Jeep Wrangler is the ultimate off-road vehicle. Its major rivals are the Ford Bronco and the Land Rover Explorer, but most people have a liking for the Jeep. As an off-road car, the Wrangler offers versatility with a great mix of power and comfort.
The four-door model is the most ideal family car while the two-door model works great for solo trips. But how much can the SUV carry?
How Much Weight Can I Put In The Back Of My Jeep Wrangler?
The payload capacity of a Jeep Wrangler varies based on the model, the body style, year, and tire size. Some models can carry as little as 880 pounds while some can carry as much as 1361 pounds. The four door model has a higher payload capacity than the two-door model.
Jeep changes the payload capacity of its models every year and so the capacity of the model you have may be different from the capacity of the same model last year. For instance, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler has a capacity that ranges from 1052 to 1351 pounds. In 2020, the payload capacity was between 1030 to 1351 pounds.
Earlier, in 2019, the capacity was between 1080 and 1361 pounds. In 2012, the Wrangler had a payload capacity that ranged from 379 to 1023 pounds. From these numbers, you can see that there are huge variations between the capacities of the various models.
You can tell the capacity of your Jeep by looking at the user manual. The user manual will list the payload and the towing capacity of the model you have. Note that, the payload capacity is the amount of cargo you can carry in the Jeep, including the passengers.
How Can You Calculate the Payload Capacity of Your Jeep Wrangler?
You need to know the curb weight and the gross vehicle weight rating of your Jeep to calculate its payload capacity. The gross vehicle weight rating, GVWR, refers to the maximum weight allowed for your SUV, including its weight, the fluids in it, and the load and the passengers it carries.
You can see the GVWR of your Wrangler on the user manual as the manufacturer sets the limit. On the other hand the curb weight refers to the weight of the vehicle without passengers and without cargo. However, this includes a tank full of gas and any other needed fluids.
The payload capacity of your Jeep Wrangler, therefore, is the difference between the vehicle’s GVWR and its curb weight.
For instance, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited High Altitude 4DR has a GVWR of 5,500 pounds and a curb weight of 4,549 pounds. This SUV has a payload capacity 1,001 pounds. With the added performance features, Jeep rates this car to carry up to 1,208 pounds.
Can I Carry More than My Truck’s Payload Capacity?
You can carry more than the factory payload capacity, but with a few modifications. The GVWR of your truck doesn’t change much unless you do major vehicle upgrades such as changing the suspension system and the engine. However, you can lower the curb weight of the vehicle and install wider and larger tires to make the SUV carry more.
What if you do not upgrade the vehicle and you carry more than the recommended payload, what happens? You will damage your Jeep’s suspension system and other components that will be expensive to replace.
The leaf springs, the center bolts, and the rear suspension will suffer more when you carry more than the recommended vehicle rating. The tires and axles will also sustain damages from the overload on the Jeep. Most of these damages will come with a serious cost implication.
Your vehicle loses its stability when you overload. Steering will be more challenging and braking becomes an issue too. If you overload the back of the Jeep Wrangler, the front wheels will touch the surface under less weight, and this leads to loss of traction.
If the weight at the back of the Jeep is too much more than the weight in its front, the wheels may lift off the ground. The tires will experience more friction, which produces a lot of heat, which may result in blowouts. A blowout is risky as you will lose the control of your vehicle and this might cause an accident.
You will also lose your chance to accelerate quickly. If you need to accelerate quickly and your Jeep Wrangler is overloaded, you may not be able to do that, and it endangers the passengers in the Jeep. Even worse, you increase the braking distance when you overload the Jeep.
Your brakes will work extra hard, and they generate so much heat, making them less effective. Further, you might void your warranty and lose an insurance claim on the grounds that overloading is illegal. In short, you should avoid overloading your Jeep Wrangler.
What Determines How Much You Can Carry in your Jeep Wrangler?
Jeep Wrangler modifications can increase if you lower the payload capacity. If you have bigger tires and a host of other added components, the curb weight of your Jeep Wrangler increases and the payload reduces. For instance, if you drive a Jeep Wrangler Sport and you fit the larger wheels of a Rubicon, the armor, and the rails, you will increase the weight of the Sport and consequently lower its payload capacity.
When doing a solo trip, you leave more space and more cargo capacity. The weight of the passengers diminishes the payload capacity of the Jeep. Every added passenger contributes towards reaching the GVWR of the Jeep.
If you need to carry more than the payload rating of your Jeep, you need to lower the weight of your Wrangler, do some modifications, or use a tow instead of carrying in the cargo space.
How Much Cargo Space Does Jeep Wrangler Have?
The two-door Jeep Wrangler has a cargo space of 12.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats. If you fold the rear seats, you will have 31.7 cubic feet of space to carry your cargo. This is lower than what other compact SUVs can carry, but the Jeep Wrangler offers more power to ensure that you enjoy the driving experience.
The four-door Wrangler has more cargo space. It carries up to 31.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and up to 72.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. This Wrangler offers more than the rivals offer.
The beauty of the Wrangler is that the rear seats fold neatly if you need to carry more stuff. Further, Jeep offers six tie-down points and there is an underfloor compartment where you can carry more cargo. One disadvantage of the Wrangler is that the door pockets and dashboard storage areas do not carry much.
The two-door model can carry only two or three carry-on cases behind the rear seats. The four door model can fit up to 10 carry-on cases. If you go on an adventure with your friends, you need to pack light so that you do not end up exceeding the payload capacity of your Jeep Wrangler.
The two-door model only has four seats while the four-door model has five seats.
How Can I Increase the Payload Capacity of a Jeep Wrangler?
The easiest way to carry more with your Jeep Wrangler is to tow. When you tow, you can carry between 2,000 and 3,500 pounds. The two-door model tows about 2,000 pounds while the four-door model tows about 3,500 pounds.
If towing is not an option for you, and you need to carry more, you can reduce the curb weight of your Jeep Wrangler by removing items that you do not need. If your Jeep is lighter, you will enjoy increased range with better gas mileage.
A lighter Jeep is also easier to control – steering and braking become easier in the event of a genuine emergency. If you are ever stuck, a lighter Jeep will get unstuck faster. Acceleration is the result of force divided by mass. If the mass is low, the force the Jeep generates will be higher and you will not get stuck.
Plus, you do not have to be stuck at all if the weight of your Jeep is low. There are several ways to make your Jeep Wrangler lighter.
• You can replace the hard top of the Jeep with a soft top and free up to 100 pounds, and this allows you to carry more load. If you already have a soft top, you can replace its frame and go with a frameless soft top, which will make your Jeep lighter by 31 pounds.
• If you always go on solo trips or your adventures never involve more than two people, you can remove the back seat and have enough space for your bed. The back seat weighs about 70 pounds, and you can use the free space to load up more cargo.
• You can also remove or replace the skid plates. The stock skid plates are heavy, and they are not protective when you slide over rocks. Instead of these plates, you can install stronger and lighter plates.
• If you use your Jeep for off-road trips over rocks and rugged terrain, you may need bigger-than-stock tires. These tires will add weight to your Jeep. If you only use your Jeep for town travel, pick smaller tires and wheels and shed the extra weight.
• You can also reduce the amount of load you carry in your Jeep. For instance, instead of a complete toolbox, you can bring a few essential tools. You can also filter your own water instead of carrying so much – this allows you to bring more essential gear.
The payload capacity of a Jeep Wrangler changes every year. You can check the user manual to understand how much the Wrangler can carry in the back. If the user manual says you can carry 1,000 pounds, you need to subtract the mass of the passengers and of any added components.
If the passengers weigh 450 pounds, you are left with only 550 pounds to carry in the back. You need to distribute the load on the rear and front of the Jeep Wrangler. Do not put all the weight at the back of the Wrangler as this can affect its stability.