that kind of weight and think about safety first, I have seen way too many fatality accidents over the years because of people trying to tow beyond the safe capacity of their vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Regardless of how safe you drive, the real concern is what happens in an emergency braking situation. The FJ is not designed to pull that much weight on a long trailer. Even with trailer brakes it is an unsafe scenario. Better to use a truck designed to haul that kind of weight and think about safety first, I have seen way too many fatality accidents over the years because of people trying to tow beyond the safe capacity of their vehicles.
I hear what you're saying, but total weight of the trailer and tractor will be 5,000 or 5,100 lbs. The FJ is rated for 5,000 lbs towing, I'm not looking at towing 10k lbs.
 

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I hear what you're saying, but total weight of the trailer and tractor will be 5,000 or 5,100 lbs. The FJ is rated for 5,000 lbs towing, I'm not looking at towing 10k lbs.
Do what you like..........with that being said, I wouldn't tow that trailer and tractor with my FJ
 

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Heres a few reasons why if I were you id pay someone to move it twice a year
- save money not buying a trailer
- save money not maintaining/licensing/storing a trailer
- save money on hitch/transmission cooler/7pin electrical etc
- save money not repairing your transmission if it fails

If you're set on towing it, be careful, take your time like others have said. And like others have said, it will suck. I've towed a lot of crap. But what do I know.
 

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luk4mud, I'm curious about this trailer length concern you mention. In my experience, longer trailers are more stable not less stable.

My boat is 5000lb. Yes, the airbags in the rear springs are necessary, as is the trans cooler. Yes, I maintain the trailer brakes obsessively. Yes, I'm in the slow lane with the concrete trucks on long uphills.
But I haven't ever wished that the trailer were shorter.

Is it a crosswind-situation sail area concern?
 

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We tow a small 17' travel trailer with our FJ quite often but is not too heavy at about 3500lbs loaded using trailer brakes.

For whatever it's worth, I wouldn't go near the 5000lb limit of the FJ. Others have done it, I've seen them at the camp sites saying it's just fine & probably is.

The thing I've learned pulling with the FJ & then talking with others is the wheel base of the FJ. It's pretty short but not long either.

I've experienced while going down hill doing 55mph, our trailer will push the FJ a bit. Enough to want to slow down, grab a gear or touch the brakes & you can feel it start to sway back & forth a bit. It's a bit concerning & scary at the same time. I had a 4x4 F150 super crew that never did that towing the same trailer. Now that's just going down hill mind you.

Pulling the trailer everyplace else like level ground or up a hill/grade never any different then the F150 actually.

I'm pretty new to all of this towing stuff these last couple of years and out of desperation decide to go max pressure on the rear tires of FJ while pulling & made ALL the difference in the world!! No more push (or feeling of being pushed) on the back of FJ going down hills any more.

I had just acquired load leveling bars & a drop hitch before adding tire pressure but the extra weight in the tongue was a bit much on the FJ. But after adding the extra psi, don't need it. FJ ties like a dream.

Also, I believe I purchesed the 5ply sidewall BFG TKO tires because I knew I would be towing with the FJ. You may want to check the load range of your tire to handle the weight as well.

So be sure to add max pressure to the rear tires (or close to it) before trying to tow with the FJ. It worked wonders for us.

Also I'm pretty sure the FJ's are stick with a trans cooler from the factory for towing as well.

I hope I helped you out & didn't add confusion, LoL!!



Here's our set up....
 

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The FJ has an internal transmission cooler in radiator. It is adequate for daily driving. I would not tow a trailer without a good EXTERNAL transmission cooler. Cheap insurance to extend the life of your transmission
 

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4th gear is your friend. I would keep it out of OD and take it easy. It will pull it, but that is a long time on the road generating heat. An external cooler would be better.
 

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Bringing this thread back from the dead a little. But, FWIW, I towed a fully loaded 6'X12' UHaul enclosed trailer from St. Louis, MO to Western Montana over the course of 3 days. I have a 3" lift, 34s, steel bumpers, standard 4 pin connector, no weight distribution hitch, and no tranny cooler, and had no issues. I was cruising around 70-80MPH on the highway and doing fine. Going up and down the mountains was a little scary at times but no serious pucker moments. I think if you're careful and take the proper precautions you're gonna be fine. Like you said earlier, us engineers will build whats called a Factor of Safety into our designs. With towing, I'd guess factor of safety is between 1.5 and 2. That means the vehicles are technically capable of towing 7.5k-10k, its just not recommended by the engineers because it comes too close to the yield stress on the materials.
 
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