Skip to Content

Can a Jeep Cherokee Pull a Boat? All You Need to Know

Can a Jeep Cherokee Pull a Boat? All You Need to Know

Often people want to tow a boat with their Jeep Cherokee. They are mid-size sport utility vehicles that are fun to drive and can be used for hauling smaller recreational toys and equipment. So can a Jeep Cherokee pull a boat?

Yes, you can pull a boat with a Jeep Cherokee as long as you stay within the towing capacity of your model. Different trim types have larger engines and firmer suspensions which help them tow much heavier loads than base-model Cherokees.

Knowing the capabilities of your Jeep is critical information that could save the life of you and your family. Hooking a boat that is too large for your Jeep could overpower the brakes and ruin the engine and transmission. However, by learning a few facts, you can save the life of your Jeep. So read on and learn all you need to know about towing a boat with a Jeep Cherokee.

Pulling a Boat with a Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokees are often overlooked as potential hauling vehicles. This is because they are often underpowered and have weak brakes that could cause a towed load to shift when braking or fail to slow. However, there are models of Jeeps that have appropriate towing packages, and the first thing you need to know is what model of Cherokee you have.

Make your Jeep unique with any of these Jeep Accessories, Covers, Latches, Floor Mats, Etc. Found Here from Amazon

Determining Your Model of Jeep is Imperative to the Process

The model type of the Jeep Cherokee has undergone several changes over the years. Today there are a few different models of Cherokee that have upgraded engines and suspensions that will allow the hauling of boats and campers. These toys must meet weight specifications and cannot be wider than the rear of the Jeep.

The models of Jeep that are most likely to haul a boat and trailer are:

  • Limited – The Cherokee Limited is a vehicle with all the factory upgrades on the lowest level of the Jeep. It comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a bulked-up V6 that will allow you to tow between 2,000 and 4,500 pounds.
  • Trailhawk – One of the new niche models of Cherokee is the Trailhawk. It comes with the V6 and turbocharged four-cylinder as options but could have the standard four-cylinder under the hood. In addition, it has an appropriate towing package that will allow you to tow between 2,000 and 4,500 pounds.
  • Overland – While the Overland doesn’t have any towing packages installed, it does have more robust engines as options and could pull up to 4,000 pounds. Remember that checking the owner’s manual will answer any questions about towing capability or options.

Here’s a quick video showing that a Jeep Cherokee can in fact tow a boat:

Your Jeep model should be obvious, but sometimes it isn’t. For example, if you have larger trim models like the Overland and Trailhawk, there will be badges and indications while driving the standard Cherokee that could go with just a tiny sliver of signage. If you are unsure, check the owner’s manual.

The Total Weight of the Boat and Trailer is Another Vital Piece of Information

Once you know what kind of Cherokee you are driving and its towing specs, you can find the total weight of your boat and trailer. The two are separate pieces; you must know what each weighs before you hook the ball and socket together on the trailer. By not knowing, you could ruin the suspension of your Jeep and force it to blow an engine.

A few examples of types of boats a Jeep Cherokee can tow are:

  • Bass Boat – If you have a bass boat, it usually weighs around 3,500lbs. That means before a trailer it can be towed by the larger engines of the Cherokee line, you must be careful to get a trailer that doesn’t push towards max towing weight.
  • Ski Boat – Skit boats are light and fast and come at 3,500 pounds. Towing a ski boat with a Cherokee requires a lightweight trailer and the towing package or upgraded engines in your ride.

Boats with large decks or major center consoles need larger vehicles to pull them. Remember that a Cherokee is a mid-size vehicle and cannot haul large amounts of anything, no matter what it is.

Upgrading is an Option No Matter Your Cherokee Type

The good thing is that if you have a Cherokee that you love, there’s a way to upgrade it that will allow you to tow a boat. These upgrades will take the work of professionals, and you should never trust your car’s critical systems to an unproven mechanic who is new to the game.

A few upgrades that will allow your Jeep Cherokee to tow a boat are:

  • Towing Package – Sometimes, adding a towing package that upgrades the transmission and suspension on the Jeep is a great idea. It allows you to hook up the boat and access the trailer and brake lights. It comes standard on the larger trim models of Cherokee and is well worth the extra price as an upgrade.
  • Turbocharger – Another upgrade you can get is the Turbocharger option for the four-cylinder Cherokee. It provides much more power and almost doubles the towing weight of the vehicle. However, turbochargers will require installation time and could take even more time to iron out all the kinks.

Upgrading the Cherokee is excellent if you have the time and money. The tow package upgrade is such a good thing that it has become standard on their Wrangler and Gladiator high-end trim packages.

Make your Jeep unique with any of these Jeep Accessories, Covers, Latches, Floor Mats, Etc. Found Here from Amazon


Your Jeep Cherokee should be able to pull a boat. To ensure that it has the power, you should check the owner’s manual to see the towing specifications of your model Jeep. Once the specs are found, you can do some quick math with your boat and trailer weight to see if you are seaworthy.

There are ways to ensure that your Jeep can tow a boat and trailer, and one of those ways is by installing upgrades. These upgrades can impact the engine, chassis, or suspension, allowing you more traction and power to move heavier objects.

Sharing is caring!