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How much boat will a Jeep Wrangler tow / launch?

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How much boat will a Jeep Wrangler tow / launch?

Old 10-07-2010, 12:11 PM
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Default How much boat will a Jeep Wrangler tow / launch?

Let me start by saying that I am aware this is a ridiculous question...

I am thinking about getting a new boat in the 20-24' range (WAC or CC) and I just don't understand how to figure the towing capacity while factoring in the short wheel-base of the Jeep Wrangler. (It is a V6 2004 with 4WD and the boat ramp is literally 1 mile from my house.)

Frankly, I think it is a really bad idea. My nightmare is that a boat that size will jack knife the Jeep or pull it into the water on a steep ramp.

Having said all that... any horror stories or success stories of Wrangler towing and launching out there?!?!

;?
Old 10-07-2010, 12:14 PM
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We used to pull a 17 Montauk with an early 90's 4 cylinder Wrangler. it pulled and launched fine, but withtht extra weight, the car was slower than Christmas and that is saying a lot since a 4 cylinder Wrangler without anything behind it redefines slow.. The hardest pulling short wheelbase Jeep that I have ever heard of was the TDI Liberty. I seem to recall it having a 6500 pound capability. Unfortunately, that model was available everywhere else in the world other than our market and can only be had in the US in a "kit" form that is beefed up to military standards by an aftermarket contractor and certified for "of road" use. The price without the crate motor is north of $45K
There was talk about that turbodiesel engine being made available for the previous generation Wranglers as a crate motor, including the original two door long wheelbase model, but in light of Chryslers subsequent troubles, I think that went nowhere. Theengine will not pas current emissions regs and from what I have heard, Chrysler/Fiat has no intentions of bringing the current Euro 4/5 compliant version into the US anytime soon.
Old 10-07-2010, 12:16 PM
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I knew a guy who pulled a shipoke flats boat all over south florida with a wrangler. I think the boat was like 16' though, and very light. I know the jeeps have some pulling power - I pulled my bluewater 2350 with a cherokee - but I'd be scared of the vehicle's wheelbase and vehicle's weight. If you're only going a mile and it's on back roads, then I think a 20' cc would be fine. But a 24' walkaround would be scary no matter what road you're on.
Old 10-07-2010, 12:37 PM
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I had a jeep rubicon which i would use from time to time to move around a 23' center console in my driveway. The boat put a lot of stress on the suspension and bullied the jeep around. I would never have attempted to tow the boat anyone else other than moving it around in the driveway to get to my garage.
Old 10-07-2010, 12:37 PM
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I own a 1999 4 cylinder TJ and I pull my 17' Outrage all over town on a regular basis. It definitely IS a slow ride but it gets the job done. Once you reach the speed limit its not bad at all. I've dropped my boat in at many different ramps (steep slippery concrete, dirt ramps, rocks,etc) and have never had a problem. I always put it in 4 low when pulling the boat out of the water and it pretty much idles out (I have 31X10.5" all terrain tires). That little 4 banger in 4 low is a force to be reckoned with
I hope this information is useful to you

Last edited by KiKoKiK; 10-07-2010 at 02:00 PM.
Old 10-07-2010, 01:05 PM
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I had a wranger with the 4.0 and stick. Towed a 21 chris craft less than a mile once. Did ok actually. Pulled it out of the ramp like it wasn't there in 2wd. But stopping was scary even from 30 mph.

The shipoke was 18ft btw.
Old 10-07-2010, 01:06 PM
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Thanks, the info is very useful and I appreciate it. I think the verdict is in... a CC up to 20-21' is all the Jeep is going to be good for. Anything bigger than that I it's SUV / Pickup time.
Old 10-07-2010, 01:37 PM
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You can launch darn near any size boat with one of those jeeps if the ramp is steep. Towing is a different story.
Old 10-07-2010, 01:38 PM
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its not the size of the boat, but the total weight including the trailer....5000lb max and your brakes need to be in good shape....run synthetic lube with the higher recommended viscosity in the rear axle.....I lost my rear axle bearings at 75k on a cherokee towing around a 20 footer with trailer...it will squat noticebly
Old 10-07-2010, 01:44 PM
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20 Sea Hunt,Wrangler 4.0L. Every stoplight was very scary.. Got dry storage two days later, and lived to tell about it.
Old 10-07-2010, 01:47 PM
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I had a 2000 Jeep GC and I think every seal in that thing leaked. You put a boat behind that thing and you better check the oil, transmission fluid, tranfer case, front & rear differentials, radiator fluid, oil again every mile. Then park it on two sheet of plywood and it should tow a 4000lb boat one mile with no problem for a couple of trips. Then plan on a new trans and motor.
Old 10-07-2010, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaJay View Post
You can launch darn near any size boat with one of those jeeps if the ramp is steep. Towing is a different story.
You hit the nail on the head
Old 10-07-2010, 02:47 PM
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Remember that the mfgrs boat weight is without fuel, equipment, motor, coolers, ice, water, cushions and trailer. You have to add all o those to mfgr weight to come up to towing weight. Most 21' would be right at 5500# with an aluminum trailer. a few could reach 6,500#

If in doubt tow without stuff and with fuel tank empty.
Old 10-07-2010, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
I had a 2000 Jeep GC and I think every seal in that thing leaked. You put a boat behind that thing and you better check the oil, transmission fluid, tranfer case, front & rear differentials, radiator fluid, oil again every mile. Then park it on two sheet of plywood and it should tow a 4000lb boat one mile with no problem for a couple of trips. Then plan on a new trans and motor.
That's because it was a Chrysler product. Not shocking.
Old 10-07-2010, 02:59 PM
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I have a 2010 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Limited. It has a tow rating of 3000lbs. I tow two yamaha xlt 800 waverunners with it all the time maybe 2000lbs fully load with fuel. It handles it very nice, but that is all I would tow with it.
Old 10-07-2010, 03:02 PM
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Used my Wrangler 6 cyl to pull my Dolphin Backcountry everywhere - not a problem. Launching was never an issue. Estimated weight of boat, motor and trailer about 3000lbs.
Old 10-07-2010, 03:10 PM
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I would not take it on the street- for one thing you would be well over the trailering capacity and it would be illegal. No problem for launching though...just get a brake controller in the jeep and electric over hydraulic brakes on the trailer and you will be fine. It had enough torque to pull you up the ramp and the controller will prevent you from being pulled in.
I have a 1997 4.0 and a 2008 sahara and have had a 19' cc and now have a 24' w/a
Old 10-07-2010, 03:20 PM
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it very much depends on the boat you are pulling. I had a 18' bay boat, rolled gunwhale type, what weighed roughly 1500 FULLLLLLY loaded, could pull it with a sedan I bet. But, my new(to me) 20' CC weighs 5000 fully loaded, and its even a bit shaky in my FJ. Depends very much on the boat you are going to tow. if you have any boats in mind, you can go to NADA and look the boat up, and they are pretty darn accurate(most times) on the boat weights.

My neighbor pulls a 21' grady overnighter, probably 6500 fully loaded with his v8 wrangler. We only live a block from the ramp(LITERALLY, a block), but the ramp is steep slippery concrete and he has no issue pulling it out. If you are ONLY towing a mile, just go slow, be EXTRA cautious, and think WAAAAY ahead of what you want to do, and you can tow just about anything. If you EVER plan to go more than that mile, I'd stay within the tow limits, which I think are about 3500 lbs. With a fully loaded average weight, that's probably most 18' CC's, maybe some 19's.
Old 10-07-2010, 03:37 PM
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I tried to move my dad's 2300 maycraft ph in his driveway with a cherokee once. I couldn't even get the trailer jack swung up once it was on the ball because it just kept pushing down the jeep. Jacked the whole way down and it was still sitting on the wheel and my jeep was about to do a wheelie. No dice.
Old 10-07-2010, 03:39 PM
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Heres my setup

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