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Old 02-25-2014, 06:39 AM   #1
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Ocassional Toad Towing

I have read a lot about the best tow bars but what about the less expensive versions that most companies sell? We are going to tow our Grand Cherokee a few times a year when we visit the grandkids and stay a while and don't know if we need the top of the line for a few times.

We have a 23U Class C on a Chevy 3500. According to the book the GC is about 4200#. I have a lot of experience pulling a trailer behind my trk but have only towed four down once many many years ago with a uhaul bumper mount.

What do I miss out on by purchasing a very basic tow bar?

Regards,

Dave
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:55 AM   #2
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Hi Dave1956,
As long as the tow bar, receiver/hitch and coach can handle the weight of the toad, your good to go. The only thing to consider is if you purchase a tow bar rated at 5K lbs, this limits future toad purchases. For me, this is one reason to consider a tow bar rated above 5K lbs (the more expensive tow bars).
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:01 AM   #3
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Are you sure your hitch is rated to tow a 4200# vehicle ? I suspect it may be rated for less.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:22 AM   #4
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I will double check, but the manual said the coach would tow 5k. It came with a class A hitch but that does not mean it came with a 5k hitch.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:16 PM   #5
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Your tow vehicle has two (or 3) different tow ratings and the proper one is the smaller one.

Rating one is the rating on the hitch
Rating two is the difference between the Maximum COMBINED gross vehicle weight and the Gross weight of the tow vehicle.

Example, on my MH the MCGVW is 26,000 and I run about 22,000, So my Tow rating #2 is 4,000 (My towed is 2500, perhaps 2600 as configured).

The third is the chassis tow rating if different from the above (not a factor in my case)

THE SMALLEST ONE, is the one you can tow... (in my case (5,000 hitch, 4,000 difference) it is 4K or less.

NOTE: use of a drop hitch adapter, makes that 5K hitch into a 4K or 3L or less very fast (The longer the drop (Or rise) the lower the tow)
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:34 PM   #6
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The only thing you miss is the extra convenience of the top end tow bars. Much easier to hook up, stow, etc., but if you don't do it often, maybe not a big deal.

The base plates cost the same, however, and that's a big chunk of the cost. So is the brake system and toad lights. You may be able to find a used tow bar of a better model and come out ok.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:03 PM   #7
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My 2011 GC Overland weighs out at 5250 with a half tank of gas. Just my opinion, but I would not tow a $45000 vehicle with anything less than the best I could buy
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:07 PM   #8
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I would also suggest that you put your Jeep on scales at a truck stop or some place. You might be surprised. Keep in mind that all it takes is one failure on a cheap tow bar and you're SOL. Again, just my opinion!
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:48 PM   #9
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Have thought about this situation before, you can not tow anything, just lease a car when get there or get a cheep small light weight car that you don't have to worry about going over weight limit or damage from a rock or black gator that might fly up and hit it. This is what I decided to do.

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One is far a short trip with a good weather report and the other is long trip. Oh yeah just go ahead and buy a good used tow bar like a Blue Ox.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1956 View Post
I will double check, but the manual said the coach would tow 5k. It came with a class A hitch but that does not mean it came with a 5k hitch.
I don't know what you mean, 'class A hitch.' The standard is Class I, II, III, IV. A Class III hitch is rated up to 5,000 lbs. A really cheap tow bar is perhaps rigid and without sliding, locking arms. A rigid tow bar is much harder to hitch up since alignment has to be precise. You still have to invest in a base plate, so going cheap on the tow bar only makes its use difficult. Check for used equipment on Craig's List, eBay, etc.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:43 PM   #11
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Go on to Ebay (et al) and buy the good stuff cheap, then tow the toad all the time!

Why all the time? Here are a very few samples:

Pack up and go to town and come back and set up again. Repeat.

While in town, find places to park your MH near where you are going. Good luck.

While shopping, wonder if your MH is being attacked by a wild herd of shopping carts.

When you get back to camp and just finish setting up, decide you want sushi with the chow mein.

Go to Maine and look for parking in a village you have waited 6 months to see and then realize the streets are only 1.5 times as wide as your MH.

Best wishes!
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:09 PM   #12
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I towed for years with a inexpensive toad mounted A frame tow bar on a ball - I think I paid $79 new at a PepBoys auto parts. Downside is that it's not on the motorhome and requires two people to connect/disconnect. But it got the job done.

My current setup of a Blue Ox tow bar bought used via Craigslist. Van be a way to save a few dollars and get a more featured setup.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:26 PM   #13
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Just an FYI A 2010 (for instance) Grand Cherokee has a curb weight of 4261# with standard equipment. I don't know what year GC you have or the options you have over standard equip. but just the base vehicle is over your 4200# towing limit not counting the base plate or the tow bar weight.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:37 AM   #14
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thanks really good responses I clearly have some work to do!
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