Flat Towing a Jeep Wrangler
Posted: January 28, 2022
Guide to Flat Towing a Jeep Wrangler
Traveling around the country to your favorite destinations in your RV is something you likely look forward to every year. Now, imagine bringing your Jeep Wrangler with you along for the ride! Touring through the mountains and experiencing breathtaking views, all while checking things off your bucket list, sounds like some of the greatest pleasures as an RV and Jeep owner, right?
Jeep Wranglers are known as some of the best vehicles for flat towing or dinghy towing. So, if you happen to have one AND an RV too, lucky you – you have the best of both worlds! Before gearing up and getting ready for the ultimate adventures that await your rig and Jeep, there are some vital guidelines you should follow to get properly set up and ready to go, and we’ve got you covered with the fundamental steps you need to know to flat tow a Jeep Wrangler.
Dinghy Towing - What Exactly Is It?
Let’s start with the basics. You’ve decided to read this blog, so you may already know what flat (aka dinghy) towing is and are searching for some useful guidance. But, just in case you landed here by searching "what is flat tow?", here’s a short and sweet definition: flat/dinghy towing is the act of towing a vehicle by, and behind, an RV with all four wheels touching the ground (hence the word “flat”), and the vehicle being towed is known as the dinghy. In this case, your Jeep Wrangler will be the dinghy.
Tow Capacity & Weight Research
Before you dive into the specifics of processes and equipment needed to dinghy tow, you will want to do some research. First, make sure that your RV is equipped to safely tow your Wrangler. You will want to check your RV owner’s manual or even consult your RV manufacturer to check its tow capacity. Once you know your rig’s capacity, you will want to check the weight of your Wrangler to ensure that it does not exceed that number. When you confirm that you are within the proper means to safely tow your Wrangler, you are good to move on to the next steps and gather your equipment!
Equipment Needed to Flat Tow a Jeep
The first critical component needed to flat tow your Jeep Wrangler is the tow bar, which is a device that connects a vehicle to an RV for flat towing. It uses a shank, pivoting arms and attachment tabs to couple the two vehicles together, and works by mounting into the RV trailer hitch and attaching to the vehicle base plate, connecting the front of the dinghy vehicle to the back of the RV. The RV pulls the dinghy, and the tow bar pivots, allowing for smooth towing.
Tow bars range in weight capacity, style, and usability. CURT’s tow bars are built strong and are easy to handle for safe, dependable dinghy towing no matter where the road leads. Check out the video below to see how to set up the CURT Rambler™ tow bar, or take a look at our step-by-step tow bar setup tutorial.
Another one of the most BASE-ic *pun intended* parts you will need to flat tow your Jeep Wrangler is a base plate, also known as a tow bar base plate. The base plate is a metal frame that bolts onto the front end of your vehicle to provide a solid attachment point for flat towing, and its purpose is to provide a sturdy spot for connecting the tow bar to the RV. CURT offers base plates that are designed with custom fitments for specific vehicle makes and models. We carry base plates for select models of the Jeep Wrangler JK, TJ and JL that are precisely welded for superior strength and fit to give you the confidence to tackle the road ahead with no worries.
RV Hitches & Adapters
To flat tow your Jeep Wrangler, you will need to be sure that there is a receiver hitch on the back of your RV. Dinghy towing requires that the receiver hitch height be within three inches of the tow bar base plate height; and if the height difference is greater than three inches, a hitch adapter will be needed to drop to the correct height. RV hitches come in two styles: frame-mounted and bumper-mounted. CURT’s adjustable RV hitches are strong, reliable, and perfect for when you’re ready to get your flat towing excursions underway.
Wiring Harnesses for Tow Lights
To maximize safety for yourself and other drivers on the road, you should be sure that your vehicle’s electrical system is accurately connected to and synchronized with your RV while towing. Doing so ensures that the brake lights and turn signals all work properly and simultaneously to help avoid accidents.
CURT carries wiring harnesses that plug into the dinghy vehicle's taillights to provide a standard wiring connector to plug into the RV, along with add-ons for equipping the vehicle with its own trailer wiring connector. For select models of the Jeep Wrangler specifically, CURT offers custom-towed vehicle RV wiring harnesses, 4-way flat output custom harnesses and trailer brake controller harnesses all to equip you with the electrical components you need to tow your vehicle safely without hassle. If you prefer not to go through the process of installing wiring for your lights, magnetic RV towing lights offer a temporary, quick plug-and-play alternative.
When flat towing a vehicle, an RV’s brakes can become overloaded by the weight of the dinghy, and investing in an auxiliary braking system is a recommended solution. Auxiliary brakes, also known as supplemental brakes, help the RV and vehicle stop smoothly and safely, giving you peace of mind when dinghy towing your beloved Jeep Wrangler.
Tow Bar Locks
Once you reach your destination and are ready to do some exploring, you’ll want to have confidence that everything will be where you left it when you get back. Tow bar locks are designed to insert into the connection points of the tow bar, securing the tow bar attachment tab connections and shank connection to the RV hitch.
Replacing the hitch pins of your tow bar with hitch locks increases the security of your RV towing setup - so you can spend more time thinking about the next trail you want to hike, and less time worrying about whether your towing connection, vehicle and RV are all safe while you’re away.
How to Hook up a Tow Bar
Preparing Your Jeep Wrangler for Towing
Okay, you’ve got all your equipment, everything is all hooked up, you’ve got your accessories, snacks, and coffee ready to go for the long drive that awaits you in the early morning hours. What are the last couple of things you should do before jumping on the road?
Putting Your Jeep in Tow Mode
Switching your Jeep into tow mode properly prepares it to be dinghy towed. You should refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions for your particular Jeep model to ensure that you do so safely and accurately.
Check All Connections Before Towing
Lastly, you should do a quick inspection to ensure that all your equipment is, indeed, set up correctly. A quick five-to-10-minute walkthrough assuring that everything is all set to go could make a world of difference in your trip. Check out the lights and make sure they are functioning properly, confirm that all parts, pins, etc. are in the correct places, and make sure you’ve double checked all connection points to be certain that they are solid and good to go.
Once you’ve got that taken care of, you should be ready to take your RV, Jeep Wrangler, family and even your dog on the ride and trip of a lifetime!