The Jeep Wrangler’s rugged endurance and off-roading ability make it a hugely popular vehicle, especially for those who love to get off the beaten path. But, what if you want to bring more stuff with you than fits in the Jeep? What is the Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity?
Obviously, no one looks to a Wrangler to tow a fifth wheel. That’s a given. But what size travel trailer can a Wrangler enthusiast hook up and take camping? (And as an aside, will it tow your boat or utility trailer?)
Is the Wrangler a good choice for those who want to tow?
This post aims to find out! Let’s go!
- 1) Why Is the Jeep Wrangler so Popular?
- 2) What Is the Tow Capacity of a Jeep Wrangler?
- 3) What Can I Tow With a Jeep Wrangler?
- 4) Things to Be Aware of When Towing an RV With a Jeep Wrangler
- 5) Is the Jeep Wrangler a Good Option for You?
- 6) Free RVing Tips, Tricks, Reviews, Giveaways & More
Why Is the Jeep Wrangler so Popular?
The Jeep Wrangler has long been a popular contender in the new vehicle market, and it’s also one of the most popular used vehicles in the United States. Its iconic looks and respectable off-road capabilities have been the cornerstones of its undeniable popularity in many markets since its introduction in 1987.
Fast-forward to the most recent year-end data (2022), and not only is it still one of the most popular new and used cars out there, but the Jeep Wrangler 4xe happens to be the best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle in all of Canada, having beat out even the Toyota RAV4 Prime and the Prius Prime!
Despite its comparatively poor fuel economy and rougher on-road ride, the Wrangler corners several markets with its exceptionally loyal fan base.
Why so popular? Market experts attribute the Wrangler’s popularity to several factors, including its iconic appearance and undeniable ability to perform in off-road environments.
Its heritage as a former WWII vehicle (Willys MB) used by the U.S. Army (mostly because it was heavy duty, cheap, and capable of driving over any terrain), was the seed for its now longstanding reputation as an exceptional off-road vehicle.
Not only does four-wheel-drive come standard with every Jeep Wrangler model, but the Wrangler’s reputation as an off-road vehicle is pretty much unmatched by any other common vehicle on the market.
Indeed, it’s the off-road prowess of almost any Wrangler model that begs the question of its towing capabilities for campers.
What Is the Tow Capacity of a Jeep Wrangler?
This seemingly simple question can’t be answered with a single number. That’s because the “Jeep Wrangler” is a series of 4WD SUVs that spanned several decades. Each model of the Wrangler is a bit different.
Perhaps the wisest thing to remember when considering a Jeep Wrangler as a towing vehicle is that all Wranglers are classified as SUVs. Depending on the particular model, it could be a compact SUV or a mid-sized SUV, but a Jeep Wrangler is an SUV, no matter how you slice it.
So, the towing capacity of ANY Jeep Wrangler isn’t likely to be significant. In fact, the 2-door models can only tow up to 2,000 lbs.
If you buy a used Wrangler, your best bet is to research the exact tow capacity of that particular year & model and compare that with the weight of what you want to tow.
If you’re buying new at the time of the writing of this post, you’ll be looking at the 2022 and 2023 models of the Jeep Wrangler.
Tow Capacity of a 2022 Jeep Wrangler
Depending on the model, a 2022 Wrangler can tow anywhere from 2,000 to 3,500 lbs. That’s a bit of a difference across models/trims. So, here again, you’ll need to carefully research the particular trim level of the Wrangler you’re interested in to ensure it’s capable of towing whatever you want.
But here’s the generalized bottom line to keep in mind:
Most Jeep Wrangler 2-door models will tow up to 2,000 lbs, and the 4-door models will have a maximum tow capacity of 3,500 lbs. when properly equipped.
Note that 2,000 lbs. isn’t a lot of weight, especially when considering the camper’s weight PLUS that of the gear you need to bring along, including everything inside the Jeep and the camper.
Let’s use a teardrop trailer as an example since these are some of the smallest, lightest campers out there.
The weight of a teardrop camper runs the gamut from 500 lbs. to 3,000 lbs. or so, with the average teardrop coming in at around 1,500 lbs. Even that would be a close call for a 2-door Wrangler to tow, although many teardrops can be towed by a 4-door model.
But here again, you’d need to be sure to investigate the weight of the teardrop. Some of these tiny camper trailers have a GVWR of as much as 4,000 pounds.
Tow Capacity of a 2023 Jeep Wrangler
The newest model Jeep Wrangler (at the time of the writing of this post) is the 2023 Wrangler. According to the manufacturer (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, part of the Stellantis Group that owns 16 automotive brands including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat), the 2023 Jeep Wrangler can still only tow between 2,000 lbs. and 3,500 lbs. when properly equipped (i.e. depending on the powertrain and model).
The 2023 Wrangler, with its legendary 4×4 capabilities, offers 5 different engines options, so be sure to know what your specific combination can tow.
Transmission & drive systems offered in the 2023 models include Command-Trac 4×4, Selec-Trac 4×4, and Rock-Trac 4×4.
For 2023, the Jeep Wrangler is available with a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine. The 4-door model of the diesel will give you up to 3,500 lbs. of tow capacity.
You’ll find that the 2.0L Turbo and 3.6L Pentastar gas-powered V6 engines are only capable of 2,000 lbs of towing capacity in the 2-door models, but you’ll get up to 3,500-lb tow rating with the 4-door models.
So, again – the bottom line regarding the Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity boils down to the year, model, and trim you buy.
What Can I Tow With a Jeep Wrangler?
As we’ve seen, generally speaking, the Wrangler can’t tow all that much weight. Depending on its weight and your setup, you might be able to tow your boat or a utility trailer. But can you tow your RV? Maybe…if it’s a small one.
Clearly, with a Jeep Wrangler, you’ll be limited to campers like smaller travel trailers, pop-ups, teardrops, and maybe the lightest hybrid campers.
For example, if you plan to go off-road, you might want to check out our post on the lightweight-but-durable TAXA Trailers. They’re very small, made to go off-road and light enough to be towed by an SUV.
And as we mentioned in our post on the benefits of smaller RVs, little campers like pop-ups and teardrops are perfect for some travelers, with several that are light enough to be towed by a 2-door Jeep Wrangler (rated at 2,000 lbs tow capacity).
If you’re into going off-road with your Jeep Wrangler, you’re probably a camper who enjoys getting out to some fairly remote areas. This makes the smallest, lightest, most nimble travel trailers a good match for a Jeep Wrangler!
Things to Be Aware of When Towing an RV With a Jeep Wrangler
There are a couple of things we want to mention about Jeeps in particular.
This is the potential for the violent shaking commonly called the “Jeep death wobble.” You can read our post on Jeep death wobble for much more information, but it’s good to be aware of the potential for this issue to develop, given the right circumstances.
In short, while any Jeep can become susceptible to the aptly described “death wobble,” the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator are the two Jeep models with which this phenomenon has been described most frequently.
Does that mean that the “death wobble” is likely to be experienced by Jeep Wrangler drivers? Absolutely not. But the Wrangler is a vehicle about which this complaint has frequently been made.
With that noted, worn components such as control arms and suspension parts, tire inflation and balance issues, wheel alignment, and modifications (like suspension lifts, bigger tires, etc) increase the likelihood that one will experience death wobble in a Jeep.
And remember – a vehicle that’s made for going off-road could conceivably have components that wear (or loosen) sooner than vehicles that stick to the pavement.
Towing a Trailer
The second thing we want to mention is that whenever you tow any type of trailer, you can be subject to the potentially dangerous issue of trailer sway. This is a situation where side forces on the trailer get transmitted to the towing vehicle, potentially resulting in loss of control of both vehicles.
Since the Wrangler is a smaller, lighter, shorter wheel-base vehicle, it can be more susceptible to sway when towing a trailer.
However, there are very specific ways to mitigate the potential for trailer sway, and it’s important for anyone who tows any type of trailer to know how to do so. We suggest looking at our post on trailer sway control for these important details.
Is the Jeep Wrangler a Good Option for You?
As you can clearly see, it is if you only plan to tow a fairly small RV with it. But that’s likely fine for the type of rugged, off-road camping a Jeep Wrangler owner is likely interested in.
We’d love to hear from you if you tow a little RV with a Jeep Wrangler. Which year/model/trim of the Wrangler do you have, and what are you towing with it? Do you head off into the wild unknown, or are you a camper who enjoys commercial campgrounds?
Drop us a comment below!
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