How To Tow A Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

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Ours is a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and we’re planning to tow it behind an RV someday soon.

Here’s what we’ve learned…

According to the Jeep manual:

When towing a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for recreational towing — such as behind a motorhome — you must tow with “four wheels down” (as opposed to using a tow dolly), because…

Internal damage to the transfer case will occur if a front or rear wheel lift is used when recreational towing!


How To Tow A Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Behind An RV

First, the transfer case must be shifted into NEUTRAL. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Start with the key in the “accessory” position.
  2. Depress the brake pedal.
  3. Shift the automatic transmission into NEUTRAL (N) or depress clutch pedal on manual transmission.
  4. Shift the transfer case level into NEUTRAL (N).
  5. Start the engine.
  6. Shift the automatic transmission into DRIVE (D) or the manual transmission into gear.
  7. Release the brake pedal and ensure that there is no vehicle movement.
  8. IMPORTANT: Shut the engine off and place the ignition key into the unlocked OFF position.*
  9. Shift the automatic transmission into PARK (P).
  10. Apply the parking brake.
  11. Attach the Jeep to the tow vehicle with a tow bar.**
  12. Release the parking brake.

towing-a-jeep-wrangler-four-wheels-down.jpg *Damage to the transmission may occur if the transmission is shifted into PARK (P) with the transfer case in NEUTRAL (N) and the engine running!

**Do not use a bumper mounted clamp-on tow bar on the Jeep Wrangler Unlmited. The bumper face bar will be damaged.

How To Shift Out Of Neutral On A Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Once you reach your destination, you will want to unhook the Jeep from the tow vehicle. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Shift the automatic transmission into NEUTRAL (N) or depress the clutch pedal on a manual transmission.
  2. Shift the transfer case lever into desired position (usually 4-Hi)***
  3. Shift the automatic transmission into DRIVE (D) or release the clutch on a manual transmission.

***We found that it’s easier to shift the transfer case into position if you start the engine on the Jeep first.

From the Jeep manual:

The transfer case NEUTRAL (N) position disengages both the front and rear driveshafts from the powertrain and will allow the vehicle to move despite the transmission position. The parking brake should always be applied with the driver is not in the vehicle.”




Over the past several years, I've been involved with transporting RVs, renting RVs, and fulltime RVing (months at a time). I'm fortunate to have had a number of different RVs available to me to try out -- which has enabled me to experience the nuances of RVing firsthand. When I'm not RVing, you can find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

53 thoughts on “How To Tow A Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

  1. I have a 2004 jeep yj with an automatic and I want to tow it behind my motorhome. If I turn the steering wheel to the left or right it will lock. Can it be towed without locking the steering wheel

  2. I have a 2004 jeep yj with an automatic and I want to tow it behind my motorhome. If I turn the steering wheel to the left or right it will lock. Can it be towed without locking the steering wheel

  3. Can anyone tell me if you can tow a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Edition 4X4 (all the time) automatic behind a motor home on all four wheels without dropping the driveshaft? What are the steps if you do not have to drop the driveshaft? Do I need a transmission pump?

  4. Can anyone tell me if you can tow a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Edition 4X4 (all the time) automatic behind a motor home on all four wheels without dropping the driveshaft? What are the steps if you do not have to drop the driveshaft? Do I need a transmission pump?

  5. How difficult is it to wire a 2010 Wrangler, Rubicon for towing behind a motorhome? I’m good with electrical. A friend said I need dioades to prevent feedback. Do I connect wires under the engine hood, or under the kick panel?

    1. go to parts store and get a comp;ete set of magnetic stop and turn signal kit and plug into  leading vechicle and yoour troubles are over with

  6. who can I contact to find out if a 2001 VW Beetle is flat towable, with standard shift? I cannot find the answer to that anywhere including VW

  7. Greetings…I’m looking to purchase a 2004 Jeep Wrangler SE w/5 speed trans…I would need to install a tow hitch & tow bar to this Jeep. How can I install a tow bar to this vehicle for our RV?

    1. Djace, Most tow bar manufacturers sell vehicle specific base plates that match their tow bars to your vehicle. Roadmaster and Blue Ox are two popular brands.

  8. the last statement is wrong. about parking brake,and is with out logic.
    it should say.
    the parking brake must be applied any time the Jeep is not coupled to the RV and
    you are not driving it.

    how is that.

    1. Planki4702 Assuming you are towing with the transmission in park or in gear and the transfer case in neutral, no the odometer does not keep turning. It is attached to the transmission which also will not be turning.

      1. some models like my 2002 has the spedo sensor attached to the rear differential. What all year models have this set-up?

  9. 2001- 2003 models have the spedo sensor on the rear differential so it will keep adding miles when towing, because it is turning when being towed. May be other models that have this setup. You need to check with your local Jeep shop and ask where your particular models speedometer sensor is located.

  10. Please let me know where I can find the full process before and after towing behind a RV for Grand Vitara 2010? I know it is in the Suzuki book but not clear before and after destination.

    Thank You!
    Gaston – email: [email protected]

    1. Gaston, according to this article,
      your Grand Vitara can be towed by placing the transfer case in the neutral position. You need to hook up the tow bar, then place the transfer case in neutral and leave the steering wheel unlocked so the wheels can track. If you’re unsure of what you’re doing best you take it to a dealer and have them explain the steps.

  11. With a manual gear box, the transmission must be left in the highest gear when towing. ie: 5th or 6th gear

    1. Plees51, There are a number of quality towbars out there that will do the job.  Two popular brands are Blue Ox
      and Stow Master   As to which is best, I won’t pick sides.

  12. When towing a Jeep wrangler with an A frame or V type towbar should the steering wheel be tied off?

  13. When towing a Jeep wrangler with an A frame or V type towbar should the steering wheel be tied off?

    1. Lillian, No the steering wheel needs to be free so the front wheels will track when you turn corners. The steering wheel also needs to be unlocked so in most instances the key must be left in the ignition.

    1. Donny, I found a forum that states you need to install a Remco lube pump for the transmission.  Better talk to a Chrysler dealer to make sure.

  14. We are considering towing a Jeep Wrangler, manual transmission, to Baja, MX.  We are towing behind a 2500 HD truck.  Can we maintain highway speeds while towing?  And our owners manual says to put vehicle in neutral, transfer case and transmission.  Any problems with that?  Thanks for you help.

    1. Baja Ross, Highway speeds should be ok.  If the manual says both transfer case and transmission in neutral that will work too.  Most important is the transfer case in neutral because when it is in neutral both front and rear axles spin freely.

  15. When I try to tow my jeep Wrangler (94) when I turn my dodge truck to the left my jeep turns to the right jamming the tires to the right. I have a locker front end and a posi rear end. Any ideas would be help me try to find the problem.

  16. I am new with RV’s. I have a 2011 Ford Escape and a 2008 Ford Explorer “sport Trac”. I have been trying to find out if either can be towed behind our RV and instructions on what needs to be done to tow either of them without much luck. Can either be towed and what needs to be done?

  17. Dcsaco, It all depends on how your vehicles are set up.  Stick vs Automatic, or do they have a transfer case with a neutral position?  Do you have manual locking hubs, or automatic hubs?  I’d recommend you go talk to your Ford dealer as it appears you aren’t completely up to speed on what you have.

    1. Cathyjim55, I don’t know.  It depends what state you’re in and how long the total combination is I guess.  Personally I wouldn’t do it.  You’re asking for very poor handling characteristics.

  18. Hello,
    I’m shopping for an older Unlimited Jeep and a few dealers are telling me that mileage will accumulate as a result of being towed. So, some forums say yes/no and dealers say yes. What’s the correct answer?
    Thank you..

    1. Dennis, Generally the speedometer mechanism on older vehicles is cable driven from the rear of the transmission. by placing the transfer case in neutral for flat towing the transmission is taken out of the picture so no miles will accumulate. I tend to believe the same would occur with todays computerized vehicles because if the transmission isn’t turning there should be no input telling it to accumulate miles. That is an assumption though so I would believe what the dealer tells you.

  19. My 2004 Jeep Wrangler is ready for towing behind our Motor Home. Now I need to find a way to cut power after I turn my ignition on to unlock my steering. Any suggestions?

  20. I currently tow my Jeep Wrangler unlimited and would like to look into putting some king of brake assist on it but dont want to spend 1000$ and suggestions

    1. Mark, The most cost effective system I know about is Ready Brake.
      At around $500 is is far cheaper than other systems. The only catch I know of is that it is critical that it be adjusted properly during installation. It’s a surge type cable system that activates the brakes on your Jeep. Adjust wrong and it will either not apply the brakes, or keep them applied when you don’t want them.

      1. I have another question I have a class c Itasci
        With a fiberglass roof and I need to seal it. is it necessary or required to remove all the old sealant at the joints before do so. If so how do I do that. Thanks

        1. Mdonn1, I would only worry about removing any loose or questionable sealant. Digging out all the sealant is likely to cause damage.

          1. Wonderful that saves me a lot of time and headache. Thanks for the advice

  21. I just came back from a 2,500 mile tripo and my 2009 Wrangler’s transfer shifting knob moves freely like it isn’t catching in any position. The lights on the dash show it is in 4×4 but the shifter will not engage any position. I have a 6 speed manual. Anyone know how to get it to engage?

  22. I have a 2011 Jeep Wranger and just installed a Blue Ox tow system. I have a question on the Steering wheel lock. My jeep does not seem to lock the steering wheel lock when key is not installed so do i still need to place the Key in Aux mode when towing. I

    1. No you do not. I had a 2012 Jeep Wrangler without locking steering and I kept the keys in my pocket. No need to have them in the ignition at all

      1. Thanks . Wish me luck it will be the first jeep that I will be towing. I tow a trailer now but jeep I heard is heavy tow. (No Brakeing module)

        1. Drive conservatively and you shouldn’t have a problem. Most motor homes will have no problem with the go part and stopping just takes a little longer

          1. Curtis, Just hooked up my BlueOX tow bar to my 2011 Jeep Wranger. Little confused how to get Jeep Wrangler into Tow mode. I started jeep. Placed transmission on Neutral, moved transfer case to neutral and stop engine and placed transmission in Park. It tow ok but what would i see if i did not get jeep in tow mode. I did not see anything on Dash saying transfer case was in neutral. its a 2011 Jeep Wranger .

          2. Hitch the Jeep to the motorhome with everything still in drive mode. Place the transmission in park and then put the transfer case in neutral. To make sure you have it in neutral put the transmission in Drive and the Jeep should not attempt to move. Once you have established that the transmission is in neutral shut the engine off and then place the transmission in park. If you try to put the transmission in park with the engine running you will grind gears. The Jeep should be towed with the transmission in park and the transfer case in neutral.

          3. Must of done it wrong to begin, i heard some gear. This option on better no sound, THANKS

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