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-   -   Tow Bar for 2004 TJ? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/tow-bar-for-2004-tj-167449.html)

Mello Mike 06-17-2012 05:19 PM

Tow Bar for 2004 TJ?
 
I've towed all kinds of trailers and travel trailers, but towing a vehicle is completely new territory for me. Any recommendations for a good tow bar? I'm also curious what others used to tow their Jeep. Also, is it best to mount the tow brackets flush on the front bumper or underneath to the frame?

I'll be towing my 2004 behind my truck camper, so I'll also need to get a hitch extension, so recommendations will be welcome for this, too.

Molaker 06-17-2012 05:47 PM

Here's if you want to do it right...ReadyBrake. You can do it a lot cheaper, but probably not safer, especially if you are going to have a lengthy hitch extension. Be aware many states require brakes on the towed vehicle.

Mello Mike 06-18-2012 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Molaker (Post 2483322)
Here's if you want to do it right...ReadyBrake. You can do it a lot cheaper, but probably not safer, especially if you are going to have a lengthy hitch extension. Be aware many states require brakes on the towed vehicle.

Thanks, Molaker. That's a nice unit, but a little rich for my blood.

obidya 06-18-2012 09:19 AM

I have TJ tow bar brackets would be interested in selling, I am not sure about the bar that connects to them. I bought them with the intent to add a couple places to mount either a bike rack or storage rack on front and rear corners.

TJ Tow Brackets

jgorm 06-18-2012 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mello Mike (Post 2483257)
I've towed all kinds of trailers and travel trailers, but towing a vehicle is completely new territory for me. Any recommendations for a good tow bar? I'm also curious what others used to tow their Jeep. Also, is it best to mount the tow brackets flush on the front bumper or underneath to the frame?

I'll be towing my 2004 behind my truck camper, so I'll also need to get a hitch extension, so recommendations will be welcome for this, too.

I was setting up my old truck camper to tow my jeep (but then sold it for a class C). I had a c3500drw with a 11.5' camper. I was worried about the weak hitch extension and welded on some brackets because there was at least 4" of side to side play. I shimmed the hitch (class v) to limit up and down movement.
http://www.joegorm.com/2007-9-29%20039%20(Large).jpg

I saw a guy with a large boat and a 11.5' camper and looked at his setup. He had the best setup i've seen yet. He had two more hitch receivers welded onto the outside edges of the hitch and a welded up assembly that plugged into all 3 receivers. Kind of like an E. I didn't consider towing my jeep without its own braking system with that truck. I might tow it with my motorhome without jeep brakes, but its a small rig on the E450 chassis and the brakes are way bigger than my truck, and its a diesel so i can try the ebpv mod or put an exhaust brake in.

TJDave 06-18-2012 10:10 AM

I towed my Wrangler behind our motorhome for years before I bought a car trailer. There is a section in the owners manual on how to do it correctly. It is very easy if you follow the instructions. I never had one problem, and not one mile racked up on the Jeep.

It is very important that the towbar is level with the ground when hooked up to the tow vehicle. I used Roadmaster XL removable frame mounted brackets. They attach to the frame below the bumper, and everything is removeable except the two little receivers you can see in the second picture. It does not matter where your mounts are on the Jeep (above/on/below the bumper) as long as they are strong enough to handle the task. I liked the Roadmaster brackets because they did not require as tall of a hitch to keep the towbar level.

I also used their no-frills least expensive tow bar. Magnetic lights on the Jeep bumper, and safety chains.

I sold the whole set up to a friend for $400.

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/j...DSCN2118-2.jpg

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/j...d/DSCN2487.jpg

Dextreme 06-18-2012 10:32 AM

Here's my tow bar thread. Used the Harbor Freight towbar...about $150 for everything including the wiring, works great!

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/sett...ow-136535.html

http://i1122.photobucket.com/albums/...-03-22_132.jpg

20ga 06-18-2012 10:39 AM

Blue Ox System
 
I just installed a Blue Ox tow bar system.

Good stuff.

I also wired into the TJ's tail lights using diodes; which is very simple. Find the wires running along the inside of the rocker panel on the drivers side.

If you want brakes then Blue Ox has a very modern system.

Mello Mike 12-11-2012 02:26 PM

Okay, after researching this topic several months, here is what I did for my flat tow system:

My TJ Flat Tow System

:punk:

Water Dog 12-11-2012 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Molaker (Post 2483322)
Here's if you want to do it right...ReadyBrake. You can do it a lot cheaper, but probably not safer, especially if you are going to have a lengthy hitch extension. Be aware many states require brakes on the towed vehicle.

X2..:thumb:

Water Dog 12-11-2012 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mello Mike (Post 3091554)
Okay, after researching this topic several months, here is what I did for my flat tow system:

My TJ Flat Tow System

If I were you, I would rethink your setup. There are a lot of side forces that will be pushing the 3500 pound Jeep laterally on that 18" extension, especially when slowing down while in turns.

Mello Mike 12-11-2012 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Water Dog (Post 3091613)
If I were you, I would rethink your setup. There are a lot of side forces that will be pushing the 3500 pound Jeep laterally on that 18" extension, especially when slowing down while in turns.

Thanks for your response. What do you have in mind? Something like chains attached to a welded loop like jgorm's pic above?

DevilDogDoc 12-11-2012 05:10 PM

http://i899.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/90830ce5.jpg
http://i899.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/8bb8736e.jpg

I towed mine behind my old Durango almost 1000 miles this last summer with this $60 ebay special Reese towbar and some brackets welded up by a good friend. Some magnet lights at O'Reillys and I was good to go. No extensions or any other silliness.

Mello Mike 12-11-2012 05:44 PM

Thanks, DevilDogDoc. Nice setup there. The only reason why I need an extension is for my truck camper which overhangs 18 inches from the rear of the truck.

DevilDogDoc 12-11-2012 06:33 PM

Aah that complicates things a bit doesnt it....

Water Dog 12-11-2012 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mello Mike (Post 3091777)
Thanks for your response. What do you have in mind? Something like chains attached to a welded loop like jgorm's pic above?

If it were me, I think I would find a way to triangulate that extension either with chains/cables/turnbuckles or solid stock that could be pinned in, and I would definitely consider adding auxillary braking. I really think if you don't do something you'll eventually see that extension fail right where it goes into the receiver.

raramirez 12-11-2012 11:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Molaker
Here's if you want to do it right...ReadyBrake. You can do it a lot cheaper, but probably not safer, especially if you are going to have a lengthy hitch extension. Be aware many states require brakes on the towed vehicle.

I took off a breaking system that the PO Put on. So if you get just a tow bar and need a breaking system PM me

I also have a set up that a male end off the rv into the front of the jeep in a socket and powers the lights. Id be willing to part with that too

Moabrubi 12-12-2012 12:16 AM

Do you have an auxiliary braking system in vehicle? You will need one but you need to be careful.

I have an older model of this: Blue Ox - Patriot

Well sometime after setting it up it engaged the brake every so slightly, 120 miles later in the Wendy's parking lot we get out to see the truck smoking. :whistling: Yea, it smoked/melted everything near it. Let's just say that truck got an entirely new braking system.

So be careful with those stupid things LOL.

Water Dog 12-12-2012 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moabrubi (Post 3094743)
Do you have an auxiliary braking system in vehicle? You will need one but you need to be careful.

I have an older model of this: Blue Ox - Patriot

Well sometime after setting it up it engaged the brake every so slightly, 120 miles later in the Wendy's parking lot we get out to see the truck smoking. :whistling: Yea, it smoked/melted everything near it. Let's just say that truck got an entirely new braking system.

So be careful with those stupid things LOL.

That's the nice thing about the ReadyBrake that Molaker mentioned. It not only includes the expanding tow bar (which makes hook up easy), but also includes a built in brake system and a pilot light that goes on the dash of the tow vehicle so you know when the brakes are applied.

Mello Mike 01-01-2013 08:23 AM

The last piece of the towing puzzle for me is where to connect the safety chains. I'm curious to know what other TJ owners with OEM bumpers are doing. The only real viable option I've been able to come up with is a D-ring that bolts to the top of the bumper using the existing bumper attachment points.

TJDave 01-01-2013 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mello Mike (Post 3167566)
The last piece of the towing puzzle for me is where to connect the safety chains. I'm curious to know what other TJ owners with OEM bumpers are doing. The only real viable option I've been able to come up with is a D-ring that bolts to the top of the bumper using the existing bumper attachment points.

My old Roadmaster frame mounts had safety chain hook-ups on them. You want your safety chains secured to the frame in some way. In case of an emergency, you don't want your bumper being yanked off!

Have you thought about J-Hooks through the frame holes. You can get them at towing supply stores. I use these to tie my Jeep down on the trailer these days.
Just an idea.

http://www.northerntool.com/images/p.../14091_med.gif

B/A Products R, T and Mini J Hook Cluster 4700-Lb. Safe Working Load, Model# 11-7CL | Towing Hooks| Northern Tool + Equipment

DevilDogDoc 01-01-2013 10:53 AM

I used some HD hooks myself, not J hooks but regular ones and went into the frame myself.

krazybob 01-01-2013 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dextreme (Post 2485627)
Here's my tow bar thread. Used the Harbor Freight towbar...about $150 for everything including the wiring, works great!

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/sett...ow-136535.html

http://i1122.photobucket.com/albums/...-03-22_132.jpg

I just picked up the HF tow bar for $69.99 and the magnetic lights for $9.99 with the wiring. Must have been my lucky day :thumb::thumb: Now I just need a set of safety chains, and I'll be ready to install the set up.

Mello Mike 01-01-2013 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TJDave (Post 3167919)
My old Roadmaster frame mounts had safety chain hook-ups on them. You want your safety chains secured to the frame in some way. In case of an emergency, you don't want your bumper being yanked off!

Actually, the D-ring and tow hooks to which I was referring bolt directly into the frame, so it wouldn't yank anything off.

Mello Mike 01-01-2013 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DevilDogDoc (Post 3167942)
I used some HD hooks myself, not J hooks but regular ones and went into the frame myself.

When you say HD hooks are you referring to basic tow hooks? My only concern going this route is the safety chain coming off the hook while driving. Is there a fail safe retainer device you can put the hook to keep the safety chain on the hook?


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