How much can Jeep Wranglers tow?

Chris

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Despite their looks, Jeep Wranglers are some talented towers. Although they can't compete with the likes of a full-size truck like an F-150 or a Ram 1500, a Wrangler can tow plenty of things. That being said, not all Wranglers are made the same. If you are planning on towing something in a YJ, or even a TJ, then be sure you are not biting off more than you can chew.

On average, the towing capacity of a Jeep Wrangler is 2,000 lbs. Some models can tow more (especially four-door variants like the JKU and larger Wrangler models like the Jeep LJ), but 2,000 lbs. is a good benchmark to remember. Additionally, there are handfuls of anecdotal claims of people towing above the recommended factory limit. While this is certainly possible, towing isn't something that should be taken lightly. A couple of pounds over the stated limit isn't too much of an issue, but several hundred pounds over can seriously impact how your Wrangler handles. These claims can be helpful if you are only towing something a short distance on secure roads.

How much can a Jeep Wrangler CJ tow?
The Jeep YJ Wrangler is the first vehicle to officially bear the name "Wrangler." It was made from 1987 to 1995, and while it is a bit controversial to some (it's the only Wrangler with square headlights) it is still considered a classic Wrangler, as eager to tear up the trails as any other Jeep.

The YJ sets the tone for Wrangler towing capacities until the advent of the JK. The official towing capacity of a YJ Wrangler is 2,000 lbs, regardless of engine or transmission. The YJ is the only Wrangler to be equipped with a leaf spring suspension, giving the YJ some shared components with many heavy-duty trucks.

How much can a Jeep Wrangler TJ tow?
Then, there's the TJ Wrangler, the most eager and fun-loving Wrangler out there. Made from 1996 to 2006, this Wrangler screams "Jeep" like no other. The following Wrangler models are still great vehicles, but the TJ without a doubt has its finger (wheel) on the pulse of what makes Wranglers great.

The Jeep TJ doesn't change too much from the YJ in terms of towing capabilities. There are certain configurations that give the TJ a tow rating less than 2,000 lbs. With the 2.4L Power-Tech I-4 engine, and the four-speed automatic transmission, the maximum tow capacity for a Jeep TJ is 1,000 lbs. With the manual transmission and every configuration with the 4.0L Power Tech I-6, the maximum tow rating is 2,000 lbs.

The TJ was also the beginning of longer wheelbase Wranglers. While it was still limited to two doors, the TJU (or LJ) was a sign of things to come for the Wrangler line. From this point on, the larger, four-door models become the top sellers, making the traditional two-door Wranglers a comparative rarity. Regardless, the LJ can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is a serious boost up from the base TJ rating.

How much can a Jeep Wrangler JK tow?
The JK Wrangler, made from 2007-2018, set the stage for what a modern Wrangler truly is. It retained the rough and reliable performance of a Wrangler while continuing to refine the driving experience. At this point in Wrangler history, most vehicles sold are of the four-door variant.

The JK Wrangler sticks pretty close to the TJ's towing capacity as well. The two-door models can tow up to 2,000 lbs, and the four-doors can tow up to 3,500 lbs. This is exactly the same as the TJ's towing capacity.

Besides the option for an increased towing capacity on the JKU, all JK Wranglers came with the option of an additional tow package. This came with a larger alternator and battery, and a variety of programmable aux switches. So, while the strict capabilities of the JK Wrangler haven't objectively improved when compared to previous models, the act of towing on a JK is more straightforward.

How much can a Jeep Wrangler JL tow?
Unveiled in 2018, the JL Wrangler is the most recent iteration of the Jeep Wrangler line. This is the most modern Jeep yet, and it comes equipped with all of the technology you'd expect. Even though the JL has nicer interior options, a prominent infotainment screen, and plenty of extra safety tech, the JL Wrangler has not compromised any performance. The JL Rubicon is arguably one of the most capable Wranglers available from the factory.

Even though this is the current Jeep Wrangler, its towing capacity remains unchanged. The two-door JL Wranglers have a 2,000 lbs. tow rating while the JL Unlimited can tow up to 3,500 lbs. The Wrangler is such an iconic vehicle that it doesn't really need to change all that much. If you want the Wrangler experience and considerably more towing power, then you should check out the Jeep Gladiator which can tow up to 7,650 lbs.

Wrangler Towing Capacities Compared

Maximum Wrangler Towing Capacities
YJTJJKJLGladiator
2,000 lbs2,000 lbs3,500 lbs3,500 lbs7,650 lbs

To get an idea of what these numbers mean, here is a list of the approximate weights of some things that can be towed by a Jeep Wrangler. Keep in mind, there are many small trailers that you can put anything on that can easily be towed by a Jeep Wrangler. You're not going to be able to tow anything major with your Wrangler, but you can tow pretty much any implement of fun you can imagine.
  • ATV: 400-1,000 lbs.
  • Jet Ski: 500-1,200 lbs.
  • Small Camper: 500-1,000 lbs
  • Small Fishing Boat: 600-1,000 lbs.
 

billiebob

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The JK Wrangler sticks pretty close to the TJ's towing capacity as well. The two-door models can tow up to 2,000 lbs, and the four-doors can tow up to 3,500 lbs. This is exactly the same as the TJ's towing capacity.
JK 2000#
JKU with 3.21 ratio 2000#
JKU with 3.73 or 4.10 3500#
 

Oscar-Mike

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I towed 3,000# from my TJs 4.0L very carefully (not advisable if you do not have experience in towing)

I also towed the same trailer for my JK 3.6L easily done! So depends upon the skill of the driver I think.
 

billiebob

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I towed 3,000# from my TJs 4.0L very carefully (not advisable if you do not have experience in towing)

I also towed the same trailer for my JK 3.6L easily done! So depends upon the skill of the driver I think.
we are talking legal.... if you are involved in a fatal accident that over the limit trailer could bite you legally and financially. But I agree, if an LJ can tow 3500# surely a TJ with identical mechanical and frame could do it too.....

JK/JKU ??? are there any actual differences other than wheelbase and number of doors?

But legally the limits are...
 

Oscar-Mike

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They never mentioned and/or ask about legality.
and you don't understand, we live out in the boonies!
 

IndominusHuman

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we are talking legal.... if you are involved in a fatal accident that over the limit trailer could bite you legally and financially. But I agree, if an LJ can tow 3500# surely a TJ with identical mechanical and frame could do it too.....

JK/JKU ??? are there any actual differences other than wheelbase and number of doors?

But legally the limits are...
The wheelbase on the JK/JKU is what limits it. The shorter wheelbase doesn't have as much stability.

With our jeeps and towing its the risk of flipping it that is most dangerous I believe.
 

billiebob

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The wheelbase on the JK/JKU is what limits it. The shorter wheelbase doesn't have as much stability.

With our jeeps and towing its the risk of flipping it that is most dangerous I believe.
I just don't agree with the wheelbase/stability thing. You either know how to drive/tow or you should not be doing it. But agreed, longer wheelbases give the impression of greater stability.
But if you load it wrong ....

 

Oscar-Mike

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I just don't agree with the wheelbase/stability thing. You either know how to drive/tow or you should not be doing it. But agreed, longer wheelbases give the impression of greater stability.
But if you load it wrong ....

Billiebob I 100% agree with you on this.
You either know or you don't.
It's all about the driver who knows or who doesn't.
1581442715830.png
you cannot see but there is a Jeep in front towing it
1581442824761.png
 

IndominusHuman

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I just don't agree with the wheelbase/stability thing. You either know how to drive/tow or you should not be doing it. But agreed, longer wheelbases give the impression of greater stability.
But if you load it wrong ....

I was taking the human factor out of it. Talking purely what the machine can do.
 

shu2kill

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its not always about the pulling power, but the STOPPING power... jeeps lack gross weight to handle an emergency stop while towing a heavy load... i pull a 18ft bassboat with trailer brakes... when i disable the brakes, i can definitely notice it, and stopping takes a bit longer than without the boat... i have 4.10s, and i have pulled it for up to 3 hours without a problem, but i take extra time and leave enough space in front... i drive an auto, so a transmission fluid cooler was the first mod i put on my jeep...
 

IndominusHuman

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its not always about the pulling power, but the STOPPING power... jeeps lack gross weight to handle an emergency stop while towing a heavy load... i pull a 18ft bassboat with trailer brakes... when i disable the brakes, i can definitely notice it, and stopping takes a bit longer than without the boat... i have 4.10s, and i have pulled it for up to 3 hours without a problem, but i take extra time and leave enough space in front... i drive an auto, so a transmission fluid cooler was the first mod i put on my jeep...
I will add onto the stopping. It is my understanding that because of the Jk/JKU (more so the two door) wheelbase, the trailers, if too heavy, can push the vehicle and there is a greater chance of flipping. I am just a young gun though. I have room to learn.
 

shu2kill

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I will add onto the stopping. It is my understanding that because of the Jk/JKU (more so the two door) wheelbase, the trailers, if too heavy, can push the vehicle and there is a greater chance of flipping. I am just a young gun though. I have room to learn.
that´s correct.... shorter wheelbase, relatively lightweight vehicle, and heavy trailer, are a recipe for disaster... i know i wouldnt tow a heavy load without trailer brakes and extra caution...
 

billiebob

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Trailer brakes are a regulated thing. In California you must have trailer brakes at 1500#. In Alaska trailer brakes are not mandated til until 5000#. Every state has their own law.
 

Oscar-Mike

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90% is human factor and 10% is the equipment.
If you do not have the 90% - don't even try bec. you only have the 10% chance to succeed.
 
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Long time viewer of the site - first time posting (and joining). We pull an 18ft Starcraft Satellite with our 2015 JKU with no issues on relatively flat terrain along the east coast. We wouldn’t attempt giant hills or mountains but from Jersey to Maine was no issue (except for the gas mileage). Weight of the trailer not hauling any water is 3,000lbs. We put in a brake control and our hitch has sway bars which make maneuvering the trailer a piece of cake.