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Old 01-18-2019, 08:29 AM   #1
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Jeep Wrangler Toad

I recently purchased a 2015 Wrangler to use as a toad and a toy. Reading the Jeep manual for flat towing I am a bit confused. The manual goes step by step for putting the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in park. It then has procedures for unhitching and includes "reconnect negative cable" which was never mentioned in the hoop up procedure. My question is whether I must disconnect the negative and how most jeep users handle this.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:38 AM   #2
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No need to disconnect the negative cable when hooking up. We have a 2013 Jeep wrangler.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:36 AM   #3
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Battery Cable

I know my 2014 Manual says disconnect the battery cable too. My understanding from Jeep is that's a misprint. I have been towing mine for 4+ years and about 50,000 miles never disconnected the negative cable. Also, I have a Mopar taillight hookup that wouldn't work w/out the battery power. JKU is a great tow vehicle. Safe travels.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:48 AM   #4
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Ditto on not removing the battery cable. I've towed our Wrangler for 30,000 miles and never removed the cable. Some of the manuals say you have to leave the key in the ignition, but Wranglers after 2008 do not have a locking steering wheel so there is no reason to leave the key in.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:21 PM   #5
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2015 same as you. Not even a mention of neg. cable. No need to disconnect. What would be the purpose.
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallacerm View Post
I recently purchased a 2015 Wrangler to use as a toad and a toy. Reading the Jeep manual for flat towing I am a bit confused. The manual goes step by step for putting the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in park. It then has procedures for unhitching and includes "reconnect negative cable" which was never mentioned in the hoop up procedure. My question is whether I must disconnect the negative and how most jeep users handle this.
wallacerm,
Yep, Jeep screwed up when they did the printing of those manuals. They know it and have made an effort to either reprint some or send out augmentations. But, we've owned our '15 JKUR now for 2 + years and haven't seen any revamped Jeep owners manuals in our mail box. So, as others have stated, follow all the steps for prep for towing and, post towing EXCEPT the one about re-connecting the negative cable. Good luck with your new toy, they're great. This is number 9 for us.
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:54 PM   #7
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Hopefully most owners towing the relatively heavy Jeep Wrangler are using an auxiliary braking device of some brand/model. The great majority of these act upon the Jeep's brake pedal to engage the brakes. When this occurs, the Jeep (even with the ignition off) will activate its brake lights.

On a Wrangler, the rear lights are set-up pretty much identically to a typical trailer (horse trailer, boat trailer, utility trailer, car trailer, etc) where there is a single bulb with two filaments. The low-wattage filament is for the running lights and the high-wattage filament is for BOTH brake and turn signals.

The "trouble" comes in when the tow vehicle is commanding a turn signal on the Wrangler (blink, blink, blink..) but then the aux braking device pulls/pushes the brake pedal and the Jeep activates its brake lights. The Jeep's brake light - since it is using the same filament as the turn signal, will stop the blinking action and the light will be solid-bright.

Now, if you follow the Jeep Owner's Manual and disconnect the Jeep's battery, then the Jeep will NOT be able to activate its own brake lights and the conflict will not occur. However, most of the aux brake devices want to be powered from the Jeep and don't want the battery to be disconnected. Hmmmmm.

A simple solution is to leave the battery connected while towing but remove the Jeep's brake light fuse. If you do this, tape or otherwise temporarily fasten it to the steering wheel so that you don't forget to re-insert it when you disconnect.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:36 PM   #8
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Hopefully most owners towing the relatively heavy Jeep Wrangler are using an auxiliary braking device of some brand/model. The great majority of these act upon the Jeep's brake pedal to engage the brakes. When this occurs, the Jeep (even with the ignition off) will activate its brake lights.

On a Wrangler, the rear lights are set-up pretty much identically to a typical trailer (horse trailer, boat trailer, utility trailer, car trailer, etc) where there is a single bulb with two filaments. The low-wattage filament is for the running lights and the high-wattage filament is for BOTH brake and turn signals.

The "trouble" comes in when the tow vehicle is commanding a turn signal on the Wrangler (blink, blink, blink..) but then the aux braking device pulls/pushes the brake pedal and the Jeep activates its brake lights. The Jeep's brake light - since it is using the same filament as the turn signal, will stop the blinking action and the light will be solid-bright.

Now, if you follow the Jeep Owner's Manual and disconnect the Jeep's battery, then the Jeep will NOT be able to activate its own brake lights and the conflict will not occur. However, most of the aux brake devices want to be powered from the Jeep and don't want the battery to be disconnected. Hmmmmm.

A simple solution is to leave the battery connected while towing but remove the Jeep's brake light fuse. If you do this, tape or otherwise temporarily fasten it to the steering wheel so that you don't forget to re-insert it when you disconnect.
Yep,
Been telling folks about this for decades. The problem is, the problem DOESN'T show up when the coach and toad are at rest and a light check is done. Everyone thinks all is well because, all the checks and signals work great, when the sitting on the street, NOT MOVING. But, when things are moving and, the brakes are being applied in the toad (Jeep) by any form of auxiliary braking device that applies the brakes with the BRAKE PEDAL of the toad, that's when things go south.

Rather than pull any fuses on a constant basis and have to re-insert them or, develop some form of relay system for the brake light system on the toad, if at all possible, I highly recommend the use of the M&G Braking system. It's operation applies the brakes on the toad by being inserted between the master cylinder and the power brake unit. And therefore, no brake pedal movement in the toad(Jeep). That eliminates the issue we're speaking of.

But, the use of an M&G system primarily requires a diesel coach with air brakes and, the toad (in this case a Jeep), needs to be on the list of applicable units, made by M&G. Yes, you can use that system on a gas powered coach but, it requires the use of a small air compressor and, some mechanism that is linked to the RVs brakes, to engage the compressor and send air to the rear, so the toad can use it for brake application. Not many are willing to take the time and or the money to do this.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:32 PM   #9
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I’m not sure how all your systems are wired. No built-in diodes?

Diodes will stop the “double power” issues. Diode uses the “trailer” signal over the “toad” signal. If 2 signals go in, diode only lets 1 signal out.

That is how I wired my 01 Wrangler.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:08 PM   #10
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No battery connections or disconnections need to be performed. For my 2015 Wrangler Sahara simply put transmission in neutral, put transfer case in neutral, put transmission in park ( Automatic). Remove key and start towing. Easy peasy.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cougarkid View Post
I’m not sure how all your systems are wired. No built-in diodes?

Diodes will stop the “double power” issues. Diode uses the “trailer” signal over the “toad” signal. If 2 signals go in, diode only lets 1 signal out.

That is how I wired my 01 Wrangler.
Cougarkid,
Your interpretation of how a diode works is slightly off. A diode is simply a ONE-WAY valve, for electricity. It lets it go in one direction, but not the other. So, with that in mind, let's say you take the factory wire that feeds a rear turn signal in the Jeep in question, on the left side. The signal from either the brake switch or, the turn flasher, travels right though that wire, 'till hit hits the bulb, in the left tail light housing which, in turn, lights the bright side of that bulb, correct?

Now, take a wire, from the coach, that is ALSO a brake/turn wire, intended to tie into or, maybe a better description would be to "T" into the factory Jeep wire so that the coach, can actually light up the same filament when triggered from the coach, correct?

But, if you Tee into that Jeeps original turn signal/brake light wire and use no way of controlling the signal from the coach from traveling backwards down stream to the front end of the Jeep, all hell will break loose and lots of problems can and often do, develop. Ok, to stop that coaches signal, from going places it's not supposed to go, you install a DIODE, in the Jeeps turn signal/brake light wire, just in front of the Tee intersection of the coach and jeep wires. Now, when the turn signal or brake signal from the coach, is injected into that T intersection from the coach, the signal CAN go both ways,
1. to the bulb, where it's supposed to go
2. It can also go down stream towards the front, UNTIL it hits that DIODE.

Remember, a diode is a ONE WAY VALVE for electricity. When the signal from the coach, hits the diode in that line, IT STOPS. And therefore, no problems develop down stream.

OK, that's that. Now, the problem we have is since the DIODE in that line IS a one way valve, it does let the signals from the Jeeps brake and turn signal system, through it, as it's supposed to. But, and here's the problem, if, IF, you have a signal from the coach heading for the left tail light on the Jeep, say, a turn signal, but, you apply the brakes in the coach at the same time, guess what? If you have an auxiliary braking system in the Jeep, that auxiliary braking system is ALSO going to apply the brakes in the Jeep.

Guess what, you not only have a turn signal from the coach, traveling down the wires, all the way to the Jeeps left tail light bulb, right? But, the Jeeps brakes are being applied at the same time and, as has been stated, even with the Jeeps key in the OFF position, the Jeeps brake lights are activated with the Jeeps brake pedal. And, since the DIODE is only a ONE WAY VALVE, the signal from the Jeeps brake light switch, is gonna go RIGHT THROUGH THAT DIODE to the same exact filament, that is blinking, from the signal from the coach.

So, your interpretation of a diode STOPPING "double power" issues, well, is not correct. Because, you've got power coming from the Jeeps brake light switch which, goes THROUGH the diode, and, the coaches power going to the same filament, you have DOUBLE power going to the same filament, correct?

There are folks that know they have this problem and, choose to do NOTHING about it. There are folks that DON'T KNOW they have this problem. And, there are folks that know they have the problem and, have remedied it in various ways.
Scott
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougarkid View Post
I’m not sure how all your systems are wired. No built-in diodes?

Diodes will stop the “double power” issues. Diode uses the “trailer” signal over the “toad” signal. If 2 signals go in, diode only lets 1 signal out.

That is how I wired my 01 Wrangler.
Sorry, but diodes will NOT remedy this problem. A diode will insure that current can only flow in one direction along a wire. Hopefully it is obvious that the Jeep can activate its own tail lights (when the brake pedal is depressed.) Similarly, when wired correctly the TOW VEHICLE can also activate the Jeep's tail lights. So, the flow of current from BOTH the Jeep and the TOW VEHICLE is enabled.

What we have is a concurrency problem, not a backfeed problem. A diode implementation CANNOT fix this issue.

Unfortunately, MOST people that have this problem are blissfully unaware that they have the problem. Having diodes in the system will not help.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:39 AM   #13
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Sorry, Scott to have re-stated your post.... I didn't see it until AFTER I replied.

LOL - at least we are consistent!
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:00 PM   #14
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Sorry for the incorrect terminology. This what I installed. They sell these all over the place.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hopkins-V...MaAiwvEALw_wcB
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