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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-08-2007 12:35 AM
Originally Posted by anonymous
I have a friend who says he damaged his JK automatic transmission by not following the owner's manual for proper RV towing. Your forum comments are most appreciated. Now, Me, the dummy, would like to discuss "shifting out of neutral" (pg347) to unhitch from the RV.
A. engine still off
B. key still in accessory position
"l. Shift automatic transmission into N (Neutral)."


Am I correct?

Then back to your towing instructions, do you use the "accessory posiotion" while under way and the "on" position to set the transmission and transfer case? Your comments are relished!
Here are the instructions from the owners manual:


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.

NOTE: The transfer case must be shifted into N (Neutral) for recreational towing.

Shifting Into Neutral (N)

Use the following procedure to prepare your vehicle for recreational towing.

It is necessary to follow these steps to be certain that the transfer case is fully in N (Neutral) before recreational towing to prevent damage to internal

1. Depress brake pedal.
2. Shift automatic transmission into N (Neutral) or depress clutch pedal on manual transmission.
3. Shift transfer case lever into N (Neutral).
4. Start engine.
5. Shift automatic transmission into D (Drive) or manual transmission into gear.
6. Release brake pedal and ensure that there is no vehicle movement.
7. Shut the engine off and place the ignition key into the unlocked OFF position.
8. Shift automatic transmission into P (Park).
9. Apply parking brake.
10. Attach vehicle to the tow vehicle with tow bar.
11. Release parking brake.

Damage to the transmission may occur if the transmission is shifted into P (Park) with the transfer case in N (Neutral) and the engine running. With the
transfer case in N (Neutral) ensure that the engine is off prior to shifting the transmission into P (Park) (refer to steps 7 – 8 above).

Shifting Out Of Neutral (N)

Use the following procedure to prepare your vehicle for normal usage.

1. Shift automatic transmission into N (Neutral) or depress clutch pedal on manual transmission.
2. Shift transfer case lever into desired position.
3. Shift automatic transmission into D (Drive) or release clutch on manual transmissions.

NOTE: When shifting out of transfer case N (Neutral) on automatic transmission equipped vehicles, turning the engine off may be required to avoid gear clash.

Now to answer your questions.

When hooking up I drive the Jeep behind the motorhome and with the engine running and the transmission in park, I shift the transfer case into neutral and turn off the engine. If I'm not sure the transfer case is in neutral, with the engine running I shift the transmission into drive and then reverse to make sure the Jeep does not move. I then shift the transmission to neutral for a few seconds to allow it to stop spinning and then shift to park and turn the engine off.

And as I pointed out before I do the final hookup moving the Jeep by hand. This insures the transfer case is in neutral.

I leave the key in the accessory position. One click forward off the lock position. Sometimes I turn the key to the on position which is confirmed by all the idiot lights lighting up and then turn it one click back so these lights turn off.

When unhooking I unhook and remove the tow bar. Then I get in the Jeep and start the engine. I then shift the transfer case to 2 high. Sometimes it can be very difficult to shift the transfer case out of neutral. In this case I try to rock the Jeep and shift out of neutral. In really severe situations I shift the transmission to neutral, then drive for a fraction of a second and then back to neutral. This normally allows you to shift out of neutral.

The times it doesn't want to shift out of neutral is when the gears are not aligned. You need to move the Jeep forward and/or back a little to align the gears. There are no syncros in the transfer case between 4 high - neutral - 4 low.

The really important things are:

1) Transfer case in neutral.
2) Transmission in park.
3) Key in the unlocked accessory position.

All the other things in the owners manual are too keep you from grinding gears, etc.

Originally Posted by anonymous
p.s. We never do any of the above with the engine running. Correct?
It's pretty much ALL done with the engine running.

I have towed my JK and my two prior TJ's and a Grand Cherokee this same way for 11 years and well over 15K miles.
09-06-2007 02:00 PM
jdrogers In response to your PM I will first describe the hook up procedure I use so everyone else might benefit.

First I position the Jeep behind the motorhome about a foot too far away. I then put the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in park. I then attach the Jeep to the motorhome by pulling the Jeep towards the motorhome by hand using the tow bar. This is pretty easy to do on flat ground. Moving it by hand insures the transfer case is in neutral. Then just connect the tow bar to the motorhome.

The key must be in the accessory position while towing. This is one click forward from the off/locked position where you can remove the key. In the accessory position the engine warning lights will be off. The key alarm will be sounding if the driver's door is open. The windows will operate as well as the radio. The key must be left in this position. Just turn the radio off and put the windows up!

That's all there is to it!
09-02-2007 07:27 PM
jdrogers I have the Mopar tow bar and it works "OK". It is the only tow bar I have found that will work with the Mopar front rock bumper. Here is a photo:

The only real issue I have with it is that they use two simple 5/8" pins with spring keeper to connect the cross bar to the brackets that mount on the JK. These pins are subject to a lot of sideways force then towing and I didn't think this was reasonable. I fact I read somewhere that Mopar is working on changing this aspect of the tow bar.

I solved the issue for myself by replacing the pins with some grade 8 bolts, washers, and nuts. Here is a close-up of these bolts:

I am slowly working on adapting some Roadmaster brackets to work with the Mopar front bumper so I can use my Roadmaster Eagle tow bar. The Roadmaster tow bar stays attached to the motorhome and is easier to connect by myself. But making the brackets work requires lots of fabrication and welding.

So the Mopar tow bar gets the job done for now!
09-02-2007 01:08 PM
Jeep-Wrangler-nwfan I haven't hap first hand experience with Mopar... but it is good to know that they are non-responsive.. that makes things difficult.
I also agree that Tomken is a pretty good place to look and generally easy to get info from
08-31-2007 03:58 AM
sgnellett Try calling Tomken, they should have bumpers for the JK by now, although they aren't on the website, they have always been very helpful on the phone
08-30-2007 10:17 PM
tow bar for 2007 Wrangler X

Mopar lists a tow bar for pulling a Wrangler behind an RV, but I'm not sure it fits the new 2007 JK style bumper/frame. And if so, how easily does it install and remove.

Are there other options from other suppliers who are willing to discuss their products in detail? Trying to discuss specifics with a human-being at Mopar is next to imposibble.

Anyone have any first hand experience?

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