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Old 06-14-2018, 10:07 AM   #1
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Setting up for towing our Jeep

New to our motorhome We have now had about 6 months. Towed a Travel Trailer for the last 8 years. My Wife and I have the 2018 Forester MBS 2401 (it appears we were in the first of the 2018 series Coach body and the end run of the 2016 manufacture of the 2017 Mercedes chassis. We are wanting to tow our 2012 2 door wrangler jeep (automatic 4wd) and are asking for some advise and direction of others experiences regarding the tow Set up.

Being new to this type of towing my research has presented me with several options unless others have a thought.

1) The Roadmaster line with the Roadmaster nighthawk tow bar, the roadster invisibrake, and a baseplate

2) the Ready brute elite tow bar (i understand this has an internal brake system) and of course a base plate

3) the baseplate question ---- which one would work best with the Jeep.

4) we are in the Dallas area and does anyone have experience with anyone local that they recommend to do this install. We want to ensure the Lights and brake and over all level of the tow is correctly completed.

Any advise is greatly appreciated

Cheers,

Mike and Brenda
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:32 AM   #2
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Motorhome magazine publishes a guide to dinghy towing once a year and the guides are available online here:
Downloadable Dinghy Guides | MotorHome Magazine
I think their guides provide a pretty broad cross section of available bits and pieces.

Generally speaking, you would like your baseplate and towbar to come from the same manufacturer. Some are cross compatible, and some can be adapted, but it's usually easier to go with items that are already matched.

Braking systems (unless they're surge brakes incorporated into the towbar) and light adapters aren't particularly specific - you can mix and match as you like.

Since your dinghy already has a few years on it, it's likely that all of the manufacturers will have a baseplate that matches.

As for installation of all this stuff ... that's a bit of a - ahem - crapshoot. RV dealers will usually do the job, but it may not really be their area of expertise. Trailer supply places and machine shops also sometimes do this type of work but, again, it's not in their usual routine. If you can arrange your time and trips, I highly recommend going directly to the baseplate and/or brake system manufacturer to get your bits installed - it is what they do and they're a lot less likely to screw it up. (Don't ask me how I know that...) Failing that, I'd ask some questions about how many baseplates/brakes a dealer (and the specific technician) have actually installed. And whether they've worked on your type of vehicle.

The last time I did this I went with a Blue Ox baseplate, towbar, and light kit (installed at Blue Ox in Nebraska) and an SMI Stay'N"Play Duo braking system (which was not installed at SMI ... and didn't work well until after a couple of visits to SMI...)

Dave
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mriddle97 View Post
New to our motorhome My Wife and I have the 2018 Forester MBS 2401 We are wanting to tow our 2012 2 door wrangler jeep (automatic 4wd) and are asking for some advise and direction of others experiences regarding the tow Set up.
Any advise is greatly appreciated

Cheers,

Mike and Brenda
Ready Brute is made by NSA Products. I use their "Ready Brake" product in conjunction with a Demco bar and plate on my Wrangler.
It's the only mechanical surge brake system that I am aware of that is legal in all of North America when used in conjunction with the optional break-away unit.
I chose it over other options because it is simple and there is virtually no way it can fail. No electronics, no battery, nothing to position inside the towed vehicle and nothing to stow when not in use.
A Wrangler is the easiest vehicle for an install. I did my own, but I have some mechanical skill.
I've used it several years now and it performs as advertised. Be advised that it has to be set up properly. I saw someone recently using the Brute but the brake cable was not taut. If there is slack in the cable it won't work!
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:00 AM   #4
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Our set up for towing 2017 wrangler jk:
Readybrute elite with blue ox clevises
Ready stop breakaway
Currie base plate
Cooltek wiring harness.

I agree with Mark, system works great, proportional and very reliable once cable length set up. No need to worry about battery or actuator electronics.
All base plates are probably fine, I chose the Currie plate for aesthetics's. looks like a skid plate. Good luck
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:11 PM   #5
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We have the 2017 MBS Sprinter and tow a 2008 Jeep JK Sahara. We use the NSA Ready Brake and Breakaway system (wife and I installed these ourselves)) and use a Blue Ox baseplate (was installed on the jeep when bought used along with wiring for lights). We have towed across the western US with this and no issues. Just came back from the Oregon coast yesterday and pulled over several passes and curvy roads with the wind blowing hard and no issues. Highly recommend the NSA system - lifetime warranty, simple, no electronics and very reasonably priced (we bought from Amazon).
Different question for you - when you registered your MH, was it registered as a 2018 or 2017 model year? I am in Oregon and when we purchased our 2017 (on a 2016 chassis), DMV used the chassis vin and set it as a 2016 model year. After several months of back and forth - finally got it changed to the 2017 year on registration. Just something to watch for on your end as it's not fun to take a 1 year hit on value as soon as you register it.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbnb View Post
Ready Brute is made by NSA Products. I use their "Ready Brake" product in conjunction with a Demco bar and plate on my Wrangler.
It's the only mechanical surge brake system that I am aware of that is legal in all of North America when used in conjunction with the optional break-away unit.
I chose it over other options because it is simple and there is virtually no way it can fail. No electronics, no battery, nothing to position inside the towed vehicle and nothing to stow when not in use.
A Wrangler is the easiest vehicle for an install. I did my own, but I have some mechanical skill.
I've used it several years now and it performs as advertised. Be advised that it has to be set up properly. I saw someone recently using the Brute but the brake cable was not taut. If there is slack in the cable it won't work!
Check out the BlueOx Autostop, same thing basically.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnbnb View Post
Ready Brute is made by NSA Products. I use their "Ready Brake" product in conjunction with a Demco bar and plate on my Wrangler.
It's the only mechanical surge brake system that I am aware of that is legal in all of North America when used in conjunction with the optional break-away unit.
I chose it over other options because it is simple and there is virtually no way it can fail. No electronics, no battery, nothing to position inside the towed vehicle and nothing to stow when not in use.
A Wrangler is the easiest vehicle for an install. I did my own, but I have some mechanical skill.
I've used it several years now and it performs as advertised. Be advised that it has to be set up properly. I saw someone recently using the Brute but the brake cable was not taut. If there is slack in the cable it won't work!
I also use the Ready Brake and installed it myself. It does take some mechanical ability to install, very tight quarters under the JK Jeeps. I have a Blue Ox Tow Bar and Base Plate. Have towed over 20K miles with no problems.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mlmay12 View Post
I also use the Ready Brake and installed it myself. It does take some mechanical ability to install, very tight quarters under the JK Jeeps. I have a Blue Ox Tow Bar and Base Plate. Have towed over 20K miles with no problems.
X2, but towing Smart car.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:46 PM   #9
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I recently installed the base plate and wiring kit with brake relay on my 2016 Jeep Wrangler with the aid of my son-in-law and videos from eTrailer. The videos were very detailed, step by step, and extremely helpful.

I believe most people can do this if they watch the videos many times and acquire the proper tools. Having an extra person as a guide or assistant is helpful as well.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rich.M View Post
Our set up for towing 2017 wrangler jk:
Readybrute elite with blue ox clevises
Ready stop breakaway
Currie base plate
Cooltek wiring harness.

I agree with Mark, system works great, proportional and very reliable once cable length set up. No need to worry about battery or actuator electronics.
All base plates are probably fine, I chose the Currie plate for aesthetics's. looks like a skid plate. Good luck
My Jeep is an '04 TJ. The Demco plate for the TJ has a forward facing hole exactly in the middle of it that was perfect for the terminus of the sheathing for the brake cable. Being able to use that hole to anchor the end of the cable saved me a lot of install time.
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:09 PM   #11
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Not all baseplates will work with all trim packages of Jeep Wranglers. I have a Ď17 Rubicon Recon and I could only find that the BlueOx would work without removing the front skid. Something I wasnít willing to do. Some others may work but they didnít go into much detail in their description and I didnít take a chance. There was only minor trimming of the front skid for the BlueOx.
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:41 PM   #12
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If Iím not mistaken there is also a bumper made for some jeeps that takes the place of the actual baseplate as well.

Could be just my old age misremembering though
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:49 PM   #13
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X2 on the blue ox bar, considered the currie base plate but ended up with the blue ox plate in the end. Easy install. Using a four year old patriot brake, really like the remote control and the ability to "drag" the coach when needed by using just the toad brakes, but installing the unit in the floor board does gets old. We are 20k miles plus in towing.

If I was doing it again I would add two additional wires back to the right rear toad corner for a camera. DW would love it.

Only real suggestion is to add a TPMS.
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Old 06-19-2018, 05:27 PM   #14
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If Iím not mistaken there is also a bumper made for some jeeps that takes the place of the actual baseplate as well.

Could be just my old age misremembering though
You are correct, many after market bumpers have built in fittings to connect a tow bar and they do not require a base plate. They may require an adapter to connect the particular tow bar but it makes for a very clean install instead of using a base plate.
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by AquaMan View Post
Not all baseplates will work with all trim packages of Jeep Wranglers. I have a Ď17 Rubicon Recon and I could only find that the BlueOx would work without removing the front skid. Something I wasnít willing to do. Some others may work but they didnít go into much detail in their description and I didnít take a chance. There was only minor trimming of the front skid for the BlueOx.
I had to remove my aftermarket Bull Bar in order for the Demco base plate to fit, as well as the OEM "bumper bullets", which was fine since I knew what I was getting into.
It is best to review a pdf of the installation instructions on the system you are interested in prior to actually purchasing it.
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:41 PM   #16
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Follow up to request for information

I wanted to respond and thank everyone for your suggestions and advise. I have now had the set up for towing our Jeep installed. We just returned from our first test run and it tows like a dream. Would not even know it was back there if it didn't "follow so close" in our rear view camera. We went with the suggestion to install a common manuf on all the components We went with the Roadmaster Line. Click image for larger version

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Cheers
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:16 PM   #17
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rack

Fyi we picked up an aluminum rack for the back of the jeep at acadamy it just clears the factory tow hitch of the jeep. Will use it for a sewer tote when we hit the stare parks. In my pics under tow and toad.
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