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Roadmaster Universal Diode Wiring Kit Installation - 2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited

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How to Install the Roadmaster Universal Diode Wiring Kit on a 2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited


Hey everybody, Ryan here etrailer today on our 2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited. We're gonna be showing you how to install the Roadmaster Diode wiring kit, 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, kind of talking about the diode wiring and how it's gonna work and things of that nature, I figured it'd be useful just to kind of touch base and refresh yourselves on the main parts that we're gonna need to flat tow our Jeep down the road in the first place. All the main components are gonna consist of five different parts. So the first thing is gonna be your base plate and what this is gonna do is provide you with a solid and reliable connection point, that way you can hook your tow-bar up. The tow-bar is gonna be the second component and that's gonna be the physical link that actually connects the front of your Jeep to the back of your motor home.

The third main component will be safety cables, and those are pretty straightforward, those are gonna be there in the event of an unlikely disconnect they're gonna keep everything paired together. The fourth main component will be tow-bar wiring and what that's gonna do is transfer the lighting signals from the back of your coach to the back of your Jeep, keeping you safe and legal. And last but not least the fifth main component will be a supplemental braking system. And what that'll do is apply the brakes in your Jeep whenever you hit the brakes in your motor home, helping bring you to a more predictable and complete stop. But with that outta the way, let's kind of talk about the wiring.

So what's gonna happen is whenever you turn on your blinkers or hit your brakes or turn your taillights in your motor home, that signal's gonna be transferred back here and unfortunately today due to bad weather we're not able to hook up to our motor home and really give you a good idea. So we have a small test box that we have plugged in in front to simulate that motor home. So hopefully, it kind of gives you a better idea of how things are gonna work. You know, when it comes to getting lighting for your tow vehicle, diodes aren't the only option, there's another one called magnetic lighting. I'm not really a fan of it, it uses magnetic lights that you have to put on the side of your vehicle.

You have to run the wires all the way up to the front and do that every single time you wanna flat tow, it can kind of be a pain, right Cause you set it up, you take it down, you gotta do it again and then not to mention too, you got a big old bundle of wire and some lights, you gotta store which we know how precious storage is when you're over the road and with the setup like this once they're you're done, it's super easy to hook up. Literally, you're just gonna have to plug your cable into the front of your Jeep and into the back of your motor home so anyone can figure out how to use this. And it looks completely factory too, you can't really tell any modifications have been made. So in my opinion when it comes to getting that tow bar wiring, a diode kit like this is definitely the way to go. So I talked about how easy it's gonna be to hook up whenever you're ready to flat tow and so this is simulating our motor home.

All you're gonna have to do is take your cable, plug into the sideway in the back of your motor home, plug this in the six way round connector up here. And that's it, that's it as far as getting your wiring done and ready whenever you're hooking up to your motor home. With that said though, there's several different kits available and I just kind of wanna go over I'm gonna make sure you get what you actually need the first time. So this kit or this cable here, that's really gonna be the main differences by the way is the cables we get in terms of your umbilical. So this one's a hybrid kit, so beside that's close to your motor home, portion of it will be coiled the rest of it'll be straight. And this is for those of you that have a tow bar that have channels in the side of a tow bar that way your cable can run through those channels and you can utilize them properly. This one I would particularly recommend if you have a really long tow bar or you\re using a high load after and have a lot of space in between the back of your motor home and the front of your Jeep, cause this is a real long cable. So that's a good option for you. This one as well would be for those of you that have a tow bar with channels, it's just a completely straight cable, seven way around on one end, six way around on the other. And then we also have a kit for those of you that don't have channels on the tow bar and you'd use something like this. So this is a coiled type cable, that way it'll stay up off the ground whenever you're going straight down the road, but it'll obviously stretch out when you're making those turns and everything else. So we have two different versions, seven way round the six way on the other end super common, but seven to six is probably the most common by far. And that's always what I recommend, but there's also a 724 way round as well, so couple options there. Two more kits available, this one's probably the least popular, but it is there if you need it for your particular situation, this is just a four way flat connector to a four way flat. So if your motor room has a four way flat plug that in there then the four way flat would be here at the front and that'll transfer those signals. And then there's another kit that comes essentially with the bare bones what I like to call it. So you get your wiring and your diodes and a couple of connectors and small things, you don't get these six way round connector or any cable. And they offer that kit because some of the higher end tow bars actually come included with that. So the real, real nice tow bar you'll get the cable and you'll get the connectors so it doesn't make sense to buy a kit that has those components in it cause you'll have two and you really don't need them, need that extra stuff so if you have a tow bar like that, for example, the Roadmaster or Nighthawk, that's just one off the top of my head I know comes with those, if you have something like that, the kit that comes with those bare bones is definitely the one that's gonna be the best for your situation. Well, hey guys, we're here with Larry who just brought his vehicle in and his motor home of course, to get a flat tow set up. So Larry, you kind of mentioned before that you guys did have a trailer dolly and that was always kind of a pain to mess with cause it was kind of big in the way that kind of thing. Cool, awesome. Around it was yeah, kind of a pain. Yeah, so this way, obviously we're making that a lot easier for ourself, our tow bar is gonna be folding up close to the vehicle or the motor home I should say, making a lot easier to storage, a lot easier to get out. And of course, when we start taking all this undone, our tabs aren't gonna be as gaudy in the front, we're not gonna have and of course, security's always concern when we're doing anything like this so nicer that it's a little bit more low key, low profile which is great. So have you had a flat tow before the then reallyNo. Not ever really, cool. So I mean the concept's pretty simple, right We're keeping it flat and we're towing it, that as the name suggests what we're doing with that basically we're eliminating any that kind of chucking that you might originally see from like Dolly's and stuff like that. Exactly, right, cause we're keeping it level, which is great and these arms are gonna be locking themselves in for us. And that way the car's gonna be safely following right behind your motor home, okay. And especially compared to it's a little different than the trailer, you know what I mean You always kinda have to watch what it's gonna be doing on the back end. This guy just tracks really nice behind the motor home makes a lot easier to drive, especially pulling it in into kind of recreational areas, it's not gonna be as a pain. Do these always stay out or do they like piston articulate in and outSo they are gonna be locking in place for you, which is great. Now they are gonna have a little bit of movement, but especially when you are gonna be going to like unlock these guys, this is non-binding. If you compare that to like binding tow bars, basically when this is up happening with those guys is they have a little button that you have to push to release it. What's nice with these, they're not locked in right now cause we haven't really pulled it forward, but I'm gonna be able to pull this lever back, pop it, and we're gonna feel that kind to give just like that and that's basically unbinding itself, making it a lot easier to actually get it undone. So in kind of talking about that when we're doing our initial like once we got everything set up, there are a few little kind of tips and tricks to keep in mind. So the first one's gonna be, as we are pulling out, luckily for us, we have a lot of little left and rights we're gonna have to make to get out at etrailer here. However, say you're at like a campsite, you load it all up, you get it nice and even and lined up, that's also really nice step we're gonna go over about getting it set up. But as we're taking off, we're gonna wanna do a little bit of left and right on our steering wheel. And what that's doing for us is actually making sure that these guys are extending their full cause when it's up happening, right, we're gonna along the highway, our Jeep's behind us. Yes, we're gonna be applying the brakes because we had that stain play duo here, which is giving you that brake control which is great. But what we don't want is one of these arms locking and one of them not cause what can end up happening there is all that force gets transferred to one arm and then that can end up bending your tow bar. So that's why we do that left to that right at action and we'll go over it later as we get in the motor home as well, but that's because we wanna make sure that we are distributing that force between both of the arms. Otherwise you'd run into that issue that we we're just talking about so yeah. It's probably important enough after you go a few miles you should just pull over somewhere and come back here and look. It's never a bad idea always to check, but I think especially once you've done it twice, three times, you're gonna feel it and you're gonna see it too if it's tracking well with you. And it's really not much, I mean we're talking an eighth on the steering wheel and all that's really doing is getting that extra little extension that we're looking for. Cause these are gonna naturally extend as we pull, they're gonna go to their max length, right. And it's just getting that lock almost in place and you'll see what I'm talking about here in a little. Hard to kind of show as we're set a stand still, but yeah. So why don't we go over a little bit of what we got working with us, right So we have ourselves, our tow bar actually. So this is the main component, right You have the Falcon, all terrain here from Roadmaster, which is great. Again, we kind of mentioned it, it's non-binding all that really is, is you're getting this lever action here making it a lot easier to actually get those binds undone. Okay. Like I said before, there's usually a button there on the side, a real pain to get to, takes a lot of effort. And then you end up getting a lever anyways that you always kinda have to store somewhere. So all the installers is always like this is the way to go. So that's why always throw people that way as well. And then we just have of course, we have a base plate here inside the Jeep and that's kind of given us our tab extension that we're seeing here. So it's kind of underneath your bumper and so we have our hook elements here, so our tow bars extend out and then we're gonna have these little pins that are holding us in place. And then one thing that's great about our Falcon here, you do have all this wire housing and your safety cable housing. So a lot of times what you end up seeing is these safety cables just drag on the ground or this umbilical cable drags on the ground and that can lead to wear and tear. Eventually you gotta get them replaced, right So what's nice about the Falcon, we're gonna be storing that inside here, that's not gonna be in the way. And then of course our safety cables on each side are for safety, rightRight. If in case something goes wrong, we wanna make sure our Jeep's not leaving so we can undo those as well. And since we're just gonna be working right to left here, this is gonna be our breakaway switch. So if I we're to pull this guy right now, we're gonna have and if it was actually running, what ends up happening there we're gonna have connection points that actually get made. And since there's nothing blocking that that's gonna activate your brakes inside your gear. So worst case scenario, this thing comes undone all the rest of the systems fail, you still have this breakaway switch which is gonna activate the brakes that way we're not hurting anybody on the road. Okay. That way everybody gets home safe, which is great. So I always make sure we are replacing that. There is just gonna be those two little tabs right there. You just gotta get those guys in place to actually work. Just like so, so making sure that's in place when you are taking your. When you're driving it, you always leave that in. Oh yeah, a hundred percent and even when, even when you're not utilizing it that's that mechanism, that's the fail safe right there, exactly. We keep that guy undone and he can just kind of sit right here and if you wanted to you can clip him anywhere that way he doesn't go dangling anywhere you don't need him. Okay. So here's gonna be your electrical hookup and so you also have that, I think it's the Dimco stay in play duo. So this is basically getting you your brakes, this is getting you your brake control, which is great. And you also have the battery charge line kit, I believe, which is keeping our battery actually going, because we're still using that battery for our brakes activating your actual stay in play as well. Okay. So say you go for six to eight hours on the road somewhere you get back and now your Jeep's dead, that'd be no good. So that charge line kit is basically a trickle charger utilizing your RV's power, maintaining your battery and that way when you get to your campsite, you got no trouble and your Jeeps ready to go. So pretty simple there how this guy works. You're gonna have this little notch here at the top. If you look on the inside, it's a little deceiving. So an easy way is just making sure that little tab right there is actually pointed up. Okay. And you just kinda wanna work it out, just like so and then work this guy back. I will say this guy can also kind of drag so even like when you're done storing it, when we fold it up, get it somewhere you can store, otherwise you can't start. Yeah, exactly. And just check that too each time like I kind of looked in there and there was just a little guy hanging on the edge, make sure you brush that off otherwise, you know what I mean It can get stuck in there and then it takes way more time to get it undone, it's gonna be a pain. So I'm just gonna undo the rest of these guys here then and we can kinda walk through this set up together, how about that And these guys are pretty simple. And one thing we can maybe talk about afterwards here too, I know you mentioned security was kind of a concern for you with a trailer Dolly. Right. One thing I might suggest to you is getting some little locks here so you can actually end up locking at least maybe one of your tow bars here. Or second one in big one I would look at is maybe gonna be a hitch lock here on your RV because this. One pair like I've had had one on the other with it to the key. Yep, just like that. That's what you're talking about. And that way you're just getting a little bit of I mean, any lock is only deterrent, but it does go a long way a lot of times of making sure we leave your stuff where you have it. So yeah and then I just wanna bring these guys in up all the way and we'll kind of walk over putting this guy up. Now for these guys as well you could end up leaving 'em here, they have a little bit of a rattle to 'em. I would suggest pulling that pin, turn in it, walk it right out and that way you can store it either in your RV or your Jeep and then this is what you end up working with so you don't really have anything too crazy. So you wanna go ahead and take that guy out for me and we can maybe go in the reverse order of this guy. Sweet, so real simple they look harder than they are they slide them right in, turn them and then replace that pin and you're good to go. Okay. Yep, so and then when our tow bar is not in use, we can kind of bring them together here and we can bring them straight up and then you're gonna have that little latch right there. Basically, you're just gonna walk that up just like so, then take it off to the side and yeah, like I was telling your wife earlier, this is how it's gonna store, it's pretty nice, cause it's not really adding really too much length to your RV to begin with and especially with that tow like the defender or that cover becomes a great way of just protecting it on the back here, which is awesome. So one thing we always wanna do though, when we are setting up our Jeep, you always wanna make sure you have your emergency brake on. Okay. And what that has happened with that right here, we're on level ground, we're in a great spot. If you we're to find yourself in a slight gradient, if you're in a driveway or something, all of a sudden we might get a little forgetful and then we're catching our Jeep as it goes down. Understood. You could probably get a little closer than we are too, obviously. Cause these are gonna extend out as we drive forward so if you're having that trouble, just hop back in the Jeep, make sure your tow bars outta the way, pull forward a little bit more. Have the Mrs kind of tell you where you're at. Put the brake back. And then put the break back on. So here we're doing in a controlled environment of course, we gotta make sure we are being safe as well out on the road. So there's that little pin for you. Okay. Here we go and that's locked in so now our bars are in place, which is great. Do you normally, I went this way, do you normallyIt don't really matter wherever you really want it, whatever is easier for you to access would probably do the way I'd go about it. They're gonna do the same either way it's just, I put mine on the outside cause it's a little easier to get to rather than, you know. Okay. This guy's on the inside. Understood. And then we can go ahead and take our seat cables here and that might be part of the determining factor too. If it's getting the way of your club that is here, you might move it, but otherwise you're in a good spot and then I'll let you take that guy in and that's basically gonna give us all our power. This pan is off. Make that little guy on top and then you just kind of wanna work it in, there you go. And as you get it into, getting it out, it can be a little easier just to kind of double hook there. Okay. But just a little tips and tricks, so. Okay. But yeah, so we're all hooked up now on here other than are brakeAwesome. You just go up usuallyYep, just under and then clip it to that guy. There we go, we're good to go. And kind of walking that guy back to here, what we've done is we've taken this guy right here and clipped it on. Sometimes people have trouble with their hitches, yours was good enough to go ahead and just go around that tow hook which is great, so we're not too worried about it. I like wrapping it here though just cause I know it's extra secure and then this is what's gonna be pulling that over here. Okay. So that's the only reason we did that. So yeah, you're all hooked up now, really now what we gotta do is actually hop inside the Jeep and we're gonna need to actually set this ready for tow mode so why don't we grab your vehicle's owner manual guide and we'll do that really quick. While I show Larry here how to get his Jeep actually set up for actually getting in the flat tow position, making sure we have no issues of course, let's always make sure we are using our own vehicles owners manual guide that way. We're always being safe and sound out there on the roads. Larry, any last little questions you for me or anything like thatNo. Awesome, cool. Well, he's also got the Dummy Costa in play dual so we're just making sure that that actually is activated inside the Jeep. We double checked that with our sensors up front and Larry here's ready to go and rock and roll, have some fun. So that's what we're all about. Well, thank you again, Larry. Appreciate it, you have a good one. Okay, I will. But other than that, a really reliable kit, we rarely run issues with these and we do a lot of them. so they seem to work out pretty well and at the end of the day, it seems like what a lot of people like is the ease of use and something that's really simple and this is exactly that. So a kit you really can't go wrong with. As far as getting it installed, really not too bad. It's more time consuming than anything else just having to run all the wires and do all that, but it's not really complicated if you will. If you'd like to see how that's done, if you're gonna do this job yourself, it's definitely doable. But if you'd like to see how I did it feel free to follow along we'll go ahead and install it together now. To begin our installation we're gonna be here at the front of our Jeep and first thing that we're gonna do is start to hook up our connector plug. So here's our bracket that came with our base plate and what I did is I took one end of the wire here, just ran it through the bracket. Then you're gonna take your rubber grot here, your dust cover rather push that through and then you can separate the ends of the wire here. So just take a pair of snips and kind of carefully cut in between them and peeling back little ways. What I like to do is just kind of cut a little bit off the ends kind of give us a fresh start here and then from there we can strip back the insulation. So I like to go about that much, give that wire a good twist, keep everything tight. And what that's gonna do is help ensure that we have a little bit better of a connection and do that for our remaining wires here. So with the wire strip, we can grab our plug on the back we're gonna have some terminals with a set screw in it. So you wanna loosen up the set screw pretty much all the way, try not to let it fall out of there though they're kind of tricky to get back in, but we're gonna have a total of four, this one, this one, this one, and that one. They're gonna be labeled so right here we'll have RT for right turn, the green wire will go to it. This one will be LT for left turn, so the yellow wire will go there. That one will be GD for ground, so the white wire will go to it. And this one is TM for taillights and the brown wire will go there so grab a wire and we'll just start with the taillight. I'm just gonna slide that in, take that set screw and tighten it down. That's really all there is to it so go ahead and repeat the same process for our remaining wires here. So this is what it's gonna look like here once you have your wires hooked up and now that that is done, I'm gonna push it through our bracket and put our dust cover over it. You can apply some sealer, dielectric to grease these terminals to help prevent corrosion, but I like to wait till the very end to do that. That way if you have an issue you need to open this up, it's not a big mess, but that's in and feed that through slip the dust cover on and I'm just gonna loosely kind of secure it in place for now using a couple screws. So now underneath the front of our Jeep, we can route our diode wire so here's where it comes out the connector plug. I like to leave a little bit of slack here if you ever have to make a future repair or anything, we have a decent amount of wire. With that said, I just ran it along through here towards our driver's side and little tricky to see, but it's gonna run straight up into our engine compartment. When you're doing any type of routing make sure to do your best, secure the wiring and avoid any hard removing parts. So in the engine compartment, here's where our wiring comes up and I ran it right along through here and it turns out there's actually a factory ground stud right here so I figured why not just ground it there. So what we can do is take our diode wiring. We just want to very carefully cut just the white wire. All right, so cut that in half and kind of peel it, peel it back, the end of the wire here, this side that goes to nothing, we're eventually just gonna completely pull this off the whole harness. But this end that goes to our connector plug that's the side that we wanna work with. So I'll strip back the insulation and we're gonna take a ring terminal, pop that over the bare end of the wire and crump it down. Then we can remove this, not here using a 10 millimeter, Get that nut off, take our wire, slide that ring turn over there, it's done there and we'll tighten her back down. And then once this is tight, I'll continue to route our wiring towards the back, but not before we continue to pull the remainder of this white wire completely off of the bundle. You wanna hold on to this white wire too, cause chances are really good, we're gonna be using it here in a little bit. So we'll continue to route our wire now that we have the white one completely removed and our white wire grounded there, I just kind of ran it along through here. I like to give myself a little bit of wire to work with cause if your breaking system requires you to tap into the diode wiring, which a lot of them do, it'll give you a good spot to work. From there though I simply just brought it here to the corner of our firewall and dropped it straight down to the underside of our vehicle. So I continued to route a wire, so there's where it drops on down and then I just followed essentially our frame and we need some zip ties along the way to keep it secured. Just continued to route it and then about right here in this area, the wire actually goes kind of to the other side of our frame rail. So we'll hop underneath and take a look. So underneath here you can see a bit of our wire and just continue to go back. I went up and over the sub frame there and here's where our wiring drops down. What I did was so originally this was a yellow, brown and green wire, right So I separated the green wire from the yellow and the brown and if you remember that extra piece of white wire that we had, I taped it to the end of our yellow and brown wire all right, so we have this bundle here on our driver's side. The green wire and the other end of the white wire needs to go to the passenger side. So I've pushed it through a hole here on our frame rail so you can see where it goes through there, simply routed it kind of behind our bumper bin and it drops down right here and what we can do now is go up top, get our taillights removed that way we can get our diodes in and get our wires pulled up and everything else. So now we can get our taillight out, we're gonna have two Phillip set screws here on the inside that we need to remove. Don't need to worry about the ones on the outside those aren't actually holding the light to the body of our vehicle and the screws we are out gonna grab her tail light and kind of just push towards the inside a little bit, that'll release it and what we're gonna do now is disconnect it so you push down on this tab, separate it, set our light off to the side, do the same thing to get the one on the passenger side removed. So what I've done is took our wiring here and pushed up through the bottom into our taillight pocket here and what we're gonna do, the brown and white wire, we're gonna take those and twist the ends together. Of course, I stripped the insulation back. Twist those back together and then grab the yellow spade terminal, put that over the bare end of the wire and clamp it down, then we'll grab a blue one. Matter of fact, all the other connections we're gonna make will be using these blue connectors. Put that over, get it clamped down and then you can grab our factory wiring here. And so there's several different wires. I went ahead and tested them and the signals that we're looking for are the taillight signal and the stoplight signal. So the wires, if you look this orange, I'm sorry, the white wire with the orange stripe, that's gonna be our taillight signal. And the white wire with the green stripe that's gonna be our, for our stop and turn. All right, so I'm gonna do peel some more of this tape off, these are all taped up, but I took it off to give you some more room to work with here. What we're gonna do is cut those wires in half. So our white and green and our light and orange. We're just gonna strip all of the ends back and clamp on one of the blue terminals. So I'm gonna do that same thing for our three remaining ends. So here's what the ends look like when they're all clamped on and you're gonna take your diodes, what I did was just stick them together. All right, the side of the diode that has a single end, you're gonna plug that into the factory wires here closest to the plug. So we have our orange and our white and our green and our white, then you'll just go color to color. So our other green and white gonna be other into that diode, same deal the orange and white. And then since our orange and white is for our taillights, we're gonna take our white and brown wire, plug that into that diode. I can get it to go on here. And then since our green and white, as far as stop and turn, our yellow wire is gonna go onto that dial. So over here in the passenger side essentially set up the exact same way. The only difference is the color of wire from the factory that you're gonna use. So in this case, over here on the passenger side, the white wire with the purple stripe, that's gonna be our taillight signal. And so our new solid white wire will go to that diode, the white wire with the yellow stripe, that's gonna be for our stop and turn. And so our new green wire will go to that diode. So I set them up the exact same way and now with this done, we can get these secured and get our taillights plugged back in. So I went ahead and just zip tied our diodes up to some factory wiring that real on through there. And now we can plug in our taillight, get it reinstalled the opposite way that we removed it. So with everything hooked up, it's a good idea to test your wiring to make sure that it's working properly. So I'm just hooked up to a test box which is simulating a motor home and we'll try our taillights, our left turn signal, our right turn signal and our brake lights. And now we finish up our look at in our installation of the Roadmaster diode wiring kit on our 2008 G Wrangler JK Unlimited..


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