Everything You Need To Know About Jeep Wrangler Towing

A lot of people expect most Jeeps to be capable of nothing but offroading. And to be fair, most of the time that’s exactly how they’re marketed. Most people want a Jeep to go places you can’t otherwise. But that doesn’t leave much room for towing attention. Especially since most Jeep Wranglers can actually tow quite a bit. In this article about Jeep Wrangler Towing, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about a Wrangler’s capabilities (based on each model of course), how to actually tow, and how trailers work.

First thing’s first, let’s discuss the actual capabilities of each Wrangler style. The first being the 2 door Wrangler, or to be more specific, the JL Wrangler. As of the 2018 model year, the JL Wrangler is able to tow up to 2000 pounds. The 4 door models, however, are able to tow up to 3500 pounds. The manufacturers behind Jeep have made it quite clear that these numbers stay the same regardless of engine type, transmission type, or trim type. Before we get into more of the details, we would like to point out that each weight rating is the total being pulled behind the Jeep. You’d be surprised to see how many people don’t include the weight of the trailer. Most trailers weigh anywhere from 700 pounds to 1500 pounds. Heavy-duty trailers can weigh up to 3000 pounds all on their own. So if you have a tractor that weighs 2000 pounds and a trailer that weighs 1500, you’re already at your max towing capacity.

In the truck community, a lot of owners laugh at these numbers. You can get the same tow rating from a modest-sized SUV. But what sets Jeep apart is of course their fantastic off-road capabilities. It’s remarkable that even with all of the specialized parts and equipment on board, you can still pull that much weight. Most trucks and SUVs that can pull significantly more than the Jeep Wrangler are all specifically designed for such a task. The Jeep Wrangler, as mentioned, is not. Combining towing with offroading is quite a difficult task. One that Toyota alone has mastered, with their Toyota Tacoma. But even then, other mid-size trucks can pull more. Examples being the Ford Ranger and Honda Ridgeline.

Now that we’ve discussed tow ratings, let’s talk about payload ratings and what they actually mean. A payload rating is how much weight you can have in the vehicle (or on top of it) at one time. This number includes the weight of your passengers and you, your gear, and anything else that may be in the car. Most Jeep Wranglers have a payload capacity of about 700 to 1000 pounds depending on trim and engine type. One important thing related to towing that you need to remember is that the tongue weight overlaps into payload capacity. Part of the trailer is putting weight on your trailer hitch, which according to the manufacturer, must be included when calculating payload capacity.

So how do you tow a trailer? Well, first of all, get something to tow! Let’s say you have a boat and a boat trailer. In order to tow this boat, you’ll need to of course check out the specifications for the boat and trailer, and see if your Jeep can tow them. Next, you’ll need a hitch receiver that is compatible with the trailer mount. Next, get yourself a hitch with a pre-mounted hitch ball to make things easy. Simply slide the hitch into your hitch receiver, and slide a safety pin in to secure it (most hitches will come with the safety pin). You’ll then need to attack the chains from the trailer to your vehicle’s specified points. 

Once you’ve gotten the hitch all sorted out, plug the trailer light harness into your vehicle’s specified port. Most Jeep Wranglers come with one straight out of the factory, but some models do not. You can get one installed by a company like UHaul or a local mechanic shop. For more information on how to tow a trailer with a Jeep Wrangler, feel free to contact us. We also recommend you refer to your owner’s manual as much as possible.