If you are an avid boater, camper or powersports enthusiast, the towing capacity of your vehicle is often something that is very important. If you don’t have a truck, this can sometimes be difficult. Jeep’s are a very popular vehicle today, and so if you own a Jeep Wrangler and are wondering about its towing capacity, this is the perfect article to find out.
Jeep Wrangler’s are meant more for outdoor exploration, and so they don’t have a particularly high towing capacity. There are 2 or 3 models that have a higher capacity due to their size, but Wranglers are typically a standard 2,000-pound weight capacity. There are some things you can do to increase this capacity a little, but it may take the assistance of a professional.
As you probably know, Jeep Wranglers have a few different model options. While some of the models have pretty much the same towing capabilities, some are higher. Jeep’s are not a very heavy vehicle, so it is often hard for them to handle things with much weight. While Jeep Wrangler 4-door model just tops 5,500 pounds, a 2-door Wrangler model only weighs just under 4,000 pounds.
In this article we are going to explore all the different models of Wrangler’s available and see which models feature a better towing capacity, and what each model can handle so you know what your Jeep is capable of.
Jeep Wrangler Sport:
The Jeep Wrangler Sport is the most basic model Jeep Wrangler you can buy. Offered in both 2-door and 4-door, this Jeep is the perfect choice for someone who wants to have a little fun off-road but also wants to use it as a daily vehicle. Even though this Jeep is basic, it features a 285-horsepower, 6,400-rpm engine and has the capability to tow a maximum of 2,000 pounds. This Jeep would be able to pull most small boats like Jon Boats, Skiffs, small Bass Boats, and even a smaller Pontoon.
Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited:
The Wrangler Sport Unlimited is much like the regular Sport, except it includes some extra luxuries along with 4 doors. With the same horsepower, rpm, torque, and torque rpm, the Sport Unlimited is a better option for those that like a little more than basic, and like the extra room. If you know you are going to be towing, the Unlimited is definitely going to be your better option as it features a 1,233-pound payload, and a 3,500-pound towing capacity. At this weight you can get away with towing Jon Boats, Skiff’s, Smaller Pontoons, a Small Sailboat, a Small Cuddy Cabin, and smaller Center Console Boats.
Jeep Wrangler Willy’s Wheeler:
The Willy’s Wheeler is an edition of the Wrangler that includes a larger set of tires and a few more technology upgrades. This Wrangler has the same exact specs otherwise of the sport, so it will only feature a 2,000-pound towing capacity
Jeep Wrangler Willy’s Wheeler W:
The Willy’s Wheeler W is the next step up from the regular Willy’s and features a little more high-tech additions like Power Heated Mirrors, Power Locks, 1-Touch Down Power Windows, Remote Keyless Entry and a Security alarm. It has the same engine specs as the regular Willy’s and has a tow capacity of 2,000 pounds.
MSRP: $32,822.00 USD
Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition:
The Wrangler Freedom Edition is a version of the regular sport that features all leather interior. So, the engine and the towing capacity is the same of the Wrangler Sport at 2,000 pounds.
MSRP: $34,190.00 USD
Jeep Wrangler Sahara:
The Sahara is probably the most spacious of all of the Wrangler models, so If you are like me and like to have some wiggle room inside your SUV, this is the model for you. Although it is bigger, it features the same engine specs as all the other models and it still only has a 2,000-pound towing capacity.
MSRP: $32,795.00 USD
Jeep Wrangler Sahara Altitude:
The difference with the Sahara Altitude is that you get a convertible hard top and you get the Command Trac 4WD system. The Sahara Altitude is a little heavier than the other Wranglers, so it actually sports a 3,500-pound towing capacity, which is more than its brother models.
MSRP: $41,940.00 USD
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon:
The Rubicon is the most popular Wrangler model for off-road adventurers because it offers a 4:1 Rock Trac Heavy Duty 4WD System that makes it an absolute beast when climbing and trailing through mud. The Rubicon features the same engine and towing capacity as the other models, despite it’s expert trail riding abilities. You will be able to tow 2,000 pounds maximum.
MSRP: $38,695.00 USD
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon:
The Rubicon Recon is the ultimate Wrangler for off-road adventures. With 33-inch tires and a 2.0L Turbo engine, this is the toughest Wrangler in the lineup. Being that it is centered on sport use, the Recon only features a 2,000-pound towing capacity.
MSRP: $43,450.00 USD
Jeep Wrangler North Edition:
The North Edition is a Wrangler model that is built for tackling all of the challenges of winter. From different tires to all weather floor mats, this 4-door wrangler is ready for the challenge. Because it is built a little heavier to stay put on that slippery ice, this Wrangler has the higher 3,500- pound towing capacity.
MSRP: $45,960.00 USD
What can I do to make my Wrangler tow more?
Although you won’t be able to dramatically increase your Wrangler’s towing capacity, there are some things that you can do to help push it a couple more hundred pounds.
The first thing you should check is your towing hitch. It doesn’t matter how much weight your Jeep can tow if your hitch can only handle a certain amount. You can only tow as much weight as the hitch supports. So, if you are reading your manual and see that your hitch towing capacity limit is lower than your Jeep’s towing capacity limit, you will need to buy a new hitch so you can tow up to your vehicle’s full potential.
A simpler option if you are just looking for a few extra pounds over your limit is to load the rear of your jeep with sandbags or gym weights.
Increase the width or your Wrangler is another good idea if you are pushing your towing limits. Because the load that you are towing can become unstable when it is wider than your vehicle, this is a good idea if you are planning to tow something over your limit.
Another thing you could do to increase your towing capacity is to update your brake system. Your vehicle will need to be able to stop all of the weight it is carrying, so if you make sure your brakes are top notch, and you install trailer brakes to your trailer, you may be able to get away with a few extra pounds.
You can try adding an aftermarket turbocharger or supercharger to add horsepower and torque, which will give it a little more strength to pull some more weight. Remember if you add this to also update your brake system. You need to be able to stop all of the weight that you are pulling.
The frame is an important factor when determining the tow load, so reinforcing it will certainly help you take on a larger load. You can weld reinforcements into the joints of the frame to make it much stronger.
The last option would be to have the axles re-geared. This is the hardest thing to do on your own and should be done by a professional if it is done at all. This is a great solution if you have a jeep model with a 2,000-pound towing capacity and want to switch it to the 3,500- pound capacity.
The Dangers of Towing too much
Overloading a trailer is the most common cause of towing accidents in the world, and that is why it is very important that you don’t push the limits. Even if you think a few extra pounds won’t matter much, it can. When a vehicle becomes overloaded with the amount of weight it needs to pull, the steering can become erratic. Another problem is that the vehicle will not be able to accelerate as it normally does. It is common knowledge to take it slow on acceleration when towing something, but even doing that may not be enough. The vehicle will struggle to accelerate and can cause engine overheating.
The brakes are probably the most affected problem of an overloaded towing capacity. You must be able to stop all of the weight you are carrying. Make sure that you have brakes installed on your trailer as well as your vehicle and this will help prevent this problem. You need to remember that you need to drive on a public road as you would normally, and that means hard brakes when someone pulls out in front of you, slowing down to a stop in time when approaching traffic, and slowing down for those sharp turns. Trailer sway is another dangerous mishap of an overloaded trailer. This is dangerous because you could be driving in a straight line but your trailer will start to sway side to side, which can cause an accident. It is very dangerous to push your towing limits and unless you have made upgrades to higher your capacity, make sure you are staying within your limits.
Although there are many different models of the Jeep Wrangler, they are all either 2,000 or 3,500- pound towing capacities. Make sure that you know what kind of towing you will potentially be doing when deciding on which Wrangler to purchase. If you already have a Wrangler and find yourself stuck with something that is over your towing limit, please do not attempt to tow it anyways. Take a note of the adjustments you need to make to your Wrangler, consider upgrading your Wrangler, or borrow a vehicle with a higher towing limit from a friend.
Wrangler’s are a lighter SUV and are not meant to tow astronomical amounts. If you know you are going to be towing things, a truck is obviously the better way to go. Still though, Jeep Wranglers have a pretty good towing limit for a small SUV and their 3,500 capacity models are especially great.
Remember to include the weight of the trailer when you are calculating your total tow weight. This is a commonly forgotten thing when people are towing and it causes a lot of towing accidents. A trailer is not just helping you pull an object, it has weight to it as well that will put a strain on your vehicle if you do not include it.