We completed a major to-do item this week. We wanted to be able to tow the Jeep behind the motorhome on our trips. This will allow us to have a vehicle to get around the area when we stop at a campground. We wanted to be able to ride together in-route to destinations, versus one of us driving the motorhome and the other driving the Jeep. This article provides an overview and what we did, but you should do your own research and consult professionals.
“4 down” towing is preferred by most people over trailer or car dolly towing. Not all vehicles can be towed 4 down, but Jeeps are the most popular and easiest in most cases. Here is a link to a good guide: http://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/
I have been researching and researching a tow package for our Jeep for over a year. A 4 wheels down “towed vehicle” is often referred to as a “TOAD” or “Dingy” in the RVing world.
The major components of the tow system are:
- Baseplate for the Jeep – this bolts to the frame and is what the motorhome ultimately uses to pull the Jeep down the road. Some aftermarket bumpers for Jeeps are able to be used in placed of a separate baseplate, but I decided to go with the baseplate instead.
- Tow Bar – this is the connection mechanism from the motorhome to the Jeep.
- Supplemental Braking System – this is the braking system that stops the Jeep. Could the motorhome stop the Jeep as well? It could. It would increase stopping distance. It is also illegal to do this in most states – as a supplemental braking system is required for towed vehicles. This braking system should stop you TOAD while the motorhome brakes stop the motorhome.
- Accessories and light kits. Various items – storage covers, locks, etc. A light kit is often needed to tie into your existing lights or provide separate lights to your TOAD. This provides brake, turn signal, emergency flashers, etc when you are towing.
There are many manufactures to choose from. BlueOx, Roadmaster, Demco to name just a few. As with most things, each have pros and cons. I wanted a system that was reliable and easy to use. I did not buy the cheapest system out there. I also went with a tow bar that can two up to 10,000 lbs. While my Jeep weighs less than 5,000 lbs, I like having the extra capacity so that I am not stressing the towing components.
I decided to use Blue Ox for everything but the Supplemental Braking Systems. I went with the Air Force One Braking Supplemental Braking System from Demco. The Braking System is an install it and forget it system. Nothing to install each time, simply attach an air connection from our motorhome air brakes each time.
The reason for choosing the Blue Ox came down to dealer support. I actually like some of the features that I researched, but Blue Ox has the largest dealer network. Other brand dealers that I called even told me they installed 90% Blue Ox in most cases. Blue Ox’s Customer Service also seems to be exceptional. I would guess that 70%+ of the tow systems I see in our RV Resort and in campgrounds are Blue Ox.
The connection to the motorhome only takes a few minutes. The Jeep must also be placed in “True Neutral” for safe towing, but they included the procedure in the Jeep Owner’s Manual.
I also debated installing the system myself – as it would have saved a good bit of money. It came down to needing to cut the steel skid plate on my Rubicon – I just don’t have the tools to do that.
I also went with a dealer that was close to our homebase, had a competitive price, and does a good number of these with my specific vehicle. I think these criteria are very important.
He is the finished product on its inaugural tow.
Thanks for stopping by and safe travels!