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Old 02-25-2002, 12:04 PM   #1
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1961 16' Bambi
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Towing a small 60s trailer with a Jeep Cherokee...

I recently purchased a 1961 Bambi. I have not picked it up from the service department yet. I have a 1998 Cherokee Sport. I am not in the position where I can get a diffrent tow vehicle.

I was wondering if anyone out there has any advice for a newbie. From what I hear those big rigs with throw sway like I have never felt. Is the sway less when going slow.

What are the tricks to driving safely with a smaller tow vehicle like mine?

Your advice could save a life! Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-25-2002, 04:03 PM   #2
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Small Camper - Small Tow Vehicle

Keep your Bambi light, Find out the maximum tow capacity of
your Cherokee. If you are going to exceed the maximum,
get a transmission cooler and begin to pray. I tow my 67 Caravel
with a Chevy Venture "Minivan" Caravel wet is 2,600 .. Maximum
tow for the Venture is 3,000. Im cutting it close. But the Caravel
(like the Bambi) is short and light, and the Venture is heavy and low. (Can't say the same for your Jeep). Sway from semi has been minimal ... but I keep the pair on the flatlands. Your in Colorado no? The more seasoned A/S pullers will say were both crazy but they are pulling 6,000+ When the budget allows, buy a better tow buggy, till then keep it slow and simple.
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Old 02-26-2002, 02:19 PM   #3
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towing

Jeeps are all rated at 2000 pound tow capacity as I recall.
They fare better than some because at least they are rear wheel drive, or 4 wheel of course..
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Old 02-28-2002, 11:49 AM   #4
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A load equalizing with with a sway control is a "must." To not do so, is placing you and your family, AND everyone else that's on the highway with you, in possible jeopardy, should you loose control of your rig. Towing with just a "ball" guarantees trouble. "What" is not the question, but "when" is. Andy
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Old 03-01-2002, 12:56 PM   #5
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Towing a small 60s trailer with a Jeep Cherokee...

According to the "official" JEEP vehicle specifications, maximum towed vehicle weight is 5,000 lbs. with a maximum tongue weight of 750 lbs. These are only obtained by using a weight-distribution setup.

Rob Davis
1989 JEEP Cherokee 4.0L
1964 GlobeTrotter
Reese Weight-Distribution Hitch
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Old 03-01-2002, 11:52 PM   #6
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Wink Which hitch did you get? Where & how much?

I am located just outside Denver!
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Old 03-02-2002, 01:19 AM   #7
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Hitches

http://www.lamperthitch.com
http://www.reeseprod.com/info/info/info_wdinfo.shtml

Already had a category III hitch on the Cherokee, had to buy the Reese Trunion W/D system & wiring connector ($885 - ouch!)
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Old 03-30-2002, 11:54 AM   #8
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Summary of 850 mile trip...

I could not have been more pleased with the way my 1961 Bambi towed behind my Jeep Cherokee! Following the advice of many here on the forums, I purchased a Reese Weight Distribution hitch and it was amazing. Without the hitch, the rear of my Jeep sagged tremendously. Once the Reese was hooked up, the Jeep sat level again and I never experienced any sway problems on the entire journey. I was able to go 65+ MPH with very little effort on my Jeep. I did find a sweet spot on the tachometer that allowed me to get about 11 MPG @ 67 MPH. Any faster or slower really pushed the RPMs up and ruined the gas milage.

Once I got back home (9600' in the Rocky Mountains) I noticed the brake controller liked to apply the trailer brakes very hard on steep downhill decents. I hear the Tekonsha Prodigy is better for this because of new technology it uses. If the problem persists I will think about switching brake controllers....
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Old 03-30-2002, 12:10 PM   #9
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Andy,
Is your controller adjustable? you can adjust it to the conditions such as down a steep hill, it would take some playing with but it can be done.
Do you have any sway control?

John
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Old 03-30-2002, 12:20 PM   #10
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As far as adjustable, do you mean the little gizmo that is supposed to be strait up and down? If so, yes. I set the gizmo strait up and down on flat land. The gain was also set for highway driving. It seems like when going downhill the controllers inertia sensor thinks it is trying to stop harder than on flat ground causing the trailer to brake harder than normal.

I do not have the sway control piece of the Reese hitch simply the trunion system. The car towed the trailer like a dream! I may buy the sway controller later, but she will be parked now for a some time while I clean her good!
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Old 03-30-2002, 06:20 PM   #11
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We Want Pictures !!

Andy,

Congradulations!

In addition to all the fine work you do for us via this board,
Would you do us one more? We want pictures of your new baby!!

I love the "family album" and look forward to seeing the new additions!

Dave
67 Caravel
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Old 03-30-2002, 06:30 PM   #12
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1961 16' Bambi
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Pictures coming soon to www.airstreamphotos.com!

Once I got home, I took out lots of her guts and will start high pressure steam cleaning her interior next week. I have only taken one picture of her. I will post it as soon as I get my digital camera inside. I plan on posting lots of pictures (before and after) during the "cleaning" process.

I will keep you all posted!

Cheers,

Andy
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Old 03-30-2002, 08:02 PM   #13
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Hey Andy!

Glad you got your Bambi home...so when are we going to get together to compare notes & kick some tires?

Rob, Shari & "Maxwell"

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Old 03-30-2002, 08:37 PM   #14
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Your sweet Bambi

Hey Andy, If there is anything I can do fer ya........ give a shout. I'm not very familar with your prize but I'm very knowledgeable about all rv systems. If ya even come near Twin Falls, Idaho, STOP. If ya wanna upgrade or add any extra features,,,,,,,,,, send a note. We pull a '89 Cherokee with the bus........Frank
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