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Old 03-21-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
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Jeep Wrangler: What next?!?!?!?

In Dec. I purchased a 2003 Holiday Rambler Vacationer. It is the 36.5', bath and a half model. Love it!
On Fri. I purchased a 2004 Jeep Wrangler. I'm a little apprehensive where the thought of towing it behind the MH are concerned, but looking forward to it, none the less.
My question is: knowing the model of the MH and toad, what equipment do you recommend I purchase for towing? Being a novice, should I purchase new, or look for used?
Really looking for any advice and suggestions you may have!
Thanks,

Dylan and Glenda
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:40 PM   #2
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I have a 2007 Jeep Wrangler 4 dr. I use a blue ox base plate (attaches to the front bumper support with some modification)and tow bar. If you are handy you can install the base plate yourself. I also installed a seperate set of wires from the base plate to the tail light and then cut a hole in the tail lite module to install seperate bulbs.The tow bar is very easy to connect the Jeep to the motorhome and easy to disconnect too. this website will show you what it looks like. Blue Ox Tow Bars . I think you would only need the "aladdin" model as your jeep in less that 5000 pounds.The one I have (an older one) is rated for 5000 pounds but thenew ones are rated for 7500 pounds. the 5000 pound one is the one I use and my Wrangler weighs 4100 pounds.

Whatever you use it is strongly recommended that you do not back up the motorhome with the vehicle hitched it. You should also consider some auxillary braking device as the laws in almost all states will require some sort of auxillary braking device for the Jeep when you tow it.

As for new Vs used....well I guess you could check Craigs list or Ebay but I just ordered new. If you do by used be sure you are getting all the parts. With the Blue Ox they supply a couple of "wiz nits" that have a wire attached to them to facilitate instillation in a very difficult spot that you cant easily get your fingers into.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:09 PM   #3
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For tow bars and tow plates, you have Blue Ox, Roadmaster and Demco. Tow bars are typically rated for 6,000 or 10,000 pounds, a few at 7,500 pounds. So, they all meet your requirements. Some tow bars are all steel while others are predominatly aluminum. This is mainly a weight versus cost decision. All three manufactures have their vehicle specific mounting instructions on the web. You may be surprised that for some applications the plates are vastly different between manufactures.

Then there's brakes. You will discover that some do not have supplemental or brake away brakes on the vehicles they tow. In most states this would be illegal. You should really consider a braking system. The easiest ones are the brake in a box systems that are placed against the brake pedal for use and then removed when you are driving the vehicle. There are many options.

Finally there's lighting. The tow vehicle must display running (the rear only), turn signals, and brake lights. This can be as simple as add on magnetic mounted light bars, to adding bulbs in the factory fixtures, to wiring into the existing lights.

If you are searching eBay for new, just realize the stores that use eBay as their store front are not always the cheapest. I opted for RVUpgrades.com with PPL being a strong second and sometimes cheaper.

There's probably plenty of used stuff out their. I believe all tow bar manufactures offer a reconditioning/servicing. The combined price for servicing and a used unit MAY be worth considering.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:15 PM   #4
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We just purchased our first RV in September. We traded my Solara for a 2008 Wrangler Unlimited 4 door. After quite a bit of research we decided to go with the Ready Brake/Ready Brute system because of it's simplicity. We have the tow bar, the aux. brake, and the breakaway system from them. We've been very satisfied with it.

We had our dealer attach the base plate and handle the wiring to the lights. My husband and I installed the the brake cable and the cable for the breakaway. It's simple enough that we could have done it all but we preferred to leave the "hard" stuff to them.

Just google and you'll find them. Also, do a search here and you'll find lots of threads with comments and recommendations on the various brands.

I think most people, if they're happy with what they have, are inclined to recommend it. Often times I've found the most helpful comments come from those who had something (RV cover, tow bar, aux. brake, TPMS, etc) which they didn't like and who then found one they did.

The first time I really drove our RV, the Jeep was in tow. I learned very quickly that with or without the Jeep behind us, most maneuvers need to be done more slowly. That stopping does, indeed as everyone says, take longer/farther. And according to my husband who has driven it both ways, given a bit a time to get accustomed to it, there isn't much difference in the way our RV handled.

Like everything with RVing, there's a learning curve. Just take your time, relax and enjoy.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:06 AM   #5
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We tow a 2004 Wrangler (3740 lbs) behind our 01 Winnebago Adventurer using a Roadmaster Sterling towbar and Roadmaster XL baseplate. I installed the baseplates in less than an hour. As I remember you have to drill a couple holes in the frame. It was pretty straight forward when following the instructions that came with the baseplate brackets. I also wired the Jeep using the original equipment tail lights and a diode kit. The Jeep can be setup in an afternoon.

We use the Roadmaster 9060 braking system with the breakaway feature. It's a little more complex than some but provides good proportional braking and there's only an air cylinder to store when driving the Jeep. We also use the onboard compressor to inflate the tires or for anything else that requires air. It took about a day to install the braking system in the motorhome. It's not that complicated but I wanted it in a specific place that minimized loss of storage space yet still allowed easy access.

If you intend to keep the motorhome and Jeep for a while I would buy new components. The towbars usually need some maintenance around 50,000 miles. When you buy used you really don't have much of an idea how long they've been used or how they might have been abused. Some of the older model towbars on craigs list or e bay are no longer supported by the factory and may be hard to find parts for. Our system has about 65,000 miles on it. Last year I replaced the "stinger" ( part that connects the towbar to the hitch receiver on the motorhome) for about $100.00. It still worked fine but the bushings were showing enough wear that the pivot joint was a bit loose.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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Go to www.hitchtrader.com for used hitches, baseplates and braking systems. I bought a nearly new Blue Ox baseplate and Aventa II tow bar for less than 1/2 the price of new. I use a new Roadmaster Brakemaster toad brake and had that installed. No need on the older Jeeps to have any special wiring to the tail lights with this system.
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImagineIF View Post
For tow bars ... you have Blue Ox, Roadmaster and Demco.
Not the only companies that manufacture tow bars.

When we had our motorhome, we used the ReadyBrute tow bars with the integrated ReadyBrake braking system.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:40 PM   #8
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I just installed the blue ox #bx1120 on my 2006 wrangler. It installed pretty easy with only drilling 4 holes on one side. I got it at Performance Auto Parts, Truck Accessories, and Sports Car Parts Gear. They were the cheapest I found at $360.95 including free shipping. You can usually keep checking their site for discounts. I lucked out and they had a $50 discount for anything over $300 so mine ended up costing $310.95. I've bought from them quite a few times and have been very happy with their service. They also have very fast shipping too.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:00 AM   #9
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I tow a 2005 Jeep Wrangler with our Adventurer using a Blue Ox baseplate and tow bar. I also use a Blue Ox Patriot braking system. Put the transfer case in neutral and the transmission (mine is an automatic) in park and you are ready to go. Total time for hooking everything up is less than 5 minutes. We have had this setup for over 3 years, except for the braking system, which is about 6 months old, and so far it has been trouble-free.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:42 PM   #10
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I have a 2004 Wrangler I'm looking to tow with my 2005 Winniebago Minnie. The coach came equipped with an electric brakes controller, so looking to save a few bucks , I was thinking of going with a tow dolly with electric brakes. I've been driving a MH since 2001, but have zero experience towing a toad. Which would be the best way to tow my Jeep?
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieBob View Post
I have a 2004 Wrangler I'm looking to tow with my 2005 Winniebago Minnie. The coach came equipped with an electric brakes controller, so looking to save a few bucks , I was thinking of going with a tow dolly with electric brakes. I've been driving a MH since 2001, but have zero experience towing a toad. Which would be the best way to tow my Jeep?
4 down, do NOT tow on a dolly!
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:33 AM   #12
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I use the ReadyBrake and like it.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:53 AM   #13
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I tow a 2009 Wrangler Unlimited which is my second Jeep that I have towed. I have used the Blue OX base plate and Blue Ox Aventa tow bar without any problems. I use the US Gear Unified Tow Brake system, and for wiring the Jeep I use a Cooltech wiring harness .

http://www.cooltechllc.com/jeep/jk_tow_deluxe_kit.shtml

Jeeps are fun
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieBob View Post
I have a 2004 Wrangler I'm looking to tow with my 2005 Winniebago Minnie. The coach came equipped with an electric brakes controller, so looking to save a few bucks , I was thinking of going with a tow dolly with electric brakes. I've been driving a MH since 2001, but have zero experience towing a toad. Which would be the best way to tow my Jeep?
As vegasdan mentioned DON"T TOW A 4WD JEEP ON A DOLLY, you'll ruin the transfer case. 4WD Jeeps can only be towed 4 down or on a trailer unless you disconnect the driveshaft. There's a section in the owners manual labeled "recreational towing" that details how it should and shouldn't be towed.

If you don't have the owners manual you can download one from the Jeep Website.
My Jeep: Jeep Owners Service Manuals - 4x4 SUVs, Sports Utility Vehicles, Off Road
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