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Jeep Wrangler Towing Capacity: All Models and Years

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The jeep wrangler towing capacity is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in human history. So today, let’s resolve this debate once and for all.

Jeep Wranglers are more than just terrain-gobbling beasts. When your trip calls for a camper, ATV, or boat, the Wrangler’s towing capacity covers you. You might be surprised at what you can tow with a Jeep Wrangler. 

We aim to find out what size travel trailer you can take camping with a Wrangler. So, you can haul your toys to the next destination and let the adventure begin!

What Is the Tow Capacity of a Jeep Wrangler?

Depending on the year and model of your Jeep Wrangler, it has a towing capacity of 2,000 to 3,500 pounds. And according to the manufacturer, some properly equipped 2024 models tow up to an astonishing 5,000 pounds. So how do you determine the actual tow rating of your Jeep Wrangler?

Remember that Wranglers have come in many models over the years. They are all SUVs. But some are compacts while others are mid-sized. So even though they all have the name Jeep Wrangler, the towing capacities differ.

One easy way to remember the Wrangler’s towing capacity is that two-door jeep models haul less weight, around 2,000 pounds. But four-door Jeeps usually have the ability for heavier tows, generally up to 3,500 pounds.

Of course, it’s always best to research your exact year, model, and trim package to determine the jeep towing capacity. You can look inside the driver’s door at the door jamb sticker for details. Or call your local Jeep dealer, who can look up your rig’s specifications.

Jeep Wrangler Towing Capacity Chart by Year

Check out this comparison if you’re wondering about the Jeep Wranglers’ towing capacity over time. Keep in mind these weights depend on the SUV’s specifics.

YearWrangler Sport 2-DoorRubicon/Unlimited 4-Door
20242,000 poundsUp to 5,000 pounds
2015 – 20232,000 pounds3,500 pounds
2004-20142,000 pounds3,500 pounds
2003 Rubicon’s First Year2,000 pounds3,500 pounds

What Can You Tow With a Jeep Wrangler?

Now you know that the average Jeep Wrangler tows about 2,000 pounds. But what does that mean in terms of a travel trailer or camper? Can you really expect towing efficiency? The answer is a resounding Maybe!

So what can a jeep wrangler tow? You’re limited to a small pop-up or teardrop camper weighing 1,000 to 1,500 pounds. And maybe a Jeep Wrangler can tow one of the lightest hybrid travel trailers. But here’s the thing, beyond the camper, the weight adds up more quickly than you realize.

For example, water weighs eight pounds per gallon. So if your camper’s fresh water tank is average-sized at 20-30 gallons, that adds between 160 and 240 pounds. Then add your 

  • Propane
  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Food
  • Lawn chairs
  • Toiletries
  • Dishes
  • And everything else you need for a camping trip.

Plus, don’t forget to add your weight and that of your family members and pets. And as you can see, weight accumulates quickly.

So, several small campers are light enough for a 2-door Jeep Wrangler to tow. But you must pay close attention to the fully loaded weight, not only the dry weight.

What Can You Tow With A 4-Door Jeep Wrangler?

Now we’ll look at the maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. Remember, the Jeep website lists a 5,000-pound tow limit for some 2024 properly equipped models. But we’ll stick to the limit from previous years since most of us don’t have the latest vehicle.

Here are some weight estimates for different toy hauling options. So you’ll also see what can a beefier Jeep Wrangler tow. But you can also see which items (in bold) put you close to or over the limit.

  • Two Touring Motorcycles (~700 lbs each) on a Trailer (~500 lbs)
  • Teardrop Trailer (~1,700 lbs + water + living needs)
  • Pop-up Trailer (~2,300 lbs + water + living needs)
  • Utility Trailer (~1000-2,700 lbs + cargo)
  • Small Fiberglass Fishing Boat (~1,700 lbs)+ Motor (~80-130 lbs) on a Trailer (~600 lbs)
  • 20 Foot Aluminum Fishing Boat (~2,000) + Motor (~80-130 lbs) on a Trailer (~600 lbs) 
  • Two ATVs (~ 630 lbs each) on a Trailer (~500 lbs)
  • Small Camper Trailer (~2,800 lbs + water + living needs)
  • Jet Skis (~700 pounds each) on a Trailer (~300-500 lbs)
  • Snowmobiles (~500 pounds each) on a Trailer (~300-500 lbs)
  • Tow Dolly (~600 lbs) with a Small Vehicle (~2,500 lbs)
  • Small Horse Trailer (~2,900 lbs) + Horse (~1,500-2,200 lbs)

You should be able to tow a lightweight teardrop or pop-up camper with a Jeep Wrangler. But watch your added weights. And be sure to stop by a certified scale to verify you are below the tow rating of your Jeep Wrangler.

Getting weighed when fully loaded is the best way to ensure your Jeep can handle what you’re pulling. But as you can see, Wranglers don’t tow a considerable amount. 

However, there are quite a few lighter travel trailers these days. And Jeep enthusiasts love going off-road. So a smaller camper makes the perfect companion. Choose one made for SUV towing and verify that your specific vehicle is good to go!

Things To Be Aware of Before You Tow an RV With a Jeep Wrangler

Being aware of any possibilities with Jeep Wranglers helps you to make better decisions when purchasing and driving these vehicles. Here are a couple of items to keep in mind.

Death Wobble

Jeep’s death wobble issue can occur on any Jeep Wrangler model at anytime. But 2015 – 2018 Wranglers are particularly susceptible to it. The name alone is enough to scare the daylights out of you. So let’s explore this intense shaking or wobbling phenomenon.

The death wobble happened to me when driving my Dodge Ram 3500 and Arctic Fox 990 truck camper through the Yukon Territory. You know how rough they are if you’ve driven these remote Canadian roads. And “rough” doesn’t even begin to describe it. During some sections, I slowed to 5-7 miles per hour.

I hit a sketchy patch at about 40 miles per hour when the truck started bucking like a wild bronco. Needless to say, I felt terrified. But I let off the gas and held as tightly to the steering wheel as possible. After about thirty seconds, the rolling earthquake subsided. But I was still pretty shaken.

Thankfully, that’s my only experience with the death wobble. But some Jeep Wranglers tend to experience it more often. The steering wheel moved side to side so fast that, at first, it threw my hands off. Then it felt like the whole truck would shake apart. I later learned that it usually happens when you’re going around 40 mph or more and you hit a pothole (or frost heave, in my case.)

Some typical causes of death wobble causes are

  • Front Track Bar 
  • Ball Joints
  • Steering Stabilizer
  • Relocation Brackets
  • Wheel Bearings and Steering Box

Consistently maintaining your Jeep Wrangler reduces the risk of death wobble. But if you experience it, a trained professional can help troubleshoot the cause.

Trailer Sway Control

Here’s another reminder when towing a travel trailer or any trailer type is the potential for trailer sway. This dangerous situation happens when side forces on the trailer transfer to the tow vehicle. When this issue occurs, you could lose control of both vehicles.

Trailer sway happens easier when the towing vehicle is lighter. And since Wranglers have short wheelbases and light vehicle weights, swaying happens more often. But how do you know when it is regular movement or sway?

Towing any trailer equates to some motion, especially on bumpy roads. But trailer sway is more persistent side-to-side jarring. If you feel it, stop accelerating. As you slow, you can begin gently tapping your breaks. But don’t slam on them because that could result in overturning.

Some trailer sway causes include

  • Tight Turns
  • High Driving Speeds
  • Improper Weight Placement and Distribution
  • Low Tire Air Pressure
  • Crosswinds

Of course, other conditions could also cause your trailer to start swaying. Something as simple as a semi-truck passing you could set it off. However, being aware of the issue and learning how to correct it is paramount.

This short video demonstrates trailer sway in comparison to the trailer’s tongue weight and load placement. It’s an excellent visual for quickly understanding the dangers of trailer sway. And it shows proper loading techniques to reduce the sway.

Equipment Needed For Jeep Towing

Once you determine that your Jeep Wrangler tow capacity works well with your travel trailer, what equipment do you need?

Towing Hitch Receiver

Receiver hitches are the most common trailer hitch type. And the two terms are often interchangeable. This type of hitch bolts to your vehicle’s underside. It’s the tube where you attach a ball mount. They are designed specifically for individual Jeeps or trucks and come in five classifications.

You might also hear them called tow hitches. And that’s another name for a receiver or trailer hitch. Again, they are designed for specific vehicles, uses, and weight capacities.

Ball Mount, Pin, And Clip

The ball mount is an accessory for the receiver hitch. It has a shank that fits inside the hitch and a platform for the trailer ball. This is one of the most common parts of the trailer hitch assembly. And the ball mount comes in different styles and weight capacities. Some are adjustable. But others are made from a single, fixed piece. They come with a shank hole for securing a pin or clip to lock the ball in place.

Ball mounts are sometimes called ball hitches. The latter is also an accessory to your receiver hitch. But it is a ball mount with a pre-attached or “loaded” trailer ball. Rather than just the platform and hole, a ball hitch has a pre-welded trailer ball in place.

Trailer Hitch Ball

Trailer balls (or hitch balls) come in standardized sizes. So you can easily find the proper connection to your trailer coupler. Hitch balls provide the connection point between your trailer and towing vehicle. It is a metal ball on a threaded stem or shank. The ball shape lets you turn corners smoothly. It also provides smoother transitions on bumpy roads and hilly landscapes.

Some trailer balls get fastened in place with pins, clips, or a nut and washer combo. Some people opt for a locking pin to deter theft. Other ball systems are welded directly in place.

Wiring Harness

The trailer wiring harness is one of the most essential parts of the towing process. This length of wire connects the vehicle’s wiring system to the trailer. The harness integrates with your Jeep’s existing wiring through a standard connector. Four-way flat plugs are common connectors.

The wiring harness’ job is to provide power to the tow vehicle. It also synchronizes the trailer’s lights to your Wrangler’s tail and brake lights.

Other Considerations

The final equipment considerations to make your Wrangler tow-ready consist of vehicle modifications you may already have. For example, Jeep suggests an enhanced cooling system and a heavy-duty alternator. And some recommendations include a heavy-duty battery as well. So, if you’re buying a new Wrangler, let the dealer know what you’d like to tow. Then they’ll ensure you have the correct engine power and electrical setup.

You also want to have a full-size spare tire when towing a trailer. Having a backup that can get you safely on your way makes good sense.

Where To Find Legit Jeep Towing Packages

Authorized Jeep dealers and retail centers will help you find the parts for after-market Jeep towing packages. Give your local dealer a call. And provide your Wrangler’s VIN so the parts department can quickly look up your specifics.

Before getting service, verify that the dealer will upgrade your battery and alternator. Some will only add the hitch and wiring harness. But you need the upgraded electrical components too.

Final Thoughts: Jeep Wrangler Towing Capacity

A general rule of thumb for how much towing capacity a Jeep Wrangler has is easy to remember. Two-door Jeeps can tow 2,000 pounds. And four-wheel Jeep Wranglers can tow 3,500 pounds (up to 5,000 in some 2024 models.)

Both two- and four-door Wranglers need a towing package with a strengthened engine and electrical system. So check with your local dealer for a new setup or an aftermarket one.

And if you’re looking for any other tip or guides on RVing, check out our comprehensive list!

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AUTHOR

Noelle bought a camper van in 2019 and lived in it for the summer while hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail. That’s when she discovered a love for RV life. So when her husband suggested trading the van for full-time truck camper living, she jumped at the opportunity. When she’s not enjoying views out the back door, she’s planning new routes for exploring.

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