How heavy is your overlanding JKU?

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!
  • HTML tutorial

dboy

Rank 0

Traveler I

90
Oregon
First Name
Daniel
Last Name
Jaquith
Ham Callsign
KF7LDA
Went on our first trip last week and rolled over the scales on our way out. I was very surprised to see #7050!!

We blamed it on my son for getting the foot long instead of the 6" sandwich for lunch and called the jeep a fat cow for the rest of the trip.

Is that a normal weight for a 4dr Wrangler with camping gear for a week for 4 people? Seemed crazy heavy to me.

I can tell you it felt heavy. Averaged 12MPG for the whole 800mile trip. I think I need heavier springs too....

pics for reference






How heavy are your jeeps loaded down?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DanW

Grendel

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

289
San diego
Member #

10959

I don't want to be that person and if you are fine with your rig that's your business. But you seem to be about 1,650 lbs over your vehicle GVWR. (safe load) I have a tundra that I am building and had grand plans and all sort of cool stuff I wanted to add. Then I heard about GVWR and learned that I would be over with everything I wanted. I saw how little payload the Tundra actually had. I also was wondering about these awesome looking Jeeps and how they manage to keep it under GVWR, well after looking at yours most of them are probably way over. I have read that the rule of thumb is you should run around 80% of GVWR. You "seem" to be new at this is the only reason I bring it up and just want you to be safe. Anyway enjoy camping and wish you the best.
 

eriefisher

Rank 0

Traveler I

60
Southern Ontario, Canada
First Name
Dan
Last Name
LaForme
I'd be surprised if any well kitted overlander wasn't overweight. Especially jeeps. 1600+ pounds though. Wow! Most road going passenger vehicles have a modest payload capacity at best. Even the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks with all the options take a pretty good payload hit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old Tanker

NMBruce

Rank II
Member
OB1

Contributor III

357
SW Colorado
First Name
Bruce
Last Name
Cooper
Member #

27527

Ham Callsign
KE0NBD
this will be interesting for me. I weight my truck and trailer without the camping storage box on it and the truck is stock, nothing really done to it.
2020 Tacoma TRD OffRoad 5240lbs. full tank and some little stuff in it.
Trailer starting out is 480lbs, weighted it a few years ago, fully load and was at 1280lbs.
 

socal66

Rank III
Member

Enthusiast II

509
Covina, CA, USA
First Name
Carl
Last Name
Sampson
Member #

24109

I have a 2020 JLUR and my calculated weight with all my gear, fuel, and a passenger is less than 200 lbs below the GVWR of 5,800 lbs. I have the Mopar steel bumpers, aftermarket rock rails, and a Rhino Rack. Aside from those mods everything else is stock so this weight is before any bigger tires, or upgraded suspension, skid plate upgrades, or rear bumper replacement. I have noticed that the Diesel variant weighs a good 300-400 lbs more but Jeep compensated with some front suspension upgrades so that tells me that there is still room to add weight as long as you compensate with upgraded suspension. The new 4xe variant really adds on the weight at nearly 800 lbs more than an equivalent gas powered Rubicon. Jeep raised the published GVWR of that model somehow to 6,400 lbs. I don't know the specifics but my guess is again more suspension upgrades and then regenerative braking helps with stopping with additional weight. I believe the axles and the frame construction are still the same as the other models. If that is true then doing some upgrades to improve both the suspension and braking may get you at least another 800 lbs net capacity if you plan to go over the manufacturer's stated limits.
 
  • Like
Reactions: harpersJK

eriefisher

Rank 0

Traveler I

60
Southern Ontario, Canada
First Name
Dan
Last Name
LaForme
You may be able compensate for added weight by beefing up the suspension but there's still a legal problem and possibly an insurance issue. Upgrading the vehicle rating legally will be near impossible. Finding out your over spec should there be an accident could void your insurance. Likely no, possible yes.
 

harpersJK

Rank I
Member
OB1

Member I

233
harrisonburg va
First Name
Randy
Last Name
Harper
Member #

26866

I would say the majority of jku overland rigs are around 6500lbs, I know mine is for sure. My entire drivetrain has been upgraded.
  • Currie 44/60 axles with 5.13 gears
  • Front and rear big brake kit
  • 4 1/2 aev high capacity coil springs
  • JKS adjustable arms
  • Steersmart entire front end, draglink, tie rod, front and rear trackbars
  • Hellwig rear sway bar
  • JRI adjustable shocks
  • 37" tires running aev beadlocks
Loaded down I'm getting 15 mpg and I have barely any sag in the rear with the aev high capacity springs.

Randy20200724_102301.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: BCNP4runner

Billiebob

Rank V
Member

Traveler II

2,365
earth
First Name
Bill
Last Name
William
Member #

18893

What I love is the ...... my upgrades added weight.
Hey if you added weight when you changed bumpers.... that was a down grade.
Wranglers are incredibly capable stock, thanks to threads like these I literally laugh as the fully rigged JKUs drive by.
They think they made the JEEP tougher, when in fact adding weight adds stress and makes the whole package weaker.

But legally, altho it is never enforced until you have a fatal accident, legally, the GVWR is the maximum your rig can weigh.
Yes, I know we all do it..... and you'll get away with it until someone says "Hey we should weigh all the Jeeps".

PS..... heavier springs do not address the frame they attach to. Nor the brakes engineered to stop you. Nor the steering engineered to let you safely get around that switchback. You exceed the GVWR by 25%...... you need a different vehicle. Don't waste yer money on springs, go on a 1600# diet.

ps, GVWR includes driver and passenger and canine weight.

ps, regardless of any changes "upgrades" ?? lol,
the GVWR on the a-pillar, is the maximum LEGAL weight you are allowed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BCNP4runner

leeloo

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,003
Luxembourg
First Name
Mihai
Last Name
Doros
Member #

19403

In Europe if you drive something like this they probably take even you birth certificate. Your vehicle definitely will go on the back of tow truck.

A wrangler, no offence, is like a death trap specially for the kids in the back, and over GVM. good luck.
I don't agree "it is you businnes". If you kill someone because of it( for example not enough stopping power ) this it makes it everybody's business..
 
Last edited:

dboy

Rank 0

Traveler I

90
Oregon
First Name
Daniel
Last Name
Jaquith
Ham Callsign
KF7LDA
What I love is the ...... my upgrades added weight.
Hey if you added weight when you changed bumpers.... that was a down grade.
Wranglers are incredibly capable stock, thanks to threads like these I literally laugh as the fully rigged JKUs drive by.
They think they made the JEEP tougher, when in fact adding weight adds stress and makes the whole package weaker.

But legally, altho it is never enforced until you have a fatal accident, legally, the GVWR is the maximum your rig can weigh.
Yes, I know we all do it..... and you'll get away with it until someone says "Hey we should weigh all the Jeeps".

PS..... heavier springs do not address the frame they attach to. Nor the brakes engineered to stop you. Nor the steering engineered to let you safely get around that switchback. You exceed the GVWR by 25%...... you need a different vehicle. Don't waste yer money on springs, go on a 1600# diet.

ps, GVWR includes driver and passenger and canine weight.

ps, regardless of any changes "upgrades" ?? lol,
the GVWR on the a-pillar, is the maximum LEGAL weight you are allowed.
Good point Billybobby, my winch was a downgrade to the capabilities of my rig. I'm going to remove it asap.
 

Boostpowered

Rank VI
Member

Traveler II

4,449
Hunt county, TX, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Davis
Member #

14684

Good point Billybobby, my winch was a downgrade to the capabilities of my rig. I'm going to remove it asap.
But your not hard-core enough if you don't use a come along or hi lift for your winching purposes. There seriously are people here that think electric winches are stupid. Look up about any winch thread you'll find at least one.

Like expiration dates on mustard, max payload is a factory suggestion so they themselves don't get into legal trouble. My truck is rated to pull by factory 7500lbs, hitch and front bumper rated by their mfg at 10klbs, I've real world pulled 14k and the life didn't end.

In america where I assume Oregon still is, there is no one making you weigh your rig is there? In texas and surrounding states the only thing that gets weighed are semi trailers, certain livestock and when you get a homemade trailer titled.
 

Billiebob

Rank V
Member

Traveler II

2,365
earth
First Name
Bill
Last Name
William
Member #

18893

Good point Billybobby, my winch was a downgrade to the capabilities of my rig. I'm going to remove it asap.
Winch is an upgrade. going beyond the GVWR is when adding bits become down grades which hurt the reliability.
Adding stuff is all about picking the pieces you need while not exceeding the GVWR.

ps, this is about a JKU 1600# over weight. stay on topic eh
 

Boostpowered

Rank VI
Member

Traveler II

4,449
Hunt county, TX, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Davis
Member #

14684

This thread is making me Google for commercial vehicle scales. :)
Most truck stops have them, that's where I go when I want to know. County dumps also normally have em too. Now if you want to know how balanced your truck really is you will need a set of 4 race scales that go under each tire and tell you what each corner weighs expensive just to find out, but most respectable race shops and fab shops will have a set.
 

eriefisher

Rank 0

Traveler I

60
Southern Ontario, Canada
First Name
Dan
Last Name
LaForme
But your not hard-core enough if you don't use a come along or hi lift for your winching purposes. There seriously are people here that think electric winches are stupid. Look up about any winch thread you'll find at least one.

Like expiration dates on mustard, max payload is a factory suggestion so they themselves don't get into legal trouble. My truck is rated to pull by factory 7500lbs, hitch and front bumper rated by their mfg at 10klbs, I've real world pulled 14k and the life didn't end.

In america where I assume Oregon still is, there is no one making you weigh your rig is there? In texas and surrounding states the only thing that gets weighed are semi trailers, certain livestock and when you get a homemade trailer titled.
So you think you can safely pull twice the rated weight and safely stop in in an emergency situation. Do you think engineers create these ratings just to avoid legal issues? Safety first, always. Let me know if your in my neighborhood and I will keep my family home. Enjoy your expired mustard.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BCNP4runner

MOAK

Rank V
Member

Traveler III

2,622
Wernersville, PA, USA
First Name
Donald
Last Name
Diehl
Member #

0745

Good grief, I’m constantly upgrading all the little things to lose weight. I’m feeling poopy cause I’m just a hair under my GVRW. I do have spring rates that have increased my capacity ( legal in Australia ) to just over 7,000 lbs. I’m 150 lbs less than that but I’d still like to get more weight off. 3/4 ton over? In a heep? In anything? That’s flat out dangerous.
 

BCNP4runner

Rank V
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

1,680
Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
K
Member #

20371

Ham Callsign
KI5FGO / WRFH471
I generally don't respond to threads like this, because mostly people will do as they wish with their vehicle and that's pretty much the end of the story. But in this case, I've started several responses and then deleted them for not wanting to wade in. Finally, I might post this one, NOT as a response to what anyone here has posted about what they can or can't do with their own vehicle, but rather because someone newer to the topic should perhaps understand what Curb Weight, GVWR, GAWR, and GCWR are and how they are set by the vehicle manufacturer, and what that means for their vehicle.

First, let's lay down a couple definitions:

Curb Weight: weight of the empty vehicle with full fluids (fuel etc)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): Maximum weight for which the vehicle is designed, including fluids, passengers, and payload
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR-front/rear): Maximum carrying weight for which each axle is designed
Payload: GVWR minus (Curb Weight + tongue weight of any trailer)

Next, let me talk about a misconception: GVWR and GCWR are NOT selected by the engineers. Nope. Not even close. Rather, the manufacturers do a ton of market research. The marketing departments study their entrails, tea leaves, and observe omens in the form of birds, to determine that for a particular market segment they believe would generate revenue, that a particular PAYLOAD would meet the needs of some percentage of that market - they'll typically pick some number in the 80-90% range and the 10-20% of the market segment that needs more will have to go somewhere else. This is how the payload is chosen. Unfortunately, because the bottom 80% of payload needs are probably dominated by mall crawlers, we, as a community, probably fall nearer (or over) the top of the payload range.

After marketing selects the payload, THAT is when the engineers get involved. Marketing tells engineering: design us a vehicle for market X that will carry payload Y. And this is what the engineers do. BUT they know vehicles don't just sit, they *move*. They also know not all roads are smooth, they have bumps. So the vehicle's suspension is designed to CONTROL this payload in motion and the vehicle's frame, chassis, and body are designed to withstand the fatigue cycling of a lifetime of bumps with that payload. (The drive line, cooling, and brakes are designed additionally considering pulling weight of a trailer on reference grades like the Eisenhower Grade in Colo, or the Baker Grade in Calif, keeping in mind that trailers may also have brakes.)

So what do you give up when operating a vehicle over it's GVWR?
  • Control/Safety. The emergency handling capabilities of the vehicle will be severely impaired. As a community, we often talk about adding heavier springs/shocks to help control the vehicle's weight in motion, but this only goes so far. Most vehicles are designed so that the vehicle's center of gravity sits roughly on a plane resting atop the stock tires when when the vehicle is empty. As we add lift and as we add payload above that plane, we raise the vehicle's center of gravity - it becomes more "tippy" or as one person above noted, "it handles like a fat/drunken cow". So while we can stiffen the suspension, we can't change the fact that we've raised the center of gravity, even more so when we overload the vehicle.
  • Vehicle Lifetime. Metals flex and stretch, to a point. That point (stress) is defined by the force being borne by the cross-sectional area of the material, and whether the force is stretching the material (tensile stress) or shearing the material (shear stress). We measure the "ultimate strength" of materials, by applying an increasing force until the material breaks. Once. You may have heard this called the "tensile strength" of a material. But we don't stress vehicles just once, so we need to understand a second "strength" - "fatigue strength". Every time we stretch or flex a piece of metal, we create micro-cracks in the metal's crystal structure. Every Time. You can see this yourself by taking a piece of metal and bending it back a forth several times - it gets warm, it gets easier to bend, and eventually it breaks - much easier than if you'd tried to just pull it apart in one go. This progressive "softening" or "weakening" of the metal occurs because the cracks are decreasing the cross-sectional area as they form, grow, and eventually grow together into a fracture. This damage accumulates - it doesn't heal, it doesn't buff out. However, there is a stress point below which these cracks do NOT form as steel is flexed - ie. a line between small flexes that don't create micro-cracks and bigger flexes that do create micro-cracks - this is often referred to as the fatigue strength of the material. Based on usage information from their (probably mall-crawling) customers and(probably paved) road data (including potholes), etc, the engineers can calculate how large to make the vehicle's structural components and welds so that the vast majority of customers(mall-crawlers included) won't see a structural failure in the vehicle's lifetime. When a vehicle is run on rough roads, it accumulates "flexes" faster than on smoother paved roads, but as long as we stay below the fatigue strength of the components, we won't see much increase in failures. However, if we overload the vehicle, we can see dramatic (2x-10x) reductions in the the vehicle's structural integrity lifetime. ( Remember how soft that flex piece of metal gets before breaking? You've seen that farm truck that lived fast and died hard exclusively on washboard dirt roads, haven't you?) The most dangerous thing about fatigue failures is that they almost never occur during the overload - rather, the overload shortens the component life and it fails early, often at a time when the overall load wouldn't have been otherwise problematic. I mentioned welds earlier, because they can often be particularly susceptible to fatigue, and thus are generally designed with fatigue in mind.
Putting this together, the GVWR is sort of a promise made by the manufacturer, that as long as one doesn't exceed that weight, the vehicle should not see any structural failures over the expected lifetime of the vehicle, nor should the vehicle experience significant control/safety issues under normal operation. Because this is the manufacturer's promise, you can't change it. (Which is not to say that you couldn't weld/bolt additional structure onto a vehicle to keep the components below their fatigue strength, but that isn't a trivial undertaking.)

So, it's your vehicle. Understanding the issue, you can make the trade-off, between load, vehicle lifetime, and control/safety. If you load your pickup bed with rock, you make the trade off, by driving slow on smooth roads while hauling that load. If you plan to rock-crawl an extremely rough and technical trail, lighten up and go slow. Make the trade-off.

Wow. Apologies. That got long. At this point I'll direct the reader to other threads about choosing lighter armor/gear and sign off.
 

Old Tanker

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

289
Norfolk, VA, USA
First Name
Keith
Last Name
Reimer
Member #

18221

In countries like Australia, where GVWR limits are strictly enforced, there are options for reinforcing the vehicle and having it reclassified with a higher GVWR. The U.S. doesn't have that level of enforcement, and therefore there is no demand for formal recertification. We could independently take every action that would occur in Australia, and be stuck with the same GVWR, the same lectures, and potentially the same insurance ramifications as if we had taken no action to build stronger.