Towing with a 2 Door JL

BigAl

Expedition Leader
I'm considering down sizing from my 5.7 Tundra. The 2 door JL is very appealing to me. 5 - 10 times per years, I tow a 6x12 utility trailer, ~15 miles on 2 lane county roads, hauling a UTV with plow. This is always in bad weather. This set up weighs ~2200lbs.

Once per year, I tow the same 15 mile road hauling a 2900lb cargo trailer (6 x 10). I know what Jeep says about towing capacity. I like to hear from 2 door JK/JL owners. How does your jeep tow at or above max rating?

Otherwise I don't really tow
 
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jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Towing 2000 lbs. in a 2-door JK is not fun. Towing more is ill-advised.

Dealing with it once each year for a short distance wouldn’t be too big of a deal though.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
I realized that I misread your post OP, so I'll clarify a little bit.

I've owned a 2-door JK for 11 years and done a bit of towing with several small trailers. Keep in mind I have the "first-gen" 3.8 liter JK motor that is notorious for being gutless. The 3.6 Pentastar engines do better when it comes to power.

With 4:10 gears and an automatic my Jeep has an official tow limit of 2000 lbs. Pulling a 1900 lbs. camp trailer was downright unpleasant. Overdrive must be turned off because you won't reach 50 MPH with it on. It took all she had to go 65 MPH on flats in 3rd gear and going up a hill meant 45 MPH max in 2nd gear with RPM near redline. Going over a pass was a chore. Spooky, embarrassing, slow, and dangerous.

Then there is tongue weight. My JK has a 200 lbs. limit with pretty much limits you to a 1900 lbs. trailer (if you want to stick with best practices). A 3000 lbs. trailer is going to put you at ~300 lbs. on the tongue...which is going to really pull the weight off of your front tires due to the short wheel base. Steering on winter roads will be seriously dangerous.

I wouldn't try to tow 2200 lbs, much less 2900 lbs. in a 2-door JK during spring, summer, or fall. In winter I would not tow at all.

A JL might have slightly different specs, but I'll be the HP and wheelbase is nearly identical to a JK. You will of course run into several people that say, "I have a 2-door and I tow 6000 lbs. boats all the time, blah, blah, blah.". They are either lying or stupid. And dangerous.

Will a 2-door Jeep pull a ton+? Yup.

Will you want to do it more than once? Nope.

Buy a 4-door JL man. Problem solved! Higher tow rating and longer wheelbase. There are also a lot more options for you out there for "Overlanding" goodies if you have a 4-door.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
With the V6, 2 door you are limited to2000pounds... Legally.

I tow 2000 pound 12000 miles a year in the mountains with TJR... No issues it is a fabulous tow vehicle.
I have also hauled 3500 pounds to the dump, short haul, no highway driving, it handles the load fine if you can dodge the DOT guys.

image.jpeg

Here is the 3500 pound load, this photo is on the Mirage Trailer website.
image.jpeg

Don't listen to the naysayers, the two door wrangler is a fabulous tow vehicle. We have driven 2000 miles with the cargo trailer in 4 days from Yellowknife, NWT to Denver, CO and back, twice. It had no issue cruising at 75mph on the US Interstate highways.
 
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jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
the two door wrangler is a fabulous tow vehicle.
I'm gonna have to go ahead and kinda disagree with ya there. :)

A 2-door Wrangler is not a fabulous tow vehicle. Doesn't matter what year it is or what engine it has. A 2007 2-door JK auto with 3.73 gears is rated "legally" at 1000 lbs. max. 4:10s bumped it up to 2K. Not sure what gears the OP has and I'm not sure what, if anything has changed with JL ratings. 2200 lbs. is do-able. 2900 lbs. is nuts.

When you were pulling your trailer at 75 MPH, how much did it weigh that day?

You are advising the OP that a 2-door Jeep is a fabulous vehicle in which to tow more weight than his short wheel-based vehicle is rated for in bad weather while dodging the DOT guys a dozen times each year.

If you were legally responsible for this advice....would you still give it?
 
I don’t own a 2 debut I do own a jlur and did owna 2008 jkur it had 315 70 17 automatic and 410 gears I towed our fully loaded 17 ft tent trailer some 2500 miles up highway. 1 in California through the redwoods over to th101 and into Oregon and back to San Diego the trailer weighed in at 3300 I had 127000 on it at the time Going up hills was slow 45 to 55 depending on th steepness. I did not run near red line on the flat it was fine could easily do 75 actually had to watch my speed. The jl makes100hp more and 85 lbs torque more has a much stronger 8sp trans I say this to illustrate the power ratings are the same for the 2dr so it could easily handle the weight you are looking at. Buy the. Jl you’ll be happy 😃 it will handle it. Tow ratings involve a lot more than just power wheel base vehicle weight are just factors the limit to the Jl is not the power
 

Blue Baby Sound

Adventurer
2016-2018 2 door JKs had the same tow weight rating as a 4 door, depending on gears it was between 2000 and 3500 pounds. Although the 2 door frontal area rating was a bit less. Since the introduction of the JL the 2 door is back down to 2000 and the 4 door remains at 3500. So from a "legal" standpoint a 16, 17 or 18 JK with 3.73 or 4.10 gears would keep you legal.
FWIW here's a link to all years JK owner's manual tow specs I put together on another forum (hope that's allowed) LINK

As far as experience, we've towed a 6x10 trailer with JKs since 2013, all with 3.73+ gears. Thru the years I've concluded that I despise Jeeps for towing (we're on our 4th JK) So now I keep an old Ford truck for the few occasions we tow.
That said, IMO if you keep your speed down, drive smart you'll be fine in the conditions described.
 
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BigAl

Expedition Leader
Thanks for all the input. I had a hunch that that towing 2200lbs would be possible. As I said, this would only be to haul my utv/plow system from my home to my business, on 45 mph roads. Unfortunately the roads are always bad when I need to plow. For the one special event each year where at I need the 2900 cargo trailer, I can rent a u-haul truck. I was never concerned about the power needed, as there are no mountains to cross. I was concerned that the trailer would push the jeep and be hard to stop/control. JLU is not an option. I live in the sticks, so DOT is not a concern.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Thanks for all the input. I had a hunch that that towing 2200lbs would be possible. As I said, this would only be to haul my utv/plow system from my home to my business, on 45 mph roads. Unfortunately the roads are always bad when I need to plow. For the one special event each year where at I need the 2900 cargo trailer, I can rent a u-haul truck. I was never concerned about the power needed, as there are no mountains to cross. I was concerned that the trailer would push the jeep and be hard to stop/control. JLU is not an option. I live in the sticks, so DOT is not a concern.
The thing that makes a 2-door feel spooky is weight in the rear (from tongue weight or gear in the rear). I have a lot of experience with attempting to mitigate this.

A set of air bags in the rear springs will help a bunch and make it feel more or less normal again. This combined with a set of good studded tires would probably take the "pucker factor" out of towing on winter roads. If you are really going to keep it to 45 MPH then the 2900 lbs. trailer might not be a problem either.

Taking off the rear tire would gain you 70 to 100 lbs. of tongue weight too.

That's what they do in Europe. 5% tongue weight and towing is limited to 45 MPH. This allows their "legal" tow rating for the same cars to be 1 or 2 thousand lbs. higher than ours.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
My Volkswagen Golf towed 1800lbs @ 80mph way better than my stock TJ did 1200lbs at 50mph.. thats my only point of reference for towing w/a wrangler, I did it once and then never again.. at my altitude I was just beating a dead horse.
 

MOguy

Explorer
I'm considering down sizing from my 5.7 Tundra. The 2 door JL is very appealing to me. 5 - 10 times per years, I tow a 6x12 utility trailer, ~15 miles on 2 lane county roads, hauling a UTV with plow. This is always in bad weather. This set up weighs ~2200lbs.

Once per year, I tow the same 15 mile road hauling a 2900lb cargo trailer (6 x 10). I know what Jeep says about towing capacity. I like to hear from 2 door JK/JL owners. How does your jeep tow at or above max rating?

Otherwise I don't really tow
How you load the trailer as important.

I towed about that much in my TJ (lifted, 35s, 4.56 gears) from CA to MO in a 6X12 covered cargo trailer. I am not saying anybody should do it, I am just saying I did it. I towed the same trailer, with less weight, in my 01 grand (stock with 5K limit) for a shorter distance. The Grand did not tow NEARLY as well as the TJ even though it was rated to tow more.

I tow the set up below on a regular basis with my TJ. It has no issue with it but it isn't that much weight.
trailer.jpg
 
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(none)

Adventurer
Do you know how to drive with a trailer, and drive sanely? Is your trailer set up correctly? Then you'll be just fine. A 2dr wrangler is not a 1 ton truck, so do not plan to drive it like one.

I've had 2 2Dr JK rubicons, both manual transmissions. 1st had the 3.8 and completely stock, 2nd had the 3.6 with 4.88s and 35s. Both pulled a trailer just fine. I pulled the most miles and weight with the 3,6l on 35s. Pulled a "half pickup" Ford ranger bed trailer loaded with stuff from Georgia to Colorado, all over colorado then back to Georgia. It pulled a 5x8 uhaul trailer with motorcycles and junk from Ohio to georgia. Might've even pulled a BMW 525i on a dolly a short distance. Was it the best tow vehicle ever? of course not. But it towed just fine around that 2000-2500# area with a properly set up trailer.

For what you are planning to do, i would not have a problem with it. Just be mindful of what you are doing and act accordingly.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
You are advising the OP that a 2-door Jeep is a fabulous vehicle in which to tow more weight than his short wheel-based vehicle is rated for in bad weather while dodging the DOT guys a dozen times each year.
You didn't read what I said, I NEVER advised anyone to do it, only that at low speeds it is capable of moving much more than the rated load...... on this forum, there are daily posts of guys exceeding the GVWR with their pickups and travelling overland to boot.

I used my short wheelbase TJ to park my neighbours travel trailer every year under the shed..... the tongue weight was a bit high but at under 5mph for a block it had no problems. And the short wheelbase TJ was the only way to maneuver it in.
IMG_0889.jpeg
 
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