Hitch & Ball Mount for 2002 Jeep Wrangler to Clear Spare Tire

Question:

What ball mount and hitch would you recommend for a 2002 Jeep Wrangler to pull a Yakima 78 rack and roll trailer? I understand the trailer sits at 22 inches tall. The hitch sits at 15 inches so Id need a 7 inch rise. The big problem seems to be that the spare tire will be in the way. Suggestions? Thanks!!

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Expert Reply:

You can avoid clearance issues between your 2002 Jeep Wrangler's rear-mounted spare tire and your towing ball mount by using a ball mount long enough that will extend past the rear edge of the tire.

The 2-inch hitch I suggest for your 2002 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is Curt # 13408. This is a no-drill bolt-on installation. When we installed a Class III hitch on your vehicle we found that the distance from the hitch pin hole to the rear of the spare tire was 6-1/4-inches.

Once it is installed on your Jeep what you can do is measure from your hitch pin hole to the rear edge of the spare tire; this will tell you how much clearance you need for a 7-inch-rise ball mount to clear the spare. You can then compare the diagram I linked for you to see if Brophy 2-inch ball mount # EA80, or one like it, will clear it. You'll need a 2-inch hitch ball with a shank diameter that fits the hole size in the ball mount, like # SC23-C.

If no ball mounts will clear the tire you can simply add a hitch extender like # C45791 or one of the others shown on the linked page. Hitch extenders do cost you half of your hitch capacity; this loss of tongue weight and towing capacity occurs due to the change in the geometry of the whole system. But since your Yakima Rack and Roll Trailer # Y08107 has a maximum total weight of 410-lbs when loaded you'll remain within even the reduced capacity if the extender is needed.

You'll also need a 4-pole wiring harness for the lights on the trailer. You can use # C55363 which is a plug-in installation.

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Adam R

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