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Old 04-05-2020, 04:28 PM   #1
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How much $$$ to set up Jeep Toad?

I was told to plan on spending about 5k for equipment and labor to set up my 2014 Wrangler to flat tow behind our new class C. Thatís seems really high to me...

We will either be towing our Jeep or side by side depending on where we are going. I was planning on just renting a uhaul for the side by side trips until a found a good deal on a used utility trailer. But if itís going to cost 5 grand to flat tow the Jeep I think I might be better off finding a small car trailer I can put the Jeep or the side by side on and then Iíll only need to make one purchase.

Whatís the average cost for setting up a toad?
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:55 PM   #2
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I've been waiting to do just this and have everything sitting in my Amazon cart. All together, I'm at around $1500 for all of the components. I'll be doing the installation myself so I'm sure to be saving quite a bit there. I'm also going with the Ready Brute Elite towbar which has the Ready Brake system built in instead of a costly braking system that goes in the vehicle. The downside is there is quite a bit more to the installation process for this setup. I found this video series to be helpful.

Good luck and be safe out there
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:36 PM   #3
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If you are mechanically inclined and have the tools and time to do a professional, or at least a semi-professional job, then go for it. I’m in between an amateur and a semi-professional and didn’t feel comfortable nor did I have a lot of confidence or time. I have a 2018 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. So I paid $4000 to have it done at a local off road truck shop where they work on just about everything.
I ordered the RVI3 brake system and towed charger and the Blue Ox tow bar and base plates. The technician did a very professional job and I am very happy with it.
Trailering is a good way to go, too, but then you have to secure everything onto the trailer and figure out what to do with the trailer in campgrounds. The big advantage of a trailer is you can back up with it and you don’t have to be quite so vigilant when pulling into gas stations or other tight spots.
Do a little homework and try to figure out what you think will work best for you. Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:49 PM   #4
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I did the Ready Brute Elite install on my 2019 Wrangler JLU last summer as well. Worked well, but lots of other systems too. I also ended up with the Mopar light harness retro fit kit too. Together, with self-install on both + tow brakets on Jeep, it cost about $1500+. That's probably the cheapest way to go out there unless buying a setup used. I also like that it's a simple system, with less to fail - but still some to fail / go wrong... Neither were easy to install, but all were doable given enough sweat equity and squeezing hands in tight spaces.

No matter what way or method or brands you decide on, you do have to keep a close eye on things to go wrong each time hooking up to tow. Lots of mistakes to make hooking up, with possible bad results. I have a checklist on my phone to follow. Really helps if I'm distracted or annoyed which is easy to have happen traveling.

Tons of choices and brands out there for each of the 4 parts: tow bar, toad brake lights, toad attachment points, toad aux brakes. All 4 parts will need to be sorted. Don't hesitate to mix and match brands - systems to your liking for the 4 parts. Lots of recommendations on this site about this.
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:55 PM   #5
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I have no experience pulling a toad in a car trailer so cannot speak to that one.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:42 AM   #6
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I have flat towed our Jeep with an inexpensive tow bar I bought.
Since the Jeep is highly modified and does not have the original transfer case, I am required to drop both drive shafts to flat tow. That is a pain.
We have also had a trailer to haul the Jeep for a while also, and I prefer the trailer.
With the trailer, I can easily backup and move around things. With the trailer and the RV, we are running just over 50 feet down the road, and we don't just pull in and turn around. Flat towing is even worse, as you need two country acres to turn around.
The trailer has hydraulic brakes on it, so no modifications to the RV with a brake controller.
Depending on your year and model Jeep, find a good used trailer, and it will also work for your side by side.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:02 PM   #7
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I have flat towed our Jeep with an inexpensive tow bar I bought.
Since the Jeep is highly modified and does not have the original transfer case, I am required to drop both drive shafts to flat tow. That is a pain.
We have also had a trailer to haul the Jeep for a while also, and I prefer the trailer.
With the trailer, I can easily backup and move around things. With the trailer and the RV, we are running just over 50 feet down the road, and we don't just pull in and turn around. Flat towing is even worse, as you need two country acres to turn around.
The trailer has hydraulic brakes on it, so no modifications to the RV with a brake controller.
Depending on your year and model Jeep, find a good used trailer, and it will also work for your side by side.

Just my $0.02.
While I have never met Todd in person, I have gone wheeling with his dad!. and someday we will meet on the trail somewhere... I have to agree 100% with his assessment, If you have a trail rig, or even a stock TJ, YJ, LJ or JK that you envision as a trail rig sometime in the future - you need to consider a trailer.

Like Todd, our trailer has Hydraulic brakes.. the only way to safely lend your trailer to someone in an emergency / recovery situation. Even our trail-rig's could be towing our trailer to get someone / something that would never ever consider installing an electric brake controller in.

Now the two country acres... It really sucks to come to the end of a road and find no place to turn around. Not even enough room to turn the Motorhome around by itself, unless you back the rear of the MH over an embankment or attempt a 6-8 or 10-point turn. If your Toad is on a trailer, you just back up until you find a place you can back the trailer into - and turn around. ((( Walmart parking lot, low bridge and shortcuts that did not work out. - can't count how many times )))

Granted, Trailers for Toads are not for everyone on JOF with Motorhomes. Especially if you have to put your RV in a storage yard. You also have to consider the total GCWR when adding a trailer to the total weight, but if you think about the flexibility of "what you take as your toad" a trailer eliminates all of the Customization needed to equip your toad for Brakes, Lights and the front Base-Plate needed - that you can't move from vehicle to vehicle. If we want to go to Sturgis for a Bike Rally, we load the bikes... Or a a Car Show - we Load the Belair and for most everyting else - we take our Toyota (Jeep for those who have a full size)

Todd, Hows Gene doin? Someday we gotta get on a trail together, even in Texas!

Oh... and how much to pick up a good used Flatbed? Get at least a 7k rating and retrofit it with Hydraulic brakes on tandem axles... the work to retrofit it is under a grand, and if you find a good candidate, they are under 2k. Add all new tires and you are set for 10 years.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:18 PM   #8
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I’m leaning towards the trailer for economical reasons. My wife’s Jeep is pretty much bone stock and we don’t really use it on trails. We use the side by side for our off road fun. I like that with the trailer I can use it for the side by side or the Jeep. Spending the money on setting the Jeep up as a toad doesn’t help me when we go to places that we like to the side by side, I’d still need the trailer anyway.
#FirstWorldProblems LoL
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:46 PM   #9
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Oh... Get at least a 7k rating...

I highly would recommend getting a 10,000 lb ( 9,999 ) rated trailer. Bigger brakes, tires and weight capacity. The trailer will likely weigh 1500-2000 lbs. depending on any gear you may carry. The Jeep may weigh 4000-4300 lbs. Will you ever put any cargo in the Jeep on the trailer? Add that also. So your trailer and Jeep will weight 5500 lbs. to 6300 lbs. Now, what kind of springs will that trailer have? Torsion or leaf springs? A torsion sprung trailer will not equalize the weight between the two axles. You might have 3,000 lbs on one axle and 4,000 lbs on the other. A leaf sprung trailer will equalize the load, so neither axle is overloaded.

A 10,000 lb rated trailer will give you a weight cushion.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:25 PM   #10
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I would buy a trailer and a 7K trailer is more than enough trailer! You donít need a 10K trailer, thatís skid steer weights. I trailer my Jeep to the trails, itís a 20í Diamond C with 2 3500# axles, brakes on both axles. I also upgraded the tires from Load C to load E to deal with bad roads (potholes etc). The trailer gives you the ability to get your Jeep home if you happen to break something on a trail etc and takes the wear and tear off your Jeep. I paid $1800 for the trailer used off CL and it was basically new. Hereís a picture of my Buddyís LJ on my trailer. I also burned in substantial tie downs in each corner.
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Old 04-07-2020, 05:56 AM   #11
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I’ve been looking on CL and have seen a couple good used ones, but not for a good used price yet. Any trouble finding a place to keep the trailer at campgrounds?
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:39 AM   #12
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While I have never met Todd in person, I have gone wheeling with his dad!. and someday we will meet on the trail somewhere... I have to agree 100% with his assessment, If you have a trail rig, or even a stock TJ, YJ, LJ or JK that you envision as a trail rig sometime in the future - you need to consider a trailer.

Like Todd, our trailer has Hydraulic brakes.. the only way to safely lend your trailer to someone in an emergency / recovery situation. Even our trail-rig's could be towing our trailer to get someone / something that would never ever consider installing an electric brake controller in.

Todd, Hows Gene doin? Someday we gotta get on a trail together, even in Texas!
Steve

Thanks for the kind words.
Gene is doing well, and doing what he can to survive these tough times.
We need to meet someplace to go wheeling sometime.

Our storage place allows us to park the trailer right behind our RV for no additional cost. They park the oil field hot shot goose neck trailers next to us, so we have the same size space as them.

The only RV park we have been to with the RV and trailer, was an off-road park, and the RV spaces were built with the thought of an RV and trailer in mind.
I have seen other parks, that having a trailer, or even a toad does not leave a lot of room for parking and such.

I was able to pick up our trailer years ago cheap.
I have replaced the brakes, brake lines, lights.
The brake system on our trailer had been abused, had water in it, so the lines were all corroded and the brakes had a lot of fade in them after a few hard stops.
When we got the trailer, it had BFG All-Terrain tires on it. Many will argue that that tire is not a trailer tire. I will agree, though it is a light truck tire that you can get in a rating that will handle the load of the trailer and Jeep.
Watch these forums and others long enough, and you will see that most trailer tires are junk. I have abused these tires going down really bad roads to get to a trail head to recover a Jeep and never worried about destroying a tire.

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Old 04-07-2020, 06:58 AM   #13
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Iíve been looking on CL and have seen a couple good used ones, but not for a good used price yet. Any trouble finding a place to keep the trailer at campgrounds?
There are many RV parks that make you disconnect a trailer and park it in an overflow lot. Some even have a nightly charge for the trailer "storage". If you decide to go the trailer route always ask about trailer parking when you make your reservations so you know what to expect in advance and avoid getting frustrated because you didn't ask and the reservation clerk didn't volunteer the info as a "just in case you are thinking about". Folks using tow dollies also face similar situations. Experience from a former dolly tower talking here.
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:46 AM   #14
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There are many RV parks that make you disconnect a trailer and park it in an overflow lot. Some even have a nightly charge for the trailer "storage". If you decide to go the trailer route always ask about trailer parking when you make your reservations so you know what to expect in advance and avoid getting frustrated because you didn't ask and the reservation clerk didn't volunteer the info as a "just in case you are thinking about". Folks using tow dollies also face similar situations. Experience from a former dolly tower talking here.
While we have come across a few parks that we had to park our trailer in a dry storage lot... that was more of the exception than the rule.

When we call in to see if a park can reserve a space for us (usually one or two weeks long stay) they ask our overall length. We tell them we are 68' and with the exception of two parks in Florida, all had a space for us with the trailer connected. That was a trip across NV, AZ, CO, NM, TX, LA, MI, AL and all across FL for 7 months. Even the little KOA in New Orleans had a space for us w/ our trailer.
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Old 04-07-2020, 12:17 PM   #15
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Steve

I was able to pick up our trailer years ago cheap.
I have replaced the brakes, brake lines, lights.
The brake system on our trailer had been abused, had water in it, so the lines were all corroded and the brakes had a lot of fade in them after a few hard stops.
When we got the trailer, it had BFG All-Terrain tires on it. Many will argue that that tire is not a trailer tire. I will agree, though it is a light truck tire that you can get in a rating that will handle the load of the trailer and Jeep.
Watch these forums and others long enough, and you will see that most trailer tires are junk. I have abused these tires going down really bad roads to get to a trail head to recover a Jeep and never worried about destroying a tire.

Todd
We followed a much similar approach.

I picked up this trailer as a project for only $600, knowing full well that I was going to replace everything from the spindles out. New Coupler, Wheels, hubs, bearings, backing plates, wheel cylinders and like you said - TRUCK tires. Peace of mind knowing everything was gone thru and replaced with new. Next I fitted the deck for the ATV and the Toyota and built a ladder rack that we carry canoes or a 14' aluminum boat on. Even with the tool box loaded along with the rest of the gear, we are always well under our 10k GWR rating on the trailer.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:38 PM   #16
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I have both flat tow capability and a trailer.
I think both options are great to have and would do both.... with a sxs a trailer is going to be needed.

I have around $1000 in my original toad setup. I have upgraded a few components over the years...
Roadmaster Brakemaster 9160 for brakes and breakaway ($800)
Craigslist towbar ($100) and Harbor freight magnet tow lights ($30).

The flat tow option is valuable for the smaller campgrounds. We've been in some situations where a trailer would have been a royal pain and we were only towing the Jeep to run around locally. Made zero sense to trailer it.

If we are going "offroading" and camping in a larger campground or dry camping then a trailer is the go-to for us. We started with a 20' flatbed and went to a 26' enclosed. We haul our other "stuff" in the trailer (sxs, Jeep, firewood, dirt bikes, etc..). This is where flat towing would not work for us.

It's easy to say "do both" but it really depends on your situation which works better. I'd say get a nice trailer then piece together a flat -tow setup.


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Old 04-07-2020, 09:18 PM   #17
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3600.00 (installed) to outfit a WK2. Roadmaster Townsend, baseplate, harness, Invsibrake and brake monitor. Caught the 59.00 to install anything at Camping World.
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Old 04-14-2020, 06:51 PM   #18
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Faced with the cost to flat tow ( 1 use and practically no resale value ) we purchased an aluminum trailer ( many uses and resale value ) we can back up now - most parks allow us to remain hooked up to the trailer with no additional cost but some require disconnecting and 1 has charged us extra ( we have learned to ask when we make our reservation ) Les
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:33 PM   #19
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I found a good used tow bar and brake buddy that I picked up for a great price. I just need to get the baseplate and wiring. The short term plan is just to rent a uhaul trailer when we want to take the side by side and it’s one less thing I need to to find room to store on our property.
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:36 AM   #20
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If you are at all considering an aftermarket front bumper you might want to take a look at one that you can flat tow from. We have 3 jeeps in our regular group that are towed from the bumper and only 1 that is running a dedicated baseplate.


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