Originally Posted by Statgeek
Glad it helped Tinman.
You do realize that you are now officially committed to posting pix of YOUR setup once you have it photo-ready, right?!!
Pardon the long delay in posting the final outcome of all the advice we have received. We are set up with a bumper and happily towing our Jeep at last! Made it to Vegas before the big freeze and deep snow blew in at home!
Heading to Death Valley to try out the Jeep tomorrow. The Jeep has 140 miles on the odometer, and we have towed it for over 2000 miles. It is time to actually drive it a little! LOL.
I went with the Rock Hard bumper mentioned in my earlier post, complete with their matching Blue Ox mounting brackets that are positioned to through bolt into the frame on the Jeep. The bumper has mounting tabs to attach the heavy clevis "D" rings for recovery strap attachment that I am presently using as quick connection points for the Blue Ox coiled cable 10,000 lb. safety cables. I had a 10,000 lb. Smitty Bilt winch with woven rope fabric recovery rope (for lighter weight than steel cable) mounted at the same time as the bumper was installed.
I purchased a 6" riser receiver insert to bring the alignment of the Blue Ox tow bar nearly level, and mounted a Blue Ox Kargard II screen between the Jeep and the coach.
I had the dealer we bought the Jeep from install both the Mopar RV wiring loom and the 7 pin Mopar trailer towing wiring loom on the Jeep. The "flat rate" time charge for each install was considerably less than what I would have taken to do the work, and retains the factory warranty on the parts and labour. The only "oddity" we have found is that the emergency flashers on the Jeep do not work when the coach is off, even if the coaches flashers are working. We had to turn on the Jeeps flashers independently. More on that later.
I installed the Jeep side of the SMI Air Force One braking system myself, after fabricating an aluminum bracket to secure it safely under the hood. I wanted the AFO vacuum box mounted in a way that did not put the ABS manifold at risk of being damaged by the AFO vibrating against it or shearing off a hydraulic brake line the event of a collision.
I had a "professional" install the coach air connection a month previously, and when I connected the Jeep for a first test on completing my part of the install, was dismayed to find he had connected into the wrong air line on the coach! The Jeep brakes were on full time! We lost 2 days delivering the coach and Jeep back to him to have the error corrected. Steve at SMI was very helpful in trouble shooting the cause of the initial problem and getting us to the front of the line at the shop to have the problem corrected.
The bumper/brake combination got a good test on the way south when a drowsy driver woke up after drifting off the pavement toward the median just after she passed us. She jerked her pick-up truck back onto the pavement, causing it to go broadside, sliding down the road, across both lanes in front of us. I was glad for the extra stopping power of the SMI AFO! She blew past us, off through the ditch, pirouetting in the dirt on her front bumper, and came to rest 100 feet away on a service road. We stopped and went back to help. Stuck around till the ambulance took her off to have her cuts and bruises fixed up.
Many thanks to all here who have provided input to assist us to a successful series of purchases. Once I learn how to post photos I will get the whole install posted to (hopefully) assist others facing the same start up set up dilemmas we did.