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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello friends, I have an 08 auto 4x4 FJ I plan to flat tow behind a RV, as it says this isn’t asking if I can do it. I’ve read on it quite a bit. This is more asking what eqipment you guys use and perfer. I have a blue ox tow bar and that’s it so far. I would like to know what you guys use and maybe why you picked for;

-Braking system
-Front plate or bumper
-Do you use a driveshaft disconnect or manually get out an unbolt and bolt it each time?
-Any other things that are nice to have

Thanks Jake
 

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Braking system - Brake Buddy - It has been in 5 vehicles over more than 20 years. Simple and effective.

ARB bumper with adapters bolted to it for a Roadmaster tow bar. Previously a Harbor Freight tow bar. A tow bar that has the slip arms makes hitching up much easier.

I had a driveshaft disconnect, and I wouldn't recommend one if you off-road a lot. The mechanism hit a rock, and the shifter was pulled up on top of the driveshaft. Fortunately, I had enough tools to remove it. In the middle of a trail. On a bed of hot rocks. On a 100 degree day. Now I remove the driveshaft - remove four bolts and pull the slip joint apart. Easy if you have a lift on the FJ. Might be tight under there if you don't. After a few times, removing the driveshaft takes a couple of minutes. To install, set the parking brake and transmission in neutral, so you can rotate the shaft and line up the bolt holes. Mark the location - I don't know if it makes a difference.

Break-away switch is simple to wire. Old blanket to throw on the ground to keep from getting too dirty. I keep two wrenches, held together by a hitch pin, for removing the bolts. Baggie to put over the slip yoke, and a small tupperware for the nuts, bolts and washers. Bungee underneath to keep the other part of the yoke from banging around.

Towd lights! I use a set of the Harbor Freight LED magnetic lights. I run the wire under the hood, in the front door, and out the hatch. Simple!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Braking system - Brake Buddy - It has been in 5 vehicles over more than 20 years. Simple and effective.

ARB bumper with adapters bolted to it for a Roadmaster tow bar. Previously a Harbor Freight tow bar. A tow bar that has the slip arms makes hitching up much easier.

I had a driveshaft disconnect, and I wouldn't recommend one if you off-road a lot. The mechanism hit a rock, and the shifter was pulled up on top of the driveshaft. Fortunately, I had enough tools to remove it. In the middle of a trail. On a bed of hot rocks. On a 100 degree day. Now I remove the driveshaft - remove four bolts and pull the slip joint apart. Easy if you have a lift on the FJ. Might be tight under there if you don't. After a few times, removing the driveshaft takes a couple of minutes. To install, set the parking brake and transmission in neutral, so you can rotate the shaft and line up the bolt holes. Mark the location - I don't know if it makes a difference.

Break-away switch is simple to wire. Old blanket to throw on the ground to keep from getting too dirty. I keep two wrenches, held together by a hitch pin, for removing the bolts. Baggie to put over the slip yoke, and a small tupperware for the nuts, bolts and washers. Bungee underneath to keep the other part of the yoke from banging around.

Towd lights! I use a set of the Harbor Freight LED magnetic lights. I run the wire under the hood, in the front door, and out the hatch. Simple!
great info thank you. So you remove the driveshaft completely each time? I saw a video and think the guy just removed the back 4 bolts where it bolts to rear diff and anchored the driver shaft to hang there
 

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great info thank you. So you remove the driveshaft completely each time? I saw a video and think the guy just removed the back 4 bolts where it bolts to rear diff and anchored the driver shaft to hang there
I do remove the driveshaft. Remove the four rear bolts, and the slipshaft separates. It is probably faster, and it eliminates the worries of it coming loose and getting damaged or lost, or getting stolen.
 

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jherch, can you share your research a bit? I have a class-A diesel pusher with air brakes and I too want to tow my FJ behind it. I keep reading conflicting information and have read about guys flat towing for thousands of miles without an issue. I've also read about others using a two-wheel car dolly with success. While others don't even use a braking system, etc.

It sounds like you've concluded that the rear drive shaft has to be disconnected (but not the front?). Are you leaving the tranny in park and the transfer in 2 wheel? Key on enough that the wheels don't lock? Is it possible to unhook the FJ and park it after putting it in 4 wheel drive (or maybe it wont enguage without the truck moving?

Sorry for all the questions but I'm trying to decide on buying a 2 wheel dolly or towbar/etc. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
jherch, can you share your research a bit? I have a class-A diesel pusher with air brakes and I too want to tow my FJ behind it. I keep reading conflicting information and have read about guys flat towing for thousands of miles without an issue. I've also read about others using a two-wheel car dolly with success. While others don't even use a braking system, etc.

It sounds like you've concluded that the rear drive shaft has to be disconnected (but not the front?). Are you leaving the tranny in park and the transfer in 2 wheel? Key on enough that the wheels don't lock? Is it possible to unhook the FJ and park it after putting it in 4 wheel drive (or maybe it wont enguage without the truck moving?

Sorry for all the questions but I'm trying to decide on buying a 2 wheel dolly or towbar/etc. Thanks
My research has just been on the forums and YouTube. From what I can gather it is acceptable to flat tow AT 4WD Fj's with the major caveat the driveshaft is disconnected via manually doing it or using something like a remco driveshaft disconnect. I called remco, they had said they make driveshafts for the FJ. There are other things that come along with flat towing, brakes, connection points, etc. This is what I'm started to look at now to see what people are using for these parts. as far as how the transfer case is left and all that OldmattB touched on it earlier and seems to be pretty experienced.
 

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jherch, can you share your research a bit? I have a class-A diesel pusher with air brakes and I too want to tow my FJ behind it. I keep reading conflicting information and have read about guys flat towing for thousands of miles without an issue. I've also read about others using a two-wheel car dolly with success. While others don't even use a braking system, etc.

It sounds like you've concluded that the rear drive shaft has to be disconnected (but not the front?). Are you leaving the tranny in park and the transfer in 2 wheel? Key on enough that the wheels don't lock? Is it possible to unhook the FJ and park it after putting it in 4 wheel drive (or maybe it wont enguage without the truck moving?

Sorry for all the questions but I'm trying to decide on buying a 2 wheel dolly or towbar/etc. Thanks
I too have heard about flat towing without removing the driveshaft. I don't mean to sound flip, but why would they make a disconnect system if it wasn't necessary? That literally is my basis for removing the driveshaft, supported by A LOT of reading. The FJ transmission is not like the old school trans-transfer case setups. We also tow an old CR-V - no disconnect system available for it, as far as I know.

There is some gray area in braking systems. Some states specify "trailers" some have low weight limits some high weight limits. I think some states do not require trailer brakes. Me, I will not do anything that I could not confidently justify to the jury in my manslaughter case. With a Cummins M-11 and a retarder on the RV transmission, I don't need the towd braking for slowing down. It is for breakaway safety.

I leave the FJ transmission in park, transfer in two-wheel drive, one click on the ignition switch to power the brake buddy. I don't remember if the FJ has a steering column lock when the ignition is off.

I THINK I tried moving the FJ with the driveshaft out, and the power was sent to the least resistance - the missing driveshaft. You will still need to remove the driveshaft if you use a two-wheel dolly. An RV forum (maybe IRV2) can help with the various ways to tow. For me, it was flat tow - two less tires, one less tag, one less thing to store everyplace I go...
 

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I too have heard about flat towing without removing the driveshaft. I don't mean to sound flip, but why would they make a disconnect system if it wasn't necessary? That literally is my basis for removing the driveshaft, supported by A LOT of reading. The FJ transmission is not like the old school trans-transfer case setups. We also tow an old CR-V - no disconnect system available for it, as far as I know.

There is some gray area in braking systems. Some states specify "trailers" some have low weight limits some high weight limits. I think some states do not require trailer brakes. Me, I will not do anything that I could not confidently justify to the jury in my manslaughter case. With a Cummins M-11 and a retarder on the RV transmission, I don't need the towd braking for slowing down. It is for breakaway safety.

I leave the FJ transmission in park, transfer in two-wheel drive, one click on the ignition switch to power the brake buddy. I don't remember if the FJ has a steering column lock when the ignition is off.

I THINK I tried moving the FJ with the driveshaft out, and the power was sent to the least resistance - the missing driveshaft. You will still need to remove the driveshaft if you use a two-wheel dolly. An RV forum (maybe IRV2) can help with the various ways to tow. For me, it was flat tow - two less tires, one less tag, one less thing to store everyplace I go...
Thanks for the info. Good point about the need for a breakaway and the info on 4H.

I guess my biggest fear is needing to disconnect to get out of a sticky situation at a gas station or grocery store. Might take some time to reconnect the driveshaft. But that problem exists with either flat tow or dolly, and neither allow backing the rig up much.
 

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Thanks for the info. Good point about the need for a breakaway and the info on 4H.

I guess my biggest fear is needing to disconnect to get out of a sticky situation at a gas station or grocery store. Might take some time to reconnect the driveshaft. But that problem exists with either flat tow or dolly, and neither allow backing the rig up much.
Yep, in those situations, you just have to take a breath, and methodically do what is necessary. It probably takes less time than it feels like.

I used to get so annoyed at emptying the dishwasher at home. Really upset me! Until I timed it - took around 45 seconds.

Think about the guy who pumps ten gallons of diesel into his Honda. Or the lady who locks her keys in the car at the gas line. You will be gone in ten minutes. They might still be sitting an hour later. You will hardly be noticed.
 

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(big snip)

I THINK I tried moving the FJ with the driveshaft out, and the power was sent to the least resistance - the missing driveshaft. You will still need to remove the driveshaft if you use a two-wheel dolly. An RV forum (maybe IRV2) can help with the various ways to tow. For me, it was flat tow - two less tires, one less tag, one less thing to store everyplace I go...
In an auto trans FJ (with no center diff), power will still be routed to the front diff when the rear driveshaft is disconnected and the transfer case is in 4WD mode.

In a manual-trans FJ (with center diff), power will still be routed to the front diff when the rear driveshaft is disconnected IF the transfer case center diff is locked.
 

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In an auto trans FJ (with no center diff), power will still be routed to the front diff when the rear driveshaft is disconnected and the transfer case is in 4WD mode.

In a manual-trans FJ (with center diff), power will still be routed to the front diff when the rear driveshaft is disconnected IF the transfer case center diff is locked.
Good news! I will use this information.
 

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Have any of you guys tapped into your taillights to make them activate when you activate the brakes and turn signal on the motorhome?
I did that on a previous vehicle, and it seemed a lot of trouble for minor benefit. You will still need to wire a jack on the front of the towd, and plug the vehicles together.

I use the LED towing lights from Harbor Freight, and stick them on the top of the FJ. I run the wires inside, out through the front of the passenger door, and under the hood. This prevents the wires from blowing in the wind and scratching the finish. Finish scratches are reserved for branches on the trail!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I did that on a previous vehicle, and it seemed a lot of trouble for minor benefit. You will still need to wire a jack on the front of the towd, and plug the vehicles together.

I use the LED towing lights from Harbor Freight, and stick them on the top of the FJ. I run the wires inside, out through the front of the passenger door, and under the hood. This prevents the wires from blowing in the wind and scratching the finish. Finish scratches are reserved for branches on the trail!
What about keeping the battery charged on the FJ? Did you do anything for that?
 

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What about keeping the battery charged on the FJ? Did you do anything for that?
I've now towed my FJ behind the motor home with success. The first trip I left the key in the accessory position and a 3 hour trip drained my battery (and a couple days later had to replace the battery [it was pretty old]). On the return trip I turned it to the off position and all was fine and the wheels didn't lock. The trick was to shut off the FJ from the running position all the way to off, and DON'T PULL THE KEY OUT. As soon as you pull the key out you can hear the mechanism lock.

Here is the full procedure I used for flat-towing my FJ without disconnecting either driveshaft:
  • Hook up the FJ to the towbar/motorhome
  • While engine running on FJ, shift main drive shifter to N
  • Put the transfer level into neutral (passing 4w-hi on the way but NOT all the way to 4w-lo)
  • Shut of the ignition the whole way
  • Put the drive shifter into Park
  • Leave the key in the ignition
  • Drive the rig

I assembled this procedure reading many blogs, forums, etc. Your millage may vary ;0
 

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I've now towed my FJ behind the motor home with success. The first trip I left the key in the accessory position and a 3 hour trip drained my battery (and a couple days later had to replace the battery [it was pretty old]). On the return trip I turned it to the off position and all was fine and the wheels didn't lock. The trick was to shut off the FJ from the running position all the way to off, and DON'T PULL THE KEY OUT. As soon as you pull the key out you can hear the mechanism lock.

Here is the full procedure I used for flat-towing my FJ without disconnecting either driveshaft:
  • Hook up the FJ to the towbar/motorhome
  • While engine running on FJ, shift main drive shifter to N
  • Put the transfer level into neutral (passing 4w-hi on the way but NOT all the way to 4w-lo)
  • Shut of the ignition the whole way
  • Put the drive shifter into Park
  • Leave the key in the ignition
  • Drive the rig
I bought a kit that includes aux light bulbs and has the wire to home run from the tail lights to the front end tow harness connection to the motorhome. Only downside is that you have to drill extra holes in the tail light fixtures through the access doors. Wasn't a biggy for me. I bought the kit from *mazon, Blu3 0x BX8869.

I assembled this procedure reading many blogs, forums, etc. Your millage may vary ;0
 

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Have any of you guys tapped into your taillights to make them activate when you activate the brakes and turn signal on the motorhome?
I bought a kit that includes aux light bulbs and has the wire to home run from the tail lights to the front end tow harness connection to the motorhome. Only downside is that you have to drill extra holes in the tail light fixtures through the access doors. Wasn't a biggy for me. I bought the kit from *mazon, Blu3 0x BX8869. This configuration doesn't use any battery power from the FJ, and with the key in the off position (after turning if off without removing the key) there is no accessory drain on the battery.
 

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Hello friends, I have an 08 auto 4x4 FJ I plan to flat tow behind a RV, as it says this isn’t asking if I can do it. I’ve read on it quite a bit. This is more asking what eqipment you guys use and perfer. I have a blue ox tow bar and that’s it so far. I would like to know what you guys use and maybe why you picked for;

-Braking system
-Front plate or bumper
-Do you use a driveshaft disconnect or manually get out an unbolt and bolt it each time?
-Any other things that are nice to have

Thanks Jake
To contribute to your original question, I went with the Blu3 0x baseplate. it was around $350 but worth every penny. It's a real beefy bar and plates that mount to the normal bumper mounts but also bolts to the frame. It came with set of safety cables that I ran through the tow hooks and around the frame and baseplate. You do have to drill 6 holes and some of the bolts screw into existing threaded holes.

I also bought a towbar from the same company and it includes heavy-weight safety cables that attach from the motorhome to either the tow hooks on the FJ or the convenience hooks of the baseplate.
 
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