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Can Jeeps Tow Boats, Campers & Trailers? (21 Helpful Examples)

Jeeps are simply the best when it comes to offroading and enjoying the outdoors. It can also be said that Jeeps are the ultimate 4×4 vehicles. If you do happen to be an outdoor adventurer, you might wonder if Jeeps can haul other vehicles, campers, and boats.

These are heavy vehicles and add more weight for the Jeep to pull.

How Much Can Each Jeep Model Tow?

Jeep models are capable of towing capacities ranging from 1,000 pounds to 7,500 pounds. The Jeep Gladiator has the highest maximum towing capacity at about 7,700 pounds followed by the Jeep Commander at about 7,400 pounds.

The various Jeep models each have different towing capacities. It’s always best to check the service manual of a particular model before towing. This prevents damage to the Jeep in events where the trailer or camper being towed is over the max towing capacity.

Here’s a quick table with the various models together with their respective towing capacities.

Jeep Models Towing Capacity (in pounds)
Commander 3500 lbs; up to 7,400 lbs.
Compass Up to 2,000 lbs.
Grand Cherokee 3500 lbs; up to 7,200 lbs.
Liberty 2000 lbs; up to 5,000 lbs.
Patriot 1000 lbs; up to 3,500 lbs.
Wrangler 1000 lbs; up to 3,500 lbs
Wrangler Unlimited 1000 lbs; up to 3,500 lbs

From this information, we can tell that Jeeps aren’t suitable for towing heavy loads. This means that each model has to be checked before being used to tow other vehicles. The listed towing capacities can be found in a Jeep’s user manual together with extra safety information.

Other information would also include the maximum towing capacity of the Jeep. This maximum number is a no-go area for weights above it. So this means if the boat to be towed weighs above the maximum towing capacity of the vehicle, it must not be towed using that vehicle.

Some of these Jeeps have more powerful engines than others.

This means a bigger engine will result in more towing capacity. For example, a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 6.4-liter engine can tow capacities up to 7,200 pounds. That’s quite a significant number and it means the Grand Cherokee will easily pull boats and RV’s in that weight range. This is in the same range as the Jeep Gladiator, which is quite the workhorse and can tow up to 7,650 pounds.

For the outdoors, having a Jeep that can pull some weight is an added bonus. If a Jeep is capable of towing heavier vehicles, it means you have more options to bring along a bigger RV or even a boat.

Boats and campers are great additions when going for an outdoor adventure weekend. You can just hook up the trailer or your boat and you’re off to a great outdoor trip. Boats are great with outdoor weekends because going out to sea with a boat makes for an even grander outdoor experience.

Jeeps make this super simple because you can hook up the boat, get on the road, and be sailing within a couple of hours. When you think about it, this is what memorable weekends are made of.

But much like there are different Jeep models, there are also different types of boats with different weights.

How Big A Boat Can A Jeep Tow?

A Jeep Grand Cherokee has a maximum towing capacity of 7,200 pounds, allowing it to tow small fishing boats (1,800 lbs) and most ski-boats (3,500 lbs). It would not be suitable for speed boats that way around 8,000 lbs.

Boats come in all different sizes and designs, but what truly matters is the weight of the boat. If a Jeep is capable of towing capacities of up to 2,500 pounds, then hooking up a boat that weighs more than that is likely to hurt the Jeep.
An average speed boat weighs about 8,000 pounds, while a smaller fishing boat can go up to 1,800 pounds. So, a Jeep model such as the Wrangler which can handle towing capacities of up to 3,500 pounds, it wouldn’t be a good idea to tow such a speed boat.

Here’s a list with types of boats and average weights (dry).

Type Of Boat Average Weight
Sailboat 8,800 lbs
Speed Boat 8,000 lbs
Cabin Cruiser 8,700 lbs
Ski Boat 3,500 lbs
Small Fishing Boat 1,700 lbs

Towing weights that are above the maximum allowed towing capacity can mean big trouble for the Jeep. It can lead to mechanical problems and even complete engine failure. This can be avoided by simply checking the maximum towing capacity of the Jeep and how much the boat weighs.

But there’s limited information out there if you are looking to hook up your boat to the Jeep and get on the road. The boat might be too heavy for the Jeep and so you are left wondering if the Jeep can handle the weight.

Here’s a table with Jeeps models together with boat models they can tow.

Jeep Models Max Capacity Boat It Can Tow Boat Weight
Commander 7,400 Hurricane SunDeck 2690 (Deck boat) 4,475 lbs
Compass 2,000 Charger 210 Elite (Bass boat) 1,900 lbs.
Grand Cherokee 7,200  Malibu Wakesetter LSV23 (Ski boat) 3,400 lbs.
Liberty 5,000 Mastercraft Prostar 20 (Ski boat) 3,000 lbs.
Patriot 3,500 lbs Charger 210 Elite (Bass boat) 1,900 lbs.
Wrangler 3,500 lbs Four Winns H180 OB (Deck boat) 2,150 lbs.
Wrangler Unlimited 3,500 lbs NauticStar 193 SC Angler (Deck boat) 2,100 lbs

It’s a good idea to keep in mind that the maximum towing capacity of a Jeep also includes the weight of the trailer as well. The average weight of a trailer amounts to between 300 and 1,500 pounds depending on the size. This means that the weight of the trailer carrying the boat also has to be considered.

If a boat is 2,500 pounds and the trailer is 500 pounds, the total weight to be towed amounts to about 3,000 pounds. This automatically disqualifies Jeep models such as the Jeep Compass which has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds.

With all this said, boats aren’t the only vehicles that can you take out for your outdoor trip.

There are also recreational vehicles such as motorhomes and camper trailers. RV’s are great for those longer trips where you’ll need more space. The space in motor homes can be used to keep extra cargo or as a full-blown living space.

How Big A Camper Can A Jeep Tow?

The average dry weight of a camper is about 5,000 pounds, excluding any luggage or passengers. Both the Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee have a maximum towing capacity of over 5,000 pounds, allowing a typical camper to be towed.

Campers are a great addition to the outdoor adventurists’ experience. They allow more time to be spent out on the road without the need for hotels or amenities. This also saves quite a lot of money because when traveling for several days, you don’t spend on hotel and restaurant bills.

A typical camper weighs on average about 5,000 pounds. This automatically rules out Jeep models such as the Wrangler. The Wranglers only have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

The 5,000 pounds is also the dry weight of the camper without any water, luggage or passengers. To get a more realistic weight, it’s recommended to add about 1,500 pounds to that. This would then include extra weight such as liquids and cargo in the camper.

Here’s a list of some lightweight travel trailers that are compatible with Jeep models.

Jeep Models Max Capacity Camper Models It Can Tow Camper Weight
Commander 7,400 lbs Gulf Stream Vista Cruiser 4253 lbs
Compass 2,000 lbs KZ Sportsmen Classic 1937 lbs
Grand Cherokee 7,200 lbs Coachmen Clipper Ultra-Lite 4608 lbs
Liberty 5,000 lbs Palomino PaloMini 3866 lbs
Patriot 3,500 lbs Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro 3161 lbs
Wrangler 3,500 lbs Jayco Hummingbird 2990 lbs
Wrangler Unlimited 3,500 lbs Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro 3161 lbs

With these camper models, keep in mind that the weights are unloaded. This now means that you’d have to add some pounds when considering the cargo that will go in the camper. Water, luggage and the number of passengers in the camper add to the overall weight. This means more weight for the Jeep to pull, and therefore more stress on the engine.

When it comes to offroading, power is a good indicator as to how much the Jeep can handle.

If you’re looking into getting a Jeep specifically to hook it up to a camper, it’s best to choose a 4×4 over a 4×2. This essentially means the engine of the Jeep delivers powers 4 wheels in 4×4 system. In a 4×2 system, the power is delivered to only two of the four wheels, resulting in less overall traction on the road.

Also, a bigger V8 engine in a Jeep will help pull more weight when towing.

In the case of towing a camper, the Jeep needs all the traction and power it can get. When traveling with a camper hooked up to your Jeep, you’ll likely come across an uphill road. The Jeep will then battle to pull the weight of the trailer which is now being dragged back as the Jeep tries to climb.

This gravity pull usually results in a strain on the Jeep’s engine.

Reading both the manual for the Jeep and that of the travel trailer will give you more information in terms of weight distribution. This information is crucial when doing weight estimations for towing. It’s recommended to always leave some headroom when calculating suitable towing weights.

Another factor would be hooking up the actual trailer to the Jeep. Information regarding this is important because if not followed correctly it can leave the trailer without the necessary electrical power. The hitch receiver and the wiring harness are some of the crucial parts involved in hooking up your Jeep to the camper.

If this is your first time hooking up the trailer, it can take you around 3 to 4 hours to do it yourself. You can also call up a specialist to check whether you have all the necessary equipment and help hook up the trailer securely.

Can Jeeps Pull Horse Trailers?

A 2-horse trailer weighs around 2,500 pounds. Two horses included, this can go well over 5,000 pounds on average. The Jeep Grand Cherokee which has a maximum towing capacity of 7,200 would be suitable for lightweight 2 horse trailers.

Horse trailers simply use the same logic of a normal trailer with weight distribution features to keep the trailer steady. Horse trailers range from 1 to 4 horse trailers. These are all different in terms of weight.

Horse trailers can weigh up to 10,000 pounds for the big 4-horse models.

For the 2-horse models, the curb weights range from 2,000 pounds up to 4,500 pounds. The curb weight of the trailer means a two-horse trailer alone without any horses and without any cargo. If you add the horses, the weight can increase significantly, especially if it’s two fully grown horses.

The most common horse trailers you’ll see on the road are Gooseneck trailers, bumper pull trailers, and stock trailers.

These all have different models to accommodate up to four horses.

One thing we all know is that horses are very heavy. This adds more weight to the trailer and even more on the Jeep. Jeeps that have lower towing capacities are automatically ruled out for pulling horse trailers. This includes models such as the Jeep Compass and the Jeep Wrangler. These two models might have the capacity to pull the curb weight of some of the horse trailers.

The only problem is once you load a horse onto the trailer, the weight increases significantly. Weight close to the maximum towing capacity of the Jeep is not recommended.

Looking at the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Commander which both have a maximum towing capacities upwards of 7,000 pounds, there are limited options in terms of horse trailers. To calculate how much weight the Jeep will pull would depend on how many horses are in the trailer. A two-horse trailer that weighs about 2,500 pounds alone would be ideal because adding two horses and some cargo can get you to just about 5,000 pounds.

This will leave some headroom for the Jeep’s engine if the maximum towing capacity of the Jeep is above 5,000 pounds.

Other Jeeps that feature a maximum towing capacity of about 3,500 pounds are not recommended for two-horse trailers. Two horses in the trailer are already up to 2,000 pounds and the trailer itself likely weighs quite a lot too. So the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot will likely not be able to tow two-horse trailers. But it’s not quite the end for these Jeep models.

There are other vehicles that also need towing, such as other cars.

Can A Jeep Tow A Car?

The average car weighs between 2,500 pounds and 3,000 pounds. With a maximum towing capacity of over 7,000 pounds, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Commander are able to tow a normal sedan.

A super useful feature of towing is being able to tow another vehicle. Car troubles creep up all the time and having a friend with a Jeep can come in handy. Although modern cars keep increasing in weight, a normal sedan still weighs about 2,800 pounds.

This is the curb weight, without any cargo or passengers in the car.

Other larger vehicles will prove difficult to tow for these Jeep models because of the weight of the trailer and the car combined can get well over 6,000 pounds. This will be cutting close and not really worth the risk. For most Jeeps, the real problem with towing is the short wheelbase of the Jeeps. Jeeps are known to have a short wheelbase and this can negatively affect towing ability.

So, for even shorter Jeeps like the Jeep Wrangler, towing can prove to be quite difficult.

Generally speaking, two-door Jeeps and 2-wheel drive Jeeps aren’t really good at towing. These generally have lower-powered engines and will likely feature less maximum towing capacities.
Having said that, there are some cars that are easier to be towed.

Here’s a quick table with car models that can be towed by Jeeps.

Jeep Models Max Capacity Car Model It Can Tow Car Weight
Commander 7,400 Nissan Versa Note  2,417 lbs
Compass 2,000 Smart ForTwo 1,808 lbs
Grand Cherokee 7,200  Toyota Prius 3,042 lbs
Liberty 5,000 Scion iQ 2,127 lbs
Patriot 3,500 lbs Mitsubishi Mirage 1,973 lbs
Wrangler 3,500 lbs Smart ForTwo 1,808 lbs
Wrangler Unlimited 3,500 lbs Mitsubishi Mirage 1,973 lbs

Looking at this table, we can see that Jeeps can’t really tow the biggest of cars out there. Which is a limiting factor for them in this case. You’d have more luck using a pickup truck instead. Trucks generally weigh more and have higher towing capacities.

The RAM 1500 and Chevrolet Colorado are just some of the better options out there for towing.

For Jeeps, it seems like the Commander and Grand Cherokee open up more options for towing because of their higher maximum towing capacities.

All in all, a Jeep will give great outdoor experiences, especially when offroading. But Jeeps generally seem to be on the low end of the spectrum when it comes to towing.

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