Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com, and this is my review of the Rugged Ridge Hitch Kit, fitting all 2007 to 2016 JK's. This kit is available in about nine different configurations. At the heart of each is this bolt on receiver and then from there you can start adding parts. It's available with this plug and play wiring harness, with a branded hitch plug, a tow bar and your choice of tow ball sizes, a tow hook, or a D-ring shackle mount, and the D-ring. So, depending on how you use your Jeep and what you want there's a kit for you.
These kits are for those of you who don't already have a factory OE receiver but you want one because you either want to tow with the Jeep or you want that extra recovery point. It's important to note that these will definitely work with a factory rear bumper or with an aftermarket rear bumper that has a cutout for an OE style hitch. But, if your aftermarket rear bumper already has a receiver built into it, you won't be able to use one of these kits because they occupy the same space.
At the heart of every one of these kits is this fully welded two inch solid steel receiver. This thing is really beefy. It's actually designed really similar to the OEM style receiver, so it's gonna bolt in all the same locations, which makes for a nice easy no drill installation. This also has a couple of loops on it for your trailer safety chains which is a nice feature.
The amount that you'll be able to tow on this receiver is only limited by the towing capacity of your Jeep. For those of you with the two door JK, you're gonna be limited to 2,000 pounds with a 200 pound tongue weight capacity and those of you with the four door can tow 3,500 pounds with a 350 pound tongue weight capacity.
So, as you can see, a Jeep is not going to be a great dedicated tow pig. But, if you need to pull around a light trailer this will definitely get the job done.
As far as some of the parts you can get in the kit with this hitch, I really like the plug and play wiring harness. Now this is a standard four wire harness, but chances are with your Jeep you're not going to be towing a trailer that's large or heavy enough to have things like trailer brakes or reverse lights, so this should suit most of your needs. Like I said, it is completely plug and play so all you have to do is unplug the factory brake light wiring harness. This plugs right in and you're done. It couldn't be any easier.
Aside from the wiring harness, there are a couple of different accessories that you can get to go in your new receiver. And Rugged Ridge does a nice job of kitting those together and making this a nice, easy one-stop shop. If you're gonna be doing some towing, that option is obviously available. But if you're using this for recovery you have two options,between a hook and a D-ring mount and D-ring. I personally like the D-ring shackle mount option over the hook because if you're using something like a strap for recovery, sometimes the loop from the strap can slip off of a hook. With the D-ring, it's locked in and you don't have to worry about it.
Like I said before, Rugged Ridge makes the installation of this kit really, really easy by modeling this similar to the OEM receiver. The rear cross member of the Jeep already has the four holes drilled in it that this meshes up to really nicely. And the hardware that you need for the installation is included in the kit. All you'll need to do is remove the bolts that hold on the bumper cover, bolt this into place, and reinstall your bumper.
If you do get one of the kits that have the wiring harness, like I said before, it is plug and play and really easy to install. However, you will need a Phillips head screwdriver to pop out the tail light to get to the connectors.
The whole installation should take about an hour and you won't need any specialty tools at all, just a socket set and an open-ended wrench. Any of the other accessories that you might get with these kits will slide right into the receiver and be held into place using the included hitch pin.
Anytime you're purchasing a kit like this, there's a chance that you can go out and source all the parts for about the same cost, or maybe save a couple of dollars. The benefit to a kit like this is, it's already put in a box for you. It's a one stop shop and it's nice and easy. In my opinion the components that are included in this kit are really high quality and you get a ton of value. So, I think a kit like this is worth every dollar.
So, if you're looking to add a receiver to your Jeep either for towing a light trailer or for recovery purposes, Rugged Ridge has you covered with one of the many kits they offer. You'll definitely find what you need. So, that's my review of the Rugged Ridge Hitch Kit, available for all 2007 to 2016 JK's that you can find right here at ExtremeTerrain.com.