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Old 10-26-2006, 09:16 AM   #1
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Tow a Bambi with a Wrangler?

I was wondering about pulling a 16-foot bambi with a Jeep Wrangler. My wife's car is breaking down and she wants to buy a Wrangler. I'm hoping to get an airstream some day, and would like our next vehicle to be something that can tow it.

According to the Jeep website the Unlimited Wrangler has a towing capacity of 3500, and a wheel-base of '116. (The Unlimited is a bit longer than other Wranglers at 173.4 in. -I don't know if this matters for towing or not?) So it looks like it should work on paper.

Any thoughts/advice from the AS gurus? Is anyone out there doing this? I would hate to buy this thing now and a couple years later find out it won't work with any Airstream.


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Old 10-26-2006, 09:19 AM   #2
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Not sure what that Bambi weighs, but I would opt for a heavier tow vehicle. You not only have the weight of the trailer to consider, but the weight of your passengers and all of your cargo/camping gear. The cargo weight can add up faster than you think.

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Old 10-26-2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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I wouldn't recommend towing anything heavier than a motorcycle trailer with anything that says "Jeep" on the side. I used to tow a Combi Camp tent trailer with a CJ 7 and later a Scrambler, and I can tell you that towing even a trailer that light 'twernt no fun with that short a wheelbase. When things go bad towing, even with a properly sized tow vehicle, they go bad fast. If you've got a vehicle with THAT short a wheelbase, fairly light weight, and a high center of gravity to boot, with a trailer that weighs nearly as much as the tow vehicle you don't stand much of a chance if things go south on you.

Will a Wrangler tow a late model Bambi simply from a tow weight perspective? Probably. Is it a good idea? Not in my book.

Good luck!

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Old 10-26-2006, 10:52 AM   #4
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A former co-worker owned a Wrangler Unlimited, and towed a small boat with it. He was unimpressed with it, and traded it off as soon as he could. It was a 6 cylinder, and got worse gas mileage than his Tahoe, and struggled with the boat trailer the Tahoe pulled with ease. Total weight of the boat and trailer was 3000 pounds.
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:02 AM   #5
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I have owned 3 Jeep CJ's (pre-Wrangler) and towed lots of boats around town with them.
Towed a 13 ft TT once too, and had a very scary sway incident.

I love Jeeps, think they are very cool, can't wait to get another one! But I would not recommend one to tow any distance with...
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:16 AM   #6
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Another member here (RIVKA) does use an Unlimited to tow with - She's towing a '71 Caravel though, which weighs considerably less than the newer trailers.

I have towed a 17' SOB (some other brand) with my Jeep TJ. It towed ok on flat land, but climbing wasn't all that much fun - slow up steep grades. Stopping, with plenty of time was no problem. Stopping in a hurry could be scary though. That wasn't a good combination. My TJ did great with a small pop-up, and the small flatbed I've got for my motorcycle.

Unless the Bambi you're considering is vintage I would advise a bigger tow vehicle.
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:28 AM   #7
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GreatPumpkin, We have a Quick Silver Bambi 2006, and according to the tag in clostet it weighs in a 3110 lbs.( no water/propane)
We used to tow our 1967 Globe Trotter with a 2003 Land Rover Discovery( still listed in profile) and it was very marginal even tho it was rated up to 5,500 lbs.
Its the wheelbase of 99 inches, or lack ther of, that makes these short vehicles a poor tow car.
We use a 2004 Chevy duramax 4X4 extended cab, or a 1969 Cadillac for tow vehicles now. Both have hp over 300 and torque of 525 ft lbs.
Wheelbase keeps you stable, torque gets you moving, horsepower keeps you rolling.
How about a classic motorhome and tow wrangler behind.
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:44 AM   #8
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We tow our 2001 19' Bambi with a 2004 Suburban 2500. Given the weight and single axle, the trailer pushes the truck around a surprising amount. I would not want to tow, expecially here in the CO mountains with anything less is size, weight, or towing capacity.
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Old 10-26-2006, 01:08 PM   #9
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JMD - You will find people on this forum that would not tow a Bambi with much less than a Peterbuilt. I am NOT in that camp as I use an F150 to tow a Safari 25, and previously towed it with a V8 Explorer. But even I draw the line at some point... I would never tow a travel trailer of any size with a Jeep Wrangler. The wheelbase is too short - way too short.
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Old 10-26-2006, 01:26 PM   #10
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You might (or might not..) enjoy reading similar thread from two weeks ago about Honda Odyssey with similar tow rating...

I'll join chorus of naysayers, based on following:
1. Wheelbase (I Learned w/ Ford Bronco.. Not fun if trailer longer and heavier than Tow Vehicle)
2. Braking
3. Weight of people and cargo in Jeep counts against tow capacity
4. You should have some cushion below absolute limit...

Many do tow with Grand Cherokees, which seem OK though they have their critics also. Finding fun convertible inexpensive tow vehicle is going to be difficult... Outside-the-box option is to go for the Jeep, and get a Chevy Tahoe for less than $5K as tow vehicle only... Just don't drive it other than towing, if you have place to park it.. With fuel price rise, they're really cheap, and taxes and insurance wouldn't be bad...

John McG

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Old 10-26-2006, 02:00 PM   #11
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I echo the wheelbase sentiment. I had a '72 Bronco with a 302 V8. I towed a 16' Bayliner with it once. I was lucky to live through that! If something sets up an oscilation with the trailer it's quickly out of your control. Like Dmac I will push the capability of the tow rig a bit as with our 24' Argosy behind a GMC Safari (aka Astro) van but would never again try to tow anything I couldn't easily push around by hand with a rig like the Wrangler. Even at that I wouldn't want to go more than about 50mph.

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Old 10-26-2006, 02:56 PM   #12
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Hi, JMD,

Welcome to the forums. You kicked off a conversation here, didn't you?

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Old 10-26-2006, 03:01 PM   #13
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Don't do it! I really still haven't figured out what Jeeps are good for. I can tell you one thing though, they always burn out rear light bulbs (have you ever noticed so many Jeeps with tail lights and brake light out?) and can NOT tow an Airstream. You would be better off with you 10 speed bike. A 16' empty Bambi (depending on the model) averages 3,500 lbs. GVWR. Calculate that and the wheel base of TV and a Jeep is not even close. Look for something with some meat on it.

Look forward to hearing on what you end up with!
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Old 10-26-2006, 04:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bensonortho
We tow our 2001 19' Bambi with a 2004 Suburban 2500. Given the weight and single axle, the trailer pushes the truck around a surprising amount. I would not want to tow, expecially here in the CO mountains with anything less is size, weight, or towing capacity.
Sounds like you saying a 2500 Suburban is "marginal" towing a 19' Bambi.

Would you say it's achilles heel is the high centre of gravilty and out dated suspension system?

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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