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Old 01-10-2021, 09:05 PM   #1
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2013 Jeep Wrangler setup for towing

Speaking of towing. I just purchased a 2013 Jeep Wrangler. I need to wire it for towing behind my rv. I called a Jeep dealer and the service dept. guy told me that it would cost between 600 and 800 bucks. I was also told that there is a programing that they have to do for it to work. I'm confused. YouTube vids show guys installing wiring - tail lights and no reference to taking their Jeep to a dealer for "programing." The question: Are there two different ways to have my Jeep wired for towing behind my rv?
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Old 01-10-2021, 09:47 PM   #2
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Are you talking about just the wiring or the complete setup for towing?
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:20 AM   #3
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I need the wiring from the tail lights to the front of the base plate installed which is already on my Jeep. I see vids where guys install the wiring and they're good to go. But, I spoke with a local dealer and was told that it involves programing by them.
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:27 AM   #4
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There is absolutely no programming involved with installing a harness in a JK. I've installed the Mopar harness on two different ones, a 2012 and a 2016. The Mopar harness is in my opinion the best harness since it totally isolates the Jeep wiring from the tow harness using relays. Here's a link to a post I made almost six years ago about how to install a Mopar harness.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/2012...te-236583.html
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichthus View Post
Speaking of towing. I just purchased a 2013 Jeep Wrangler. I need to wire it for towing behind my rv. I called a Jeep dealer and the service dept. guy told me that it would cost between 600 and 800 bucks. I was also told that there is a programing that they have to do for it to work. I'm confused. YouTube vids show guys installing wiring - tail lights and no reference to taking their Jeep to a dealer for "programing." The question: Are there two different ways to have my Jeep wired for towing behind my rv?
Well,
As usual, people get presented with incorrect info when it comes to RV related stuff. NO, THERE IS NO PROGRAMMING needed, no matter who's wiring harness you buy and install. A very large percentage of us Jeep Jk owners have purchased and installed is this:

https://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Wir...s/HM56200.html

It's incredibly easy to install and has never, EVER caused any issues with the Jeep's factory wiring that I know about and, I've done plenty of them. That harness is considerably cheaper than just about any other aftermarket tail light wiring harness at about $49-$55 or so, depending on where you purchase it. And the instructions for install, can't be any simpler than those. You can't go wrong with that one.
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:44 AM   #6
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OP - There are several solutions for the JK model Wranglers (2007-2018) that have been used for years and none of them require dealer programming. We've sold more than 1,000 harnesses for this platform - without issue.
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Old 01-11-2021, 11:48 PM   #7
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Thanks folks. I talked with another dealer and it turns out the first one must have thought I was referring to the tow on the back of my Jeep. Anyway, I purchased
Hopkins 56200 Plug-In Simple Towed Vehicle Wiring Kit...which, of course, does not require any programming. Again, thanks for the input.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:46 AM   #8
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I used the Cool-Tech harness myself, simple and easy.
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:14 PM   #9
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Thanks folks. I talked with another dealer and it turns out the first one must have thought I was referring to the tow on the back of my Jeep. Anyway, I purchased
Hopkins 56200 Plug-In Simple Towed Vehicle Wiring Kit...which, of course, does not require any programming. Again, thanks for the input.
Smooth move on the Hopkins, great product.
Scott
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:30 PM   #10
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The Hopkins kit is certainly the low-cost leader - not something we ever sought to be. Different solutions have different (better) wire gauge and sheathed cables, and come with a connector for the front of the Jeep as opposed to a dangling flat-4. But as the OP has already made a decision let's talk about an anomaly of these kits - and how to fix it.

When the JK is being towed, the ignition is off and the ECU and electronics are all OFF. However, the brake lights will still function if the brake pedal is activated by an aux braking device. The anomaly occurs when you are towing the Jeep and the motorhome is pulsating a 12v signal for one of the turn signals. Then, if the MH brakes and the aux braking device activates the Jeep's brake pedal, the JEEP will send a constant 12v to the same bulb/filament. In this scenario (brake and turn signal active), the blinking turn signal will be lost (in favor of a constant brake light).

To solve this conflict, the easiest solution is to remove the Jeep's brake light fuse while towing. This would prevent the Jeep from sending a signal to the light that may conflict with what the MH is commanding.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:17 AM   #11
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The Hopkins kit is certainly the low-cost leader - not something we ever sought to be. Different solutions have different (better) wire gauge and sheathed cables, and come with a connector for the front of the Jeep as opposed to a dangling flat-4. But as the OP has already made a decision let's talk about an anomaly of these kits - and how to fix it.

When the JK is being towed, the ignition is off and the ECU and electronics are all OFF. However, the brake lights will still function if the brake pedal is activated by an aux braking device. The anomaly occurs when you are towing the Jeep and the motorhome is pulsating a 12v signal for one of the turn signals. Then, if the MH brakes and the aux braking device activates the Jeep's brake pedal, the JEEP will send a constant 12v to the same bulb/filament. In this scenario (brake and turn signal active), the blinking turn signal will be lost (in favor of a constant brake light).

To solve this conflict, the easiest solution is to remove the Jeep's brake light fuse while towing. This would prevent the Jeep from sending a signal to the light that may conflict with what the MH is commanding.
Roger all that you've stated and explained. I've been telling folks about that issue for decades. Everyone checks brake lights on their toads, WHEN SITTING STILL, not when moving and, with an auxiliary braking mechanism. I dealt with that situation the cave man way. I installed a switch on my Jeeps ('04 Jeep Rubicon) door jamb that, when towing, the switch was in a position that cut the brake light signal from the Jeeps brake pedal and sent it to the dash of the coach.

Then, when driving it, we'd flip the switch the other way, and that would allow the Jeeps brake light signal to go to where it's supposed to go, the tail lights on the Jeep. Worked slick. But, that was a long, long time ago. Many guys use a relay to do the same thing now and it's all automatic, no flipping of any switches.
Scott
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