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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

2018 JK Recon. 6spd. Factory tow package. Not lifted. I have 20 years of towing on-road and 3 years towing a custom aluminum cargo trailer behind my former 2015 KL Cherokee Trailhawk 3.2L all over the west and up to Alaska and through the forests of northern MN. It weighed 900 lbs empty and was usually hauling about 300 lbs of gear. Not braked. Never an issue.

I have towed extensively with my JK on pavement but never in the dirt. Not rock crawling but medium trails and forest roads. Going out to Colorado in September (big :censored: smile here).

I have an opportunity to pick up a VERY GENTLY used Livin' Lite Jeep Trail Edition camper https://www.jeepz.com/forum/general-chat/30503-jeep-offers-popup-campers.html that was not easy to locate. Weighs 850 lbs. No water, no power crap, just a nice tent on wheels which is what we want. The original owner ordered it with trailer brakes. I do NOT think I need trailer brakes on it, but wanted to ask some who may be more experienced.

I have read some threads on here about installing the brake controller and the different models. Never put one in my Frontier. F350 and 2500 Cummins came with them from the factory. Military had air brakes. SO... I found this https://www.cjponyparts.com/mopar-t...MI6vTWmYaC5wIVB7zACh2sZQNSEAQYASABEgKKQfD_BwE and I try to go OEM when I can. I like the proportional system found here https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Redarc/331-EBRH-ACCV2.html.

I live in WI where there are no major elevation changes. I am thinking of just using a 4 pin to 7 pin adapter to get the trailer home with the trailer brakes removed and then rewiring the trailer for a 4 pin. There is a battery on it that I will not use.

Am I on crack or on track? Thanks!
 

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Aside from any web-attorneys I towed a large Popup from Denver to Yellowstone with a 2 door JK without trailer brakes. A handful of pulls into the foothills. It was some work with a max speed of 65.

On the flip side, if it comes with brakes. I cannot say enough good things about the Redarc brake controller and an OEM Jeep trailer harness. The Redarc is compact and easy to use.

You will have some major elevation changes going to and trough Colorado. Staying off the brakes on those passes until you need them is paramount. Use the engine and tranny to help you over those passes while dropping in behind an 18 wheeler. It will only cost you 5-10 minutes crossing the passes.

Seems like your setup would be awesome with that JK without the trailer brake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Aside from any web-attorneys I towed a large Popup from Denver to Yellowstone with a 2 door JK without trailer brakes. A handful of pulls into the foothills. It was some work with a max speed of 65.

On the flip side, if it comes with brakes. I cannot say enough good things about the Redarc brake controller and an OEM Jeep trailer harness. The Redarc is compact and easy to use.

You will have some major elevation changes going to and trough Colorado. Staying off the brakes on those passes until you need them is paramount. Use the engine and tranny to help you over those passes while dropping in behind an 18 wheeler. It will only cost you 5-10 minutes crossing the passes.

Seems like your setup would be awesome with that JK without the trailer brake.
My break-in drive for the Recon was from WI out to WY for a job interview (should have taken the offer) and I learned quick what a 30 MPH cross wind in SD feels like...sucked balls. Also climbing the mountains (took some back roads in WY into the hills after the interview) and was in 3rd doing 45 MPH just screaming up the hills. It cracks me up how 4.10 gears on this JK do nothing like the 4.10 gears in my Cummins!
 

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I would add the OME 7 pin harness that is what I did. Pretty easy to do. I now have a 4 pin and 7 pin . The 7 pin plugs in a the back behind drivers side brake light / tail light ( for lights) and then runs to the battery / engine compartment . Installing the controller is not that hard getting that brake wire located is easy . Bitch to get to it and to reach and get is spliced. I did it but would be better if you were small and nibble.

If a trailer had brakes I would want to use them and on that trailer I think you should have and use them. Especially if driving in the mountains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would add the OME 7 pin harness that is what I did. Pretty easy to do. I now have a 4 pin and 7 pin . The 7 pin plugs in a the back behind drivers side brake light / tail light ( for lights) and then runs to the battery / engine compartment . Installing the controller is not that hard getting that brake wire located is easy . Bitch to get to it and to reach and get is spliced. I did it but would be better if you were small and nibble.

If a trailer had brakes I would want to use them and on that trailer I think you should have and use them. Especially if driving in the mountains.
Okay. Good points.
 

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Trailer brakes are a nice help, since the trailer already has them, I would suggest using them. It reduces the load on the Jeep's brakes. This is especially true with a shorter wheelbase vehicle like a Jeep, in my opinion. Definitely get a proportional controller. The folks at eTrailer have always given me good advice when I have had to ask them about anything.
 

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I towed a 1000 lb trailer all over Montana,idaho, utah colorado etc with a 2 door jk no trailer brakes and never an issue. For me i would say anything under 1500lb i would not be too worried about.
 
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Greetings,

2018 JK Recon. 6spd.

found this https://www.cjponyparts.com/mopar-t...MI6vTWmYaC5wIVB7zACh2sZQNSEAQYASABEgKKQfD_BwE and I try to go OEM when I can. I like the proportional system found here https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Redarc/331-EBRH-ACCV2.html.

Am I on crack or on track? Thanks!
I have nearly exactly the same setup: JK 6 spd, Redarc brake controller, and a 1700+ lb trailer. I ripped off the 4-pin socket and replaced it with a 7-pin one. I custom wired the brake controller instead of using the Mopar harness and opted to install the brake controller under the center console trim, next to the hand brake, with the control knob next to the gear shifter.
 

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Once I tapped the brake wire under the dash I mounted the brake controller on top of the dash next to a CB radio that way electronics are all up high in case of a time when I have get her wet.

With the 7 and 4 you are set up for several trailers. The OME was a straight plug in on the back Does cost more than just wires and time if you know what wire goes where.
 

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I use a remote setup. Brake controller is mounted on the trailer. Remote hand control plugs into a cig lighter / power outlet on the dash. Can tow the trailer with any tow vehicle that way without needing trailer brake wiring. Amazon etc.
 

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Congrats on the Livin Lite. I have a 10.0 that doesn’t have trailer brakes. Just under 1000 lbs. empty. I have a JKU and haven’t had issues. Slow and steady wins the race. However if my trailer already had brakes, I would add a controller. Seems crazy not to if your trailer is already setup.

Good luck and post some pictures of your new trailer. We love ours!


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I did air bags in the rear, OEM 7 pin harness (I don’t even think it was $100 from the dealer), and a Tekonsha.

The harness is plug and play with heat shielding where it’s important. Best option in my opinion.

The Tekonsha has been stellar. Love it. It’s accelerometer based, so easily mounted.

Airbags just leveled for me as tongue weight was a bit much for the pup we used.

About 20k miles towing a 3500 (loaded) lb pup including multiple trips up and over Sonoro pass (almost 30 degree incline at the summit) and multiple Death Valley runs (miles long climbs and descents). Now I drive like a grandpa, but I have 75k on the Jeep and am on the original pads and rotors (I’m definitely due, though).

 

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I just installed the Mopar harness. Super easy and took about an hour. I haven't gotten mine fully setup yet but splurged and picked up a Curt Spectrum (hate things hanging below the dash). I have an old m101a1 that I converted to electric brakes. Actually completing that project might be my weekend project this weekend. Still have to wire the trailer and hook up the controller in the JKU.

That said, I have hauled some decent weight in my trailer and I think empty it is heavier than yours. Never felt like I was at a disadvantage braking wise for what I am doing now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Congrats on the Livin Lite. I have a 10.0 that doesn’t have trailer brakes. Just under 1000 lbs. empty. I have a JKU and haven’t had issues. Slow and steady wins the race. However if my trailer already had brakes, I would add a controller. Seems crazy not to if your trailer is already setup.

Good luck and post some pictures of your new trailer. We love ours!


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It looks like a done deal. Will go hook up to it next month. Bank is doing their paper drill. I will likely get it without brakes but do the job in the spring to set it up right. Any pictures to share? Tips on trailer use or spots to look for trouble?
 

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It looks like a done deal. Will go hook up to it next month. Bank is doing their paper drill. I will likely get it without brakes but do the job in the spring to set it up right. Any pictures to share? Tips on trailer use or spots to look for trouble?

Nice! We love ours. I was looking for pictures and realized we bought it 5 years ago. I would grease the axles (really easy) after I got it. Not sure what year yours is, but mine has aluminum floors. I would get something to cover them ASAP. If you travel with bikes, Swagman makes a bike rack with a ball. The back bumper is too flimsy to hang them off that. I’ve heard the counters can break easily. Otherwise it is a pretty solid trailer. Oh yeah, practice opening and closing it. I think it has rained every time we head home and closing it fast is helpful since you are folding the roof down in. If you ever need a new tent or awning Top Stitch will sell directly to you. They made the one on your trailer. Our original tent was on ok shape, then I broke a zipper after pulling the canvas too tight. Was a good excuse to get a new tent instead of replacing the zipper.




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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nice! We love ours. I was looking for pictures and realized we bought it 5 years ago. I would grease the axles (really easy) after I got it. Not sure what year yours is, but mine has aluminum floors. I would get something to cover them ASAP. If you travel with bikes, Swagman makes a bike rack with a ball. The back bumper is too flimsy to hang them off that. I’ve heard the counters can break easily. Otherwise it is a pretty solid trailer. Oh yeah, practice opening and closing it. I think it has rained every time we head home and closing it fast is helpful since you are folding the roof down in. If you ever need a new tent or awning Top Stitch will sell directly to you. They made the one on your trailer. Our original tent was on ok shape, then I broke a zipper after pulling the canvas too tight. Was a good excuse to get a new tent instead of replacing the zipper.




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These guys? Tents & Vinyl ? Top Stitch

I am lucky the camper I am buying comes with a brand new canvas, complete with Jeep logos. Your setup looks nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It is official. Picking this up in February. We are excited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am quite excited to get this behind the Recon.
 
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