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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Wiring the Commander to be towed

Hi,

I am in the UK and have an RV and a UK Jeep Commander. I want to tow the Commander and have ordered a Blue Ox towbar for this purpose.

The problem I have is in regard to the wiring of the lights on the Commander for use whilst towing.

I have been told various things by 'experts' including:

You need to use diodes.
You don't need diodes, it'll work just tee'ing into the wiring.
If it has can-bus it needs bypass relays.

etc. etc.

Can anyone help me understand more so that I can make sure that this job gets done properly?

Towing cars behind motorhomes is still quite rare in the UK plus our cars have different light to the US (so I believe). So any help that you can give will be much appreciated.

TIA

Bryan

Last edited by Webagents; 02-24-2009 at 09:20 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 08:40 AM
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The easiest way to set up your lights for towing is to run a flat four lead wire in a loom all the way back under the Commander and connect the tail, turn, and brake lights directly by using a diode in each wire within the tail light housing. I did this and I also use a Blue Ox towbar and base plate. You can see a picture of the connections if you look at the thread on Sequential Turn signals. The Baseplate and the electical connectoris also shown on other pictures of mine relating to the "Get Lost front bumper".

2007 Jeep Green Limited 4.7 Flex Fuel, RR 2.5" 4 inch Superlift coils on rear, 1.5" Spacers, Bridgestone 265/70/17, K&N CAI, Flowmaster, Diamond Plate Locking Trunk, Blue Ox Baseplate w/D-rings, "Get Lost 4X4" Front Bumper, T-Max 9000 winch, "Get Lost rear tire carrier, 30 gal second gas tank.
Second 2007 Jeep Green Limited Leather HEMI QDII VES Uconnect Flowmaster OEM Skids Tow Package

Maybe the two will meet up soon edit: they did , I now have 2,now gave 1 away...and got it back again.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webagents View Post
Hi,

I am in the UK and have an RV and a UK Jeep Commander. I want to tow the Commander and have ordered a Blue Ox towbar for this purpose.

The problem I have is in regard to the wiring of the lights on the Commander for use whilst towing.

I have benn told various things by 'experts' including:

You need to use diodes.
You don't need diodes, it'll work just tee'ing into the wiring.
If it has can-bus it needs bypass relays.

etc. etc.

Can anyone help me understand more so that I can make sure that this job gets done properly?

Towing cars behind motorhomes is still quite rare in the UK plus our cars have different light to the US (so I believe). So any help that you can give will be much appreciated.

TIA

Bryan
ahhh I think it would be better to just get a long lead and put a light board on the rear of the commander.

the dealer network over here isn't too hot but I do know of a super technician from chrysler who may help. I will ask the question

if it was a towing electrics kit to fit to the rear of the commander then the info below will help

There are 3 listed for the XH Commander 7 or 13 pin with or with out C2 but the one I would go for is the 13 pin 82210514 so you have the option of twin electrics if you ever need it and then you will need adapter cable 8220884 (13 to 7 pin) for single electrics or 82209795 (13 to double 7 pin) for twin electrics.

the wiring kit comes with full install instructions and would take a competent home mechanic about 2 hours to do.

the dealer charges 1 hour labour so it was easier for me to go to the dealer and get it fitted.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HueyPilotVN View Post
The easiest way to set up your lights for towing is to run a flat four lead wire in a loom all the way back under the Commander and connect the tail, turn, and brake lights directly by using a diode in each wire within the tail light housing. I did this and I also use a Blue Ox towbar and base plate. You can see a picture of the connections if you look at the thread on Sequential Turn signals. The Baseplate and the electical connectoris also shown on other pictures of mine relating to the "Get Lost front bumper".

Thanks for the reply.

Can you supply a link to the diodes you used as I don't really know what I can see in your excellent pictures of your light cluster. Which bit is the diode?

As the UK use seperate turn signals I think I'd need one relay for each bulb and that means 2 indicators, 2 brake/stop, 2 tail and 1 for the centre brake and 1 for the rear fog making a total of 8 diodes?

Can the wires really be just scotch-lok'd into the existing wires? I've been told that the Coommander has a can-bus system and therefore needs a bypass relay?!?!?

Thanks for the help.

(PS I can't find the get lost front bumber thread with your baseplate etc. pics, can you post a link?)


Bryan
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drysuitdiver View Post
ahhh I think it would be better to just get a long lead and put a light board on the rear of the commander.

the dealer network over here isn't too hot but I do know of a super technician from chrysler who may help. I will ask the question

if it was a towing electrics kit to fit to the rear of the commander then the info below will help

There are 3 listed for the XH Commander 7 or 13 pin with or with out C2 but the one I would go for is the 13 pin 82210514 so you have the option of twin electrics if you ever need it and then you will need adapter cable 8220884 (13 to 7 pin) for single electrics or 82209795 (13 to double 7 pin) for twin electrics.

the wiring kit comes with full install instructions and would take a competent home mechanic about 2 hours to do.

the dealer charges 1 hour labour so it was easier for me to go to the dealer and get it fitted.

Hi,

I have a towbar on the back of the commander (nearly bought a caravan ) and that was wired properly.

I don't want a trailer board, I KNOW the commander can be wired just want to know exactly how so that I can get it done in the UK without the installer messing it up OR feeding me a line.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 10:31 AM
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It is really very simple. For a light to work it needs a power lead and a ground wire. The ground wire is common and as long as your white wire is connected to a ground the all the lights will be grounded. The reason for using the diodes is to prevent the wires from backfeeding power from your Commander to your RV. A diode acts like a one way valve and allows electricity to flow in only one direction. Otherwise when you turn on the lights in the Commander, the electricity would try to light up your RV lights. If you never turned your lights on when connected you might get away without the diodes, but it is safer to use them.

The electrical receptical on the front of your Commander located on your base plate connects to a plug on the end of a wire bundle from your RV. The wire, (white, yellow,brown, and green) is run all the way back to the taillight housing usually in a flexible plastic loom. Within the tail light housing there is plenty of room to wire the connection and place the diodes. The diodes look like a square blue metal finned transistor with lugs on both ends for connectors. They usually have an adhesive pad on the bottom. They will have an arrow showing the direction of flow of the current.

You can use a 12 volt test light to determine which wire is for each light. The white wire is for the ground. You can certainly use the snap on wire connectors to make the connection, just remember to have a diode in each of the wires except the ground wire. The ground wire does not need protection from feedback. Use the test light to check the wires coming from the RV and also to find the wires feeding the lights from your Commander's power.

Here is a picture of the diodes:



Here are the base plate pictures:

The base plate bolts up to the holes that are otherwise used for tow hooks.






2007 Jeep Green Limited 4.7 Flex Fuel, RR 2.5" 4 inch Superlift coils on rear, 1.5" Spacers, Bridgestone 265/70/17, K&N CAI, Flowmaster, Diamond Plate Locking Trunk, Blue Ox Baseplate w/D-rings, "Get Lost 4X4" Front Bumper, T-Max 9000 winch, "Get Lost rear tire carrier, 30 gal second gas tank.
Second 2007 Jeep Green Limited Leather HEMI QDII VES Uconnect Flowmaster OEM Skids Tow Package

Maybe the two will meet up soon edit: they did , I now have 2,now gave 1 away...and got it back again.

Last edited by HueyPilotVN; 02-24-2009 at 10:40 AM.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the reply...

What you explained is EXACTLY my understanding...except i thought the diodes were to protect the cars electronics and make sure that the current from the RV feed only went to the bulbs on the car, and not the cars electronics as well.

So now I need to understand why some 'experts' are telling me that I need a bypass relay (whatever that does) and why I can't use your method with a can-bus system - when your method clearly works and I assume that your (and my) Commanders have a can-bus system.

Regarding the diodes, the ones you have look like the roadmaster ones I have seen. Unfortunately we don't have them in the UK and to buy them in the states and have them shipped would cost a lot. So I need to source something similar over here...Can anyone help with that?

Finally, the four wire system that you have is different to her in the UK. Our standard hookyp connection is 7 wire (see attached) but that's fine, I just run more wires and use more diodes I guess.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Using the method that I explained goes directly to the bulb and it is the only load on each circuit. The other electronics are not involved at all. You can use other diodes just be sure that they are rated for the load. They only provide feedback protection.

It definetly does work as this is what I am using and have since I bought the Commander.

Yes you would use more diodes and follow the wiring plan from your diagram.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.

By the way, do you have amber turn signals?

2007 Jeep Green Limited 4.7 Flex Fuel, RR 2.5" 4 inch Superlift coils on rear, 1.5" Spacers, Bridgestone 265/70/17, K&N CAI, Flowmaster, Diamond Plate Locking Trunk, Blue Ox Baseplate w/D-rings, "Get Lost 4X4" Front Bumper, T-Max 9000 winch, "Get Lost rear tire carrier, 30 gal second gas tank.
Second 2007 Jeep Green Limited Leather HEMI QDII VES Uconnect Flowmaster OEM Skids Tow Package

Maybe the two will meet up soon edit: they did , I now have 2,now gave 1 away...and got it back again.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 04:31 PM
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I need to do the same thing soon, and I’m going to do what I did with the Dodge Durango: I installed bulb sockets into the tail light reflectors. That keeps the wiring completely separate from the towed vehicle. You just need a hole saw or large unibit to make the holes in the reflectors for the snap-in bulb sockets.

The motorcoach has huge Euro style lights that are almost two feet tall. (Amber/red/white) Those have separate (amber) turn signals, so there’s a converter module installed the coach that turns them into a brake/turn-signal for dual filament bulbs. That way, you only need three wires run to the back of the Jeep for left and right turn signals and/or brake lights, and running lights. The ground lead ties to the Jeep’s frame. (Or, you can run a forth wire and make that one ground to the towing connector)
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 04:58 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Adondo,

I was going to do the same, but when I changeds to LED tail lights I wanted the same bright lights so I did it directly. It was much easier than using seperate bulbs and I have had no complications.

2007 Jeep Green Limited 4.7 Flex Fuel, RR 2.5" 4 inch Superlift coils on rear, 1.5" Spacers, Bridgestone 265/70/17, K&N CAI, Flowmaster, Diamond Plate Locking Trunk, Blue Ox Baseplate w/D-rings, "Get Lost 4X4" Front Bumper, T-Max 9000 winch, "Get Lost rear tire carrier, 30 gal second gas tank.
Second 2007 Jeep Green Limited Leather HEMI QDII VES Uconnect Flowmaster OEM Skids Tow Package

Maybe the two will meet up soon edit: they did , I now have 2,now gave 1 away...and got it back again.
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