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Tow Car Set-up


freestoneangler

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We have yet to get the 2006 CRV set-up with a tow bar... figuring I'd wait until we buy the coach before doing so... though not sure that would really matter? I might just go-ahead and get the baseplate installed now. The Blue Ox seems quite popular and looking at their website, quite a few options -- 16 in fact.

 

Any advice on which style is best or opinions on other mfg.'s besides Blue Ox?

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I'm confused. Are you saying there are 16 options for your base plate?? I know there was only one for our model

Having said that we have a DP. We have blue ox base plate, tow bar (Alladin) and we use the SMI Air Force One break system. Love our componets

Ron & Linda

Class of 2007
2000 Monaco Diplomat

2005 Honda Element

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" Theodore Roosevelt

"We can't control the wind, but we can adjust our sail"

"When man gave up his freedom to roam the earth, he gave up his soul for a conditioned ego that is bound by time and the fear of losing its attachments."

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Base plate is not dependent on the make/model/length etc of your eventual coach. I have the Blue Ox base plate and the Blue Ox tow bar with the Blue Ox Auto Stop (same as ReadyBrake). As said above, the BO base plate setup is not very visible when unconnected.

Then
The puller - Wiers Towmaster (Int'l 4700LP)
and pusher - 40' Travel Supreme

Now

30' Winnebago Aspect TS
Signs of my new life

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As said, the base plate is dependent on your car not on your RV so you can get it any time. But when you buy the actual tow bar be sure you get one that says all-terrain. You don't want to have to be straight and level in order to hookup because that combination rarely happens out in the real world.

 

Linda Sand

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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While I am a satisfied customer of Blue Ox, there is an equally well rated base plate and tow bar from Roadmaster so you may want to consider both. I prefer the Blue Ox mostly because of the way that even the tow bar attaching points can be removed when you are not towing the vehicle, which isn't true of other manufacturers. There are one or two other brands as well, but these two are the highest rated and seem to have the most users.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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As said, the base plate is dependent on your car not on your RV so you can get it any time. But when you buy the actual tow bar be sure you get one that says all-terrain. You don't want to have to be straight and level in order to hookup because that combination rarely happens out in the real world.

 

Linda Sand

Excellent input Linda, thanks.

 

Nana25K - no, I understand they make customized base plate (car side of the hook-up) for specific year/model and that I could go get that task done in advance of buying a coach. I was just wondering if Blue Ox was the preferred tow system before committing to that. Also whether any particular models of the coach side of the connection (tow bar) was preferred and why.

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There are different tow bar weight ratings. I got the largest rated, since I was not sure what I might tow in the future. I have towed 3 different vehicles now in 5 years. I like the tow bar to be part of the coach, not on the front of the vehicle.

 

I have had 3 different car set ups, Demco, and Roadmaster, came with two vehicles. The Demco is there on the front all the time on a Jeep, ugly, but simple. The Roadmaster had two long heavy removable inserts and a heavy cross bar, 4 loose pins to insert, and the weight and storage was always a pain. The Avalanche had Blue Ox small removable inserts, easiest to remove, carry, and stow, and well worth the money.

Dave and Dolly Cobb
Arlington TX

1998 Foretravel, U-295 36', rare mid-door
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, as a toad

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We like the Blue Ox Baseplate, it's stealth, hardly visible with the tow pins out. Make sure you get a towbar that will handle your present (and future) vehicles. We have the Roadmaster 10K lb. Also note that you can get the Roadmaster with Blue Ox connectors. Important if you already have a Roadmaster. Reason we went to (kept) Roadmaster is a great trade in deal at a Rally. As far as I can tell both Blue Ox and Roadmaster are good bars. Actually like the Blue Ox towbar connectors better better than Roadmaster. Like the levers on the Roadmaster better than the buttons. Roadmaster has serviced the towbar several times at Rallies for free. Blue Os probably does the same thing.

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I was just wondering if Blue Ox was the preferred tow system before committing to that. Also whether any particular models of the coach side of the connection (tow bar) was preferred and why.

As mentioned, the two leaders are Blue Ox and Roadmaster and next i order of popularity in the RV world would be Demco. Of those, I have used and tend to prefer the Blue Ox, but the differences are not major. Like most folks who buy a system and like it, I bought the Blue Ox first and have been happy with their products and their support and so have stayed with them. One thing I really like about the Blue Ox line is that I have periodically shipped our tow bar back to the company to be reconditioned and for all worn parts to be replaced and for minimal cost. I also like their base plate best because the attaching points for the tow bar are removable so that they do not show when the tow bar is not in use.

 

As to what model of tow bar, there are a pretty wide range of them and good reasons for each one but, I strongly recommend you get one of the motorhome mounted tow bars which attach into the receiver on the motorhome and which resides there when not in use. The older design tow bars mounted to the vehicle to be towed and attach to the motorhome via a hitch ball just like a trailer will connect. The problem with that type is that if you pass through a very deep & steep dip it is possible to pry the hitch off of the ball mounted to your receiver. With the long overhang of modern motorhomes that can be a major problem because the arc of travel for the ball as the motorhome rear axle basses through the dip is far greater than it would be for a vehicle with very little rear overhang.

 

As mentioned, a two bar has a maximum towing weight rating, listed as GTW and you need to be very aware of that. Motorhomes have a maximum designed weight that they can tow as well and I suggest that your tow bar should be rated to match or exceed the motorhome's maximum towing weight. If you check the websites, Blue Ox has bars rated from 6500# to 10,000#, Roadmaster from 6000# to 10,000#. There may still be some tow bars around that have a 5000# rating or lower so be careful. It would be a shame to spend a huge amount to buy a motorhome, then spend thousands more on a two vehicle, only to have a cheap tow setup come loose and allow that costly car to smash into the rear of your expensive motorhome when you stop! Or worse yet, have the safety cables fail too and the car hits someone else. :wacko:

 

The make/model that we used for our last 10 years as an Aladdin from Blue Ox. We chose it for it's 7,500# tow rating (we never towed anything that heavy, just like the safety margin), it's ease of attachment and disconnection, and the lighter weight of the aluminum arms for the times when Pam was doing the attachment. I can't say that it makes Blue Ox the best available as theirs is the only brand that we ever used, but I do have experience with several models and also with the ball attaching type and would go back to the Aladdin if I were to buy another motorhome.

 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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We have a Blue Ox base plate, and we use a ReadyBrute Elite tow bar with it that combines an 8,000 lb rated aluminum tow bar with a ReadyBrake auxiliary brake system in a single unit. Hook up is very easy and the brake system is very effective. The manufacturer, NSA, supplies the correct tow bar clevis ends to match any of the popular base plates.

Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F-53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/brake system

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An auxiliary brake system, and particularly a break away system, is recommended for all vehicles in tow, regardless of the towing vehicle. The laws of physics apply to all of us everywhere, and the laws of man apply to us in those states and provinces that require auxiliary brake systems.

Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F-53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/brake system

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I agree with Dutch, the laws of physics apply to all of us everywhere. If you have ever had a panic stop in a motorhome, you will know it does not stop as fast as a car. You want all the braking you can get, including having auxiliary braking.

2004 40' Newmar Dutch Star DP towing an AWD 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid, Fulltimer July 2003 to October 2018, Parttimer now.
Travels through much of 2013 - http://www.sacnoth.com - Bill, Diane and Evita (the cat)
 

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The kinds of baseplates have been covered well. Both are well made. Take a look at how 'stealth' the attachment points are when not in tow duty mode. If that is important to you. Yes to getting a good designed braking assist for the toad. I like ones with Proportional Braking ability, and also find the ones that have a coach cockpit control that allows for both adjustment of braking force, and also manual application of toad braking, to be of value. (Sometimes when attaching the two bars, we use the Stirling All Terrain, one of the two bars will not 'lock' in position. So when taking off, especially in a downhill condition, I find great value on being able to manually apply the toads brakes, until such time as I see the second two bar lock into position in the rear camera.)

 

Another observation, is how many times I've observed toads in tow, where the bar is angled down from the toad to the rear of the RV. In panic stopping, especially for the many who tow with out brake assist, the toad can 'ride up' and say hello to the rear of your RV. Angling the tow bar down from the coach to the tow, at least helps you with the physics of avoiding the toad running up and into your RV. (Installation manuals cover the recommended slant, and buying drop down or raise up hitches will help set that proper geometry.)

 

Best to all, be safe, have fun,

Smitty

Be safe, have fun,

Smitty

04 CC Allure "RooII" - Our "E" ride for life!

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Concerning the auxiliary brake system; is this something recommended for a CRV behind a DP? How many folks towing a light car opt for this set-up?

We used the SMI Air Force One brake system when we towed our CRV behind our Class A. Once it was installed, we only had to connect the cables and be on our way. I love simple.

 

Linda Sand

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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I agree with Dutch, the laws of physics apply to all of us everywhere. If you have ever had a panic stop in a motorhome, you will know it does not stop as fast as a car. You want all the braking you can get, including having auxiliary braking.

Makes sense... will plan on incorporating that into the tow set-up. I know a good many folks that tow boats (some roughly the weight of a CRV) with trailers having no brake system... hence my thought that a small car behind a DP might not be needed.

 

 

We used the SMI Air Force One brake system when we towed our CRV behind our Class A. Once it was installed, we only had to connect the cables and be on our way. I love simple.

 

Linda Sand

As do we... I'll check out the SMI unit. Thanks Linda

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Makes sense... will plan on incorporating that into the tow set-up.

While I used the Brake Buddy, there are many very good choices available so look at more than one. I always kept ours set up so that it didn't apply any braking in a normal stop as it really isn't needed, but when we did brake hard it was set up to apply ample brake on the tow car to get into the ABS system, thus causing the car to pull back on the tow-bar, since any towed vehicle will stop more quickly than a motorhome which is so much heavier. Remember that no matter what you tow, that extra weight makes it take longer to stop. The other factor in my mind is that we spend a lot of money on the RV and car so adding an auxiliary brake system with break away, is a vast improvement in safety. Set up properly, should the tow bar come loose, the break away will actuate before the towed care reaches the end of the safety cables and so lock the brakes, thus stopping the towed care before it slams into the rear of your RV.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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