how to tow a jeep wrangler on a tow dolly

Towing a Jeep Wrangler on a tow dolly is a practical solution for those looking to transport their beloved off-road vehicle safely and efficiently. Whether you’re moving to a new location, embarking on a road trip, or need to transport your Jeep for maintenance or adventure purposes, understanding the essential steps and safety considerations is paramount. 

This comprehensive guide will provide you with invaluable insights and detailed instructions to ensure a smooth and secure towing experience for your Jeep Wrangler.

Equipment Selection

Before you begin towing your Jeep Wrangler, you must gather the necessary equipment. Here’s a list of essential items:

  • Tow Dolly: Ensure that the tow dolly you choose is rated for the weight of your Jeep Wrangler.
  • Tow Vehicle: Your tow vehicle should be capable of safely towing the combined weight of the Dolly and the Jeep.
  • Safety Chains: These provide an extra layer of security in case the Dolly or straps fail.
  • Lights and Wiring: Properly functioning brake lights and turn signals are essential for safe towing.
  • Straps and Ratchet Tie-Downs: These will secure your Jeep to the Dolly.
  • Brake Controller (if applicable): Depending on the weight of your setup, you may need an electric brake controller for the Dolly.

Jeep Wrangler Preparation

Before loading your Jeep onto the tow dolly, there are several important preparations to make:

  • Check Vehicle Weight: Ensure your Jeep Wrangler, including any cargo, does not exceed the Dolly’s weight rating or your tow vehicle’s towing capacity.
  • Secure Loose Items: Remove any loose items from your Jeep’s interior and secure them to prevent shifting during transit.
  • Disconnect Driveshaft (if applicable): Some Jeep Wrangler models with a two-speed transfer case require the driveshaft to be disconnected to prevent damage to the transmission. Consult your owner’s manual for guidance.
  • Ensure Tires Are Properly Inflated: Adequate tire pressure is crucial for stability during towing.

Tow Dolly Setup

Now that you have the equipment and have prepared your Jeep Wrangler, it’s time to set up the tow dolly:

  • Hitching the Dolly to the Tow Vehicle: Follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure the tow dolly is safely fastened to the hitch of the towing vehicle.
  • Adjusting Dolly Width: The Dolly’s width should match the track width of your Jeep. Adjust the Dolly’s wheel pans to align with your Jeep’s tires.
  • Installing Safety Chains: Cross the safety chains under the tongue of the Dolly and attach them to the tow vehicle. This forms a cradle to catch the Dolly in case it disconnects from the hitch.
  • Connecting Lights and Wiring: Plug in the Dolly’s wiring harness into the tow vehicle’s electrical socket. Ensure all lights are functioning correctly.
  • Testing Brake Lights and Turn Signals: Have someone assist you in verifying that Dolly’s brake lights and turn signals work as expected.

Loading The Jeep Wrangler

With the tow dolly properly set up, it’s time to load your Jeep:

  • Positioning the Jeep on the Dolly: Align your Jeep’s front tires with the Dolly’s wheel pans. Slowly drive the Jeep onto the Dolly until the front tires are snugly against the wheel pans.
  • Securing the Jeep with Straps: Use ratchet straps to secure the Jeep’s front wheels to the Dolly. Ensure the straps are tight and properly tensioned. Cross the straps for added stability.
  • Double-Checking Securement: Give each strap a final check to ensure they are secure. Ensure the steering wheel is locked in a straight-ahead position.

Safety Precautions

To ensure a safe towing experience, keep these precautions in mind:

  • Weight Distribution: Maintain proper weight distribution between the tow vehicle and the Dolly. Avoid overloading the rear of the tow vehicle, which can affect steering and braking.
  • Speed and Distance: Drive at a safe and controlled speed, typically below the posted speed limit. Allow for greater stopping distances and take turns cautiously.
  • Regular Inspections: Periodically stop and inspect the straps, connections, and tire pressure during your journey. Make sure everything remains secure.
  • Emergency Brake Controller (if applicable): If your setup requires an electric brake controller for the Dolly, ensure it’s functioning correctly and adjusted for optimal braking performance.

Towing Procedures

Understanding how to handle your setup while on the road is crucial:

  • Starting and Stopping: Gradually accelerate and brake to avoid jerky movements. Give yourself extra space when stopping to allow for the added weight.
  • Turning and Maneuvering: Make wide turns and anticipate your vehicle’s extended length. Backing up with a tow dolly is typically not recommended.
  • Uphill and Downhill Towing: Be prepared for reduced acceleration uphill and increased braking distance downhill. Use lower gears and engine braking when descending steep grades.

Unloading The Jeep Wrangler

Upon reaching your destination, follow these steps to unload your Jeep safely:

  • Removing Straps: Carefully release and remove the ratchet straps securing your Jeep to the Dolly.
  • Safely Unloading: Slowly back your Jeep off the Dolly. Ensure the front tires clear the Dolly’s wheel pans before fully disengaging.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Tow A Jeep Wrangler With A Tow Dolly? 

Yes, you can tow a Jeep Wrangler with a tow dolly, but it requires proper equipment, setup, and safety precautions to ensure a safe journey.

2. Do I Need To Disconnect The Driveshaft When Towing A Jeep Wrangler On A Dolly? 

In some Jeep Wrangler models with a two-speed transfer case, it’s necessary to disconnect the driveshaft to prevent transmission damage during towing. Consult your owner’s manual for specific guidance.

3. What’s The Maximum Speed For Towing A Jeep Wrangler On A Tow Dolly? 

It’s generally recommended to drive at or below the posted speed limit, but a safe and controlled speed is typically below 65 mph (105 km/h) when towing with a dolly. Read More about towing capacity of Jeep Wrangler

4. Can I Back Up While Towing A Jeep Wrangler On A Dolly? 

Backing up with a tow dolly is not recommended due to the risk of jackknifing and damage to the setup. Plan your route to avoid the need for backing up when towing.


Towing a Jeep Wrangler on a tow dolly can be a practical way to transport your vehicle, but it requires careful preparation and adherence to safety guidelines. You can make sure your Jeep Wrangler has a safe and successful towing experience by according to the instructions provided in this guide. Always consult your vehicle and Dolly’s owner’s manuals for specific instructions and recommendations.