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Old 02-19-2014, 12:00 AM   #1
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What's an average cost for getting set up to tow 4-flat?

Got a quote today for getting our 2003 Lexus ready to tow 4-flat. It needs a Remco transmission lube pump (about $1300 + labor). Blue Ox doesn't make a base plate for the vehicle, but RoadMaster does, for just under $500. A RoadMaster 10k tow bar adds $1,100. (A 6k bar would be about $350 less.) An Air Force One braking system comes up about $1,200 + labor. Factor in shipping, labor, and state sales tax at 8.25% and we're looking at just over $5,700.

Am just curious if that's around what most folks pay if they have a vehicle that's not towable without a lube pump or a driveshaft disconnect or some other special treatment. I realize there are some cost choices that could be made - a different braking system, perhaps, or going with a 6k tow bar - or even some of it DIY. (I am absolutely sure, though, that for me DIY would be an unmitigated disaster!) At any rate, is the $4k-$5k range about what it often costs to get a toad set up?

Thanks!

Larry
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:17 AM   #2
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We were at about $2500-$3,000 10 years ago and didn't need any Remco stuff.

So with the added Remco stuff that sounds about right at today's prices.

The 1999 to 2001 Lexus RX300 is towable 4 down. Have pulled mine about 35,000 now with no problems.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:08 AM   #3
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It sounds like you are paying top dollar for each component. Shopping around can find better prices on some parts. I got a RoadMaster brake system of Ebay for $400, it was new and never used. A BlueOx tow bar from Craig's List for $170. BlueOx safety cables and coiled electric cable for great discount on Ebay, BlueOx base plate I installed it myself, so the total cost of everything was a bit under $1000.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:53 AM   #4
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That is a lot of money to throw in an 11 year old toad. If you buy that pump and baseplate for a car that old, you will likely lose all the $ on those parts.

How about a newer better suited to towing car? Get the Ready Brake Elite brake and tow bar setup for much less.

Good Luck
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:46 AM   #5
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I agree re the high $$$ you quoted to rig an older vehicle seems to be an expensive way to go unless you really love the old vehicle and plan to keep it for a while. If you look around you might be able to find an existing vehicle for sale that is already rigged for towing and has brakes etc installed. If you try to trade in a vehicle with a base plate & brakes installed, usually that is a detracter rather than an asset notwithstanding you have invested a lot of money for the towing setup.

Two of our vehicles are rigged for towing and I mostly tow the Smart Car now, except when I need the more car space, then I take the Malibu Max (sometimes I don't even take a toad). We generally do not use those cars for day to day use when at home, and a friend of mine wants to buy the Malibu to tow behind his rig, I may sell it to him, he has borrowed it a couple of times so I might turn the tables and borrow from him when I need a larger Toad, LOL

The Max is rigged for brakemaster and ReadyBrake systems. My Smart is just rigged for ReadyBrake. Both with break away systems installed. Both have Blue Ox baseplates.

Just saying, you might be able to get another complete tow configured vehicle for not much more than what the cost is to rig your present car per your quote. Of course a dolly is another option. I tried a dolly but my preference is to go 4 down.

We have an Escalade and a Grand Caravan also but I would never deface those by putting baseplates on them but I guess it depends on what one wants to do.

Just a thought re looking for another vehicle that is already toad configured. Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:14 AM   #6
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That sounds a little pricey. It depends on how long you are going to keep the 2003 Lexus. As old as it is you may be money ahead to trade it in on a 4 wheel down towable vehicle. I bought a Ready Brake, Blue Ox tow-bar, Blue Ox base plate and lighting kit all new on ebay 3 or 4 years ago for under $2k and done the install myself. Just my opinion...
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:53 AM   #7
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If you want to keep the car and it can be towed by dolly you may want to price that option. I do not like dollies but sometimes necessity is a dear teacher.
I concur that getting another vehicle and shopping and considering Ready Brute are all money saving ideas.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:07 AM   #8
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full blown setup for a Jeep Wrangler costs me under $1500 as a DIY project... agree with others, shop around some more... If you are going to travel with the MH a lot, trade the Lexus and get a vehicle specific to towing.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:20 AM   #9
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CW is doing mine for 1600 dollars. (39.00 labor) included in that price. Were going to tow a Smartcar (1800 lbs.)
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:40 AM   #10
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Slounds about right.. You might consider the Ready Brute tow bar with Ready Brake if you plan on towing often.. The major problem with this system is the cable can bind in the sleeve and cost you a brake job.. This is not too bad if you tow often and thus keep exercising the cable.

It is a problem if you live in the north, park the motor home all winter, and spray salt water all over your undercarriage as you drive the car.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Slounds about right.. You might consider the Ready Brute tow bar with Ready Brake if you plan on towing often.. The major problem with this system is the cable can bind in the sleeve and cost you a brake job.. This is not too bad if you tow often and thus keep exercising the cable.

It is a problem if you live in the north, park the motor home all winter, and spray salt water all over your undercarriage as you drive the car.
do you have anymore info on this such as thread or a link? Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libero View Post
I agree re the high $$$ you quoted to rig an older vehicle seems to be an expensive way to go unless you really love the old vehicle and plan to keep it for a while. If you look around you might be able to find an existing vehicle for sale that is already rigged for towing and has brakes etc installed. If you try to trade in a vehicle with a base plate & brakes installed, usually that is a detracter rather than an asset notwithstanding you have invested a lot of money for the towing setup.

Two of our vehicles are rigged for towing and I mostly tow the Smart Car now, except when I need the more car space, then I take the Malibu Max (sometimes I don't even take a toad). We generally do not use those cars for day to day use when at home, and a friend of mine wants to buy the Malibu to tow behind his rig, I may sell it to him, he has borrowed it a couple of times so I might turn the tables and borrow from him when I need a larger Toad, LOL

The Max is rigged for brakemaster and ReadyBrake systems. My Smart is just rigged for ReadyBrake. Both with break away systems installed. Both have Blue Ox baseplates.

Just saying, you might be able to get another complete tow configured vehicle for not much more than what the cost is to rig your present car per your quote. Of course a dolly is another option. I tried a dolly but my preference is to go 4 down.

We have an Escalade and a Grand Caravan also but I would never deface those by putting baseplates on them but I guess it depends on what one wants to do.

Just a thought re looking for another vehicle that is already toad configured. Good luck.
Good advice.

And, as something else to think about, depending on your travel style and where you are going, $5000 rents quite a few cars at the destinations. Of course that depends on whether rentals are available where you want to go.

Also, some folks drive 2 vehicles and skip the whole towing thing.

My Geo Tracker has about $900 in used components (tow bar, base plates, stabilizer, aux. brake, chains, lighting) and my labor.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:39 AM   #13
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I didn't find much difference in cost for the base plate for our Jeep. Everyone seemed to be within $20 and then they would make it up on shipping. Seems like you're stuck with one brand anyhow.

Tow bars --- PPL Motorhomes had the best price I could find. I bought a new Blue Ox Aventa 10K for $528 and got $9.99 shipping. I'm not an expert but I've seen adapter plates to switch from one brand to another.

New brake systems were about the same everywhere.

Wiring: I probably paid more than I should have and got the CoolTech harness. But, I installed it myself and their install was super easy.


Bottom line for me was peace of mind. Our used DP even had a Blue Ox BX4325 on it but I declined to use it. I like to do what I can and won't pay for something I can do myself, but paying a bit extra beats watching your towed vehicle get whipped across 14 lanes of traffic.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:25 PM   #14
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Another thought I had while driving around thinking of your situation. I sold our last tow car fully equipped. Tow bar the whole shebang. If you were interested in a CRV or a Wrangler with some advertising of your interest you may be able to find one with a baseplate the whole shooting match. They are the current rage in towable so there must be a lot out there for the finding. It pays to ask.

Readybrake RV Tow Bars and RV Surge Braking Systems for Car Towing - NSA RV Products Here is some stuff on ready brute.
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