Towing A Travel Trailer With A Jeep Wrangler: The Facts, Tips & Tricks

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We love travel trailers, they provide you with more freedom than you get from an RV. You can seek out over landing adventures, since you can leave your trailer parked up in your campsite and use your vehicle to go out and explore.

What is great about these, is that you do not always need a huge truck to pull your travel trailer along. As it so happens, Jeep Wranglers, and other similar SUVs are more than capable of pulling many travel trailer models.

Towing A Travel Trailer With A Jeep Wrangler: The Facts, Tips & Tricks 1

However, this leaves us to question what the limitations are when it comes to size and weight of travel trailers that you can pull with your Jeep Wrangler. It also bodes questions about what kind of equipment you will need to tow it, and if there are any travel trailers that are best to tow with a Jeep Wrangler.

We want you to make the best choice for you, so that you can get the most out of your Jeep, your travel trailer, and your adventures. So, today we will talk to you about towing a travel trailer with your Jeep Wrangler, be ready to learn everything there is to learn about this.

Are you ready?

What capacity can a Jeep Wrangler Tow?

When you are seeking to tow anything with your Jeep Wrangler, you need to consider three most important factors.

  • The Vehicle itself.
  • The Trailer you are towing.
  • The driver/ you.

How much can your vehicle handle?

So, before you do anything, you have to be aware of the towing capacity of your Jeep. Many Jeep Wranglers will have a towing capacity of around 2,00 lbs to 3,500 lbs. However, this does vary depending on the model you have.

In general, though, two-door Jeep Wranglers can tow a travel trailer that weighs up to 2,000 lbs. The four-door models, on the other hand, will have a tow rating of up to 3,500 lbs.

Keep in mind that newer model Jeep Wranglers will have a much higher towing capacity. For example, The JK Wrangler, which has been manufactured since 2006, has a trailer with hitches that can have a towing capacity of up to 5,000 lbs.

The TJ Wrangler which was made from 1997-2006 has bumper mounted towing hitches, but it can also have chassis-mounted hitches, these are available and can increase your tow up to 4,000 lbs.

Aside from it’s towing capacity, your Jeep’s payload rating is also an important factor to keep in mind.

The maximum payload capacity is the overall weight of everything in, or on, your Jeep, yes, this includes you. It means, the driver, passengers, fuel, a winch, skid plates, and anything else inside or outside the vehicle.

You should be able to find your Jeep’s payload rating on the driver’s side door, or the B;pillar. You should never tow if your payload exceeds the capacity of the vehicle.

Checking the trailer

Despite how your Jeep will do the most part of the work when you tow something. You need to ensure that your trailer is safe to pull.

This means checking for damage, or rust. Check especially thoroughly on the trailer base, including the axles, frame, and so on. You should also ensure that the exterior lights are working properly, especially brake lights and turn signal lights.

The trailer tires should also be in good condition, they should have plenty of tread so that they maintain good contact with the road when you are driving. You should also consider the GVWR of the trailer before you buy, since it will need to be light enough to meet the capacity for towing of your Jeep Wrangler.

When you calculate the amount you can pack and bring with you on your travels, be sure to account for around 10% of your trailer’s GVWR for additional payload, this means things like, clothes, gear, food and water, fuel and so on.

Your safety while driving

Your safety when you drive is imperative, this is why your ability to be able to drive with a heavy trailer in tow is important. Even if you have driven a vehicle with a trailer in tow before, you should go for a couple of small test drives beforehand, so that you get a feel for your Jeep and trailer maneuvers.

You need to feel comfortable with the extra length, the handling of sharp corners, reversing, and how your trailer will react when you reverse. Feeling comfortable with these things is very important to safe driving.

A useful trick is to steer in the opposite direction that you want the trailer to go when you reverse. Remember that any little changes in direction with the Jeep will result in a bigger change at the back of the trailer, regardless if it is big or small, long or short.

Is a Jeep Wrangler capable of towing like this?

Jeep Wranglers have an average maximum towing capacity of around 3,500 lbs, so this means that you can definitely tow more lightweight travel trailers. You should always consider the trailer’s gross vehicle weight ratings (or GVWR), and not the dry weight.

This is because GVWR takes into consideration the additional things you may have on board such as clothing, water, gear, gas and so on. And while these things may seem small, they all add up eventually.

In general, the kind of travel trailers that have this low of a GVWR will include pop-up trailers, teardrop, hybrid, and a few airstream trailers. So, you should look at your capacity and figure a maximum weight, then take a look at what trailers are the best option for you within the weight range.

What types of campers can you tow?

As previously mentioned, there are a few options that will be lightweight enough for you to be able to tow with your Jeep Wrangler. Let’s have a look at a few of the options that you will have suitable to this weight range.

Pop-up trailers

Pop-up trailers are campers that collapse as you travel. You can crank them up to full height with standing room inside once you are parked up at your campsite. These types of trailers have a few names, they are also called tent trailers, or fold-out campers.

The side walls of these trailers are often canvas, or other weather resistant materials, and this also means that these materials are much more lightweight than aluminum or fiberglass. This means they are a light-weight option too, so they are better for towing with a Jeep Wrangler.

Their bed areas are also slide out as well, so you can have everything you need in these trailers, including a kitchen and bathroom. How fancy!

The average GVWR for these types of trailers is between 600 and 2800 lbs.

Hybrid trailers

Hybrid trailers combine the design of a standard travel trailer and a pop-up trailer. They have hard sides, with pop out sleeping areas on either one end or both ends.

These pop-outs are typically canvas, or tent-style material, much like you would find with a pop-up trailer. However, hybrid trailers are more insulated and durable thanks to their hard side walls.

Sadly, this does mean that they tend to run a little more on the heavy side of things, and due to these heavier materials, you will need to get a lighter weight option if you are planning on towing it with a Jeep Wrangler. If you have a higher capacity, you could possibly get a higher weight, but you need to ensure that it is within the capacity of your vehicle.

These trailers are usually between 3,000 to 7,000 lbs.

Teardrop trailers

The teardrop trailer is a new addition to the mini trailer travel niche. It is literally a trailer, shaped like a teardrop. How quaint!

Inside this unique trailer type, there is generally only enough space for one room, for a bed. The back of the trailer will have a hatch that opens to cover your kitchen/ cooking area. On the odd occasion you may find that one of these may have an outdoor shower option.

These trailers will rarely have bathrooms or living areas, some of these might, you might have to look around hard to find one though.

Because they’re so tiny and compact, these trailers have an average GVWR of 500- 3,200 lbs. With the majority being 1,000 lbs.

Low weight air stream

If you like things the more ‘old school’ way, then you might like airstream trailers. Also known as silver bullet travel trailers, many people love them for their retro ambiance, as well as their design style and their durability.

Many of these travelers will be too heavy to tow with a Jeep Wrangler, however the ‘Airstream Sport 16RB’ is just tiny and lightweight enough, with a close GVWR of 3,500 lbs.

It is certainly cutting it a bit close to the towing capacity, however if you are an expert travel packer, with the ability to survive minimally, you can get away with it, and tow it with your Jeep Wrangler.

The bare minimum GVWR you will find in these trailers is 3,500 lbs.

Towing A Travel Trailer With A Jeep Wrangler: The Facts, Tips & Tricks 2

What do you need to tow?

If you are experienced at towing, you will know that you will need equipment to do so, if you are not experienced at doing this then listen closely.

The most basic equipment you will need to safely tow a travel trailer with any vehicle is a receiver hitch and a trailer wiring plug, this is so you can connect that rear brake and turn signal lights.

You will also need to have a hitch ball and a mount with a hitch pin that matches your trailer. You will also need to have safety chains that cross underneath the tongue to catch it, just in case the hitch fails.

Most aftermarket bumpers are equipped with a hitch receiver that will only be intended for things such as cargo, not for heavy travel trailers. This is why it is very important that your hitch receiver is rated for towing, don’t just get any old one. It should be Class II, or Class III designation, and your receiver should be 2 inches, not 1.25 inches, so that it can tolerate higher weights.

The weight capacities of the towing tongue and the hitch ball are also very important when you purchase and upgrade your towing equipment. While it can be tempting to pick up any old one and assume it will work, it just isn’t so easy.

The tongue should carry around 10% of the trailer’s GVWR, and absolutely no more than 15%. The rule of 10% is the same for the weight on the hitch ball, and you should be sure to load your trailer with a balanced weight distribution.

If you do not, you may be looking at a reduction in the performance when you travel at high speeds, or you may discover unsafe conditions, such as sudden movement to the left or to the left.

There are also a couple of other upgrades you could make that may be good to consider when you wish to tow a travel trailer with a Jeep Wrangler. For example, towing additional weight could possibly cause your Jeep to overheat, so it might be wise to upgrade your vehicle’s cooling system.

It might also be a good shout to upgrade the brake pads and rotors, especially if they are old. It is important that you ensure your vehicle is safe too when you tow, this is why it would not go amiss to look at sway control and brake controls for additional upgrades as well.

Pros of towing your trailer with a Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wranglers are fantastic SUVs to own, regardless if you are simply driving around town, or if you are towing your trailer off on a nature venture, or an off-the-grid camping trip.

It has plenty of advantages, even though you can’t pull extremely heavy loads with it, it has plenty of benefits. Let’s take a moment to look at some of these.

  • Power and durability are plentiful here. Jeeps are designed to be top-notch sport utility vehicles, they are also made to be the perfect off-road hustler, which is just what you want when you are venturing off into the unknown with your trailer for a nature getaway. They handle beautifully in all types of weather, and provide all-terrain exploring opportunities, with stellar traction, brilliant articulation, and easy-peasy maneuverability. While a majority of Keeps have an average towing capacity of 3,500 lbs, some can pull as much as 5,000 lbs. So, the bigger the Jeep, the more you can tow, thus broadening your options for trailer size.
  • You also get increased ground clearance. This is because the cabin in a Jeep is higher than a majority of vehicles, including most other SUVs. They provide a height advantage and more visibility. Not only does this mean you can see further down the road, you can also pull your travel trailer into more rugged camping locations as well. Although this will only really work if your trailer also has a high enough clearance too. Keep in mind the ground clearance of your trailer, especially if it is much lower than your Jeep.
  • Improvement in gas mileage. In the times when you are not towing anything, you can expect to get 22 miles to the gallon in the city and around 29 miles to the gallon on the highway. Your gas mileage will be lower when you tow a travel trailer, or indeed anything, but this goes without saying really. When you are towing, your gas mileage will depend on your speed, but you could expect to get around 10 to 15 miles per gallon.
  • Enjoy a long lifespan. Many SUVs will have a lifespan of around 200,000 miles. However, Jeep Wranglers will typically double that, averaging at 400,000 miles. They have a V6 engine that is also one of the absolute best on the market and is exceptionally reliable. This means that you will be able to travel with your trailer in tow for miles and years into the future.
  • A Jeep offers uniqueness. One of the best things about a Jeep is its ability to take the top off, and enjoy the freeing feeling of the wind in your hair. There are also plenty of useful upgrades that you can make to your Jeep that make it easier and much more enjoyable to pull your travel trailer along with you on your journeys. Some of these epic upgrades include skid bars, winch mounts, LED headlights and so much more. You can go wild and add so many things, the sky’s the limit!

The best travel trailers to tow

While it is not the best news that you are restricted to only the more lightweight options of travel trailers when you tow with a Jeep Wrangler, you still have plenty of options.

There are plenty of travel trailers with a GVWR of 3,500 and below, it just depends on your personal preference and what you want to get out of your trailer. Let’s take a look at some of the favorites.

Scamp

Dry weight. 1,200 to 1,500 lbs
Cargo Capacity. 700 to 1,000 lbs
GVWR. 2,200 lbs
Length 13” 
Bathroom included? Yes
How many can it sleep? 2-4 people. 

There are some more normal travel trailers in addition to the Airstream campers, these options are light enough for a Jeep Wrangler to tow along, and this 13ft scamp trailer is one of these fantastic options.

This tiny trailer has a little kitchen area, a dinette that converts into bed, a shower, and a toilet room, as well as plenty of closet space for storage. All this only comes to 2,200 lbs, even when it is fully packed up.

The kitchen also features a beautiful two-burner propane stove and a window over the range. It has a 1.9 cubic ft fridge, a small sink, fiberglass cabinets with wood panel doors so kitchen storage is also included.

Then there is the dinette space, which has storage under the seats and can convert into a spacious sleeping area at night with four inch cushions. Who wouldn’t want to crash on that couch.

In the bathroom area you can choose to have a soft that converts into their bunks, or an enclosed bathroom with shower and sani-potti/ toilet only. You can also enjoy the nature and wildlife outside your Scamp with the additional option of adding an 8 ft awning.

These miniature trailers are equipped for towing and are perfectly ready to hit the road and become your home on the go. They have a 100 lb hitch with a 2-inch hitch ball, a 25 ft 30 amp electric supply cord, and safety chains. It is all kitted-out and ready to go whenever you are.

Scamp even offers helpful tips for towing as well, so you know all the specifics for towing your Scamp trailer with your Jeep Wrangler, or whatever vehicle you may have.

The Key features of the Scamp.

  • Super insulation (R15) for all-weather camping.
  • Optional roof mount air conditioner and 16,000 BTU furnace.
  • Mounted rear stabilizer jacks.
  • Porch light.
  • It has a starting price of $11,500.

Airstream sport 16RB

Dry weight. 2,860 lbs
Cargo capacity. 640 lbs
GVWR 3,500 lbs
Length. 16’ 4”
Bathroom included? Yes
How many does it sleep? Up to 4 people.

If you want a little more from your trailer, you can tow the Airstream Sport 16RB with your Jeep Wrangler. It has a bathroom, as well as additional sleeping and a living space too. It’s everything that you could ask for and then some.

There is a convertible dinette and a dedicated bed with a pillow top memory foam mattress in addition to its wonderful bathroom, and kitchen area. Next to the bedroom, you will also find a closet for hanging clothes storage, as well as handy under-bed storage too. So, you will always have enough room to store all your gear.

In the kitchen you will find some upgrades from what you would expect from the Scamp Trailer, with the two-burner LP gas stove with a glass cover, a stainless steel sink with a cutting board cover, a microwave, and a 2-way, 3 cubic foot refrigerator. It truly is a home away from home.

There is also plenty of lower cabinet and drawer storage for food and dishes, as well as an included flatware organizer, and also lockers above the dinette. On the other side of the kitchen area, you will find a European styled wet bath with a porcelain toilet, a lavy sink with a ‘Moen’ faucet, as well as a shower with a removable shower head. Can you imagine any other trailer being so fancy?

It also has a pass-through built into the exterior walls so that on a warm and sunny day you can use the removable shower head outdoors. On the outside, this trailer has a manual retractable Zip Dee patio awning, with weather max fabric, so you can enjoy your campsite when the weather is nice.

The Airstream Sport 16RB is ready to be towed with your Jeep Wrangler, it comes with a manual hitch jack and a 387 lb hitch with LP and batteries! You can’t go wrong here.

Key features of the AirStream Sport 16RB.

  • 11,000 BTU 30Amp service single A/C with a heat strip and 12,000 BTU ducted furnace.
  • It has a JVC stereo with Bluetooth.
  • It has an LG LED HD TV with Omni Directional Antenna.
  • Comes with an outdoor storage locker.
  • It has USB ports and 110V outlets.
  • Optional 90W solar package with interior monitor and AGM battery.
  • Costs a minimum of $48,900.

ICamp Elite

Dry Weight 2,366 lbs
Cargo Capacity 524 lbs
GVWR 2,890 lbs
Length 14 ft
Bathroom included? Yes
How many can it sleep? Up to 3 people.

iCamp is known for making some truly brilliant travel camper trailers with a teeny-tiny footprint and lightweight materials that make it super easy to tow them with pretty much any SUV, including Jeep Wranglers.

It has 70 square feet of indoor space, so while it might feel a bit small, the floor plan is laid out with expert precision to maximize your space, while providing everything that you need while on an outdoor adventure.

It has large, U-shaped dinette doubles that make up a bed, and it can sleep up to three people. Furthermore, it also has an adjustable table for dining and lounging.

There are overhead cabinets on either side of the trailer, for clothes and other gear, as well as a cabinet and wardrobe.

The iCamp Elite has a kitchen that comes with a stainless steel sink, a two-burner LP stove with an oven, 2-way 1,9 cubic foot refrigerator and a 6-gallon water heater that supports the bathroom shower unit.

It has a modular wet bathroom, with a marine toilet, a sink and shower, and its curved door exits into the living area. It is prepared easily for safe and easy towing with its 2-inch ball with a towing bar, safety chains, and electric brakes. Super stylish, and super easy.

Key features of the iCamp Elite.

  • Has a 110VAC-12VDC, 60 Amp converter.
  • Fitted with interior lights, and 110V AC power outlets.
  • You have the option to add a DVD/Video/Audio system, or a flat screen TV.
  • You have the option to add a 12,000 BTU LP furnace, or a Cool Cat 2-in-1 A/C and heat pump unit.
  • The price for this camper starts at $11,500.

Happier camper HCI

Dry weight 1,100 lbs
Cargo Capacity. 2,400 lbs
GVWR. 3,500 lbs
Length. 10 ft
Bathroom included? Only the toilet.
How many does it sleep? Up to 5 people. 

The Happier Camper is the smallest camper available on this list, at only 10ft long, however it is also the most lightweight, with a dry weight of 1,100 lbs, it is also able to fit the most people in it, somehow.

This camper is so easy to tow, you could even tow this using a standard sedan. Although it is tiny, the innovative Adaptiv interior design makes it super spacious, even if you have a family of five.

It has a grooved floor design that keeps the cube components that make up the layout, in place. The different cube components include drawer cubes, a convertible bench/bed set up, a swivel nesting table, a countertop lid, a cooler cube, a kitchenette cube with a sink, a bunk bed/ couch, and a toilet. You can arrange and rearrange these cubes to build your Happier Camper layout for each trip. How cool!

Key Features of the Happier Camper.

  • Extremely lightweight and versatile.
  • Rearrangeable interior.
  • Sleeps up to five people.
  • Off-the-grid/ solar ready.
  • Price starting at $24,950.

Which is the best camper for you?

Which camper trailer is best for you, is totally dependent on your budget, what you want out of your trailer, and how much your Jeep is supped up to tow. If you have a super modified Jeep Wrangler you might be able to tow more, if you do, then you can go for a more heavy option. If you need a low budget, simple set up then the Scamp is a good choice.

Whatever you choose, you will have some memorable adventures as you head out towing your holiday home with you on your Jeep Wrangler.

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