Originally Posted by Wildblu
jcgribks, I'm SO glad that you posted this. When I was poking around the Jeep website and looking at accessories, I saw what I think is the same wiring harness. If I understand correctly, you just plug one end straight into your Jeep's harness, and then the other end goes straight into the RV trailer hitch. (what is it, the 4-plug jack on the hitch?) At that point, does it satisfy all needs for lights--running, braking, and turning? And then are the Jeep TOAD lights powered by the RV, or the Jeep battery?
If I'm understanding that harness correctly for the current model Wranglers, all you need to flat tow is the harness and a braking system? (oh, and where the harness plugs into the hitch, does it interfere with the plug for the braking system as well?)
Thanks so much! This would answer some big questions I have to set up a Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited.
OK, I have the cooltech version of the harness, which is essentially the same animal, I believe. In any event, it uses the same interfacing scheme to accomodate the Jeep's CANBUS electrical system.
The harness (also sold by non-RV dealers; you are correct, jeep websites offer towing stuff such as baseplates) plugs in to the jeep harness. If you have the other harness for towing with the jeep, the two work together. The other end of the jeep flat-tow harness terminates in a connector you mount on the jeep; you get to pick where, so it doesn't interfere with anything. You use another cable to connect the RV and the jeep. The jeep tail, brake, and turn signals work in concert with the RV. Nothing interferes with the Jeep auxiliary braking system.
There is one minor caveat; two, actually. First, with the key "on" in the jeep, it draws some power. you can pull the IOC fuse temporarily to kill the power drain and leave the battery connected so you have power for your auxiliary brake, if you use one powered off the jeep. Newer jeeps (mid-08 on) don't have a steering lock, so this is not an issue. Second, if you use an aux brake that applies the brake pedal in the jeep (brake buddy, etc) it will also turn on the brake lights on the jeep; if you're signaling for a turn at the same time, the brake lights on the jeep will both come on and you won't have a turn signal on the jeep. You can also override this by pulling the brake light fuse; i've never found it to be an issue.
Go to cooltech's website for more details; he specializes in mostly-wrangler stuff and is very, very reasonable, and very, very helpful. $129 will get you the cooltech harness, with connectors, and the RV-jeep umbilical as well as a battery disconnect you won't need.
On the subject of baseplates, 4WD.com and others sell the Currie Enterprises (makers of rock jock skid plates) baseplate, that replaces the plastic valance panel under the front bumper with a slab of steel that incorporates the tow lugs for a Blue Ox tow bar. it's hell for stout, takes about a half hour to install without hacking up and keeping the useless plastic panel (unlike the relatively complex and flimsy, not to mention overpriced, Blue Ox base plate) and costs $200. Of course, it isn't hidden, it's a big chunk of metal, but when is that a problem on a jeep?
Setting up a wrangler for flat tow is amazingly simple and costs much less than I expected, especially since much of it can be sourced from non-RV supplier sources.