For a long time, Jeep Wrangler has been known for its capability, particularly when it comes to heading off-road and traversing the rugged terrains.
Now, while breaking new ground and discovering new destinations is certainly an adventure itself, sometimes you want to bring along other toys with you.
As far as power is concerned, Jeep Wrangler is certainly not one of the most powerful towing machines. In any case, they cannot compete against full-sized trucks such as an F-150 or a Ram 1500, but they’re sufficient enough to handle various tows, including campers.
So, yes, the answer to whether a Jeep Wrangler can pull a camper is affirmative. However, how much you can pull with a Jeep Wrangler ultimately depends on the body style and camper.
Remember that not all Wranglers are made the same. In particular, if you’re planning to tow a camper with a TJ, or even the popular YJ, then you must be sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew.
Camper Towing Capacity of a Jeep
On average, the towing capacity of a Jeep Wrangler is 2,000 pounds. This is particularly common with the two-door variant models.
As such, it makes the 2-door variants suitable for the small to medium campers. Adding two more doors will give you more to work with; generally, the four-door Wrangler variants jump to a 3,500-pound towing capacity.
Therefore, models such as the JKU and Jeep LJ will provide you with more towing capacity than the two-door variants.
Nonetheless, we can agree that 2,000 pounds are still an incredible benchmark to remember. Now, of course, there are plenty of anecdotal claims of people towing beyond the recommended factory limit. Sure, a Wrangler will pull a camper that is substantially higher than they’re rated to pull, but by no means do I condone exceeding the manufacturer’s suggestion.
It’s possible, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. A couple of pounds beyond the stated weight limit should not be much of an issue, but several hundred pounds will seriously affect the performance of your wrangler.
When determining whether your Jeep can tow a camper or for any case tow load, ensure that the weight limit of the camper is below the recommended towing limit of your Jeep.
This way, you can safely rely on your Jeep to tow a camper without any issues arising.
What Determines Camper Towing Capacity of a Jeep?
For starters, the towing capacity of a Jeep Wrangler will depend on the proper hitch, as well as the ball set up. Both of these components will effectively determine you easily; you will tow your camper.
Next in line is wind resistance. It’s a shame that many drivers don’t account for wind resistance when towing their campers, but understandably, few of them know about this.
See, a majority of the campers are quite light for their size. However, pulling a camper is akin to pulling a giant sailboat behind your vehicle at speed.
While it doesn’t seem like in the grand scheme of things, even a 200-300hp Jeep would have any trouble fighting air. Think of what it feels when you stick your hands in the window at 60mph.
This can easily be a good 10 pounds of resistance or more. While the above figures are by no means scientific or accurate, they will give you a decent idea of what your Jeep Wrangler is always against when towing a camper.
The final component that will determine whether your jeep wrangler unlimited towing capability can tow a camper, is weight (Dry/loaded) The dry weight is the actual weight of your camper, while the loaded weight, like its name suggests, is the weight of your camper when it gets loaded with water, fuel, generators, and the essential supplies.
For instance, your camper might be weighing 2,000 pounds, which is the weight limit of your TJ, but by loading other components, you’ll realize that the overall weight of the camper surpasses your Wrangler’s weight limit.
The good thing with a majority of the campers is that they offer a spec sheet highlighting their dry weight, and maximum load that the camper can carry. So, to figure out how much your camper is going to weigh when fully loaded, you’ll need to;
- Grab all your essentials and weigh them on an industrial scale.
- Take the water capacity of your camper and multiply the figure by the number of gallons to determine how much your camper will weigh
- Take the fuel capacity of your generator and multiple it by the number of gallons. Take all the above figures and add them to the dry weight of your camper. This will give you a general idea of the overall weight of your camper.
You can then compare this weight against the weight limit of your Jeep and see whether it’s below or it surpasses the weight limit.
As we had mentioned earlier, most of the campers are light relative to their size, and you’ll realize that a majority of the camper trailers fall below the 3,500-pound capacity.
The Airstream models, in particular, such as the popular Airstream Bambi, have a maximum loaded capacity of 3,500 pounds. Therefore, it means that the four-door variants are capable of towing a loaded Bambi camper.
What Happens If You Exceed Your Wrangler’s Camper Towing Capacity
The reality is it’s not uncommon for Jeep owners to max out their towing rigs and exceed it. We caution against doing this as it can result in a myriad of issues.
Wear and Tear
A prominent risk of over maxing your Wrangler’s tow ability is massive wear and tear. The suspension components will wear out at a faster rate, ultimately resulting in unsafe road behavior.
This is not to mention they’re expensive to repair. Generally, towing is always hard on engines, and maxing your Jeep will result in a host of mechanical issues such as overheating, blown radiators, and faulty transmissions.
On the Road Risks
Maxing your Jeep will result in several dangerous road conditions such as reduced stopping times, fishtailing, or even loss of control.
So, can a Jeep Wrangler tow a camper? The answer is yes. However, if you really care about your Jeep, you must be willing to keep the proper towing capacity.
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