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Old 04-07-2021, 07:56 PM   #1
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Towing 2008 Jeep Wrangler 2 door

I would like to set up my 2008 Jeep Wrangler 2 door automatic to tow behind a Tiffin 32SA(gas). I have a Roadmaster Falcon 5250 tow bar from a previous set up, but will need to install base plates on the Jeep. I am not real keen on drilling holes in the frame. I have seen that Roadmaster and Blue Ox both make base plates for the Jeep. Reading the install instructions, it appears that Blue Ox involves drilling several holes and Roadmaster not as many. Anyone had experience with either one of these? Are there any other brands that make base plates for this Jeep that will bolt up without drilling?
Also what wiring and auxillary braking systems work good with this Jeep?
I know lots of questions. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Mike
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:12 PM   #2
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Jeep Wrangler is one of the easiest and most popular towed's. Lots of discussion on this forum about opting for an after market bumper with purpose=built tow tabs. Base plates are fairly expensive and don't add much to the jeep. The $$$$'s you will spend toward a factory baseplate will make a good down payment on a nice, upgraded bumper w/pull tabs. IMHO...
Lots of options on aux. brake systems [self-contained/integrated/inertia/surge only], and tail-light wiring packages too [separate wire-bulbs/diodes/magnetic]....
PS--don't recall that much drilling to mount the BO baseplate on my 2006 Sport.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:51 AM   #3
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I just set one up for a buddy. He used a Blue Ox base plate, and he used a Hopkins harness made for the Jeep. It could not have been more straightforward. Remove the bumper, 4 bolts, to gain access to the front of the frame. Yes, two holes will have to be drilled on either side. Pretty easy if you own a drill. The plate uses one an existing hole for the the third bolt. We used the existing hole to temp mount the base plate while we drilled the other two holes. Use a center punch to locate the hole, and drill a pilot hole with a 1/8 bit, before drilling the larger hole. It’s much easier that way, and less likely to drill the hole off center.

The Hopkins harness plugged right into the existing connectors at the left taillight, and of course the wires have to be snaked to the front. Dealer’s choice on how and where to run them.

He went with an M&G braking system. That was a little more challenging in that the ABS module has to be moved forward about 2 inches, and that entails sawing away a plastic mount. Two minutes with the right tool, a flush cut saw, and voila! We mounted the break away tank under the support steel for the radiator, not much room in the engine compartment. All in all, about 6 hours to install plate, light hookup, and M&G breaking system.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:07 AM   #4
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I've installed two Demco base plates and they only involve drilling one hole on each side in a down tube, not the frame. Old Scout has a good suggestion of using an aftermarket bumper with tow connections, but be aware that not all bumpers are capable of being towed from the D rings. LoD and RockHard are two bumpers that have dedicated tow connections and some like the SmittyBilt are strong enough to be towed that way.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:58 AM   #5
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I went with the Maximus 3 Tow Loops and their Blue Ox lug adapters.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:46 PM   #6
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I use the Blue Ox base plate and Ready Brute Elite ll tow bar. All easy to install on a Wrangler.
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikervet View Post
I would like to set up my 2008 Jeep Wrangler 2 door automatic to tow behind a Tiffin 32SA(gas). I have a Roadmaster Falcon 5250 tow bar from a previous set up, but will need to install base plates on the Jeep. I am not real keen on drilling holes in the frame. I have seen that Roadmaster and Blue Ox both make base plates for the Jeep. Reading the install instructions, it appears that Blue Ox involves drilling several holes and Roadmaster not as many. Anyone had experience with either one of these? Are there any other brands that make base plates for this Jeep that will bolt up without drilling?
Also what wiring and auxillary braking systems work good with this Jeep?
I know lots of questions. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Mike
mikervet,
Besides all the info on tow equipment you might be subject to, be aware that the 2008 year Jeep JK model had around a mid year change in towing setup requirements. In the first half of the year, owners were required to leave the key in the ON position for towing. That lead to many, many dead batteries across the nation from folks towing. But, around mid year of production, Jeep changed some production and wiring characteristics for the Wrangler and that caused a change in towing preparations.

Now, it would take a little digging but, you could find out what section of the production lineup yours was produced and determine if, you need your key in the ON position or the OFF position. Yes, you can check the owners manual in the "Towing behind a motorhome" section and see what it says. But, Jeep screwed up in some of those manuals and didn't really get a chance to notify ALL of the 2008 owners of any changes. So, just be diligent on what's needed for your specific Jeep. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt Dan View Post
I've installed two Demco base plates and they only involve drilling one hole on each side in a down tube, not the frame. Old Scout has a good suggestion of using an aftermarket bumper with tow connections, but be aware that not all bumpers are capable of being towed from the D rings. LoD and RockHard are two bumpers that have dedicated tow connections and some like the SmittyBilt are strong enough to be towed that way.
Smittybilt says their bumpers are certified for towing behind a MH with the D ring mounts and so far they are right.
Around 2008 they removed the steering wheel lock so no need to leave the ignition on. Friend had a 2007 and he destroyed his two front tires after forgetting to leave the key in. My '14 JKU tows just fine with no key in the lock.
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Old 04-10-2021, 06:36 AM   #9
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Look at rock jock base plate. Replaces the plastic “bash plate’ under the front bumper. Uses existing holes in frame and bumper.
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:32 AM   #10
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I used the Currie Rock Jock tow plate on our previous 2016 Wrangler. Worked great. Easy install by myself.

Currently using Maximus-3 tow loops on our 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Another easy self-install and it has been working great also.
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Old 04-10-2021, 04:23 PM   #11
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I have an aluminum Rockhard bumper https://www.rockhard4x4.com/product_p/rh-5045.htm nice and light which makes an easy install for one person. I use a Brake Buddy braking system which only needs one hole drilled in the firewall for the break away switch wire or you can run it through an exsisting hole which is what I did.
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Old Today, 07:21 AM   #12
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Sadly, you can’t rely on the owners manual regarding the need to leave the key in the ignition. My 2014 owners manual for my wrangler says to leave the key in the ignition. I did that and it drained the battery. People on the Jeep forum told me the info was wrong. So what I did was Jack the front wheels off the ground and confirm that the steering does not lock if the key is out of the ignition. I learned that my 2014 does not have steering lock, so there is no problem towing with the key removed.
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Old Today, 02:17 PM   #13
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Wrangler steering wheel lock was discontinued mid 2008 model year. Even when they had the steering lock there was a position for the key that unlocked the steering without turning on the electric. A lot of folks just turned the key too far causing the dead battery problem.
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