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-   -   Easiest DIY Hitch Ever! And Under $100! (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/easiest-diy-hitch-ever-and-under-100-a-97419.html)

smanenti 06-09-2011 12:18 PM

Easiest DIY Hitch Ever! And Under $100!
 
3 Attachment(s)
Hey guys. I just picked up a new 2011 JK (Sahara) last Saturday and unfortunately, it didn't come with the towing package. Since I sold my 32' camper earlier this year, I don't have a need for any "major" towing however, I do have a 12' open top utility trailer (for misc. hauling, dirt bikes, etc).

The dealer wanted several hundred dollars to put one on for me (as did my local hitch shops). Then, thanks to my best friend Amazon.com, I found one from Rugged Ridge for on sales for $71.05 - with free 2-day shipping I might add since I'm an Amazon Prime Member (click here for a link directly to it on their site). For $28 more, I got a "plug & play" wiring harness that simply connects inline to the brake light harness.

The best part? A 15 minute install using just 4 bolts and the existing holes within the rear frame of the rig. Couldn't have been easier (except if I had smaller hands and fingers to get into the tight space to tighten the nuts).

Posting pics in the event any of you are in the same boat and want an easy and cost-effective solution to your towing needs. I realize I do not have any trans cooler and other components to really tow with this thing but again, for my limited (and infrequent) towing needs, I couldn't have asked for a better solution.

(My wire harness is due to arrive today so looking forward to the finished install).

SkyTurtle 06-09-2011 12:28 PM

I have the same hitch. I don't think we can call it a "DIY" solution, though. There are some pretty handy folks on here to whom DIY means they fabricated it themselves out of a block of steel.

But you're right in that this is a much better solution than paying the MOPAR ransom for the stock tow package. Nice job.

ESP 06-09-2011 12:29 PM

Looks good. :popcorn:

smanenti 06-09-2011 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkyTurtle (Post 1293437)
I have the same hitch. I don't think we can call it a "DIY" solution, though. There are some pretty handy folks on here to whom DIY means they fabricated it themselves out of a block of steel.

But you're right in that this is a much better solution than paying the MOPAR ransom for the stock tow package. Nice job.

LOL! Right- under THAT definition I'm as far from a DIY'r as you can imagine. That said, I did "install" it myself and it is easier than I ever could have imagined. All good! :)

thenorsepole 06-09-2011 01:19 PM

Have the same hitch - easy as pie. Had to remove the back bumper though just to make it easier to get my fat fingers in there for the bolts. Hitch and wiring harness took about 20 minutes to complete even with the off/on of the bumper.
Rented a trailer to haul a small load with and worked perfectly.
Wiring harness is a piece of cake. Remove the driver tail light, plug the harness in and run it through to the undercarriage. Even had some small "push-pins" (technically called "thing-a-ma-bobs" I believe) to attach it to the existing holes in the undercarriage.

Wandell 06-09-2011 03:05 PM

I just installed one myself. My ten year old helped me with the nuts between the bumper and hitch.

noxin 06-09-2011 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thenorsepole (Post 1293599)
Have the same hitch - easy as pie. Had to remove the back bumper though just to make it easier to get my fat fingers in there for the bolts. Hitch and wiring harness took about 20 minutes to complete even with the off/on of the bumper.
Rented a trailer to haul a small load with and worked perfectly.
Wiring harness is a piece of cake. Remove the driver tail light, plug the harness in and run it through to the undercarriage. Even had some small "push-pins" (technically called "thing-a-ma-bobs" I believe) to attach it to the existing holes in the undercarriage.


I've got the same hitch on order, and I wondered where the wiring connector was going to go. They don't mention it in the installation instructions online, so I thought I'd be on google looking it up. Sounds pretty simple

thenorsepole 06-09-2011 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noxin (Post 1293922)
I've got the same hitch on order, and I wondered where the wiring connector was going to go. They don't mention it in the installation instructions online, so I thought I'd be on google looking it up. Sounds pretty simple

It IS easy and pretty self-explanitory if you look at the wiring. Pull the taillight, unplug the connector to it. The wiring harness has one male and one female connector on it. Plug appropritely and snake the harness down to the undercarriage and over to the notch for the 4-pin built into the receiver then put your taillight back on.

It is actually easier than the fumbling way that I just described it. I am mechanically declined and did it in a snap.

rics1997 06-09-2011 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkyTurtle (Post 1293437)
But you're right in that this is a much better solution than paying the MOPAR ransom for the stock tow package. Nice job.

If it didn't come from the factory with the tow package then I would agree with the statement. But the $320 Tow package from factory has a lot more to it then just a hitch and wiring harness. The anti sway system all handled by the computer is a very nice enhancement in the factory tow package and is well worth the cost IMO

rics1997 06-09-2011 05:43 PM

Looks nice

Mr-Ford-drives-a-Jeep 06-09-2011 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rics1997

If it didn't come from the factory with the tow package then I would agree with the statement. But the $320 Tow package from factory has a lot more to it then just a hitch and wiring harness. The anti sway system all handled by the computer is a very nice enhancement in the factory tow package and is well worth the cost IMO

I hear that.... I guarantee that all the other stuff isn't gonna be put on after the fact if you add one down the road, and they'll charge the same price as the factory option. Stinking greedy bastards!

thenorsepole 06-10-2011 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rics1997 (Post 1294258)
If it didn't come from the factory with the tow package then I would agree with the statement. But the $320 Tow package from factory has a lot more to it then just a hitch and wiring harness. The anti sway system all handled by the computer is a very nice enhancement in the factory tow package and is well worth the cost IMO

Just curious if the computerized enhancements of the tow package can be "duplicated" with the ProCal. Anyone know?

MTH 06-10-2011 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thenorsepole

Just curious if the computerized enhancements of the tow package can be "duplicated" with the ProCal. Anyone know?

Not with a ProCal. Maybe with a flash from the dealer ($$).

mike636 06-29-2011 07:19 PM

I saw this post and went to Amazon to look at it. I think it's exactly what I need. The reviews say that it is made to factory standard ( JK 200, 2000lbs) so my question is if I have a small camper, would this be a good choice for towing? Thanks for the help guys!

Phil T 09-28-2011 09:17 PM

I saw this thread and ordered the Rugged Ridge from Amazon. It came in three days and I installed it tonight. I am very happy with the hitch and installation was easy. I did use a open end wrench and some duct tape to start the nuts.

Tumbleweed 09-28-2011 09:39 PM

I installed mine and ran the pigtail inside to the storage compartment above the tire jack. Completely out of the weather. Very limited towing duties.
For REAL towing, I'll use this:
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2...r/IMG_2358.jpg

derfC 09-29-2011 07:06 AM

lol... I've had the same hitch saved in my Amazon shopping cart for the past 6 months! I was planning on using it during our summer vacation to attach a cargo carrier, but ended up just cramming everything in the back of the Jeep instead.

One of these days I'll actually BUY the thing. :p

TrueNorth 10-03-2011 12:30 PM

Rugged Ridge reciever and JK wiring harness, $89 shipped from Ebay.
I'd say it's plenty strong. Been hauling bikes on it for 3 years now and it's holding up just fine.
http://i54.tinypic.com/2yubtrl.jpg

Motorbreath 10-03-2011 12:57 PM

Nice...still debating to go this route or use it as an excuse to slide a new rear bumper past the wifey. I have a feeling she is already gonna freak when i tell her I gotta drop 1k on new BFG's this winter.

j0nx 10-03-2011 02:24 PM

Quick question that I hope I'm not thread jacking on. My '12 auto sport has the max tow package so does that mean I get the trans cooler? I know I got the 3.73 with that but didn't know a trans cooler came with that package or not? Also I don't see any wiring harness on mine either. Why would a max tow package come without the harness? It didn't come with the hitch pin either so I'm thinking the max tow package is really nothing more than a hitch and a 3.73 rear end.

warwickjeep 10-03-2011 05:34 PM

do they make it for the front bumper


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