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. Not all Wranglers have the same towing capacity though. If you are planning on towing something in a YJ, or even a TJ, then be sure you're 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 YJ Wrangler 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 a
classic Wrangler, as eager to tear up the trails as any other Jeep.
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 TJ Wrangler Tow?
Made from 1996 to 2006, the TJ Wrangler screams "Jeep" like no other. 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 of 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. The LJ can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is a serious boost up from the base TJ rating.
How Much Can a JK Wrangler 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 compares favorably 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 JL Wrangler 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.
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
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.
Sources: Jeep Wrangler Specs, Jeep | Jeep Gladiator Specs, Jeep| How Much Towing Capacity Do I Really Need?, U.S. News Image Credit: TreLost 4X4 |
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