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Old 01-20-2011, 05:27 PM   #1
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Raising a tow bar connection point?

I plan on flat towing a 03 Miata. The normal Miata base plate (Roadmaster) exits the grill opening. To limit the amount of receiver drop I need Iím thinking of making L shaped brackets to raise the car end mounting points about 6 inches. Some of the Roadmaster base plates use brackets like this but are the styles that connect under the bumper, not through the grill opening. I canít see why it shouldnít work well. If I raise the cars mounting point by 6 inches and lower the Discoveryís receiver by 2 inches the tow bar should almost be level. Has anyone had any experience mounting like this? BTW Tow bar is a 5250 Falcon
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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One consideration is that the 6" bracket may apply to much leverage to the mounting points and create a stress failure.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Route 66 View Post
One consideration is that the 6" bracket may apply to much leverage to the mounting points and create a stress failure.
Yea I thought of that but the fact that other mounts which look to be no more ridged than the Miata mount (base plate) use a L shaped bracket. I think the Chevy Caviler Roadmaster mount for instance swings up about 7 inches. Heavier car than a Miata. Not sure Iíd do it on a car weighing 5000 lbs but a Miata is under 2500 lbs.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:16 PM   #4
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I tow my 1991 Miata 4 down and haven't done a thing to adjust the height. I've towed it about 10,000 miles without a problem.
I use a Roadmaster base and towbar. I also tow a Lexus RX300 with the same setup.
My Miata weighs 2,400 lbs.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:21 PM   #5
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If it would help your situation Demco makes a 6" receiver drop (or raise)
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:59 PM   #6
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Kix is correct - I have seen a couple of receiver drops with approximately 3" drop. It might be worth considering.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:14 AM   #7
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Raised my connection point on a 2007 then a 2010 Cobalt by 6". Designed and had made L brackets that slide into my Demco baseplate connection points. The L brackets are re-enforced by plates on each side of the insert that rest on top of the baseplate connection. This design utilizes the whole connection bracket to take the added stress. The L brackets are bolted in place. Once a year, I remove the adapter, checked for cracking, re-painting, lubricating, then re-installing. Just my two cents
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:24 AM   #8
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Is this what you maight need?
Drop Hitch Receivers by Blue Ox on Sale
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by teddyu View Post
Raised my connection point on a 2007 then a 2010 Cobalt by 6". Designed and had made L brackets that slide into my Demco baseplate connection points. The L brackets are re-enforced by plates on each side of the insert that rest on top of the baseplate connection. This design utilizes the whole connection bracket to take the added stress. The L brackets are bolted in place. Once a year, I remove the adapter, checked for cracking, re-painting, lubricating, then re-installing. Just my two cents
Thatís exactly what I was thinking of doing. As best I can tell the main failure regarding flat towing is roll-under during quick stops or on uneven ground. That is when you will most likely bend base plates, tow bars and maybe even the chassis of the toad. Thatís why the tow bar manufactures want them as level as possible. One option is to drop the receiver but from a Discovery receiver to the mount points on a Miata is about 9 inches of drop. Iím trying to limit the amount of drop to minimize the receiver smack on steep inclines which we have a number of here where I live and our main destination next summer. I will build (not buy) a 2-inch dropped receiver and by making L brackets that raise the car end by about 6-inches I should be within an inch of level.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
I tow my 1991 Miata 4 down and haven't done a thing to adjust the height. I've towed it about 10,000 miles without a problem.
I use a Roadmaster base and towbar. I also tow a Lexus RX300 with the same setup.
My Miata weighs 2,400 lbs.
While web-surfing last night I stumbled onto a guy that flat-towed a Miata connected to a stock Roadhouse base plate. He dropped his coach end receiver as much as he could without constantly smacking the ground on inclines (he has significant overhang in back) and still ended up with considerable angle to the tow bar. One day he had a panic stopÖ.the coach reared upÖ.the Miata nosed down and the result was a bent base plate. Speaks to the rigidity of a Miata as it somehow didnít bend the chassis, just the mounting points (which are half-inch thick). That is why the bar manufacturers want their products as level as possible.

I know I canít get enough receiver drop to get a level tow bar and not opting for a different toad so my only logical solution is to raise the mounting point of the stock Roadmaster plate. I sure if I build it using basic engineering intelligence; good solid welds; and inspect everything closely for the first 10,000 miles it should work out Ok.

The way the Roadhouse Falconís cross brace interlocks with the quick disconnects it distributes any force on one side onto both mount locations. The bar and the mounts are very ridged side to side due to the triangulation of the bar when pinned in place. Up and down itís only as tough as the 2 pieces of Ĺ inch thick plate and thatís why you will bend a base plate if it noses under.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:38 PM   #11
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I use a 2" receiver drop turned upside down to achieve a 2" rise for a high towed vehicle. Works great..

The tow bar angle should not exceed 4" (Ideal is flat or level)

If the vehicle being towed is too low and creates a greater than 4" rise to the tow vehicle's hitch, you run the risk of the towed vehicle pushing up on the hitch and lifting the hitch and or causing damage to the base plate.


If the towed vehicle is too high and creates a greater than 4" drop to the tow vehicle's hitch, you run the risk of the towed vehicle's front end coming off the ground (lifting up) in a fast stop.

The link below provided above by azloafer shows exactly what I use.

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...?source=google
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Batman_777 View Post
I use a 2" receiver drop turned upside down to achieve a 2" rise for a high towed vehicle. Works great..

The tow bar angle should not exceed 4" (Ideal is flat or level)

If the vehicle being towed is too low and creates a greater than 4" rise to the tow vehicle's hitch, you run the risk of the towed vehicle pushing up on the hitch and lifting the hitch and or causing damage to the base plate.


If the towed vehicle is too high and creates a greater than 4" drop to the tow vehicle's hitch, you run the risk of the towed vehicle's front end coming off the ground (lifting up) in a fast stop.

Exactly why Iím shooting for as level as I can be. And brakes on the toad help as well. Even 2500 LBS multiplies under inertia and you get that pushing against stuff and things can happen youíd think impossible.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:33 PM   #13
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A little to add to my last post. The Cobalt connections are 13" above the road surface and the receiver on the MH is 22" above the road surface. I initially dropped the ball as far a possible, but the ball would drag on the slightest of inclines. Decided to raise the Cobalt 6" and use a 4" drop from the receiver. Not the best solution but it's close to level.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:35 AM   #14
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I've had a couple panic stops with the Miata behind (and two other toads) and all is well. And I've been over a lot of those large bumps that cause the coach to heave up and down, you know...the ones where you check the rear view camera to see if the toad made it through.
I inspect my base plates, etc several times a year as I read and seen pictures of baseplate failures. All is well.
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