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Old 02-09-2014, 06:21 AM   #1
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Towing boat with Wrangler Sport 2 door

Hi. I am quite impressed with the Wrangler Sport, but am concerned about how they work as a tow vehicle for a small boat. I own a Quintrex 420 package that comes in at 674 kg (without battery and fuel), so probably tops out around 750-800 kg fully laden. The towing capacity of the new Wrangler is 1000 kg, which is sufficient, but this does not always tell the story. My current vehicle has a higher towing capacity than the Wrangler (probably more due to the long wheel base than the power, as the Wrangler is a far more powerful vehicle), but it really struggles to get the boat up the ramp. It is a very fine line between too little power (stalling) and too much (spinning wheels and revving the guts out of the engine, even with "4WD" engaged. I suspect this is more due to the gutless diesel engine and rather average performance of the ASX's 4WD system, rather than the towing capacity of the car.
On paper, the Wrangler is far more powerful and a little heavier, but I suspect the short wheel base will negate some of these advantages. Is anyone towing a similar size boat and able to share their experience? I really like the Wrangler and am keen to make it my next vehicle, but don't want to be in a worse situation on the boat ramp. While the thought of it on the beach and off road is nice, the danger of sliding a car back into the salt water is a bit daunting.
Thank you.

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Old 02-09-2014, 06:54 AM   #2
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I don't have the situation you are looking for...that is I don't have the boat combo or anything close....but I do have an observation.

I THOUGHT that here in the States we are told 2000K lbs towing for the 2dr JKs. So doing the math (roughly 2.5K to a pound) they are telling you slightly higher towing capacity.

The other aspect is the shorter wheelbase. If you choose the 4dr over the 2dr the towing capacity goes up by almost half...which doesn't make a lot of sense at first glance because it is the same engine and transmission, but the longer wheelbase does give you more (excuse my poor wording) but "leverage" to handle the additional weight.

We all know that when it is slick and or icy the shorter wheelbase will try to trade ends very quickly, and the longer 4dr version is a little better. I do have both, a '12 2dr JK and a'14 4dr JKU, they are very similar, but the '14 is SLIGHTLY more stable in snowy/ icy conditions. We have had a considerable amount of snow here in north east IN and I have driven both vehicles back to back this winter, and that is on what I am basing my experience.

Personal opinion I believe you would be fine towing the boat that you mentioned with a 2dr of the newer variety Wrangler. ('12 JK with the Pentastar motor) But it is just that strictly opinion. I doubt it would be needed except in the most extreme situations, but you could always use 4low and first gear and it should just walk right up most boat ramps.

And lastly the general belief around the low towing capacity for the Wrangler comes from two things the short wheelbase, and the brakes. While it has plenty of power to pull the weight it is generally tougher to stop with a short wheelbase vehicle when being pushed by your trailer.

Hope this helps.

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Old 02-09-2014, 11:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. While I would not mind the 4 door version, the 2 door is far more appealing for a few reasons (mostly because my wife likes it, so she is far more likely to say yes to it!). I understand the associated problems, such as the cars reaction during hard braking etc, but will not be doing any long driving. I am mostly concerned about traction on the ramp, as my current tow vehicle has has some near misses with loss of traction/lack of power. The hassle I have at the moment is the ASX has a very narrow "sweet spot" on the ramp. Too low and it stalls. Too high and the wheels spin, even with "4WD" engaged. Finding the perfect rev range on a slimy ramp is a very nervous affair. Towing on a dry incline with the trailer is not a problem.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:35 AM   #4
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IMO you would be fine with the shorter JK, I would suggest the automatic though as the "hill start assist" may prove beneficial for your circumstances.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:53 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I have just ordered one from our local dealer. There are some sensational deals here at the moment and I have managed to get a 2014 complianced model for a steal. Waiting for them to fit the tow pack and will then take delivery.

Officially, it is for the wife ........ She may even be allowed to drive it once a month!

My boat has mechanical brakes fitted, so this should make towing a little safer. Still, I suspect I will be adding some extra distance between myself and other cars with the Wrangler. I cannot wait to get it off road, as I haven't hit the dirt since I sold my Pajero. It was a great off-road vehicle, so it will be interesting to compare it to the Wrangler.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:03 AM   #6
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Congrats!!! Just curious, manual or automatic......?
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:58 PM   #7
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Auto with Renegade Pack. The only addition I will make are the tow bar and a reversing camera, as there is no hope my wife will be able to see out the back of the Wrangler.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:01 PM   #8
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Take head rests off back seat and its not to bad.......
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:58 PM   #9
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Unfortunately the wife is five foot nothing and really can't see out of the back of any car very well so a reversing camera would definitely be a bonus for me....so if anyone has any recommendations that would be great....since it is going to be my car (yeah right....guess who will end up driving the ASX!!!)
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:08 PM   #10
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Just a quick follow-up. The Wrangler tows my Quintrex Renegade 420 easily and safely. It actually rides better than our other vehicle, which has a higher towing capacity. The Wrangler is also a lot more dun, albeit not quite as practical or refined.

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