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Old 11-07-2019, 07:09 PM   #1
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Tow attachment for JL Wrangler Rubicon with factory steel bumper

Looking for the best tow bar attachment system for my new 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2 door with factory steel bumpers.

Would like to retain the factory bumper and front skid plate on the Jeep. I don't mind cutting or modifying the bumper or skid plate. I have a Demco Excalibur II tow bar that has worked well with my 2013 F-150. Would like to reuse that tow bar if possible. Don't want to seriously impact off road clearances.

I've looked at the Blue Ox base plate but it would drastically reduce off-road approach angle clearance. A salesman at a big local Blue Ox dealer/installer said that they had just installed one and it looked like someone had "stuck a trailer hitch on the front of a car". He didn't recommend it.

The Demco Base plate seems to have similar clearance issues and apparently requires the removal/replacement of the under bumper skid plate.

A YouTube video of the Roadmaster base plate makes it look like it has potential but can't be sure. Will it clear the the sway bar disconnect on the Rubicon? Also, they don't state compatibility with the Demco tow bar or seem to offer an adapter. Anyone installed or used one of these?

Also considering the Maximus Tow Loops. Looks like they don't offer connectors for any tow bar at present. Any strength issues since everyone else seems to think a cross bar is needed?

Anyone with experience or other options?
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:01 AM   #2
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I'm in the same dilemma.

I'm thinking of these

https://www.etrailer.com/p-BX88230.html

Or these

https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/warrio...6/_/R-BKTR-866

Or these

https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/trail-...L-303385-2-KIT


I'm not done looking though
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:45 AM   #3
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Sorry, not a Jeep guy so can't help with that. Just wanted to say hello.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wotrboi View Post
Looking for the best tow bar attachment system for my new 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2 door with factory steel bumpers.

Would like to retain the factory bumper and front skid plate on the Jeep. I don't mind cutting or modifying the bumper or skid plate. I have a Demco Excalibur II tow bar that has worked well with my 2013 F-150. Would like to reuse that tow bar if possible. Don't want to seriously impact off road clearances.

I've looked at the Blue Ox base plate but it would drastically reduce off-road approach angle clearance. A salesman at a big local Blue Ox dealer/installer said that they had just installed one and it looked like someone had "stuck a trailer hitch on the front of a car". He didn't recommend it.

The Demco Base plate seems to have similar clearance issues and apparently requires the removal/replacement of the under bumper skid plate.

A YouTube video of the Roadmaster base plate makes it look like it has potential but can't be sure. Will it clear the the sway bar disconnect on the Rubicon? Also, they don't state compatibility with the Demco tow bar or seem to offer an adapter. Anyone installed or used one of these?

Also considering the Maximus Tow Loops. Looks like they don't offer connectors for any tow bar at present. Any strength issues since everyone else seems to think a cross bar is needed?

Anyone with experience or other options?
Well,
I can surely understand why you might want to keep the original front bumper. Especially since you just paid THROUGH THE NOSE for a 2020 Jeep Wrangler. Them dang things are surely expensive! Anyway, while you may have a strong desire to keep that stock front bumper, I'd try and keep an open mind and at least look at a few aftermarket ones that come with "recovery tabs" on them. Those recovery tabs can also be used for towing and, most tow bar manufacturers have adapters for such recovery tabs.

You'd keep your front angle of approach for off roading and possibly increase it a tad, depending. And, while there's some that to me, look really gaudy, there's also some that more or less, enhance the looks. And, if you at least consider one, don't get stuck on one particular brand. There's numerous ones out there that will do the trick.

IF you really plan on keeping the stock bumper, I have fabricated tow points that sandwiched the steel of the front bumper on one of our other Jeeps. It worked great for a while, 'till I built a new front bumper for it. But, as with many things I do, I was thinking outside the box.

Just some ideas for ya.
Scott
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm continuing my research.

I've pretty much ruled out the Blue Ox and Demco base plates as they appear to reduce approach clearance too much.

I'm still looking at an aftermarket bumper but there aren't many that are rated for flat towing. I'm aware of failures of the D-ring mounts from fatigue when used in flat towing as most are just welded to the steel plate bumper. I'm also aware of cracking of the frame welds where the bumper attaches on another model of Jeep. Not a Wrangler, but definitely worth considerable caution. Also, on the Rubicon, there is the sway bar disconnect mechanism that needs protection and even fewer bumpers are tow rated and are also compatible with skid plates under the bumper. BTW, the factory steel bumper comes with the steel skid plate and can be converted to a "Shorty" by just removing a few bolts. It also allows mounting of a winch.

Of interest are the Maximus tow loops https://maximus-3.com/jl-bumper-acce...jl-tow-loops#/ . These appear to tie into the frame pretty securely. Maximus nor I can find adapters for my Demco tow bar to the D-Ring mounts. Demco doesn't make them as they understandably prefer you buy their base plate. I can make those adapters if necessary but would prefer not. I'd really like some feed back from someone who has used these.

The Roadmaster Direct Connect base plate looks promising and allows the factory skid plate to remain with modifications. It has removable arms so the ground clearance is not drastically reduced. One downside is that the Roadmaster wouldn't allow mounting of a winch if I ever decided to do that. They do offer an adapter to my Demco tow bar. That seems to be the base plate recommended by E-Trailer. com.

If anyone can offer first hand experience or advice, it would be appreciated.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:31 PM   #6
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2020 Rubicon

We ordered a 2020 Jeep Rubicon and it just arrived. Ordered a Cooltech wiring harness and Maximus-3 tow loops. Now I am researching a braking system that will match up to our LA with Spartan K3 chassis and air chuck in rear by reciever.
What are owners of the JL using on a MH with air brakes?

Link to tow loops https://www.rubitrux.com/maximus-3-j...CABEgJbo_D_BwE
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:05 PM   #7
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The Air Force One brake system works with the Spartan Safe Haul system on the Newmar coach.
The Demco/SMI part number for the toad side is 6271. Also required is the connecting air line part number 6296. That line has the correct coupling to match the one on your coach. Available from Demco SMI dealers.

Spartan also sells the kit complete with air line under their own part number. You can buy direct from them by phone.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lakebuster View Post
We ordered a 2020 Jeep Rubicon and it just arrived. Ordered a Cooltech wiring harness and Maximus-3 tow loops. Now I am researching a braking system that will match up to our LA with Spartan K3 chassis and air chuck in rear by reciever.
What are owners of the JL using on a MH with air brakes?

Link to tow loops https://www.rubitrux.com/maximus-3-j...CABEgJbo_D_BwE
I haven't looked on their site in a while. But, have you checked with "M & G" braking systems? That's what I've use on two previous Jeeps and one of our present toads, an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Extended Cab. With the M&G system, there's absolutely NOTHING inside the Jeep, EVER! But, again, I've not checked their website to see if they have a unit built for the JL.
Scott
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:24 PM   #9
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I went with the roadmaster baseplate. You only lose a couple of inches at most. There will be some trimming of the skid plate but that is some pretty thin sheet metal at best.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wotrboi View Post
Looking for the best tow bar attachment system for my new 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2 door with factory steel bumpers.

Would like to retain the factory bumper and front skid plate on the Jeep. I don't mind cutting or modifying the bumper or skid plate. I have a Demco Excalibur II tow bar that has worked well with my 2013 F-150. Would like to reuse that tow bar if possible. Don't want to seriously impact off road clearances.

I've looked at the Blue Ox base plate but it would drastically reduce off-road approach angle clearance. A salesman at a big local Blue Ox dealer/installer said that they had just installed one and it looked like someone had "stuck a trailer hitch on the front of a car". He didn't recommend it.

The Demco Base plate seems to have similar clearance issues and apparently requires the removal/replacement of the under bumper skid plate.

A YouTube video of the Roadmaster base plate makes it look like it has potential but can't be sure. Will it clear the the sway bar disconnect on the Rubicon? Also, they don't state compatibility with the Demco tow bar or seem to offer an adapter. Anyone installed or used one of these?

Also considering the Maximus Tow Loops. Looks like they don't offer connectors for any tow bar at present. Any strength issues since everyone else seems to think a cross bar is needed?

Anyone with experience or other options?
The current Roadmaster baseplate for JL's does not have the crossbar. There are two versions currently for sale but a call to Roadmaster confirmed the two piece unit (one on each frame rail) is the current version.

I didn't want to have the inserts which Roadmaster and Blue Ox use so I went with the Maximus-3 tow loops. I had them shipped directly to NSA so they could figure out which clevises I needed to use their Tow Brute Elite II system. NSA confirmed their clevises designed for a Barricade bumper will work with the Maximus-3 loops. Their part number is 10036. The clevis are steel and I'm assuming they only work with the newer Ready Brute Elite II tow bar.

I spoke to the guys at Maximus-3 and they confirmed you can use the Blue Ox and Roadmaster off-road adapters with their loops. I saw where someone on a different forum tried to use the Roadmaster adapters with the JL steel bumper and found there was not much clearance for the tow bar to rise up. I've seen other photos which appears to show more clearance with the plastic bumpers.

Make sure you order the ones with 3/4" openings between the mounting forks and 7/8" pins. I believe he Roadmaster part number is RM035 and the Blue Ox is BX8303.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wotrboi View Post
Looking for the best tow bar attachment system for my new 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2 door with factory steel bumpers.

Would like to retain the factory bumper and front skid plate on the Jeep. I don't mind cutting or modifying the bumper or skid plate. I have a Demco Excalibur II tow bar that has worked well with my 2013 F-150. Would like to reuse that tow bar if possible. Don't want to seriously impact off road clearances.

I've looked at the Blue Ox base plate but it would drastically reduce off-road approach angle clearance. A salesman at a big local Blue Ox dealer/installer said that they had just installed one and it looked like someone had "stuck a trailer hitch on the front of a car". He didn't recommend it.

The Demco Base plate seems to have similar clearance issues and apparently requires the removal/replacement of the under bumper skid plate.

A YouTube video of the Roadmaster base plate makes it look like it has potential but can't be sure. Will it clear the the sway bar disconnect on the Rubicon? Also, they don't state compatibility with the Demco tow bar or seem to offer an adapter. Anyone installed or used one of these?

Also considering the Maximus Tow Loops. Looks like they don't offer connectors for any tow bar at present. Any strength issues since everyone else seems to think a cross bar is needed?

Anyone with experience or other options?
Decided to go with the Maximus Tow Loops p/n MAX3-JL 1025TL, I'll have to make adapters to my Demco tow bar. No big problem for me as own a fab shop, but Maximus should offer adapters to tow bars other than Blue Ox.

Air Force One Brake toad side brake system ordered directly from Spartan p/n 6294. This is a proprietary part number that comes with the airline and correct fitting to connect to my 2019 Dutch Star with Spartan "Safe Haul" system.

Installation is scheduled for next week. I'll update when complete.

Thanks for all the input!
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dgreen1069 View Post
Make sure you order the ones with 3/4" openings between the mounting forks and 7/8" pins. I believe he Roadmaster part number is RM035 and the Blue Ox is BX8303.
I tried to edit my original post but must have waited too long. The correct Blue Ox adapter number is BX88303.

I also found that the clevises NSA sent me for the Ready Brute are not a great fit for the Maximus-3 tow loops. The ones they recommended use a 1" pin and have a 15/16" opening between the tabs. The Maximus-3 loops are 5/8" wide and probably need a 3/4" opening between the tabs and 7/8" pins.
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Old 11-14-2019, 01:29 AM   #13
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I am using the Blue Ox tow plate and Air Force braking system on my 2019 Jeep 2 door Rubicon. It is coupled to a 2019 Newmar New Aire, and works great. It does cut into the front departure angle, but I don't get radical enough off road to worry about it. Love the combination, ease of use, and maneuverability of the Jeep for all kinds of conditions and surfaces. Eventually I will probably do the 4 door unlimited improving hauling space, especially now that Jeep introduced a Wrangler diesel engine. Anyone order a new one of those yet? Much better range and torque, but you can't get it in a 2 door Wrangler, only in the Unlimited.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:43 AM   #14
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El Chapo,
Not sure if it's just my computer or what but, in your last two links, all I get is a home page and no particular parts. What parts from that company are you looking at?
Scott
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