View Full Version : 2003 Jeep Wrangler

02-24-2013, 06:01 PM
So some of this just maybe me thinking out loud;

I had a random thought of getting a Jeep Wrangler. I had one in the past, and getting that itch to have one again. I like the 4x4 convertable. I came across a 2003 model, Rubicon model too, that looks good on the interweb and in my price range. My preference is to the TJ series 1997-2006. And would ranther be on the newer end

Now the concern. Towing the boat (base OB). I know the answer for the most part is a big NO. But my argument is, from the boat location to the launch is 2.5 miles away. The majority is through residential neighborhood, 25 mph limits, little to no traffic. The short stretch (.8 mile to be exact) is on a main street, 4 lane, stop light intersection, 35 mph limit. I have no concern about HP,torque, strength of drivetrain as it is the same used in the grand cherokee that has a higher tow rating. I know the short wheel base and suspension design is the limiting factor in this.

I don't go anywhere else 99% of the time, always the same route. Route has gas station for boat refueling. If I need to go anywhere else, I have access to borrow a bigger vehicle. Complete no go? Or.....:confused:

Side note; Some may remember me showing off a Tundra, but I have sold that during the off season. Plan was just to borrow my dads pickup truck as needed, thus saving on vehicle costs. He is retired and helpful like that. He is also a regular boat driver/spotter. I am not to cheap to buy a regular truck either but my dad and I agree, we dont need extras of the same large items if we can easily share between households.

ian ashton
02-24-2013, 06:40 PM
Likely more than twice the rates tow capacity; my fear would be a few things;

1. Any fast stops, say bye bye.

2. I wonder how it would do on the launch.

3. You are open to a to of liability, should something happen.

02-24-2013, 10:18 PM
I used a TJ (99 model) for towing short distances. It did fine. Make sure your trailer brakes are in good condition. Also, back then, I had a difficult time finding a hitch rated for the boat that would fit the TJ, it may be easier now.

If you can step up, the newer 4 door wranglers would be better choice for just about all conditions except extreme off roading.

02-24-2013, 11:45 PM
The insurance perspective on towing beyond rated max would be a concern in the off chance something ever did happen.

02-24-2013, 11:49 PM
I have an 07 and it would do fine on residential roads though I haven't tried it mostly because I have the doors and top off in the summer and I don't care to keep it at the launch. Stay away from highway speeds as the boat will prevent you from avoiding stuff (i.e. people, cars, animals & garbage). My Jeep has a 2,000 pound capacity and the 4 door has a 3,500 capacity. Go figure as one is a stretch model of the other.

beat taco
02-25-2013, 02:19 AM
Might sound crazy but..a friend if mine towed his 20.5' Chaparral from Arizona to Oregon with his 03 Rubi for five years running (We do a huge annual trip for a week) and only got something else because it got stolen. Not my idea of a tow rig but will definitely do what you are asking easily.

02-25-2013, 09:37 AM
2.5 miles in good weather at low speeds? Shoot, I'd tow that far with my lawn tractor. Make sure the trailer brakes are good and quit worrying. Just hope you can get up the ramp.

02-25-2013, 10:35 AM
if I still had my 98 wrangler Id be using it just about everytime we go out to our local lake-its about 2 miles away and all in my sub division.

4x4 and using 4low and ramps would not be a issue at all

02-25-2013, 01:36 PM
I'd do it, but as the old saying goes, gotta pay to play. be prepared to take any flak from an accident should you have one. guessing even one that's not your fault, we all know another person's insurance will look for any reason to push the claim off them..

02-25-2013, 05:15 PM
The flak you'd get if you were pulling the boat with the weight double the towing capacity of a vehicle, then caused or a contributing factor in an accident and killed someone would be as a minimum a civil suit and take everything you have up to and including a manslaughter charge with fines and time in prison. You should get by the police as the Wrangler looks like it can tow more than what it is rated at but if it looked obvious the police will stop you. Thats why in town with slow speeds there is less risk of hurting someone.

02-25-2013, 07:50 PM
Thanks guys for the input. I gots some of the answers I was expecting and some, alittle surprised (and secretly what I wanted to hear).

I am very aware of the civil liabilities and potential conflicts with insurance companies should there be an incident.

If I decide to go Jeep, in addition to my regular DD car, I still have the family truck to use as well. So there is a backup plan too.

07-26-2013, 06:36 PM
After months of searching, saving, checking out options, I picked up my new tow vehicle. A new 2013 Wrangler Unlimited. Should do just fine towing the Outback. Hitch is getting put on tomorrow.

07-27-2013, 12:08 PM
Easy install. Four bolts through the rear body rail. Good for 2,000 pounds. Get a LOD rear bumper and get a more solid set up and get rid of the stock playground plastic bumper. Easy install.

New Guy
07-27-2013, 12:53 PM
Nice setup! It should look good pulling the Moomba!

07-27-2013, 01:31 PM
Nice, now it just need a level kit and some 33's :rolleyes:

07-27-2013, 06:36 PM
Thanks guys, I put the hitch and wire harness on myself. I put on a 7 pin trailer harness. I just prefer it over the 4 or 5, because the durability. I figure with my setup I am good to 3,500#. I had got the 3.73 gears in the Jeep which is part of the max-tow package. I would love to indulge in some of the aftermarket goodies and get rid of some of the playschool plastic, but I have to wait for the finances to catch back up.

07-27-2013, 11:05 PM
3500lbs? What does it say on the tow sheet? You want 3.92 gearing...remember you need to factor in fluids, gear, and other crap..

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

07-28-2013, 04:41 PM
No, you are going to want some 4.56s for the 35" tires and towing.

07-31-2013, 10:57 AM
That thing will pull all most anything you can hook to it stopping is a different story.

But then again I have launched and recoverd our 3500# supra with a four door geo tracker.

07-31-2013, 11:04 AM
Boat has trailer brakes so stopping shouldn't be an issue, but the high center of gravity and short wheel base will. Once that boat starts to sway it's going to be a terrifying ride.. :)

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

07-31-2013, 12:06 PM
Thanks guys, Jeep rates this to 3500#s with the optional gear ratio of 3.73 or 4:10 (only found in the Rubicons) and in only 4 door models. The std ratio is 3.21 which has the 2000# limit, along with all 2 door models.

I know my OB is pushing that to the limit or slightly more with weight of the trailer included. Its a short drive to the lake 3 miles and no speed limits over 35; acutally most being through a residential neighborhood. I did the inauguaral pull yesterday, and everything went fine.

But the fun of taking the top off and feeling like a beach bum when you can be out of the lake in priceless.