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Jeep Wrangler Toad Setup


Miles Away

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I have a newly aquired 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport that I'm setting up for towing behind a Class A motorhome.

 

Is anyone out there doing this and can you share your procedure / tips / tricks on doing this. I'm not new to toad pulling but the Jeep manual is not clear. It looks like you must leave the ignition key in the ACC position while towing. If so, what are you doing to prevent a dead battery on arrival? Thanks for any replies.

 

Miles Away SKP 85348

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We bought our 1999 TJ Wrangler (2-door, 4cyl, soft top) used and it has a key position that lets me pull the key out but does not lock the steering wheel.

 

We just put the transfer case in neutral, the gear shift in 5th, the emergency brake off, the key one click back from "running" (so the steering wheel is not locked), hook up the brake buddy, add the LED lights from Harbor Freight and off we go.

 

Our little TJ is a gem for towing. Small, light, tracks great. We just use a Harbor Freight tow bar attached to our after-market front bumper (with winch and lifted bumper bar) and safety chains to the bumper tabs. Bumper is secured to the frame with grade 8 bolts and the HF tow bar attachments are both welded and bolted to the bumper.

 

The Jeep is great for shoping trips and gets us to old mines and other interesting places you wouldn't want to take your Subaru. :D

 

WDR

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This is slightly off topic but we have been towing my little Scion XB behind our motor home. It is great for running around but I want something that we can explore in. It gets about 20-25 miles per gallon on city streets/highways. What kind of gas mileage could I expect out of a Jeep like the one you have WDR? I have been leaning towards a Liberty though so it would have four doors. The bigger Jeeps are out of our price range.

 

Ray

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The Liberty isn't manufactured anymore, unfortunately. The new Cherokee took it's place and for a Jeep, it's elegant. It's not to be confused with the old Cherokee. It's pricy though.

 

We absolutely loved our Liberty and towed it for 10 years. We still have it with 175,000 miles on it; 65,000 towing. We had no problems with it and it gave great fun in the boonies. We had it slightly lifted with bigger tires and we were able to keep up with the Wranglers climbing boulders. If you can find one of the later year's Liberty, go for it.

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I don't think Jeep ever changed the manual. I had to leave the key in ACC in my last 08 but in my current 2012 I turn the key off and take the key out. Unless they switched back to a locking steering wheel you should be the same. But be sure to check first.

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Do not leave the key in the ignition, the steering wheel does not lock on the 2915. Put the transfer case in neutral, the transmission in park and tow, turn the key to off and put the key in your pocket. Do follow the instructions for getting the transfer case into neutral and back out after the tow.

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This is slightly off topic but we have been towing my little Scion XB behind our motor home. It is great for running around but I want something that we can explore in. It gets about 20-25 miles per gallon on city streets/highways. What kind of gas mileage could I expect out of a Jeep like the one you have WDR? I have been leaning towards a Liberty though so it would have four doors. The bigger Jeeps are out of our price range.

I paid $4,000 3 years ago for my 1999 TJ. It's not fancy... in fact, I bought it as a car I could take 4-wheeling without worrying about it. It gets about 20mpg with street tires aod 17mpg when I swap in the 33-inch high-float tires. It's lifted 4 inches and even though it just has the 4-cyl. engine (and a 5 speed manual) it seems to do pretty well in the mountains. I've had it on trails that I was pretty sure someone would have to helicopter me (and the Jeep) out of and it brought me back just fine. It was my problem, not the Jeep's.

 

The soft top, the half doors, and the 4-cyl make it light. Stock is 3100lbs. I think it's right at 3,000 now but I have a winch, extra roll cage, heavy-duty front and rear bumpers. But I took the rear seat out completely.

 

It does drop the mpg of the motor home down... I average 11mpg with no toad and 10.4 over a 2,000 mile trip in Dec/January.

 

WDR

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If/when the Jeeps steering locks up while towing you will quickly be purchasing a new set of front tires for your Jeep

The steering lock "feature" depends on the model year of the Jeep some have it some do not

My 2002 TJ Rubicon had the locking steering "feature" but no longer does

No need to insert the key anymore - no worry of battery drain or the slight possibility of a steering lock up
The "feature" is very easy to remove

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Good comments re: steering wheel locking. So the question becomes " How do I verify that I do Not have a steering wheel lock ?" I've tried to turn the wheel with the engine off and frankly, It's very hard to do but at the same time for the short turn I could make, nothing "locked". I have contacted the dealer on the question of the key position while towing but it was clear he didn't know the answer. Is there a surefire way to determine the presence of a steering wheel lock by any other method? Thanks for the help.

 

Miles Away SKP 85348

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I have the 2014 Jeep Patriot and yes, I have to have the key turned to the first notch(ACC). I use the RViBrake 2 system so I am leaching some power via the cigarette lighter for the pump (very minimal). Lighting power comes from the mh via the tow light hookup. I make sure the radio is off, heater/ac fans are all off, doors are all completely closed (no dome light nonsense). Have towed well over 6 hours with absolutely no problems battery wise.

 

I took a peek at your manual and don't see a reference to the ACC position at all. A lot of other steps but not that one. Usually they mention that requirement first thing in the "RECREATIONAL TOWING (BEHIND MOTORHOME, ETC.)" section in what's allowed and what isn't.

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If you have a 2015 Wrangler Unlimited, your steering column does not lock and you do not have to leave the key in the ignition. Wranglers have been this way since at least the 2012 model year. (I owned one of these for a while) and maybe earlier, but I have no first hand experience with models prior to 2012!

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I can remove the key from my '99 TJ even when the engine is running. But the key position just one click CCW from "running" is where the engine is off but the steering wheel is unlocked.

 

Everyone who reads this thread should make sure they understand how theirs works before just driving off. I think some models/years were able to be modified.

 

What you want is:

 

1. Steering securely unlocked;

2. Tail lights, brake lights and turn signals operating;

3. Any electrical power to whatever brake actuator you're using (cigarette lighter plug for a Brake Buddy, for instance) operating.

4. Proper positioning of transfer case shift lever and gear shift position (depending upon model/year).

 

Jeeps - and especially Wranglers - are so easy to modify that you can probably never completely rely on the manual if you buy a second-hand Jeep.

 

WDR

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The original poster asked about running the battery down if the key is left on, OK so on a newer jeep that is not

a problem, but on most others vehicles that need to have the key in the ignition and left "on" you run a charging

wire from the front plug to the battery so when towing you are charging the battery.

 

That is what we did on my 2011 Dodge Dakota truck.

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I have had the problem on a couple of "toads", where A. I had to stop every hour or two to run the engine to make sure the battery didn't run down. A REAL pain. so,

 

B. I installed one of these: http://www.brakebuddy.com/Products/Accessories/Towed-Vehicle-Battery-Maintainer solves the problem and insures happy traveling without running down the battery!

 

 

Easy to install and works like a charm!

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  • 2 weeks later...

If/when the Jeeps steering locks up while towing you will quickly be purchasing a new set of front tires for your Jeep

The steering lock "feature" depends on the model year of the Jeep some have it some do not

My 2002 TJ Rubicon had the locking steering "feature" but no longer does

No need to insert the key anymore - no worry of battery drain or the slight possibility of a steering lock up

The "feature" is very easy to remove

 

I have an 08 Wrangler with the steering wheel lock. From your post it looks like you know how to remove the "feature" of thge locking steering wheel. If so, will you pass the secret on to me. That is the only irritating thing about the wrangler.

 

thanks,

Phillip

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