Ask TFL: Jeep Wrangler or Ram Power Wagon?

2018 jeep wrangler rubicon
All-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

We get a lot of viewer and reader e-mails about which vehicle to buy, and our latest deals with two serious off-road machines.

This question comes to us from Chris Kennedy, who asks:

I am facing a real dilemma from a cost point of view. I own a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon that I absolutely love, but I need to get a much bigger vehicle for towing a travel trailer (8000 lbs). The Wrangler is paid off, highly modified and I absolutely love the Jeep and it does see some very good off road trails.

But my wife really wants to start serious camping in a trailer so I need a bigger truck. The cost issue is I don’t want to pay for a 65K truck and really would have to use the Jeep as a trade to keep costs lower. So far my favorite target vehicle is a 2019 Power Wagon this spring.  I know it’s not exactly a Jeep, but I think it would give me enough off road capability that I would feel comfortable no longer owning the Jeep. My concern overall with this is the payload of the Ram Power Wagon at 1660 lbs.

Since it is just my wife and the dog, we can safely say we are 500 lbs of that payload. I can’t imagine we would use more than the other 1100 lbs of capacity for payload and clearly we could put many things in the trailer and still be well under the towing capacity. I see lots of online advice to avoid the Power Wagon for towing because of the payload, but because the family is small I don’t see that as a negative in our case.  What do you think about this idea?  If cost wasn’t an issue, I would keep the Jeep and just get my favorite 1500 class vehicle.

2019 Ram Power Wagon

First off, thanks for the question Chris!

When it comes to capability, you won’t find a much better off-road package than the Ram Power Wagon, save for maybe the Ford Raptor when it comes to pickup trucks. But for the sake of towing, the Power Wagon is the clear choice here.

The payload is certainly a concern and something you should watch, but it does sound like you’ll be within the limit, or close to it.

And if that is the case, then the Power Wagon is an awesome off-road vehicle that will do most of the trails your Wrangler would. Sure the wheelbase is longer, but you’re getting big 33-inch tires, a winch and disconnecting sway bars straight from the factory, not something that any other heavy duty truck can claim.

As for the money, which is always the most important part. We would suggest heading into a dealer once the 2019s hit the lot, and see if they have 2018s around. That would be the best opportunity to find some discounts on the Power Wagon, though we have heard that they are in demand trucks, so a deal might be hard to find.

Still, for your needs, the Power Wagon sounds like the perfect vehicle, as there is not other pickup that can match its towing ability and off-road prowess all wrapped up in one vehicle.