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Old 02-26-2007, 05:04 AM   #1
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If we decide to purchase a small vehicle for towing behind our 05 Winnie Voyage(such as a 03 Chev Cavalier, 5 speed, FWD, 26-2700#) would would be the setup needed and approximate cost?
I know a towbar and plate would be needed; is the plate usually with the towbar kit?
Safety cables?
Additionally braking or is a brakaway switch sufficient?
Possibly additional magnetic brake/towlights for towed vehicle?
Trying to get an idea on what will be needed...
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:04 AM   #2
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If we decide to purchase a small vehicle for towing behind our 05 Winnie Voyage(such as a 03 Chev Cavalier, 5 speed, FWD, 26-2700#) would would be the setup needed and approximate cost?
I know a towbar and plate would be needed; is the plate usually with the towbar kit?
Safety cables?
Additionally braking or is a brakaway switch sufficient?
Possibly additional magnetic brake/towlights for towed vehicle?
Trying to get an idea on what will be needed...
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:41 AM   #3
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JC2, costs of the various components needed for dinghy towing vary depending on what you want. For some ideas on prices see this link to RVUpgrades. There are other manufacturers of towing equipment, but I happen to like Blue Ox. There are also other retailers, but RVUpgrades is a sponsor of irv2.com and provides excellent service and excellent prices.

You will need a tow bar (car mounted tow bars are cheaper, but motorhome mounted are more convenient), a base plate (separate from the tow bar because it will be designed to fit your specific vehicle), safety cables, and some sort of lighting kit for the toad (you can utilize the existing lights, add separare bulbs in the tail light housings, or use auxillary lights such as a light bar or magnetic lights). An auxilliary braking system is highly recommended. The breakaway will be part of the auxilliary braking system. You could try a search for "toad brakes" or something similar to see discussions of various brake systems.

If you are mechanically inclined you could install the base plate yourself. It usually takes an hour or two. If you are comfortable around electricity, you can do the wiring yourself. Many of the Blue Ox items on the RVUpgrades web site have links to instructions and manuals so you can see what is involved in the installation.
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:59 AM   #4
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JC2, as paz said many choices. They come in all shapes and sizes. I have the Roadmaster Sterlng and M&G brake system. This might be overkill for your little toad. Plus the M&G can get pricey for a coach with hydraulic brakes. Most 5,000# hitches would work fine with your toad and Brake buddy is a good choice.
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:40 PM   #5
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There is a used tow bar and lighting kit for sale in the Classified section right now. They show up there from time to time - keep checking.
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:36 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JC2:
If we decide to purchase a small vehicle for towing behind our 05 Winnie Voyage(such as a 03 Chev Cavalier, 5 speed, FWD, 26-2700#) would would be the setup needed and approximate cost?
I know a towbar and plate would be needed; is the plate usually with the towbar kit?
Safety cables?
Additionally braking or is a brakaway switch sufficient?
Possibly additional magnetic brake/towlights for towed vehicle?
Trying to get an idea on what will be needed... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was considering if these would do the trick to get started:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94696

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=92450

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94413

The toad brake would then be the only real high ticket item.
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:56 PM   #7
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nothing against harbor freight, but I would stick with Roadmaster or Blue Ox. They are designed to tow, and are vehcile sprcific. Alsthought you will be spending in the area of 800-1000, safety wise for me and my vehcile it is worth the price.
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:28 PM   #8
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Don't see any reason why those wouldn't work, but that $49.95 tow bar is incredibly cheap. Yeah, it's Harbor Freight and not an Rv store, but that's still a bargain price. Ya gotta wonder...

One thing, those attachment points look like they are designed to be bolted right to the bumper (or whatever)on the front of the vehicle. Are you prepared to drill big holes in whatever it is? And leave those brackets there all the time? And is the bumper (or whatever) strong enough to take the towing strain? Bumpers aren't designed to be pulled or twisted...
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:00 PM   #9
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You might try Hitch Trader's Used Equipment. I got my Jeep's tow brackets there (still need to get a tow bar).
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:29 AM   #10
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Neilv, Harbor Freight is certainly the cheap way to go. I have two concerns:

1) You are going to have to do some significant engineering to hook the tow bar to your vehicle. Most vehicles do not have real bumpers, so you can't just bolt the tow bar to the bumper. Even though the Jeep Wrangler has a steel bumper, it is so thin that a large backing plate is necessary to mount a tow bar like the Harbor Freight.

2) Unless this is a one-time "do it as cheap as possible" project. You would be happier with a used RV mounted tow bar, the matching mounts for your vehicle, and coiled cable safety chains.
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:58 PM   #11
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Please dont buy your towbar from harbor freight. If you want to save money buy used or go with reputable co.The life you save could be mine. I have one of those cheap bars and they are junk.I stripped the cheap bolts right away.I bought a used falcon by roadmaster for $175 and it's a great bar.EvenBrake on ebay for $500,base plates on ebay brand new for $99.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:06 PM   #12
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I shopped around and found that RVUpgrades has the lowest prices. I also have talked with their customer service area and found them to be very very helpful and customer oriented. My calls were answered very quickly and my few items were addressed in a very professional and timely way.

I will do business with them again. The base plate, tow bar and braking system I ordered were all delivered as promised and with no surprises. Now all I need is the time to install them.

BTW. I went with Blue Ox base plate, Alexus LX tow bar, and SMI braking system. I also went went with the locking system, toad lights, Kar Gard, and cables.
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Old 03-02-2007, 04:45 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SteveR:
I shopped around and found that RVUpgrades has the lowest prices. I also have talked with their customer service area and found them to be very very helpful and customer oriented. My calls were answered very quickly and my few items were addressed in a very professional and timely way.

I will do business with them again. The base plate, tow bar and braking system I ordered were all delivered as promised and with no surprises. Now all I need is the time to install them.

BTW. I went with Blue Ox base plate, Alexus LX tow bar, and SMI braking system. I also went went with the locking system, toad lights, Kar Gard, and cables. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ditto on RVUpgrades and on Blue Ox.

Looking for used equipment as Lorna suggested is also a good idea. It may limit your choices somewhat depending on what you can find and how big a hurry you are in, but if you're on a budget it may be a viable option.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:45 PM   #14
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I shopped a found a used base plate for 50.00 and a reconditoned Blue OX tow bar for 250.00 if you shop deals can be found.
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