How to Activate Trailer Lights on Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most iconic SUV models today. While its classic styling and off-road capabilities are undoubtedly appealing, many owners eventually need to access the vehicle’s rear.

How to Activate Trailer Lights on Jeep Grand Cherokee

Whether you’ve bought new outdoor gear that needs strapping down or are preparing for a camping trip, safely and reliably turning on trailer lights is essential to fully utilizing your Grand Cherokee.

In this guide, I’ll walk through the steps on how to activate trailer lights on jeep grand Cherokee. By the end, you’ll feel confident navigating the road with extra cargo in tow, safely signaling other drivers with functioning side markers, brake lights, and turn signals.

What Will You Need?

Before we get started, it’s essential to gather all the materials you’ll need to activate the trailer lights on your Jeep Grand Cherokee successfully. Here are a few things you should have on hand:

  • Trailer light wiring harness
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire strippers
  • Screwdriver (Phillips and flathead)
  • Multimeter (optional)

It’s also helpful to have a friend or family member assist you during the process, as they can help hold wires in place and provide an extra set of eyes for troubleshooting.

10 Easy Steps on How to Activate Trailer Lights on Jeep Grand Cherokee

1. Check the Connection

The first step to activating trailer lights on a Jeep Grand Cherokee is to check the connection between the vehicle and the trailer. Make sure that the trailer’s wiring harness is securely plugged into the Jeep’s towing connector. If there are any loose or damaged wires, they should be repaired or replaced before attempting to activate the trailer lights.

Connection Between the Vehicle and the Trailer

2. Turn on Headlights

Next, turn on your Jeep’s headlights to ensure they work correctly. This will also activate the power to your trailer lights. If your headlights do not turn on, there may be an issue with your vehicle’s electrical system, and you should consult a mechanic before proceeding.

3. Test Trailer Lights

Once your Jeep’s headlights are turned on, test the trailer lights using turn signals, brake lights, and hazard lights. Have someone stand behind the trailer to confirm that these lights function correctly. If none work, check for loose connections or damaged bulbs and replace them as necessary. For safety reasons, it is essential to ensure all trailer lights work before hitting the road.

4. Confirm Proper Wiring

The next step is to confirm that the trailer lights are correctly wired. You can do this by using a multimeter or test light if you have one. Connect the ground lead of your multimeter to the white wire on the trailer harness, then use the positive lead to test the other wires.

When you activate each function (turn signals, brake lights, and hazard lights) on your Jeep, the voltage on the corresponding wires should increase. If not, there could be an issue with the wiring in your trailer. Consult a professional if you are uncomfortable fixing the wiring on your own.

5. Check Ground Connection

Locate the Ground Wire

The ground connection is essential to any electrical system, and your trailer lights are no exception. Locate the ground wire, typically white, and ensure it’s securely connected to a clean, bare metal surface on the trailer. Utilize your multimeter to check for continuity between the ground wire and the trailer’s frame. If the ground connection is weak or disconnected, the trailer lights may not function correctly, so ensure they’re secure and corrosion-free.

6. Install the Trailer Light Wiring Harness

At this point, you’ll need to install the trailer light wiring harness if it still needs to be done. This involves running the wires from your Jeep’s tail lights to the trailer’s lights. Begin by disconnecting your tail lights. You’ll then attach the wiring harness to the tail light’s connectors and route the harness to the trailer hitch using the included clips to secure it along the way.

Remember, the yellow wire is for the left turn signal and brake light, the green wire is for the right turn signal and brake light, the brown wire is for the taillights, and the white wire is for the ground. Once the harness is correctly installed, reattach your tail lights.

7. Connect the Harness to the Trailer

After successfully installing the trailer light wiring harness on your Jeep, you’ll need to connect it to the trailer. Locate the connector on your trailer that corresponds with the harness you just installed. Firmly press the connector from the trailer into the harness from the Jeep until they snap into place. Ensure this connection is secure, as a loose connection can lead to intermittent or non-functioning trailer lights.

8. Test Every Light Function

With the harness connected, it’s time for another round of testing. Start by turning on your Jeep’s headlights to power the trailer lights. Then, have a friend or family member stand behind the trailer while you operate the turn signals, brake lights, and hazard lights.

They can verify that each light function on the trailer is working correctly. If any lights are not functioning as they should, double-check your connections and ensure all bulbs are in good condition. Safety is paramount, and all lights must be fully operational before you hit the road.

9. Secure All Wires

Prevent Any Loose Wires From Dangling

After you have confirmed that all the lights are working correctly, the next step is to secure all wiring. This will prevent any loose wires from dangling, which could potentially lead to damage or disconnection during your journey. Use zip ties or electrical tape to bind any excess wiring neatly. Ensure the wires are secure, but avoid making the ties too tight, as this could cause the wires to fray or break. All cables should be tucked away from moving parts and high-heat areas.

10. Final Inspection and Safety Check

The final step in activating trailer lights on your Jeep Grand Cherokee is to carry out a comprehensive inspection and safety check. Ensure all wiring is properly secured and no wires are dangling or located near moving parts. Confirm that the trailer lights are still functioning correctly.

Lastly, ensure the trailer is properly attached to your vehicle and that the vehicle and trailer lighting systems are synchronized. This inspection is crucial for your safety and the safety of others on the road. If you find any issues during this final step, revisit the relevant previous steps to resolve them before you set off on your journey.

By following these steps, you can confidently activate the trailer lights on your Jeep Grand Cherokee and ensure they function correctly for a safe and comfortable towing experience.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Use Quality Materials: For the longevity and reliability of your trailer lighting, always opt for quality materials when purchasing a wiring harness or other components.
  2. Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect your trailer lights regularly, even if you don’t use your trailer often. This will help catch any potential issues before they turn into larger problems.
  3. Avoid Shortcuts: While it may be tempting to take shortcuts when installing the trailer lights or wiring, adherence to the correct procedures will ensure the safety and efficiency of your lighting system.
  4. Safety First: Always perform a light check before you start driving. This includes checking the turn signals, brake lights, and tail lights. If lights are not working, do not start your journey until the issue is resolved.
  5. Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you need clarification on any step in the process or encounter any difficulties, feel free to seek professional assistance. It’s better to have the job done correctly and safely than risk potential issues down the road.
Feel Free to Seek Professional Assistance

With these extra tips, you can ensure your trailer lights are activated and functioning correctly, providing a safe and enjoyable towing experience with your Jeep Grand Cherokee.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Using the wrong wiring harness: Always make sure to use a wiring harness specifically designed for your Jeep Grand Cherokee and trailer combination.
  2. Ignoring Minor Issues: Small problems like a flickering light or a loose wire might seem trivial, but they can quickly escalate into significant issues. Address these minor problems as soon as you notice them.
  3. Incorrect Wiring: Improperly installed wiring can lead to malfunctioning lights or a potential fire hazard. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional help if you are unsure.
  4. Overloading the Trailer: Overloading your trailer can strain your vehicle and the trailer lights. Always stick to the recommended weight limit for safe and efficient towing.
  5. Neglecting Safety Checks: Don’t skip safety checks before hitting the road. Always verify that all lights function correctly and that your trailer is properly attached to your vehicle to ensure a safe journey.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can maintain the functionality and safety of your trailer lights on your Jeep Grand Cherokee.


In conclusion, learning how to activate trailer lights on jeep grand cherokee doesn’t have to be daunting. With the proper knowledge and tools, you can effortlessly connect your trailer and start your next adventure with peace of mind. We’ve covered everything – from understanding the different connector types and wiring systems to troubleshooting common issues and ensuring proper safety measures.

So next time you’re ready to hit the road, remember these steps and always put safety first. Whether for a weekend camping trip or a cross-country move, functional trailer lights are crucial for smooth driving and safer travel. And now that you know how to activate them on your own without any external help, you can confidently take on any towing challenge that comes your way.

Plus, with the added convenience of switching between different light modes depending on your needs, you’ll be prepared for any situation on the road. So hook up that trailer – your Jeep Grand Cherokee is ready for action!

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