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Towing a Jeep Wrangler


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Mypopslou

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:12 PM

Read all the information about the transmission on Ford Fusion failing even though Ford says it can be towed 4 wheels down and decided I was not going to take the chance. I bought a new 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport and the owners manual gives you very clear step by step instructions for recreational towing. The last step is the one I need help with, it says to disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. I use an EvenBrake as my supplemental brake and it needs power. Is the reason to disconnect the battery to protect it from discharge or by disconnecting the battery are there other systems that need to be powered down to avoid damage.

 

I plan on taking my new Jeep to Camping World to install the new base plate and electrical and I want to be sure to have them connect power from Motorhome if it is absolutely necessary to disconnect the battery on my Jeep.

 

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated


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Mypopslou

2006 Damon Tuscany

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport


#2 F313653

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 09:15 PM

We too are towing a 2014 Wrangler. I think the reason for disconnecting the battery is so that with the key in the ON position, to unlock the steering wheel, the battery won't be drained. HOWEVER as far as I know Jeep Wranglers have not had a steering wheel lock for several years! I think their manual needs updating. I have seen this same info on other forums as well such as RV.NET

 

When we bought it a few months ago we asked at the dealer and they were not able to find any information about it, even using the VIN to search for info on their own site. They did check the vehicle and found that even without the key the steering wheel would turn, ie, there is no steering wheel lock. We do not disconnect the battery. We have not towed it much, only when taking the motorhome into the mechanic for work a couple of times, Maybe 50 miles or so. However, part of that was on VERY sharp curves and the Wrangler front wheel did track around the curves.

 

I really hope we can get Jeep to truly answer this question


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Art and Gillian

#3 Medico

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:41 AM

I believe most Jeep steering wheel locks were removed around 2008. If your Wrangler has a steering wheel lock, it has been changed for 2014.

 

With my 2012 Liberty, I shift the Transfer Case to Neutral, put the transmission into Park and remove the key. I have been towing it for a year and a half in this manner.


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FMCA #F431170, GS #822128658, Escapees SKP #112655

 

2006 Country Coach Magna (525 HP Cat C13 1650 torque, Alison 4000 6 speed tranny), 2012 Jeep Liberty

 

 

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#4 Elkhartjim

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 06:31 AM

I'm on a trip now and towed our 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport over 2000 miles without disconnecting the battery.  I place the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in park with the key off, doors locked and the key in my pocket.  My tail lights are separate bulbs and I have the M&G Engineering braking system therefore I'm not using any voltage from the Jeep battery.  Also, I've towed as long as three days, 600 miles without ever starting the Jeep. My manual doesn't say anything about disconnecting the battery.

 

I also have a 2006 Jeep Wrangle Unlimited Sport that I sometimes tow.  I need to leave the key in the unlocked position for the steering wheel to be unlocked. I've towed it over 6000 miles without any battery issues.

 

If you are a member of the Jeep Wrangler Forum, you will notice comments regularly about the Jeep owners manuals being inaccurate on various subjects.

 

The most important thing: Now that you're a Jeep owner you need to remember to wave when meeting another Jeep...don't offend us by not being friendly. You'll soon find out, being a Jeeples is almost being in a cult.


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Jim S
2008 38S Fleetwood Bounder DP

Houston, TX area


#5 Mypopslou

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 01:16 PM

Jim, I realized that on my drive home from the dealership, ever other Jeep Wrangler that passed me on the road waved. It did not take me long to catch on and now I am keenly aware of any other Jeep passing by....I love it

 

Another question, I love to make sure my vehicles stay nice a long time so I am always making sure they have a good coat of wax. What do I use on my black hard top and my black fender that are plastic type. If I use wax I will never get it off completely and that will look terrible, but I do not know what to use to keep them looking good short of Amour All and that will not last long.

 

Any idea's??


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Mypopslou

2006 Damon Tuscany

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport


#6 Elkhartjim

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 07:53 AM

I use 303 Aerospace Protectant.

 

Join the Jeep Wrangler forum if you want to be a real jeeples.  Smile and wave...


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Jim S
2008 38S Fleetwood Bounder DP

Houston, TX area


#7 Mypopslou

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:36 AM

Jim, thanks, can I get 303 Aerospace Protectant at any auto parts store or Camping World? Looking for Jeep Wrangler Forum now and will join when I find it

 

Thanks


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Mypopslou

2006 Damon Tuscany

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport


#8 Manholt

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 05:55 AM

Jim S.  I totally agree.

 

My 09' Jeep W. had to be disconnected, now on my 13' I just put it in neutral and park, key in pocket.  Had no idea about Jeep forum, makes sense! :)


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#9 uechiyondan

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 09:43 PM

I hope you are enjoying your new Jeep.  We just got a 2014 JK Unlimited which we are towing behind our motorhome.  As stated above, the manual states that you should leave the ignition in the unlock accessory position, and disconnect the battery.  We did a test this morning, with the key removed, my wife sat in the drivers seat while I turned th coach in the parking lot after hooking up.

 

The wheel turned and the Jeep followed along just as it should.  I do disconnect the battery when I tow, because I am using the Blue Ox light package which uses the existing bulbs. I don't want the two systems to interfear with each other.  This should not happen because the unit has a relay isolator built in, but why take chances,   Other than running the wires, it was an easy set up, maybe not the most elegant but it works well and is easy to connect to the coach. 

 

By the way if you do disconnect the battery, make sure the connections are secure when you reconnect.  If not, you will get some interesting warning light displays on your dash while driving on the highway (ask me how I know this !!).

 

Have fun and share the wave.


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#10 Elkhartjim

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 07:04 AM

Jeep manuals are terribly written with either out dated or just plain wrong information.  If you really think you need to disconnect the battery each time you tow, maybe you should consider installing a battery disconnect switch.  There are several styles to choose from.

 

sideswitch_sm.jpgtopswitch_sm.jpg


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Jim S
2008 38S Fleetwood Bounder DP

Houston, TX area


#11 desertdeals69

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 05:43 PM

Jeep manuals are terribly written with either out dated or just plain wrong information.  If you really think you need to disconnect the battery each time you tow, maybe you should consider installing a battery disconnect switch.  There are several styles to choose from.

topswitch_sm.jpg

I'm surprised that this type of switch is still on the market.  These switches are dangerous because they can have an open spark and if there are any charge gasses present it could explode the top of the battery and spray acid all over.  That is why when you use jumper cables the last connection should be the negative cable and attached to the frame a distance from the battery.  It should be the first cable to be disconnected. I have witnessed too many battery explosions.


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#12 Elkhartjim

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 04:08 PM

I'm surprised that this type of switch is still on the market.  These switches are dangerous because they can have an open spark and if there are any charge gasses present it could explode the top of the battery and spray acid all over.  That is why when you use jumper cables the last connection should be the negative cable and attached to the frame a distance from the battery.  It should be the first cable to be disconnected. I have witnessed too many battery explosions.

 

All the instructions I've read instruct the installer to ONLY install on the negative terminal; even the disconnect with the green knob.


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Jim S
2008 38S Fleetwood Bounder DP

Houston, TX area


#13 desertdeals69

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 09:08 PM

 

All the instructions I've read instruct the installer to ONLY install on the negative terminal; even the disconnect with the green knob.

If a spark is present it makes no difference if it is pos or neg it will cause the gas to explode.


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#14 jbucking

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 02:59 PM

I have used those Green screw type battery disconnects (shown) on everything from vintage cars to lawn mowers for years without a problem. I have actually never seen a spark or heard a snap or electrical noise of any kind. They are inexpensive and they work great. Of course, I may blow myself up tomorrow, but I have no concerns based on years of actual use.


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#15 bottieri

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:23 PM

I have a 2014 Wrangler set up for towing. When I read in the book that the battery must be disconnected, I decided to eliminate that step so as not to lose all the electronic settings of clock and radio, blue tooth and what-not.

 

Here's what I did: I connected a wire at the battery positive post directly to a marine inline fuse holder and to the "out" side of a tail light diode.  From the "in" side of the diode I ran a wire down to the base plate area that will be connected to the tail light wire coming from the RV.  CAUTION: install a resister (6 ohm, 50 watt) in line, to limit the current flow or you'll burn the fuse in the RV tail light circuit as the battery will suck up more amperage than the fuse and wire can handle. Because of the diode there is no power in the wire when not connected to the RV. 

 

This shows the connections at the battery and the black 'stuff' is Velcro.

Jeep battery with diode and fuse

 

This system will keep the car battery charging as long as the tail lights in the RV are on, so you can supply power to a brake unit without killing the battery and not lose your settings because of a disconnected battery.  

 

Of course after doing all this I found there is no steering wheel lock so the key can be removed, but for those of you who must leave a key in to unlock the steering wheel, this is a great alternative to disconnecting the battery.


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#16 wolfe10

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 07:07 PM

bottieri,

 

Another common wiring option is to  come from coach chassis battery with an inline fuse to base plate/connector to inline fuse at toad battery.  A good charge wire (yes, a good ground between coach and toad is important).

 

Another option is to use a relay with ignition hot as the trigger to close the relay with the wiring above.  That way, if you overnight without power, it will not run down the coach chassis battery.


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#17 lbarrydds

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 12:15 AM

"It is a Jeep Thing" Non jeep owners wouldn't understand.
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Larry A Barry DDS FAGD
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#18 bottieri

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 10:25 AM

Jeep battery with diode and fuse
 

wolfe10

 

I changed my original post about the charge circuit to using a 6 ohm, 50 watt resister in line, instead of a bulb.  That should limit the amperage to 2 amps and not overload the tail light circuit fuse.

 

Connecting to the battery directly isn't always convenient. In my Prevost H3 it isn't possible as the batteries are behind the fender above the drive wheels.

 

Connecting to the tail light wire out of the coach trailer plug using bullet connecters was the simplest for my situation.  Surely there are many ways of accomplishing the same goal. In my situation, running the coach batteries down is not a concern.

 

Another benefit: You could run the parking lights on in the Jeep while running the lights on the RV since there will be additional amperage from the RV keeping the battery up.  In that case I'd use a 3 ohm resister to double the amperage (to 4 amps) moving from the RV to the car battery.  Even an 18 gauge wire will handle 4 or 5 amps over 10 to 15 feet in length, but I used a 16 gauge.


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