So you’ve searched far and wide on the internet and maybe even at retail stores as well. You’re looking for a good tow set-up to pull your vehicle behind your RV. I put a lot of time in myself looking for the best one I could find.
I hope that by reviewing my current set-up I’m using you will find it much easier to make a decision. Or at the very least I give you a little more information on your way to finding the perfect set-up for you.
For the purposes of this article, I will be covering a set-up designed for towing all four tires of your vehicle on the ground, AKA four on the floor or flat-towed.
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Blue Ox Setup
So after countless hours put in looking for that perfect tow system, I arrived at the Blue Ox tow bar and the Patriot 2 brake system. After much use, I can safely say that I’m very much impressed with this setup.
Let’s begin with the tow bar and mounting plate. When I first read about the work involved with the Blue Ox tow bar, I did feel a bit overwhelmed. But after reading a ton of reviews and knowing how much I was about to spend, I figured it would be pretty cut and dry.
Getting into the mounting plate installation I found that it was fairly simple after all. I have a pretty limited amount of mechanical knowledge when it comes to vehicles and it took me about 2-3 hours to get installed.
The only reason I spent that amount of time was that my mounting bolts and nuts on my bumper were a bit rusty and required elbow grease and a little ingenuity to get off.
Once that bumper was out of the way the rest went much quicker. A couple drilled holes here, attach some nuts there and you’re all done. The directions are pretty easy to read.
Once that plate is installed, the worst is over. The tow bar itself mounts right into your hitch receiver on the back of your rig just like a hitch on a truck.
Then it’s simply driving your vehicle you wish to pull into place to hook up, (which this particular tow-bar makes very easy to do).
This is by far the easiest way to tow a vehicle I’ve ever used. At first, it may take you 15 minutes or so, but with time, hooking up will take less than 5. I’d say we do it less than 3 minutes on average now. The tow bar is designed in a way that gives you a large margin for error when connecting or disconnecting.
In other words, you don’t have to be in an exact position like a traditional trailer tongue and ball on a hitch need to be in order to hook up. You just get it close and the tow bar will do the rest for you.
Once the tow bar is hooked up you need to hook up your safety chains and light cable just like any other trailer. Now you’re ready to hit the road!
How you go about wiring your lights are up to you. I started off with doing it the cheaper way which I later regretted.
Then picked up one of those wiring kits from a retail store, the one with the lights that are magnetized and you stick them to your vehicle in the back somewhere.
Which I later replaced this system with a direct connection into vehicle taillights, which I was much happier with. And to be completely honest, it was just as easy, if not easier to install.
Patriot Brake 2 System
So you’ve hit the road with your new towing system but there is something you may have forgotten or never even considered. A good brake system.
Now not everyone may need a brake system for their particular setup. Some people have much larger RVs with bigger and better brakes on them already. Or they feel like the amount of weight they are towing isn’t quite heavy enough to need a brake system on the toad. I was one of those people…for a while at least.
You see there were a few things I hadn’t considered at the time. First and most importantly, know your rigs towing capacities. Not only the total weight it can pull, but also the tongue weight and the total combined weight limit of your RV and towed vehicle.
After you know those, keep in mind your route. Going up and down steep grades can change everything. Trust me, it can be pretty harrowing going down a hill in first gear with your brakes completely mashed to the floor. That’s when that other brake system really pays off.
The last important thing to consider is that you may be illegal. Many states require some sort of braking system on any sort of towed cargo. So make sure you are checking your local state laws or the law of where you will be going.
For a time, I had no brake system. Then after a few different excursions, I changed my mind. After more thorough searching I decided to get the Patriot Brake 2. Blue Ox really sold me on their product so I felt that I couldn’t go wrong with them. I couldn’t have been happier.
Just like before, the simplicity and ease of use really were worth the price of the product. The only installation this system requires is the breakaway cable. You must mount the cable to the front of the vehicle you are towing, then route it to your driver seat area.
This is all extremely simple to do and shouldn’t take more than an hour to do. Once that’s complete, it’s all plug and play. The braking unit goes in the floorboard of the vehicle and is attached to the vehicle brake pedal directly.
Then you need to plug in the breakaway cable you routed and plug the unit itself into a 12-volt socket. Turn it on and test it and you’re done! As long as it all works as intended.
One thing I will mention is to check your brake lights to make sure they go off after its done testing. If they are still on, then you may need to adjust the units position a bit. It takes a little longer at first but after you figure it out you can have in done in a minute.
The last thing is the Control module. It comes with a control module you keep in the RV and you just plug it into your 12-volt and then have direct access to how sensitive you want to brake actuator to be.
Sum it all up
In my opinion after all the research and after using this system myself many times, its the best your money can buy. Let’s quickly sum up some pros and cons.
- Easy and convenient to use
- Quickest setup to use
- Safe and durable
- Warrantied and backed by a reputable company
- Plug and play
- A bit expensive
- Requires some installation
- Multiple separate purchases required
This is all based upon my personal experience and all the researching I did prior to making a purchase. I only hoped to have made the decision you make a little bit easier.