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Old 08-07-2010, 12:58 PM   #1
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What do I need to set up a Cherokee for towing

Hi folks,
We're finally getting serious about towing our 98 Cherokee. All these years with a motorhome we've gone carless and rented as needed.
The easy stuff is the tow bar, safety cables, base plate, brake system.
What else do I need?
Thanks for you help.
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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Check owners manual for how to tow your vehicle. You may need to pull a fuse out when you leave the key on (so steering wheel can turn with the front wheels) to keep from draining the battery. You need to wire in the lights, Turn signal & brake lights. I used the vehicle brake lights that were activated by my brake master air cylinder inside the car.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magumba View Post
Hi folks,
We're finally getting serious about towing our 98 Cherokee. All these years with a motorhome we've gone carless and rented as needed.
The easy stuff is the tow bar, safety cables, base plate, brake system.
What else do I need?
Thanks for you help.
We towed our 2000 Grand Cherokee cross country and back with no problems. We had 4x4 and no special actions were required beyond putting the xfer case and transmission in neutral. Traded it in for a Ford Explorer and sure miss the JGC.

You covered a lot of ground and expense with the list you already know about. I don't have a lot to add to it except to suggest that you brace yourself for the bill. It's not to hard to get to $2500 or more.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:05 PM   #4
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A 4X4 shouldn't need any special equipment. A 2 wheel drive is different. Just make sure that you remember to keep the key turned to where the steering wheel will turn. Otherwise you will be replacing tires.

BTW, I bought all my towing gear used off of www.hitchtrader.com and I have less than $500 in a Stowmaster 5000 tow bar, hidden brackets and the "trailer" lights that I attached to my old hitchhaul and then strung a wiring harness from the front of the Jeep (hooks to the connection on the RV) up over the top of the Jeep and down to the light plug on the hitchhaul.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
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Don't forget your towing llights. Your Cherokee has an open segment in the tail/brake light lenses that can be used for that. On my JGC I bought a pair of lites and sockets from Checker auto parts for about $10 and wired them up like trailer lites. Making a hole for the sockets was not too tricky either. Alternately you can get a diode setup and use the existing jeep lights.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magumba View Post
Hi folks,
We're finally getting serious about towing our 98 Cherokee. All these years with a motorhome we've gone carless and rented as needed.
The easy stuff is the tow bar, safety cables, base plate, brake system.
What else do I need?
Thanks for you help.
The transfer case in Neutral and the key in the "OFF but NOT LOCKED" position.. if you have one.. If you don't you will have to modify the steering lock.

Since you mention having the cherokee for years. You should have that "off but not locked" position.

Oh, and fuel for the motor home so you can enjoy (But you needed that anyway)
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:56 AM   #7
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I just returned from a trip out west, towed my 2001 Cherokee (not grand cherokee) 5000 mi.trouble free.

4x4, place transfer case in neutral then shut off engine and place automatic transmission in PARK. Turn ignition switch on so dash lights come on then turn back one notch. This leaves the steering unlocked but the ignition off, so no need to pull any fuses or disconnect battery.

I use a Blue Ox tow bar and base plate, very nice fit and nearly invisible when un hooked. I also use the M&G brake so I have no current draw off of the jeep battery for a braking device while in tow and it's proportional.

If you have a 2 wheel drive cherokee you will have to install a driveshaft disconnect. The 4x4 is great though, just pull the handle back to nuetral and go.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:55 AM   #8
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If you have your owners manual, it will tell you how to tow your jeep for "recreational" use. If not, I can copy back down what mine says (they are all pretty similar). I had it posted on an RV forum or two before but can't find it (it was quite some time back).

Found the post, about 14 down the page:
http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/233/8065.html
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:41 AM   #9
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Thanks for the helpful replies.
I reviewed the towing procedures in the manual and went over it a few times.
I'm planning on using the Ready Brake Elite tow bar with integrated brake system. They also make a nice wireless brake light system.
Camp happy.
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