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Old 04-02-2011, 01:13 AM   #1
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Towing weight question

So I have the JK with the towing package which has a 2000lb towing weight yet the JKU has a 3500lb towing weight. What is the difference? 1500lb difference is a lot between the two for a vehicle with the exact same engine, transmission, axles, and everything else except length.

The main reason I ask, is I am looking for a small camper for the summer. I need one with a bathroom for my daughter. Don't want her to have to go out in the middle of the night to a public restroom. The best I can find around here is a 2350lb trailer. I know there is a few campers out there with a smaller gross weight but can't find a dealer any where close.

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Old 04-02-2011, 02:11 AM   #2
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it has to do with wheel base.

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Old 04-02-2011, 07:04 AM   #3
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In addition to wheelbase, it has to do with what you can safely stop.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:16 AM   #4
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Well stopping shouldn't be as big as a problem with the new campers. Most have their on electric brakes. I know the one I was looking at did.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:47 AM   #5
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How important is the wheelbase in regards to towing? Since that's the only thing on a Jeep that you can't upgrade, at least that I know of. I've been wondering if there was a way to increase the max towing capacity safely myself.

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Old 04-03-2011, 04:27 AM   #6
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Short wheelbase + towing heavy trailer + hit the brakes = front wheels airborne.
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rics1997
So I have the JK with the towing package which has a 2000lb towing weight yet the JKU has a 3500lb towing weight. What is the difference? 1500lb difference is a lot between the two for a vehicle with the exact same engine, transmission, axles, and everything else except length.

The main reason I ask, is I am looking for a small camper for the summer. I need one with a bathroom for my daughter. Don't want her to have to go out in the middle of the night to a public restroom. The best I can find around here is a 2350lb trailer. I know there is a few campers out there with a smaller gross weight but can't find a dealer any where close.
This should help.

^

From Jeep JK Service Manual:
The following chart provides the maximum trailer weight ratings towable for your given drivetrain.


Engine/Transmission
Axle
Model
GCWR (Gross Combined Wt. Rating)
Frontal Area
Max. GTW (Gross Trailer Wt.)
Max. Tongue Wt. (See Note 1)
3.8L/Manual
3.21
2 Door X Model (4WD)
4,910 lbs (2 227 kg)
25 sq. ft. (2.32 square meters)
1,000 lbs (453 kg)
100 lbs (45 kg)

3.8L/Manual
4.10
2 Door X Model (4WD)
4,910 lbs (2 227 kg)
25 sq. ft. (2.32 square meters)
2,000 lbs (907 kg)
200 lbs (91 kg)

3.8L/Automatic
4.10
2 Door X Model (4WD)
5,935 lbs (2 692 kg)
25 sq. ft. (2.32 square meters)
2,000 lbs (907 kg)
200 lbs (91 kg)

3.8L/Manual
3.21
2 Door Sahara Model (4WD)
5,101 lbs (2 314 kg)
25 sq. ft. (2.32 square meters)
1,000 lbs (453 kg)
100 lbs (45 kg)

3.8L/Manual
4.10
2 Door Sahara Model (4WD)
6,101 lbs (2 767 kg)
25 sq. ft. (2.32 square meters)
2,000 lbs (907 kg)
200 lbs (91 kg)

3.8L/Automatic
4.10
2 Door Sahara Model (4WD)
6,126 lbs (2 779 kg)
25 sq. ft. (2.32 square meters)
2,000 lbs (907 kg)
200 lbs (91 kg)

3.8L/Manual
4.10
2 Door Rubicon Model (4WD)
6,254 lbs (2 837 kg)
25 sq. ft. (2.32 square meters)
2,000 lbs (907 kg)
200 lbs (91 kg)

3.8L/Automatic
4.10
2 Door Rubicon Model (4WD)
6,279 lbs (2 848 kg)
25 sq. ft. (2.32 square meters)
2,000 lbs (907 kg)
200 lbs (91 kg)

3.8L/Manual
3.21
4 Door X Model (2WD)
5,014 lbs (2 274 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
1,000 lbs (453 kg)
100 lbs (45 kg)

3.8L/Manual
4.10
4 Door X Model (2WD)
7,514 lbs (3 408 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)

3.8L/Automatic
4.10
4 Door X Model (2WD)
7,539 lbs (3 420 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)

3.8L/Manual
3.21
4 Door Sahara Model (2WD)
5,204 lbs (2 360 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
1,000 lbs (453 kg)
100 lbs (45 kg)

3.8L/Manual
4.10
4 Door Sahara Model (2WD)
7,704 lbs (3 494 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)

3.8L/Automatic
4.10
4 Door Sahara Model (2WD)
7,729 lbs (3 506 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)

3.8L/Manual
3.21
4 Door X Model (4WD)
5,225 lbs (2 370 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
1,000 lbs (453 kg)
100 lbs (45 kg)

3.8L/Manual
4.10
4 Door X Model (4WD)
7,725 lbs (3 504 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)

3.8L/Automatic
4.10
4 Door X Model (4WD)
7,750 lbs (3 515 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)

3.8L/Manual
3.21
4 Door Sahara Model (4WD)
5,419 lbs (2 458 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
1,000 lbs (453 kg)
100 lbs (45 kg)

3.8L/Manual
4.10
4 Door Sahara Model (4WD)
7,919 lbs (3 592 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)

3.8L/Automatic
4.10
4 Door Sahara Model (4WD)
7,944 lbs (3 603 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)

3.8L/Manual
4.10
4 Door Rubicon Model (4WD)
7,965 lbs (3 613 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)

3.8L/Automatic
4.10
4 Door Rubicon Model (4WD)
7,990 lbs (3 624 kg)
32 sq. ft. (2.97 square meters)
3,500 lbs (1 587 kg)
350 lbs (159 kg)
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:08 AM   #8
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Jeep says my Sport with auto transmission has a tow capacity of 2000lbs. Are you saying that there is no way to increase this? I figured with regearing, new suspension, and upgraded brakes you could increase your tow capacity. Am I wrong? Thanks

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Old 04-03-2011, 08:11 AM   #9
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Not sure but thought I read somewhere in addition to tow-vehicle wheel base, that the actual hitch is mounted on the frame more securely.

The JK is only mounted on the rear frame member....don't know for sure about the JKU.

Personally I have towed with other short WB rigs and it doesn't take much in weight distribution change to make a really unsafe and hazardous condition via tail wag.

If you've never experienced this, it's somewhat like "death wobble" but from the rear end. Having barely survived a near roll-over from such set up, I learned my lesson. The transition from "safe tow" at 35mph to "nearly wiped out 3 lanes of freeway traffic at 42mph" was more of a thrill than I want to repeat.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeeperJake View Post
Not sure but thought I read somewhere in addition to tow-vehicle wheel base, that the actual hitch is mounted on the frame more securely.

The JK is only mounted on the rear frame member....don't know for sure about the JKU.

Personally I have towed with other short WB rigs and it doesn't take much in weight distribution change to make a really unsafe and hazardous condition via tail wag.

If you've never experienced this, it's somewhat like "death wobble" but from the rear end. Having barely survived a near roll-over from such set up, I learned my lesson. The transition from "safe tow" at 35mph to "nearly wiped out 3 lanes of freeway traffic at 42mph" was more of a thrill than I want to repeat.
JeeperJake is right on the money with this one. SWB vehicles towing too much weight get squirly very quick. Not something you ever want to experience.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:22 PM   #11
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Still gets me stumped why they change the rating on the export models - ours are rated at 750kg (1,650lb) for a trailer with no brakes or 1,600kg (3,500lb) for a trailer with brakes. The JKU extends the braked trailer rating to 3000kg (6,600lb).

Must be something to do with the toilet water spinning in the opposite direction or something...
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:34 PM   #12
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The longer wheelbase makes a huge difference in the ability to tow a larger load.

The short wheelbase is really the limiting factor on the JK 2-Door. The engine, transmission, gearing, and even the suspension (depending on the exact vehicle) can be exactly or almost the same when comparing the short to long wheelbase Wranglers.

An overloaded, or over-weight trailer will tend to make the combination short wheelbase Jeep and trailer have the "tail wag the dog".

In other words, in any type of emergency maneuver, the trailer will tend to throw the short wheelbase Jeep all over the place, causing a VERY dangerous and un-stable situation.

The longer wheelbase 4-door JK is simply more stable when trailer towing, thus the higher 3500 pound trailer limit on the 4-door.

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Old 04-04-2011, 06:38 PM   #13
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Towing a load higher than rated capacity can be hairy if you are at fault in a traffic accident while doing it.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:26 PM   #14
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So I still dont understand why they rate our JKU's on the other side of the world at 6,600 lb towing capacity? (only 1600lb capacity for a trailer with no brakes). Thats for the 2010 model, the 2011 specs for towing are noticeably absent on the Jeep australia web site!
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:32 PM   #15
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Are they advertising metric units?
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:36 PM   #16
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I've studied the advertising charts some. The only ones with big tow loads I've noticed are not the JKU models, but rather the ones with the Hemi V8.

Haven't had opportunity to see the export JKU specs.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:54 PM   #17
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When I posed this question to the dealer when purchasing mine in 08 I was comparing the jku to the Liberty. I think the liberty had a capacity of 5000 lbs. The answer came back that the main features that explain the difference is the size of the engine and the ability of the vehicle to stop with the rated load. I have towed near the limit on the jeep and it is a little squirrelly. My purchase decision for the jku had mostly to do with tow capacity vs fun. There just wasn't enough fun in the Liberty to justify its purchase over the jku. The jku continues to please me including its ability to tow 3500lbs safely. Last summer I vacationed from Florida to Maine and back to Massachusetts with a heavy utility trailer in tow and 4 kayaks up top on my congo cage. Yes, I consider the jku very capable at its limit.

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