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Hopkins Tail Light Wiring Kit Installation - 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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How to Install the Hopkins Tail Light Wiring Kit on a 2012 Jeep Wrangler

Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2012 Jeep Wrangler, we're gonna be showing you how to install the Hopkins Custom Fit Wiring for towed vehicles. But before we do that, why don't we check it out and make sure that this is gonna work for you. So before we get too carried away and kinda start really checking the wiring itself out, I figured it'd be useful just to kind of touch base and go over the five main components that we're gonna need to flat tow our Jeep down the road in the first place. Your first component is going to be a base plate. And what that's gonna do is provide us with a solid and reliable connection point.

That way we can hook our tow bar up to it. Tow bar is gonna be that second component. And this is gonna be the actual physical link that connects the front of your towed vehicle to the back of your motorhome. The third main component is going to be safety cables, and these are pretty straightforward. You know, these are there in the event of an unlikely disconnect.

These are gonna keep everything connected together. The fourth main component is going to be tow bar wiring. And what this is gonna do is transfer the lighting signals from the back of your motorhome, to the back of the Jeep, keeping you safe and legal. And last but not least, the fifth main component is going to be a braking system, supplemental braking system. And what this is gonna do is apply the brakes in your Wrangler whenever you hit the brakes in your motorhome, helping to bring you to a more complete and predictable stop.

So with that said, this is a great example on how the wiring is gonna work. So we have the left turn signal going on our motorhome, and that's transferring it back here to the left turn signal on our Jeep. That's gonna hold true for the right turn signal, your brake lights and your taillights as well. So you're gonna have all your bases covered as far as your lighting goes. That way it'll keep you keep you safe and legal.

And that said, one of the big things I'm a fan of with this kit is the fact that it is more or less plug and play. All right So essentially you're just gonna undo the taillight connectors and kind of clip everything together. Really straightforward. So that's always a benefit. You're not gonna have to really splice into anything or nothing like that. You know, compared to some of the other kits that are available, like the Roadmaster Diode Wiring for example, that one is going to have separate diodes and you are gonna have to kind of cut the wiring and splice in. Nothing wrong with that. We do a ton of them here at etrailer and had a lot of good luck with them. Really rarely run into any issues. So that's always an option for you as well. One of the benefits to that style is there's a lot of different kits available that come with different connectors as far as, you know, what you're gonna plug in to at the front and plug in to the back of your motorhome. So, it has an advantage there, at least in my opinion. This one is just going to have kind of the standard 4-way flat connector up at the front. But why don't we go ahead and kind of just hop up there and check out what we got going on. So with this kit, it comes with just a standard 4-way flat type connector here at the front. So you would take your 4-way flat connector, you know, wiring that they give you, plug it in and then plug it into the motorhome. Well the problem is, you know, that's kind of an uncommon setup. It'll work just fine, but we're more used to doing the 6-way round type connectors. They're just a lot more popular and things like that. And that's actually what we did. We just converted it over. So with this kit, it's not really a big deal. You can always cut that connector off and plug those ends into a 6-way round type connector. But if that's something you're gonna wanna do, you're gonna have to pick this up separately. Now in a lot of cases, which was a case for us today is a lot of these nicer tow bars actually come with the wiring now that you use to pair the two together and the connector, the 6-way round connector itself. So our neighbor actually got this tow bar and, you know, come with the connector and that's what we did. Just cut the ends off and changed it over. So that's always an option. It definitely can be done. And not only to mention to you, you know, a lot of the newer motorhomes, they're gonna have that that 7-way round type trailer connector, that big connector. And so if you we're to wanna maintain that 4-way flat wiring, you would have to buy an adapter or something along those lines to be able to plug it into your motorhome. So one way or the other chances are good, you're gonna have to change or modify a little something. And to me it would just make more sense to do it on the vehicle side, as opposed to the motorhome side. But, you know, just, I wanted to mention that because you don't wanna get this kit thinking it's gonna be able to plug right in and that not be the case. So I'm just trying to go through all the different types of scenarios and what we see a lot here and what a lot of other people do. That way we can try to give you a solution and have everything work out for you the first time. So at the end of the day, really straightforward kit, it's gonna get the job done and, you know, it's gonna allow you to send those signals to the back of your Jeep. How that way everyone knows what's going on. Ultimately if there's a plug and play type option, that's the one I'm usually gonna lean towards because it's just so much more simple not having to cut in anything. Really the only downfall to this one is, you know, I really wish I just had a couple more kits available that gave you different options as far as the type of connector plug. But, you know, we talked about that. Not a huge deal to change something over if you need to. So, you know, not the end of the world by any means. Now as far as the installation goes, it really can't get much more simple. Everything is already there pretty much. And really the most difficult part, if you will, or most time consuming your hours, just having to route the wires, you know, from the back to the front and go through all that. But as long as you stay focused, really shouldn't give you a whole lot of issue. So why don't we go ahead, pull into the garage and hook it up together now. To begin our installation we're gonna be here at the back of our Jeep. First things first, we need to remove our taillights so that we get access to the connectors. So with these, we have two Phillips-head screws just on the inside portion of our light. So grab our screwdriver and just kinda push our light out. So what we're gonna do is disconnect it. So we'll have a button Mary could push on it and that will allow you to pull us apart. Set the slide off to the side. We'll do the same thing to get the other one out. What we need to do now is take your wiring harness. You wanna take your 4-way flat end. And there's an opening in the taillight pocket. I'm gonna drop that through until it comes out the bottom side. And we'll just work all of this slack through here. Once you get to this point, you're gonna have the connectors that are a little bit shorter, only a foot or so. Wire on them. We're gonna plug that end into the factory connector there just to kind of keep it up. So now we can take the orange, brown, and green wire. That's gonna have a connector on it. And we want those to drop down through that opening as well, 'cause eventually these are gonna get routed over to the passenger side of our vehicle. So from there, I took our converter box there and just zip tied it to this piece of metal there, keep it secure and out of the way. And now we can do is take the other connector plug here, plug that into our taillight. And simply get this reinstalled the opposite way that we removed it. So now underneath of our vehicle, I routed our wiring, the orange, green, and brown wiring with the connector on it to the passenger side. So I'm gonna just follow this along this beam. Use some zip ties along the way to keep it secure. Bring it up and over. And here's where it drops out. So over here on the passenger side, there's this plastic piece that's stopping us from getting into the taillight pocket. So I'm just gonna drill a hole on it. I'm use a hole saw, and we wanna make it big enough to get our connector up through there. So I believe I'm using this one as a I believe an inch and three quarter. Should be a little bit big enough, a little bit bigger to get the connector through there. So we'll just go to drill this out. There's some foam up through there too. So once you go through the plastic, continue to drill forward or drill up, punch through that foam, then we'll be able to take our connector plug and feed that up. And so I've came up top here, pulled the wiring up through that hole that we fed it through and simply just plugged it in the same exact way that we did the other side. So wiring to the factory wiring connector, other end to our taillight. And that's how it turned out. That zip tie up the extra wiring well, slack wiring we had there. And with that done, now we can reinstall our light the opposite way that we removed it. So now back underneath the vehicle, I started to route our 4-way flat connector wiring towards the front of our Jeep. Here's the path that I took. This kind of came up along through here. Do your best to avoid any hotter moving parts. But I shot it on up through there kind of started to angle it towards the passenger side of our vehicle. And it kind of goes up on top of her gas tank. You'll kind of lose sight of it for a second, but essentially it's on top of our fuel tank. And I kind of just continued to push it and push it and push it until it came out through here, right So that's where it comes out. Zip tied it along the way here. And right here in this point, I kinda ran it up and over our frame rail and up through here to kind of peel back this fender liner. It goes straight up into the engine compartment. So here in engine compartment and here's where the wiring came up. I simply just routed it along through here into right here in front of our air filter box, I dropped it straight down. We go straight down to the underside of our vehicle where we can bring it over to our base plate. So at the end of our wiring here to where it comes out, I cut off our 4-way and that's because our tow bar actually came with the 6-way connector and pigtail. So we're gonna be switching over to that. Not really a big deal. If you're not gonna be doing that, you'd simply leave this on, mount this up and then the white wire coming off of it. It's maybe about a foot or two long. It's gonna have a ring terminal on it. You would ground it. In our case, I just grain an extra white wire and we'll do that separately. So we'll just get to that in a minute. But with that said, in our case I'm gonna going to split these wires. And I'm gonna strip back the ends of the installation. We'll give the wires a good twist. So with our 6-way, I'm gonna take the rubber boot, put it on the wires first. You don't wanna forget this part 'cause you'll have to undo everything. While I'm here, I'll strip our white wire. Like I said, I already ran this one. I'll show you this after we're done here. If you look at our 6-way connector, there's gonna be some terminals and we're gonna be using four of them. And the way you're gonna do these is back out the set screws just enough to get the wire in there. Try not to get the screw out completely. And put the wires in and tighten them down. So the ones that we're gonna be using will be this one here, LT for left turn. So the yellow wire will go to it. This one is RT for right turn. So the green wire will go there. This one up here is labeled GD for ground. So the white wire will go to it. Then this one here is labeled TM for taillight. So the brown wire will go there. So with that all set up, we'll take the appropriate wire, place it under the terminal and tighten down the set screw. So this is what the back of your connector plug is gonna look like once it's all hooked up. From there, I'm gonna take some dielectric grease and just put a good coating over the terminals to help prevent any corrosion issues or anything like that. That's usually what kind of causes these to fail or run into issues with is corrosion. So cover that up. Look at that dust boot on there. We're probably gonna come back with a little bit of tape. Once I have this taped up, I go ahead and mount it Whenever you tighten these things down you gonna have to crank down on them 'cause it has this plastic. So just keep that in mind. But now that that is done, let's show you where I brought our white wires. So essentially can see it kinda running through there. And I ran it up the same exact path that we used to drop our 4-way flat wiring down. So engine compartment, and here's where our white wire comes on up. Strip the one end of it back and I got a ring terminal here. Just kind of opening in it. We'll crimp it down. And we're gonna have to ground this, all right So if you look right here, we're gonna have a factory ground. And I'm just gonna loosen this. I'm not gonna take it all the way off. That's why I cut a slice on that ring terminal. But we're just gonna back this off a few turns. It's just so tight in here. It'd be tricky to kind of get back on there. And that's exactly why I cut a slice in the ring terminal. I'm just gonna push it around the stud there and then simply tighten the nut back down. So now it's good idea to test our wiring, to make sure that it's working properly. So I plugged into a test box here. We'll try our taillights, our left turn signal, our right turn signal, and our brake lights. That'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Hopkins Custom Fit Vehicle Wiring for towed vehicles on our 2012 Jeep Wrangler..

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Employee Joe V
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Employee Nicholas E
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Employee Randy B
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Employee Brent H
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Employee Ryan G
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