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Open Roads Forum  >  Dinghy Towing  >  Vehicles

 > new towed vehicle - Jeep Wrangler

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Y-Guy

Tri-Cities, WA

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Posted: 01/28/22 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

willald wrote:

Hadn't seen those, but looking at it, not sure how you'd attach Blue ox style Clevis attachments to it?

This photo shows the bumper bracket, with the NSA Steel Clevis Adapter
[image]


2007 Winnebago Sightseer 35J
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

willald

NC

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Posted: 01/31/22 09:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Update: Well, we got the Jeep Friday evening, and we love it. Very excited to start having fun with it.

Spent most of Saturday trying to figure out various things with it - Took hard top off briefly to see how that worked (too cold here to leave it off now, haha), figuring out how we could fit our bikes in the back. Then, went through the process of getting transfer case into neutral and out for towing. Will definitely take some getting used to, the whole procedure for putting transfer case into and out of neutral for towing.

We found that shifting from neutral back into 2H (two wheel drive), was extremely difficult first few times. About busted knuckles, because had to push soooo hard on shifter, then when it does go into 2H you can easily hit your knuckles on the dash. It seemed to get easier after first couple of times, so I wondering if this is one of those jeeps that never left the pavement or went out of two wheel drive its whole life, and transfer case was a bit stiff at first because of that? Is it normal for the transfer case to be so stiff and difficult to get out of neutral? Any tips on how to make that easier?

Also, we did not realize that with transfer case in neutral, and transmission in park (the way you tow), you cannot just start the engine. Have to shift tranny out of park before you can crank engine. Still trying to understand why that is, mechanically (can anyone explain that?). How are you Jeep owners avoiding making that (potentially catastrophic) mistake?

After thinking things through for probably way too long (haha), I've pretty well decided on the Blue Ox base plate, and a custom Hopkins wiring kit for the taillights. Also ordering a trailer tow kit and trailer hitch, and will set that up at the same time as we may occasionally use it tow small utility trailers. Will wire it like I have all other vehicles I've towed, in that the trailer tow kit will also be used to run a wire up to the 6 round connector up front and to the MH, to an indicator LED on the dash that comes on when towed vehicle's brakes are being applied.

Not sure if gonna wire a charge line to the battery like I've done on previous towed vehicles. Since ignition is off when towing the Jeep, only thing I'd think would draw on the battery would be the brake lights when brakes are applied. What are the thoughts there? Should I go ahead and wire in the charge line?

Anyway, thanks for all your input, please keep it coming. [emoticon]


Will and Cheryl
2021 Newmar Baystar 3014 on F53 (7.3 V8) Chassis ("Brook")
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK ("Wilbur")

willald

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Posted: 02/10/22 07:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another update: Well, we've been working all week on setting the Jeep up to flat tow.

I've had several vehicles set up for towing over last 10 years or so, but this is the first time doing ALL of the work ourselves and not hiring someone else to do any of it. And, did not realize, just how much work it is, and how time consuming it is! Even for a vehicle like a Jeep that is supposedly one of the easiest to set up, its still very time consuming, and means a lot of time laying on your back underneath it. I see now why it costs so much to hire someone to do all this work, haha.

We've been at it since Saturday, and still are not done yet. The tasks that instruction videos make look quick and simple...Let me tell you, for an average joe like me that doesn't have all the expensive, nice tools, it takes a good bit longer. That, and when you're an average joe that also works a full time job during the day and have other responsibilities as well, you can't quite devote as much time to these things. I'm hoping to have it all done by Saturday, in which case will have taken an entire week to do it all.

Fortunately, I am married to one that knows her way around the tool box and is pretty mechanically inclined, too. She (wife) has been right in there with me helping all the way - Torqueing down the bolts for the base plate, keeping my messes organized, crawling around under it with me snaking wires through the frame, or just holding a light while I wrestle cables around and tie them down....She does it all, and that has helped a lot. And, made it much more fun. [emoticon]

We have the base plate on and done, and the Readybrake and Readystop cables installed. Started on the tail light wiring yesterday evening and got the wires snaked through the frame for such, but still have some more to do to finish that up. Still have to finish wiring it all to the 6 round connector at the front, and install the brake light relay. Then, just got to put the bumper and front air dam back on and we are good. Don't have any trips planned until next month, so we have time.

We decided to use the Hopkins custom wiring kit that uses existing taillights, with a brake light relay kit to address the issue with the vehicle's braking over-riding the signal coming from the Motorhome. Good thing about the brake relay kit, is installing it provides an easy way to also run the wire up front for the brake light indicator I have on the Motorhome, so we will know when brakes on the Jeep are getting engaged, like we have with our other tow vehicles.

Decided not to get the trailer hitch or trailer wiring kit just yet. Will save that project for another day. Don't plan to tow anything behind the Jeep anytime soon, so no rush on that.

Learned a lot from THESE guys on youtube about how to set up the Jeep. Very helpful videos there about how to install everything.

Once this is all done....Then, we just got to decide on, figure out best way to carry our bikes in the Jeep. We have two we normally carry, but occasionally will want to bring 4 when the kids join us. I thinking, two will go inside with the front wheels off, and two will go on the back on a spare tire mounted bike rack.

Y-Guy

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Posted: 02/10/22 11:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Congrats on the setup! I do agree the setup takes time, I tried not to rush mine but it was slow and frustrating. I was swapping bumpers on mine as well but in some ways that helped as I had easier access. Still slow process, I understand better why shops charge what they charge now.

As for shifting, the problem you finding seems pretty common on the 2018 and newer JL's. I'd read several take it to the dealer and were told it's normal.

We have a four bike carrier that we used when the kids were growing up and pre-Jeep, to use it now I'd have to get a hitch extender. They do make some that will rotate out of the way so you have access to the back of the Jeep... it's just $$$.

I used the same video's found them very detailed and help.

I just got all the parts for my wiring in, and weather is warming up so probably will be my weekend task.

willald

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Posted: 02/10/22 11:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Y-Guy wrote:

Congrats on the setup! I do agree the setup takes time, I tried not to rush mine but it was slow and frustrating. I was swapping bumpers on mine as well but in some ways that helped as I had easier access.


I may well swap the bumper in the future, as I do like all the options out there for such. However, I don't want to have to cut a bunch of holes in the new bumper for the 6 round connector and readybrake cable. That ultimately was why I chose the blue ox base plate.

Quote:

As for shifting, the problem you finding seems pretty common on the 2018 and newer JL's. I'd read several take it to the dealer and were told it's normal.


Thanks for the advice there. We'll just have to learn to live with it, I suppose.

Quote:

We have a four bike carrier that we used when the kids were growing up and pre-Jeep, to use it now I'd have to get a hitch extender. They do make some that will rotate out of the way so you have access to the back of the Jeep... it's just $$$.


If we are going to mount the bikes to the back of the Jeep, not sure if I'll go with a spare mounted carrier or a hitch mounted one. Not sure if I'd trust a spare mounted one as much as a hitch mounted one.

Yes, I've seen the (hitch mounted) ones that swing/rotate out of the way so you can open the back. That would be really cool, but, like you said, thats a lot of $$$, and its also a lot of extra weight.

willald

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Posted: 02/17/22 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One more update: Well, the Jeep is done, and ready to tow. We finished it last Saturday, as I'd hoped to. I like the satisfying feeling you get when you complete something like this, it all works, and you did it all yourself without having to hire anyone. [emoticon]

I struggled a little to find a good place to mount the Readystop unit on the front. Ended up mounting it underneath, on the front frame crossbar just behind the front air dam. Ended up having to do a little 'customizing' of the front air dam to make it work, but it worked out OK. Any Jeep owners that use a Readystop: Can you share where you mounted the Readystop unit? I'm curious if there is a better way I just didn't think of.

Tail lights did not work initially. After some troubleshooting, found that Jeep was wired right and was fine; issue was with the wiring with the Motorhome. I'd done something stupid when wired up the 6 round connector on back of Motorhome last August, which ultimately caused the wires to short out and blow a fuse. After correcting the short, then replacing the fuse that said short had caused, all is working fine.

As for bikes: After much thought, we decided to go with a spare tire mounted bike rack, the Yakima 2 bike rack. Was just about to plunk down the $$ and buy one new, when found exact same unit on Craigs list slightly used for a lot less $$. Picking that up this evening.

We are sooooo ready to get back out camping next month. [emoticon]

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