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Old 11-24-2019, 09:05 PM   #1
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Towing a Jeep Wrangler JL for the first time

I figured I'd post here since several people were talking about towing Jeep Wranglers recently.

I installed Maximus-3 tow loops and the Mopar flat tow wiring harness at home. I originally planned to use a Ready Brute Elite 2 tow bar, but switched to a Blue Ox Ascent after finding some fitment issues with the clevises they sent me. For anyone interested in the Ready Brute, the company told me last week they will be making clevises to fit the Maximus-3 loops this week (which is great news).

A friend gave me a Brake Buddy Classic, so I wired a constant on 12-volt outlet to my Aux. 3 switch on the dash and installed an outlet on the driver's seat frame. Everything worked perfectly. Here are a few photos of my setup:







The hitch pin on my RV sits about 1/2" higher than the pins on the Jeep. I think that is just about perfect from what I have read.

The Jeep tracked perfectly behind my coach the entire trip. You literally cannot tell it's back there without peeking at the rear view camera. I did make several stops to check all the connections and ensure the brakes were not overheating or dragging. I was averaging 8mpg most of the trip traveling at about 70mph.

I had a moment of panic when I arrived home this evening. I unhooked the Jeep a couple of blocks from my house and asked my wife to drive it home. When she got out, the first thing she asked me was why it smelled of burning rubber. I thought for a moment she confused brake smell with burning rubber (which wouldn't have made me much happier) , but sure enough it smelled like rubber. In checking the Jeep, I did not find overheated brakes or smoking tires. Nothing obvious was causing the smell. I thought maybe I was having a fan belt issue on the coach or maybe a locked up pulley, but a quick inspection revealed nothing out of the ordinary.

After a quick Google search, it seems a burnt rubber smell is somewhat common in toads. I did not notice it when we arrived in SC, but it was definitely noticeable when we got home. I'm not sure what caused it, but I'm glad I'm not the first guy to have this issue. Have any of you every experienced this?
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:19 PM   #2
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After towing our 2017 Jeep JKU sometimes has a burned rubber smell as well. We have towed it about 10,000 miles so far with no indication anything is wrong.
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgreen1069 View Post
I had a moment of panic when I arrived home this evening. I unhooked the Jeep a couple of blocks from my house and asked my wife to drive it home. When she got out, the first thing she asked me was why it smelled of burning rubber. I thought for a moment she confused brake smell with burning rubber (which wouldn't have made me much happier) , but sure enough it smelled like rubber. In checking the Jeep, I did not find overheated brakes or smoking tires. Nothing obvious was causing the smell. I thought maybe I was having a fan belt issue on the coach or maybe a locked up pulley, but a quick inspection revealed nothing out of the ordinary.

After a quick Google search, it seems a burnt rubber smell is somewhat common in toads. I did not notice it when we arrived in SC, but it was definitely noticeable when we got home. I'm not sure what caused it, but I'm glad I'm not the first guy to have this issue. Have any of you every experienced this?
It's perfectly normal. Road residue, rubber particles, oil from the roadway etc gets on the exhaust system then burns off when you start driving.
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:01 AM   #4
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Beautiful Jeep!
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:19 PM   #5
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My Gladiator and Wrangler JL both have that smell after towing.... Scared me first time...thought I left the parking brake engaged.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:27 PM   #6
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I have a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JL Rubicon.... I would be very interested in where you found this tow setup, I have a Blue Ox Towbar as well,
but I had to mount a Blue Ox Base Plate setup to my Jeep and it's UGLY... I would like to replace the Base plate with what you have ... Do you have any information you can share with me ?
I found earlier, just after I bought this JL, that Frame towing the JL was NOT recomended... this comes right from JEEP.

Any Thoughts???
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dennis Elam View Post
I have a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JL Rubicon.... I would be very interested in where you found this tow setup, I have a Blue Ox Towbar as well,
but I had to mount a Blue Ox Base Plate setup to my Jeep and it's UGLY... I would like to replace the Base plate with what you have ... Do you have any information you can share with me ?
I found earlier, just after I bought this JL, that Frame towing the JL was NOT recomended... this comes right from JEEP.

Any Thoughts???
You can find the tow loops I used here: https://maximus-3.com/jl-bumper-acce...jl-tow-loops#/

Blue Ox sells adapters that work with the tow loops. The part number is BX88303. I bought mine off of Amazon.

What do you mean about frame towing? The manual specifically states flat towing is OK. Like you, I did not want to use the Blue Ox or Roadmaster baseplates as they interfere with a winch and look like they might get banged up off road.

I've only towed around 1000 miles so far, but it worked very well. So far I'm happy with all of my choices. Good luck!
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:14 AM   #8
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Frame/Bumper towinf of the Jeep "JL"

What I found out about Frame Towing;

I have been Looking far and wide for a bumper that has the Tow Eyes as a integral part of the bumper, well, I could not find any bumper, anywhere that would replace the original OEM bumper. I figured that it would be a clean and nice looking towing connection without all that hardware hanging down.

I did all kinds of inquiring, forums, etc. I inquired to Chrysler/Jeep and was informed that t.owing in that fashion is not allowed and not recommended. Apparently the new "JL" Body and Frame design is not as "strong" as it's predecessor the "JK"
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:57 PM   #9
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Interesting that you couldn't get clevises from NSA, I had a jeep a few years ago that I wanted to tow from the bumper d-ring mounts, they asked me to send them a drawing with dimensions of the hole size and thickness and they would manufacture the adapters. I don't think it even cost much more than the standard adapters they offer.


Maybe they're a lot busier now and don't do custom work?


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Old 12-04-2019, 07:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stevemoores View Post
Interesting that you couldn't get clevises from NSA, I had a jeep a few years ago that I wanted to tow from the bumper d-ring mounts, they asked me to send them a drawing with dimensions of the hole size and thickness and they would manufacture the adapters. I don't think it even cost much more than the standard adapters they offer.


Maybe they're a lot busier now and don't do custom work?


Steve
The old Ready Brute had aluminum clevises and they could make one offs fairly easily.

The Ready Brute 2 has steel clevises and they can’t make one offs due to the need to manufacture 20 or so at a time to make it profitable. Since my debacle, they said they received enough requests for the clevises that they were going to do so. It was a bit late for me as I needed a tow bar before they agreed to make them.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dennis Elam View Post
What I found out about Frame Towing;

I have been Looking far and wide for a bumper that has the Tow Eyes as a integral part of the bumper, well, I could not find any bumper, anywhere that would replace the original OEM bumper. I figured that it would be a clean and nice looking towing connection without all that hardware hanging down.

I did all kinds of inquiring, forums, etc. I inquired to Chrysler/Jeep and was informed that t.owing in that fashion is not allowed and not recommended. Apparently the new "JL" Body and Frame design is not as "strong" as it's predecessor the "JK"
I don’t think they recommend towing directly from the bumper. Any bumper with tow loops needs to have reinforcements plates that tie bumper to the sides of the frame like Roadmaster and Blue Ox’s baseplates.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:43 AM   #12
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Regarding the "burnt rubber smell" in the toad....I have a 2018 Sahara JLU with the blue-ox base-plate. No burnt rubber smell, but I do put the air-conditioning system on "recirculate" when towing to try and keep the exhaust out of the cabin.

I do like the OP's towing setup a lot! Very clean!
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:30 AM   #13
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I see that this post was initiated in June of 2018, so I am not sure if it is still being followed. I am just getting started in the RV thing, and joined the forum yesterday, so I may being asking this too late. I really like the set up that you have done. I am going to be towing a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and have just started looking at options. How difficult was the installation of the tow loops? I have been looking at different base plate options, and most of them require significant modifications to the Jeep.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:16 AM   #14
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I see that this post was initiated in June of 2018, so I am not sure if it is still being followed. I am just getting started in the RV thing, and joined the forum yesterday, so I may being asking this too late. I really like the set up that you have done. I am going to be towing a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and have just started looking at options. How difficult was the installation of the tow loops? I have been looking at different base plate options, and most of them require significant modifications to the Jeep.
June 2018 was when I joined this forum. My post was started Nov. 24, 2019, so you are not late at all.

The tow loop installation wasn’t bad at all. The only modification required was to notch the bumper and plastic skid plate. I used a 1 1/8” hole saw to start the cuts on the bumper then used a Dremel with a cutting wheel for everything else. A sanding bit on the Dremel cleaned everything up. I used automotive touchup paint + primer to coat the newly cut metal. Maximus-3 included directions for the metal JL bumper but I had to modify them slightly since I have the stock plastic bumper.
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