Can You Use A Tow Dolly On A Jeep? [Towing Explained]

Many drivers consider a tow dolly the best tool to transport a vehicle from one place to another affordably. However, to use a tow dolly, the towed vehicle’s front wheels are mounted on the dolly while the back wheels remain in contact with the road. Therefore, many people have wondered whether you can tow a Jeep Wrangler with a tow dolly. 

As outlined in the Jeep Wrangler owner’s manual, Wrangler owners should never tow their vehicles with a tow dolly. Since most Wranglers are four-wheel-drive models, mounting the front or rear wheels of a Jeep Wrangler to a tow dolly can severely damage the vehicle’s transmission or transfer case.

We’ll break down everything Jeep Wrangler owners must know about towing their vehicle with a tow dolly. 

Then, once we’ve explained why Jeep prohibits using a tow dolly with this model and recommends flat-towing Wrangler models, we’ll outline the steps to safely flat-tow your Jeep Wrangler!

What Is Dolly Towing?

The dolly tow method, consists of elevating your vehicles front tires off the ground and secured into a small trailer. The back tires roll freely on the road throughout the towing process.

The towing trailer, or dolly, is attached to a tow vehicle by means of a ball hitch.

Once attached to the towing vehicle, you drive the jeep (or vehicle)onto the dolly, ensuring it is centered properly. Then you secure the vehicle onto the dolly using straps, or chains to prevent it from falling off during transport.

Can A Jeep Wrangler Be Towed With A Tow Dolly?

If you consult your Jeep Wrangler’s provided manual, you’ll see that the manufacturer stipulates that you should not use a tow dolly with your Wrangler. 

Why You Shouldn’t Use A Tow Dolly For A Jeep Wrangler

A vast majority of Wrangler models come with four-wheel drive (4WD), which makes them unsuitable to be towed with a tow dolly. Additionally, using a tow dolly can damage your Jeep Wrangler. 

If you use a tow dolly to tow a jeep, shifting the transmission from the park gear into neutral is crucial. This will prevent the transmission or transfer case from spinning during the towing. 

When you use a tow dolly on your 4WD Wrangler, towing with only one set of wheels on the ground (regardless of whether it’s front or rear tires) can damage your vehicle’s transmission or transfer case. 

How to Tow A Jeep On A Dolly

While not recommended, some people will still try towing a jeep on a dolly. This video will walk you through everything you need to know about towing your jeep or any other 4 wheel drive vehicle.

The Best Way to Tow A Jeep Wrangler

Jeep recommends towing with all four wheels on or off the ground – which means you have more than one towing option! 

Using a trailer to tow the Wrangler with the wheels off the ground is best. 

Trailers are easy to use because you can drive your Wrangler onto the trailer and secure it with straps/chains. 

Since the combined weight of the Wrangler and trailer will exceed the towing capacity of passenger cars and SUVs, you’ll need to use a truck or RV to tow your Wrangler with a trailer. 

If you want to tow your Jeep Wrangler with the wheels on the ground, Jeep recommends flat-towing your Wrangler – which Wrangler models are specifically designed to support! 

Flat-towing is the best alternative to using a tow dolly, which Wrangler models don’t support. 

Wrangler drivers will be glad to know that flat-towing is a relatively simple way to tow this vehicle. 

Flat-towing is also known as four-down towing because all four wheels remain on the ground, with the vehicle essentially rolling behind a truck or motorhome on its wheels. 

How To Safely Flat Tow Your Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wranglers are one of the few vehicles specially designed to be flat towed. While it’s relatively simple to flat tow a Jeep Wrangler, it’s essential to follow the correct towing procedure – which we’ll outline below!

Step One: Gather Your Towing Equipment 

You’ll need the following pieces of equipment to flat-tow your Jeep Wrangler: 

  • Breakaway Kit: A breakaway kit is an essential piece of safety equipment designed to activate if your Jeep disconnects from the towing rig. The breakaway kit will slow down the Wrangler, minimizing damage and preventing accidents. 
  • Supplemental Brakes: Some states require supplemental brakes for flat-towing your vehicle. If you need supplemental brakes, you can use mechanical or electrical ones. 
  • Tow Bar: The tow bar is the main equipment required for towing, which is used to connect your Wrangler to the towing vehicle. The tow bar will be mounted to the front bumper of your Jeep Wrangler and hooked to the towing vehicle’s hitch. 
  • Towing Lights: Towing lights keep you and other drivers safe on the road. Wrangler owners can use a magnetically-mounted portable taillight. However, there are also kits to connect the Jeep’s lights to the towing vehicle’s lights. 
  • Universal Mounting Plate: Your Jeep’s bumper must be strong enough to take the force of towing. While most tow bars are designed to work with stock Jeep Wrangler bumpers, drivers with aftermarket bumpers will need to use a universal mounting plate or adapter.

Step Two: Inspect Both Vehicles 

It’s crucial to inspect the Jeep Wrangler and towing vehicle before proceeding to flat-tow your vehicle. Both cars must be in good condition, with fresh oil and transmission fluid. 

Besides topping off the coolant, all electrical systems must be in good working condition.  

You also need to confirm that your Wrangler is within the suitable towing capacity of your towing vehicle. Emptying your Jeep’s cargo can reduce the weight and make it easier to tow your vehicle. 

Always factor in the Jeep’s weight, including fuel capacity, when determining whether you can tow it with different vehicles. Trucks and motorhomes are the best options for pulling a Jeep Wrangler. 

Step Three: Attach Jeep Wrangler To Towing Vehicle 

Depending on your Wrangler’s tow bar, you must install an adapter or universal mounting plate before attaching your vehicle to the towing rig. Your chosen tow bar will provide specific instructions on connecting the Wrangler and towing rig. 

Step Four: Put Your Jeep Into Tow Mode 

You’re ready to put your Wrangler into tow mode. How you put your vehicle into tow mode depends on your model, tow bar, braking system, and wiring harness. 

Your Wrangler’s owner’s manual will outline the correct way to put your vehicle into tow mode before flat-towing it. 

Step Five: Check All Towing Connections

Once the Wrangler is attached to the towing rig and in tow mode. You must complete a visual inspection of all towing connections. 

It’s essential to check all connections and pins to ensure the Wrangler is correctly hooked up to the towing rig. 

Before flat-towing your Jeep Wrangler, ensure all brake lights and signals are in working order. Be sure to enlist someone’s help to check every detail thoroughly!

Then, you’re ready to flat-tow your Jeep Wrangler!

Final Word

According to Jeep, Wrangler owners should never use a tow dolly to tow their vehicle. Dolly towing can damage the vehicle’s transmission or transfer case. 

While you can use a trailer to tow your Jeep, the newer model Wranglers support flat-towing, which is the best alternative to using a tow dolly.

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