Another towing thread, but info tailored for us? - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Another towing thread, but info tailored for us?

OK,

I read JJSebation's thread and you guys had some great info.

We are inheriting our in-laws 16' camper. I don't know brand off the top of my head, it's a twin axle trailer, hard roof, but each end pops down like a tent trailer.

It's about 4 years old, and in really good condition.

I looked at the plate on the tongue with the weights. GVW of the trailer is right about 4200 if I'm reading in the right spot.

We have the 4.7L engine and I believe 3.73 ratio gearing.

Supposed to be rated at 6k+ towing, I like to stay under my tow weights when I pull with my truck.

SO here are the questions:

Our XK has no hitch.

We do have a tow/haul button in dash.

Does this mean we have the upgraded cooling and alt or whatever it may be that comes with the towing package?

I'm a big DIY. I've done alot of things but never installed a hitch.

I'd like to get a proper receiver hitch and git' er' done.

Any thoughts or comments one way or the other?

Same thing for a controller. I've wired three in so far in my trucks, but this rig is new to me.

Is there such a thing as a factory plug in for a brake light/controller like on my Fords?

For the weight of that trailer, should I have a weight distributing hitch?

I'm not used to using one on my F350.

Thanks for any insight or advise.

Blair

----------------------
06' Black XK 4.7L 4x4 stock
79' Orange CJ7 258 30/44 4" lift, 33" BFG's, winch, skids, homemade bumpers, sliders
81' White CJ8 Scrambler, 2" lift, 30's, one owner rig
98' Chili Red TJ 2.5" lift, 31's with Rubi rims, winch, skids, she wheels it

Couple really cool old Ford trucks.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:08 AM
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If it didn't come from the factory with a hitch (tow package) it doesn't have the heavy duty cooling for towing.

2006 Steel Blue 5.7L HEMI Limited 4x4 Build Date: June 9, 2006 Hour 14
Interior: Dark Slate/Light Graystone with Saddle Brown Leather Seats
Quadra-Drive II, NAV, DVD, Trailer Tow Group IV, Off-Road Group II, Remote Start, UConnect, Rear Backup Camera, Chrome Wheels,
Magnaflow cat-back exhaust, Daytime Running Lights enabled, 2" Rough Country Lift with 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler AT/S
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:10 AM
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Did you purchase your XK new? the window sticker should answer your question but my best guess would be that you do not have any of the added features. My interest is peaked since you have the button which I would think should not be there. I look forward to hearing from others who have the button but no hitch.





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2006 XK, Steel Armadillo Front Bumper w/Warn Powermate winch, Rear Bumper w/tire carrier & Super Sliders, Rhino Rack Roof Rack and Foxwing Awning, KC Lights on Steel Armadillo Light Bar, 4xGuard Rear Differential Cover, Steel Armadillo Plates.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:14 AM
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The hitch and cooling are all part of the "Tow Package". No hitch, no cooling.

2006 Steel Blue 5.7L HEMI Limited 4x4 Build Date: June 9, 2006 Hour 14
Interior: Dark Slate/Light Graystone with Saddle Brown Leather Seats
Quadra-Drive II, NAV, DVD, Trailer Tow Group IV, Off-Road Group II, Remote Start, UConnect, Rear Backup Camera, Chrome Wheels,
Magnaflow cat-back exhaust, Daytime Running Lights enabled, 2" Rough Country Lift with 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler AT/S
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:15 AM
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Here is how to install the OEM hitch (with pics).
https://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1064&page=5&highlight=hitch+insta ll

2006 Steel Blue 5.7L HEMI Limited 4x4 Build Date: June 9, 2006 Hour 14
Interior: Dark Slate/Light Graystone with Saddle Brown Leather Seats
Quadra-Drive II, NAV, DVD, Trailer Tow Group IV, Off-Road Group II, Remote Start, UConnect, Rear Backup Camera, Chrome Wheels,
Magnaflow cat-back exhaust, Daytime Running Lights enabled, 2" Rough Country Lift with 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler AT/S
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blthomas
Our XK has no hitch.

We do have a tow/haul button in dash.

Does this mean we have the upgraded cooling and alt or whatever it may be that comes with the towing package?

Blair
You can use your VIN to check and see exactly what options are on your Jeep. I would tend to think that they wouldn't even put the button in there if you didn't get the towing package, but I could be wrong. Also, if your Jeep is pre-owned, who knows what the previous owner did (especially if he's a member of THIS forum! Heh...)

Good luck. I know there are people here who can answer your other questions. I'm just a n00b to this modding stuff as well.

08 Black Limited - 5.7 Hemi - QD-II/Hooks/Plates - Nav/MyGig/DVD - TTG IV - Remote Start - Auto Liftgate w/Camera - etc...
Build date: 12/07

Mods: Chrome grabber handles installed.
Tires: Hankook Dynapro ATM 245/70R17
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeep5253
If it didn't come from the factory with a hitch (tow package) it doesn't have the heavy duty cooling for towing.
Right on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a49erFootballFan
Did you purchase your XK new? the window sticker should answer your question but my best guess would be that you do not have any of the added features. My interest is peaked since you have the button which I would think should not be there. I look forward to hearing from others who have the button but no hitch.
Negative Ghostrider. Bought it used couple months ago.

My thinking as well, although my wife just asked me if I had checked to see did it have a hitch that has been removed.........I didn't think of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeep5253
Thanks for the link. Is OEM any better than a Reese or something of that nature?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan
You can use your VIN to check and see exactly what options are on your Jeep. I would tend to think that they wouldn't even put the button in there if you didn't get the towing package, but I could be wrong. Also, if your Jeep is pre-owned, who knows what the previous owner did (especially if he's a member of THIS forum! Heh...)

Good luck. I know there are people here who can answer your other questions. I'm just a n00b to this modding stuff as well.
I'm going to get the VIN when I get home and look it up.

Thanks

----------------------
06' Black XK 4.7L 4x4 stock
79' Orange CJ7 258 30/44 4" lift, 33" BFG's, winch, skids, homemade bumpers, sliders
81' White CJ8 Scrambler, 2" lift, 30's, one owner rig
98' Chili Red TJ 2.5" lift, 31's with Rubi rims, winch, skids, she wheels it

Couple really cool old Ford trucks.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blthomas
Thanks for the link. Is OEM any better than a Reese or something of that nature?
If you get an aftermarket hitch you will have to mount it under the bumper. In other words you will not have to cut the bumper and put the bezel in. However, you will lose quite a bit of departure angle. That is why the OEM is mounted in the bumper. Just depends on what you want.

2006 Steel Blue 5.7L HEMI Limited 4x4 Build Date: June 9, 2006 Hour 14
Interior: Dark Slate/Light Graystone with Saddle Brown Leather Seats
Quadra-Drive II, NAV, DVD, Trailer Tow Group IV, Off-Road Group II, Remote Start, UConnect, Rear Backup Camera, Chrome Wheels,
Magnaflow cat-back exhaust, Daytime Running Lights enabled, 2" Rough Country Lift with 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler AT/S
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 11:46 AM
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From the Jeep website:

Push the TOW / HAUL button next to the shifter for improved vehicle performance and fuel economy while minimizing engine noise during trailer towing or heavy-load hauling. The TOW / HAUL mode inhibits fourth gear and allows upshifts to third gear during higher speed/lighter loads.

2006 Steel Blue 5.7L HEMI Limited 4x4 Build Date: June 9, 2006 Hour 14
Interior: Dark Slate/Light Graystone with Saddle Brown Leather Seats
Quadra-Drive II, NAV, DVD, Trailer Tow Group IV, Off-Road Group II, Remote Start, UConnect, Rear Backup Camera, Chrome Wheels,
Magnaflow cat-back exhaust, Daytime Running Lights enabled, 2" Rough Country Lift with 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler AT/S
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 12:50 PM
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I'm not sure why you would have the Tow/Haul button with no tow package, but, I'm going to guess that you could. The Tow/Haul button alters the transmission settings only. With the Hemi, it also appears to disable the MDS system. Since it is transmission related, it is possible that it would be a "standard feature" since it is Tow / Haul and as such would be useful for hauling a heavy internal load.

I would think, even if the previous owner removed the hitch (I couldn't imagine why), he wouldn't have removed the wiring harness...you should see remains of it around the spare tire if he just cut the ends off.

My guess is you don't have the Tow Package which means that you wouldn't have the wiring harness, relays, cooler or upped alternator. Without the tow package, you'll also not have the relays or the trailer wiring harness installed. All could be done by a DIY, but, I believe you would still need to have the dealer let the vehicle know you have the tow package with the StarScan tool. If the Commander's brain doesn't know you've installed the relays and the wiring harness, it won't know to pass the charging circuit and brake light pulses down the trailer wiring harness to the trailer connector...

If you get the Tow Package installed by the dealer or if you do it yourself, they do make an additional harness that you can add that would put a brake controller plug under the dash like you mentioned - I had the tow package, but, for some reason Jeep doesn't consider the brake controller wiring a part of the trailer wiring harness...the wires are there and I easily added it, but, I was a bit annoyed that it wasn't part of the overall trailer wiring harness; seemed silly to me.

I tow a 23' FunFinder at around 6300 lbs ready to roll. The Jeep has two concerns the 350 doesn't...shorter wheelbase and the full time 4 wheel drive. On both accounts, you'll want to keep the weight transferred between the axles for safety and longevity of the transfer cases....you'll want a good Weight Distribution hitch (Reese Dual Cam is good, I use Equal-i-zer) and good sway control. You'll also have to watch your trailer's tongue angle. You'll want to keep it level or slight down angle...that much weight you don't want lifting the rear end up in a panic stop should you have a problem with the trailer brakes.

My setup: 10K Lb. Equalizer Hitch, Tekonsha P3 Controller, 3/4" down angle on trailer tongue.

Can only tell it is back there when starting off the line or steep hills (Tow / Haul helps there).

Webslave
2008 Hemi Commander 4X4 Limited
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