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Old 09-12-2016, 06:29 PM   #1
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Flat towing an 02 Jeep Wrangler

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

We are in the process of purchasing a DP and I plan to tow my Jeep. Currently it has the stock bumper and a 2 inch lift.

I've been thinking about changing out my bumper so this seems like a good time to make the change. Any suggestions on a good bumper that I can attach the tow bars to?

I know I need a wiring harness. Any suggestions? I really have no clue on brake assist so I could use some help here as well.

We are newbies to RVing and I have learned so much from this site already.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:01 PM   #2
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Check out Rock Hard bumpers setup for towing. Also Blue Ox makes bolt on brackets that enable most any aftermarket bumper (I have these).

For a Tow bar and brake the ReadyBrute system works very well and includes integrated brake. Probably the best bang for the buck.

As to lights I like having second light bulb installed in existing light housing. Good room to do so. Then lights and wiring are totally separate from other circuit/wiring. Buy sockets and a trailer wiring harness and make your own setup inexpensively.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:11 PM   #3
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I agree with Vince on the RockHard bumper. I wish I had gone that route to start with instead of installing a base plate, then later adding an aftermarket bumper. Also, LoD makes bumpers that are towable. Both of these brands have attachment points which bolt directly to the frame. Most aftermarket bumpers do not have D rings strong enough for towing, and the ones bolting through the bumper directly to the frame are the way to go.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:54 PM   #4
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Awesome! Thanks for the info. I will look into these.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:36 AM   #5
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Rock Hard has the adaptors for the Blue Ox and other tow bars. I used one on our built 97 ZJ for many years.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:44 AM   #6
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Tow Bar Bumper Connections

I have a set of towbar connectors that bolt directly on the steel bumper if you change your bumper out.
These are manufactured by Curt. Never used them, they are brand new.
I went with a frame connection because the 2016 Jeeps have plastic that covers the bumpers. I did not want to remove this or drill through it. But, these bolt directly on the aftermarket metal bumpers.
If you are interested, please contact me by email @ yn1bennett@att.net.
I have pics if you want them, let me know.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SATXJeep View Post
Thanks in advance for your assistance.

We are in the process of purchasing a DP and I plan to tow my Jeep. Currently it has the stock bumper and a 2 inch lift.

I've been thinking about changing out my bumper so this seems like a good time to make the change. Any suggestions on a good bumper that I can attach the tow bars to?

I know I need a wiring harness. Any suggestions? I really have no clue on brake assist so I could use some help here as well.

We are newbies to RVing and I have learned so much from this site already.

Thanks again!
SATXJeep,
After owning and towing 8 different Jeeps, including three of the era/version you have, they're about as simple as you can get, to set up for towing. I'm assuming you know the procedure for prepping for tow but, just in case your a bit foggy, it's simple.
Trans in neutral
Transfer case in NEUTRAL,
Trans back into gear and (sticks in first and Autos in drive) while the engine is running. This is temporary to check to see if you've actually put the transfer case in NEUTRAL.

Once you're sure the T/C is in neutral, then the trans (autos go into park) and the sticks go into second gear (for sticks, the reason you put it in at least second is stop "sympathetic" turning of components in the transmission from turning unnecessarily which, could potentially damage un-lubed components.

Then, on most "TJ" models, the key is left in the first "click" position from completely off. That allows for steering "UNLOCK" but, does not activate any electrical systems so, there's no battery drain.


Now, as for your choice of aftermarket bumpers. Well, there's a plethera of them out there. Smittybuilt, Rockhard, Poison Spyder, Warn, ARB, Fab Four, and a few dozen more. Your choice, depending on what you want for looks, function, application, additions, and more. Most come with the welded on "Recovery tabs" in the form of at least 3/4" - 1" thick tabs that have either 3/4" or 1" hole in them for D-rings for recovery if and when you get stuck some place and need to be pulled etc.

But those tabs also work great for your tow bar to hook to. As has been stated earlier, Blue Ox and other makers make adapters for tow bars that couple them right to those recovery tabs, making the need for a base plate unnecessary. Keep in mind, some of those adapters are pretty pricey, as in around $250 for what looks like some simple adapters.

But, those are made from billet, solid block, machined steel. They are NOT WELDED components. That's the root cause of the high price. It is what it is.

As for lights. Well, you can add bulbs or, on the TJs, it's a phenomenal easy setup to just tie into the factory wiring, right next to the drivers left calf. All the light wiring for the tail lights is in that area. You simply remove the tabs that hold that wiring in place and, bring it out to work on it. Then, you find the two wires for the turn signals. You tie into those and that takes care of the turn signals and brake lights. You then find the one for the running lights and tie in to it, DONE! You will need two, cheap, Radio shack diodes, placed in front of the intersection tie-ins, for the turn signals to keep the motorhomes signals from traveling forward, into sections of the Jeeps wiring, where it doesn't need to go.

You don't need any diodes in the running light circuit.

Now, when you do it this way, your tail lights act EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, when towing it, as they do when driving it. You get the brightness and light array from the bulbs, that the factory setup, not off to the side where the added bulbs are not nearly as effective, to a following driver. This is a matter of choice and preference, your choice.

As for brakes, I got a deal for you, you'll receive a PM on that.


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Old 09-13-2016, 03:03 PM   #8
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I have the NSA Readbrute Elite and a Besttop Bumper.

The bumper has substantial D-Ring connectors, welded through the bumper. NSA made adapters to my measurements.

For the lights, I just used diodes. You can tap into the rear lights down by the drivers left foot, you don't need to run wires all the way to the back.

Tows nice behind a Class C. You'll forget it's there with a DP


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Old 09-13-2016, 04:34 PM   #9
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This is really good stuff! Thank you all for the information as it is very helpful.

I'm leaning toward getting the RockHard bumper and ReadyBrake. If I go that route do you recommend drilling a hole in the bumper for the brake cable going to the jeep?
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SATXJeep View Post
This is really good stuff! Thank you all for the information as it is very helpful.

I'm leaning toward getting the RockHard bumper and ReadyBrake. If I go that route do you recommend drilling a hole in the bumper for the brake cable going to the jeep?
SATXJeep,
You have a PM
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Old 09-16-2016, 01:58 PM   #11
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The hole has to be central on the vehicle. You could maybe fasten it to the top or bottom, but I have a winch, so top was out, and I offroad occasionally, so bottom was out.


Slap bang in the middle of the bumper was best for me.
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