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Old 09-02-2014, 04:38 PM   #1
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Tow light kit for Cherokee (Install Question)

Has anyone installed a light bulb wiring kit into a late model Jeep Cherokee?

This is the type of kit where you drill a hole in the rear of the tail light housing and install a second bulb that is controlled by the tow vehicle.
Our Cherokee (Trailhawk) has LED tail lights, and this seems like the easiest way to have working lights on the toad. I wonder if there is room for the extra bulb, and how well it works.

I think the other option is a relay to isolate the tail light circuit when towing.
I don't like the diode solution because the signal won't flash if you are braking

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:45 PM   #2
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Dan,
I have a Wrangler... I use the wiring harness sold by CoolTech LLC (CoolTechLLC) and it does not require any diodes. It operates the brake and turning and running lights flawlessly. I don't know if it is compatible with your Cherokee, but if it is, I highly recommend it. When I turn on my RV lights, all of the running lights (including the front/side bumper) of the Jeep illuminate. Turn and Brake lights work as expected, except for the center brake light (above my spare tire). That one is only lit when my Patriot brake box hits the Jeep's brake pedal.

If Cool Tech makes a harness for your Cherokee, and if it's the same as my Wrangler, it'll do the trick quite nicely.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
Dan,
I have a Wrangler... I use the wiring harness sold by CoolTech LLC (CoolTechLLC) and it does not require any diodes. It operates the brake and turning and running lights flawlessly. I don't know if it is compatible with your Cherokee, but if it is, I highly recommend it. When I turn on my RV lights, all of the running lights (including the front/side bumper) of the Jeep illuminate. Turn and Brake lights work as expected, except for the center brake light (above my spare tire). That one is only lit when my Patriot brake box hits the Jeep's brake pedal.

If Cool Tech makes a harness for your Cherokee, and if it's the same as my Wrangler, it'll do the trick quite nicely.
Thanks Statgeek...I checked their site, and it looks like they only address the Wrangler. They have two types for the wrangler. One has separate bulbs which are installed inside the tail light housing. The other seems to plug into the Wrangler wire harness. Neither have diodes.

So I am still looking...The extra bulbs would be the simplest except for the fact that I would have to disable the Trailhawk brake lights since they would also be on when I brake and turn at the same time:>(

Dan
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:50 PM   #4
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Shucks Dan. Keep on looking... someone's got one out there for ya!
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:25 PM   #5
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Will build my own

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Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
Shucks Dan. Keep on looking... someone's got one out there for ya!
I have decided to build my own. The reason is that having a aux braking system which will cause the brake lights to activate would prevent the turn signal from being seen...even if I put in a separate bulb system (now two bulbs are one, with one flashing)

I can just use a 5pin relay (SPDT) for each side and activate the relay when the tow cable electrical is connected. The "BATT" terminal will activate the relay.

The relay simply changes the connection of the brake light filament from the vehicle lead to the trailer harness lead. This way the lights will work exactly as they should....always flash when turning, even if the brake is applied.

IF this works out, I just might have to start selling these....

Dan
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
I have decided to build my own. The reason is that having a aux braking system which will cause the brake lights to activate would prevent the turn signal from being seen...even if I put in a separate bulb system (now two bulbs are one, with one flashing)

I can just use a 5pin relay (SPDT) for each side and activate the relay when the tow cable electrical is connected. The "BATT" terminal will activate the relay.

The relay simply changes the connection of the brake light filament from the vehicle lead to the trailer harness lead. This way the lights will work exactly as they should....always flash when turning, even if the brake is applied.

IF this works out, I just might have to start selling these....

Dan
The BATT wire from the RV is connected to the TOWED Batt. Won't the TOWED Batt energize your relay?
You may need some steering diodes!
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:09 PM   #7
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The BATT wire from the RV is connected to the TOWED Batt. Won't the TOWED Batt energize your relay?
You may need some steering diodes!
I will make all the connections on the Toad. So the "BATT" wire will only go to the relay. This means that when the umbilical cable is connected, the relay is energized, and when unplugged, it goes back to normal.

I might even add my own 6 pin trailer connecter , and have the "BATT" terminal controlled by the motorhome ignition. So with the motorhome key off, the relay is not energized...and zero current draw.

Thanks for the feedback on the "BATT" terminal..

Dan
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