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Old 09-06-2020, 06:33 PM   #1
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2017 Jeep Cherokee - Mopar Harness/Demco Questions

Well, the wife has never been enamored with the Jeep TJ. Won't go into all the details, but "happy wife - happy life"...

Long story short, after searching a couple weeks for the right Cherokee, I ran across a 2017 Cherokee Overland with Active Drive II. Wife had a very specific wish list; Cold Weather Pkg, Memory Driver's Seat, Pano Sunroof - and this one checks all the boxes. A local Acura dealer had taken it on trade at 31K miles. When we first walked up to it, I noticed a Demco tabless baseplate under the bumper. I don't think the salesguy even knew that it was there. A toggle switch with the red cover as shown in this photo was mounted in the console - so it likely has the tow harness installed:



Being new to this - how does this harness work? I realize that I need to flip the switch on before towing the car, but I've read something about pulling a fuse.

Also, is anyone here using the Demco tabless setup? My current setup is a Demco Excalibar with BlueOx tabs and a BlueOx baseplate on the TJ. The Demco tabless setup is different from the BlueOx in that the pull studs are permanently attached to the tow bar(and didn't come with the car). Looking at etrailer.com, it would be slightly north of $200 for all the parts that I'm missing. Etrailer sells a pair of tab adapters for ~$80 - the setup would no longer be "tabless", but I think I'd prefer it to the Demco tabless design.



Any feed back from IRV2ers that have used the Demco tabless setup would be appreciated.
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:41 PM   #2
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The wiring harness powers the electronic steering stabilizer. Without it, the front wheels might begin to wobble violently to the point it will damage or even break the welds on the hitch receiver mounted on your motor home. To activate, simply turn the switch on before or after you put the transfer case in neutral and you're ready to tow. Do a search, many threads discussing in greater detail.

We have a 2015 Trailhawk that required the same harness. After a long fight with the dealer over who was going to pay for the harness and installation I ended up making and installing my own but powered off the motorhome.

I have Demco tabless system on the Trailhawk and the Demco classic style base plate on my TJ. In my experience, the classic style is much easier to set up and unhook! You can buy the tabless adapters for your Excalibar direct from Demco
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:37 AM   #3
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I have 2014 Cherokee and have this electronic setup there is also a 10 amp fuse that needs to be put in by the fuse box under the hood every time you want to tow and them removed the fuse and lower the switch when you want to use the tow. Cant help with the tow bar I have blue ox system.
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:39 AM   #4
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I have 2014 Cherokee and have this electronic setup there is also a 10 amp fuse that needs to be put in by the fuse box under the hood every time you want to tow and them removed the fuse and lower the switch when you want to use the tow. Cant help with the tow bar I have blue ox system.

I had my hitch shop put in a toggle switch under the hood - I kept dropping the fuse
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:28 PM   #5
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I have 2014 Cherokee and have this electronic setup there is also a 10 amp fuse that needs to be put in by the fuse box under the hood every time you want to tow and them removed the fuse and lower the switch when you want to use the tow.
YIKES! I forgot about having to re & re that fuse every time. To avoid this, I made my harness (with inline fuse ) to power the electronic steering stabilizer off the motor home, not the Cherokee battery..... avoids running the battery down on long trips and forgetting or losing that extra fuse.
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:28 PM   #6
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I have the Demco tabless on an Equinox and use it with a Roadmaster Nighthawk. I like it. One less thing to do and store. Well, actually two less to store and two less pins to install.

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Old 09-07-2020, 06:24 PM   #7
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Installing/removing the fuse is a pain. I just installed a switch under the dash instead of having to deal with the fuse. Easy to activate/deactivate without ever having to open the hood.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:20 PM   #8
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Regarding the tow harness, opening the hood and pulling/inserting the fuse gets old fast.

Here is a link to automate the process posted by 'dpinvidic'
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/make...ic-297500.html

And another one by 'biknjim' (starts at post #72)
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/jeep...-380544-6.html

I didn't get that sophisticated and just installed a switch in the cockpit as Ken C did. I'm attaching a brief description of my process which was pretty easy.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Tow Wiring Kit Switch Installation.pdf (657.5 KB, 12 views)
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:52 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the feedback - good stuff. I'm thinking that I'll just move the fuse power tap from the Cherokee's PDC to the 6 pin connector "charge line'. Flipping the switch is no big deal, but eliminating fumbling with a fuse is a plus.
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Papa Foxtrot View Post
Thanks for all the feedback - good stuff. I'm thinking that I'll just move the fuse power tap from the Cherokee's PDC to the 6 pin connector "charge line'. Flipping the switch is no big deal, but eliminating fumbling with a fuse is a plus.
You will also have to add a diode for that to work. Without the diode, the car battery will continue to power the steering system after power is removed to the charge line (by turning off the coach ignition if itís switched or pulling the light umbilical) and deplete the battery.
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:46 PM   #11
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You will also have to add a diode for that to work. Without the diode, the car battery will continue to power the steering system after power is removed to the charge line (by turning off the coach ignition if itís switched or pulling the light umbilical) and deplete the battery.
I'm not planning to connect the "charge line" to the towd battery. Just going to power the 10A fuse line. If I ever actually use it to charge the towd battery, I'll add a diode.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:50 PM   #12
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I'm not planning to connect the "charge line" to the towd battery. Just going to power the 10A fuse line. If I ever actually use it to charge the towd battery, I'll add a diode.
You will still deplete the battery then while towing. The flat tow harness doesnít actually power the steering, just triggers a relay. The carís battery actually powers the steering. You can verify this by inserting the fuse to power up the steering and then remove the fuse. The steering will stay powered up for about 10 minutes without any power at all being provided through the harness. You will need an actual charge line to keep the battery up while towing with the flat tow harness.
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:41 PM   #13
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You will still deplete the battery then while towing. The flat tow harness doesnít actually power the steering, just triggers a relay. The carís battery actually powers the steering.
...
You will need an actual charge line to keep the battery up while towing with the flat tow harness.
OK - learned something else. Will insert a diode in the line.
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