Does anyone know if you have to pull a battery fuse in the Jeep 2012 Wrangler once you install the Blue Ox Braking Mechanism? I'm concerned that on long trips I may wear down the battery when I use the Blue Ox Braking Mechanism.
I flat tow my 2013 Moab 2dr behind my Holiday Rambler 43 PKD coach.
I did quite a bit of study of this before deciding on the M-G Engineering system. There is room under the JK's hood to install the (roughly) 4" long cylinder between the master cylinder and the vacuum assist. You don't even need to break loose any Jeep brake lines since there's enough length in them for the added cylinder. Plus, there's absolutely nothing required inside the cockpit of the Jeep hanging on your brake pedal.
There is a standard air fitting mounted with an angle bracket on my base plate, fed by a coiled airline from a similar air connection added on the back of the coach which gives the toad full proportional braking from a simple tap into my coach's air brakes. It works great! I've since relocated the Jeep side air connection to just next to my crush can on the AEV stock bumper as I'm adding a winch to the Jeep and the winch baseplate filled the access hole through which the brake line was run. Had I put the winch in first the M-G boys wouldn't have run the air line to the location they used, but no biggie there.
I just didn't want to have some sort of device to move into space between the seat and brake pedal, nor a cylinder attached to my brake pedal. I figured if there was any incovenience setting it up I would tend to justify "skipping it" for this "short" trip... you know how that goes...
For my Moab, the Blue Ox baseplate unfortunately mounts to the two tabs on the front of the Jeep that one would normally use to pass the D ring pin through for recovery purposes. I didn't want to use the safety cable welded tabs on the Blue Ox baseplate for recovery work, nor did I want to involve their standard "two to three tab with pin" towing connection either, for fear of bending/breaking something.
When I brought this to Blue Ox's sad, sad, sad technical support people (I asked for engineering but wasn't given the privilege of talking to them directly , but rather only through proxy after a 24 hour delay, despite having just dropped over $1200 on Blue Ox gear) I was told that there was nothing they could do about the loss of a place to add a pair of D Rings back up front. Does Blue Ox think that everyone who flat tows are grandparents and only drive to the grocery store on sunny days so have no need for recovery rings on their toad?
So I had to take matters into my own hands and fab up two 1/2" steel plate to sandwich on top of the outside of the two tabs and increase the Blue Ox bolt lengths by 1/2" while upgrading them to grade 8 hardware.
Blue Ox could easily engineer a drilled hole for a D-ring into a larger, extended plate at each end of their baseplate if they were the least bit interested in our marketplace.
In retrospect I probably wouldn't have ordered the Blue Ox baseplate ($430 I think!!!) and tried a setup the AEV folks told me about on E Bay (I'd have to hunt for the link if you're interested, but can do). It was 1/4 the price of Blue Ox baseplate and I bet more flexible and easier to install. Without seeing the EBay ones I'm still not sure if they can accomodate D-rings, but at least you'd save $300.
I think the Blue Ox Alpha tow bar is a great product-- just not their baseplate setup.
Not sure if it works the same way on your Rubi-- do you have the same tabs up front (one large hole-- about 1" diameter and one small hole-- about 1/2" diameter) drilled for D-Rings like my factory Moab? I actually believe I have these tabs as part of the AEV bumper Jeep puts on the Moabs and Call of Duty jeeps.
And, this should be "telling".... while I was in Texas on a recent trip I decided to have the M-G Engineering folks factory install their system on my coach and Jeep (that I towed there without toad brakes). M-G is about 1-1/2 hours SE of Dallas in Athens Texas. Monty, the owner, was great, along with his technician. Monty mentioned to me that the owners of both Blue Ox and TowMaster both use his system on their toads. To me, that's equivalent to refusing to eat in your own restaurant!
I got to M-G the night before my 8:00 am installation and was able to hook up my coach to 50 amp power, plus there were water and sewer connections as well. After being given a tutorial and demo of the system I was back on the road by 10:00 am. My only complaint was crappy cell phone reception between the steel buildings!
I just set-up my JKU to tow, in fact, I am leaving on Saturday for a 3,500 mile trip. I towed my TJ for thousands of miles, no problem.
As far as my setting, I had my Blue Ox vehicle connectors redone so that mount to my TnT midwidth front bumper without modifying the bumper. For light connection purposes I bot and hooked up the Mopar towing wire harness. For the JKU I bot a braking system from Brake Buddy and have towed a short distance with it. My current JKU is an automatic and I followed the directions in the owners manual on setting it up for towing ie.. transfer case in neutral transmission in park. The owners manual does not really tell you whether to leave the key in the ignition and at what setting? My Brake Buddy requires that I plug it in to a power source (cigarette lighter) so that the air compressor works on the system so I may need to run with my ignition on, haven't checked for an electrical source not requiring the key yet.
I have read other posts indicating that they take their key out of the ignition and lock the doors?
Just not sure if the '12 Rubicon requires that a fuse be pulled when I use the Blue Ox Patriot Braking System. I guess I'll tow it and see how the battery does. Hey kbaum03!!! I do, however remove the key from the ignition to tow and I lock the doors. There is a cigarette lighter in my Jeep that is located in the front of the inside of the center console that does not require a key in the ignition to power the braking system. Hope that answers your question about the power source for your brake buddy. Still a little confused about the whole fuse matter:banghead:
I tow my 12 Sport 2 dr. auto behind my Motorhome. I use the Currie Enterprise Rock Jock tow plate, Cool Tech Wiring for the lights, Toad Charger to keep the battery charged while towing, Blue Ox Patriot breaking system and a Blue Ox A frame tow bar with a Protect-A-tow to stop road rash. Have used it towing about 5,000 miles so far with no issues. The Blue Ox Patriot uses 12 volts to operate that's why I put on the Toad Charger hooked to the Motorhome to keep the Battery in the Jeep charged. I dont pull any fuses and plug the break power into the console plug.
The reason a fuse is pulled on any towed vehicle is to keep the brake lights from overpowering the turn signals provided by the towing vehicle. Some supplemental brake systems account for this in their design like US Gear's Unified Tow Brake, others tell you to pull a fuse to remove power to the brake switch. Some folks put a fuse isolation switch inline to keep from actually having to pull the fuse.
If you use a supplemental brake system that requires power from the towed vehicle, such as a BrakeBuddy and other "place the unit on the floor of the towed vehicle" type systems, you will likely end up with a dead battery unless you provide a charge line from the towing vehicle to the towed vehicle. It is little more than a fused 12v line from the towing vehicle to the towed vehicles battery.
If the Blue Ox system you use is the cable operated type from the tow bar to the brake pedal, you will need to pull a fuse for the reason first stated. The brake lights seem to wear down a battery quicker than most people expect... during our early days of towing I discovered a problem after just 3 days towing without starting the Jeep.
Your tow bar should be as level as possible when connected. A tow bar that stays on your RV and has adjustable arms are expensive, but very handy if you tow a lot.
Here is my review of the US Gear UTB...
I've used several different supplemental brake systems over the years of towing our Jeep Wranglers over 100K miles. Though they all do the same basic thing, apply the brakes to a towed vehicle, I had some specific reasons for going with Us Gear's Unified Tow Brake.
The four reasons I chose the UTB over other designs...
Every time we camp we tow our Jeep, and we usually camp numerous times per month year around. We often travel thousands of miles on a trip too, so ease of hitching and unhitching during those travels becomes more important to me as we've hitched/unhitched as many as 4 times in one day. Once properly installed, there is no easier system to hitch up... period! The same ease of hitch up is available with the Invisibrake by Roadmaster (which I had in my '97 Wrangler), but it doesn't allow adjustment of the brake system from the towing vehicle like the UTB does(see below).
Ability to adjust towed vehicles brake activation from towing vehicle. I find this feature of the UTB very handy. Braking requirements seem so different between mountain driving and city driving, and the UTB allows for more aggressive brake operation when I want it in heavy traffic. It also allows manual operation of the towed vehicle brakes which I have found extremely helpful on snow packed and icy roads.
Energized brakes in the towed vehicle. The UTB has a vacuum pump that charges the power brake system. If you have ever tried to stop your vehicle with no power brakes, you understand the brute force required to stop. I'm not an automotive engineer, so the amount of pressure put on the brake pedal by any system that doesn't charge the brakes may not be of any consequence, but it obviously puts a high stress on the supplemental brake systems that operate without power enhanced brakes. Additionally, you don't need to purchase anything else for a break-away emergency brake either as it's part of the UTB design. You also don't need a separate battery charge line, it's in the design.
Lastly, in researching brake systems, I discovered a few folks had issues with the surge brake design and mountain towing. The however infrequent issues of others, along with the fact that the UTB has what I consider to be great proportional brake operation, is why I chose the US Gear Unified Tow Brake system.
Yes, the UTB is a complicated design compared to some other available supplemental brake systems. But that is exactly why I chose the design to overcome what I perceive as shortcomings in other systems.
Here are a few photos of the installed system on our '13 Jeep Wrangler...
This is the vacuum pump that energizes the power brakes. If you look closely, you will see the check valve and "T" fitting in the vacuum line.
This is the brake activator. It is mounted on the passenger firewall well out of the way. The cable on the left side of the picture routes under the carpet to the drivers side...
This photo shows how the brake activator cable above is hooked to the brake pedal...
This photo shows the control box in the towed vehicle. In our Jeep, I mounted it on the high on drivers side under the dash...
This photo shows the towing vehicle's dash control. The lever is for manual activation of the towed vehicles brakes. The knob on the top adjusts how aggressively the towed vehicle brakes are activated. It includes warning and activation LEDs, and malfunction alarm...
How it looks ready to tow...
To sum it up, I recommend the US Gear Unified Tow Brake. It has been reliable, and it's versatility in all towing conditions can't be beat in my opinion.
I have no financial interest, nor any connection with US Gear or any manufacturer of supplemental brake systems. This is offered as my opinion only.
Question I'm wondering if anyone has heard about NSA Brake Ready Brute Elite Tow Bar. This tow bar can be used and includes a brake system. I'm looking to tow my 2016 JK behind my motorhome with blue ox connections.
Yes, it's a really good system. I have its cousin, the Ready Brake that I use with the blue ox tow bars because I already had the tow bars. If I were to buy all new today, I would get the ready brute. It's an all-mechanical system that provides proportional braking. Very reliable.
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