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Old 01-18-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
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Towing Wrangler Behind Motorhome

In my attempt to find out for once and for all how to tow my Jeep, I sent out an email to several forums. All came back and said that all I have to do is to hook up the Jeep, put the transfer case in N and the tranny in PARK and I was ready to go. I don't have a steering wheel lock.

Since the Owners manual went into a long laundry list of things to do I sent Jeep an email asking for clarification. Had they stopped after the second paragraph I would've been happy. However, they continued on regurgitating the owners manual and continuing to confuse the issue.

Other than what I mentioned in the first parapgraph above, is there ANYTHING that I HAVE to do to the Jeep prior to towing?

Here is what they sent me:

Thank you for contacting the Jeep Customer Assistance Center regarding
your 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

This vehicle should not be equipped with a steering wheel lock;
therefore, there should be no need to leave the ignition key in the
unlocked/off position and disconnect the negative battery cable.
Customer can verify this vehicle is not equipped with a steering wheel
lock by performing the following test: Vehicle started - turn the
steering wheel to the full lock, hold it against the stop, then turn off
the vehicle and validate the steering wheel is not locked while turning
all the way back to center straight forward position.

The customer should refer to the User Guide for recreational towing
information. The User Guide can be viewed online at:
My Jeep: Jeep Owners Service Manuals - 4x4 SUVs, Sports Utility Vehicles, Off Road The following information was obtained
from the User Guide (pages 80-82):

"Recreational Towing ? Four-Wheel Drive Models

NOTE: The transfer case must be shifted into NEUTRAL (N), automatic
transmission must be shifted into PARK, and manual transmission must be
placed in gear (NOT in NEUTRAL) for recreational towing.

Shifting Into NEUTRAL (N)
Use the following procedure to prepare your vehicle for recreational
towing.

1.Bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
2.Turn OFF the engine.
3.Press and hold the brake pedal.
4.Shift the automatic transmission into NEUTRAL or depress the clutch
pedal on a manual transmission.
5.Shift the transfer case lever into NEUTRAL (N).
6.Start the engine.
7.Shift the transmission into REVERSE.
8.Release the brake pedal (and clutch pedal on manual transmissions) for
five seconds and ensure that there is no vehicle movement.
9.Repeat steps 7 and 8 with automatic transmission in DRIVE or manual
transmission in first gear.
10.Turn OFF the engine.
11.Firmly apply the parking brake.
12.Shift the transmission into PARK or place manual transmission in gear
(NOT in Neutral).
13.Attach the vehicle to the tow vehicle using a suitable tow bar.
14.Release the parking brake.

Shifting Out of NEUTRAL (N)

Use the following procedure to prepare your vehicle for normal usage.
1.Bring the vehicle to a complete stop, leaving it connected to the tow
vehicle.
2.Firmly apply the parking brake.
3.Turn the ignition switch to the ON/RUN position, but do not start the
engine.
4.Press and hold the brake pedal.
5.Shift the transmission into NEUTRAL.
6.Shift the transfer case lever to the desired position.

NOTE: When shifting out of transfer case NEUTRAL (N), turning the engine
OFF may be required to avoid gear clash.

7.Shift the automatic transmission into PARK, or place manual
transmission in Neutral.
8.Release the brake pedal.
9.Disconnect vehicle from the tow vehicle.
10.Start the engine.
11.Press and hold the brake pedal.
12.Release the parking brake.
13.Shift the transmission into gear, release the brake pedal (and clutch
pedal on manual transmissions), and check that the vehicle operates
normally.

CAUTION!
It is necessary to follow these steps to be certain that the transfer
case is fully in NEUTRAL (N) before recreational towing to prevent
damage to internal parts.
Damage to the transmission may occur if the transmission is shifted into
PARK with the transfer case in NEUTRAL (N) and the engine running. With
the transfer case in NEUTRAL (N) ensure that the engine is OFF prior to
shifting the transmission into PARK.
Front or rear wheel lifts should not be used. Internal damage to the
transmission or transfer case will occur if a front or rear wheel lift
is used when recreational towing.
Tow only in the forward direction. Towing this vehicle backwards can
cause severe damage to the transfer case.
Automatic transmissions must be placed in the PARK position for
recreational towing.

CAUTION!
-Manual transmissions must be placed in gear (not in Neutral) for
recreational towing.
Before recreational towing, perform the procedure outlined under
?Shifting Into NEUTRAL (N)? to be certain that the transfer case is
fully in NEUTRAL (N). Otherwise, internal damage will result.
-Towing this vehicle in violation of the above requirements can cause
severe transmission and/or transfer case damage. Damage from improper
towing is not covered under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
-Do not use a bumper-mounted clamp-on tow bar on your vehicle.
The bumper face bar will be damaged.

WARNING!
You or others could be injured if you leave the vehicle unattended with
the transfer case in the NEUTRAL (N) position without first fully
engaging the parking brake. The transfer case NEUTRAL (N) position
disengages both the front and rear driveshafts from the powertrain and
will allow the vehicle to move, even if the transmission is in PARK. The
parking brake should always be applied when the driver is not in the
vehicle."

We appreciate the time you took to write to us and we hope this was of
assistance to you.

Thanks again for your email.

Sincerely,

Sam

Customer Service Representative
Jeep Customer Assistance Center

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Old 01-18-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
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Other than the very thorough instructions they gave you, pull your jeep up to the back of the rv and attatch your tow bar, and attatch tow lights and plug in.

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Old 04-05-2013, 02:45 PM   #3
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In reading the article about flat towing my jeep behind motorhome it was very informative .i have one question , my jeep is a 5 spd the article said to put it in gear ? What gear ? Or does it matter? Thanks
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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If my memory is any good. If you can't lock the steering wheel then you will have to tie the steering wheel off somehow into the middle or nuetral position ie wheels pointed straight forward. If you don't do this you will quickly find out why, because your tires will not track they will want to turn right or left on you. This is what we used to have to do to tow our old 43 willys.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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Sheltie- since they are a big company they are always going to spout the legal mumbo jumbo to cover their butts, but they gave you great info. Now I will say that I am surprised that you don't have a steering wheel lock, I thought that every vehical had one. (that's what I get for thinking huh?)

When I towed mine I did have to have the key in and one click on but not the ignition on, then the t-case in N and my 5 speed in 1st. My wheels would follow my truck as in, if I turned right the jeeps wheels turned right, not a hard right but a gentle right, same for left turns. Works great.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbob View Post
If my memory is any good. If you can't lock the steering wheel then you will have to tie the steering wheel off somehow into the middle or nuetral position ie wheels pointed straight forward. If you don't do this you will quickly find out why, because your tires will not track they will want to turn right or left on you. This is what we used to have to do to tow our old 43 willys.
This isn't necessary. As stated above the jeep will follow and track behind the vehicle towing it.

Do not try to back up with a vehicle in flat tow. The steering will go full lock in one direction or the other due to caster and toe in being reversed.

You cannot back up with the jeep connected to the tow vehicle!

The steering doesn't need to be tied! this will cause the wheels to be off center and could cause extreme tire wear in a short distance. Don't ask how I know, I've seen it in action. You can eat the edge off of a front tire in 50 miles at interstate speeds.

Leave the steering unlocked and the jeep will track straight with 0 issues and turn with the tow vehicle.

Pull up, hook up, place jeep in neutral with engine running. Shift transfer case to neutral, place trans in drive to check that transfer case is dis-engaged. Turn ignition off, place transmission in park, remove key if you have no steering lock, your good to go.

Always shut the engine off before shifting back into park, the trans is freewheeling and shifting into park can snap or damage the parking pin. Once the engine is off the trans is no longer spinning and you can shift it to park with no issues.

Don't leave the automatic trans in neutral as the transfer case might spin it via inertia and cause damage to it since fluid isn't circulating in it with the engine off.

I'm on my third jeep as a toad. simplest vehicle to tow "bar none".
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vette65 View Post
In reading the article about flat towing my jeep behind motorhome it was very informative .i have one question , my jeep is a 5 spd the article said to put it in gear ? What gear ? Or does it matter? Thanks
If you have a Manual Tranny, do not put the tranny in gear! Without the engine running, you're not pushing lubricant through the tranny and you can damage it. I've done tons of reseach and made many mistakes before getting it figured out.
1 - Pull Jeep up to the coach
2 - Connect your towing system, lights, etc
3 - Put the tranny in neutral
4 - Put the transfer case in neutral
5 - If you have a wheel lock, turn the key ONE click to unlock the wheel
6 - Get the hell out of town and get dirty

Cheers

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Old 04-23-2013, 01:52 AM   #8
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Should I turn off the ESC (eletronic stability cotrol) I Pulled my 2012 for the first time following the instrucitons in the manual as printed above. After A few miles I pulled over to check things and the ESC light was on... Should I turn off the ESC before towing. Or does it matter.

More Info:
- Towing with all four wheels on the ground.
- Manual Transmission in gear (NOT in Neutral)
- Transfer Case in Neutral
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tshea105 View Post
Should I turn off the ESC (eletronic stability cotrol) I Pulled my 2012 for the first time following the instrucitons in the manual as printed above. After A few miles I pulled over to check things and the ESC light was on... Should I turn off the ESC before towing. Or does it matter.

More Info:
- Towing with all four wheels on the ground.
- Manual Transmission in gear (NOT in Neutral)
- Transfer Case in Neutral
Did you leave your key on in the jeep?
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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Yes, the keys were on, two clicks
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tshea105 View Post
Yes, the keys were on, two clicks
You need to turn the key off when towing
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:04 AM   #12
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The stearing will lock if the keys are off
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:54 AM   #13
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Later JK's do not have a steering lock. Mid 2008 (?) +

Norm
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:45 PM   #14
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo View Post
If you have a Manual Tranny, do not put the tranny in gear! Without the engine running, you're not pushing lubricant through the tranny and you can damage it. I've done tons of reseach and made many mistakes before getting it figured out.
1 - Pull Jeep up to the coach
2 - Connect your towing system, lights, etc
3 - Put the tranny in neutral
4 - Put the transfer case in neutral
5 - If you have a wheel lock, turn the key ONE click to unlock the wheel
6 - Get the hell out of town and get dirty

Cheers


OK fully confused now...Most everyone says T-Case in Neutral and transmission engaged (park for auto's, in gear for manuals)...however you mentioned place in neutral for both T-Case and Tranny?

Can you explain why for the Tranny in neutral please...Thx
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:00 PM   #15
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OK fully confused now...Most everyone says T-Case in Neutral and transmission engaged (park for auto's, in gear for manuals)...however you mentioned place in neutral for both T-Case and Tranny?

Can you explain why for the Tranny in neutral please...Thx
NEVER!!!!!! Leave the transmission in neutral with an automatic!!!

Only the transfer case. Inertia could spin the output shaft of the transmission. With an automatic if inertia spins the shaft you will have internal transmission damage.

When the engine is running it turns a pump within the automatic which both lubes and cools all parts as well as providing the hydraulic pressures neccessary within the automatic to make it function. With the engine off, if the internals spin via inertia things can and will burn up.

With a manual it really makes no difference. With the transmission in gear the transfer case is disengaged due to being in neutral. With the manual out of gear it may freewheel via inertia, but a manual doesn't depend on any type of pump for lubrication, similar to the differentials.

If I towed a manual, yes I would put the transmission in gear, but I would use first gear. In the low gear there is no chance of inertia spinning it like there would be in fifth or sixth, which probably couldn't spin the engine but I wouldn't take the chance of the higher gear.

I have no idea why the poster in question would state to use neutral. It's his Jeep and his dollar though. I've towed Jeep's for over 50K miles and never had the trans in neutral while doing so and have yet to experience a problem.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:40 PM   #16
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Question

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Originally Posted by parker65 View Post

With a manual it really makes no difference. With the transmission in gear the transfer case is disengaged due to being in neutral. With the manual out of gear it may freewheel via inertia, but a manual doesn't depend on any type of pump for lubrication, similar to the differentials.

If I towed a manual, yes I would put the transmission in gear, but I would use first gear. In the low gear there is no chance of inertia spinning it like there would be in fifth or sixth, which probably couldn't spin the engine but I wouldn't take the chance of the higher gear.

I have no idea why the poster in question would state to use neutral. It's his Jeep and his dollar though. I've towed Jeep's for over 50K miles and never had the trans in neutral while doing so and have yet to experience a problem.

That is what I was thinking as well, however I have yet to tow my YJ, just getting it ready to be towed and wanted to make sure I was doing things correctly.

the post from Buffalo confused me because I have read alot of posts that said to place the T-Case in N, and the manual trans IN gear.....That being said I was wondering why Buffalo was saying to put both the t-case and manual transmission in N?

Thx...
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:08 AM   #17
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OK I think this maybe a stupid question, but here goes anyway. Do you need to disconnect the battery of the Jeep you're are towing? Not sure were I heard or read this but it had something to do with racking up miles on odometer if you don't, anyone know about this or is BS?
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:45 PM   #18
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Hey there,
for those who have towed their Wranglers behind RV's/Trucks,
did you use any kind of brakes? For an example a brake buddy?
I was planing to tow my TJ behind my Ford F-150 truck to make it more convenient to travel and therefore the question if I'd need to put either a brake buddy or an interia brake on it?

Thanks
Matt
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:45 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Matthias_TJ View Post
Hey there,
for those who have towed their Wranglers behind RV's/Trucks,
did you use any kind of brakes? For an example a brake buddy?
I was planing to tow my TJ behind my Ford F-150 truck to make it more convenient to travel and therefore the question if I'd need to put either a brake buddy or an interia brake on it?

Thanks
Matt
I curious as well. I think many answers to this will be CYA.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:46 AM   #20
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I have pulled my CJ2A for years, Transfer case in N, Transmission in 2nd.
Not once have I had an issue, do not strap the steering wheel as someone mentioned. I used to put bungee cords on the steering to allow it to turn, but always return to centre but this is not essential.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:04 PM   #21
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Supplemental Brake and Fuse

Being in the state of Texas, any unit being towed that has a GVWR of 3500# or more must have some type of supplemental braking. Also true in CA and many other states (weights may vary). If pulled over by the cops, or involved in an accident, you will be in trouble without a supplemental braking system - its the law!

If the supplemental braking system causes the Jeep brake lights to light - such as happens when using a Patriot supplemental brake, then the Jeep brake lighting system must be deactivated so no interference will occur with signaling from the towing vehicle. On my 2012 Unlimited, I must remove fuse M1 to deactivate the brake lights.

I tow with transfer case in neutral, manual trans in second, M1 fuse out, key in my pocket, and park brake OFF. One time I hooked up on an incline so pulled on the park brake while testing that transfer case and trans were in proper position. Forgot to release park brake before towing. Don't do this!!
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:14 PM   #22
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Ok this may be a stupid question.
What is happening to the clutch and engine if you are leaving the manual transmission in gear while you are towing? Seems that there will be considerable drag and wear and tear.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:20 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockietopman View Post
Ok this may be a stupid question. What is happening to the clutch and engine if you are leaving the manual transmission in gear while you are towing? Seems that there will be considerable drag and wear and tear.
None of that is affected because the transfer case is in neutral.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:06 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockietopman View Post
Ok this may be a stupid question.
What is happening to the clutch and engine if you are leaving the manual transmission in gear while you are towing? Seems that there will be considerable drag and wear and tear.
From the owners manual and the first post above...

NOTE: The transfer case must be shifted into NEUTRAL (N), automatic
transmission must be shifted into PARK, and manual transmission must be
placed in gear (NOT in NEUTRAL) for recreational towing.

Parasitic rotation in the transfer case from the drive shaft can cause problems according to your vehicle manufacturer. Putting the transmission in gear/park solves the issue.

Depending on supplemental brake system design, you may or may not need to pull a fuse to isolate the towed vehicle brake lamp circuit. I chose US Gear's Unified Tow Brake to tow our '13 JKU. Here is my review and why I chose it that includes installed pictures... US Gear Unified Tow Brake Review.

Some may find this overview of towing helpful...

Towing A Vehicle Behind An RV

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