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Old 03-04-2014, 09:17 AM   #1
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Lights For Flat Towing

I have been using magnetic lights, but I'm looking at upgrading to a more permanent system. Options appear to be:
- Splicing into the Jeep wiring with a diode kit
- Using an 'add-a-bulb' kit that puts an additional bulb in each brake light

My inclination is to use the 'add-a-bulb' option, as it creates a separate system for flat towing that doesn't alter the stock system.

Anyone had any experiences with either of these options? If so, whose kit did you use?

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Old 03-04-2014, 09:31 AM   #2
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I don't use either one of those, but it seems to me, that with the add-a-bulb, if you have a brake system that uses the Jeep's brakes when towing (ours does), that your normal brake light would come on along with the add-a-bulb turn signal on the same side. I'm not sure if the turn signal would still be visible over the brightness of the brake light....Just something to think about. The diode set would probably be a lot easier install, the wiring can be picked up right at the driver kick panel (it runs under the driver's door). Personally, I just used a 3 pole, double throw toggle switch for mine...one way is normal, and the other way completely transfers the rear Jeep lights to the motor home lights.

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Old 03-04-2014, 11:29 AM   #3
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Here is how I did it....added sockets.

Setting up my TJ to Flat Tow
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Water Dog View Post
I don't use either one of those, but it seems to me, that with the add-a-bulb, if you have a brake system that uses the Jeep's brakes when towing (ours does), that your normal brake light would come on along with the add-a-bulb turn signal on the same side. I'm not sure if the turn signal would still be visible over the brightness of the brake light....Just something to think about. The diode set would probably be a lot easier install, the wiring can be picked up right at the driver kick panel (it runs under the driver's door). Personally, I just used a 3 pole, double throw toggle switch for mine...one way is normal, and the other way completely transfers the rear Jeep lights to the motor home lights.
Interesting idea on the toggle switch. Where did you mount it?
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dextreme View Post
Here is how I did it....added sockets.

Setting up my TJ to Flat Tow
Thanks for the link. Good to see how it looks on a TJ.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:17 AM   #6
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Interesting idea on the toggle switch. Where did you mount it?
I mounted it on the flat spot on the console just ahead of the 4wd shift lever (see pic), but if I were to do it again, I would see if it would fit in the plastic trim piece that covers the wires under the driver's door...that would be even easier, and there's really no reason to have it in plain sight. Here's a link where I bought the switch and a wiring diagram. I soldered and heat shrinked all my lug connections, then screwed them to the switch.

Toggle switch, 3 pole dt, 15 amp 125 volt/ AC, on-on, #SW328
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:18 AM   #7
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>>I mounted it on the flat spot on the console just ahead of the 4wd shift lever (see pic), but if I were to do it again, I would see if it would fit in the plastic trim piece that covers the wires under the driver's door...that would be even easier, and there's really no reason to have it in plain sight. Here's a link where I bought the switch and a wiring diagram. I soldered and heat shrinked all my lug connections, then screwed them to the switch.<<

This is a neat solution. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:43 AM   #8
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Somehow I knew there would be a wiring diagram forthcoming. I'm still using mag lights that I wired with a permanent harness and 4 flat connectors at each end. Though it works and was relatively simple to install I'm not real happy with it. I have flush mount LEDs which means the add a bulb won't work. Not to mention I use the same towing system as Water Dog and any additional lights would be competing with the Jeep's. So it looks like I am going to shamelessly plagiarize another Water Dog design. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:39 PM   #9
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I have used a Blue Ox diode kit on my old CJ8 and was not happy with it, the connections corroded and frequently became unreliable. I opened the tail light housing and installed new sockets (really inexpensive from any car parts dealer) and wired them directly from the plug through a standard 4 wire light wire. Simple, cheap and 100% reliable. I now have a TJ that I tow flat and I wired it the same way and it is easy to do, cheap and works really well.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:25 AM   #10
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So it looks like I am going to shamelessly plagiarize another Water Dog design. Thanks for sharing.
No problem, help yourself.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:59 AM   #11
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Trailer Mate RV Tow Harness wiring kit... is the way to go. I installed one on my TJ and it comes with a complete harness, plug ends with diodes in them, complete instructions. Was a snap to install. No splicing, no extra bulbs, no holes to drill...

Trailer Mate Part # 781123. They make these harnesses for different vehicles. Mine cost $74.95.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:39 AM   #12
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Trailer Mate RV Tow Harness wiring kit... is the way to go. I installed one on my TJ and it comes with a complete harness, plug ends with diodes in them, complete instructions. Was a snap to install. No splicing, no extra bulbs, no holes to drill...

Trailer Mate Part # 781123. They make these harnesses for different vehicles. Mine cost $74.95.
I did something very similar.
I bought mine through E-Trailer. Completely plug in.... stupid simple.
Here : http://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Wiri...id=20051134459

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Old 03-23-2014, 06:00 AM   #13
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I bought mine from etrailer, also.

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