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Old 11-04-2016, 12:15 PM   #1
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Dinghy set up

Brought the new dinghy home yesterday; to many little items to fix on the 05 Grand Cherokee we had planned to use, Got all the stuff except for the braking system ordered last night.
Blue Ox tow bar and base plate
Hopkins wiring harness, this is a plug and play; no holes to drill or splicing required.
As of the time I ordered stuff Amazon had best prices.
Etrailer has best installation videos.


At the moment I'm leaning towards the SMI stop n play breaking system.

I'll post a few pics when done.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:03 PM   #2
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Got everything installed on the Wrangler. Just ordered the Blue Ox Patriot BRK2012 brake system from Etrailer. Looked at other vendors but their check out process was about impossible to get through. Hitchsource was offering a free carry bag but there was no place for the "freecase" coupon code on the order form. Another place offered 15% off up to $30 bucks for first time buyers; maybe.

RVI has a lighter and easier to install/remove unit but it's only available from the manufacturer in late November. Also appears to be pick up locally only. That may have been a misprint on the web page since they had an on line ordering process.
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:03 PM   #3
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For what its worth, I also have an older BlueOx (Patriot equivalent) braking unit but was not happy with it so I migrated to the ReadyBrake mechanical unit. There were occasions when the BlueOx unit lost power and moved around causing unreliable braking. With the mechanical ReadyBrake, no electronics to breakdown or lose power. ReadyBrake does require move complex install (brake pedal cable and breakaway) but worth it in my opinion.
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:28 PM   #4
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We choose not to go with a cable pull system or the SMI because of the hole drilling required. The Patriot may need to be braced when on twisty roads such as the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Inspected Axis hitch and replaced two missing bolts. I didn't see any sign they were ever there. This is a problem others have reported.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:46 PM   #5
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Received the Patriot today. Set it in the Jeep and looks like it will work.
Mounted and ran the break away switch wiring. E-trailer in the video suggested mounting it to the bumper bottom. Didn't like the location as it stuck out to far. Moved it to the winch mounting plate. Easier access and gets some protection while it's independent of the base plate for the tow bar.
Haven't decided where to keep the break away switch wiring when not in use. Under a floor mat where stuff tends to get wet in Jeeps doesn't seem like a good place.
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Old 11-24-2016, 08:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubjaysnest View Post
...
Haven't decided where to keep the break away switch wiring when not in use. Under a floor mat where stuff tends to get wet in Jeeps doesn't seem like a good place.
Well - it's far from the only thing to store... Mine stays with the umbilical (light harness) and safety cables... Not towing a dinghy without all of those.

At home they are on a shelf in cabinet with the base plate inserts, cross bar, and towbar... When camping, they take over the storage compartment that normally holds electrical cords and water hoses - as those are typically in use.

My unit is Invisibrake - so that part is permanently mounted under drivers seat (above the 'water line' of a soft top Wrangler...)
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Old 11-24-2016, 11:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gmc View Post
Well - it's far from the only thing to store... Mine stays with the umbilical (light harness) and safety cables... Not towing a dinghy without all of those.
Not an option as ours is run in split tubing and through a fitting on the fire wall.

...................snip.....................


Quote:
My unit is Invisibrake - so that part is permanently mounted under drivers seat (above the 'water line' of a soft top Wrangler...)
For us the water line is the top of the hood.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:51 PM   #8
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Did a 20 mile test tow today. First in the neighborhood then to a boat ramp parking lot with plenty of maneuvering room. The we we pull up to a stop sign the brake unit in the dinghy never even comes on. Set the braking by using the manual brake switch at 10 mph. Little lite on the remote bothered me a bit, says break away on when it means break away armed. All checked out good. On Monday when we head for AZ will give it a 235 mile test. That will be a combination of interstate, US hwy and county roads. Be interesting if we meet some one on the CG road at Open Pond, USFS CG, as it's about 8 feet wide.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubjaysnest View Post
Received the Patriot today. Set it in the Jeep and looks like it will work.
Mounted and ran the break away switch wiring. E-trailer in the video suggested mounting it to the bumper bottom. Didn't like the location as it stuck out to far. Moved it to the winch mounting plate. Easier access and gets some protection while it's independent of the base plate for the tow bar.
Haven't decided where to keep the break away switch wiring when not in use. Under a floor mat where stuff tends to get wet in Jeeps doesn't seem like a good place.
We use the Patriot braking system on our Jeep and had good success with it. (I haven't had a chance to tow the Jeep with the new Axis, but did it a lot with my Itasca Reyo.)
I also mounted the break away switch around the winch. I did get a winch installed on the Jeep (hey, it spends it life in Moab, UT--there are a lot of trails and lots of chances to get stuck!). So, there was plenty of extra bolt locations when they took out the plate in the bumper.
As far as the break away wire, I just take a Velcro wire tie and bundle the wire up against the cloth lined door limiter (not sure what the technical term is for that thing! ). That keeps it up and out of the way when not needed, but easily accessible when I am towing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubjaysnest View Post
Did a 20 mile test tow today. First in the neighborhood then to a boat ramp parking lot with plenty of maneuvering room. The we we pull up to a stop sign the brake unit in the dinghy never even comes on. Set the braking by using the manual brake switch at 10 mph. Little lite on the remote bothered me a bit, says break away on when it means break away armed. All checked out good. On Monday when we head for AZ will give it a 235 mile test. That will be a combination of interstate, US hwy and county roads. Be interesting if we meet some one on the CG road at Open Pond, USFS CG, as it's about 8 feet wide.
I always bump up the sensitivity on the Patriot to 7 as part of the start up process. That seems to be high enough that when I needed the extra breaking power, it was there. But, not high enough that it would engage the Jeeps breaks every time. Of course, that was with the old Reyo--I'm not sure what it will be like with the Axis. And, it will be March before I can get back out to Utah and test it out.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:22 PM   #10
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Blue Ox system worked with out problems on the trip to Mesa, AZ. Next week we start the return home so will end up with between 4 and 5 k miles towing.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:43 PM   #11
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For the breakaway switch I put a stainless key ring on the plug and then had stainless swivel hooks on each end of the cable. When not using I left the plug in place, removed cable, and stored with the braking unit.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:13 PM   #12
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Question

Scrubjaysnest, did you have any problem with the Patriot draining your dingys battery? I have the same system but it constantly drains the Equinox battery after about 4hours. Any recommendations? Thanks
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:35 PM   #13
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Typically want to draw power from the MH to keep the dinghy's battery charged...

In the case of Invisibrake - it handles charging the dingy battery for me - taking in the MH 12v and direct connection to dinghy battery (only thing connected to dinghy battery when towing - the rest behind a disconnect as Jeep recommends for my Wrangler.

I've seen others just run the MH hot aux (from 6 or 7 pin connector) to the dingy's battery (fused) to charge...
There are also after-market chargers available that make use of the MH as a charge source.

The brake system does need connectivity to the dinghy battery to work in a breakaway - but use the MH to supplement/charge along the way.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:41 PM   #14
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Your umbilical should be wired so you get a trickle charge to your toads battery from the MH while underway.
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