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Old 05-04-2021, 02:17 PM   #1
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Towbar Brands

I've been looking for a tow bar setup so that we can pull our YJ behind the motorhome. I've looked at the Roadmaster & Blue Ox systems.

What other brands of tow bars are out there?

Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:21 PM   #2
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Ready Brute elite
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:48 PM   #3
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I have a Demco tow bar.

https://www.demco-products.com
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:55 PM   #4
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Ready Brute elite
X2 you don't need a supplemental brake with the Ready Brake. You do have to install a couple of cables through the firewall but it's pretty easy if you're at all handy.
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:20 PM   #5
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I would never buy anything Blue Ox again.
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:25 PM   #6
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I would say the top 4 are Roadmaster, Blue Ox, Demco and NSA, though there are others, also etrailer now has a house brand tow bar, which is made by Demco, and is very similar to the previous version of the Demco tow bar, however they are sold with whichever major brand of coupler you pick.


That is in no particularly order, and most of which have adapters available to make them work with the other major brands of base plates.


At the moment I have a Demco Commander towbar and a Blue Ox baseplate.


If I were to put them in order from low to high I would tend to say Blue Ox, Roadmaster, Demco and NSA though a lot of this has to do with their customer service, support, etc. Both Blue Ox and to a lesser degree Roadmaster want you to replace your tow bar every 8-10 years ago will not service it beyond a certain age regardless of condition or level of actual use.
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Old 05-05-2021, 05:22 AM   #7
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X2 you don't need a supplemental brake with the Ready Brake. You do have to install a couple of cables through the firewall but it's pretty easy if you're at all handy.
X3.
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:13 AM   #8
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Ready Brute works great for us also.
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:22 AM   #9
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The etrailer tow bar is a demco bar with etrailer name on it.i just got one and it is a great tow bar at a great price.took almost a month to get it because they were back ordered. tow bar came with adapter to hook up to my roadmaster baseplate. adapter alone is like a 100 bucks.
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:42 AM   #10
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Thanks

Thanks to you all. I've got some surfing to do this evening.
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:18 AM   #11
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Before you buy you might want to do some searches like "blueox tow bar failures" You might be surprised what you find.
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:21 AM   #12
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Another Demco Commander user here, coupled with the Demco tabless baseplate on our Wrangler. Really like the features. The only gripe I have is the weight of the Commander - hefty!
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BT2 Zeke View Post
Thanks to you all. I've got some surfing to do this evening.
If you've never purchased a tow bar before, perhaps people could offer up their suggestions of what to look for. For us:

Non-binding latches. The types of tow bars with the telescoping arms need to have a lever pulled to release the lock. If the vehicle is at a bit of an angle it can be difficult to impossible to pull the lever. A non-binding latch has a geared force multiplier to make that job easier. My Roadmaster Nighthawk has a ratio of something like 5 pounds of upward force exerts 2,000 pounds of pressure to unlock the telescoping arms.

Some people pooh-pooh the non-binding latches and say they just take a big hammer and a big old bolt and beat the pin out of the tow bar when its bound up. That's too much work for me plus I have an aversion to doing things like that. Perhaps you do not.

Integrated cables. A few tow bars have a metal "channel" on the tow bar that holds the safety cables and the umbilical cable. You do not need to carry the cables separately because they're always ready to just plug in.

All terrain or similar wording. This just means the tow bar has pivoting abilities so the car can be a bit cockeyed side to side and the tow bar is still happy.

Close to or double the expected towing weight of the vehicle for the weight rating. Tow bars get a lot of stress and abuse. As they age things slowly wear out. Give yourself a big safety margin.

Not "all aluminum". These have gotten a bit of a bad reputation because of failures while driving. Not all and probably a very small minority. The people who like the all aluminum bars like the weight, about 35 pounds versus maybe 50 pounds. I just leave my tow bar on the motorhome all the time but some people have to remove theirs due to very tight storage places. My Roadmaster Nighthawk has steel telescoping arms but the outer casing is aluminum to reduce some weight.

Accessories:

Anti-rattle devices. There's always some slop where the tow bar goes into the motorhome hitch receiver. Anti-rattle devices are just beefy clamps that remove that slop. I use two of the Blue Ox anti-rattle devices. They help eliminate banging noises while towing and other stresses.

Locking pins for the hitch. ETrailer and others make these. They replace the pin-and-clip to make it a bit more difficult for someone to tamper with your tow bar or swipe it.

Whichever one you buy, buy its cover. Tow bars spend most of their life just sitting in the sun, rain, dust, etc. Give it a fighting chance to stay cleaner.

Oh, and I really like the lighted arms on the Nighthawk. They come on whenever the motorhome's parking or headlights are lit.

Ray
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:09 AM   #14
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Ready Brute Elite. I swapped from a Blue Ox to the RBE last year. Love the Ready Brute Elite.

I tow a Jeep Wrangler.
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