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Old 11-26-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
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Towed vehicle with a winch- how can I do this?

I am the new owner of a 396XL and I want to tow a Jeep Wrangler. I live very near Roadmaster so I called them up and they told me that they do not make a plate for a Jeep which has either modified bumpers or a winch on the front.
I have yet to buy my Jeep but was really thinking of having a winch on the front. Are there any tow bars that allow for this with the vehicle towed with 4 wheels down or will I need to get a dolly or trailer for this???
Also, any recommendations on your favorite (or best) towed vehicle auxiliary braking system?
Thanks
Dave
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:23 PM   #2
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Find a good welder/fabricator. Make certain the new fabricated brackets are beefy enough to take the beating and do the job you need them for.
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Old 11-26-2014, 07:36 PM   #3
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I've seen jeeps that work with blue ox by welding the eyelets to the front bumper replacement. I think IIRC the bumper replacement was made by tough country. The owner used the traditional tow shackle set up through the eyelets to discreetly hide their true purpose when not towing behind their motor home
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:36 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses...it looks like the AEV jeep front bumper with winch can use the eyelets with a Blue Ox set up and, if you want to remove the skid plate on the front bumper then the Roadmaster set up will work too. I have not personally verified with Roadmaster yet.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P21932 View Post
I am the new owner of a 396XL and I want to tow a Jeep Wrangler. I live very near Roadmaster so I called them up and they told me that they do not make a plate for a Jeep which has either modified bumpers or a winch on the front.
I have yet to buy my Jeep but was really thinking of having a winch on the front. Are there any tow bars that allow for this with the vehicle towed with 4 wheels down or will I need to get a dolly or trailer for this???
Also, any recommendations on your favorite (or best) towed vehicle auxiliary braking system?
Thanks
Dave
For Roadmaster, there are several kits offered. You can use their online interactive catalog at Roadmaster Inc. - Tow Bars, Braking Systems & RV Accessories to see if one of them will fit. A couple of the kits work with Warn bumpers, which I assume are designed to accept a Warn winch (not owning a Jeep I'm not sure).

As an aside, any bumper that is designed to support a winch is already strong enough to handle a towbar without further modification. Most other toads require bumper replacement, to add tension connectors so the bumper isn't ripped right off the vehicle while towing— because those bumpers only resist pushing, not pulling.

For supplemental brakes, I've had good results from the Roadmaster Invisibrake, which permanently mounts under the driver's seat. When I was outfitting my toad, it seemed kind of silly to permanently mount towbar baseplate receivers and permanently rewire the taillights with blocking diodes so they work like trailer lights while towing, and then use a removable brake system.

As for dolly towing, I'm not sanguine about towing a four-wheel-drive vehicle two-down. Get an on-line copy of the owner's manual, or ask your dealer if he'll let you take a look at an owner's manual, to see if it can be dolly-towed. Dolly-towing does allow you to use the stock vehicle with no mods at all— no supplemental brakes, no towbar baseplate recievers, no rewiring of the taillights. It adds the dolly weight to the towed weight, takes up storage space not only when not in use but also in the campground. But as a side benefit, you CAN back up with a dolly, which you can't do towing four-down.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:32 AM   #6
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I have a Demco which will fit I am sure. I towed a Jeep, no adapted front end on the Jeep but as long as the bars can connect and not be interfered with while towing it would be fine. I also have a brake buddy, all for sale if you become interested. You will need the brake buddy to put in the jeep, connected to the MH to apply the brakes on the Jeep when needed. Towing a jeep at least a newer one is simple. Put the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in PARK if an automatic or in neutral if stick, ours was auto. And bingo you are on your way. The Jeep with our Demco unit just followed right behind, when driving if you butt is past the curb or whatever you can make the turn and the Jeep cleared the curb etc every time. Cannot back up, I did a couple of times but once the Jeep wheels start to turn even an inch you are done backing.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:34 PM   #7
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Thanks for the information. One of the main reasons I am interested in Roadmaster other than the fact that they are close by is the invisibrake. I would prefer something I can just leave in place. I guess I need to ask them if that can install their invisibrake system with a Blue Ox towbar.
They are the ones who told me (on the phone) that they could not accommodate a winch containing bumper.
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:04 AM   #8
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I guess I need to ask them if that can install their invisibrake system with a Blue Ox towbar.
You can use any supplemental brake system with any towbar. The two are completely independent systems. There's no need to keep everything the same brand.

I went with the Roadmaster towbar because I did my research beforehand and discovered:
1 - Blue Ox Baseplates mounted two inches lower than the Roadmaster baseplates on a Honda Fit (below the bumper, not in line with it), so I'd need a two inch drop hitch to keep a Blue Ox towbar level. The drop hitch would have been an extra expense, plus the drop hitch would have changed the already shallow "departure angle" on my Airstream Interstate so that it may have dragged the ground every time I came off the mountable curb at the end of my apartment complex's driveway. The Roadmaster baseplates allowed the towbar to be level as-is. This is important— the towbar should be as level as possible for best results, no matter the brand.
2 - I didn't want to use an adapter kit to make Roadmaster baseplates work with a Blue Ox towbar, although an adapter kit was available. The adapter kit would have been an extra cost that I didn't need.
3 - The Blue Ox baseplates required extra drilling in order to mount them on the Honda, while the Roadmaster baseplates mounted with no extra drilling, using existing holes in the Honda's frame to add tension connectors to the bumper. This would be a non-issue on a Jeep.

Plus:
4 - I had never heard of Demco at the time. Blue Ox and Roadmaster were the only brands I knew of that had kits for a 2013 Honda Fit.
5 - I found a YouTube video of a Roadmaster baseplate installation on a Honda Fit, so I knew exactly what it would entail before I ever bought mine.

Having said all of that, the geometry of the Jeep is completely different from a Honda Fit, so my reasons for using the Roadmaster towbar will not apply to you. I gave you my reasons in order to illustrate an important point— other people's recommendations depend upon the motorhome/toad combination they're using, and may or may not be valid for you. While we can offer advice, there is no substitute for doing your own research.
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