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Old 12-12-2015, 06:55 PM   #1
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2001 Jeep Wrangler Toad

I am new hear, and have been doing a lot or reading on here. I am about to go full time in my RV with a job I am about to take. I am currently researching tow bars that can go onto my jeep.

According to my mechanic, I do not need a base plate for my jeep so that will save up some cash right there, and just attach the tow bar to the bumper (stock).

I know that this topic has been tacked many times before, but during my research majority of the jeep toads are the usually for the JK's and not the TJ's.

What will be a good tow bar to look into. I am looking at both the Roadmaster and blue ox are good, what others I should look at?

I know that I will also need a electronic breaking system for some states, so what will be a good break system to install on the jeep? I am also aiming for something affordable too since my budget will be limited for a couple of months.

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Old 12-13-2015, 01:37 AM   #2
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ReadyBrute Elite. Tow bar with built in brake system. Best bang for the buck.

I tow jeep TJ from aftermarket bumper. You can either tow from the D-ring brackets or use bolt on brackets. I have done both on differing jeeps. I currently have the Blue Ox bolt on brackets. I like brackets better because I don't have to remove my D-rings to connect up the tow bar.

As for towing from the stock TJ bumper I dunno. Would have to carefully evaluate if it's strong enough to do so. The blue Ox brackets do come with reinforcing plates if needed.

Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:32 AM   #3
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We towed our '97 TJ over 100,000 miles during the 16 years we had it, including 5 years full time. We started out with an inexpensive fixed arm tow bar that I picked up used for $50. Our RV was a diesel pusher with air brakes so we chose an air actuated brake system for the Jeep that worked perfectly. The fixed arm tow bar is NOT very convenient for hitching and we upgraded to a Blue Ox Adventa tow bar years ago.

We sold the class A and downsized to our current 23' class C. This of course necessitated a new brake system for the Jeep and we chose the Invisibrake system by Roadmaster. It worked great and I almost moved it to our current '13 JKU, but found a "smokin!" deal on a US Gear Unified Tow Brake. I'd recommend the UTB, but unless things have recently changed, their manufacturing has ceased and only stock on hand is available. If I was choosing now I'd go back to the Invisibrake.

The ReadyBrake products mentioned above are very popular and I know of few complaints with them. The Elite mentioned comes with a telescoping tow bar which makes hitching much easier than a fixed arm tow bar. If you will be towing by yourself, an adjustable arm tow bar will make your life easier.

Perhaps this article will clear up some of your questions...

Towing A Vehicle With Your RV | RV Camping
Brian & Margie
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Old 12-13-2015, 11:46 AM   #4
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While the "JK" is becoming the dominant Jeep (wrangler style) toad, the "TJ" is still widely used throughout the RV world of towing. In all or ventures all over the western and, mid western U.S., we've seen about a 50-50 mix of both. The TJs are a great toad and Jeep for multiple purposes. The JK, especially the 2012's and newer, are much more refined and have a considerably more powerful motor.

With that being said, you CAN ABSOLUTELY tow a TJ with a bone stock front bumper. I've done it several times. Yes, the stock front bumper is not as stout as just about any aftermarket ones but, it all depends on what the intent of the Jeep/toad is to be used for.

If you plan on "Yuppie" type Jeeping, that is street driving only with almost ZERO off road, then there's no need to change that front bumper. And, if that's the case, then as stated, you can tow it with any tow bar and tow bar brackets. The prime suggestion though would be to re-enforce the back side of the bumper where the attached tow bar brackets will be.

All that would entail would be some larger plates or 3/16" ultra large washers or, something to that effect, to spread the load out for the attachment points. Once that's done, you'll be good to go.

As for the tow bar itself, the ones you mentioned will work flawlessly. You can make a federal case out of it and go nuts trying to figure out which one will work but, it's not that hard. Any collapsible tow bar, will work.

As for braking, well, one of the cheapest and most cost effective is either the Ready Brake or, like has been suggested, the Ready Brute which, incorporates a braking system right into the tow bar itself. The Ready Brake is the same thing only, its' separate from any tow bar you chose to use.

The really good part about either the Ready Brute or, the Ready Brake is, it has ZERO dependency on anything electronic. That is, there's no need to tie into the toads electrical system or, the coaches electrical system because, there's nothing electrical about either one. It's rare but, you can find them used, (either the Ready Brute tow bar/brake system or the Ready Brake) but, not very often.

Otherwise, look to spend in the neighborhood of about $800-$900 for a Ready Brute system new. And, the Ready Brake system will bite you for about $350 - $450 new, depending on if you can find a sale on it or not. Both of those systems are widely used by thousands of happy RVers.

As for toad lighting, that subject is debated on here about 2 dozen times a week. I'm not a real fan of installing EXTRA sockets and bulbs in the same housings as many do. In a TJ, it's very, very easy to tie into the factory wiring, right there by the drivers left calf, to use the stock tail lights/turn signals and brake lights. All that's needed is a couple of Radio Shack diodes to prevent back feed into the rest of the Jeeps lighting system where it's not needed.

Setting it up that way takes about a 1/4 of a day, depending on ones skills. Hope some of this info helps. Good luck in your new ventures.
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
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Old 12-13-2015, 12:12 PM   #5
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I installed diodes but I started blowing a turn signal fuse in the RV. (either I screwed up the installation or had a defective diode). I installed bulbs inside the rear tail lights, ran wires under the wrangler to the front bumper. Mine is a 1995 but the light fixtures are or appear to be the same. I also use the ready brute as mentioned above. I had a local muffler shop add small brackets to the front bumper - he added a 3/8's plate to the back side to help spread out the stress.
Bob, Sandi & Marmaduke the Big Pug
SW OREGON 2004 Journey 39K, 330 Cat
If towing: a 2006 Mini Cooper or 1995 Wrangler
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:29 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the inputs, I now know where I should start looking. I have a friend that tows his jeep, and given me a couple of pointers, but he does not have the braking system installed on his. He does not have any problems, but he is the guy that knows where he can and can't go, so he usually avoids the states that require it. I on the other hand, I won't know where I will end up, so I am going to get one installed just to be safe.

Again thanks for the advice!
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:15 PM   #7
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Great! It is certainly better to have a brake system on the toad than not.

Bob, Sandi & Marmaduke the Big Pug
SW OREGON 2004 Journey 39K, 330 Cat
If towing: a 2006 Mini Cooper or 1995 Wrangler
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