Can A Jeep Wrangler Tow A Boat?

By Derrick •  Updated: 03/14/22 •  7 min read

The Jeep Wrangler is a magnificent all-terrain that can fulfill many functions; perhaps this quality is iconic. Most people consider the Jeep Wrangler to be one of the best off-road cars on the market. The Wrangler has so much power that owners often use it to tow tractors, trucks, and even medium-sized trailers. But what about boats, can the Jeep Wrangler tow boats too?

Satisfyingly, the simple answer is yes; the Jeep Wrangler can tow an average weight of approximately 2,000 pounds. However, the Unlimited model has an approximate towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. This towing capacity may vary depending on the model.

Jeep Wranglers are such powerful and unique vehicles that they are unmistakable. You can use them off-road; ideally, you can remove the doors and roof, and they are also great for towing. How good are Jeep Wranglers for towing boats? Please, stay with us; we will find out together in the following sections.

Can The Jeep Wrangler Tow Boats?

Although it may still seem incredible to you, we must say that the answer is yes. Jeep Wrangler has the capability and power to tow some fishing boats and other small craft with relative ease.

However, not all boats are within the Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity. For example, the two-door Jeep Wrangler will always have a lower towing capacity than the four-door Wrangler.

One way to know whether or not the Jeep Wrangler can tow a particular type of boat is to consider two key aspects:

  • The towing capacity of the Wrangler will depend on the model.
  • The average dry weight of the boat.

We must not overlook that we must add to the boat’s total weight the weight of the fuel tank. Additionally, we must also check if the boat has a freshwater container, affecting the total towing weight.

How Has The Jeep Wrangler’s Towing Capacity Evolved?

The evolution of the Jeep Wrangler over the years is not only limited to new models arriving or old models leaving the market. This evolution or change also impacts the towing capacity of the Wrangler. Not all Wrangler models can support the same weight, so we can find an average fluctuation in towing capacity ranging from 2,000 to 3,500 pounds or more. Let’s take a trip back in time to learn more about this fascinating subject.

The Jeep Wrangler YJ Model (1987-1995)

The first official Jeep Wrangler had an approximate towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. However, many owners of this model claimed that it was so powerful that it could handle up to 2,700 pounds of towing weight.

When we hear such claims, we should know that, although the hitch capacity is 3,000 pounds, experts do not recommend towing more than 2,000 pounds.

Jeep Wrangler TJ Model (1996-2006)

Like the Jeep YJ, the TJ model has the same 2,000-pound towing capacity. This fact received a lot of comments and criticism because the Jeep Cherokee, on the other hand, had a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The Cherokee model had the same engine as the TJ but more than twice the towing capacity.

As in the past, TJ owners tried to push the vehicle’s towing capacity beyond its limits but soon realized it was an impossible task. The reason was straightforward, the short wheelbase, unlike the Cherokee, whose wheelbase is considerably longer, allowing it to carry heavier weights.

The Jeep Wrangler LJ Model (2004-2006)

The Jeep LJ is what many people know as the “Long Jeep.” This short production model had a longer wheelbase than the TJ model, allowing it to have a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

The LJ was still far short of the Cherokee’s capacity; however, it was the first Jeep Wrangler to reach that towing capacity. It is fundamental to remember that due to the fragility of its chassis and low braking power, it is best to keep it under 3,000 pounds when towing.

Jeep Wrangler JK/JKU Model (2007-2017)

The JK model returned to a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds but simultaneously launched the JK Unlimited (JKU) model, which had a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

The Jeep Wrangler JL/JLU Model (2018-Present)

Like the JK/JKU models, the JL has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds with a short wheelbase. At the same time, the JKU has a 3,500-pound power with a longer wheelbase.

What Types Of Boats Can The Jeep Wrangler Tow?

The Jeep Wrangler can tow some types of boats depending on the capacity of the specific model of the vehicle. Although you can find boats in all kinds of shapes and sizes, it is important to know if the dry weight is within the towing capacity range provided by the manufacturer.

Ski Boats

Ski boats are pretty standard when we do recreational activities to get the most out of the water. People often use these boats in activities such as water skiing or tubing. This boat has different models and types that we can surely tow with the Jeep Wrangler.

Pontoon Boats

People use pontoon boats in different water activities. Some models can carry up to ten people, so family reunions are very popular.

You can also use this boat for skiing. If you are fond of fishing, the pontoon boat can give you much more stability than other boats, so you will avoid the oscillations that scare away the fish. The Jeep Wrangler can tow some models of this type of boat, which is incredible since there are pretty large pontoon boats.

Small Fishing Boats

Fishing is always one of the main reasons people want to tow a boat. If that is your intention and you have a Jeep Wrangler, you are in luck. Certain fishing boats are within the weight range that the Jeep Wrangler can tow.

Personal Watercraft (PWC)

Personal watercraft, known as PWCs, are among watercraft enthusiasts of the most popular recreational watercraft. Many experts do not consider them watercraft because they are much smaller than a boat. They are pretty light and are ideal for Jeep Wrangler towing without any problems.

Air Boats

The airboat is a unique type of boat that can be adapted to your weight needs, as it is a pneumatic boat. People typically use this boat to move around in swamps and low water areas.

If you live in an area with swamps or lakes that have low water levels, this boat is the best choice for your lifestyle. The average airboat weighs about 2,000 pounds; if we add the trailer, it could reach a total weight of 3,200 pounds, which means that it is a type of boat that falls within the towing range of some Jeep Wrangler models.


Not all Jeep Wranglers can tow a sailboat due to their weight. Experts recommend using four-door Jeep Wranglers with a 3,500 pounds or more towing capacity.

Some Safety Tips When Towing A Boat With The Jeep Wrangler

Although many safety tips may seem obvious, they are often the ones we overlook the most. Experts recommend creating a checklist so we don’t forget any of these essential tips.

  • Verify that the hitch pin and clip are secure and fastened.
  • Connect and check trailer lights.
  • Connect and check the trailer safety chains.
  • Connect and check that the hitch is locked correctly.
  • Verify that the trailer tires have no problems.
  • Check that the spare tire is fit for emergency use.
  • Check all straps on the trailer.
  • Tightly secure everything inside the boat.

A Final Thought On Towing Boats And The Jeep Wrangler

When we need to tow a boat, we can do it as long as we respect the limits of the Jeep Wrangler. The key is always to stay within the limits of the Jeep Wrangler model. It will also be helpful to check the condition of the trailer, such as lights, tires, and straps. With all these measures, we will enjoy a pleasant and safe ride.


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