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Old 04-23-2019, 02:50 PM   #1
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Towing my '04 Wrangler TJ

Hello again, Thanks to many of you on here I have started to understand dial in my new (used) Adventurer 32V.

Tires properly inflated. Check
Cheap Handling Fix. Check
Safe T Plus Steering stabilizer. Check
New Bilstein suspension. Check

Now, how do I tow my Jeep?
I see on Quadratec and other sites tow bars that look just fine in the $200-$300 range. Do I need the $1000 Blue Ox tow bar with suspension arms...?

Also Brakes. Again seeing braking mechanisms for $1000 + out there. Are these a "Must Have" or are there safe, economical, mechanical alternatives out there.

If these prices start to be around $2000 to tow my Jeep, I my just get a nice Alumalite tandem trailer and be done with it.

Thanks
John
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:39 PM   #2
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As a former 04 TJ rubicon owner, I have to ask you how do you intend to use your Jeep? Off road fun increases the chances for a mechanical failure meaning a trailer is the only way to go. Also the trailer can be used for other purposes.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:29 PM   #3
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Well my Jeep is a bone stock X Wrangler that I currently use as my summer commuter and that's it.
Never really intended for it to be an off road toy and will only be towing it for the wife and I to island hop the Florida Keys once a year.

Thanks,
John
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:16 PM   #4
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I can't advise you on the tow bar issue but, if you tow, braking systems are not only a must-have but are legally required in most, if not all states (on vehicles weighing 3,000 lbs or more). In addition a break-away braking system is also required.

INSA RV Products' ReadyBrake systems are effective and much less expensive than other options. And, being purely mechanical they don't rely on electricity, electronics or pneumatics. Furthermore there's nothing to take in or out of your vehicle. There's one version, the ReadyBrute Elite that comes with an integrated tow bar for about $1,100 (Amazon) and the ReadyBrake that doesn't include the tow bar for about $417 (Amazon). The break-away system will be another $97.

From what I've seen on the various forums, those who have the ReadyBrake or ReadyBrute like them very much (including me) and the negative comments seem to be from those who don't own them.

Ready Brake and Ready Brute Home
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:52 AM   #5
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Hey Bob, thanks for the info.
And sorry, I may not have been clear when I said are brakes a "Must Have". I am aware that I need a brake system and wouldn't consider towing a vehicle without.

The Ready Brake looks exactly like what I was looking for. Is the install a difficult one?
Has anyone done this install with an older Wrangler?

Thanks for the help.

John
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:33 AM   #6
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Hi John - If you flat tow the jeep there are many options (and cost ranges) for doing so as you described. After considering all the options, including the flexibility to take something other than the jeep every time, I bought a tandem axle open car hauler from ATC. My tie-down kit is from Mac's. And of course I installed a brake controller in the Vista. Takes about 20 minutes to load the jeep, 10 to unload. I like that I can take my other cars if I choose. I occasionally take a classic to car shows... You will hear lots of pros and cons on trailering, so decide what's best for you personally. For me the pros of the trailer are flexibility to take any car, braking system is integrated and easily adjustable, I can back up if needed (and have needed to), and because the trailer is so long and on torsion suspension, the MH behaves better with the loaded trailer behind it. Cons include maintaining 4 tires on the trailer, storing the trailer in general, storing the trailer when you get there, and for some a con is overall length. My 27N is 28 feet and the car hauler is 24 so my overall is comfortable. Works for me but not everyone. Good luck. Happy to discuss trailer in more detail as needed.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benefishall View Post
Hey Bob, thanks for the info.
And sorry, I may not have been clear when I said are brakes a "Must Have". I am aware that I need a brake system and wouldn't consider towing a vehicle without.

The Ready Brake looks exactly like what I was looking for. Is the install a difficult one?
Has anyone done this install with an older Wrangler?

Thanks for the help.

John
I installed the ReadyBrake on a Honda Odyssey and it took me a while but wasn't overly difficult. From what I've read, Wranglers are a bit more accessible. In a nutshell, you're running two cables from the front grill through your firewall to the brake pedal. It's a good idea to install it at the same time you install your baseplate.

If you Google "ReadyBrake Jeep Wrangler" you'll come up with a lot of info, including this video which is pretty good:

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Old 04-24-2019, 10:04 AM   #8
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I don't see that anyone has mentioned the weight issue. A tandem vehicle trailer plus a Jeep Wrangler could put you over your 32V's GCVW, not to mention your hitch capacity that I'm guessing is 5,000 lbs.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:20 AM   #9
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Yes, I have thought about both of those scenarios. And yes Bob C, that was the first thing on my mind.
My Jeep (with soft top, solid doors) should weigh in at about 3,400lb's +/-. And, an ATC custom tandem axle aluminum (7x14) trailer comes in just south of 1,100lb.
So there's 4,500lb's right there. And you all know that, if we have space we will use it!

And since I plan on packing the jeep with a small outboard, inflatable dinghy, and a hitch bracket with cooler, I'd be real close to the 5,000lb limit using the trailer.

So without the trailer, that saves me 1,100lb's and perhaps some MPG's...

Currently looking at the Ready Brake/Ready Stop and I like what I'm seeing.
Now all I need is to figure out the wiring part.

Love the site and thanks again to all.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:36 AM   #10
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I’ve been towing a 05 TJ for 7 years. I got an used tow bar from Craigslist for 300 and a base plate for 150. I also use the ready brake. For my lights I removed the rear lens cover, drilled a hole just above the existing bulb, installed a bulb socket and bulb. I ran the wires from the new light socket underneath to the front if the Jeep and plug into my motor home Works great
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:54 AM   #11
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Hey Jeepster, Thanks for the info.
I'm interested in what you did. Do you have any pictures or part numbers/names. Did you get a trailer wiring kit that you used?
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:26 PM   #12
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I have a 2010 JK Wrangler Sport with Ready Brute Elite. I had it professionally installed by Summitt Jeep in Prescott AZ. He custom made the clevis connectors for my Rugged Ridge front bumper. Takes 5 minutes to hook up or disconnect.

Pull the PTO pins, remove the 3 cables & 2 safety chains!

Well worth the money!!
https://photos.app.goo.gl/NgTQHmbTYKAa9W1x6
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:57 PM   #13
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Just installed the Ready Brake system on my 04 Liberty myself. Easy Peasy and I’m NO mechanic. Just followed the YouTube video step by step. The baseplate went on and I actually was able to find a place for every nut and bolt I removed in replacing the fender sections and front bumper. . It was a bit frustrating finding a path for the brake cable through the firewall but I got it done in one day. Also I think finding the correct wiring harness where you can use the factory installed bulbs in the Jeep instead of drilling and putting in additional sockets was a huge time saver. We love our Ready Brute Elite system though. There should be a video on the best way to actually use it once installed though, it took a few attempts to get that mastered. For the price I think that’s the best system out there.
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:25 PM   #14
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We flat tow a 2018 JL jeep, we use the blue ox tow setup, and yes they are a bit pricey, that is rated for 10k#'s (not hash tag &#128521 a car hauler wasn't going to work for us because our truck tips the scale at 8000 pounds so with a trailer we are over motorhome rated capacity (10k), besides we use it to tow the boat. The jeep will be used for mild offroad/exploring (flat dirt roads, I am way to old for rock crawling anymore), plus getting around for going to national parks and such with the occasional trips into town an launching jet skies (we have more toys than drivers, grandkids are almost old enough to tow, and we don't use the motorhomes to launch and retrieve water toys). I selected Blue Ox because the people I talked to are very happy with the performance of the system. I still haven't figured out which brake system I like. Bottom line is do your research, and make the best informed decision and go with it. Do what works best for you.
P.S. I just let the wife think it was her idea to get a jeep or is it the other way around 😁.
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