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Unread 08-04-2014, 09:24 AM   #1
j73m6
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Hitch on a 2014 GC?

I'm looking to add a hitch to my 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited, only to be used for light loads, such as bike carriers.

I see a lot of different options out there, some a lot more $$$ than others.

Your suggestions, please? I'd bring it to the dealer to have the "official" hitch installed, but I'm not looking to break the bank.

Thanks!

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Unread 08-04-2014, 10:07 AM   #2
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There are dozens of recent threads here.

You will need to take it to the dealer anyway to get the lights to work, if you want trailer lights. The OEM hitch is the best in that you don't loose ground clearance and is well made. You have to cut the facia, however. These can be found at many online discount dealers for reasonable money.

But search for "hitch" or "trailer hitch"and some recent threads will show up containing all kinds of opinions.
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Unread 08-04-2014, 10:43 AM   #3
canistel
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Maybe the 2014 is different, but I just took my 2012 to a local trailer shop and they installed an after-market hitch which is pretty much invisible; all you see from the back is the little square, and from the side just a few inches of the square tube. Anyway, it was installed with the 4-pin wire which did not require any dealer activity to get the lights to work. Plugged the trailer in when I got home and it all worked great. Took about 40 mins, approx $350 parts + installed.

I called a few dealers in my area first because I really wanted the "through the bumper" hitch; well, quotes were $750 to $1000, one dealer didn't even want to touch it (said he would source it out). I have no regrets at all, the after-market works and looks great, plust it cost very little to install it.
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Unread 08-04-2014, 11:42 AM   #4
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canistel, I suspect your hitch installer spliced into the rear light wiring to make that four pin connector work without dealer intervention. Use of the factory pre-wiring when the factory tow option wasn't on the vehicle requires that a dealer use their maintenance access to turn on that wiring on the vehicle's computer.
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Unread 08-04-2014, 11:44 AM   #5
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The OE hitch is around $260 in parts including the plug. and a decent shop will install it for under $200.
Or it's a relatively straightforward at home 3 hour install with hand tools and a Dremel, the cut lines are pre marked inside the bumper. It's not for everyone's as you have to pull some panels off.

The best thing you can do is get the price from the body shop since their labor rate is usually half of the service guys and they will be doing the cutting anyhow, trust me... Go to the parts department get your price on the parts, bring printouts, and then walk to the Jeep dealers body shop and get a price quote on install. Tell them you need the computer flashed too, they'll drive it over and include it in the price if you're lucky.. It's worth a shot if you're on the fence about the OE hitch, if not all this is moot.

So yeah costly, $400 if yer lucky $550 at most. Larger dealers aren't always better but shop it, you're entitled.

Non OE hitches
$150-$200.
Plus wiring. $20-$50
Plus flash $50-$80 if needed

Below the bumper mount, easy home install, save the money. There are plenty of opinions why it's not as good, but factually unless your towing heavy loads, it's 100% good.
For the occasional toys the non OE will do the same job for $150+ savings installed. I just think the factory did a nice job.


This is the highest aftermarket I've seen, you'd be cutting plastic for this.. Others fall below the bumper and are 3" lower than OE .. Maybe this one is 2" lower than, not even a minor deal. Awesome if you find it cheap. I can't find it.



OE, check body lines it's up hi, but the difference isn't worth it to some, or a big deal, I just got lucky, another penny and I'd not have done it.

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Unread 08-04-2014, 03:34 PM   #6
canistel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_in_PA View Post
canistel, I suspect your hitch installer spliced into the rear light wiring to make that four pin connector work without dealer intervention.
I guess that's possible too, never thought about that.
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Unread 08-04-2014, 03:38 PM   #7
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I would go OEM personally. better fit/function.
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Unread 08-04-2014, 07:22 PM   #8
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The hitch wiring is right there inside the bumper, but if you use it, even splicing you'll have to "activate" it. There are wiring harnesses that plug in or "T" into the factory wiring.. Between a plug and play harness and a screwdriver/socket set combo you could do this in 2 hours taking it easy in a driveway

An aftermarket hitch installed at home could be had for less than $170, big difference.
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Unread 08-05-2014, 10:33 AM   #9
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I'm going to do this and I'm going to refuse to pay one red cent for the flash. It's ludicrous and it's not the money, but the principal of the matter.
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Unread 08-05-2014, 11:43 AM   #10
canistel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chowner View Post
I'm going to do this and I'm going to refuse to pay one red cent for the flash. It's ludicrous and it's not the money, but the principal of the matter.
I'm not sure what Nonstop is referring to with "even splicing requires activation", because as I mentioned earlier, I didn't have to get the dealer involved. Trailer shop did whatever they needed to do and I got my jeep back 40 mins later with a hitch and working 4-pin wire connector.
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Unread 08-05-2014, 12:53 PM   #11
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Sorry this is so long I'm in traffic and bored.

Your guy spliced into the taillight harness using the tail light wiring that was already functioning. In the process he cut into the factory wires

There is a separate wiring harness specifically for the trailer hitch already under all of our jeeps it's pinned up behind the bumper. If you were to splice into the actual trailer hitch wiring harness you would have to flash the car to activate that wiring. Most typical mechanics would not be aware of this and instead hack into the tails


Get on your back look up behind the bumpers almost in the middle offset to the driver, it will be a pigtail hanging there that is the correct wiring harness for the trailer hitch. It has separate fuses and capacity from the panel.

As for tapping tail lights, while still used and completely functional it can cause problems, mostly newer models. These days with LEDs, can bus, very precise voltages, lamp monitoring, and other dilemmas, splicing into taillights harness is not such a great thing unless there's a specifically designed harness that takes into account voltages, signals, etc. Look what happens when you simply swap out for LEDs without resistors, bulb out messages and hyper flashing. Now instead add the draw of 2-4 or more constant on incandescent bulbs and 2-5 flasher type. There can be a problem. And remember on vehicles with LEDs stock, the wiring was designed for that draw, LEDs draw 60% less than older bulbs and you bet jeep capitalized on this and uses smaller wiring. Read lower capacity. Adding a trailer with 4-8 incandescent bulbs is a greater draw than a single tail light wire set was ever meant to pull, on that circuit it won't last. There's a good reason the trailer harness is there and separate.

Sure people have "no problem" but others don't want a problem, go hot wire an old ford pick up, I did. But these are $35-45k Jeeps notorious for having problems. And before you say I bought it used and spent less, I did too and thought it even more reason to do it the right way because if you fry a tail light circuit and wiring harness, which happens you're looking at $12-$1500 including labor. Tapping voids the warranty.

What's the expression I couldn't find the money to do it right the first time but I had to find the money to do it right the second time.

If all you're going to do is throw some bikes on a rack or put a bumper dumper on it, don't bother with any of this throw the cheapest hitch possible under the jeep and do not wire it, leave it alone and use it well.

As for not flashing it out of principle dude get over it Jeep blows and American car companies dig for the last possible cent you have in your pocket get over it there's nothing you can do you don't have a star scan tool, even the snap on model I have use of cannot access that menu.

There's a bunch of reasons they did it but none if them will matter to you, you think principles apply to situations like this, they don't. Read the news, people die because a car company has no principles, GM sales of the vette are setting records, ask me how I know......people don't care. Flash the car then go feed the homeless. I 100% agree with you but in 20 years you'll learn to ignore crap like that. What you think might change it, won't. There's better flights to use your passion and strengths for. But by all means.
I hate GM on principle, they helped turn this country socialist, took one amount of money, and gave back less, then turned there back on everyone, oh and they still use inferior designs to save pennies, even on their top tier product. But I got over it, funny thing is buying a Toyota Camry or a BMW X1, passat, accord, etc...these days is supporting America more than buying a Jeep Cherokee, but the corvette is the most made in America car, so..I don't trip over my principles anymore, but again, I 100% agree with you. I just wanted the hitch more than I though depriving them of $50 would make a difference, they'll just shaft someone else to get it.. I donated $50 to JDF to offset the stupidity. Again, I am on yor side, but I'd rather see you have a safe hitch and enjoy it than worry about Fiat's lousy respect for customers, did you realize you bought a fiat?

image-3876625456.jpg
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Unread 08-06-2014, 07:03 AM   #12
canistel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonstop View Post
Sorry this is so long I'm in traffic and bored.

Your guy spliced into the taillight harness using the tail light wiring that was already functioning. In the process he cut into the factory wires

There is a separate wiring harness specifically for the trailer hitch already under all of our jeeps it's pinned up behind the bumper. If you were to splice into the actual trailer hitch wiring harness you would have to flash the car to activate that wiring. Most typical mechanics would not be aware of this and instead hack into the tails


Get on your back look up behind the bumpers almost in the middle offset to the driver, it will be a pigtail hanging there that is the correct wiring harness for the trailer hitch. It has separate fuses and capacity from the panel.

As for tapping tail lights, while still used and completely functional it can cause problems, mostly newer models. These days with LEDs, can bus, very precise voltages, lamp monitoring, and other dilemmas, splicing into taillights harness is not such a great thing unless there's a specifically designed harness that takes into account voltages, signals, etc. Look what happens when you simply swap out for LEDs without resistors, bulb out messages and hyper flashing. Now instead add the draw of 2-4 or more constant on incandescent bulbs and 2-5 flasher type. There can be a problem. And remember on vehicles with LEDs stock, the wiring was designed for that draw, LEDs draw 60% less than older bulbs and you bet jeep capitalized on this and uses smaller wiring. Read lower capacity. Adding a trailer with 4-8 incandescent bulbs is a greater draw than a single tail light wire set was ever meant to pull, on that circuit it won't last. There's a good reason the trailer harness is there and separate.

Sure people have "no problem" but others don't want a problem, go hot wire an old ford pick up, I did. But these are $35-45k Jeeps notorious for having problems. And before you say I bought it used and spent less, I did too and thought it even more reason to do it the right way because if you fry a tail light circuit and wiring harness, which happens you're looking at $12-$1500 including labor. Tapping voids the warranty.

What's the expression I couldn't find the money to do it right the first time but I had to find the money to do it right the second time.

If all you're going to do is throw some bikes on a rack or put a bumper dumper on it, don't bother with any of this throw the cheapest hitch possible under the jeep and do not wire it, leave it alone and use it well.

As for not flashing it out of principle dude get over it Jeep blows and American car companies dig for the last possible cent you have in your pocket get over it there's nothing you can do you don't have a star scan tool, even the snap on model I have use of cannot access that menu.

There's a bunch of reasons they did it but none if them will matter to you, you think principles apply to situations like this, they don't. Read the news, people die because a car company has no principles, GM sales of the vette are setting records, ask me how I know......people don't care. Flash the car then go feed the homeless. I 100% agree with you but in 20 years you'll learn to ignore crap like that. What you think might change it, won't. There's better flights to use your passion and strengths for. But by all means.
I hate GM on principle, they helped turn this country socialist, took one amount of money, and gave back less, then turned there back on everyone, oh and they still use inferior designs to save pennies, even on their top tier product. But I got over it, funny thing is buying a Toyota Camry or a BMW X1, passat, accord, etc...these days is supporting America more than buying a Jeep Cherokee, but the corvette is the most made in America car, so..I don't trip over my principles anymore, but again, I 100% agree with you. I just wanted the hitch more than I though depriving them of $50 would make a difference, they'll just shaft someone else to get it.. I donated $50 to JDF to offset the stupidity. Again, I am on yor side, but I'd rather see you have a safe hitch and enjoy it than worry about Fiat's lousy respect for customers, did you realize you bought a fiat?
I'm just going to ignore the rest of your rant, but do you have any credible proof to backup your claims that splicing into the wiring of a WK2 for the purposes of a 4-pin trailer connector will cause problems with the rest of the system (canbus etc)? Because all I see is vague hand waving at this point. I'd be happy to change my mind if you can link to articles or forum threads etc.
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Unread 08-06-2014, 09:54 AM   #13
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It wasn't intend as a rant and being long winded doesn't imply anything. You are obviously on the other side of the equation, meaning inexperienced and wiling to risk your warranty and Jeep over a hundred bucks, that's fine. There's a right way and a wrong way. Just the fact that a circuit meant to carry maybe 15 amps being used for 20+ amps on an intermittent basis is a no no.

This is E Trailers plug in harness, it's $15 I repeat $15 for ten seconds on google, and everyone not wanting to buy the factory piece... It uses The factory DEDICATED CIRCUIT, which is safe and yes you have to flex your principles. Then there's the other better ways..
http://www.etrailer.com/t1-2014_Jeep_Grand+Cherokee.htm


It wasn't aimed at you. No offense but you obviously have a limited understanding of wiring. That's fine you hack into a sensitive wiring harness when there's a perfectly good independent dedicated circuit sitting a foot away, labeled trailer wiring. There's plenty of info out there I thought my offering was a little leg work for you from my personal experience and others, but your attitude tells a story.. Remember these words...I couldn't find the money to do it right the first time, but I had to find it to do it right the second time.. I am offering my pile of wasted money as a favor, I forgot how people are at certain points in life.

Your obviously not at all familiar with canbus or draw..
Here's some random crap to read, just the first few google items. , people like you tend not to read, instead go with what some "mechanic" told you while he's selling you something. Always trust a mechanic you just met, they know everything about all 265 models sold in the US currently, he trains every week on new technologies too.. So just ignore this, you'll be fine. I didn't put much effort into it. Again first page google stuff, this isn't worth an hour of my time..

Keep us updated if no problems show up.

http://canbuskit.com/what.php

http://www.rightconnections.co.uk/canbus

http://uk-trailer-parts.co.uk/7-way-...wiring-diagram

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=145720

http://www.caravantalk.co.uk/communi...canbus-wiring/
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Unread 08-06-2014, 10:54 AM   #14
canistel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonstop View Post
It wasn't intend as a rant and being long winded doesn't imply anything. You are obviously on the other side of the equation, meaning inexperienced and wiling to risk your warranty and Jeep over a hundred bucks, that's fine. There's a right way and a wrong way. Just the fact that a circuit meant to carry maybe 15 amps being used for 20+ amps on an intermittent basis is a no no.

This is E Trailers plug in harness, it's $15 I repeat $15 for ten seconds on google, and everyone not wanting to buy the factory piece... It uses The factory DEDICATED CIRCUIT, which is safe and yes you have to flex your principles. Then there's the other better ways..
http://www.etrailer.com/t1-2014_Jeep_Grand+Cherokee.htm


It wasn't aimed at you. No offense but you obviously have a limited understanding of wiring. That's fine you hack into a sensitive wiring harness when there's a perfectly good independent dedicated circuit sitting a foot away, labeled trailer wiring. There's plenty of info out there I thought my offering was a little leg work for you from my personal experience and others, but your attitude tells a story.. Remember these words...I couldn't find the money to do it right the first time, but I had to find it to do it right the second time.. I am offering my pile of wasted money as a favor, I forgot how people are at certain points in life.

Your obviously not at all familiar with canbus or draw..
Here's some random crap to read, just the first few google items. , people like you tend not to read, instead go with what some "mechanic" told you while he's selling you something. Always trust a mechanic you just met, they know everything about all 265 models sold in the US currently, he trains every week on new technologies too.. So just ignore this, you'll be fine. I didn't put much effort into it. Again first page google stuff, this isn't worth an hour of my time..

Keep us updated if no problems show up.

http://canbuskit.com/what.php

http://www.rightconnections.co.uk/canbus

http://uk-trailer-parts.co.uk/7-way-...wiring-diagram

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=145720

http://www.caravantalk.co.uk/communi...canbus-wiring/
While I appreciate the links and will look into them, I suggest you change your tone a little if you want anyone to take you seriously. I have no principals at stake here (probably confusing me with another poster on this thread). I also did not "hack" into any cable myself, nor did I knowingly try to skimp on saving any money. I brought my jeep to a very reputable trailer shop who installs hundreds of hitches a year (not a mechanic) on almost any vehicle out there, they did everything they needed to do, I still don't know for sure what exactly they did just that it did not require me to take it to a dealer.

No, it's not a factory hitch, that in and of itself does not mean I have an attitude of "do it as cheap as possible". I simply did not want to spend an extra $500 on something I use once or twice a year, because the only difference (that I knew of) was an undermount vs a through-the-bumper hitch.
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Unread 08-06-2014, 11:31 AM   #15
Nonstop
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You're right, your reputable shop did nothing wrong, absolutely no cause for concern.

My statement of needing to flash was if someone hacks into the dedicated wiring for the hitch. not the TAILLIGHT WIRING not yelling just making a visual statement..
What you are missing is that your shop hacked into your taillight wiring. Two completely separate things. You are apparently not getting that these two things are separate circuits and completely separate wiring harnesses.. You don't need to activate taillight wiring its on..

I get that you are not that well versed and that's not wrong or bad, but your absolution is both wrong and bad when it comes to load and tolerance in these circuits.. The taillight circuit is designed to carry a max load of 10amps max , maybe running 5-7 amps continuous, and you are splicing into it with a minimum of 4 incandescent bulbs drawing an additional, guess 7amps, the wiring was sized accordingly.. Nothing fancy..you're overloading or coming close. That's fine your guy with a name tag knows more about canbus wiring than Jeep.. Not me

http://www.wk2jeeps.com/Misc/Fuses_2014_wk.pdf

The trailer wiring is entirely separate on two additional 20amp fuses plus a trailer brake circuit, depending on year and if equipped. So by hacking into a circuit not designed for it you are overloading it, vs. using an intended set of separate wires capable of handling the load with a margin.

I'm fine with my attitude as I'd rather be an open minded ashhole always willing to hear something I don't know, than someone that just won't learn because they trust the wrong people. It's cool, as rare as you think it is, my company denied claims like this for 30 years. Then I got tired of listening.

I really can't write my name in fifty words or less, sorry.
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