Re: Flat towing behind MH - power connection to battery
My son returned and jumped right into the project.
First, we bought a 12 inch 16G 4-way trailer harness. Mail connector at one end and female at the other. Cut it in half. The half with the female connection was used under the hood (see photo). Cut off all but about 6 inches of the 12V wire from the small controller box. The green wire was connected to the black 12V wire to the box by twisting the two ends and then soldering the connection. Prior to that a heat shrink tube was slid over the green wire and after the green and black were soldered it was pulled over the connection and heat applied to shrink it. All wire to wire connections were soldered and a heat shrink applied in this manner.
The white wire was connected to the ground post just under the controller box with a ring connector that was soldered on the white wire. Care is required with that operation as the post might be a drawn arc stud - but we could not determine that with certainly (better safe than sorry). The controller was connected to the Jeep with both velcro and a zip tie. (admission - never heard of a drawn arc stud until yesterday)
From the plug that inserts into the 7 pin outlet at the motor home we ran the black 16G wire (cut off from the controller) from the 12V pin to the green wire connected to the male half of the 4 way harness (which of course connect to the green of the female end. Then a 16G wire was run from the ground pin to the white wire of the 4-way harness. The white ground wire for my mag lights was already connected to the ground pin. The brown and yellow wires of the short harness were not used of course.
Then, we (we always means “he” of course) connected the positive wire and then the negative wire from the controller to the battery and bundled the excess with a zip tie.
So, when using the toad it is just a matter of plugging the male harness connector to the female harness connector under the hood and the system is operational.
The next question was “did we do it right and does it work.” Our motorhome is at a storage yard so I backed up my SUV as it has a 7 pin connector. Put in the plug, turned on the ignition and started the engine of the Expedition. Bingo, the light on the controller box started flashing indicating that power was flowing to the Cherokee battery. We checked the voltage of the Cherokee battery with the power flowing and it was higher than without the power connection.
I have to say I’m very pleased how it worked out and I sure could not have done it on my own with the same results. I could probably do it now after the education but I still like leaving things like this to a professional.
FCA should have provided a power connection like this. If we had known that it was going to be necessary to have a harness installed (at no cost but I’ve since been told by FCA customer care that I should have paid for it!!!!) and then pay for and install a power connection, I’m not sure we would have ordered the Cherokee. It is not just these things but also the myriad of other issues we’ve encountered. We still get periodic false alarms on the emergency breaking (scares the hell out of my wife) and I regularly get a notification to put my hands back on the steering wheel when they are already clamped on at the 10 and 2 positions. I was thinking of trading my 2014 T&C for the new Pacifica. Test drove the Pacifica and I must say I really liked it. Much nicer ride than the T&C. Seems to have been very well executed. BUT, at age 74 I am not up to being a field tester like we’ve been with the Cherokee. Once was enough thank you. Now I'll wait a few years and then trade my SUV on a Pacifica if has a good reputation and the Cherokee stands up. With all the issues we've had on the Cherokee in 23,000 miles and 2 years and 9 months I'm going to pay through the nose for an extended warranty - just in case.
2014 Cherokee Limited. All options except for CD player and extra speakers. Blue OX baseplates installed as we tow it behind a motorhome.