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Old 01-17-2016, 11:10 AM   #1
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My tow bar and bumper set up

This is a 2000 Jeep Wrangler. The bumper is made from 1/4" plate steel The tow bar is 3/8" by 2" steel. This is what I am going to try for a tow set up. There are 8-1/2" grade 8 bolts that attach the tow eyes, 4 each side.
I still have to add a second leg of to the tow bar so there is a strap on both sides of the jeep tow eye. I will do this with the same size as what the tow bar is made from.
What do you think? Where do you see the weak point at? Any suggestions?
Thanks, Ken



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Old 01-17-2016, 12:04 PM   #2
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Im sure you know this but don't back up with it. It will collapse. I been there did that.
When we built one for my bosses dune buggy we used 2 inch square tubing. Its way over kill but I bet we could pull a bus with it.
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:27 PM   #3
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My tow bar and bumper set up

I used a Reese a-frame tow bar for a few years, towing from aftermarket D-ring lugs with adapters I danced up. So similar setup. Worked fine. Paid less than $100 for the tow bar. Only problems was it required two persons to connect it to the coach and having to remove it from the jeep and stow it away (yes, often just left it on the jeep, folded it up, and secured with a couple bungee cords).

Next bought a used Blue Ox tow bar via Craigslist. One person connect and Motorhome mounted. Much preferable.

Instead of bolts to connect to the bumper lugs you might want to consider pins with clips. Easy to install/remove and without a tool needed.

In hard braking, looking at the tow bar middle bracing, is it stout enough and interconnected well enough to keep the tow bar integrity? Should it fail the sides would give way methinks.

What are you using for a braking system? I use a Brake Buddy bought used via Craigslist. Have an Air Force One that came with the Phaeton, need to find the time to do the toad side install to my Jeep.
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:56 PM   #4
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I don't see a place to hook safety cables? There is a Roadmaster Falcon Tow bar in the classified section on page 4 for $200. Check out the height difference betwene the coach and Jeep and keep under 5 inches difference , the closer to 0 the better .
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:21 PM   #5
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Very similar to the way my tow bar is attached to my 95 Jeep wrangler. I have a Blue Ox tow bar which makes connecting the tow bar to the RV very easy.
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:27 AM   #6
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The bolts are just for checking the mounts. I plan on using pins. The bar is not that heavy so I think that I will be able to attach it to the jeep myself.
I actually have thought about just leaving it on the jeep and making a lock to hold it up when not hooked to the coach. The other thing I may do is run a square tube straight down the center so if I do have to back up a bit, there is more strength.
Thanks for the thoughts and comments, as I progress I will post some pictures.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:25 PM   #7
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I did something similar but bought a folding Roadmaster Stowmaster on eBay for $150 for my towbar. The worst thing about a rigid tow bar is that it takes two people and a little teamwork to hook up. All the folding tow bars will have collapsible arms so you can hook it up by yourself.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
I used a Reese a-frame tow bar for a few years, towing from aftermarket D-ring lugs with adapters I danced up. So similar setup. Worked fine. Paid less than $100 for the tow bar. Only problems was it required two persons to connect it to the coach and having to remove it from the jeep and stow it away (yes, often just left it on the jeep, folded it up, and secured with a couple bungee cords).
How did the Reese bar hold up ? I know its not ideal, but i'm running out of time and funds for a blue ox so looking at other options. I dont like the mounts for the bumper but see Blue Ox sells a new end to use on the bar to hook to the bumper. Reese sounds much better than Harbor Freight in my mind !
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:09 PM   #9
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Maybe it's just me, but it really doesn't look like it will be strong enough. 3/8" x 2" will bend with the forces and weights it will be subjected to. I think I would have gone with 2" tubing.

I'm with others tho...hooking up a fixed tow bar requires two people and great communication. But if there will always be two of you...shouldn't be a problem.

Safety cables (chains) and supplemental toad brakes are a must and required in most states (if not all). Don't forget the mount for the 7-pin connector.

Good luck

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Old 02-07-2016, 01:12 PM   #10
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I agree with Lanerd. The first time you have a panic stop while going through a turn it will bend like a wet noodle. Square or round tubing would be a whole lot better.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:37 AM   #11
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With a set of these I have no problem hooking up a rigid tow bar (Currie) by myself. Just put one on the hitch and one on the towbar and line up the balls.I used to do it without the alignment balls and that also worked, just took a little longer.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o09_s00
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Old 02-08-2016, 02:29 PM   #12
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With a set of these I have no problem hooking up a rigid tow bar (Currie) by myself. Just put one on the hitch and one on the towbar and line up the balls.I used to do it without the alignment balls and that also worked, just took a little longer.

Robot Check
I like it. I need this for my utility trailer. Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:18 PM   #13
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Well Handyhiker,
As much as you've done some good work so far, I gotta say, that in todays world of towing Jeeps and, what's available for very reasonable prices on ebay, Craigslist, want-ads, and other places, having a permenant tow bar, sticking up in front of the hood while driving a nice looking TJ Jeep, just looks seriously HOAKY! Yeah, I know, I'll get flamed away for this but, it's just my opinion.

I've used them too, EONS of time ago, way back in the BC years. But, again, due to the availability of nice, well working, foldable or, collaping tow-bars that are available now on a used market, you can find some great deals. Your design so far is nice. The thickness is quite comparable to factory ones of the same style and type.

You could add your center support beam if you choose and, yes it will give it some additional structural integraty in that, It will have both lateral support as well as beam-front to back support. And, as I'm quite sure you're already aware of, the more steel you add, to increase structural strength, the more it will weigh which, puts more strain on the human body when attaching or detaching it to and from the Jeep.

I've been a fabricator for decades and, I applaud your intentions here. Nothing like creating your own systems for at least a couple of reasons. One, to save a few bucks and, to know it's been built correctly.

Just in case you think about going the collapsable style route, I paid $200 for a flawless, 7,500 lb. capacity Blue Ox Aladdin on ebay that came with safety cables, the 7-wire blue curly pig tail with a 7-pin coach end and a 6-pin toad end, two-Blue Ox connectors for the front of the toad and, a nice, zip up storage bag for when it's stored on the back of the coach.
Scott
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