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Looking for tips and advice on flat towing my TJ with an RV

Ogre77

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
34
Location
WA, USA
Planning to flat tow the TJ. I’ve never done this. Tips from the pros appreciated, please.

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DaveC

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
1,157
Location
Gilbert, Arizona
Looks like you already have your setup. If you don't have some form of auxiliary braking system, I'd recommend it. Saves the brakes on the tow rig and it's required in many states; could also be an issue with your insurance carrier if you were to get into any type of accident and not have one.

Follow the instructions in your owner's manual exactly on how to take it out of gear to tow. I was shocked to see that my auto needed to be in park (with transfer case in neutral). Not sure what the process is for a stick, but don't assume.
 
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Rock Toy

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
251
Location
San Francisco
Always double check to confirm that your transfer case is in Neutral. And don’t forget to unlock your steering wheel before you tow. And that the E-Brake is not set. Simple basics but easy to overlook.

good idea to creat a checklist for yourself to carry every time you connect and disconnect.
 
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Plumber1

Tito's, Tacos and Trails
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Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
2,821
Location
San Ramon, CA
Whenever I stop I pull the keys out of the jeep and I use a carabiner for my car keys and clip the jeep keys to it. That way when I get back into the tow vehicle I am reminded hey dummy don't forget to put the keys back into the jeep. ;)

Oh yea don't back up. :ROFLMAO:
 
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CodaMan

California Escapee
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Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
4,594
Location
Dover, Arkansas
There are only 3 states (KS, WY and ND) that don't require a supplemental braking system, so make sure you have one in your Jeep. If you are in an accident and don't have a braking system your insurance company probably won't pay out whether the accident was your fault or not.
 
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bobthetj03

WRKJ779, KN6SRH
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
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Feb 3, 2017
Messages
14,633
Location
Clearlake Ca.
Someone posted a way to remove the locking feature on the lock cylinder. You have to take it out of the steering column to do it though. My key is so worn out that I can pull it out of the ignition in any position, running or not, so I put in the unlock position and put the keys in my pocket. In the beginning, I would put a piece of white tape at the 12oclock position on the steering wheel so I can monitor if the wheel is turning when looking at the Jeep from the rear view mirror (or backup camera if equipped) , just for piece of mind.
 

Viking Jeeper

2A Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
3,249
Location
Jacksonville FL
I would disable the locking feature as described above but if you dont have time for that right now the first position of the key unlocks the steering wheel and powers nothing up.
 
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Mud dauber

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
252
Location
South Carolina
We have about the same setup as you and we are actually towing our LJ out west today. Three days of towing.

If you plan to tow over gravel roads you might consider huge mud flaps for your RV and or a shield to protect the Jeep’s radiator and front. We are towing on interstate highways so I decided not to go for the guard so I can flip up the tow bar secured, and drive it around if I have to disconnect with short notice.

The main thing is take it out on a practice run to iron out kinks like turn signals.
Good luck and have fun.
 
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Mr. Bills

Raconteur Emeritus
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
3,908
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
Planning to flat tow the TJ. I’ve never done this. Tips from the pros appreciated, please.


Washington requires a supplemental brake system for flat towed vehicles over 3,000 lbs. As noted above, there are only a few states that don't and you will pass through many states that that do require supplemental brakes on your towed jeep before you can get to a state that doesn't .

There are a number of systems on the market, some proportional and some not. Some are surge brakes that have no operator input and some are controlled from the towing rig.

Here is a link to the laws:



Here is a link to a thread from last year when I was putting together my flat tow set up:



BTW, I am using an RVI3 supplemental braking system, purchased "previously owned" on Ebay. Keep your eyes open for brake systems. By this fall there should be a good selection of used units being offered by people who discovered that RVing wasn't as much fun as they thought it would be.
 

Mud dauber

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
252
Location
South Carolina
Here is an issue I have run into. We are using a flat four pin connector from the RV to the Jeep. We are using the Jeep’s lights to provide turn signals and brake lights. We have the kit where I have disconnected the lights harness and plugged in a splice.

So when the headlights are turned on in the RV, all rear Jeep light flash . When the head lights are off the brake and turn signal lights work normally.

Is there a fix for this besides not using the headlight while we are driving? The wife wants lights on all the time.
 
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Mr. Bills

Raconteur Emeritus
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Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
3,908
Location
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
I use a pigtail from tow rig to jeep, then the 4-wire trailer wiring runs independent of the jeep's wiring to a 4-pin plug at the rear where I plug in a set of magnetic trailer lights that have had the cord shortened so there is no excess. In other words, the trailer lights are operated by the tow rig independently of the jeep wiring. [This was a tip from @mrblaine ]

Much simpler. Easier to trace issues. The magnetic lights fit in the bag with my RVi3 brake system when not in use.
 
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Mud dauber

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
252
Location
South Carolina
Ok Thanks, I’ll have to do that. The way I have it now is not working. I do not recommend wiring into the Jeep’s lighting system.
 

T Crawford

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
718
Location
PNW
Roadmaster makes a relay that works for that, I’ve toad for 10 years and took out the steering wheel lock on a couple of XJ, tj, wj
 

Mudflat

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
450
Location
Lumberton, Texas
Thanks everyone!

How do you unlock the steering without leaving the Jeep key “on” or acc?
Start the engine & then turn it off by turning the key back ONE click & leave it there. All electrical power is off & the steering wheel is unlocked. The key can’t be removed so it must stay in the ignition while towing.
 
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Grant Lasson

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
253
Location
Sandy, Utah
1) Don't be surprised if you crack a windshield. My count is two.
2) Be sure to check that front driveline double cardan is in good condition. Lots of expensive damage if it goes out while towing.
3) For a manual Tx, I always put it in 5th gear. That way I'd have a chance if the transfer case fell into gear while towing.
4) I found it took a toll on large tires.

I'm sure there's a lot more. I switched over to a trailer and enjoy it so much more.
 
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