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Old 12-06-2013, 08:12 AM   #1
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Tow Bar Questions and Installation

Who makes the best tow bar? Blue Ox? Does it need to be professionally installed on my rv and Jeep Wrangler or can I do it myself?

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Old 12-06-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
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I use roadmaster however I have friends that use blue ox and are happy with them. If you are fairly handy with tools and can read instructions you should have no problem. I am sure blue ox has a tech support willing to help should you need it. I have put on several sets myself and I'm not Mr Goodwrench but I know some about what's going on. Good luck

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Old 12-06-2013, 10:49 AM   #3
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Blue Ox, Roadmaster, and Demco all make excellent tow bars and base plates. I seriously doubt if one is any better (or worse) than the other. They do offer different designs so it's better if you research each before you purchase. Your best bet is to attend a large rally that will typically have vendors from each company displaying their wares.

FWIW, we went with the Roadmaster system mainly due to the design of their "hidden hitch" that is all but invisible when the connections for the tow bar are removed.

Ron, Sandie, and Maggie May
2013 Tiffin Phaeton 42LH
2011 GMC Terrain SLT-2
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jimfryar View Post
Who makes the best tow bar? Blue Ox? Does it need to be professionally installed on my rv and Jeep Wrangler or can I do it myself?
I got my Blue Ox tow bar from Craig's list, so I only have experience with it. It's worked fine for me on over 10,000 miles of towing. The tow bar just goes into the receiver on the back of the tow vehicle, it's the BASE PLATE that takes a little work. I installed a Blue Ox base plate on my VW, which required removing front inner and outer fenders, headlights, --- the whole 'front clip.' It wasn't hard, just lots of screws and bolts. I believe a Wrangler is easier. The way the base plate and tow bar join together varies from each manufacturer, either buy the same of each or buy the appropriate matching tow bar 'lugs' that actually attach to the base plate.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
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We've used a Roadmaster Sterling (fore runner to the Sterling All Terrain) to tow our 04 Jeep Wrangler over 100,000 miles. It's a excellent tow bar and relatively light compared to others of the same rating. Now that we park it in a garage slightly shorter than our old one weight is somewhat of a factor. I have to remove it each time we park it so the door will close, and of course reinstall it whenever we use the motorhome.

I especially like the built in channels for the wiring and safety cables. There isn't any chance of a wire or safety cable dragging on the ground, and it makes unhooking at the campgrounds easier. When everything is unhooked from the toad we slip the cover over it keeping everything in a compact and neat bundle.

Installing the baseplates on the Jeep was easy. Only a couple holes to drill. No removal or modification of plastic fascia. The whole process took less than an hour.
2013 Adventurer 32H
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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We could only go with Blue Ox for our base plate as no one else yet makes one for the Fiat's, lol. So look at all three, Blue Ox, Demco and Roadmaster, to see which one makes it for your vehicle and which one you like the look of when installed.

We also got our Blue Ox tow bar off of Craigs List. Have not had a chance to install and set up yet thou, in the middle of stage managing and performing in a play but once that is over next week ... on the road again, lol.
Thom and Christine having fun in a 1993 Monaco Crown Royale Signature Series 40ft 300hp RV. Towing a Fiat 500 Abarth and a Harley.
Our blogged repairs and travels
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lanerd View Post
Blue Ox, Roadmaster, and Demco all make excellent tow bars and base plates. I seriously doubt if one is any better (or worse) than the other. They do offer different designs so it's better if you research each before you purchase.
^^^^ What Ron said. I'll add that my preference was to get the Roadmaster Sterling bar because of the built-in guides for the cables and the additional items that Roadmaster makes, like the Guardian protector, quick disconnect cables etc. I also prefer the larger connecting pins that Roadmaster uses, but these are all the peripheral differences that make people prefer one brand over another.
Larry & Cheryl Oscar, Louie, Ranger & Henry (our Springers)
2010 Allegro RED 38QBA "Harvey"
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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I used Blue Ox Very detailed instructions that even including removing all necessary trim from vehicle.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:04 PM   #9
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Only Blue-Ox and Roadmaster make baseplates for my 2013 Hyundai toad. I read the installation instructions for both before buying. The Roadmaster unit would be easier to install because it mounted in place of the stock steel bumper and 5mph absorbtion foam, both of which were to be discarded. The Blue-Ox required cutting hidden sheet metal and drilling some holes but retained the vehicle's bumper system. I chose the Blue-Ox because this is a brand new car and I was concerned that if I was in a low speed front-end fender-bender the insurance company could say that removal of the bumper enabled excessive damage so the modification would invalidate their coverage. 12 hours of labor for me to remove fascia, modify metal, make things fit properly, bolt it all together then reinstall fascia. I mated it to the Blue-ox Alpha tow bar on a Gen-Y drop-hitch (which lets me also have a hitch-mount bicycle carrier at the same time) and use the Blu-ox Patriot brake. We took it from Orlando to Jacksonville Beach for first time over Thanksgiving and it worked like a champ.
Dave & Lynne - Retired & livin' the dream. '04 Bounder W32 on Workhorse W20 chassis powered by GM 8.1L gasser.
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:48 AM   #10
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I have a Blue Ox MH mounted tow bar and have had no problems at all in 8 years and ~20,000 miles. As far as base plates, I have installed 3 from Blue Ox, 1 on a 2006 Chevy HHR and 2 on Chevy Colorado pickups (2005 and 2012). When you first look at mounting a base plate it looks like a daunting task, but Blue Ox provides some pretty detailed step by step instructions. If you have average mechanical ability and 2-3 hours you should have no problems. You can go on the Blue Ox web site and preview the installation instructions to see if you want to tackle it for your particular toad model. I can only speak for Blue Ox equipment as that is what I own, I am sure the other manufactures are similar. Hope this helps.....
Terry & Brenda - From the Iowa Banks of the Mighty Mississippi
2011 Winnie Journey 34y, Freightliner / Cummins , 2012 Chevy Colorado Toad

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Old 12-12-2013, 09:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jimfryar View Post
Who makes the best tow bar? Blue Ox? Does it need to be professionally installed on my rv and Jeep Wrangler or can I do it myself?
We went with READYBRUTE/ELITE with a DEMCO base plate and a COOLTECH wiring harness. Did all the work myself without any problems whatsoever. In fact, I'm always wary of these so called professionals. Either for their expertise, their cost or both.

07 Fleetwood Revolution LE 40E_Spartan MM_C9 Clatterpillar_ Allison 3000
1998 36ft. National Tropi-Cal Chevy Model 6350 (SOLD)
Dinghy_2010 Jeep Wrangler JKU ISLANDER
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