A Tug of War: How Much Can a Jeep Wrangler Tow?

Jeep wranglers tow hook

If you got a new Jeep Wrangler and are curious to know what your 4×4 is capable of, you’ve come to the right place. New and potential owners of the vehicle tend to ask, “How much can a Jeep Wrangler tow?”

We want to help you understand the limits of your Wrangler to prevent it from possible damage, so we are here to answer this question!

Uses of Trailers

Trailers are helpful if you want to move heavy objects without paying for a transportation service. You can hook up a trailer to almost any car, granted that it can safely pull the trailer’s weight and anything that you put in it. Some common uses of trailers include transporting:

  • Furniture and home décor.
  • Vehicles that are not street-legal such as ATVs or dirt bikes to off-road trails.
  • Boats to water bodies.
  • Supplies to stores.

Towing capacity of a Jeep WranglerTowing Capacity Explained

The towing capacity of your Wrangler is determined using several complicated-sounding acronyms. Don’t worry; we’ll break these down for you so that you know just what to expect if you’re new to the world of vehicles!

Remember that usually, manufacturers state the load that your vehicle can carry, including the trailer. So if your trailer weighs 1,500 pounds and your vehicle is rated to carry 2,000 pounds, you can only add 500 pounds of weight to it.

Curb Weight and Dry Weight

Your vehicle’s total weight when it’s parked is its curb weight. Weight calculated without fuel is called the vehicle’s dry weight.

GVWR- The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum weight that your vehicle can safely carry, including the curb weight, passengers, fuel, and any additional cargo.

GCWR- Gross Combined Weight Ratings (GCWR) comprise of the maximum total weight that a vehicle can handle, including the loaded trailer’s weight.

GAWR- Maximum loads that a vehicle’s front and rear axles can bear give the Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWR) for a vehicle.

TW- The tongue weight signifies the maximum vertical load a trailer’s coupler can bear.

Choose Your Trim Carefully

Your maximum towing capacity varies depending on which variant of the Wrangler you own. A rule of thumb to follow is that 2-door variants of the 2021 Wrangler can tow up to 2,000 pounds, while 4-door models max out at 3,500 pounds of capacity.

The Capability of the Wrangler

With an average towing capacity, the Wrangler won’t be making any headlines with what it can haul; however, it can tow quite a few types of trailers. Get small and more aerodynamic trailers to avoid any issues with the vehicle’s balance and minimize drag.

What Does This Mean?

We have made a table for you that helps you understand your Jeep’s towing capacity in terms of cars. While most people won’t be using a Wrangler to tow a car, it is a good way of visualizing what your vehicle is capable of.

Car Name Weight (Lbs) 4 x 2 Tow 4 x 4 Tow
Mazda MX-5 Miata 2,332 No Yes
KIA Rio 2,410 No Yes
Honda Civic 2,762 No Yes
2019 Toyota 86 2,776 No Yes
VW Golf 2,851 No Yes
Mazda 3 3,100 No Yes
Toyota Camry 3,310 No Yes
Honda CR-V 3,337 No Yes
KIA Stinger 3,611 No No

*Figures may vary depending on the configuration.

The 4×2 variants have a lower towing capacity, so if you’re looking for something that can haul some serious loads, then you might want to consider getting the 4×4 Wrangler. However, you might be alright going for a 4×2 if you’re going to tow a light trailer. Since the power delivery of diesel engines is better than their gas-powered counterparts, you might want to consider which trim you want.

From our list of cars, the 4×2 configuration could not pull any cars that people in the US commonly drive.

The Competition

How much a Jeep Wrangler can tow is important, but knowing how much its competitors can tow is equally essential to consider while buying a new vehicle. These are other vehicles you might want to consider before you pull the trigger on the Wrangler:

Ford Bronco 2021

Similar to the Wrangler, the Bronco has a towing capacity of 2,000 or 3,500 pounds. With a longer wheelbase and an eye-catching design, the 2021 Bronco also boasts a more powerful 2.7L V6 engine for its top-tier model.

The Bronco has a newer and more powerful engine than anything available on the Wrangler while also being lighter in weight to improve power to weight figures. However, the Bronco does not have a diesel engine option like the Wrangler does.

Jeep Cherokee 2021

If you want to invest some extra cash in a Jeep, then upgrading to the Cherokee might be worthwhile. With towing configurations of 2,000 to 4,500 pounds depending on the trim you buy. The Cherokee is built for rugged off-roading but comes at the cost of having poor fuel efficiency and a high price tag that makes it a poor value.

Toyota 4Runner 2021

Foreign cars are delightful to drive, and the Toyota 4Runner is a solid contender in the mid-sized SUV market. With a higher price tag than the Jeep Wrangler, the 4Runner boasts a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds regardless of what trim you choose.

Have you ever heard that you just can’t kill a Toyota? Well, that’s because their vehicles are incredibly dependable, with the 4Runner outclassing the Wrangler by miles in terms of reliability.

Checklist When Hitting the Road

Are you satisfied with how much your Jeep Wrangler can tow after looking at the competitors? Well, then we have a few tips that can help you get the best experience while towing.

1. Check the Trailer Weight

Ensure that the trailer you get is light enough to allow you to load what you intend to transport without exceeding the towing capacity.

2. Trailers Need Maintenance

Regardless of what type of trailer you get, it needs maintenance. Check the tire pressure of your trailer to avoid difficulties while driving. Low air pressure can contribute to steering difficulties and cripples your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Ensure that you tighten the lug nuts on your towing vehicle and the trailer before you start driving.

Some trailers come equipped with brakes, so it’s a good idea to have them inspected before hitting the road.

3. Compatibility Matters

The size of the ball hitch on your vehicle’s tow hitch should match the trailer to avoid potential accidents.

4. Come Prepared

No matter how new or well-kept your trailer and vehicle are, tire blowouts can happen at any time. We recommend keeping a spare tire for your vehicle and your trailer to save yourself the pain of getting stranded at the side of the road while you try to get your hands on a spare.

5. Know Your Equipment

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be familiar with your vehicle’s handling when you attach a trailer to it. You need to account for the weight and the size of the trailer while braking, and making turns.

Driving on the right side of the highway is a great idea to ensure that you can use the shoulder to stop if something goes wrong.

Things to Consider

Whenever you are towing loads, ensure that you do not exceed the Gross Combined Weight Rating for your vehicle. Overloading your trailer or hitching heavy travel trailers like an Airstream is a safety risk for you and others on the road.

Overloading your vehicle leads to excess strain on the engine and causes it to heat up since the radiator is cannot cool it down. Hauling excessive loads can lead to added stress on your vehicle’s transmission, causing it to overheat and damage internal components such as the clutch.

Excess loads can also wear out your vehicle’s brakes faster, especially when traveling downhill., If you apply your brakes constantly while coasting downhill even under typical loads, your brakes can overheat and lock up, leading to accidents.

Overloading your vehicle can cause tires to burst while you’re driving, thereby causing accidents and possible damage. It can also make your vehicle scrape the road, which can damage your vehicle and the trailer.

Leaving Trails Behind

So how much CAN a Jeep Wrangler tow, and is it good enough? For most people, the Wrangler’s towing capacity of 2,000 to 3,500 pounds should be good enough. However, with the value that the Wrangler offers, it’s hard to recommend another vehicle in the same price range unless you have a particular set of requirements.

With a timeless design that dates back to the 1980s, the Wrangler offers excellent value for modders, off-road enthusiasts, and for people looking for a daily driver. Wranglers come with an affordable price tag, are incredibly rugged, and come with solid support for aftermarket parts that let you make your Jeep unique to what you want it to be.

What do you think? Have you used your Jeep Wrangler to haul loads? Let us know how it went for you! Feel free to reach out to us via email if you have any questions about the post.

Mark Anders

I love my Jeep and will share my years of knowledge with you here! Stay with me and read on!

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