How much does electronic trailer brakes effect towing capacity? - Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Tech Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today

Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on
Old 07-04-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1
How much does electronic trailer brakes effect towing capacity?

I have a 2003 Wrangler and have a trailer I am going to be towing with it that weighs around 1000lbs. I have a bit more than 1000lbs of gear to haul (I'm guessing around 2500lbs total). I know that the Wrangler is rated to only tow 2000lbs, so I'm wondering if adding electronic brakes to the trailer will effect my towing capacity (i.e. would let me carry up to 2500lbs safely with the Wrangler?)

The trailer in question is an Echo ESS-9-13, as seen here:

Echo sells brakes for this trailer that are rated up to 3500lbs, here:
Trailer Electric Brakes

So what do you guys think?
Caine is offline   Quote
Old 07-04-2010, 09:19 PM   #2
Knows a couple things...

WF Supporting Member
Jerry Bransford's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Escondido, Calif.
Posts: 40,761
Properly set up with the right tongue weight of 250 lbs. and with everything working properly, it'd be fine but that's a lot of tongue weight which will shoot your headlights up into the sky if you tow at night. Plus if you had a trailer brake problem, it'd be over the limit where it could get pretty dicey. It's doable but you don't have any safety margin in case something goes wrong with the trailer brakes.

I'm "mr. safety" where towing trailers with the TJ goes but with properly functioning electric brakes, you'd probably be ok with that little extra over it's official tow limit.

And a big welcome to WF.

When you have a choice, buy American.
Jerry Bransford is online now   Quote
Old 07-04-2010, 11:13 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Southern California (Inland Empire)
Posts: 358
i tow a 4x6 enclosed trailer with my 2004 wrangler X, and have about 1,200 lbs of gear and my trailer weighs 800 pounds empty and has no brakes. I dont have any problems, but when i tow, i only tow during the day, and Always take it nice and slow.

The Wrangler is Not good for towing in general due to its short wheel base and it being fairly light compared to the bigger and longer vehicles that tow. So the important thing is with or with out brakes, you need to put safety first and go nice and slow, and if possibly only during the day.
darin.1701 is offline   Quote
Old 07-05-2010, 10:13 AM   #4
tlrrob1000's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pain is a gift...Fear is not an option!
Posts: 787
Like Jerry said should not be a problem as long as your brakes are set up and adjusted properly. Remember the trailer should start slowing you down when you apply the brakes but not lock up. You will have to play with the adjustments.
No Bad Days!
tlrrob1000 is offline   Quote
Old 07-06-2010, 09:55 AM   #5
lancetkenyon's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: AZ-Rock heaven
Posts: 670
Get trailer brakes. Period. The added 2500 lbs (well over half your Jeeps weight) will wreak havoc in an emergency situation. I have a friend who thought with his full sized tow rig, he would not need trailer brakes with his buggy on a flat bed trailer. Towing about 5K with a big truck led to an accident during an emergency stop. Sure, it is twice what you will be towing, but his truck weighs twice what your Jeep does too. No need to tempt fate. 5 other trucks with trailers and trailer brakes stopped just fine, but the one without brakes rear-ended another truck on the highway. Not worth the risks in my opinion.
lancetkenyon is offline   Quote
Old 07-06-2010, 10:43 AM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Slammin Salmon in Alaska
Posts: 2,031
Mine states a 3500 towing capacity. What is safe?
FaceBook Jeep'n Alaska
Ted_D is offline   Quote
Old 07-06-2010, 10:47 AM   #7
Knows a couple things...

WF Supporting Member
Jerry Bransford's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Escondido, Calif.
Posts: 40,761
Originally Posted by Ted_D View Post
Mine states a 3500 towing capacity. What is safe?
If you mean you have an Unlimited, 3500 lbs. is safe. The Unlimited has a longer wheelbase than the standard TJ does which is why it has the higher safe tow limit. If you have a standard short wheelbase TJ but your tow hitch says 3500 lbs, you still have the 2,000 safe towing limit.

And to the OP in post #1 above, I neglected to include in my response to not even consider towing that much weight without electric trailer brakes.
When you have a choice, buy American.
Jerry Bransford is online now   Quote
Old 07-06-2010, 05:26 PM   #8

WF Supporting Member
Bobthegod's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Napa California
Posts: 480
You should also go to a public scale and weight your trailer. Don't guess, weigh it and KNOW what you got, you may be under.....unlikely as many underestimate. Most everybody is overloaded when guessing what their towing. If you do get electric brakes make sure you get a good brake controller for the Jeep. Prodigy is a good model and there are others. Go to for their towing guide it's very useful. Don't forget you'll have other people riding in your jeep possibly adding more weight and stopping distance. Just more for you to think about.


I may not be as good for as many times as I once was, but, I'm as good once as I ever was ! ! !
Bobthegod is offline   Quote


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Towing Capacity AKJEEPID TJ General Discussion Forum 18 07-01-2010 07:54 PM
Towing a pop-up tent trailer???? nightclub27 TJ General Discussion Forum 12 09-01-2009 07:35 AM
towing enclosed trailer 2 dr YK vampyre JK General Discussion Forum 6 06-07-2009 08:04 PM
TJ Towing Capacity cincy1020 TJ General Discussion Forum 23 10-22-2007 10:55 AM
Towing capacity Drksilver163 General Jeep Discussion 3 07-22-2007 10:07 AM

Download our Mobile App

» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:04 PM.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC. is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC