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Old 08-18-2013, 08:55 PM   #11
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Tongue Weight limit alert!

In the 2010 manual, the trailer tongue weight is shown as 350 pounds for all versions of the Wrangler. That's reasonable for a trailer weighing about 3500 pounds, but many people go much higher. If you take this limit seriously, you will not be able to tow an Escape 19' as most people configure and load them.

I can't explain specifically why this limit is so low, but it seems that most manufacturers set the tongue weight limit at 10% of the max trailer weight, seemingly without regard to the vehicle's capacity. This is the same value as for my van, despite the Wrangler's shorter rear overhang, probably stronger structure, and much higher axle and tire capacities; both vehicles have the same trailer weight limit. They just don't want much load hung right on the back of the vehicle!

In the list of real-world example weights that I linked earlier, Escape 19' tongue weights ranged from 220 pounds to 460 pounds. 350 pounds is practical, but it is about as low as reasonable and I would be careful to avoid piling too much load at the front of the trailer.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
A general guide like the one Jim linked is a good introduction. Also, Jeep owners manuals tend to have a pretty good section which explains the weight ratings, in general terms not just specific to the vehicle. In the 2010 version of the Wrangler manual that starts on page 418, in the Vehicle Loading part of the Starting and Operating chapter.


The manual and automatic transmissions are usually considered by the manufacturer to be different in their ability to handle the stresses of towing, so you just need to know which one you have to pick the right line of ratings from the table in the manual (pages 425 to 427 in the 2010 manual, in the Trailer Towing part of the Starting and Operating chapter.

The axle ratio is how much the gears in the axle reduce the driveshaft speed to turn the axles. It doesn't matter so much exactly what this means, but a higher number means that the engine and transmission can turn faster for given speed down the road, allowing them to reliably do more work and thus often allow for a higher overall weight for the vehicle and trailer (GCWR). In the case of the 2010 Wrangler, the 4.10 ratio (which seem to come with the Rubicon package) allows a slightly higher GCWR than otherwise similar Wrangler with the 3.73 ratio.

The GVWR of 5700 pounds means that the Wrangler, including everyone and everything in it, and any tongue weight of the trailer carried on the hitch, must not exceed 5700 pounds. Since a base 4-door Wrangler weighs (at least in the 2010 model year) 4347 pounds, that means all the optional equipment (including a lot of heavy stuff if it's a Rubicon) plus the people plus their stuff plus the trailer tongue weight can't add up to more than 1353 pounds.
Ok so i believe the weight of my vehicle is around 4500 pounds. GVWR is 5700 pounds.. GCWR is 8347 pounds and max tounge wt is 350 pounds
So I must be right on the borderline to tow a 19 foot?
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:00 PM   #13
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Okay, Steve, now that you have the door placard info are you up to diving into your manual to confirm the trailer weight limit and find the GCWR, knowing to look for the line in the table for an Unlimited (presumably - please confirm that) with automatic transmission and 4.10 axle ratio?

Just so I can find a more likely curb weight (weight of the Jeep alone with no one and nothing in it), which version is it? Rubicon?
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:03 PM   #14
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Okay, Steve, now that you have the door placard info are you up to diving into your manual to confirm the trailer weight limit and find the GCWR, knowing to look for the line in the table for an Unlimited (presumably - please confirm that) with automatic transmission and 4.10 axle ratio?

Just so I can find a more likely curb weight (weight of the Jeep alone with no one and nothing in it), which version is it? Rubicon?
I guess we were both typing at the same time : ) The numbers that I noted were the ones from the manual. Yes it is an unlimited rubicon auto transmission with 4.10

Thank you
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:06 PM   #15
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Sorry, we were typing at the same time...

4500 lb of Wrangler, plus
2510 lb of dry and empty Escape 19', equals
_________
7010 lb of combined empty vehicles


8347 lb GCWR, minus
7010 lb of combined vehicles, leaves
_________
1337 pounds for...
  • driver (or maybe not, the 2010 manual says the GCWR is after allowing for a driver)
  • passengers
  • cargo in Jeep
  • water and propane in trailer
  • other stuff in trailer

Yes, it is close, and with a couple of kids and a lot of stuff it's not going to fit. I don't know your situation, Steve.

An Escape 17' would save about 500 pounds of trailer, and discourage you from carrying as much stuff. Other travel trailers of this size won't likely be any lighter.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:11 PM   #16
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My Escape was around 3400-3500# loaded and a tongue weight of 350#
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:14 PM   #17
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These numbers show it will not work.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Sorry, we were typing at the same time...

4500 lb of Wrangler, plus
2510 lb of dry and empty Escape 19', equals
_________
7010 lb of combined empty vehicles


8347 lb GCWR, minus
7010 lb of combined vehicles, leaves
_________
1337 pounds for...
  • driver (or maybe not, the 2010 manual says the GCWR is after allowing for a driver)
  • passengers
  • cargo in Jeep
  • water and propane in trailer
  • other stuff in trailer

Yes, it is close, and with a couple of kids and a lot of stuff it's not going to fit. I don't know your situation, Steve.

An Escape 17' would save about 500 pounds of trailer, and discourage you from carrying as much stuff. Other travel trailers of this size won't likely be any lighter.
Thank you for all of your help. Judging by how close the numbers are I think there is a good chance I could keep it under the 1300 pounds. I'm a light packer and would usually only be travelling to meet people or with one other person. I do feel fairly confident that the jeep would be able to handle a little extra weight
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:16 PM   #19
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With my 3500# and your 4500# Jeep, leaves you 300 margin which is eliminated by the
tongue weight, sorry you will be over weight.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:21 PM   #20
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The interesting thing is that in comparison to the Toyota FJ Cruiser which Jim towed his 19' with, the Wrangler
  • is about the same weight,
  • is similarly constructed (body on frame, solid rear axle, conventional drivetrain layout),
  • has about the same size of engine and more power, and
  • the Wrangler Unlimited is longer in wheelbase.
I don't know why the "tough" and "capable" Jeep has such as low GCWR. I suspect that it would be as safe as an FJ and more stable, but Chrysler just didn't equip the Wrangler's drivetrain for heavy-duty use, with enough cooling capacity, for instance... and the tongue weight limit is just an arbitrary number that follows as a result.

As FJ owners may know, the FJ Cruiser is on a variant of the Land Cruiser Prado chassis, and outside of North America Land Cruiser is better known for off-road performance and reliability than Jeep. Just having a little fun with the Jeep owners...
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