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TOW BAR FOR TOWING 4 DOWN


rambler62

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I have been looking for a tow bar for towing our jeep wrangler which is a 5 speed manual so I can just put the transfer case in neutral and go. I have looked at the prices and they vary so greatly that it is a little confusing. Amazon has Reese and other name brands in the $120.00 bracket and then some at 60.00 or so and then there is Blue Ox at 500.00 plus. At 500.00 plus I might as well get a used dolly. Any guidance Here?

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There is a lot more to towing successfully than just a device to connect the two vehicles together. I'd suggest that you do some research on the various makes of tow-bars and why they vary so widely in price. At the very top of the quality group would be the Blue Ox and the Roadmaster units. Those are by far the most often recommended by RV owners. You also will need a base plate on the vehicle to be towed that the tow bar attaches to. I would consider one of the tow bars that insert into the hitch receiver and then detach from the towed vehicle to be of vital importance.

 

The better tow bars also have arms that unlock to move in and out so that you don't have to be perfectly aligned with the RV to connect up and they also release so that you can unhook when the towed vehicle happens to be in a bind when you stop.

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For Jeeps with transfer cases, your are four-down towable. That was why we choose a Grand Cherokee for our first toad.

 

Four-down is far better than messing with a dolly. You choice of vehicles is reduced by you don't have the dolly to deal with when you are not towing. And if you are every stuck in a situation where you need to back up, it is easy to unhook the car, and re-position than to unload the car, disconnect the dolly and then backup.

 

Be aware that base plates are not universal if shopping for used. They are tailored to the car.

 

Also, you will need an auxiliary brake unit for the car. A car in tow is a trailer and in most states, you need an auxiliary brake unit for cars over 3000 lbs. Some states as low a 1500 lbs. One allows 4500 lbs. This is a rule for the state you are in not the state you are registered. There are several styles.

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I just outfitted our Jeep with a Blue Ox Avail tow bar and Invisibrake. I didn't need a baseplate for the Jeep because I have a Smittybilt off-road bumper that the Avail mated to with some adapters. The 2k-3k dollar range is accurate for a set up like this. I know all the components are rock solid and I don't have to worry. I looked at some of the cheaper options, but I am double towing behind a fiver so I wanted to take as much worry out of the equation as I could up front. I have towed about 5000 miles so far with this set up and everything has worked flawless so far.

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Interested in the responses as well, because we will be towing a Jeep Wrangler, except an automatic. Does the tow bar make a difference between automatic and manual transmission? If so, the responses won't apply to us.

No - the tow bar won't make a difference between automatic and manual.

Most, if not all Wranglers have a transfer case that can be put in neutral. Some, such as our 2014 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, allow for the transfer case to be in neutral and the ignition key removed.

 

When towing, our Jeep weighs in at 5050 pounds, and that's loaded with gear, food, etc.

Our Falcon 2 tow bar is rated for 6000 pounds.

The towed vehicle also requires a tow bar. We used a Roadmaster tow bar for the Jeep (this one) - This tow bar works well but in hind sight I wish that I had looked at incorporating a winch with the tow bar (not sure if a winch system would work with what I have now).

Response here will apply to your Jeep. :)

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No - the tow bar won't make a difference between automatic and manual.

Most, if not all Wranglers have a transfer case that can be put in neutral. Some, such as our 2014 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, allow for the transfer case to be in neutral and the ignition key removed.

 

When towing, our Jeep weighs in at 5050 pounds, and that's loaded with gear, food, etc.

Our Falcon 2 tow bar is rated for 6000 pounds.

The towed vehicle also requires a tow bar. We used a Roadmaster tow bar for the Jeep (this one) - This tow bar works well but in hind sight I wish that I had looked at incorporating a winch with the tow bar (not sure if a winch system would work with what I have now).

Response here will apply to your Jeep. :)

Thanks for the helpful response. We'll be purchasing a new Wrangler Sport, so we should be a little lighter than you (before we pack it with gear). LOL

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My Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2 door weighs in at about 4900 lbs.. It is a hard top with a 3 inch lift and 315 (33") tires. It also has Smittybilt bumpers front, rear and sides with a winch, so it is a little heavier than stock. I went with the Blue Ox Avail tow bar because it is rated at 10000 lbs and is a little longer than others. I wanted the capacity margin this tow bar provided and I wanted a little extra length because I am towing it behind a fifth wheel with a lot of tail swing. I didn't want the jeep and the fifth wheel corners meeting in a tight turn.

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Just remember that almost like everything we do! You get what you pay for. A good tow system is a safety investment. Just be careful! We went to the Blue Ox factory and had everything done on the Jeep and RV so far all is working great. Go back every few years for a FREE checkup and tune-up. They even have an overnight place to park. Great place and wonderful service.

 

Safe Travels!

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I have been pulling trailers behind trucks for years. I have over 200,000 on a 1 ton and 36' trailer that we had for business and that is for just one of the many that I have towed not counting the boats. I just don't see $ 2000 for a tow bar. Lights I can wire from the M.H. and I can't see the need for that big of a brake system for a jeep wrangler. No hard top, big wheels, or such. I can't believe a 20,000 lb. M.H will not stop jeep wrangler. I have towed heavier boats with no brakes on trailer. I am not going thru the mountains and Fl. is about as flat as it gets.

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I can't believe a 20,000 lb. M.H will not stop jeep wrangler.

It is not the motorhome stopping the toad. It is what stops the toad should be become disconnected from the motorhome. Unlike many trailers, a disconnected toad will not drop down to the ground and stops. A toad will just roll and become an unguided weapon.

 

And anybody or property damaged by your unguided weapon is your liability including possible manslaughter charges.

 

That is why an auxiliary braking system is required.

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Like stated above, most states require supplemental braking when the gvwr of the towed vehicle is 3,001lb or more AND if less than 3,001, but over 1,500 unladen. I think that qualifies all 4x4 Jeeps, Samurais, etc.....

 

What about break away system? Can't have one without supplemental braking........

 

Why no do it right, safe, and legal? What's another $1K in the whole scheme of the RV hobby?

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I have been pulling trailers behind trucks for years. I have over 200,000 on a 1 ton and 36' trailer that we had for business and that is for just one of the many that I have towed not counting the boats. I just don't see $ 2000 for a tow bar. Lights I can wire from the M.H. and I can't see the need for that big of a brake system for a jeep wrangler. No hard top, big wheels, or such. I can't believe a 20,000 lb. M.H will not stop jeep wrangler. I have towed heavier boats with no brakes on trailer. I am not going thru the mountains and Fl. is about as flat as it gets.

Its not 2k for the row bar. A Blue Ox varies in price from $500 to $800. The 2k$ includes base plate and breaks system

 

Our set up, including an SMI system, came in around $2k.

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And where are you going to park that trailer? Not all RV parks have room of extras like a trailer. Never saw the amount paid for being able to tow 4-down to be that expensive in the grand scheme of things - it was like 1.5% of what we paid for the coach.

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We, too, opted to be able to tow four-down so we wouldn't have to mess with a dolly. It takes only a couple of minutes to hook up or disconnect. We usually unhook when I refuel near the campground, and Jo Ann leads the way in the Jeep.

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I put the street rods on the trailer all the time and have not had a problem at campgrounds that have pull thru sites. I just have to plan. Never had a problem with the cars. Don't pull the jeep very often so 2K to 3K for a set up is not worth while when I already have a good trailer. At a couple hundred yes.

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Buy a tow bar + baseplate and accessories heavier than the minimum for your towed vehicle. Everyone knows towing at the maximum your vehicle is rated to tow is not prudent. Same for the tow bar, don't tow at the maximum rating for the tow bar or it wears out prematurely, just like the vehicle will at maximum tow rating.

I put the street rods on the trailer all the time and have not had a problem at campgrounds that have pull thru sites. I just have to plan. Never had a problem with the cars. Don't pull the jeep very often so 2K to 3K for a set up is not worth while when I already have a good trailer. At a couple hundred yes.

Sounds like a plan to me. Not what I would do, but it isn't me, it's you-and your plan.

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As for a tow dolly, it depends on how you use it.

We found ourselves up a lumpy dirt road, in the dark, in freezing weather on a dead end road.

(due to some bad advice)

We had to disconnect. A tow dolly would have been a true nightmare.

 

The downside of towing four down is that you cannot back up more than a few inches. Disconnect is required.

 

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