This post details how we flat tow a Jeep Wrangler behind a Class A gas RV. In our opinion, Jeep Wranglers are one of the best vehicles to flat tow behind a motorhome. We also wrote a post on why we choose the Jeep as our tow vehicle if you want to read that first. Driveline modifications are not required to flat tow the Jeep Wrangler. There are a wide variety of different options for tow bars, supplemental brake systems and brake light wiring harnesses. I will discuss some of the options in this post and provide specific directions on how to flat tow a Jeep Wrangler.
How to Flat Tow a Jeep Wrangler
1. Tow Capacity
First, make sure the RV can safely tow your Jeep. Most motorhomes have a 5,000 lb towing capacity which will accommodate a stock Wrangler. If you have additional accessories (bumpers, winch, lift kit, etc) they may push the Jeep beyond 5,000 lbs. When shopping for a motorhome, do not take the dealer’s word on towing capacity. They are simply there to make the sale. We met a couple who were lied to about how much their RV could tow and found out later that they didn’t have the capacity to tow their truck.
Another thing to consider is the amount of cargo that will be stored in the Jeep. We store items such as water, tools and firewood. These items can add up and push the Jeep beyond 5,000 lbs.
2. Install a Baseplate or Fully Integrated Bumper
A baseplate or specialized bumper is required to attach the Wrangler to the tow bar. The baseplate bolts into the Jeep’s frame underneath the front bumper and is somewhat hidden from view. One concern we had with the baseplate was it reduced the Jeep’s approach angle. That meant we would run the risk of damaging it during an off roading adventure. We took the Jeep rock climbing in Sedona and were very happy we didn’t get the baseplate.
If you have an aftermarket bumper or plan to get one, there may be clearance issues to consider with a baseplate. It’s possible sections of the bumper may need to be cut away so it doesn’t interfere with the baseplate.
A fully integrated bumper replaces the stock Jeep bumper. There are tow brackets required to attach to the tow bar to this bumper. We went with this option and purchased the Patriot Series bumper from Rock Hard 4×4.
If you already have an aftermarket bumper on the Jeep, Blue Ox makes an adapter that attaches to the clevis on the bumper. Although they are expensive, I’ve spoken to people who have them and said they love them. Keep in mind, they will only fit clevis’ with a 1″ pin. Blue Ox also makes universal adapters that can be bolted onto the bumper (this would require drilling).
3. Choose a Tow Bar
The tow bar connects the Jeep Wrangler to the motorhome so it can be flat towed. There are several tow bar options on the market. Some tow bars offer an integrated system where supplemental breaking for the Jeep is built into the bar such as the ReadyBrute Elite Tow Bar. Other tow bars require additional braking systems such as the Blue Ox.
We decided to purchase the ReadyBrute Elite because it was the simplest solution. The built in braking system is based on inertia. When the motorhome brakes, the Jeep pushes against the tow bar and this actuates a lever on the bar that pulls a cable connected to the Jeep’s brake pedal. This mechanical action doesn’t require any additional electronics and for us that means less to go wrong. Read our full review of the ReadyBrute Elite Tow Bar.
4. Supplemental Braking – Electronic or Mechanical?
There are many electronic braking systems on the market. Most use some type of actuator that pushes down on the Jeep’s brake pedal in proportion to how hard the motorhome brakes. The system usually consists of a main unit mounted in the motorhome that communicates with the unit mounted in the Jeep.
One popular system is the Roadmaster InvisiBrake that doesn’t require anything to be connected/disconnected when attaching the Jeep to the motorhome. Keep in mind, systems like the InvisiBrake, are permanently installed. This may present issues when it comes time to sell the Jeep.
As mentioned in section 3, we decided to go with the ReadyBrute Elite for the built in mechanical braking system. The ReadyBrute is a simple system that is very fast to connect/disconnect with few things that can go wrong. We can also visually inspect the parts to look for possible issues every time we connect the Jeep. Installation was relatively easy (they have a great installation video online), the most difficult part was trying to route the brake cable through the Jeep.
5. Break Away Kit
A break away kit is designed to activate the Jeep’s brakes if/when something happens and the Jeep breaks away from the motorhome while driving down the road. This kit will stop the Jeep from rolling down the road and causing further damage. Some supplemental braking systems come with a kit and others, such as the ReadyBrute Elite, require a separate brake away device to be purchased.
We use a plug and play wiring harness by CoolTech that connects the Jeep brake lights to the motorhome. Installation of the harness into the Jeep’s wiring took about 10 minutes. It took longer to find the best way to route the wires underneath the Jeep to the front bumper. We were able to use the 4 pin umbilical cord that came with the kit as we didn’t have any additional wires from a electronic braking system which would require the use of a 7 pin umbilical.
Mopar also makes a wiring harness, similar to CoolTech’s that will plug into a port under the glovebox. From what I have read, this is just as good of an option for wiring the Jeep to the motorhome at about twice the cost and a bit more difficult to install. The Mopar harness does offer a 7 pin connector, so if you decide to get an electronic braking system, this may make it easier to connect all of the wiring to the motorhome.
7. Putting Your Jeep in Tow Mode
Now the Jeep is ready to be towed, it just needs to be put in tow mode. We recommend referencing your specific Jeep manual and follow the steps in there for putting it in tow mode. Some guides we found online have incorrect. It takes a second to pull out the Jeep manual and follow the instructions on how to flat tow the Jeep. The process is simple, but you have to follow a specific procedure, otherwise you could damage the transmission. The manual also includes instructions on how to take the Jeep out of tow mode.
Disclaimer: This post is simply meant to be informational and walk you through how we set up our specific Jeep to be towed. Before purchasing any products, please make sure they fit your particular Jeep, read all manuals and consult a professional for installation.