Tow Bar Opinions

cpwolf

Texan
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Jun 15, 2020
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TEXAS - Cedar Park
I have the Smittybilt. I’ve towed my TJ back and forth to Lubbock when my son was using it at Texas Tech. About a 6.5 hour drive, and did 65-70 with zero issues.

I also towed my CJ5 with a 6” lift and it did fine, except the Castor almost nil and the dam thing won’t track well, but that’s not the fault of the bar.

If you’re going to do 1000’s of miles behind an RV, maybe look at why these others are considered so high end?

The cheaper one has done me just fine
 

cpwolf

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The RV guys want the adjustable arms. They think it is too hard to hook up without adjustable arms.

I hear that, doing it pretty often and moving a Giant RV, I kind of get that. I’m hooking to an Expedition with a camera or F150, it’s pretty easy.
 

Old_Crow

TJ Enthusiast
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Dec 16, 2021
Messages
388
Location
Quartzsite, AZ
The RV guys want the adjustable arms. They think it is too hard to hook up without adjustable arms.

Exactly! Because a lot of us are old and somewhat infirm.
That being said, I've been running the Curt version of the SB solid towbar for 11 years. I'm 72, but still able to hook up with no problem. This year, however, I bought a trailer. When flat towing, it's not possible to back the rig up more than a couple of feet without unhooking. When my wife was still alive this was no big deal. By the time she got into the driver's seat of the Jeep I had it unhooked, and she could drive it to where we would hook back up. Now that I'm traveling solo, a trailer makes a better idea because I can back out of a situation if I have to.
Besides, now I can carry a motorcycle with me in addition to the Jeep.
 
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Mr. Bills

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Nov 24, 2017
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San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
This was my final shopping list for my flat tow set-up. There are simpler and less expensive products, but I'm 72 and the guy who will have to hitch and unhitch in the mud on a dark and stormy night.

Sourced from e-trailer.com:

Roadmaster High-Low Adapter for Tow Bars - 2" Hitches - 10 1/4" Rise/Drop
11-1/4" Long – 10,000# GTW 400# TW P/N RM-048-10
(Used to raise the hitch point to place the tow bar angle within Roadmaster specifications)

Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain, Non-Binding Tow Bar
Motorhome Mount - 2" Hitch - 12" shank - 6,000 lbs. P/N RM-522

Adapter for Jeep D-Ring Bumper Mounts to Roadmaster Motor Home Mount Tow Bars
3/4" Thick P/N RM-035
(To use tow bar with existing D-Ring tabs on Rock Hard 4x4 bumper)

7-Wire to 6-Wire Coiled-to-Straight Cord for Roadmaster Tow Bars
8' Long P/N RM-1676-7

CE Smith Tie-Down Bracket for Boat Trailers
Galvanized Steel - Bolt On, 2 ea., P/N CE26214G
(Used for safety chain attachment points on jeep utilizing existing frame attachment bolt under bumper)

Roadmaster Tow Bar Cover P/N RM-055-3
(Unnecessary, but it allows me to keep the tow bar on my tow rig out of the weather)


Sourced on Amazon.com:

Roadmaster 76" Single Hook, Straight Safety Cables
8,000 lbs P/N RM-645-76 [Also available from etrailer.com.]


Sourced on E-Bay:

Previously owned RVi3 Supplemental Brake System.


Sourced locally:

Magnetic Trailer Lights [already on hand in my trailer tow kit]
Hitch pins and clips
Miscellaneous hardware


.
 
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bucky

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Dec 25, 2020
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SoCal/North Dakota/ N Az
I’ve used a straight tow bar for 30+ yrs. The down side is lining up to it but with my back up camera it’s a cinch now. Keep in mind that brakes are need in most state when pulling the weight of a vehicle. Personally I only hook up the lights.

A5DA7242-BF56-48A9-8ED3-4CBD0E1764F7.jpeg


2A4AE647-738A-4A57-9EF5-D2D411D2FFAA.jpeg
 
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HDRider

HDRider

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May 26, 2022
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Arkansas
As I continue to explore towing I am now questioning if I need some mechanism to activate my brakes when flat towing my Jeep. My Jeep weighs about 3,400 pounds +/-.

 
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Mr. Bills

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San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
Yes, you need a supplemental brake system if you flat tow. Ignore anyone who says "I've been flat towing for a zillion years without supplemental brakes and I've never had a problem."

Nearly every state and certainly every Canadian province will require supplemental braking when flat towing a vehicle the weight of your TJ. Even if you don't live in a state that requires supplemental braking you will almost certainly drive through one.

Brake Buddy, SMI, Demco, Blue Ox, ReadyBrake and RVi are popular brands. After researching all of them I purchased a "used but not abused" RVi 3 brake system. In fact, I think it was used only once.
 
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DaveC

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Jan 3, 2019
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Gilbert, Arizona
Yes; looks like AR requires at 3,000 lbs. Avoiding a ticket isn't the only reason; I've read plenty of stories about insurance companies denying coverage after an accident due to people not being properly equipped for towing - regardless of whether they were at fault or not.

As @Mr. Bills pointed out, there are lots of options available. I chose a ReadyBrake paired with a basic Blue Ox tow bar and magnetic brake lights; this provided a very simple, reliable setup that didn't require tapping into the TJ's electronics or braking systems. I bought the ReadyBrake new directly from the manufacturer because they'd match any lower price I could find, picked up the tow bar off FB Marketplace for about 25% of new price and sourced the lights and safety cables from etrailer.com. When all said and done, I think my entire setup was ~$650 all-in.

If you're willing to do a little searching on CL and FB Marketplace, you can often find complete setups, or at least the tow bars, for significantly less than buying new. Etrailer.com is a great place to do all the research to determine what system you'd prefer or components to piece together.

20221110_155443.jpg
 
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HDRider

HDRider

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Arkansas
Yes, you need a supplemental brake system if you flat tow. Ignore anyone who says "I've been flat towing for a zillion years without supplemental brakes and I've never had a problem."

Nearly every state and certainly every Canadian province will require supplemental braking when flat towing a vehicle the weight of your TJ. Even if you don't live in a state that requires supplemental braking you will almost certainly drive through one.

Brake Buddy, SMI, Demco, Blue Ox, ReadyBrake and RVi are popular brands. After researching all of them I purchased a "used but not abused" RVi 3 brake system. In fact, I think it was used only once.

What a coincidence. I was just watching this about San Miguel de Allende. Wow! Scary...

 

NskLJ

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Oct 19, 2021
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Long Beach
This the tow bar I picked up used for about $100. I like it in that the arm do telescope which helps with connecting it to the motorhome. I can also disconnect and stow it quickly if we want to head somewhere for lunch or explore a town. I have also needed it when I got into a few situations where I could not turn around and had to disconnect the Jeep to get it turned around. Another thing for me is Rv and Jeep are stored on my property and I can pull everything out and have it hooked up in about 15 minutes. Dislikes I have to bolt the attachment brackets to the bumper but I can do this a week in advance so not a big deal. I do remove them to run trails.
For the brake system I used a invisibrake. It stays mounted in the vehicle under the rear seat area. Raise the seat mount 1” with aluminum flat bar. This system charges the brake booster and used a air solenoid and cable to actuate the factory Jeep brakes. It works well but looks like it has gone up in price a couple hundred since I purchased it.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007HRTFIW/?tag=wranglerorg-20

7831C717-59D0-43EF-86BA-4769979B8699.jpeg
 

Mr. Bills

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San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
What a coincidence. I was just watching this about San Miguel de Allende. Wow! Scary...


I just watched the video.

I find the scary part to be how the young couple in the video think that they can accurately describe the cultural dynamic in San Miguel after a week as tourists staying in a high-end Airbnb.

They are right that San Miguel is a magical city and a foodie's paradise, but they are wrong to think that the negative issues from the growth of this city are the result of expats moving in. It wasn't extranjeros from the U.S. or Canada who ran up real estate prices in the city center and displaced local families, it was the rich from Mexico City (sometimes called Chilangos). It is affluent Mexicans rather than gringos who predominantly fill San Miguel on weekends, although there is no shortage of gringos during "the season." San Miguel is easily reached from Mexico City and is therefore an attractive weekend and holiday destination, just like the Hamptons are for NYC, Ojai or Palm Springs are for L.A., and Napa is for San Francisco.


Now back to tow bars and supplemental brake systems.
 
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ATCKIP

Member
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Jan 24, 2021
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87
Location
Brooks, GA
If you go with a RV setup, you'll need either a baseplate or a proper bumper with D ring mounts and different ends on the towbar also
 
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