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Old 09-22-2015, 02:28 PM   #1
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tow bar HELP

I have just installed roadmaster base plate 711-4 XL which allows for the removable of the tow bar hardware from the base plate when not in use.

I am some what confused between the receiver type coupling and the ball mount. I have always used ball mounts on trailers and boats, is their any real difference between the two.

Are the more expensive "self aligning tow bars far superior to the cheaper "fixed" models.

Thanks in advance

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Old 09-22-2015, 03:41 PM   #2
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I believe that the receiver systems are way safer than the ball hitch. For one thing they don't wear. I think that the locking pin is pretty secure too.
I have a Blue OX self aligning type of hitch and I cannot imagine what a pain it must be to hook up with a fixed system. You only have to bet reasonably close to the right spot behind the RV and the bars provide the leeway to connect,then they lock in place when you pull forward.
I don't know that the brand matters so much as long as it is a good one. I have noticed that the Blue Ox base plates stick out more than some others. The one on our Honda makes it look like a bulldog with a bad under-bite. You need to look at the one that fits your vehicle.

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Old 09-22-2015, 03:48 PM   #3
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I've always used the RoadMaster Sterling bar and have had it rebuilt a couple of times. They even come and check them over at rallies when they're there.
I prefer the receiver type since they stay on the MH when unhooked.
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:05 PM   #4
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I looked up that Roadmaster part number on etrailer.com. It fits a Mazda Miata, so I'll assume that's what you mounted it on. Let us know if that's incorrect.

I'm a big fan of the Roadmaster Sterling All-Terrain tow bar. We used one to tow our 2009 Honda Fit Sport. It's easy to use. You'll never regret spending the extra money for an adjustable-arm, receiver type tow bar over the non-adjustable, ball-hitch type. You'll need to use a tow bar that's compatible with the base plate, though- check with etrailer.com or whomever sold you the baseplate for the tow bar models that fit your baseplate.

I suggest that while you're at it, buy a Roadmaster Quiet Hitch. It eliminates the play in the receiver.

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Old 09-23-2015, 10:49 AM   #5
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I would think, the less moving parts, or the less parts the operator needs to deal with, the less likely it is to fail.

A straight tow bar (looks like an "A") has less moving parts, less operator interfacing ( than a collapsible.

On the other hand, a collapsible usually is attaches directly to the MH at the receiver, i.e. no ball hitch.

Both styles are well designed. If both styles are operated and maintained according to the manufacture, they both should provide long safe operation.

"Superior" is a very relative statement. I believe the differences would be mainly price / convenience. The collapsible is more expensive, but a lot easier to hookup. The fixed style, is substantially cheaper, but a little more of a challenge to hookup.

(Personally, I believe the fixed is a little more robust than the collapsible)
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sheetshaker View Post
I have just installed roadmaster base plate 711-4 XL which allows for the removable of the tow bar hardware from the base plate when not in use.

I am some what confused between the receiver type coupling and the ball mount. I have always used ball mounts on trailers and boats, is their any real difference between the two.

Are the more expensive "self aligning tow bars far superior to the cheaper "fixed" models.

Thanks in advance
Well, the old "A-Frame" fixed style are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Not only are they ugly, and obtrusive but, if left on the front of a vehicle, and something goes wrong, they can, rarely but can, fall and, could cause a serious accident due to the consequences of that tow bar digging into the ground.

The extending "Ball" style, (old trailer ball type) are normally the kind that, when disconnecting from the coach at a campsite, you fold up and leave on the front of the toad. Many can be easily lifted off the adapter brackets that are on the front of the vehicle to completely remove the tow bar. But, as stated, it can be left on there, if you choose too.

The extendable "Reciever type" are normally left on the coach, after disconnecting the two at a campsite/RV park etc.

As far as strength, there's some differences but, not all that much. Where your strength comes in to play is, the actual rating of each individual tow bar, by the manufacturer. The ball type have served a zillion people well and, still are. The receiver style are also working just fine for a few million RVers. It's kind of a preference thing. It all depends on what you desire. I'm not sure you can get the same high strength rating, i.e. 10,000 lb. like our Blue Ox Aventa, on a ball type or not. It's been a while since we had one like that.

The term "Self aligning" is a tad bit misleading. While there are some folks out there in RV land that can pull up to the back of their RV, SPOT ON, each time and, get out and hook things up all by their lonesome, most of the time, it's still a bit of a trial and error, minor adjustment type thing to get it in the range for the extensions to work, to hook the thing up.

I don't care if they are supposed to be a "one person" operation. The wife and I do it together each and every time and, it's maybe 1 minutes worth of both out time to get it right. No biggie at all.

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