The Jeep Wrangler Can Tow More Than Ever—There’s Just One Problem

The Jeep Wrangler Can Tow More Than Ever—There's Just One Problem
The 2024 Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity is as much as 5000 pounds—if you can manage to hook up a trailer.

The four-door Jeep Wrangler looks like it could pull a trailer on paper. After all, it’s a body-on-frame truck with strong wheels and a range of strong engines. But until the 2023 model year, the Wrangler could never pull more than 3,500 pounds, which is about the same as a mid-size SUV. It’s because the suspension is set up to be flexible off-road rather than stiff for pulling a trailer. But with the new full-floating rear axle in the 2024 Rubicon models, Jeep was able to give some powertrains a tow value of 5,000 pounds. One problem is that the huge spare tire on the outside takes up the same room as a trailer tongue that connects to a hitch ball. This means that connecting a trailer can take some creative thinking.

A straight hitch and a two-inch ball leave only 2.5 inches between the extra tire and the top of the hitch ball. A sliding coupler might fit, but flip-up couplers will run into trouble long before the trailer is joined. What should I do?

You could try opening the tailgate about six inches on a light trailer. This will move the tire out of the way so you can move the coupler onto the hitch, but not so far that the trailer jack handle gets in the way of shutting the tailgate. Before you try this one, work on your deadlifts for about a month.

A drop hitch will move the hitch ball away from the tire even more. Another problem is that if you let your tongue drop too far, it will touch the ground and throw off the balance of the whole thing. Your safety chains may also spark in a cool way. On our 4xe tester, two inches of drop seemed like the right amount for a level trailer, but that wasn’t enough for a flip-up coupler without having to do the ramp dance.

The good news is that the Wrangler is a great tow vehicle once it’s hooked up. Some four-door Rubicons with the 3.6-liter V-6 or the 2.0-liter turbo four can tow up to 5,000 pounds. However, the 4xe with its 470 pound-feet of torque, which keeps its 3,500-pound rating, easily pulled a 3,200-pound tandem-axle enclosed trailer, even when the battery was fully charged.

While the Gladiator Max Tow can pull up to 7,700 pounds, the Wrangler is more than enough to carry the kinds of toys that go with the Wrangler lifestyle, like Jet Skis, small tents, and utility trailers full of rubber duckies to put on every other Wrangler you see. A drop hitch and a slide coupler are all you need. Alternatively, you should have good spatial thinking and a strong back.

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