The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited comes across as one of the most versatile vehicles out there. It’s an outdoor toy in and of itself. The Unlimited options come with enough seats for the kids and you can tow things to take along on your adventures.
They seem like an outdoor person’s dream vehicle. But before you get too caught up in what they offer, take a more in-depth look into how much they can tow. The last thing you want is to hook up too much weight to your Wrangler Unlimited and get into an accident. Keep reading about Jeep Wrangler unlimited towing capacity.
Can a Jeep Wrangler Tow 5,000 Pounds?
No. Point blank, no – full stop – don’t try it. Never hook up 5,000 pounds to the back of a Jeep Wrangler. Modern Jeep Wranglers can only tow anywhere from 2,000 to 3,500 pounds depending on the model and package you choose.
If you’re looking to do a little more with a Jeep, the Jeep Gladiator is what you want. Fully upgraded, they can tow up to 7,650 pounds.
How Much Weight Can a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Pull?
If you’re purchasing a new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the answer to this question is always 3,500 pounds. However, if you’re asking for an older Wrangler Unlimited, the answer gets a bit more complicated.
That’s because the answer varies depending on the year, and it doesn’t always make a ton of sense. For example, a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. A 2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited has a towing capacity of 1,000 pounds.
Just a few years later, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited has either a 1,000-pound towing capacity or a 3,500-pound towing capacity. But jump forward to 2012, and they all have a 2,000-pound towing capacity.
Because it’s so convoluted and twisted, the best thing you can do to track down the towing capacity of your Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is to search for your specific model in the owner’s manual.
If you don’t know where your vehicle’s owner’s manual is, you can also check in the door jamb of your vehicle to find its towing capacity. As long as the sticker is still intact, the information is there.
Which Jeep Wrangler Has the Highest Towing Capacity?
Towing capacity is a tie between a bunch of different Jeep Wrangler Unlimited models. They have a towing capacity of 3,500-pounds, which is the highest amount you’ll find on a Jeep Wrangler.
However, make sure your Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has the towing package, and keep in mind that you can’t always tow 3,500-pounds even if your vehicle has a towing capacity that exceeds that weight.
Which Jeep Is Best for Towing?
Any four-door Jeep Wrangler, also known as the Wrangler Unlimited, is the best choice for towing. That’s because while 2-door Jeep Wranglers have a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, every newer Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
While the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the best Wrangler you can buy for towing vehicles, that doesn’t mean they’re particularly well equipped to tow vehicles. In fact, you’ll be better off with most SUVs or trucks.
How Do I Increase the Towing Capacity of My Jeep?
While you might think you can upgrade your Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity by throwing in a more powerful engine or slapping on a more durable hitch, the truth is that it’s not that simple.
That’s because your vehicle’s towing capacity is directly linked to three things. First, it’s the ability of both the engine and the transmission to handle the weight that you’re towing. While you can upgrade the engine in various ways, that doesn’t do a thing for the transmission.
The transmission can only handle a specific weight capacity with its final gear ratios. In a newer Jeep Wrangler Unlimited it’s a 3.73 ratio. In Jeep Wranglers with a lower-rated towing capacity, it’s 3.21. That 0.52 difference might not sound like much, but it’s the difference between a 2,000-pound towing capacity and a 3,500-pound towing capacity.
The only way to alter these gear ratios is to completely re-engineer or replace your transmission. From there, you’ll need to retune your ECM for the new ratios.
After you’ve ensured that both the engine and the transmission can handle the higher weight, you need to upgrade the brakes. This is usually pretty simple; adding larger brakes does the trick.
Finally, you need to consider the tongue weight of the trailer. You need enough downforce to handle the trailer’s weight, and it doesn’t matter what you upgrade if you’re not generating enough downforce.
If you decide to ignore this advice and get into an accident, you’re looking at more trouble than liability for an accident. Negligence is a likely result, and if the accident ends up killing someone, you can be convicted of negligent homicide which can carry a sentence of up to ten years in prison.
In short, if your vehicle can’t handle the tow weight, upgrade your vehicle, not the towing capacity. We know it’s a bummer, but that’s really the only way to tow safely.
How Does the Jeep Wrangler Compare to the New Ford Bronco?
It’s been common knowledge that Ford is rereleasing their iconic Bronco line, and it’s hard to look at it without comparing it to the Wrangler. But how does the towing capacity of the Ford Bronco compare to the Wrangler?
Well, the Wrangler comes across as the clear winner. While the base model Bronco’s towing capacity is identical to the base model Wranglers at 2,000 pounds – the Bronco can only get up to 2,205 pounds no matter which model you choose.
That’s almost 1,300 pounds less than the upgraded Wrangler Unlimited!
Factors That Affect Your Towing Capacity
Just because your Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has a 3,500-pound rating doesn’t mean you can throw a 3,500-pound trailer on the hitch and call it good. That’s because there are a few different considerations that you need to look into before you hook up your trailer.
The most important thing you need to consider when attaching your trailer is your current altitude. If you’re at sea level, you’re good to go, and the rated weight is how much your Jeep can handle. However, if you’re above sea level – or if you’re traveling somewhere above sea level – you need to adjust your load accordingly.
Gasoline engines lose between 3 to 4 percent of their power per 1,000-feet of elevation. Because of this, you need to reduce your trailer’s weight by 2 percent for every 1,000 feet of elevation.
So, for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a 3,500-pound towing capacity, you should take off 70-pounds per 1,000 feet of elevation. If you’re heading down the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, the highest elevation road in the continental United States, you need to take off a whopping 980 pounds to account for the elevation.
It might seem excessive, but the last thing you want is to lose control of your vehicle while you’re heading up or down a mountain.
Inclines Take a Toll
It’s harder to run up a hill than it is to run down one, right? Your vehicle’s engine experiences stress in the same way – sort of. That’s because while it taxes your engine and transmission more to pull a trailer up a steep incline, when you’re heading down, it taxes your brakes just as much.
If everything isn’t working the way it should or you are running close to your maximum towing capacity and you’re traveling up or down any steep inclines, you might run into trouble.
Allow for a Variance
While you’ll have your naysayers out there that claim you can tow right up to the maximum towing capacity, this is an outright dangerous rule to follow.
Road conditions change, you can get redirected to higher altitudes, or about a million other hiccups can throw a wrench in your travel plans.
While many companies tell you to allow for a 20 percent variance, if you take the time to map out your travel and look into everything else, a 10 percent variance should suffice.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Variations
If you’re interested in a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited you have tons of models to choose from. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has 13 different models ranging from $31,815 to $49,515.
While many of the changes between each model are cosmetic, there are a few different things you should be aware of with the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
First, they offer two different engine and transmission packages. They have a 6-speed manual transmission that gets paired with a 3.6L V6 engine, and an 8-speed automatic transmission that they combine with a turbocharged inline 4.
Let’s take a look at the three most popular Jeep Wrangler models – the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport, the Sahara, and the Rubicon.
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
While the regular Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport is the base model – they offer several upgraded versions of the Sport that offer you a few more of the premium features.
All of their models offer basic amenities like AC and heat, but you’ll have to purchase one of the upgraded versions for a heartier ABS system or power mirrors.
If all you’re looking for is a rugged outdoor vehicle the Unlimited Sport is a great choice, but if you want premium features you’ll have to upgrade.
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
One of the most impressive upgrades from the Sport to the Sahara is the power sliding roof. Instead of manually having to remove or reinstall the soft top, you can do it with the click of a button.
From there, you get an upgraded stereo system and a few other luxury features throughout. From automatic headlights to a full-time four-wheel-drive mode, it’s a little less “Jeep” and a little more modern automobile.
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
The Jeep Rubicon is an off-roading monster. You get true locking front and rear differentials, which come in handy as you try to navigate difficult terrain.
You’ll also get an upgraded stereo system and the option to upgrade to heated leather seats. Just because it’s an off-roading machine doesn’t mean it can’t have a little luxury!
The Jeep You Really Want to Tow With
While Jeep doesn’t make the most powerful towing vehicles out there, the Jeep Gladiator is by far their best choice. It has a towing capacity of up to 7,650 pounds, meaning you can easily hook up a travel trailer or a toy hauler and tow with confidence.
Even better, since you’re driving a Jeep your truck can act as an off-roading toy!
The Jeep Gladiator has two different engine models to choose from – their 3.6L V6 gasoline engine and the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6.
The 3.6L engine produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, in addition to the aforementioned 7,650-pound towing capacity.
In comparison, the 3.0L EcoDiesel produces 260 horsepower, 442 lb-ft of torque, and a 6,500-pound towing capacity.
So, while the gas engine might produce a little more power and a slightly higher towing capacity, the EcoDiesel is a torque monster compared to the 3.6L engine.
No matter which engine you choose you’re getting a phenomenal truck you can use to take your trailer or camper to the next campsite. And once you disconnect everything you can drive your truck to the trails and enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer!
The Final Pull
While you might be a little disappointed in your Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity, the good news is there are a lot of trailers out there that a Wrangler Unlimited can tow!
A tow capacity of 3,500 pounds might not sound like much at first, but as long as you’re not trying to tow full campers, you’ll have plenty of options for toy haulers or regular trailers!
Enjoy the open road and a sense of adventure in a Jeep Wrangler, and start your next big outdoor experience!