Jeep Wranglers are exceptional vehicles. They are sturdy and that makes them the perfect vehicle to take for adventures off-road.
The Wrangler can take a lot of beatings, however, like all machines, it has its limits, especially when in regards to its maximum towing capacity. You must never tow a load more than what the vehicle is capable of.
When it comes to towing capacity, a Wrangler is capable of towing anything from 2,000 pounds to 4,000 pounds. What this means is that it is capable of towing hybrid trailers, teardrop campers, airstreams, and of course popup campers.
So, to answer the question of if a Jeep Wrangler can pull a popup camper, yes it can, within reason. As stated earlier, Wranglers are quite sturdy, but they have their breaking points.
Think about the Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity
When it comes to considering if a Jeep Wrangler can tow a popup camper or any trailer really, the most pertinent fact to consider is its towing capacity. The towing capacity of a vehicle can widely vary depending on the trim, let alone the actual model year.
It can be quite surprising to learn that not every Wrangler is equal. Depending on the model year, you could be able to pull a bit more weight or less.
For example, the 2010 and 2011 Wrangler models can comfortably pull anything from 1,000 pounds to 3,500 pounds. The base weight limit is doubled in the 2012 model to 2,000 pounds.
The Wranglers released in 2013 to 2019 have stuck to this range, so if you are interested in purchasing a Jeep Wrangler, you should be aware that a 2012 model has the same weight capacity as a 2019 model.
That being said, it is important to note that this range is just a general estimate, as there are specific trims that have exact numbers.
If you happen to have a Jeep Wrangler and you are not quite sure of your vehicle’s towing capacity, you can simply consult your owners’ manual.
Additionally, you can check the inside of the driver’s door jamb. This usually has important information like the tire pressure, maximum towing capacity, and everything else.
As stated earlier, the average maximum towing range for a Wrangler is anything from 2000 pounds to 3,500 pounds.
This range might sound like a lot till you find out the dry weight of the trailer you want to pull. Thankfully, the dry weight of a popup camper falls right in between the range.
What is dry weight and why does it matter?
When dry weight is being mentioned in terms of towing, it means the weight of the camper when it is wholly empty.
A popup camper’s lowest average is 600 pounds when empty, so you can be sure that your Jeep Wrangler can comfortably tow it when empty and when filled with your gear and water.
You have to be careful, however, as all that additional weight can quickly add up if you get carried away.You might believe that since a popup camper is light, you might be able to get away with adding as much stuff as possible.
However, there is one thing you shouldn’t do. You should never cut your vehicle’s towing capacity too close as this is dangerous.
Size and height
Apart from the weight, you also have to consider the size of whatever camper you intend to tow. Generally, you do not want to tow a camper or trailer that is much higher than the Wrangler as it could sway wildly with nothing to dissipate the effect of the wind.
Thankfully, you do not have to consider that when towing a popup camper, as it can seamlessly collapse from a wide camper into a flat, boxy trailer. You also do not want to tow a trailer or camper that is too long, given the longer a camper is, the heavier it is bound to be.
Types of campers suitable for a Jeep Wrangler
It has been stated that due to the range of weight the Wrangler can handle, there are numerous campers suitable for it. It is, however, recommended that you only pull the small and aerodynamic trailers and campers to ensure that there isn’t an issue when you are on the road.
The following is a rudimentary breakdown of different campers, their sizes, and their dry weight in relation to what a Wrangler can handle.
- When it comes to a popup camper, the Jeep Wrangler can handle a dry weight between 600 pounds and 4,000 pounds.
- When it comes to a hybrid trailer, the Jeep Wrangler can handle a dry weight between 2,000 pounds and 5,000 pounds.
- When it comes to a teardrop camper, the Jeep Wrangler can handle a dry weight between 520 pounds and 2,500 pounds.
- When it comes to an Airstream camper, the Jeep Wrangler can handle a dry weight between 2,500 pounds and 4,000 pounds.
You will notice that the dry weights of the aforementioned camper happen to fall within the towing capacity range of the Wrangler.
That being said, it is important to note that this is only the dry weight of these campers. There is bound to be more weight added on once all your camping gear and every other essential is packed in.
What this means is that you are unlikely to tow any large camper or trailer using your Jeep Wrangler as that would most likely mean going over the approved safe towing weight for the Jeep Wrangler.
Additionally, the other campers on the list might be too tall and wide for the Wrangler to safely pull even if they did fall in its maximum towing capacity. This just goes to show that the popup camper is the best choice for a Jeep Wrangler as it is not only small enough, but it is also light enough to be safely towed.
Popup campers can be a great option for those looking to use their Jeep Wrangler as a tow vehicle. As seen from the bullet point above, a popup camper can weigh as little as 600 pounds and as much as 4,000 pounds, however, this is only the camper’s dry weight.
When you calculate that a Jeep Wrangler’s maximum towing capacity is anything from 2,000 pounds to 4,000 pounds, you might want to steer clear from any of those heavier and large popup campers.
What you should instead for is either a basic camper, that has only a few amenities, these are bound to be the lightest popup campers available, or a good mid-ranger that has a dry weight between 1,600 to 2,000 pounds.
Popup campers in this weight range typically have features such as a living area, dinette, and a queen-sized bed.
A great thing about a popup camper is the fact that it comes with a soft canvas wall that when compared to the rigid walls of many other campers and trailers, helps the popup camper remain light.
It is for this reason that it is easier to tow. Nevertheless, if you are worried about not getting adequate protection from the elements, you need not worry as a popup camper is capable of handling the elements, as long as you don’t plan to go winter camping in it.