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Old 06-04-2020, 05:39 PM   #1
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Tow Bars

Why do you need to use a factory made tow bar (blue ox or similar type )to tow a Jeep behind a motorhome? I am a certified welder by trade, so why canít I make my own tow bar . When traveling I only see factory made bars...
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:22 PM   #2
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Those of us with some welding skills , and those with none , hesitate to take on the liability involved with a DIY system ; or find that shops that do weld want more to fabricate a system than the existing tow bar suppliers.
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:30 PM   #3
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"Blue Ox" type of tow bar seems to be "the thing to do" among most RVers. That type of rig is a good setup and is probably the most common, and is undoubtedly the most expensive. I recently purchased a good used Blue Ox setup to replace our very well used, heavily worn JC Whitney $120 tow bar, with which we towed our Jeep Wrangler over 70,000 miles, coast to coast and border to border with two different motor-homes. Only reason I went to the Blue Ox is that I purchased it locally from an retiring RVer for little more than cost of a new JC Whitney rig including shipping cost. I have no doubt that the Blue Ox setup will wear better than a generic tow bar, but you don't need to use the Blue Ox type of tow bar to get the job done. It is simply a matter of personal preference and how much you want to spend.
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:32 PM   #4
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Very simple answer.....your homemade tow bar will be VERY limiting and a pain to connect ...for most people. It will require a ball mount, which is also something that most won't want to deal with.

When you have the old "A" frame tow bar, you have to fabricate a support or have someone hold it up, higher than the ball, while the toad is driven forward so that the FIXED tow bar lines up perfectly. That can be very aggravating. With one of the collapsible bars, all you need to do is get close, then you can extend the arms one at a time, and connect. The direct connect slide in receiver versus ball mount is a much better connection and has less steps to connect and less likely to fail.

It's expensive to buy a tow bar and install base plates, especially if you can't do the labor yourself, but the simplicity is worth it.
Don & Mary
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Florida Rang View Post
Why do you need to use a factory made tow bar (blue ox or similar type )to tow a Jeep behind a motorhome? I am a certified welder by trade, so why can’t I make my own tow bar . When traveling I only see factory made bars...
That's the way it was always done in the early days. No reason you couldn't make one if you are confident in your skills. I still see old Jeepers towing their old vintage Jeeps with what looks like an original home made tow bar at the Jeeping events/campouts I attend every year.

I towed our first Jeep with a cheap Roadmaster A frame tow bar. I had a chain I used with to hold it straight out to just above the ball by using one of the tow hooks on the bumper. It was pretty easy to drive it just where I needed it and drop it on the ball.

But, the Blue Ox I have now is even easier. Like mentioned above, just get close and pull the tow bar to the Jeep's tow point.
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:00 PM   #6
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I see no problem with a person making their own tow bar provided they have the proper design, engineering and welding knowledge to build it properly. Then it has to be removed from both vehicles and stored somewhere when parked for any length of time

Most of us buy the commercially available tow bar for the convenience, they fold up when not in use , and are easier to connect and disconnect and the fact someone else did that design and fabrication.
'13 Ram Laramie 3500, Aisin auto,4:10, Reese adapter and 20K hitch, '10 HitchHiker 36LKRSB
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:11 PM   #7
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You can make your own towbar, but you may end up also making the attachment points on towed vehicle.
Tom Wilds

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Old 06-05-2020, 06:12 AM   #8
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Go for it. I just don't have the welding skills for such a project.
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Old 06-05-2020, 10:49 AM   #9
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If you know what you doing I say go for it. I would tackle it though I would tack weld it together and get a more skilled welder than I to finish it.

Smittybilt makes a winch bumper that with the addition of their A frame tow bar is a pretty sweet package IMO. I saw this setup in an off-road magazine for just under $500 new.
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:00 AM   #10
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Why not???.. I weld, (amateur hobbyist) but I really don't trust my welding skills to something this important.

If you're confident you can do a good job, Hey, you'd probably do just as good, if not better than a store bought bar.
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:01 AM   #11
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Don't make a tow bar, you can buy one from Amazon for under $100 and bolt the toad end to your Jeep's bumper. Yeah, you have to have some skills to connect the bar to the hitch ball, but it's easier than backing up a truck to a trailer hitch because it's all in front of you in plain site. I use a lanyard to hold the bar horizontal as I drive the toad to the hitch ball: works great and I bet I can hitch my toad faster than most people using a Blue Ox or Roadmaster $1000 bar.
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Old 06-05-2020, 12:35 PM   #12
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I towed a friend's Jeep with a homemade tow bar and ball hitch. Believe me it was a pain in you know where to hook up as it could not be done by one person. Once I got my own Jeep, I went first with a Blue Ox, then changed to a Demco which I like better. I can hook it up by myself in a minute because you don't have to be perfectly aligned to connect. Hook up both arms and back up till one locks. Then when you start moving the motor home "wig wag" back and forth a couple of times and the other arm will lock.
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Old 06-05-2020, 01:04 PM   #13
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The old A frame was a pain to hook up because it had to be in exactly the right position. Having an all terrain tow bar makes hooking up a piece of cake.
Dennis and Katherine
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