Mrs. Sue, no you do not have to have a manual transmission Jeep to tow it. You can tow an automatic transmission as long as it is 4 wheel drive. I have the Blue Ox set up on mine. Yes, you will need the base plate to tow the Jeep. You can get everything you need from Amazon.com or you can go to the Blue Ox website and order from them. I got everything I needed for mine from Amazon.com and it comes with the paper work from Blue Ox to register it with Blu Ox for the warranty.
Jerry and Janell & Westie dog Gus (Augustus McCrae)
Navy by record Marine by choice
2005 Bounder 38N DP 300 CAT 2014 Jeep Wrangler